NEWS SCAN: Febrile convulsions and flu-like illness, MDR-TB surveillance

Feb 6, 2012

Flu-like illness may be linked to hospitalization for febrile convulsions
Influenza-like illness (ILI) appears to be associated with hospitalization for febrile convulsions in preschoolers, especially in years when the H3N2 strain dominates, according to a study in the Journal of Infection. Danish researchers examined data on 59,870 admissions for febrile convulsions in children between 3 months and 5 years old from 1995 to 2005. They found a risk ratio of 2.05 for being hospitalized with febrile convulsions when ILI activity was above 3% for the population, compared with when ILI was less than 1%. Overall, febrile convulsions increased 10.6% during flu seasons, but the team found the largest increases were during seasons of H3N2 dominance, especially when a new strain emerged. During new-H3N2-strain years, influenza contributed to 29% to 47% of admissions.
Feb 2 J Infect abstract

WHO says India, Russia must step up MDR-TB surveillance
The World Health Organization (WHO), in a new report on multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), urged all countries to employ nationwide surveillance but homed in on India and Russia, two of the three nations with the highest burden of MDR-TB, according to the Times of India today. Only 34 countries have a system to routinely test all patients who have MDR-TB for second-line drug resistance. "Whereas China has been able to conduct a nationwide survey, India and the Russian Federation—the other two large countries that, with China, contribute to more than 50% of the estimated global burden of MDR-TB—have only produced reliable sub-national level data to date," states the WHO report, which was published Feb 4. An Indian health ministry official said no plans are in the works to develop a nationwide surveillance program, according to the Times story. The ministry said a large number of TB cases are diagnosed but are not conveyed to the Revised National TB Control Programme. The WHO report said MDR-TB has been reported in 80 countries.
Feb 6 Times of India story
Feb 4 WHO report

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