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Concept: Measles


CDC has developed interim guidelines for health care providers in the United States caring for pregnant women during a Zika virus outbreak. These guidelines include recommendations for pregnant women considering travel to an area with Zika virus transmission and recommendations for screening, testing, and management of pregnant returning travelers. Updates on areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission are available online ( Health care providers should ask all pregnant women about recent travel. Pregnant women with a history of travel to an area with Zika virus transmission and who report two or more symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease (acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia, or conjunctivitis) during or within 2 weeks of travel, or who have ultrasound findings of fetal microcephaly or intracranial calcifications, should be tested for Zika virus infection in consultation with their state or local health department. Testing is not indicated for women without a travel history to an area with Zika virus transmission. In pregnant women with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection, serial ultrasound examination should be considered to monitor fetal growth and anatomy and referral to a maternal-fetal medicine or infectious disease specialist with expertise in pregnancy management is recommended. There is no specific antiviral treatment for Zika virus; supportive care is recommended.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Pregnancy, Epidemiology, Disease, Infectious disease, Infection, Measles


Peter Hotez reflects on declining vaccination rates in Texas and the potential for future measles epidemics.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Vaccine, Measles


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. Some anecdotal reports suggest that ASD is related to exposure to ethyl mercury, in the form of the vaccine preservative, thimerosal, and/or receiving the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. Using infant rhesus macaques receiving thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs) following the recommended pediatric vaccine schedules from the 1990s and 2008, we examined behavior, and neuropathology in three brain regions found to exhibit neuropathology in postmortem ASD brains. No neuronal cellular or protein changes in the cerebellum, hippocampus, or amygdala were observed in animals following the 1990s or 2008 vaccine schedules. Analysis of social behavior in juvenile animals indicated that there were no significant differences in negative behaviors between animals in the control and experimental groups. These data indicate that administration of TCVs and/or the MMR vaccine to rhesus macaques does not result in neuropathological abnormalities, or aberrant behaviors, like those observed in ASD.

Concepts: Brain, Vaccine, Autism, Pediatrics, MMR vaccine, Measles, Rubella, Mumps


Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus primarily transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (1). Zika virus infections have also been documented through intrauterine transmission resulting in congenital infection; intrapartum transmission from a viremic mother to her newborn; sexual transmission; blood transfusion; and laboratory exposure (1-5). Most Zika virus infections are asymptomatic (1,6). Clinical illness, when it occurs, is generally mild and characterized by acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia, or nonpurulent conjunctivitis. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause adverse outcomes such as fetal loss, and microcephaly and other serious brain anomalies (1-3). Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare autoimmune condition affecting the peripheral nervous system, also has been associated with Zika virus infection (1). Following the identification of local transmission of Zika virus in Brazil in May 2015, the virus has continued to spread throughout the Region of the Americas, and travel-associated cases have increased (7). In 2016, Zika virus disease and congenital infections became nationally notifiable conditions in the United States (8). As of September 3, 2016, a total of 2,382 confirmed and probable cases of Zika virus disease with symptom onset during January 1-July 31, 2016, had been reported from 48 of 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Most cases (2,354; 99%) were travel-associated, with either direct travel or an epidemiologic link to a traveler to a Zika virus-affected area. Twenty-eight (1%) cases were reported as locally acquired, including 26 associated with mosquito-borne transmission, one acquired in a laboratory, and one with an unknown mode of transmission. Zika virus disease should be considered in patients with compatible clinical signs or symptoms who traveled to or reside in areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission or who had unprotected sex with someone who traveled to those areas. Health care providers should continue to educate patients, especially pregnant women, about the importance of avoiding infection with Zika virus, and all pregnant women should be assessed for possible Zika virus exposure at each prenatal visit (2).

Concepts: AIDS, Pregnancy, Disease, Uterus, Infection, United States, U.S. state, Measles


Sustained high coverage with recommended vaccinations among children has kept many vaccine-preventable diseases at low levels in the United States (1). To assess coverage with vaccinations recommended for children by age 2 years in the United States (2), CDC analyzed data collected by the 2015 National Immunization Survey (NIS) for children aged 19-35 months (born January 2012-May 2014). Overall, coverage did not change during 2014-2015. Coverage in 2015 was highest for ≥3 doses of poliovirus vaccine (93.7%), ≥3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine (HepB) (92.6%), ≥1 dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) (91.9%), and ≥1 dose of varicella vaccine (91.8%). The data were also examined for potential vaccination coverage differences by race/ethnicity, poverty status, and urbanicity. Although disparities were noted for each of these factors, the most striking differences were seen for poverty status. Children living below the federal poverty level* had lower coverage with most of the vaccinations assessed compared with children living at or above the poverty level; the largest disparities were for rotavirus vaccine (66.8% versus 76.8%), ≥4 doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) (78.9% versus 87.2%), the full series of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib) (78.1% versus 85.5%), and ≥4 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) (80.2% versus 87.1%). Although coverage was high in some groups, opportunities exist to continue to address disparities. Implementation of evidence-based interventions, including strategies to enhance access to vaccination services and systems strategies that can reduce missed opportunities, has the potential to increase vaccination coverage for children living below the poverty level and in rural areas (3).

