Category Archives: pandemic

Italy: MOH Confirms Two More MERS Cases

The Italian Ministry of Health this afternoon has released a statement indicating that they’ve identified two additional MERS coronavirus cases – both contacts of the 45-year old man recently returned from Jordan who was hospitalized on May 28th.

 

They are a 2-year old child and a co-worker. Both are hospitalized in Florence, and reportedly doing well. The following is a machine translation from the MOH site.

via Italy: MOH Confirms Two More MERS Cases.

30 Hepatitis A Illnesses Linked To Organic Berries Sold at Costco | Food Safety News

A new outbreak of Hepatitis A believed to be associated with frozen mixed berries purchased from Costco is being investigated by multiple agencies, including the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.  At least 30 illnesses are involved, including five in Colorado.

via 30 Hepatitis A Illnesses Linked To Organic Berries Sold at Costco | Food Safety News.

To Prevent MRSA In Hospitals, Don’t Prevent Only MRSA | Wired Science | Wired.com

Universal decolonization was the most effective, reducing MRSA-positive cultures by 37 percent and bloodstream infections from any pathogen, not just MRSA, by 44 percent. In second place: targeted decolonization. In last place: active detection and isolation, which made almost no difference to the occurrence of bloodstream infections from MRSA or any other pathogen, or to MRSA carriage by patients. The authors (from eight hospitals or systems, plus the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) say:

Several factors may account for our observation that universal decolonization had a greater preventive effect than the two other strategies. First, chlorhexidine reduces skin colonization by many pathogens, thus protecting patients in the ICU from their own microbiota during a period of heightened vulnerability to infection. Second, universal decolonization reduces the environmental microbial burden, reducing opportunities for patient-to-patient transmission. Third, universal decolonization began on the first ICU day, thus avoiding the delay in decolonization pending the results of screening tests.

via To Prevent MRSA In Hospitals, Don’t Prevent Only MRSA | Wired Science | Wired.com.

Saudis investigating possible second hospital outbreak of MERS cases

Authorities in Saudi Arabia are investigating whether there is a new cluster of MERS coronavirus cases linked to a hospital in the eastern part of the country, a separate incident from a previously reported large hospital outbreak there.

A case reported Wednesday and five reported Tuesday may be linked to a hospital, said the country’s deputy minister of health, Dr. Ziad Memish. He would not reveal the name of the town or the hospital.

via Saudis investigating possible second hospital outbreak of MERS cases.

Canadian Hazelnut Recall Expanded | Food Safety News

The public warning issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Authority has updated a hazelnut recall to include more products and more information.

CFIA is warning the public not to consume certain in shell hazelnuts described below because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The following products were sold in packages of various weights or in bulk at the locations indicated below.  Consumers who are unsure if they have affected product are advised to check with their retailer.

via Canadian Hazelnut Recall Expanded | Food Safety News.

WHO | Middle East respiratory syndrome- coronavirus – update

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 49 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 27 deaths.

WHO has received reports of laboratory-confirmed cases originating in the following countries in the Middle East to date: Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). France, Germany, Tunisia and the United Kingdom also reported laboratory-confirmed cases; they were either transferred for care of the disease or returned from the Middle East and subsequently became ill. In France, Tunisia and the United Kingdom, there has been limited local transmission among patients who had not been to the Middle East but had been in close contact with the laboratory-confirmed or probable cases.

via WHO | Middle East respiratory syndrome- coronavirus – update.

Only a Veto Will Keep Raw Milk Out of Vegas | Food Safety News

The plan to expand raw milk sales into Nevada’s largest metropolitan area has been opposed by Mike Willden, who has served the last three governors including Sandoval was the director of of Health and Human Services. He is responsible for oversight of the largest department in Nevada state government, with approximately 5200 employees and 29 percent of the budget.

via Only a Veto Will Keep Raw Milk Out of Vegas | Food Safety News.

(“Next? Allow un-inspected “sushi” pork to be sold as treats in school cafeterias – because it is politician’s and adult’s right to be stupid about public health?”)

Eurosurveillance – View Article – Global travel and pandemics

In April 2013, ten cases of dengue fever in travellers returning from Luanda, Angola, to five countries on four continents, were reported to the globally distributed GeoSentinel Surveillance network. Dengue virus serotype 1 was identified in two cases. The findings indicate that a major dengue outbreak is currently ongoing in Luanda. This report illustrates how cases from an emerging arboviral epidemic focus can spread internationally and highlights the risk of dissemination of a vector-borne disease into receptive areas.

via Eurosurveillance – View Article.

If anyone still needs an example of how easy it is now for a pandemic or serious disease outbreak of something like Ebola to travel quickly – here it is.

Health News – Estimates reveal low population immunity to new bird flu virus H7N9 in humans

The level of immunity to the recently circulating H7N9 influenza virus in an urban and a rural population in Vietnam is very low, according to the first population-level study to examine human immunity to the virus, which was previously only found in birds. The findings have implications for planning the public health response to this pandemic threat.

The study used a new, high-throughput method that allows blood samples to be analysed for antibodies to multiple human and animal influenza viruses at the same time and is easier to standardise than previous techniques. However, the assay is yet to be validated clinically for the H7N9 virus, and the researchers caution that the results must be interpreted with care.

Since the first case of H7N9 infection in humans was reported in February 2013, there have been 131 confirmed cases and 36 deaths, all in China apart from one case in Taiwan. All of the infections seem to have come from infected poultry and there is no evidence of sustained transmission between people.

via Health News – Estimates reveal low population immunity to new bird flu virus H7N9 in humans.

Mysterious illness kills 2 in southeast Alabama – Wire National News – The Sacramento Bee

A mysterious respiratory illness has left five people hospitalized and two dead in southeast Alabama, state health officials said Tuesday.

Seven people have been admitted to hospitals with a fever, cough and shortness of breath in recent weeks, Alabama Department of Public Health spokeswoman Mary McIntyre said in a statement.

Two of the seven have died. The Alabama Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control Respiratory Laboratory are analyzing lab tests from all seven patients. McIntyre says officials hope to have preliminary results on the samples back by Wednesday or Thursday morning.

The illness was first reported late last week and the last of the seven patients was hospitalized Monday, McIntyre said.

It wasn’t immediately clear which municipalities the illnesses were concentrated in.

“We’re only aware of the Southeast, but we don’t know – we haven’t received reports from anywhere else,” McIntyre said. “That’s why we’re trying to get the information out.”

McIntyre said it’s unclear what’s causing the illness but some of the seven patients also had the flu. Authorities are urging hospital staff to wear masks when caring for patients who appear to be suffering from respiratory illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control referred all questions to Alabama health officials.

via Mysterious illness kills 2 in southeast Alabama – Wire National News – The Sacramento Bee.

Anyone of them recent visit to Saudi Arabia?