A polymicrobial fungal outbreak in a regional burn center after Hurricane Sandy

Geeta Sood, Dhananjay Vaidya, Lisa Dam, Lisa M. Grubb, Jonathan Zenilman, Kelly Krout, Zeina Khouri-Stevens, Richard Bennett, Renee Blanding, Stefan Riedel, Stephen Milner, Leigh Ann Price, Trish M. Perl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe a polymicrobial fungal outbreak after Hurricane Sandy. Design: An observational concurrent outbreak investigation and retrospective descriptive review. Setting: A regional burn intensive care unit that serves the greater Baltimore area, admitting 350-450 burn patients annually. Patients: Patients with burn injuries and significant dermatologic diseases such as toxic epidermal necrolysis who were admitted to the burn intensive care unit. Methods: An outbreak investigation and a retrospective review of all patients with non-candida fungal isolates from 2009-2016 were performed. Results: A polymicrobial fungal outbreak in burn patients was temporally associated with Hurricane Sandy and associated with air and water permeations in the hospital facility. The outbreak abated after changes to facility design. Conclusions: Our results suggest a possible association between severe weather events like hurricanes and nosocomial fungal outbreaks. This report adds to the emerging literature on the effect of severe weather on healthcare-associated infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1050
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Burn unit
  • Fungal infection
  • Fungal outbreak

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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