News Scan for Jun 25, 2014

Polio in central Africa
More Foster Farms salmonellosis

WHO reiterates high risk of polio from central Africa

The detection this week of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) from Equatorial Guinea in Brazilian sewage and the virus's movement from Cameroon into Equatorial Guinea point up the high risk of international spread of the virus from the western portion of central Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

On Mar 17 the agency had elevated its risk assessment of polio spread from central Africa, particularly Cameroon, to "very high." In a Jun 23 statement, the WHO said the WPV1 detected at the Viracopos International Airport in Campinas in Sao Paulo state closely matches the virus circulating in Equatorial Guinea.

The WHO also noted in today's update that Equatorial Guinea has confirmed four WPV1 cases this year, the country's first since 1999. The most recent occurred on Apr 3. "Genetic sequencing indicates these cases are linked to an ongoing WPV1 outbreak in Cameroon (Cameroon's most recent case was on 31 January 2014)," the agency said. The country has implemented vaccination campaigns and other control efforts.

The importation of WPV1 from central Africa to Brazil "demonstrates that all regions of the world continue to be at risk of exposure to wild poliovirus until polio eradication is completed globally," the WHO said. "It is important that all countries, in particular those with frequent travel and contacts with polio-affected countries and areas, strengthen surveillance for polioviruses."

The agency said that, given Brazil's high polio immunity levels, the risk of spread of the disease there is low.
Jun 25 WHO update


Salmonella cases linked to Foster Farms chicken top 600

California has reported 27 new cases of salmonellosis linked to Foster Farms chicken products since the latest update from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), raising the outbreak total to 601 cases, Food Safety News (FSN) reported yesterday.

In confirming the new cases today, a spokesperson for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) told CIDRAP News, "They include case patients who became ill in April through June. CDPH's investigation of the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak associated with Foster Farms chicken is currently ongoing, and additional details cannot be provided at this time."

The new cases raise California's total to 468. FSN said health departments in Washington and Oregon reported no new cases.

In its most recent update, on May 27, the CDC reported 574 outbreak cases, 441 of which were in California. The state with the next-highest count was Arizona, with 25 cases.

No products have been recalled because of the outbreak. Federal officials have isolated one of the two outbreak strains from Foster Farms chicken.
Jun 24 FSN
May 27
CIDRAP News scan on most recent CDC update

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