Feb 20, 2012
H5N1 in Vietnam, Hong Kong
Vietnam reported another H5N1 avian influenza outbreak, this time striking backyard birds in a village in Quang Nam province, located on the country's south-central coast, according to a Feb 18 report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The virus killed 106 of the village poultry, and 4,955 more were destroyed to slow the spread of the disease.
And in Hong Kong, veterinary officials confirmed the virus in a robin magpie found dead on Feb 7, according to a Feb 17 OIE report. This type of bird is a common inhabitant of Hong Kong. Authorities have stepped up monitoring of local chicken farms, but so far no H5 viruses have been detected recently in poultry.
Vietnam may seek huge H5N1 poultry vaccine shipment from China
Vietnam's ministry of agriculture has asked the government for money to buy 100 million doses of H5N1 vaccine from China to protect flocks against avian flu after recent outbreaks in poultry, according to Than Nien News. Officials have culled almost 17,000 birds after multiple outbreaks, most commonly in the north, the agriculture ministry said. The ministry also said the virus in the north has mutated, but the story did not detail exactly what that meant.
Feb 18 Than Nien News story
Report: Sprouts uprooted from Jimmy John's menu in wake of outbreak
In the wake of the latest disease outbreak traced to sprouts from Jimmy John's sandwich shops, Jimmy John's officials have let it be known that they are permanently dropping sprouts from their menu, according to a Food Safety News (FSN) report today. One Jimmy John's franchise owner and one customer said they were notified that the chain will stop serving sprouts, the story said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Feb 15 that 12 Escherichia coli O26 infections in five states had been linked to raw clover sprouts on Jimmy John's sandwiches. The chain has posted no online announcement about dropping sprouts. However, the FSN story said franchise owner Will Aubuchon told a newspaper in Kirksville, Mo., "Jimmy decided he was tired of the negative press from it and he thinks sprouts aren't necessary for Jimmy John's to rock." Also, Linda DeGraaf, a Jimmy John's customer from Omaha who was sickened in a 2009 outbreak, received a corporate e-mail message that sprouts were dropped because "supplies are too inconsistent," according to the story. The article said the E coli outbreak is the fifth sprouts-related disease outbreak traced to Jimmy John's products since 2008.
Feb 20 FSN story
Feb 15 CIDRAP News story on outbreak
European countries report measles outbreaks
The United Kingdom, Romania, Spain, and Sweden are reporting measles outbreaks, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported today in its weekly disease threat update. UK outbreaks are in the southwest and in Merseyside County in the northwest. In Romania, an outbreak that began this month is affecting a Roma community in Buzau. According to media reports, a measles outbreak in Alicante, Spain, has sickened 136 people so far, and a cluster of four cases has been reported in an anthroposophic community in Jarna, Sweden, in which community members oppose vaccination. The ECDC said measles outbreaks are also occurring in two neighboring areas, including parts of the Ukraine such as Kiev, and the eastern district of Kharkov. An outbreak in Russia, centered in St. Petersburg, began as a nosocomial outbreak at a children's hospital and has now spread to several of the city's districts.
Feb 20 ECDC update