Results 1 to 1 of 1

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

    Alabama monitors emerging virus: 14 laboratory-confirmed cases so far

    State monitors emerging virus: 14 laboratory-confirmed cases so far in Alabama

    February 21, 2012

    The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating new cases of hand, foot and mouth disease, a contagious viral illness, which are more numerous and severe than normal in Alabama.

    The public should not be alarmed, the department said, but should be aware of it and should follow up with a medical care provider if they suspect a case.

    The virus affects the hands, feet and mouth and usually infects young children, the department said, and is usually seen in the summer and early autumn.

    But this virus is being seen in teenagers and adults, which is unusual, said Tina Pippin, surveillance nurse manager with ADPH.

    Pippin said researchers can't really say why it's active at this time of year. But that unusual activity is one of the reasons that the department discovered the new virus.

    A physician thought it was odd to see hand, foot and mouth disease at this time of year, and called the department to report it.

    Based on the results of testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Coxsackie A6 virus has been identified, according to a news release from the ADPH. This specific type of virus has been identified in other countries but has not been previously associated with an outbreak in the U.S.

    As of last week, ADPH had 14 laboratory-confirmed cases of hand, foot and mouth disease in Alabama, Pippin said. There have been no known deaths, but there have been some hospitalizations, usually due to dehydration.

    The department can't really say why the virus has emerged here.

    "It is what they have seen in China and some of the other countries, but not here in the U.S.," Pippin said. "They've had cases in California and another state -- they've been able to identify maybe one case -- but not like we have, with 14 laboratory-confirmed cases."

    Alabama counties with confirmed cases are Madison, Jackson, Cullman, Jefferson, Chambers and Covington. Counties with reported cases are Marion, Limestone, Morgan, Marshall, Calhoun, Talladega, Dallas, Tuscaloosa and Coffee.

    "That doesn't mean the counties that aren't covered aren't seeing anything," Pippin said. "We just haven't received a call, or investigated anything in that county as yet."

    The department does not want the public to be alarmed, but because it is new, people haven't been exposed to it, and therefore don't have an immunity to it, Pippin said.

    The best way to protect yourself, and to prevent the virus' spread, according to the ADPH:

    Wash your hands with warm, soapy water carefully and frequently, especially after going to the bathroom, after changing diapers, and before preparing foods or beverages.

    Disinfect surfaces and items, including toys. First wash them with soap and water; then disinfect with a solution of one tablespoon of bleach and four cups of water. Avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging or sharing utensils or cups, with infected people.The department will continue to monitor the virus, said Dr. Don Williamson, state health officer.

    "We will continue statewide surveillance on severe cases of this emerging disease and ask physicians and infection control specialists to make notifications to us," Williamson said in a news release.

    Alabama monitors emerging virus: 14 laboratory-confirmed cases so far
    Last edited by Newmexican; 02-25-2012 at 10:03 AM.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts