St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister, the St. Tammany Parish Government Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, officials from the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC), and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, are among several state and federal investigative agencies that will be on hand at an informational meeting regarding the ongoing investigation at the TNPRC, to be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m., in the St. Tammany Parish Council Chambers located at 21490 Koop Drive in Mandeville. Also on hand from the State of Louisiana will be representatives from the Department of Health and Hospitals, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Department of Environmental Quality. Federal agencies will include: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This meeting is open to the public, but residents who live nearby and families with students in nearby schools are encouraged to attend if they have questions or concerns.

Late November 2014, two non-human primates in the breeding colony at the (TNPRC), a private research facility, became ill.  In mid-December 2014, samples submitted to the CDC identified Burkholderia Pseudomallei as the causative agent.  This strain of bacteria is not endemic in the U.S. but was the subject of research at TNPRC.  Because Burkholderia Pseudomallei is a tier 1 agent and the material was considered not in containment, the CDC and USDA initiated a joint investigation of TNPRC in January 2015.  As part of the investigation conducted January 20-24, federal and state scientists visited the TNPRC site to conduct epidemiological study and to review lab practices to determine possible route of transmission. 

All media releases to date on this matter can be found at www.stpgov.org/community-awareness.

Late November 2014, two non-human primates in the breeding colony at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC), a private research facility, became ill.  In mid- December 2014, samples submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified Burkholderia Pseudomallei as the causative agent.  This strain of bacteria is not endemic in the US but was the subject of research at TNPRC.  Because Burkholderia Pseudomallei is a tier 1 agent and the material was considered not in containment, the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated a joint investigation of TNPRC in January 2015.  As part of the investigation conducted January 20-24, federal and state scientists visited the TNPRC site to conduct epidemiological study and to review lab practices to determine possible route of transmission. 

Animal IB22, one of two animals initially confirmed with Burkholderia pseudomallei infection, was euthanized yesterday (Feb. 19) at the recommendation of TNPRC veterinarians. IB22 had previously resolved all signs related to Burkholderia infection after receiving a course of antibiotics, the last dose of which occurred on January 5, 2015. Since that time IB22 has been monitored in the hospital. Over the past week, IB22 demonstrated decreased appetite and was examined by the veterinarian in charge on Thursday, Feb. 19. During the examination, two skin ulcerations and testicular swelling were noted. Several veterinarians were consulted and agreed that another course of antibiotic therapy should not be attempted. A decision to humanely euthanize the animal was made. Samples are being collected for submission to the CDC and the TNPRC clinical pathology laboratory.

Recently, one of the investigators fell ill with unspecific symptoms.  A blood test was conducted and test results from Friday, February 6th indicated a presence of antibodies in the blood indicating some exposure to BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI.  The investigator was discharged from the hospital Sunday and she is no longer sick.  The person’s travel history does include a visit to a region that may have provided an opportunity for exposure.  Federal and state agencies are aggressively trying to determine if the illness was related to the facility visit or past travel.  

The other members of the investigative team are being tested for possible exposure to the bacteria for baseline comparison and possible future diagnosis.  This testing will provide some indication regarding route of transmission.

The CDC, USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are working with Tulane University as well as state and local officials to identify, isolate, mitigate and prevent further transmission of BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI within TNPRC.   Environmental testing, including air, water, soil sampling, will guide remediation activities. Once samples are collected, it will take 1-2 weeks to obtain results.

Situational Update: Friday, February 20, 2015, as of 2pm CST: FROM CDC:

(Weekly Recap)

CDC:

-Additional testing this week indicated a fourth non-human primate exhibited antibodies to Burkholderia pseudomallei at the Tulane National Research Primate Center breeding colony.  The animal’s only contact with the three others monkeys (two of which were diagnosed with Meliodosis and the other just showing an immune response to exposure) was at the center’s veterinary clinic.  CDC and USDA/APHIS investigators, as part of their ongoing efforts, will focus efforts on the veterinary clinic as a possible source of cross-contamination between the animals.  The investigation into how the bacteria may have migrated to the primate colony from the select agent laboratory continues.

-Nine environmental air samples sent to CDC from EPA investigators tested negative for Burkholderia pseudomallei, indicating the bacterium is not in the air on the research center campus.  Soil and water sample testing is underway with results expected over the next couple of weeks.

-Another blood sample will be taken from the USDA/APHIS select agent inspector who visited the research center in January 2015 and whose previous two blood samples indicated a consistent immune response to exposure to Burkholderia pseudomallei.  This test result will help CDC experts determine if the inspector’s exposure to the bacterium was at the primate research center in January or from a previous event.  The inspector indicated to a CDC epidemiologist on Feb. 7, 2015, that she had traveled previously to a region of the world where Burkholderia pseudomallei is endemic.  Test results should be known by Monday, February 23RD.

-CDC is committed to the health security of Americans and will continue to fully investigate this incident.

Tulane:

-Continues to work with federal and state officials to determine how the non-human primates may have contracted the bacteria.

Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals and is treatable with antibiotics. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei.

It is predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread. The bacteria causing melioidosis are found in contaminated water and soil. It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source.  It is not known to spread from human to human or from animal to human.

CDC’s role is to protect the health and safety of researchers and the public. For more information about melioidosis, visit http://www.cdc.gov/melioidosis/index.html.  Questions regarding the investigation and remediation activities should be directed to CDC (Jason McDonald) at 404-387-3660.  Questions regarding the TPNRC facility should be directed to Tulane (Mike Strecker) at 504-512-1347. All other questions or concerns should be directed to Mike Steele at Mike.Steele@La.gov .

Late November 2014, two non-human primates in the breeding colony at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC), a private research facility, became ill; one of the two was euthanized, the other one fully recovered.   In mid- December 2014, samples submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified Burkholderia Pseudomallei as the causative agent.  This strain of bacteria is not endemic in the US but was the subject of research at TNPRC.  Because Burkholderia Pseudomallei is a tier 1 agent and the material was considered not in containment, the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated a joint investigation of TNPRC in January 2015.  As part of the investigation conducted January 20-24, federal and state scientists visited the TNPRC site to conduct epidemiological study and to review lab practices to determine possible route of transmission. 

Recently, one of the investigators fell ill with unspecific symptoms.  A blood test was conducted and test results from Friday, February 6th indicated a presence of antibodies in the blood indicating some exposure to BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI.  The investigator was discharged from the hospital Sunday and she is no longer sick.  The person’s travel history does include a visit to a region that may have provided an opportunity for exposure.  Federal and state agencies are aggressively trying to determine if the illness was related to the facility visit or past travel.

The other members of the investigative team are being tested for possible exposure to the bacteria for baseline comparison and possible future diagnosis.  This testing will provide some indication regarding route of transmission.

The CDC, USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are working with Tulane University as well as state and local officials to identify, isolate, mitigate and prevent further transmission of BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI within TNPRC.   Environmental testing, including air, water, soil sampling, will guide remediation activities. Once samples are collected, it will take 1-2 weeks to obtain results.

Situational Update: Thursday, February 19, 2015, as of 2pm CST: FROM CDC:

CDC:

-Additional testing this week indicated a fourth non-human primate exhibited antibodies to Burkholderia pseudomallei at the Tulane National Research Primate Center breeding colony.  The animal’s only contact with the three others monkeys (two of which were diagnosed with Meliodosis and the other just showing an immune response to exposure) was at the center’s veterinary clinic.  CDC and USDA/APHIS investigators, as part of their ongoing efforts, will focus efforts on the veterinary clinic as a possible source of cross-contamination between the animals.  The investigation into how the bacteria may have migrated to the primate colony from the select agent laboratory continues.

-Nine environmental air samples sent to CDC from EPA investigators tested negative for Burkholderia pseudomallei, indicating the bacterium is not in the air on the research center campus.  Soil and water sample testing is underway with results expected over the next couple of weeks.

-Another blood sample will be taken from the USDA/APHIS select agent inspector who visited the research center in January 2015 and whose previous two blood samples indicated a consistent immune response to exposure to Burkholderia pseudomallei.  This test result will help CDC experts determine if the inspector’s exposure to the bacterium was at the primate research center in January or from a previous event.  The inspector indicated to a CDC epidemiologist on Feb. 7, 2015, that she had traveled previously to a region of the world where Burkholderia pseudomallei is endemic.  Test results should be known by Monday, February 23RD.

