News Scan for Oct 16, 2015

Fourth wave of H7N9
Olympics waterborne disease risk

Fourth wave of H7N9 begins in China

Human cases of H7N9 avian influenza are expected to rise in number in southeastern China over the next several months, according to an update yesterday from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

The FAO said the fourth wave of H7N9 began Oct 2 after the first two human infections since July were reported in Zhejiang Province.

The virus is established in Chinese poultry populations and is spread to people by direct contact with infected birds. The disease has been fatal in 271 (40%) of the 678 people infected to date.

The increase in H7N9 infections in southern China follows a seasonal pattern, but FAO officials also said it is likely exacerbated by a lack of biosecurity measures in the region. As a result, the organization released guidelines on improving biosecurity at live bird markets and developing risk-communication messages.

Because infected birds must be culled, loss of economic stability for affected farmers will likely coincide with the expected rise in infections.
Oct 15 FAO update
Oct 12 CIDRAP News scan on human cases


WHO recommends bacterial monitoring in recreational water at 2016 Olympic Games

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that Brazilian authorities conduct ongoing bacterial testing of recreational waters to prevent gastrointestinal illness during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to guidance issued this month.

Concern has been widespread about water pollution that could pose danger to athletes in Rio during the games.

The WHO asks that officials implement a program of regular water-quality testing for fecal-indicator bacteria in bodies of water to be used for sailing, rowing, canoeing, and swimming. Brazilian authorities are also encouraged to address potential sanitation system sources of water contamination.

Microbial testing for enterococci and Escherichia coli contamination in recreational water is the best indicator for predicting and preventing gastrointestinal illness outbreaks, the WHO said. Currently, testing for viral contamination is only recommended in the case of a confirmed outbreak of viral disease or under a formal research protocol.
Oct WHO recommendations

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