Daily Brief: 2016.12.12


Elizabethkingia outbreak in Illinois not point source

According to a recently released report, an investigation into a cluster of Elizabethkingia infections in Illinois has found that the illnesses probably reflected ongoing sporadic infections in critically ill patients rather than an acute, point source outbreak. 
(Sources: CIDRAP, CDC)

In the report, researchers analyzed the eleven Elizabethkingia cases that were reported in Illinois.  In the analysis, the team examined patient records to look for risk factors and looked at all Elizabethkingia infections that occurred in the facilities going back to 2012. No common facility exposure among the patients was found, and the number of infections in the cluster didn't seem to be higher than in previous years. Follow-up analysis at the CDC after the investigation was completed revealed one of the isolates in the cluster had a distinct pattern.
(Sources: CIDRAP, CDC)

Elizabethkingia anophelis is a bacteria species in the family Flavobacteriaceae. The bacteria infect the bloodstream and colonizes in the respiratory tract. Symptoms of Elizabethkingia include shortness of breath, fever, chills and cellulitis. The bacteria are reportedly most effective when attacking individuals with weakened immune systems. Elizabethkingia is also known for being resistant to multiple drugs. 
(Sources: CDC, WBAY)


  1. Elizabethkingia infections should be high among patients with multiple co-morbid conditions.
  2. Early detection and treatment with an effective antibiotic regimen is important to increase the probability of good outcomes. 
  3. Healthcare providers are recommended to use contact precautions in addition to standard precautions for managing patients with Elizabethkingia infections. (Source: Wisconsin DHS)