-CDC is committed to the health security of Americans and will continue to fully investigate this incident.

Tulane:

-Continues to work with federal and state officials to determine how the non-human primates may have contracted the bacteria.

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH):

-On Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, DHH assisted Tulane with obtaining blood samples from Tulane’s staff for serological testing.  CDC questionnaires were administered and 11 blood samples were obtained.  Ten samples will be sent to CDC for serological testing and one sample will be banked at the request of the individual.

-DHH staff will enter any CDC lab test results into the ongoing database and directly communicate results to Louisiana residents as they become available.

-DHH continues support by attending daily UCG meetings at the St. Tammany EOC to obtain visibility on multi-agency response activities;

o   participates in TNPRC conference calls to offer epidemiologic opinion;

o   serves as liaison between CDC subject matter experts and the State Health Officer;

o   and serves as liaison between subject matter experts at Tulane and the state response personnel.

Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals and is treatable with antibiotics. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei.

It is predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread. The bacteria causing melioidosis are found in contaminated water and soil. It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source.  It is not known to spread from human to human or from animal to human.

CDC’s role is to protect the health and safety of researchers and the public. For more information about melioidosis, visit http://www.cdc.gov/melioidosis/index.html.  Questions regarding the investigation and remediation activities should be directed to CDC (Jason McDonald) at 404-387-3660.  Questions regarding the TPNRC facility should be directed to Tulane (Mike Strecker) at 504-512-1347. All other questions or concerns should be directed to Mike Steele at Mike.Steele@La.gov .

Late November 2014, two non-human primates in the breeding colony at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC), a private research facility, became ill; one of the two was euthanized, the other one fully recovered.   In mid- December 2014, samples submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified Burkholderia Pseudomallei as the causative agent.  This strain of bacteria is not endemic in the US but was the subject of research at TNPRC.  Because Burkholderia Pseudomallei is a tier 1 agent and the material was considered not in containment, the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated a joint investigation of TNPRC in January 2015.  As part of the investigation conducted January 20-24, federal and state scientists visited the TNPRC site to conduct epidemiological study and to review lab practices to determine possible route of transmission. 

Recently, one of the investigators fell ill with unspecific symptoms.  A blood test was conducted and test results from Friday, February 6th indicated a presence of antibodies in the blood indicating some exposure to BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI.  The investigator was discharged from the hospital Sunday and she is no longer sick.  The person’s travel history does include a visit to a region that may have provided an opportunity for exposure.  Federal and state agencies are aggressively trying to determine if the illness was related to the facility visit or past travel.

The other members of the investigative team are being tested for possible exposure to the bacteria for baseline comparison and possible future diagnosis.  This testing will provide some indication regarding route of transmission.

The CDC, USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are working with Tulane University as well as state and local officials to identify, isolate, mitigate and prevent further transmission of BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI within TNPRC.   Environmental testing, including air, water, soil sampling, will guide remediation activities. Once samples are collected, it will take 1-2 weeks to obtain results.

Situational Update: Friday, February 13, 2015, as of 2pm CST

CDC:

-Samples taken this week from the federal investigator who tested positive for antibodies to the bacteria indicated a stable level of immune response, which leads CDC officials to believe the investigator was not infected at Tulane during the investigation in January but most likely during travel to a country where the bacteria is endemic. Further testing is necessary to confirm and will occur over the next several weeks.

-CDC officials have completed the fact-finding portion of their investigation into how the two non-human primates may have contracted the bacteria. CDC investigators will review notes and evidence over the next few weeks to see if a cause can be determined.

-Environmental samples submitted to CDC for testing will be tested over the coming days and results returned to state and parish officials.

-CDC testing of samples provided by Tulane of 42 non-human primates found antibodies to the bacteria in one additional animal which indicates exposure. The animal is healthy and not ill with Meliodiosis. CDC investigators are trying to understand how this animal may have contracted the bacteria.

