Aug 31, 2012
Yosemite hantavirus outbreak expands to 6 cases
Four more Yosemite National Park visitors have been confirmed to have hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), bringing the total cases in visitors this summer to six, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said yesterday. Of the six, two previously confirmed case-patients died, three have recovered, and one is hospitalized but improving, according to a CDPH news release. One of the dead patients was from Pennsylvania, the other from California. The other patients are all from California. CDPH Director Ron Chapman, MD, MPH, said his department is working closely with the National Park Service (NPS) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to further explore the cluster of illnesses caused by hantavirus, which is typically spread through contact with rodent feces, urine, and saliva. Yosemite closed all tent cabins in the Boystown area indefinitely on Aug 28 on the basis of CDPH advice, and the NPS has alerted guests who stayed there any time from Jun 10 to Aug 24 about HPS concerns.
Aug 30 CDPH news release
Ebola case count in DR Congo reaches 24 with 11 deaths
The count of Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has climbed to 24, with 11 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported yesterday. The previous WHO report on Aug 21 cited 15 cases and 10 deaths. The new total, current as of Aug 28, includes 6 probable, 6 confirmed, and 12 suspected cases. The cases occurred in three health zones of Orientale province: Isiro, 17 cases and 9 deaths; Viadana, 6 cases and 2 deaths; and Dungu, 1 case. The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe confirmed the Bundibugyo strain of Ebola in samples from two patients, the WHO said. In response activities, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established a field laboratory in Isiro to support case management and epidemiologic investigations, and a joint emergency response team from the DRC, WHO, and Doctors Without Borders is in the field investigating the outbreak and managing cases. In addition, the WHO has hired a French anthropologist to help officials understand social and anthropological factors among the population that could affect response efforts. The WHO said it is not recommending imposing any travel or trade restrictions on the country. There is no indication that the outbreak is related to the recent Ebola outbreak in the Kibaale district of Uganda, the agency noted.
Aug 30 WHO update
CDC says adolescent vaccine coverage increasing, but HPV lags
A nationwide survey shows that coverage of adolescents (ages 13 to 17) with recommended vaccines increased from 2010 to 2011, but the increase for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage lagged behind the improvement for other vaccines, according to the CDC. The survey covered four vaccines that are recommended for youngsters at the age of 11 or 12: meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY), two doses; tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap), one dose; HPV, three doses; and influenza, one dose annually. In 2011, Tdap coverage (one or more doses) reached 78.2%, and MenACWY coverage (one or more doses) reached 70.5%. For HPV, 53.0% of females received at least one dose, and 34.8% received three or more doses. But for the third year in a row, the increase in HPV uptake (4.3 percentage points) was only about half the increase in Tdap and MenACWY coverage (7.8 to 9.5 percentage points), the CDC reported in today's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Coverage varied widely from state to state, the agency said. It called for increased efforts to promote HPV vaccination, including stronger recommendations from healthcare providers and education of parents. The coverage estimates come from a survey that included 23,564 adolescents.
Aug 31 MMWR article