Ehrlichiosis in a golf-oriented retirement community
A 1993 outbreak of ehrlichiosis in a Tennessee retirement community was due to its location next to a wildlife preserve and frequent golf-playing of the residents. Ehrlichiosis is caused by infection from bacteria that are often carried by ticks. Researchers reviewed medical records, performed blood tests on suspected ehrlichiosis patients, and administered questionnaires to residents of two retirement communities. The two communities (A and B), were 20 miles apart and community A was located next to a wildlife preserve. According to blood tests, 12.5% of community A residents and 3.3% of community B residents had the bacterial infection that causes ehrlichiosis. During the six-month study period, 10 of 11 symptomatic cases occurred in community A. Researchers found thousands of Lone Star ticks in community A, but only three in community B. Risk factors associated with developing ehrlichiosis included: exposure to wildlife, golfing, retrieving lost golf balls off the course, and not wearing insect repellant.
Publication Name: The New England Journal of Medicine
HIV-infected surgeons and dentists: looking back and looking forward
The transmission of HIV from infected health care workers to their patients is a growing concern. This is especially true when treatment involves invasive procedures. Only one case of this type of HIV transmission has been documented. This case involved the transmission of HIV infection from an HIV-infected dentist to five of his patients. The mode of transmission still remains a mystery because standard infection control practices were followed in his office. Other blood pathogens have been transmitted from infected dentists or surgeons to their patients. Three research studies found that another HIV-infected dentist and two infected surgeons did not transmit HIV to any of their patients who underwent invasive procedures. The risk of HIV transmission from infected health care workers to their patients may be low, but it may have been underestimated by the methods used in these studies.
Publication Name: JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association
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