NEWS SCAN: H5N1 cases in Egypt, Uganda's polio vaccine push, OIE eases BSE-related standard

Jun 2, 2009

WHO reports two new H5N1 cases in Egypt
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported two new H5N1 avian influenza infections in Egyptian children, a 4-year-old girl from Kafr El Sheikh governorate whose illness was announced today and a 14-month-old girl from Dakhalia governorate whose case was reported yesterday. The 4-year-old got sick on May 30 and was hospitalized the next day; the 14-month-old got sick on May 25 and was hospitalized 4 days later. Both patients were treated with oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and are in stable condition. Investigations suggest both had close contact with sick and dead poultry. The new announcements raise Egypt's H5N1 case count to 78, of which 27 were fatal, and push the global H5N1 count to 433 cases, which include 262 deaths.
[Jun 2 WHO statement]
[Jun 1 WHO statement]

Uganda launches major polio vaccine push
Uganda's health ministry said it will immunize 6 million children against polio and measles in a 3-day campaign that begins Jun 6, AllAfrica News reported today. The immunization drive will target children younger than 5 year and cover 95% of the country. A WHO official in Uganda said 10 cases of paralytic polio were recently confirmed in the country. The vaccination campaign is funded by the WHO, the Red Cross, and the Ugandan government.

OIE lifts BSE-related age limit for beef exports
The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) passed a resolution on May 29 at its annual assembly that removes age limits on beef exports that were designed to reduce the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, Kyodo News reported. The OIE's previous BSE-related standard limited beef exports to boneless beef from cattle younger than 30 months. The move may pressure Japan to lift its 20-month age limit on US cattle imported to the country, the story said.
[May 30 Kyodo News story]

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