News Scan for Dec 17, 2015

New Saudi MERS case
Foodborne disease up in Europe

Saudi Arabia reports MERS case in Najran

After going more than 2 weeks without a MERS-CoV case, Saudi Arabia today reported its second in as many days.

Today's case involves a 48-year-old Saudi man in Najran, in the far south of Saudi Arabia, the country's Ministry of Health (MOH) said. He is listed in critical condition, and his infection is listed as "primary," meaning he likely did not contract MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) from another person. He is not a healthcare worker.

Yesterday's case involved 41-year-old female healthcare worker in Buraidah, in the north-central part of the country who contracted the disease in a healthcare setting. Saudi Arabia has now confirmed 1,281 MERS cases, including 550 deaths.
Dec 17 MOH update


Report notes increase of foodborne Listeria, Campylobacter in Europe

Foodborne infections involving Listeria and Campylobacter in Europe both rose substantially in 2014, reflecting an upward trend since 2008, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said today in their annual report on zoonotic and foodborne disease.

Listeriosis cases climbed 16%, to 2,161, last year, while campylobacteriosis cases rose 10%, to 236,851, the report found. Although the rise in Campylobacter infections can partly be attributed to increased surveillance and diagnostics, the surge in Listeria cases is of particular concern because surveillance focuses on severe forms of the disease, which result in higher death rates than other foodborne disease, particularly in the elderly, the ECDC said in a press release today.

"It is worrying that Campylobacter and Listeria infections are still rising in the European Union," said Mike Catchpole, ECDC chief scientist. "This situation highlights the importance of enhancing listeriosis surveillance through molecular typing, work currently developed by ECDC and EFSA, and strengthening the EU-wide Campylobacter control measures at EU-level."

Campylobacteriosis is the most commonly reported foodborne disease in Europe and has been so since 2005, the ECDC said. Confirmed cases of salmonellosis, the second most commonly reported foodborne disease, increased slightly for the first time since 2008, but that was caused by changes in the number of member states reporting. There has been a statistically significant downward trend of salmonellosis since 2008, the agency said.
Dec 17 EFSA/ECDC report
Dec 17 ECDC press release

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