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British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2231-0614,Vol.: 4, Issue.: 28 (01-10 October)


Infectious-like Spread of an Agent Leading to Increased Medical Admissions and Deaths in Wigan (England), during 2011 and 2012


Rodney P. Jones1*

1Healthcare Analysis and Forecasting, Camberley, UK.

Article Information


(1) Daniel Laubitz, Steele Children's Research Center, Dept. of Pediatrics Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Arizona Health Sciences Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA.


(1) Andrzej Lange, L. Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Poland.

(2) Anonymous.

(3) Mohammed A K Alsaadi, Babylon University –Iraq.

(4) Samuel Okyere, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.

(5) Oloke Julius Kola, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria.

(6) Anonymous.

Complete Peer review History: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history/5028


Aims: To demonstrate infectious-like spread of an agent leading to a period of higher death and medical admissions in the Wigan local authority, part of the greater Manchester area of England, during 2011 and 2012.
Study Design: Longitudinal study of deaths and hospital admissions.
Place and Duration of Study: Deaths (all-cause mortality) for the resident population of Wigan from January 2006 to February 2014. Patients admitted to the Wigan Infirmary, a large acute hospital on the outskirts of Manchester, England, between 2008 and 2013.
Methodology: Running twelve month totals for deaths and medical admissions were used to detect step-like increases in these factors. Additional analysis by age, length of stay and for clusters of persons living in over 40 small areas (called mid super output areas) containing approximately 5,000 population within Wigan and surrounds.
Results: A step-like increase in total deaths can be seen for all-cause mortality in Wigan commencing around February of 2012. Medical admissions to the hospital also show a step-like increase at this point. Deaths and medical admissions remain high for around 15 months before beginning to abate. Infectious-like spread of medical admissions can be observed within 40 small area population groups in Wigan during the period January 2011 to April 2012. Certain medical conditions appear to be affected earlier than others, and the pattern of increased admissions show evidence of saw-tooth behavior with age, which is indicative of ‘antigenic original sin’ and which has also been demonstrated for deaths in England and Wales during 2012.
Conclusion: The spread of a previously unidentified infectious agent is implicated in the synchronous increases in death (both in- and out-of-hospital) and in medical admissions (some of which result in death). This is not the first occurrence of an outbreak of this agent and urgent research is required to identify both the agent and clarify its mode of action which appears to be via immune modulation. The ubiquitous herpes virus, cytomegalovirus, which is known to have powerful immune modulating properties, may be involved.

Keywords :

Emerging infectious diseases; infectious spread; death; medical admissions; age; diagnosis; antigenic original sin; cytomegalovirus; unknown infectious agent; immune function impairment.

Full Article - PDF    Page 4723-4741

DOI : 10.9734/BJMMR/2014/10807

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