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Vibrio Illnesses After Hurricane Katrina August-September 2005

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Part 1

During the time studied Vibrio illness resulted in how many deaths?

During the period of study (between 29 August and September 11), there were five reported deaths from two states. Three of the deaths were linked to Vibrio Vulnificus while the rest were associated with V parahaemolyticus.

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Was the Vibrio infection likely to be acquired from the environment or person-to-person transmission?

Vibrio infections were primarily from the environment. Whereas there were person-to-person transmissions, they were unlikely to cause infections

How was a case of post-hurricane Vibrio infection defined? 

The report defined it as clinical illness in individuals who lived in parts affected by Katrina (Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama) with the onset of the illness and reporting occurring between 29th August and 11th September in cases the pathogen was isolated from stool. Blood, or wound culture.

Part 2

How many wound-associated Vibrio cases were identified?

Eighteen such cases were reported seven being from Mississippi five from Louisiana and the rest of people displaced from affected regions.

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What were the demographics (age, gender, location, underlying conditions) of those who with wound-associated Vibrio infections?

Of the eighteen wound related cases 15 were males, and three were females. They were aged between 31 years and 81 with the median age being 73 years. Seven were from Mississippi, and five from Louisiana among the rest five had been displaced from Louisiana to Arizona (1), Texas (2) and Arkansas (2) while one had relocated from Mississippi to Florida.  The primary underlying cause among these patients was the wounds.

Part 3

How many Non-Wound-Associated Illnesses were reported?

There were four patients who had non-wound associated illness, two from Louisiana and two from Mississippi.

What strikes in case reports (ABC)?

The first thing that strikes me in these three cases is the follow up that was done. The investigators were able to gather all relevant information in an attempt to manage the conditions. In each of the cases, the investigators provide information that could have worsened the condition thus making a recovery hard. Finally, in both cases, they describe the management that was accorded to the individuals including the medications given to salvage them.

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