Tulane:

-Continues to work with federal and state officials to determine how the non-human primates may have contracted the bacteria.

LA Department of Health and Hospitals:

-DHH has designated the Louisiana State Health Officer, State Epidemiologist, State Lab and Region 9 Regional Medical Director as department representatives on the Science and Technical Work Group established for this issue.

-DHH is organizing staff and equipment to obtain blood samples on Wednesday, February 18 from Tulane TPNRC staff.

Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals and is treatable with antibiotics. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei.

It is predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread. The bacteria causing melioidosis are found in contaminated water and soil. It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source.  It is not known to spread from human to human or from animal to human.

CDC’s role is to protect the health and safety of researchers and the public. For more information about melioidosis, visit http://www.cdc.gov/melioidosis/index.html.  Questions regarding the investigation and remediation activities should be directed to CDC (Jason McDonald) at 404-387-3660.  Questions regarding the TPNRC facility should be directed to Tulane (Mike Strecker) at 504-512-1347. All other questions or concerns should be directed to Mike Steele at Mike.Steele@La.gov .

 

Late November 2014, two non-human primates in the breeding colony at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC), a private research facility, became ill; one of the two was euthanized, the other one fully recovered.   In mid- December 2014, samples submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified Burkholderia Pseudomallei as the causative agent.  This strain of bacteria is not endemic in the US but was the subject of research at TNPRC.  Because Burkholderia Pseudomallei is a tier 1 agent and the material was considered not in containment, the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated a joint investigation of TNPRC in January 2015.  As part of the investigation conducted January 20-24, federal and state scientists visited the TNPRC site to conduct epidemiological study and to review lab practices to determine possible route of transmission. 

Recently, one of the investigators fell ill with unspecific symptoms.  A blood test was conducted and test results from Friday, February 6th indicated a presence of antibodies in the blood indicating some exposure to BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI.  The investigator was discharged from the hospital Sunday and she is no longer sick.  The person’s travel history does include a visit to a region that may have provided an opportunity for exposure.  Federal and state agencies are aggressively trying to determine if the illness was related to the facility visit or past travel.

The other members of the investigative team are being tested for possible exposure to the bacteria for baseline comparison and possible future diagnosis.  This testing will provide some indication regarding route of transmission.

The CDC, USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are working with Tulane University as well as state and local officials to identify, isolate, mitigate and prevent further transmission of BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI within TNPRC.   Environmental testing, including air, water, soil sampling, will guide remediation activities. Once samples are collected, it will take 1-2 weeks to obtain results.

Situational Update: Thursday, February 12, 2015, as of 2pm CST

EPA:

-3 air monitor samples were collected Wednesday and sent to CDC-Atlanta for examination.  3 more samples are scheduled to be shipped today.

-Tulane, with oversight from EPA, collected 2 soil samples and 1 water sample. All samples were collected from the North Campus of the TNPRC facility today.  These samples will be shipped by Tulane to the CDC lab today.

-Yesterday afternoon Tulane, with oversight from EPA, collected 5 soil samples from the pens where the two infected non-human primates were previously housed.  The samples will be shipped by Tulane to the CDC lab today.

CDC:

-CDC continue working with Tulane and state health officials to investigate how the two non-human primates may have contracted the bacteria. This investigation involves assessments of Tulane lab staff to determine if any may have been exposed to the bacteria, the observation of lab procedures to see if any could help inform the investigation, and the viewing of donning and doffing procedures for personal protective equipment.

-Examining samples collected at the facility.  Some results will be made available to the state next week.

Tulane:

-Continues to work with federal and state officials to determine how the non-human primates may have contracted the bacteria.

Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals and is treatable with antibiotics. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei.

It is predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread. The bacteria causing melioidosis are found in contaminated water and soil. It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source.  It is not known to spread from human to human or from animal to human.

CDC’s role is to protect the health and safety of researchers and the public. For more information about melioidosis, visit http://www.cdc.gov/melioidosis/index.html.  Questions regarding the investigation and remediation activities should be directed to CDC (Jason McDonald) at 404-387-3660.  Questions regarding the TPNRC facility should be directed to Tulane (Mike Strecker) at 504-512-1347. All other questions or concerns should be directed to Mike Steele at Mike.Steele@La.gov .

