Researchers find Zika persists in female genital tract
A French research team yesterday reported the first known detection of Zika virus in the genital tract of an infected woman, along with signs that it persists there after it clears from blood and urine. The team, from Guadeloupe and Toulouse, reported its findings in a letter to The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
The 27-year-old woman was sick in May, and a rapid blood test was positive for Zika virus. She was being monitored for oocyte preservation as part of Guadeloupe's protocol for women with infertility in the Zika setting, but the stimulation process was halted, based in her illness, and she was advised to practice safe sex and regularly use condoms.
Her genital swab, endocervical swab, and cervical mucus sample were all positive for Zika virus RNA on day 3 of her illness. However, on day 11 when blood and urine tests were negative, her cervical mucus sample was still positive for Zika RNA.
The researchers said though it's not known if infectious virus was present, the findings have implications for sexual transmission from women to men and vertical transmission from a mother to her fetus.
Jul 11 Lancet Infect Dis letter
USDA to share food safety data regularly on data.gov
The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced yesterday plans to share huge amounts of food safety information on the government Web site, Data.gov. The information will be updated quarterly and is meant to increase both agency transparency and consumer information.
"Consumers want more information about the foods they are purchasing, and sharing these details can give them better insight into food production and inspection, and help them make informed purchasing decisions," said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza in a Jul 11 press release.
FSIS said it has worked on developing a web platform for sharing the data points for more than 6,000 meat, poultry, and egg facilities for 7 years in response to President Obama's "Open Government Plan." This is the first time the agency will be routinely sharing establishment-specific data with the public.
The data sets will show results from chemical residue testing, advocated meat recovery testing, results from Salmonella and Campylobacter testing in poultry, and results for Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella in meat. FSIS will also release test results for Listeria and Salmonella in ready-to-eat products and processed egg products.
Jul 11 USDA news release
China notes new H7N9 avian flu case, 3 new deaths; outbreak hits 800
China's National Health and Family Planning Commission (HFPC) today reported a new H7N9 avian flu case in June, bringing the country's total for that month to seven cases. Officials added that three previously reported patients have died, according to an HFPC report translated by FluTrackers, an infectious disease message board.
The newly reported infection expands the outbreak to 800 cases since the first case was confirmed in China in 2013, according to a list maintained by FluTrackers.
The agency did not specify which province the newly reported case was in, nor did it provide details on the patient. The HFPC report simply listed 7 cases, including 7 that were fatal. FluTrackers had earlier already noted 6 of the cases, 3 in Hebei province and 1 each in Jiangsu, Liaoning, and Zhejiang.