Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

A routine investigation by the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) identified a nonpregnant woman in her twenties who reported she had engaged in a single event of condomless vaginal intercourse with a male partner the day she returned to NYC (day 0) from travel to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission. She had headache and abdominal cramping while in the airport awaiting return to NYC. The following day (day 1) she developed fever, fatigue, a maculopapular rash, myalgia, arthralgia, back pain, swelling of the extremities, and numbness and tingling in her hands and feet. In addition, on day 1, the woman began menses that she described as heavier than usual. On day 3 she visited her primary care provider who obtained blood and urine specimens. Zika virus RNA was detected in both serum and urine by real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) performed at the DOHMH Public Health Laboratory using a test based on an assay developed at CDC (1). The results of serum testing for anti-Zika virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody performed by the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center laboratory was negative using the CDC Zika IgM antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Zika MAC-ELISA) (2).

Seven days after sexual intercourse (day 6), the woman’s male partner, also in his twenties, developed fever, a maculopapular rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. On day 9, three days after the onset of his symptoms, the man sought care from the same primary care provider who had diagnosed Zika virus infection in his female partner. The provider suspected sexual transmission of Zika virus and contacted DOHMH to seek testing for the male partner. That same day, day 9, urine and serum specimens were collected from the man. Zika virus RNA was detected in urine but not serum by rRT-PCR testing at the DOHMH Public Health Laboratory. Zika virus IgM antibodies were not detectable by the CDC Zika MAC-ELISA assay performed at the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center. The CDC Arbovirus Disease Branch confirmed all rRT-PCR results for urine and serum specimens from both partners.

During an interview with DOHMH on day 17, the man confirmed that he had not traveled outside the United States during the year before his illness. He also confirmed a single encounter of condomless vaginal intercourse with his female partner (the patient) after her return to NYC and reported that he did not engage in oral or anal intercourse with her. The man reported that he noticed no blood on his uncircumcised penis immediately after intercourse that could have been associated either with vaginal bleeding or with any open lesions on his genitals. He also reported that he did not have any other recent sexual partners or receive a mosquito bite within the week preceding his illness.

Independent follow-up interviews with the woman and man corroborated the exposure and illness history. The patients were consistent in describing illness onset, symptoms, sexual history, and the woman’s travel. This information also was consistent with the initial report from the primary care provider.

The timing and sequence of events support female-to-male Zika virus transmission through condomless vaginal intercourse. The woman likely was viremic at the time of sexual intercourse because her serum, collected 3 days later, had evidence of Zika virus RNA by rRT-PCR. Virus present in either vaginal fluids or menstrual blood might have been transmitted during exposure to her male partner’s urethral mucosa or undetected abrasions on his penis. Recent reports document detection of Zika virus in the female genital tract, including vaginal fluid. A study on nonhuman primates found Zika virus RNA detected in the vaginal fluid of three nonpregnant females up to 7 days after subcutaneous inoculation (3), and Zika virus RNA was detected in specimens from a woman’s cervical mucous, genital swab, and endocervical swab collected 3 days after illness onset, using an unspecified RT-PCR test (4). Further studies are needed to determine the characteristics of Zika virus shedding in the genital tract and vaginal fluid of humans.

This case represents the first reported occurrence of female-to-male sexual transmission of Zika virus. Current guidance to prevent sexual transmission of Zika virus is based on the assumption that transmission occurs from a male partner to a receptive partner (5,6). Ongoing surveillance is needed to determine the risk for transmission of Zika virus infection from a female to her sexual partners. Providers should report to their local or state health department any patients with illnesses compatible with Zika virus disease who do not have a history of travel to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission, but who had a sexual exposure to a partner who did travel.

Persons who want to reduce the risk for sexual transmission of Zika virus should abstain from sex or correctly and consistently use condoms for vaginal, anal, and oral sex, as recommended in the current CDC guidance (5). Guidance on prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus, including other methods of barrier protection, will be updated as additional information becomes available (http://www.cdc.gov/zika).

Corresponding author: Sally Slavinski, sslavins@health.nyc.gov, 347-396-2672.

References
1.Lanciotti RS, Kosoy OL, Laven JJ, et al. Genetic and serologic properties of Zika virus associated with an epidemic, Yap State, Micronesia, 2007. Emerg Infect Dis 2008;14:1232–9. CrossRef PubMed
2.CDC. Zika MAC-ELISA: instructions for use. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/Safety/EmergencySituations/UCM488044.pdf
3.Dudley DM, Aliota MT, Mohr EL, et al. A rhesus macaque model of Asian-lineage Zika virus infection. Nat Commun 2016;7:12204. CrossRef PubMed
4.Prisant N, Bujan L, Benichou H, et al. Zika virus in the female genital tract [Letter]. Lancet Infect Dis 2016. E-pub July 11, 20162016. CrossRef
5.Oster AM, Russell K, Stryker JE, et al. Update: interim guidance for prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus—United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:323–5. CrossRef PubMed
6.Hills SL, Russell K, Hennessey M, et al. Transmission of Zika virus through sexual contact with travelers to areas of ongoing transmission—continental United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:215–6. CrossRef PubMed

Davidson A, Slavinski S, Komoto K, Rakeman J, Weiss D. Suspected Female-to-Male Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus — New York City, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 15 July 2016. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6528e2

Have you ever been on the subway and seen something that you did not quite recognize, something mysteriously unidentifiable?