 

Late November 2014, two non-human primates in the breeding colony at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC), a private research facility, became ill; one of the two was euthanized, the other one fully recovered.   In mid- December 2014, samples submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified Burkholderia Pseudomallei as the causative agent.  This strain of bacteria is not endemic in the US but was the subject of research at TNPRC.  Because Burkholderia Pseudomallei is a tier 1 agent and the material was considered not in containment, the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated a joint investigation of TNPRC in January 2015.  As part of the investigation conducted January 20-24, federal and state scientists visited the TNPRC site to conduct epidemiological study and to review lab practices to determine possible route of transmission. 

Recently, one of the investigators fell ill with unspecific symptoms.  A blood test was conducted and test results from Friday, February 6th indicated a presence of antibodies in the blood indicating some exposure to BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI.  The investigator was discharged from the hospital Sunday and she is no longer sick.  The person’s travel history does include a visit to a region that may have provided an opportunity for exposure.  Federal and state agencies are aggressively trying to determine if the illness was related to the facility visit or past travel.

The other members of the investigative team are being tested for possible exposure to the bacteria for baseline comparison and possible future diagnosis.  This testing will provide some indication regarding route of transmission.

The CDC, USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are working with Tulane University as well as state and local officials to identify, isolate, mitigate and prevent further transmission of BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI within TNPRC.   Environmental testing, including air, water, soil sampling, will guide remediation activities. Once samples are collected, it will take 1-2 weeks to obtain results.

Situational Update: Wednesday, February 11, 2015, as of 2pm CST

EPA:

-3 air monitor samples were collected Tuesday and sent to CDC-Atlanta for examination.  3 more samples are scheduled to be shipped Wednesday.

-Soil samples were collected by Tulane from 35 different locations within the facility and sent to CDC-Atlanta for examination.

-Tulane staff and contractors are collecting soil samples from inside the two field cages that housed the primates. Samples will be shipped to CDC-Atlanta for examination.

CDC:

-CDC continue working with Tulane and state health officials to investigate how the two non-human primates may have contracted the bacteria. This investigation involves assessments of Tulane lab staff to determine if any may have been exposed to the bacteria and the observation of lab procedures to see if any could help inform the investigation.

-Examining samples collected at the facility.  Some results will be made available to the state next week.

-An inventory review of select agents at the Tulane lab is being performed.

Tulane:

-Blood samples were drawn at the TNPRC today, under USDA supervision, from animals that are housed in the cages where the two infected animals were located.

-That procedure could not begin until the temperature rose above 50 degrees today.

-Those samples are also being sent to CDC-Atlanta for examination.

LA Department of Health and Hospitals:

-DHH coordinated the effort to catalog personnel for voluntary baseline blood sampling, which will provide comparison information for future testing.

-DHH completed the blood specimen collection on several individuals in accordance with CDC protocol.

Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals and is treatable with antibiotics. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei.

It is predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread. The bacteria causing melioidosis are found in contaminated water and soil. It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source.  It is not known to spread from human to human or from animal to human.

CDC’s role is to protect the health and safety of researchers and the public. For more information about melioidosis, visit http://www.cdc.gov/melioidosis/index.html.  Questions regarding the investigation and remediation activities should be directed to CDC (Jason McDonald) at 404-387-3660.  Questions regarding the TPNRC facility should be directed to Tulane (Mike Strecker) at 504-512-1347. All other questions or concerns should be directed to Mike Steele at Mike.Steele@La.gov .

Update: Ongoing Inquiry into Melioidosis Illness at Tulane National Research Center

Late November 2014, two non-human primates in the breeding colony at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC), a private research facility, became ill; one of the two was euthanized.   In mid- December 2014, samples submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified Burkholderia Pseudomallei as the causative agent.  This strain of bacteria is not endemic in the US but was the subject of research at TNPRC.  Because Burkholderia Pseudomallei is a tier 1 agent and the material was considered not in containment, the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated a joint investigation of TNPRC in January 2015.  As part of the investigation conducted January 20-24, federal and state scientists visited the TNPRC site to conduct epidemiological study and to review lab practices to determine possible route of transmission. 

