News Scan for Aug 08, 2017

Global flu update
H5N8 in Russia
Third papaya recall

Flu activity remains high in parts of Southern Hemisphere

The World Health Organization (WHO) released their weekly global flu update, noting that activity remained high in the temperate zone of the Southern Hemisphere and in some countries in Southeast Asia. Influenza A (H3N2) is still the predominate strain worldwide.

Countries in Central America and the Caribbean reported increased influenza activity and severe acute respiratory infection, while cases of both flu and respiratory infections decreased across temperate South America. In tropical South America, influenza activity was low.

Seasonal activity was declining in South Africa, while Oceana reported increasing activity.

There was little to no influenza activity reported in North America, Europe, North Africa, or Central Asia.

According to the WHO, of the 58,087 specimens collected around the world last week, 91.7% were typed as influenza A and 8.3% as influenza B. Of the subtyped influenza A viruses, 8% were influenza A (H1N1) and 92% were influenza A (H3N2).
Aug 7 WHO update


H5N8 detected again in Russian poultry

Russia's agriculture ministry reported another highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza outbreak, which struck backyard poultry in Moscow Oblast in the country's east, according to a report today from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

The event began on Aug 3, killing 21 of 64 birds. The remaining ones were culled as one of several steps to control the spread of the virus. So far the source of the virus isn't known.

Russia has reported a small but steady stream of H5N8 outbreaks since the end of 2016.
Aug 8 OIE report on H5N8 in Russia


Another distributor pulls papayas after Salmonella outbreak

A Texas company has recalled a brand of Maradol papayas, which are implicated in an ongoing Salmonella outbreak across the United States.

Freshtex Produce, distributors of the Valery brand of Maradol papayas, announced today they are voluntarily pulling the Valery fruit from shelves because it was grown in Carica de Campeche, the same Mexican region where other Maradol papayas contaminated with Salmonella have been grown.

According to an announcement published yesterday by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Maradol papayas were distributed in Illinois from Jul 10 to Jul 13. Valery papayas are the only Freshtext produce subject to the recall.

The Valery papaya joins Caribena and Cavi brands of Maradol papayas, which were recalled in the last week after at least 109 cases of Salmonella poisoning linked to papayas were reported
Aug 7 FDA announcement 

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