News Scan for Jun 07, 2013

Salmonella from chicks
African meningitis drop
Polio in India and Pakistan
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Multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to chicks grows to 224 cases

An outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium cases linked to live baby poultry has grown to 224 cases in 34 states, up by 78 cases and 8 states since May 10, the US Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) said in an update yesterday.

Among 141 patients with available data, 37 (26%) have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported. Illness-onset dates range from Mar 4 to May 20. Patients' ages range from 1 to 81 years, with 62% being 10 years old or younger.

Investigations have traced the outbreak to multiple mail-order hatcheries, the CDC said.
Jun 6 CDC update


Meningitis epidemics in Africa drop to 10-year low

Meningitis cases in Africa's "meningitis belt" have hit a decade low, a development that is likely due to the introduction of a new meningococcal A conjugate vaccine in the region since 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday.

Since Jan 1 the WHO has received reports of 9,249 suspected meningitis cases, including 857 deaths, with a case-fatality rate of 9.3% reported from 18 of 19 countries conducting enhanced surveillance for the disease.

Outbreaks have been confirmed in Guinea and South Sudan, where governments responded with vaccination campaigns. Short outbreaks were reported in Benin, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria, though the presence of Neisseria meningitides was not confirmed.

So far 100 million people from 10 countries have been immunized against the disease in the past 3 years, and the drop in epidemic activity this year adds to the evidence that immunization is having an impact, the WHO said. However, close surveillance is essential, because large-scale epidemics in the region seem to occur in waves over 4 to 10 years, the agency added.
Jun 6 WHO statement


Polio in Indian infant

A 10-month-old boy in western India has vaccine-derived polio virus type 2 infection, says a story today from Press Trust of India (PTI).

The child is from Kanhapur village, which is in the Beed district of Maharashtra state. He has been transported to the city of Latur for treatment of the rare type of polio and may not have gotten his vaccination doses on the proper schedule, the story said.

India has not had a case of wild-type polio—as opposed to vaccine derives—since early 2011.
Jun 7 PTI story


Pakistan reports 3 polio cases as Muslim polio meeting winds up

Poliovirus has infected three young Pakistani children in the past day, according to a story in The Express Tribune.

Two cases, one in a 23-month-old child and one in a 4-month-old, occurred in the Bara tehsil of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and the other is in a 22-month-old child from the Frontier Region Bannu.

Both of these areas are in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a site of increasing militancy against the central government and thus of inaccessibility for ongoing vaccination campaigns. The total number of polio cases this year in the country stands at 13, the story said.

Pakistan is one of only three countries in which polio remains endemic, the others being Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Jun 7 Express Tribune article

Another Express Tribune article reported on the second day of a conference of Muslim scholars at International Islamic University in Islamabad. The meeting concluded with condemnations of the killing of polio workers and declarations of support for the violence-plagued vaccination program there.

Among goals from the conference is dissemination of accurate information to Pakistani parents on the safety and advisability of having their children vaccinated against polio.

Establishment of a National Advisory Board for Polio Eradication at the university was announced, with a first meeting scheduled this month.
Jun 7 Express Tribune article
Jun 6 CIDRAP News item on polio meeting

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