Recently, one of the investigators fell ill with unspecific symptoms.  A blood test was conducted and test results from Friday, February 6th indicated a presence of antibodies in the blood indicating some exposure to BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI.  The investigator was discharged from the hospital Sunday.  The person’s travel history does include a visit to a region that may have provided an opportunity for exposure.  Federal and state agencies are aggressively trying to determine if the illness was related to the facility visit or past travel.

The other members of the investigative team will be tested for possible exposure to the bacteria for baseline comparison and possible future diagnosis.  This testing will provide some indication regarding route of transmission.

The CDC, USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), continue to work with Tulane University as well as state and local officials to identify, isolate, mitigate and prevent further transmission of BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI within TNPRC.   Environmental testing, including air, water, soil sampling, will guide remediation activities. Once samples are collected, it will take 1-2 weeks to obtain results.

Situational Update: Tuesday, February 10, 2015, as of 2pm CST

EPA:

-3 air monitor samples were collected Monday and sent to CDC-Atlanta for examination.  3 more samples are scheduled to be shipped Tuesday.

-Water samples were collected by Tulane from 13 different locations within the facility’s waste water treatment system and sent to CDC-Atlanta for examination.

-Tulane staff and contractors are collecting soil samples from 35 locations on the facility grounds.  Some will be shipped to CDC Atlanta starting today.

CDC:

-Working with Tulane and state health officials on investigation to determine how the two primates contracted the bacteria.

-Examining samples collected at the facility.  Some results will be made available to the state next week.

-Assessments with the Tulane lab staff are underway to determine if any have been exposed to the bacteria.

-An inventory review of select agents at the Tulane lab is being performed.

-4 additional CDC scientists have arrived in St. Tammany Parish to assist with the investigation, including the agency’s pre-eminent experts on Burkholderia pseudomallei bacertia and melioidosis.

Tulane:

-Blood samples were drawn at the TNPRC today, under USDA supervision, from animals that are housed in the cages where the two infected animals were located.

-That procedure could not begin until the temperature rose above 50 degrees today.

-Those samples are also being sent to CDC-Atlanta for examination.

LA Office of Public Health:

-DHH coordinated the effort to catalog personnel for voluntary baseline blood sampling, which will provide comparison information for future testing.

-DHH completed the blood specimen collection on several individuals in accordance with CDC protocol.

Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals and is treatable with antibiotics. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei.

It is predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread. The bacteria causing melioidosis are found in contaminated water and soil. It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source.

CDC’s role is to protect the health and safety of researchers and the public. For more information about melioidosis, visit http://www.cdc.gov/melioidosis/index.html.  Questions regarding the investigation and remediation activities should be directed to CDC (Jason McDonald) at 404-387-3660.  Questions regarding the TPNRC facility should be directed to Tulane (Mike Strecker) at 504-512-1347. All other questions or concerns should be directed to Mike Steele at Mike.Steele@La.gov .

 

Late November 2014, two non-human primates in the breeding colony at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC), a private research facility, became ill and one was euthanized.   In mid- December 2014, samples submitted to the CDC identified Burkholderia Pseudomallei  as the causative agent.  This strain of bacteria is not endemic in the US but was the subject of research at TNPRC.  Because Burkholderia Pseudomallei is a tier 1 agent and the material was considered not in containment, the CDC and USDA initiated a joint investigation of TNPRC in January 2015.  As part of the investigation conducted January 20-24, federal and state scientists visited the TNPRC site to conduct epidemiological study and to review lab practices to determine possible route of transmission. 

A recent event is that one of the investigators fell ill with unspecific symptoms.  A blood test was conducted and Friday  test results indicated a presence of antibodies in the blood indicating some exposure to BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI.  It is too early to determine whether exposure was related to this recent visit to the center or whether the sick individual’s travel history may have provided an opportunity for exposure.  

The other members of the investigative team will be tested for possible exposure to the bacteria for baseline comparison and possible future diagnosis.  This testing will provide some indication regarding route of transmission.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), continues to work with Tulane University and state and local officials to identify, isolate, mitigate and prevent further transmission of BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI within the compound.   Environmental testing – including Air, water, soil sampling - will guide remediation activities. Once samples are collected, it will take 1-2 weeks to obtain results.

