1570. Infectious Disease (ID) Complications in Immunocompromised (IC) Patients with Cancer Post-Hurricane Harvey at a Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2017.
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Viruses and Bacteria in Immunocompromised Patients
Friday, October 5, 2018
Room: S Poster Hall
  • IDSA-poster-dishner-FINAL.pdf (528.6 kB)
  • Background:

    During 2017, Houston had the most destructive flood-related disaster in recent history due to Hurricane Harvey. Afterward, educational material with information of possible ID problems was provided to all health-care workers. 


    Prospective surveillance of flood-related ID complications in IC cancer patients. During the 60 days post Harvey, we monitored referrals to the ID service at MDA Cancer Center. We used the following definitions:

    Type of Exposure

    direct to flood water, direct to flooded structures, and others indirect (i.e. prophylaxis).

    Association risk

    “Yes” (direct exposure), “No” (asymptomatic, no exposure, or infection noted prior) and “Probable” (lack of records to establish correlation)


    Types of infections were classified as soft tissue, gastrointestinal, respiratory, IV line associated or fever. Recommendations were noted including types of antibiotics, vaccinations, or imaging.


    A total of 36 cases were referred to our department. 56% had exposure to flood-water with/without exposure to structures, 33% to structures only and 11% were other (Figure 1). Regarding the association of an ID problem to flood-exposure, we found an equal distribution of 39% with an association and 39% with a probable association, and the remaining 22% with no association (Figure 2). Of the infections, the majority of infections were respiratory (42%) or soft tissue (31%) (Figure 3). There was a trend of broader antimicrobial coverage for water associated bacteria and mold infections. Only 6 immunizations recommendations were attained.


    To our knowledge this is the first and largest study of ID complications in IC cancer patients following a natural disaster in medical literature. Our active surveillance showed a lower number of disaster related ID complications than anticipated, possibly because of difficulty determining exposure and underreporting of infections despite active education. Due to individual immunosuppression and exposure, there was variety of recommendations (antimicrobials, studies, or vaccinations).

    In the event of a weather disaster, we are developing a standard triage survey regarding type of exposure and impact, and also a process for effective immunizations.


    Figure 2.



    Figure 3

    Emma Dishner, MD, MPH, Infectious Diseases, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX; Dept of Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas- MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX and Javier Adachi, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX


    E. Dishner, None

    J. Adachi, Merck: Grant Investigator , Research grant .

    Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. PDT, Wednesday Oct. 3rd with the exception of research findings presented at the IDWeek press conferences.