Health professionals recently reported that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is the form of Staphylococcus aureus that is antibiotic resistant and widespread throughout healthcare facilities in the U.S., livestock, communities and environments, is increasing the severity of antibiotic-resistant illnesses.
The current rates of MRSA invasive infections have decreased in healthcare facilities, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that it is because the CDC has tracked only invasive MRSA infections. This means that the true rates of MRSA infections are significantly under-reported. Additionally, community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) infection rates are neither tracked nor reported and are rising.
A 2013 USA Today investigation showed that the 80,500 invasive MRSA cases reported by the CDC in 2011 vastly underrepresented the diseases; approximately six times (460,000) as many hospitalizations actually involve MRSA. In 2011, approximately 23,000 people died from MRSA.
CA-MRSA infections have steadily risen. More than 50 percent of skin infections within the U.S. are caused by MRSA. There has not been surveillance or reporting of CA-MRSA, and MRSA continues to be an epidemic.
“The ongoing MRSA epidemic is fueling antibiotic resistance globally as antibiotics are used indiscriminately in humans and in livestock,” Jeanine Thomas, founder of MRSA Survivors Network, said. “Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a current and dangerous public health crisis.”
The source of all exported MERS-CoV positive people lies within the Arabian peninsula. Very limited local spread has occurred within 3 non-peninsula countries.
Click on image to enlarge.
The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) made its way to another country yesterday; the United States of America (USA).
via VDU’s blog: MERS in the USA…..
The report said that H5N1 and H7N9 have been two of the the most lethal avian influenza viruses for humans in recent years. Since the first case of human influenza A H5N1 was reported in 1997 in Hong Kong, the virus has affected more than 60 countries around the world, with a fatality rate of 60 percent.
After a number of human infections of the H7N9 virus have been reported in eastern China, mostly in the Yangtze River Delta region in late February 2013, more than 140 human infections of H7N9 have been reported in 12 provinces and cities in China, including 46 deaths, according to the report.
Gao said that closing live poultry markets, adopting more intensive livestock farming practices and using the mass slaughter of live poultry are good measures to control the spread of the H7N9 epidemic.
The Shanghai City government has announced it will shut down live poultry markets from the Lunar New Year holiday (Jan. 31) until April 30. (Cheng Chung-sheng and Y.L. Kao)
via H7N9 has mutated, may spread from human to human: expert | Society | FOCUS TAIWAN – CNA ENGLISH NEWS.
Totally validates my research into influenza and its connections to live markets and especially in live markets leading up the Lunar New Year celebrations and Spring holidays. Read this and you will see why Hong Kong is no longer a primary breeding ground or virtual laboratory for new flus!
Previous influenza pandemics originated from influenza viruses of birds (1). Live poultry markets play a crucial role in maintenance, amplification, and dissemination of avian influenza viruses (2,3) and are high-risk locations for potential zoonotic transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus (H5N1) to humans (4,5). From September 1999 through May 2011, fecal dropping samples were collected monthly under the poultry cages in live poultry markets in Hong Kong as part of a systematic longitudinal avian influenza surveillance program. During the 12-year period of surveillance, several interventions were implemented by the Hong Kong government in response to outbreaks of influenza virus (H5N1) in live poultry markets and on poultry farms. In July 2001, a monthly rest day was first implemented; under this system, all poultry in live poultry markets must be sold or slaughtered at the end of the day, poultry stalls must be cleaned and disinfected, and the stalls must be left free of live poultry for 1 day before restocking any live poultry the next day. In February 2002, a ban on sales of live quail was implemented in because an influenza virus (H9N2) lineage commonly isolated from quail possessed the internal genes of the virus that caused the avian influenza (H5N1) outbreak in Hong Kong in 1997 (6). In response to further incursions of avian influenza (H5N1) into poultry markets and farms in Hong Kong, a second monthly rest day in live poultry markets was introduced in March 2003, and a complete ban on holding live poultry overnight in live poultry markets was implemented in July 2008.
via Avian Influenza and Ban on Overnight Poultry Storage in Live Poultry Markets, Hong Kong.
Look at chart above – Am I the only one who associates Avian influenza/Bird Flu with Lunar New Year/Tet? Way too many folks associate flu with cold weather when the most likely facilitating factor is breeding millions more ducks, geese, chickens to be gathered together in live markets for sale during Lunar New Year/Tet. Millions upon millions of birds gathered together create perfect breeding ground for new mutations and to stressed bird to succumb and pass on to humans either directly or indirectly through the pigs being raised for same period. And now with globalization of poultry markets, it is all the easier to spread diseases worldwide via shipping chicks from homeland around the world.
As with seasonal flu, avian flu viruses tend to circulate more efficiently during cooler, drier weather. You can see the seasonality of H5N1 illustrated in the chart at the top of this post.
In February of this year a new and deadly avian flu virus appeared in China. On March 31st, the virus was identified, and the world first learned of the H7N9 threat. By the end of May, more than 130 people had been infected (32% would eventually die) – then case reports dried up over the summer.
The concern is, cooler weather – historically more conducive to the spread of avian influenza – is on the way. Which brings us to this press release from the FAO, warning that increased vigilance is required this fall.
via Avian Flu Diary: FAO Warns On Bird Flu.
You have to wonder – how long will this stay in drips and drabs or will it break out after an unlucky mutation?
Since September, there were 102 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infections reported to the WHO, including 49 deaths.
The WHO encouraged all Member States to continue surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections, particularly in recent travelers returning from the Middle East. Member States should also review any unusual patterns and consider MERS-CoV infection even with atypical symptoms, such as diarrhea, in immunocompromised patients.
via Eight new cases of MERS-CoV reported in Saudi Arabia | Vaccine News Daily.