Apr 9, 2013
Canadian government reduces response to cattle anthrax cases
Canadian farmers who lose cattle to anthrax will get much less support from the federal government this year, as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) moves to focus its resources more on emerging and foreign animal diseases. The CFIA recently said it would no longer investigate or quarantine infected premises, collect and test samples, provide an initial vaccine dose for affected herds, supervise carcass disposal, or help cover the cost of disposal. The change took effect Apr 1. According to a recent report from Alberta Farmer Express, the changes were first announced last August, when the CFIA said they were part of a broader effort to modernize its approach to managing certain federally reportable diseases. A reduced anthrax response "reflects the reality that anthrax is endemic in the Canadian prairies," and it will permit the channeling of more resources to emerging and foreign animal diseases, the CFIA was quoted as saying. In its recent announcement, the CFIA said farmers, veterinarians, and labs are still required to report anthrax cases, and the agency will continue to comply with its obligations to inform trading partners and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
Apr 5 CFIA statement
Apr 5 Alberta Farmer Express story
Salmonella cases down, Campylobacter, E coli up in Europe
Infections in Europe caused by Salmonella were down in 2011 compared with recent years, but Camylobacter and Escherichia coli caused more illness, according to the latest annual report on zoonoses and foodborne outbreaks from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), released today. Cases of salmonellosis were down 5% in 2011 compared with 2010 and almost 40% compared with 2007, according to an ECDC release on the report. Cases of yersiniosis and brucellosis have also decreased, the agency said. In contrast, cases of campylobacteriosis have increased 10% over the past 4 years, the ECDC said, and the number of cases of Shiga toxin/verotoxin–producing E coli has also increased. The report noted 5,648 EU foodborne outbreaks in 2011 that caused 69,553 illnesses and 93 deaths. As in past years, Salmonella caused the most outbreaks with a known origin (26.6%), followed by bacterial toxins (12.9%) and Campylobacter (10.6%).
Apr 9 ECDC press release
Apr 9 ECDC landing page for the report
Dengue outbreak strains Solomon Islands' medical system
An outbreak of dengue fever is straining the medical system of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, with at least 1,700 suspected cases and 3 deaths, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. Australia and New Zealand are sending a team of doctors, nurses, and public health experts to help respond to the outbreak, the story said. A second team of 10 is standing by to help if needed. A New Zealand official said 1,200 of the 1,700 suspected cases are in Honiara, the capital, according to a New Zealand Herald story today. A Radio Australia report said the first cases occurred after the islands, which lie east of New Guinea, were hit by a deadly earthquake and tsunami in January.
Apr 9 AP story
Apr 9 Herald story
Apr 9 Radio Australia report
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, Malaria seeks $15 billion for 2014-16
In connection with a donors' conference in Brussels, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria has announced a goal of raising $15 billion to support countries battling the three diseases in the 2014-16 period. "Innovations in science and implementation have given us a historic opportunity to completely control these diseases," said Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund, in a press release. "If we do not, the long-term costs will be staggering." The group is holding a conference today and tomorrow to present a needs assessment for 2014-16 and report on results in recent years, which it said have brought "dramatic success." Donors will be invited to a triennial pledging conference called the Global Fund's Fourth Replenishment, to be held late this year. The organization said its needs assessment shows that $15 billion, when combined with an estimated $37 billion from sources in implementing countries and $24 billion from other international sources, would make it possible to meet close to 90% of the global resource needs to fight the three diseases, estimated at a total of $87 billion. The statement said meeting the goal could have a "transformative effect."
Apr 8 Global Fund press release