NEWS SCAN: More Salmonella cases, measles resurgence in Africa, tetanus in the US

Mar 31, 2011

Illnesses tied to Salmonella in pastries climb to 47 in 2 states
Cases attributed to Salmonella in Italian pastries from a Rhode Island bakery rose to 47, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDH) said yesterday in a news release. The department said 42 cases were in Rhode Island, 1 in Massachusetts, and 4 in unspecified locations. Twenty-three have been confirmed as salmonellosis by lab tests, and 24 cases have resulted in hospitalization, according to the release. On Mar 29 the Associated Press (AP), while reporting a death in one of the patients, said the RIDH had received reports of 39 suspected illnesses related to the outbreak at that point.
Mar 30 RIDH press release
Mar 29 AP story

CDC reports on measles resurgence in Africa
After making good progress on measles control from 2001 through 2008, much of Africa slipped backward in 2009 and 2010, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today. Measles in the 46 countries of the World Health Organization's African region, covering most of the continent, dropped to a historic low of 32,278 reported cases in 2008, but a resurgence led to multiple large outbreaks in the ensuing 2 years, the CDC said in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Twenty-eight of 46 countries reported measles incidence below 5 cases per 1 million people in 2008, but only 12 countries achieved this benchmark in 2010. "Suboptimal routine and SIA [supplementary immunization activities] vaccination coverage led to an increasing number of susceptible persons over a prolonged period of low incidence, allowing some children to remain susceptible as they grew older," the report says. It calls for renewed dedication by donors and governments to ensure that measles immunization and surveillance are carried out.
Apr 1 MMWR article

Inadequate wound care, lapsed vaccination cited as tetanus risk factors
Tetanus persists as a rare but life-threatening disease in the United States, with inadequate wound care and lack of up-to-date vaccinations as key risk factors, the CDC reported today. A total of 233 cases were reported from 2001 through 2008, with 26 deaths among the 197 cases with known outcomes, the agency said in MMWR. The disease is caused by the toxin of Clostridium tetani, a bacterium commonly found in soil and animal excrement and usually associated with wounds. About 72% of tetanus patients had acute wounds, but only 37% of them sought immediate medical care, the CDC said. In addition, the use of tetanus prophylaxis for wound patients "is not always optimal, at least in part because tetanus can result from seemingly trivial wounds that would not trigger suspicion of tetanus risk," the report says. The CDC also found that tetanus incidence was more than twice as high in people older than 65 as compared with younger people, and surveys have shown that tetanus vaccine coverage declines with age. Others at increased risk are injection drug users and people who have diabetes. The CDC recommends that adults be vaccinated every 10 years.
Apr 1 MMWR article

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