Health and Mental Hygiene. 19 outbreaks were reported to dhmh during mmwr week 1

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

  1. Provided by Sharon Wallace, Division of Outbreak Investigation, Maryland Department of

Health and Mental Hygiene.
19 outbreaks were reported to DHMH during MMWR Week 1 (January 2 - January 8):
12 Respiratory Outbreaks

9 outbreaks of INFLUENZA LIKE ILLNESS associated with Nursing Homes in Washington Co., Baltimore City, Baltimore Co., Montgomery Co., Allegany Co., Frederick Co., Charles Co., and Prince Georges Co.

1 outbreak of PNEUMONIA associated with a Nursing Home in Washington Co.

1 outbreak of INFLUENZA LIKE ILLNESS/PNEUMONIA associated with a Nursing Home in Prince George's Co.

1 outbreak of INFLUENZA associated with an Assisted Living Facility in Baltimore Co.
5 Gastroenteritis Outbreaks

2 outbreaks of FOODBORNE/GASTROENTERITIS associated with Restaurants in Talbot Co. and Prince Georges Co.

2 outbreaks of GASTROENTERITIS associated with Nursing Homes in Charles Co. and Garrett Co.

1 outbreak of GASTROENTERITIS associated with a Restaurant in Anne Arundel Co.

1 Rash Outbreak

1 outbreak of SCABIES associated with an Assisted Living Facility in Baltimore Co.

1 Other Outbreak

1 outbreak of SCOMBROID POISONING associated with a Restaurant in Anne Arundel Co.

B. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Department of Pathology, Information provided by,

Christopher Owens, M.D.
Case Summary:

The patient is an 11-month-old African American female who presented to the emergency department with diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. The infant was the product of a 38-week gestation pregnancy, has a monozygous twin, and has a history of non-obstructive hydrocephalus. The diarrhea was described as watery and non-bloody by the mother and noted to be very frequent. The patient was treated with rehydration in the ED and discharged home. The symptoms continued and the family returned to the ED two days later. A diagnosis of viral gastritis was made and the patient was discharged and instructed to continue aggressive hydration. Ten days after the second ED visit the family returned to the ED because of continued symptoms. Blood and urine cultures were drawn and IM ceftriaxone was administered in the ED. The blood culture grew type D, pan-sensitive Salmonella species and the patient was admitted. Ceftriaxone therapy was continued.


Salmonella is a gram-negative, motile bacilli and is the most complex of all the Enterobacteriaceae, with more than 2200 serotypes. Salmonella species can be cultured from stool, blood, or urine, are usually lactose negative, and produce Hydrogen Sulfide on KIA and TSI media. Unknown isolates that are biochemically suggestive of Salmonella are confirmed using polyclonal sera. Confirmed isolates are forwarded to public health laboratories where serotype designations are made based on serologic reactions to O and H antigenic determinants.

Clinical Significance: Human infections are most commonly caused by ingestion of food, water, or milk contaminated by human or animal excreta. Salmonella usually causes a self limited mild gastroenteritis but may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea of varying severity. Bacteremia or septicemia without major gastrointestinal symptoms characterized by high spiking temperatures can occur with some Salmonella species (particularly S. choleraesuis). Enteric fever can be produced by any strain of Salmonella species and is manifested by mild fever and diarrhea, except for classic cases of typhoid fever (S. typhi) in which the disease progresses through a bimodal course. The early period lasts 1 to 2 weeks and consists of fever and constipation, during which blood cultures are positive and stool cultures remain negative. The second phase or diarrheic phase follows during which stool cultures become positive and blood cultures are negative. Finally a carrier state can develop in which previously infected individuals continue to excrete the organism for up to 1 year following remission of symptoms. The biliary tree is the primary site for carriage and eradication may be difficult in the presence of gallstones and may require cholecystectomy to eliminate the carrier state.

Salmonellae are primary pathogens of many lower animals (including poultry, cows, pigs, pets, birds, sheep, seals, donkeys and several reptiles) which are the principal source of non-typhoidal salmonellosis in humans. Humans are the only known reservoir for S. typhi. Although, the incidence of typhoid fever is declining in developed countries sporadic outbreaks still occur. About 400 cases are reported annually in the United States. In contrast, about 50,000 cases of non-typhoidal salmonella infections occur annually in the United States. About half of the epidemics are the result of contaminated poultry or poultry products.
Laboratory diagnosis:

Most Enterobacteriaceae grow well on routine laboratory media, such as sheep blood, chocolate, and MacConkey agars and typically produce detectable growth within 24 hours. Hektoen enteric agar and xylose-lysine desoxycholate (XLD) media are moderately selective and inhibit the growth of most Enterobacteriaceae, allowing the detection of Salmonella and Shigella. These media are incubated at 35 to 37C in air and are examined for colonies at 24 and 48 hours. Salmonella produces non-lactose fermenting colorless colonies on MacConkey agar, green colonies with a black precipitate on Hektoen enteric agar, and red colonies with black centers on XLD media.

Commercially available polyvalent antisera are commonly used to preliminarily group Salmonella species. The antisera contain antibodies against O antigens and one of the antibodies is against the capsular (K) antigen of S. typhi. Complete typing of Salmonella species by including the use of antisera against flagellar (H) antigens is performed at reference laboratories.

The mainstay of treatment is replacement of fluid and electrolytes. In patients who are severely ill, or at extremes of age, or who have enteric fever or extraintestinal infections such as bacteremia antimicrobial agents play an important role in therapy. Effective agents include quinolones, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and ceftriaxone.


Koneman, EW: Color Atlas and Textbook of Diagnostic Microbiology, 5th ed. New York, Lippincott Williams & Williams, 1997.

Forbes, BA: Bailey & Scott’s Diagnostic Microbiology, 11th ed. St. Louis, Mosby, 2002.
Grisaru-Soen G, et al: Risk factors for development of nontyphoid salmonella bacteremia. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2004 Nov;43(9):825-9.
Yang YJ, et al: Analysis of risk factors for bacteremia in children with nontyphoidal Salmonella gastroenteritis. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2002 Apr;21(4):290-3. Epub 2002 Apr 10.

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