18 Deaths Linked to a Bacterial Infection in Wisconsin
The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a blood infection called Elizabethkingia anaophelis that has been linked to 18 deaths in Wisconsin.
About the Illness in Wisconsin
Reuters reports that 48 people have been found infected with Elizabethkingia between November 1, 2015 and March 9, 2016. Officials are unsure of how this outbreak even began.
Patients in southeastern and south Wisconsin are mostly 65 years and older and have a history of at least one serious illness.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services have alerted health care providers in the area about guidance and treatment for this outbreak. This has helped with rapid identification of the bacteria, which has been able help with treatment and improved outcomes for patients.
It has not been confirmed whether Elizabethkingia anopheles has contributed or caused the 18 deaths, despite all of them testing positive for the infection.
Details About Elizabethkingia
The Wisconsin Department of Health reports Elizabethkingia are pathogens that cause illness in individuals with compromised immune systems. Elizabethkingia bacteria is rarely reported to cause illness in humans and are uncommon colonizers of the respiratory track.
Laboratory tests need to be conducted to confirm illness. The following symptoms and illness can result from exposure to Elizabethkingia:
- Shortness of breath