News Scan for Sep 30, 2016

Sprout Salmonella over
UN cholera response
Pneumonia severity in kids

CDC declares Salmonella outbreak in sprouts over after 36 cases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released its final report on an outbreak of salmonellosis in alfalfa sprouts, calling the outbreak over.

The sprouts came from Denver-based Sprouts Extraordinaire and sickened 36 people in nine states. Seven people required hospitalization. Sprouts Extraordinaire recalled its alfalfa sprouts on Aug 5, after 30 people were initially diagnosed as having salmonellosis.

Of the total reported today, 17 people got sick in Colorado, 9 in Kansas, 3 in Nebraska, and 2 in Wyoming. States with 1 case were Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Oregon, and Texas. Thirty of the patients were infected with the strain Salmonella Reading, 1 was infected with Salmonella Abony, and 5 were infected with both.

Illnesses began from May 21 to Sep 10. Eighteen people (53%) reported eating or possible eating alfalfa sprouts within the week before symptom onset. Age range of patients was less than 1 year to 72 years, and 56% of patients were women.

Though the CDC said the outbreak is over, it warned that sprouts are commonly implicated in foodborne illnesses.
Sep 30 CDC statement


UN: $362 million aid package for Haiti cholera epidemic

The United Nations (UN) announced today it will give $181 million to Haiti to fight the country's ongoing cholera epidemic, the worst in global history, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today. The agency will also match that amount (at a minimum) for victims and their families.

Haitian health officials say studies trace the outbreak to Nepalese UN peacekeepers who dumped human waste in the Artibonite River in October 2010. The peacekeepers were helping rebuild the country after the devastating earthquake of January 2010. Though the UN took some responsibility for the epidemic this summer, it was granted immunity from several victims’ lawsuits because of its peacekeeping mission status.

David Nabarro, MD, a UN special adviser on sustainability and a nominee for the World Health Organization's director-general position, is overseeing the aid package. The money will be dispersed over a 3-year period.

More than 10,000 people died and 700,000 fell ill since the outbreak started in late 2010. Each week there are about 500 new cases of the disease, and those numbers are set to increase next month as the rainy season begins.
Sep 30 AFP article


Age and vital signs predicts severity of pediatric pneumonia

A study yesterday in Pediatrics of 2,319 children with pneumonia determined that young age was the strongest predictor of the severity of disease.

The researchers looked at pneumonia hospitalizations at three US sites from January to June of 2012. Disease outcomes were based on a severity scale that ranged from severe (mechanical ventilation, shock, or death) to moderate (intensive care admission) to mild (non–intensive care hospital treatment).

Of the 2,319 children studied, 7% had a severe outcome, 14% had a moderate outcome, and 79% had a mild outcome. The researchers examined 20 predictors as noted on electronic health records of disease severity and found that age (youngest faring worse), vital signs at admission, chest indrawing, and radiologic infiltrate pattern were most likely to be associated with severe disease.

The authors said they hoped that identifying predicting factors of disease severity can help clinicians improving outcomes and treatment plans.
Sep 29 Pediatrics study

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