Running head: COLLEGE OUTBREAK INVESTIGATION Zavala 1 College Outbreak Investigation Donovan R. Zavala Big Sky High School
College Outbreak Investigation Zavala 2 Sue’s Outbreak Investigation Introduction Did you know the number of visits to physician offices with infectious and parasitic diseases as the primary diagnosis is 15.5 million? (National Ambulatory Medical Care, 2016). At a local university, multiple students were admitted to the infirmary after a variety of symptoms were displayed. We took note of the symptoms of the patients to compare them with known pathogens symptoms. We then took DNA samples of the patients to run a BLAST on the bacteria that was causing the symptoms. To further confirm our suspected diagnosis, we ran an ELISA test to fully confirm the antigen found. The final step was then to properly treat the antigen and prevent further spread of the disease on campus. Background College campuses can be breeding grounds for disease. Some diseases, such as meningococcal disease, measles and mumps, pose a greater risk to college students, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Disease outbreaks are usually caused by an infection and transmitted through person-to-person contact, meaning college campuses are a perfect place for i nfectious disease, as they tend to spread where large groups of people gather. There are 5 main pathogenic organisms that are responsible for outbreaks: viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and worms. Each of the pathogens contain an antigen that alerts the body to an infection. Immune cells in our body can recognize antigens to target and remove a pathogen from the body, therefore stopping or even preventing an illness. Bacterial meningitis is very serious and can be deadly. Death can occur in as little as a few hours after infection. Most people recover from meningitis today. However, “permanent disabilities (such as brain damage, hearing loss, and learning disabilities) can result from the infection.” ("Meningitis | About Bacterial Meningitis Infection | CDC"). That shows how serious we need to take this outbreak because the symptoms can be fatal or detrimental. Ten university-based outbreaks of meningitis occurred in 7 states between 2013–2018, causing a total of 39 cases and 2 deaths. Outbreaks occurred at universities with about 3,600 to 35,000 undergraduates. ("University-Based Outbreaks of Meningococcal Disease Caused
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- Fall '19