News Scan for Feb 28, 2020

No new DRC Ebola cases
US candidemia burden

WHO marks week with no new Ebola cases in DRC

No new cases of Ebola were reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) over the past week, according to an update yesterday from the World Health Organization (WHO), leaving the case count at 3,444. It marks the first time since the outbreak began that no new confirmed cases were reported over a 7-day period.

The most recent case was reported in Beni health zone in North Kivu province on Feb 17. The death toll in the outbreak, which has lasted 18 months in the eastern region of the DRC, remains at 2,264. The overall case fatality rate is 66%.

The WHO said that while the lack of new confirmed cases reported in the last week is a major achievement, the outbreak remains active. The risk of additional cases emerging remains high, the agency noted, and transmission of the virus outside of groups currently under surveillance cannot be excluded. In addition, Ebola persists in some survivors' bodily fluids and can infect others.

"To mitigate a potential resurgence of the outbreak, it is critical to maintain response capacities to rapidly detect and respond to any new cases and to prioritize survivor support and monitoring and the maintenance of cooperative relationships with the survivors' associations," the WHO said.

The WHO also said that more funding will be needed to continue fighting the outbreak. The agency said it has some carryover funding to maintain operations through this month, but that $40 million is needed "to ensure continuity of activities to bring the case incidence to zero and to continue building strong and resilient health systems."
Feb 27 WHO Ebola update


CDC surveillance estimates nearly 23,000 US candidemia cases

A population-based surveillance study estimates that there were nearly 23,000 cases of candidemia in the United States in 2017, researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and several state health departments reported today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The surveillance, conducted in 45 counties in 9 states through the CDC's Emerging Infections Program, identified 1,226 cases of candidemia—a bloodstream infection caused by species of the fungus Candida—in 1,140 patients in 2017. The all-cause mortality rate within 7 days of candidemia diagnosis was 15%, and 25% for the entire hospitalization. Based on this, the researchers estimated that 22,600 US candidemia cases occurred in 2017, with an estimated 3,380 deaths within 7 days and 5,628 deaths during the entire hospital stay.

The overall estimated incidence of candidemia was 7.0 cases per 100,000 people, with the highest rates in adults 65 and older (20.1/100,000), men (7.9/100,000), and African Americans (12.3/100,000).

This is the first estimate of the burden of candidemia in the United States. The authors of the study say that since candidemia is only one form of invasive candidiasis, the true burden of invasive infections caused by Candida species is likely higher. They also noted that changes in the burden and epidemiology of candidemia may occur in the near future as Candida auris, which was first identified in the United States in 2016, continues to emerge as a major healthcare-associated pathogen.  
Feb 28 Clin Infect Dis abstract

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