NEWS SCAN: H5N1 in Egyptian boy, MRSA in European pigs

Nov 30, 2009

Egyptian boy recovering from H5N1 infection
Egypt's health ministry recently confirmed a new human H5N1 avian influenza case, a 3-yaer-old boy is hospitalized in stable condition, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Nov 27. His illness is Egypt's 89th confirmed H5N1 case to date, of which 27 were fatal. The boy, from Minia governorate in upper Egypt, got sick on Nov 21 and was hospitalized the next day. An investigation into the source of his illness found that he had close contact with sick or dead poultry. The boy's illness is Egypt's second confirmed H5N1 infection this month. On Nov 20 the WHO announced that a 21-year-old man from Alexandria governorate was recovering from H5N1 influenza that he contracted after slaughtering sick birds.
Nov 27 WHO statement

MRSA in pigs in majority of European Union states
The results of a long-awaited survey of pig farms carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) show that farm environments in 17 of 24 European Union (EU) states harbor methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). On average, one of every four of the 5,073 farms sampled harbored MRSA. The most common strain found was MRSA ST398, which has been found in pigs and pig raisers in the EU, Canada, and the United States. MRSA ST398 has caused rare but serious illnesses in the Netherlands and has prompted Dutch health authorities to include swine farmers and veterinarians among the classes of patients who must be tested for MRSA colonization on admission to a hospital under the country's rigorous infection-control regulations. To control the spread of MRSA, the EFSA report recommends that states institute regular surveillance of pigs and other food animals.
Nov 24 EFSA report

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