Poliovirus detected in Israeli sewage
Wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been detected in sewage samples from Rahat, Israel, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today. Israel has not had a case of polio since 1988 and hasn't confirmed WPV in environmental samples since 2002.
Genetic sequencing and epidemiologic investigations are ongoing, the agency said in an alert, but preliminary tests show the virus from the sewage samples is not related to viruses currently infecting children in the Horn of Africa. The samples were collected Apr 9, and the virus was detected during routine environmental surveillance.
"Given that there are high levels of population immunity in the area, and the investigations and response being implemented," the WHO said the risk of spread of WPV1 from Israel was "low to moderate."
Jun 3 WHO alert
Four die from tickborne disease in South Korea
A viral syndrome so far known as severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) and caused by tick bites has been fatal in four older adults in South Korea, according to a story today from the country's Yonhap News Agency.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May announced the country's first SFTS death, in a 63-year-old woman from the eastern region of the country who contracted her infection last August but whose case was confirmed only last month.
Now the disease has also killed a 73-year-old man and an 82-year-old woman from the southern resort island of Jeju as well as a 74-year-old woman from southeastern South Korea.
In addition, two elderly patients have been treated at hospitals for the disease, although no further information on those cases is given. Symptoms include high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, multiple organ failure, and other blood-related problems, the story said.
Jun 3 Yonhap story
May 22 CIDRAP News item on first Korean case
Death toll from measles in Punjab reaches 133
Lahore, the capital of Pakistan's Punjab province, saw 3 children die of measles yesterday, bringing the total number of deaths from the infection in that city to 81, says an item today in the country's The Nation newspaper. Total measles deaths in the entire province as of yesterday had reached 133.
A ProMED-mail item from last week said that more than 14,000 children in Punjab were suffering from the disease. The situation is causing great concern among officials in Pakistan, as the outbreak is occurring despite a measles vaccination drive there.
Jun 3 The Nation item