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Occupational Animal Exposure Among Persons with Campylobacteriosis and Cryptosporidiosis — Nebraska, 2005–2015
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    28910275
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5657915
  • Description:
    Campylobacter and Cryptosporidium are two common causes of gastroenteritis in the United States. National incidence rates measured for these pathogens in 2015 were 17.7 and 3.0 per 100,000 population, respectively; Nebraska was among the states with the highest incidence for both campylobacteriosis (26.6) and cryptosporidiosis (≥6.01) (1). Although campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis are primarily transmitted via consumption of contaminated food or water, they can also be acquired through contact with live animals or animal products, including through occupational exposure (2). This exposure route is of particular interest in Nebraska, where animal agriculture and associated industries are an important part of the state's economy. To estimate the percentage of disease that might be related to occupational animal exposure in Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) and CDC reviewed deidentified investigation reports from 2005 to 2015 of cases of campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis among Nebraska residents aged ≥14 years. Case investigation notes were searched for evidence of occupational animal exposures, which were classified into discrete categories based on industry, animal/meat, and specific work activity/exposure. Occupational animal exposure was identified in 16.6% of 3,352 campylobacteriosis and 8.7% of 1,070 cryptosporidiosis cases, among which animal production (e.g., farming or ranching) was the most commonly mentioned industry type (68.2% and 78.5%, respectively), followed by employment in animal slaughter and processing facilities (16.3% and 5.4%, respectively). Among animal/meat occupational exposures, cattle/beef was most commonly mentioned, with exposure to feedlots (concentrated animal feeding operations in which animals are fed on stored feeds) reported in 29.9% of campylobacteriosis and 7.9% of cryptosporidiosis cases. Close contact with animals and manure in feedlots and other farm settings might place workers in these areas at increased risk for infection. It is important to educate workers with occupational animal exposure about the symptoms of enteric diseases and prevention measures. Targeting prevention strategies to high-risk workplaces and activities could help reduce disease.

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