NEWS SCAN: Polio in Tajikistan, CDC dengue alert, disease resources for Southeast Asia

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Jul 23, 2010

 

WHO: Tajikistan's polio outbreak threatens eradication progress
In an update on the ongoing polio outbreak in Tajikistan, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today that though new cases of acute flaccid paralysis have dropped sharply, there isn't enough virological evidence for the WHO to scale back its risk assessment. The WHO added that at a recent meeting of the European Regional Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication, WHO official Zsuzsanna Jakab said Tajikistan's outbreak threatens not only the WHO European Region's polio-free status, but also progress toward global eradication. The commission urged all countries in the European region to reinforce surveillance in order to rapidly deploy control measures. Tajikisan's health ministry has reported 430 cases of polio since Jan 1, including 19 deaths. The most recent illness onset was Jun 12. Seven related cases have been detected in the Russian Federation, another country in the WHO's European region. Tajikistan's outbreak followed the importation of a wild poliovirus type 1 that originated in northern India. Four rounds of national immunization have been conducted, and review of Tajikistan's polio surveillance system is underway.
Jul 23 WHO update

CDC urges provider vigilance for dengue infections in travelers
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today issued an e-mail alert to healthcare providers warning about epidemic levels of dengue virus transmission in many parts of the tropics and subtropics and urging them to consider dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever when evaluating patients with acute febrile illnesses who have recently returned from dengue-affected areas in the United States or abroad. The CDC also urged providers to submit serum samples for appropriate lab testing and report confirmed and suspected cases to local and state health departments. The agency said dengue outbreaks have been increasing to epidemic levels in many tropical and subtropical areas where the disease had previously been absent or mild. So far this year, more than 50 countries have reported dengue transmission, including 17 in Asia, 17 in the Americas, 10 in Africa, 7 in the Caribbean, and 1 in the Pacific. The CDC warned that travel to certain domestic locations may also pose a risk, given an extensive outbreak occurring in Puerto Rico and evidence of continued transmission in Key West, Fla. The alert had not yet appeared on the CDC's Web site at this writing.
CDC HAN message archive

US targets pandemic threat resources to Southeast Asian countries
The United States will provide $14 million in aid this year to a group of countries that includes Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam to target emerging pandemic threats in the Lower Mekong region, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday at a meeting with government ministers, according to the Voice of Vietnam. Clinton told the ministers that the program is designed to improve the identification of zoonotic diseases and better equip animal and human health systems to respond to outbreaks. The talks between Clinton and ministers from the four countries took place during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations annual meeting, which is taking place in Hanoi this week.

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