News Scan for Oct 08, 2015

Measles risk in kids
African Salmonella burden
Filed Under
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Gaps in measles vaccination rates places 1 in 8 US kids at risk

Inadequate measles vaccination coverage places one in eight US kids at risk for contracting the disease and one in four of those 3 years old or younger, according to data presented today at IDWeek in San Diego, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), a sponsor of the conference, reported today in a press release.

Emory University researchers determined that 8.7 million children, or 12.5%, are not fully protected from measles because they haven't received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine or have received only one of the two recommended doses. That figure jumped to 24.7% for kids 3 and younger.

The team also found that 4.6% of 17-year-olds have received no MMR doses. They also estimate that if the US vaccination rate drops to just 98% of current levels, 14.2% of children (one in seven) will be vulnerable to measles.

Lead author Robert Bednarczyk, PhD, of Emory, said, "While we currently have overall immunity in the population that should prevent sustained measles transmission, if the virus is introduced, there is the potential for large outbreaks. This is because there are clusters of unvaccinated children in some communities, which could allow a large outbreak to occur with spread to similar communities."
Oct 8 IDSA press release


Special issue spells out invasive Salmonella problems in Africa

The high burden of invasive Salmonella infections in African children and the rise of antibiotic resistant strains of nontyphoidal Salmonella are among the findings in a special Clinical Infectious Diseases issue on the disease in Africa published today.

The supplement is a follow-up to an expert meeting held in Malawai in late 2014 sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust. The global burden of invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella (iNTS) disease was published in 2010, and efforts have been under way to gauge the burden in Africa.

In an introduction to the collection, editors wrote that the gradually increasing availability of blood cultures in Africa is shedding new light on patterns there. The experts are John Crump, MBChB, MD, director of the Centre for International Health at the University of Otago in New Zealand, and Robert Heyderman, MBBS, PhD, an infectious disease specialist at University College London.

The issue contains 19 studies that profile iNTS in 16 African countries, along with reports that describe genetic fingerprinting and mathematical modeling to better clarify the disease and its sources.

Researchers found that NTS occurs in infants and young children, especially those with malaria and malnutrition. HIV-infected adults are also at risk for contracting the disease, which kills 20% of those with Salmonella blood poisoning. A report from Kenya notes that the majority of NTS strains are resistant to most antibiotics that are available in Africa.

In a University of Otago press release, Crump said that currently Salmonella deaths linked to diarrhea are counted, but not ones linked to sepsis. "In global health there is a great risk that the uncounted will be ignored: this body of work will help to focus much needed attention and justification for investment in a major neglected disease that carries an unacceptably high burden of death."
Nov 1 Clin Infect Dis special issue
Oct 8 University of Otago press release

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