NEWS SCAN: H1N1 and antiviral resistance, H5N1 in Egypt and South Korea, sprout recall

Dec 30, 2010

Study finds antiviral resistance in US pandemic 2009 H1N1 cases rare
Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments found that 37 (0.5%) of 6,740 pandemic 2009 H1N1 isolates submitted to US surveillance systems were oseltamivir (Tamiflu) resistant, according to a study published yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Most patients infected with these resistant strains were hospitalized (81%), 76% were severely immunocompromised, and 89% had received oseltamivir; however, 4 patients (11%) had no oseltamivir exposure and were not epidemiologically linked. The authors conclude, "Thus, evidence for community transmission of oseltamivir-resistant pandemic (H1N1) 2009 viruses was rare."
Dec 29 Emerg Infect Dis study

WHO confirms 2 human H5N1 cases in Egypt
The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday confirmed two cases of H5N1: in a 28-year-old woman from the Damanhour district of El Beheira governorate, and in an 11-year-old girl from Esna district of Luxor governorate. The 28-year-old woman became ill in mid December but has recovered. Her history included exposure in a live bird market. Media reports earlier this month reported on a 25-year-old woman infected with H5N1, which was presumably the case that the WHO confirmed today. The 11-year-old girl developed symptoms Dec 18 and was hospitalized the next day and required mechanical ventilation. She died on Dec 23. Her case was reported in the Egyptian several days ago. Of the 115 H5N1 cases confirmed to date in Egypt, 38 have been fatal. The global WHO-confirmed count now stands at 512 H5N1 cases and 304 deaths.
Dec 29 WHO update
Dec 17 CIDRAP News Scan on case in 25-year-old
Dec 28 CIDRAP News Scan on case in 11-year-old

H5N1 suspected in South Korean poultry
Suspected H5N1 avian flu has been reported on two poultry farms in South Korea. Hundreds of birds have died and thousands have been slaughtered, including at a chicken farm in Iksan, North Jeolla province, that is very near the country's largest chicken factory, and at a duck farm in Cheonan, South Chungcheong province. Quarantines are expected if H5N1 is confirmed; testing should be complete very shortly. South Korea declared itself free of H5N1 in late 2008 but has seen three confirmed cases in wild birds just this month. The country is simultaneously struggling with a major outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in livestock.
Dec 30 Xinhua News article

Illinois company recalls sprouts linked to outbreak
All package sizes of Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts distributed by Tiny Greens Organic Farm Food Co. of Urbana, Ill., from Nov 1 through Dec 21 have been recalled, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in a press release yesterday. The company made the recall voluntarily as the exact source of contamination causing salmonellosis across the country is sought. The recall includes lot codes 348, 350, and 354 or having "sell by" dates of 12/29/10, 12/31/10, or 1/04/11. Also included are any products containing sprouts with lot numbers 305 to 348 or "sell by" dates from 12/16/10 through 12/29/10.
Dec 29 FDA press release

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