News Scan for Jan 28, 2016

More US listeriosis
;
H7N9 cases in China
;
Ebola screening

Listeria cases tied to salad climb to 15, while Dole expands recall

The multistate outbreak of Listeria infections tied to Dole salads has grown by 3 cases, to 15, while the number of affected states has grown from 6 to 8 and Dole announced an expanded recall, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in an update. The number of deaths remains the same, at one.

The new cases were reported in Connecticut, Missouri, and New York. Connecticut and Missouri did not have previous cases, and New York now has 5. Michigan has 4 cases, while Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania also have 1 case each. The CDC first reported the outbreak on Jan 22.

"Although the investigation began in September 2015, the source of these illnesses wasn't known until January 2016 when a laboratory result from a packaged salad collected in Ohio linked the illnesses to the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio," the agency said today.

Patients range in age from 3 to 83, with a median of 64 years. Eleven of them are female, and all have been hospitalized. Illness-onset dates range from Jul 5, 2015, to Jan 3.

Dole first reported to the CDC a stoppage of production at its Springfield plant on Jan 21, at which time it said it was withdrawing all packaged salads produced there. Yesterday Dole officials told the agency that it has recalled all salad mixes produced at the facility.
Jan 28 CDC update
Jan 22 CIDRAP News scan on initial outbreak notice

 

China reports 2 new H7N9 infections

Two new H7N9 avian flu cases have been confirmed in Guangdong and Hunan provinces in China, according to local health officials.

The case in Guangdong involves a 74-year-old man in Meizhou, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) reported today. The agency also noted the case of a 33-year-old man in Yongzhou in Hunan province that was reported yesterday by the media. The Hunan resident had poultry contact before becoming ill, the CHP said.

The other H7N9 patient is a 59-year-old woman in Shaoxing City in Zhejiang Province who is hospitalized, according to Xinhua, China's state news agency. She had bought a hen and butchered it before getting sick. The condition of the three patients was not specified.

The two new cases bring the global H7N9 total to 716, according to a list compiled by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news board.
Jan 28 CHP news release
Jan 28 Xinhua story
FluTrackers H7N9 case list

 

Report: New York City monitored more than 2,400 travelers for Ebola

New York City officials monitored more than 2,400 airline travelers from West African outbreak countries for Ebola during the height of the epidemic but detected no cases, according to a report today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

From Oct 25, 2014, through April 2015, the CDC referred 2,452 travelers from Ebola-affected countries to city health officials for monitoring, or about 13 per day, with a high of 106. Almost half (47%) arrived at New York airports from Guinea.

Of the total, 2,407 passengers (98%) actually required active monitoring, which the CDC defined as daily monitoring for fever or symptoms for 21 days after the last potential exposure. This required an Active Monitoring Call Center to call from 8 to 301 travelers per day (mean, 192).

Public health workers were able to record monitoring data for more than three fourths of the monitoring period for 88.8% of the travelers, a rate that rose from 69.8% in 2014 to 98.2% in 2015. Officials were unable to collect any monitoring data for 108 of the travelers (4.5%).

About 98% of monitored travelers reported no fever or symptoms, while 26 (1.1%) reported fever only; 27 (1.2%) reported symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, or unexplained bleeding or bruising but no fever; and only 1 (0.04%) reported fever and symptoms.
Jan 29 MMWR report

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