Situational Update: Monday, February 9, 2015, as of 4pm CST

EPA:

-Deployed 3 air monitors at the facility in strategic locations.

-Water samples were collected by Tulane at 13 different locations on the grounds (Waste water treatment system locations)

-Work to collect soil samples begins later this week.

-All samples are being sent to CDC Atlanta for examination.

-Results are typically available 5-7 days after being collected.

 CDC:

-Help provide guidance for Personal Protective Equipment and safety standards.

-Continuing the on-site investigative work with USDA.

-Asked to examine how materials are being moved throughout the facility, additional safety precautions.

LA Office of Public Health:

-Coordinate the effort to catalog personnel for baseline blood sampling

-OPH has organized the staff, equipment and process to obtain the blood samples in accordance with CDC protocols. 

Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals and is treatable with antibiotics. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei.

It is predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread. The bacteria causing melioidosis are found in contaminated water and soil. It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source.

CDC’s role is to protect the health and safety of researchers and the public. For more information about melioidosis, visit http://www.cdc.gov/melioidosis/index.html Questions regarding the investigation and remediation activities should be directed to CDC (Jason McDonald) at 404-387-3660.  Questions regarding the TPNRC facility should be directed to Tulane (Mike Strecker) at 504-512-1347. All other questions or concerns should be directed to Mike Steele at Mike.Steele@La.gov .

 

 

Late November 2014, two non-human primates in the breeding colony at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC), a private research facility, became ill and one was euthanized.   In mid- December 2014, samples submitted to the CDC identified Burkholderia Pseudomallei  as the causative agent.  This strain of bacteria is not endemic in the US but was the subject of research at TNPRC.  Because Burkholderia Pseudomallei is a tier 1 agent and the material was considered not in containment, the CDC and USDA initiated a joint investigation of TNPRC in January 2015.  As part of the investigation conducted January 20-24, federal and state scientists visited the TNPRC site to conduct epidemiological study and to review lab practices to determine possible route of transmission. 

 

A recent event is that one of the investigators fell ill with unspecific symptoms.  A blood test was conducted and yesterday test results indicated a presence of antibodies in the blood indicating some exposure to BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI .   It is too early to determine whether exposure was related to this recent visit to the center or whether the sick individual’s travel history may have provided an opportunity for exposure.  

 

The other members of the investigative team will be tested for possible exposure to the bacteria for baseline comparison and possible future diagnosis.  This testing will provide some indication regarding route of transmission.

 

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), continues to work with Tulane University and state and local officials to identify, isolate, mitigate and prevent further transmission of BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI within the compound.   Environmental testing – including Air, water, soil sampling - will guide remediation activities. Once samples are collected, it will take 1-2 weeks to obtain results.

 

Multiple steps are being taken to caution and advise workers, investigators, and neighboring stakeholders while the investigation continues.  At present, there is no reason to believe that BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI has expanded beyond TPNRC.  There are no reports of sick individuals at TPNRC.  There are no reports of sick non-human primates at TPNRC.  BP is not airborne and it is rarely transmitted from person to person or animal to person.

Governor Bobby Jindal said, “Earlier today, I spoke with President Brister and Superintendent Folse to pledge the state’s support. State agencies are on the ground and embedded in St. Tammany’s emergency operations center, and I have charged our agencies to lean forward and support their federal partners.”

BURKHOLDERIA PSEUDOMALLEI is a causative agent for the disease Melioidosis.  Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals and is treatable with antibiotics. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei.

It is predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread. The bacteria causing melioidosis are found in contaminated water and soil. It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source.

CDC’s role is to protect the health and safety of researchers and the public. For more information about melioidosis, visit .  Questions regarding the investigation and remediation activities should be directed to CDC (Jason McDonald) at 404-387-3660.  Questions regarding the TPNRC facility should be directed to Tulane (Mike Strecker) at 504-512-1347. All other questions or concerns should be directed to Mike Steele at Mike.Steele@La.gov .

 

 

 

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