Endemic Infections

Endemic Infections

Correlation of Physical Exam Findings with Fever in Patients with Skin and Soft Tissue Infections

Author Affiliation Jillian Mongelluzzo, MD University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, San Francisco, California Brian Tu, BA University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, San Francisco, California Barbara Grimes, PhD University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, […]

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Endemic Infections

Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya: Emerging Arboviruses in the New World

Jessica Patterson, MD et al.

The arboviruses that cause dengue, chikungunya, and Zika illnesses have rapidly expanded across the globe in recent years, with large-scale outbreaks occurring in Western Hemisphere territories in close proximity to the United States (U.S.). In March 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) expanded its vector surveillance maps for A. aegypti and A. albopictus, the mosquito vectors for these arboviruses.

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Endemic Infections

Perception of the Risks of Ebola, Enterovirus-E68 and Influenza Among Emergency Department Patients

Volume 17, Issue 4, July 2016
Lauren K. Whiteside, MD, MS et al.

Emerging infectious diseases often create concern and fear among the public. Ebola virus disease (EVD) and enterovirus (EV-68) are uncommon viral illnesses compared to influenza. The objective of this study was to determine risk for these viral diseases and then determine how public perception of influenza severity and risk of infection relate to more publicized but less common emerging infectious diseases such as EVD and EV-68 among a sample of adults seeking care at an emergency department (ED) in the United States.

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Endemic Infections

Identify-Isolate-Inform: A Tool for Initial Detection and Management of Zika Virus Patients in the Emergency Department

Volume 17, Issue 3, May 2016
Kristi L. Koenig, MD et al.

First isolated in 1947 from a monkey in the Zika forest in Uganda, and from mosquitoes in the same forest the following year, Zika virus has gained international attention due to concerns for infection in pregnant women potentially causing fetal microcephaly. More than one million people have been infected since the appearance of the virus in Brazil in 2015. Approximately 80% of infected patients are asymptomatic. An association with microcephaly and other birth defects as well as Guillain-Barre Syndrome has led to a World Health Organization declaration of Zika virus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in February 2016. Zika virus is a vector-borne disease transmitted primarily by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Male to female sexual transmission has been reported and there is potential for transmission via blood transfusions. After an incubation period of 2–7 days, symptomatic patients develop rapid onset fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia, and conjunctivitis, often associated with headache and myalgias. Emergency department (ED) personnel must be prepared to address concerns from patients presenting with symptoms consistent with acute Zika virus infection, especially those who are pregnant or planning travel to Zika-endemic regions, as well as those women planning to become pregnant and their partners. The identify-isolate-inform (3I) tool, originally conceived for initial detection and management of Ebola virus disease patients in the ED, and later adjusted for measles and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, can be adapted for real-time use for any emerging infectious disease. This paper reports a modification of the 3I tool for initial detection and management of patients under investigation for Zika virus. Following an assessment of epidemiologic risk, including travel to countries with mosquitoes that transmit Zika virus, patients are further investigated if clinically indicated. If after a rapid evaluation, Zika or other arthropod-borne diseases are the only concern, isolation (contact, droplet, airborne) is unnecessary. Zika is a reportable disease and thus appropriate health authorities must be notified. The modified 3I tool will facilitate rapid analysis and triggering of appropriate actions for patients presenting to the ED at risk for Zika.

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Endemic Infections

Intubating Ebola Patients: Technical Limitations of Extensive Personal Protective Equipment

Volume 16, Issue 7, December 2015.
Warren Wiechmann, MD

As hospitals across the nation were preparing for the
possibility of Ebola or Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome
(MERS-CoV) cases, healthcare workers underwent intricate
training in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
An Ebola or MERS-CoV patient requiring intubation places
a healthcare worker at risk for exposure to bodily secretions.
The procedure must be performed only after appropriate
PPE is donned.1
Intubating while wearing PPE is yet another
challenge identified in caring for these patients. Manual
dexterity and free movement decreases when wearing PPE,
and may increase length of time to successful intubation.

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Endemic Infections

Identify-Isolate-Inform: A Modified Tool for Initial Detection and Management of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Patients in the Emergency Department

Volume 16, Issue 5, September 2015.
Kristi L. Koenig, MD.

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a novel infectious disease caused by a coronavirus
(MERS-CoV) first reported in Saudi Arabia in September 2012. MERS later spread to other countries
in the Arabian Peninsula, followed by an outbreak in South Korea in 2015. At least 26 countries
have reported MERS cases, and these numbers may increase over time. Due to international
travel opportunities, all countries are at risk of imported cases of MERS, even if outbreaks do not
spread globally. Therefore, it is essential for emergency department (ED) personnel to be able to
rapidly assess MERS risk and take immediate actions if indicated. The Identify-Isolate-Inform (3I)
tool, originally conceived for initial detection and management of Ebola virus disease patients in the
ED and later adjusted for measles, can be adapted for real-time use for any emerging infectious
disease. This paper reports a modification of the 3I tool for use in initial detection and management
of patients under investigation for MERS. Following an assessment of epidemiologic risk factors,
including travel to countries with current MERS transmission and contact with patients with confirmed
MERS within 14 days, patients are risk stratified by type of exposure coupled with symptoms of fever
and respiratory illness. If criteria are met, patients must be immediately placed into airborne infection
isolation (or a private room until this type of isolation is available) and the emergency practitioner
must alert the hospital infection prevention and control team and the local public health department.
The 3I tool will facilitate rapid categorization and triggering of appropriate time-sensitive actions for
patients presenting to the ED at risk for MERS.

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Endemic Infections

Tuberculoma-Induced Seizures

Volume 16, Issue 5, September 2015.
R. James Salway, MD, et al.

Seizures in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients can be caused by a wide variety of
opportunistic infections, and, especially in developing countries, tuberculosis (TB) should be high
on the differential. In India, TB is the most common opportunistic infection in HIV and it can have
several different central nervous system manifestations, including intracranial tuberculomas. In this
case, an HIV patient presenting with new-onset seizure and fever was diagnosed with tuberculous
meningitis and multiple intracranial tuberculomas. The patient received standard TB medications,
steroids, and anticonvulsants in the emergency department and was admitted for further care.

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Endemic Infections

Identify-Isolate-Inform: A Tool for Initial Detection and Management of Measles Patients in the Emergency Department

Volume 16, Issue 2, March 2015
Kristi L. Koenig, MD et al.

Measles (rubeola) is a highly contagious airborne disease that was declared eliminated in the U.S. in the year 2000. Only sporadic U.S. cases and minor outbreaks occurred until the larger outbreak beginning in 2014 that has become a public health emergency. The “Identify-Isolate-Inform” tool will assist emergency physicians to be better prepared to detect and manage measles patients presenting to the emergency department. Measles typically presents with a prodrome of high fever, and cough/coryza/conjunctivitis, sometimes accompanied by the pathognomonic Koplik spots. Two to four days later, an erythematous maculopapular rash begins on the face and spreads down the body. Suspect patients must be immediately isolated with airborne precautions while awaiting laboratory confirmation of disease. Emergency physicians must rapidly inform the local public health department and hospital infection control personnel of suspected measles cases.

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Our Philosophy

Emergency Medicine is a specialty which closely reflects societal challenges and consequences of public policy decisions. The emergency department specifically deals with social injustice, health and economic disparities, violence, substance abuse, and disaster preparedness and response. This journal focuses on how emergency care affects the health of the community and population, and conversely, how these societal challenges affect the composition of the patient population who seek care in the emergency department. The development of better systems to provide emergency care, including technology solutions, is critical to enhancing population health.