Unusually large Wisconsin outbreak: More Elizabethkingia cases reported - Outbreak News Today | Outbreak News Today Outbreak News Today
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An additional six Elizabethkingia anophelis infections has been reported during the past week in Wisconsin’s large and unusual outbreak, bringing the total cases to 54 since Nov. 2015 in twelve counties throughout southern and eastern Wisconsin–Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Jefferson, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sauk, Sheboygan, Washington and Waukesha.  At least 15 people have died.

Three individual Elizabethkingia anophelis colonies growing next to each other on blood agar. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Special Bacteriology Reference Lab.

Three individual Elizabethkingia anophelis colonies growing next to each other on blood agar.
Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Special Bacteriology Reference Lab.

And the mystery behind this outbreak remains…

In an interview on Wisconsin Public Television, (when the outbreak stood at 48), CDC epidemiologist  Dr. Michael Bell said that each state reports about a half dozen Elizabethkingia cases annually; however he notes, “We don’t see 48 of the identical organism causing an outbreak like this very often,” he said. “In fact, this is probably the largest one we’ve seen.”

Bell says that people with health and immune system issues are most susceptible to organisms like Elizabethkingia.

He does mention some good news about this organism: Elizabethkingia is not contagious, people with healthy immune systems can easily avoid infection, and medical providers have identified some antibiotics that work against the strain found in Wisconsin.

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4 Comments

  1. […] Unusually large Wisconsin outbreak: More Elizabethkingia cases reported […]

  2. […] To think the World has come so far in relation to illness and cures for those illnesses. Yet there was the big Ebola breakout of 2014 and now we are confronted with another deadly disease Elizabethkingia. Wisconsin has reported a total so far of 54 cases of Elizabethkingia since Nov. 2015 with 18 deaths. These laboratory-confirmed illnesses were reported to DHS between November 1, 2015 and March 2, 2016. Because this investigation is ongoing, case counts may change as additional illnesses are identified and more cases are confirmed. (1) […]

  3. […] anophelis ever documented in the United States has hit the third state following Wisconsin and Michigan as Illinois health officials report tests from an resident match those from a […]

  4. […] anophelis ever documented in the United States has hit the third state following Wisconsin and Michigan as Illinois health officials report tests from an resident match those from a […]

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