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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Mar 27;64(11):296-9.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae outbreak in a long-term care facility--Nebraska, 2014.


On June 20, 2014, a Nebraska long-term care facility notified the East Central District Health Department (ECDHD) and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) of an outbreak of respiratory illness characterized by cough and fever in 22 residents and resulting in four deaths during the preceding 2 weeks. To determine the etiologic agent, identify additional cases, and implement control measures, Nebraska and CDC investigators evaluated the facility's infection prevention measures and collected nasopharyngeal (NP) and oropharyngeal (OP) swabs or autopsy specimens from patients for real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing at CDC. The facility was closed to new admissions until 1 month after the last case, droplet precautions were implemented, ill residents were isolated, and group activities were canceled. During the outbreak, a total of 55 persons experienced illnesses that met the case definition; 12 were hospitalized, and seven died. PCR detected Mycoplasma pneumoniae DNA in 40% of specimens. M. pneumoniae should be considered a possible cause of respiratory illness outbreaks in long-term care facilities. Morbidity and mortality from respiratory disease outbreaks at long-term care facilities might be minimized if facilities monitor for respiratory disease clusters, report outbreaks promptly, prioritize diagnostic testing in outbreak situations, and implement timely and strict infection control measures to halt transmission.

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