A disease outbreak among children who crossed the United States-Mexico border in 2014 was caused primarily by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 5 and influenza, according to the CDC.
More than 57,000 unaccompanied children from Central America crossed the border in 2014, and in June and July, 16 unaccompanied children, aged 13 to 17 years, were hospitalized with acute respiratory illness, according to Sara Tomczyk, MSc, of the CDC’s Respiratory Diseases Branch. This prompted a four-state investigation that assessed disease transmission.
Researchers found that among the children hospitalized for respiratory infections, S. pneumoniae was detected in six of 14 who underwent blood cultures. Further genetic analysis indicated that all of the S. pneumoniae infections belonged to serotype 5, multilocus sequence type 289. Of nine children tested for influenza viruses, four were positive.