News Scan for Jul 22, 2013

More Cyclospora cases
Polio in Somalia
Yellow fever vaccine in India
Filed Under
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Iowa, Nebraska, Texas report 23 more Cyclospora cases

Iowa and Texas reported nine new Cyclospora cases each, while Nebraska has had five more, adding 23 cases to an outbreak that may involve as many as 258 illnesses.

Iowa reported 118 total Cyclospora cases late on Jul 19, or 9 more than it had earlier in the day, according to a press release from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Nebraska confirmed 68 total cases, or 5 new cases, Leah Bucco-White, a public information officer with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, told CIDRAP News today. Both states' cases have been confirmed to involve the outbreak strain.

Texas, meanwhile, has had 65 confirmed cyclosporiasis cases, up from 56 on Jul 19, Texas Department of State Health Services spokeswoman Christine Mann told CIDRAP News.

"We do not know if any of the cases are connected to the multistate outbreak in Nebraska and Iowa, but we are looking into it," she said.

Wisconsin has had 4 Cyclospora cases, Illinois 2, and Kansas 1, but officials haven't linked them to the outbreak strain, either. The source of the outbreak has not yet been confirmed, but officials suspect fresh vegetables, possibly imported.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted its first report on the outbreak today. It said that at least eight people have been hospitalized and that symptoms began between mid June and early July.
Jul 22 IDPH news release
Jul 22 CDC update


20 new polio cases in Somalia

Somalia has had 20 new polio cases this week, bringing the number in the Horn of Africa to 73, NPR reported over the weekend. The rest of the world has seen 59 cases so far this year.

The number of polio cases in Somalia is increasing by the day, according to Dr. Nasir Yusuf, who directs immunization efforts in eastern and southern Africa with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). This is partly caused by lack of immunization in most Somali kids, he said.

"We have an outbreak in a population that has been quite vulnerable for quite some time," Yusuf said.

This fact has worried health officials, who say the virus could gain a foothold in the Horn of Africa and jeopardize the multibillion-dollar push to wipe out the virus, the story said. Only Equatorial Guinea has a worse polio vaccination rate than Somalia.

In response to the current outbreak, Somalia has staged five emergency polio vaccination campaigns since May. Currently, only Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have endemic polio.
Jul 20 NPR story


India gets relief from yellow fever vaccine shortage

India's government received a shipment of 60,000 doses of yellow fever vaccine through the World Health Organization (WHO) to reverse an acute shortage of the vaccine, the Indian newspaper The Economic Times reported last week.

The vaccine will be distributed to 27 vaccination centers across India. The country's health minister has placed an order for 275,000 doses of the vaccine from the WHO, which would cover its needs for 2 years.

The vaccine is required for all those traveling to Africa.
Jul 19 Economic Times report


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