News Scan for May 06, 2014

Polio vaccination in Pakistan
Guinea Ebola update
Resistant Pseudomonas case

Pakistan responds to WHO polio alert by adding vaccination posts

The health ministry of Pakistan, the country with the most polio cases of late, has committed to setting up mandatory immunization counters for travelers at all its airports, border crossings, and seaports in response to yesterday's World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of a worldwide polio emergency, according to a story in the current issue of Pakistan Today.

One of just three countries where polio is still endemic, Pakistan had 91 cases last year, compared with 58 the year before, and has had 59 of the 74 cases worldwide reported so far this year.

Polio immunization programs in the country have met with resistance, attacks, and even killings. Violent factions in the country see the immunization campaigns as foreign espionage, and many residents have been told the vaccine causes infertility. The other countries with endemic polio are Afghanistan and Nigeria.

The WHO stated that wild poliovirus has made inroads several countries previously declared polio-free, often spreading across borders as refugees flee violence in their countries. The organization called upon Pakistan, Cameroon, and Syria to ensure that residents and long-term visitors are vaccinated 4 weeks to 1 year before traveling outside their country.

Where time does not allow compliance with this recommendation, at least one dose is to be given before a person's departure, the WHO advises. In additions, travelers are to be issued certificates of vaccination to prove their status.
May 6 Pakistan Today story
May 5 CIDRAP News story on WHO declaration


Probable Ebola cases still rising in Guinea

Guinea's cumulative case total for Ebola virus disease (EVD) has risen by 5 since last week, to 231, with the number of deaths increasing by 6, to 155, says an update today from the WHO.

Laboratory-confirmed cases held steady at 127 of the 210 patients tested, and deaths among that group rose by 1, to 82. The increase in cumulative cases has come entirely from those classified as probable, with that number now at 49, compared with 44 last week. Five of the 6 new fatalities have involved probable cases, bringing that total to 39.

Most clinical EVD has occurred in Guekedou prefecture, with 145 cases and 105 deaths, and Conakry, with 53 cases and 24 deaths. Other areas that have been affected, but in lower numbers, are Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola, and Djingaraye. No new cases were reported from those areas.

No new EVD has been reported in Liberia or Sierra Leone. WHO support of the regions affected by the Ebola outbreak continues, with 87 experts deployed to Guinea, 20 to Liberia, 1 to Sierra Leone, and 4 to the WHO's African Regional Office.
May 6 WHO update
Last (May 2) WHO update


Delaware reports case of highly resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Delaware has reported the country's first known infection with New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM)–producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a multidrug-resistant bacterium first reported in Serbia, said Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) yesterday.

The case, in an 81-year-old New Castle County man who has underlying medical conditions, was confirmed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the DHSS said in a news release. The man is receiving medical care in Pennsylvania after being hospitalized in Delaware.

In addition, a Pennsylvania resident has an NDM-producing Pseudomonas infection and is receiving care in the same medical center, the DHSS said, and officials are investigating both cases.

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is working closely with the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health to gather information and determine appropriate next steps, the DHSS said. The DPH is testing the man's Delaware hospital roommates.

Pseudomonas can cause a variety of healthcare-associated infections, most commonly in the lungs, urinary tract, and bloodstream, according to the DHSS release. An estimated 51,000 healthcare-associated P aeruginosa infections occur in the United States each year, and more than 13% are multidrug-resistant, the agency said.
May 5 DHSS news release

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