Well, there is a good chance scientists do not know what it is either.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College released a study on Thursday that mapped DNA found in New York’s subway system — a crowded, largely subterranean behemoth that carries 5.5 million riders on an average weekday, and is filled with hundreds of species of bacteria (mostly harmless), the occasional spot of bubonic plague, and a universe of enigmas. Almost half of the DNA found on the system’s surfaces did not match any known organism and just 0.2 percent matched the human genome.

“People don’t look at a subway pole and think, ‘It’s teeming with life,’ ” said Dr. Christopher E. Mason, a geneticist at Weill Cornell Medical College and the lead author of the study. “After this study, they may. But I want them to think of it the same way you’d look at a rain forest, and be almost in awe and wonder, effectively, that there are all these species present — and that you’ve been healthy all along.”

Dr. Mason said the inspiration for the study struck about four years ago when he was dropping off his daughter at day care. He watched her explore her new surroundings by happily popping objects into her mouth. As is the custom among tiny children, friendships were made on the floor, by passing back and forth toys that made their way from one mouth to the next.

“I couldn’t help thinking, ‘How much is being transferred, and on which kinds of things?’ ” Dr. Mason said. So he considered a place where adults can get a little too close to each other, the subway.

Thus was the project, called PathoMap, born. Over the past 17 months, a team mainly composed of medical students, graduate students and volunteers fanned out across the city, using nylon swabs to collect DNA, in triplicate, from surfaces that included wooden benches, stairway handrails, seats, doors, poles and turnstiles.

In addition to the wealth of mystery DNA — which was not unexpected given that only a few thousand of the world’s genomes have been fully mapped — the study’s other findings reflected New York’s famed diversity, both human and microbial.

The Bronx was found to be the most diverse borough in terms of microbial species. Brooklyn claimed second place, followed by Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, where researchers took samples on the Staten Island Railway.

On the human front, Dr. Mason said that, in some cases, the DNA that was found in some subway stations tended to match the neighborhood’s demographic profile. An area with a high concentration of Hispanic residents near Chinatown in Manhattan, for example, yielded a large amount of Hispanic and Asian genes.

In an area of Brooklyn to the south of Prospect Park that roughly encompassed the Kensington and Windsor Terrace neighborhoods, the DNA gathered frequently read as British, Tuscan, and Finnish, three groups not generally associated with the borough. Dr. Mason had an explanation for the finding: Scientists have not yet compiled a reliable database of Irish genes, so the many people of Irish descent who live in the area could be the source of DNA known to be shared with other European groups. The study produced some less appetizing news. Live, antibiotic-resistant bacteria were discovered in 27 percent of the collected samples, though among all the bacteria, only 12 percent could be associated with disease. Researchers also found three samples associated with bubonic plague and two with DNA fragments of anthrax, though they noted that none of those samples showed evidence of being alive, and that neither disease had been diagnosed in New York for some time. The presence of anthrax, Dr. Mason said, “is consistent with the many documented cases of anthrax in livestock in New York State and the East Coast broadly.”

The purpose of the study was not simply to satisfy scientific curiosity, the authors said. By cataloging species now, researchers can compare them against samples taken in the future to determine whether certain diseases, or even substances used as bioterrorism weapons, had spread.

City and transit officials did not sound grateful for the examination.

“As the study clearly indicates, microbes were found at levels that pose absolutely no danger to human life and health,” Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said in an email. And the city’s health department called the study “deeply flawed” and misleading.

Dr. Mason responded by saying he and his team had simply presented their complete results.

“For us to not report the fragments of anthrax and plague in the context of a full analysis would have been irresponsible,” he said. “Our findings indicate a normal, healthy microbiome, and we welcome others to review the publicly available data and run the same analysis.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/06/nyregion/among-the-new-york-city-subways-millions-of-riders-a-study-finds-many-mystery-microbes.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=mini-moth&region=top-stories-below&WT.nav=top-stories-below

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

The world’s oldest man, Alexander Imich, has died in New York City at the age of 111.

The world’s oldest man, a retired chemist and parapsychologist, has died in New York City. Alexander Imich was 111.

His niece, Karen Bogen of Providence, Rhode Island, says Imich died Sunday at his home in Manhattan.

Bogen says she had visited Imich a day earlier. She says his health declined about two weeks ago and he didn’t recognize her.

Imich was born in 1903 in a town in Poland that was then part of Russia. He and his wife fled after the Nazis invaded in 1939. They eventually moved to the United States in 1951. His wife died in 1986.

In news reports, Imich said his good genes and a general healthy lifestyle contributed to his longevity.

Guinness is investigating the claim that 111-year-old Sakari Momoi of Japan is now the world’s oldest man.

Read more: http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/world-s-oldest-man-a-retired-chemist-and-parapsychologist-dies-in-nyc-at-age-111-1.1859612#ixzz349R26qLm