News Scan for Jan 13, 2015

More Disney-linked measles
MERS transmission study

New Disney-linked measles cases bring total to 26

California officials confirmed 7 more cases of measles linked to Disney theme parks in California, bringing the total to 26 cases reported in four states, the Associated Press (AP) reported today.

The new cases include 6 in California and 1 in Washington. Three of the California cases were reported yesterday in San Bernardino County and Long Beach.

Patients had all visited Disney theme parks between Dec 15 and Dec 20, including Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, or had contact with someone who visited Disney parks in California, the AP said.

The new measles total includes 22 cases from California, 2 from Utah, 1 from Colorado, and 1 from Washington.
Jan 13 AP story


Study: Risk of MERS-CoV camel-to-human transmission low

People exposed to camel herds in which MERS-CoV is endemic showed no evidence of infection, according to a study published yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia's King Faisal University tested serum from 191 people in the Saudi Arabian town of Al-Ahsa (also called Al-Hasa). Subjects had varying degrees of exposure to a local dromedary camel herd in which MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) is endemic.

Most study subjects (146 people) lived in Al-Ahsa but were not directly exposed to camels. Other subjects included 4 people who had daily contact with and drank raw milk from the infected herd, 8 people with intermittent herd contact, 30 veterinary staff who were not exposed to the herd but had other animal contact, and 3 slaughterhouse workers.

None of the 191 people tested from December 2013 to February 2014 showed signs of infection or had MERS-CoV serum antibodies. Results suggest that zoonotic transmission of MERS from infected camels to humans is rare, the authors conclude.

The researchers advocate additional research to further understand the epidemiologic patterns of MERS exposure and incidence in human populations.
Apr 2015 Emerg Infect Dis study

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