US hospitals saw healthcare-associated infections rise in 2020
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that progress against healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), including those caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, took a step back in 2020.
The 2020 National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress report shows that from 2019 to 2020, general acute care hospitals saw a 35% increase in the standardized infection ratio for ventilator-associated events, a 24% increase in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), and a 15% increase in hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia. Long-term acute care hospitals (ACHs) saw a 20% increase in MRSA bacteremia.
The CDC says the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on US hospitals likely played a major role in these increases.
"For most HAIs in ACHs, the increases seen in 2020 present a strong contrast to the success in reducing these infections prior to the pandemic," the report states. "The COVID-19 pandemic created a perfect storm for HAIs in healthcare settings. Many hospitals faced extraordinary circumstances that may have reduced the implementation of standard infection prevention and control (IPC) practices."
On a positive note, the report also found a 11% decline in hospital-onset Clostridioides difficile infections at ACHs, along with a 9% decline in surgical site infections (SSIs) following hysterectomies and 5% decline in SSIs following colon surgery. In addition, ACHs in more than half the states are performing better than the 2015 national baseline in preventing CLABSIs, MRSA bacteremia, SSIs following surgeries, C difficile infections, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
The CDC says the report highlights the need for hospitals to continue to reinforce IPC practices in their facilities and regularly review HAI surveillance data to identify areas for improvement.
Oct 2021 CDC report
Minnesota asks hunters for CWD samples near North Dakota border
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said yesterday that it is implementing voluntary chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling for all deer harvested along the state's border with North Dakota during the current hunting season.
The move follows the identification of the first suspected CWD case in the area. Preliminary test results from a deer harvested near Climax, Minnesota, indicate a CWD infection, but confirmation of the initial result is not expected until next week, the DNR said in a press release.
"Thanks to this hunter's early discovery, we have the chance to act quickly and be proactive," said Seth Goreham, acting wildlife research manager for the DNR. "We're asking hunters to submit samples so we can determine the extent of CWD in the area and take steps to help control the spread."
The DNR said samples can be submitted at two self-service stations in the area.
CWD is a fatal prion disease that affects cervids like deer, elk, and moose. The disease was first detected in wild deer in the United States in 1981 and has now been detected in 26 states. So far, 118 cases have been documented in Minnesota's wild deer herd, most of them in the southeastern part of the state. Implications for human health are unknown.
Nov 3 DNR press release
ACIP makes recommendations on hep B, orthopoxvirus, Ebola vaccines
A day after its deliberations on the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children, the vaccine advisory group for the CDC met yesterday and approved policy recommendations for three other vaccines. The vaccines target hepatitis B, orthopox viruses, and Ebola virus.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) said the hepatitis B vaccine should be used in people ages 19 to 59 and in those ages 60 and older who are at higher risk. They also said it may be given in those ages 60 and older who don't have risk factors.
The orthopoxvirus recommendation related to the Bavarian Nordic vaccine against monkeypox and smallpox, which the Food and Drug Administration approved in 2019. In a five-part vote, the group recommended it as an alternative to the first-generation vaccine (ACAM2000), though its recommendation wasn't preferential. The policy measures also covered healthcare workers who administer ACAM, which contains live vaccinia virus, occupational risks involving more virulent variants, and booster doses.
And finally, ACIP recommended the VSV-EBOV vaccine for preexposure prophylaxis for health workers at special pathogens treatment centers and those who work at Laboratory Response Network facilities. Also, the group approved routine votes on childhood and adult immunization schedules.
Nov 3 ACIP agenda