NEWS SCAN: New botulism drug, avian flu outbreak in Nepal

Mar 18, 2010

CDC announces new broad-spectrum treatment for botulism
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced that it is making available a new heptavalent (effective against seven types) botulinum antitoxin made by Cangene Corp. (Winnipeg, Man.). The approval, reported today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), is made possible through a CDC-sponsored Food and Drug Administration Investigational New Drug protocol. The new antitoxin replaces a licensed bivalent and an investigational monovalent botulinum antitoxin made by Sanofi Pasteur, making it the only antitoxin available in the United States for naturally occurring botulism in all populations except infants. The antitoxin, effective against all seven known botulism types (A through G), is available only from the CDC. Treatment protocol includes detailed instructions for intravenous administration and submission of required paperwork to the CDC, according to today's report. Healthcare providers are reminded to report suspected botulism cases immediately to their state health department.
Mar 19 MMWR report

Avian flu outbreak prompts emergency declaration in Nepal
Nepal has declared an emergency after an outbreak of an unspecified strain of avian flu in the Nawalparasi district in the central part of the country near its border with India. Poultry samples from the outbreak area recently tested positive in a British laboratory, according to a report in The Himalayan newspaper. The Nawalparasi District Livestock Office is planning to cull chickens and ducks in the affected area to contain the outbreak, and an emergency response team has been formed. The team said culling will not take long, as no large poultry operations are located in the area.
Mar 17 Himalayan article

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