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article imageElizabethkingia infection turns up in another state

By Karen Graham     Mar 17, 2016 in Health
The mysterious blood infection caused by Elizabethkingia bacteria — that sickened 54 people in Wisconsin and took the lives of 17 — has moved into Michigan, killing an elderly adult with underlying health problems.
Digital Journal reported on March 4 that federal and state health department inspectors were looking for the source of the deadly bloodstream infection that sickened 54 people in Wisconsin, killing 17 since November 2015. Now, the disease has spread to Michigan.
Milwaukee's Journal-Sentinel is reporting that the mysterious ailment had spread across 12 counties in Wisconsin and Michigan. "Our disease detectives are working diligently to find the source," Jennifer Miller, spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, told the Journal-Sentinel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now collaborating with both state's health departments in trying to identify the source of the causative microbe, Elizabethkingia anopheles, a bacteria commonly found in the soil, water and sometimes in frogs and fish. The bacteria are not part of the normal flora of humans.
Health officials in Michigan are describing the patient as an older adult who had underlying health conditions. They are still trying to find out where the person could have contracted the bacteria. This latest case has the "same genetic fingerprint" as the ones in Wisconsin, CDC spokeswoman Melissa Brower told the Associated Press on Thursday.
The Wisconsin cases were centered in the southeastern portion of the state, including the Milwaukee area and its surrounding suburbs. The Michigan case was located in the western part of the state. The majority of the Wisconsin cases were over 65 and had, at least, one underlying serious illness. It is still not known if the Elizabethkingia bacteria caused or even contributed to the patient's deaths.
More about Elizabethkingia bacteria, blood stream infection, immunocompromised, Elderly, wisconsin outbreak
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