News Scan for Jul 22, 2016

Yellow fever decline in Angola
New Saudi MERS case
Salmonella-related meat recall

Yellow fever declining in Angola; DRC lab problems slow case confirmation

The rate of new suspected and confirmed cases of yellow fever continues to decline in Angola, but health officials are concerned about disease activity in Benguela province, where surveillance gaps and reporting delays are occurring, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday in its weekly update.

Angola reported 57 new cases this week, bringing its outbreak total to 3,682 suspected cases, of which 877 are confirmed. Last week the country had 73 new cases.

Mass vaccination campaigns that began in Luanda have now reached most other affected areas, with a recent focus on border areas, the agency added.

Recent yellow fever patterns in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are less clear, because technical problems at the national lab have hampered case confirmation for the past 4 weeks, though corrective actions are underway, according to the report. There's a backlog of at least 300 suspected cases, including one from Kasai province, which hasn't previously reported a case. Surveillance and vaccination efforts have focused on affected zones of Kinshasa and Kongo Central, with reactive immunization campaigns that launched on Jul 20.

In other countries that have reported yellow fever cases over the past few months, the situations haven't changed much, the WHO said, noting that disease activity is stable in Brazil, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Republic of Congo, and Uganda.
Jul 21 WHO yellow fever situation report


Saudi Arabia confirms new MERS case in Buraydah

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) reported another MERS-CoV case today, this time in the city of Buraydah. The case is not linked to the current outbreak tied to the King Khalid University Hospital in Riyadh, or to a recent cluster of cases in Najran.

The 27-year-old man, an expatriate, is in critical condition. He presented with symptoms of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus), and the MOH said he had primary exposure to the virus, meaning not from another patient. The man is not a healthcare professional.

The new case brings Saudi Arabia's MERS-CoV total to 1,440, including 606 deaths, since 2012.
Jul 22 MOH report


Kapowsin Meats recalls 11,000 pounds of pork over Salmonella outbreak

Yesterday the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced in a news release that Kapowsin Meats recalled 11,658 pounds of pork products that may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The company's boxed and bagged "Whole Hogs for Barbecue" have been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella infections.

FSIS was first notified of a possible Salmonella infection on Jul 13. By Jul 19, the FSIS, working with the Washington State Department of Health, confirmed that at least 3 cases of salmonellosis were probably linked to whole hogs from Kapowsin Meats, a Washington state–based company. According to FSIS, people reported consuming the hogs from Jul 5 to Jul 7.

FSIS and Kapowsin Meats are concerned people may have hogs stored in their freezers, and FSIS included an image of the product label with the news release to guide consumers.

"Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them," the statement said. "These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."
Jul 21 FSIS release

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