Concepts: Pneumonia, Vaccine, Poverty in the United States, MMR vaccine, Measles, Haemophilus influenzae, Pertussis, Vaccines


Nipah virus (NiV) is a paramyxovirus, and Pteropus spp. bats are the natural reservoir. From December 2010 through March 2014, hospital-based encephalitis surveillance in Bangladesh identified 18 clusters of NiV infection. The source of infection for case-patients in 3 clusters in 2 districts was unknown. A team of epidemiologists and anthropologists investigated these 3 clusters comprising 14 case-patients, 8 of whom died. Among the 14 case-patients, 8 drank fermented date palm sap (tari) regularly before their illness, and 6 provided care to a person infected with NiV. The process of preparing date palm trees for tari production was similar to the process of collecting date palm sap for fresh consumption. Bat excreta was reportedly found inside pots used to make tari. These findings suggest that drinking tari is a potential pathway of NiV transmission. Interventions that prevent bat access to date palm sap might prevent tari-associated NiV infection.

Concepts: Infection, Mammal, Primate, Bat, Henipavirus, Measles, Alcoholic beverage, Zoonosis


Background Although measles was eliminated in the United States in 2000, importations of the virus continue to cause outbreaks. We describe the epidemiologic features of an outbreak of measles that originated from two unvaccinated Amish men in whom measles was incubating at the time of their return to the United States from the Philippines and explore the effect of public health responses on limiting the spread of measles. Methods We performed descriptive analyses of data on demographic characteristics, clinical and laboratory evaluations, and vaccination coverage. Results From March 24, 2014, through July 23, 2014, a total of 383 outbreak-related cases of measles were reported in nine counties in Ohio. The median age of case patients was 15 years (range, <1 to 53); a total of 178 of the case patients (46%) were female, and 340 (89%) were unvaccinated. Transmission took place primarily within households (68% of cases). The virus strain was genotype D9, which was circulating in the Philippines at the time of the reporting period. Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination coverage with at least a single dose was estimated to be 14% in affected Amish households and more than 88% in the general (non-Amish) Ohio community. Containment efforts included isolation of case patients, quarantine of susceptible persons, and administration of the MMR vaccine to more than 10,000 persons. The spread of measles was limited almost exclusively to the Amish community (accounting for 99% of case patients) and affected only approximately 1% of the estimated 32,630 Amish persons in the settlement. Conclusions The key epidemiologic features of a measles outbreak in the Amish community in Ohio were transmission primarily within households, the small proportion of Amish people affected, and the large number of people in the Amish community who sought vaccination. As a result of targeted containment efforts, and high baseline coverage in the general community, there was limited spread beyond the Amish community. (Funded by the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.).

Concepts: Public health, Epidemiology, Virus, Vaccination, Measles, Amish, Mumps, MMR vaccine controversy


Congenital infection with Zika virus causes microcephaly and other brain abnormalities (1). Hearing loss associated with other congenital viral infections is well described; however, little is known about hearing loss in infants with congenital Zika virus infection. A retrospective assessment of a series of 70 infants aged 0-10 months with microcephaly and laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection was conducted by the Hospital Agamenon Magalhães in Brazil and partners. The infants were enrolled during November 2015-May 2016 and had screening and diagnostic hearing tests. Five (7%) infants had sensorineural hearing loss, all of whom had severe microcephaly; however, one child was tested after receiving treatment with an ototoxic antibiotic. If this child is excluded, the prevalence of sensorineural hearing loss was 5.8% (four of 69), which is similar to that seen in association with other congenital viral infections. Additional information is needed to understand the prevalence and spectrum of hearing loss in children with congenital Zika virus infection; all infants born to women with evidence of Zika virus infection during pregnancy should have their hearing tested, including infants who appear normal at birth.

Concepts: Disease, Bacteria, Virus, Infection, Otology, Ear, Tinnitus, Measles


Mumps is an acute viral disease characterized by fever and swelling of the parotid or other salivary glands. On May 1, 2015, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) confirmed a mumps outbreak at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. IDPH and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (C-UPHD) conducted an investigation and identified 317 cases of mumps during April 2015-May 2016. Because of sustained transmission in a population with high 2-dose coverage with measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, a third MMR dose was recommended by IDPH, C-UPHD, and the university’s McKinley Health Center. No formal recommendation for or against the use of a third MMR dose has been issued by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) (1). However, CDC has provided guidelines for use of a third dose as a control measure during mumps outbreaks in settings in which persons are in close contact with one another, where transmission is sustained despite high 2-dose MMR coverage, and when traditional control measures fail to slow transmission (2).

Concepts: Epidemiology, Vaccination, MMR vaccine, Measles, Parotid gland, Salivary gland, Mumps, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices


This case-control study investigated the relationship between the risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) onset, and early exposure to the combined Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine and thimerosal consumption measured from vaccinations in the highly genetically homogenous Japanese population.

Concepts: Vaccine, Vaccination, Autism, Autism spectrum, Measles, Rubella, Thiomersal