Officials confirm 5 new cases of H7N9 in China
China today reported five new H7N9 avian flu cases in humans, most of whom are in critical condition.
According to the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) in Hong Kong, a 50-year-old woman from Nanchang is hospitalized in critical condition in Jiangxi province. And a 59-year-old man from Yiyang who worked with poultry is also listed in critical condition in a Hunan province hospital, the CHP said.
In addition, a 17-year-old boy from Xiamen who had contact with poultry is hospitalized in the city of Putian, according to a report translated by Avian Flu Diary (AFD), an infectious disease tracking blog.
Finally, a poultry trade worker, a 31-year-old woman from Taizhou, is hospitalized with H7N9 in Jiangsu province, and a 72-year-old woman who recently traveled from Guangdong province to Macao is also hospitalized, AFD noted in separate posts.
The older woman was hospitalized in Zhongshan, Guangdong, on Jan 8, then traveled to Macao, where she was again hospitalized again on Jan 10. This is the second imported case in Macao this season; Guangdong has been the site of 15 cases of H7N9 this winter, according to AFD.
Jan 12 CHP press release
Jan 12 AFD H7N9 case update post
Jan 12 AFD post on Macao patient
WHO: Low-dose inactivated polio vaccine to be used in Southeast Asia
Today the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Southeast Asian region said it will use fractional injectable inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) dosing in light of the global shortage of polio vaccines, following the successful rollout of the strategy in India and Sri Lanka in 2016.
Fractional dosing consists of two doses of IPV (each dose is one fifth of a full dose) given to infants at age 6 weeks and 14 weeks. Studies have confirmed this dosing schedule confers the same immunity as one full dose of IPV.
India began using the fractional IPV early last year in eight of the country's states, and Sri Lanka soon followed. According to the WHO, Bangladesh will begin using fractional dosing this year.
The WHO's Southeast Asian region received polio-free certification in March of 2014 and hasn't reported a wild-type polio case in 6 years.
"By using fractional IPV, countries are saving vaccine and vaccine cost, without compromising on the protection that the vaccine provides to children against polio," the WHO said.
Jan 13 WHO press release
CDC says only 7 states have hand sanitation laws for animal exhibits
A report today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that only seven states—New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin—have laws mandating hand washing or hand sanitation stations near animal exhibits. The report was published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
Animal contact exhibits, including petting zoos and state and county fairs, have been linked to disease transmission, including that caused by Salmonella and Cryptosporidium. A survey of state laws found that, despite being recommended by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, hand washing stations were not widely required. In the seven states with laws, only four states (New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) specified where hand washing or sanitations stations be located.
The authors said that the report could help guide other states to draft hand washing legislation. "Proper hand washing is an effective way to prevent transmission of disease to persons at animal exhibits; however, outbreaks at animal contact exhibits continue to occur, in part because of a lack of hand washing stations…The results of this assessment of state laws related to hand sanitation at animal contact exhibits can be used as a tool for other jurisdictions interested in establishing similar laws."
Jan 13 MMWR study