More Saudi MERS cases tied to hospital outbreak
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) reported two new cases of MERS today in healthcare workers from Dumah Al Jandal, the site of a growing hospital-based outbreak.
The two male expatriates are in stable condition and had no symptoms of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus). They are 55 and 52 years old. There are now more than a dozen healthcare workers and patients from Dumah Al Jandal who have been diagnosed as having MERS-CoV in the past 10 days.
The latest cases push Saudi Arabia's total number of MERS-CoV illnesses since the virus was detected for the first time in humans in 2012 to 1,694, which includes 689 deaths. Ten people are still being treated for their infections.
In other MERS news, a new modeling study on the pre-publications server bioRxiv described the human-animal interface of the virus, noting that the disease is unlikely to become endemic in humans. Instead, human outbreaks are triggered by camel transmissions, but the virus does not evolve in humans the same way it does in camels, the researchers said.
Aug 11 MOH report
Aug 10 bioRxiv study
Papaya-linked Salmonella outbreak grows to 141 cases in 19 states
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today reported that 32 more people have been sickened in a multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to certain brands of Maradol papayas imported from Mexico. The new illnesses, reported from 15 states, lift the outbreak total to 141 cases in 19 affected states. Newly affected states are Illinois, Ohio, and Texas.
Ten more people have been hospitalized for their infections, raising that total to 45. The number of deaths remained the same, at 1. The latest illness onset is Jul 27.
The outbreak involves two Salmonella strains, Thompson and Kiambu.
Based on the latest investigation findings, federal officials have warned consumers not to eat Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm in Mexico, and so far US companies have voluntarily recalled three different brands of Maradol papayas from the farm: Caribena, Cavi, and Valery. Efforts are under way to determine if other brands are tied to the outbreak.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tested other papayas imported from the farm and has isolated three additional Salmonella strains: Agona, Gaminara, and Seftenberg. It has also increased testing on papayas from other Mexican farms.
CDC reports 3 new H3N2v flu cases tied to Ohio fair
The CDC today reported three new cases of variant H3N2 (H3N2v) influenza in children in Ohio, bringing the US total this year to 15 cases. The virus is a reassorted swine strain that contains the matrix "M" gene from the 2009 H1N1 virus.
All the patients attended the same agricultural fair the week before they fell ill and reported direct exposure to pigs. None required hospitalization, and all have full recovered, the CDC said. No human-to-human transmission was recorded.
The agency said, "Public health and agriculture officials are investigating the extent of disease among humans and swine, but no increases in influenza-like illness in the community have been reported. To date, a total of 15 (Texas  and Ohio ) human infections with H3N2v viruses and one (Ohio ) human infection with H1N2v virus have been identified during 2017."
The CDC confirmed the H1N2v case a week ago. Officials encouraged early identification and investigation of human cases involving novel influenza A viruses.
Aug 11 CDC update
More vaccine-derived polio cases reported in DRC and Syria
In its latest weekly update, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) said the Democratic Republic of Congo and Syria have each reported three new cases of type 2 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2).
The DRC now has a total of 7 cVDPV2 cases this year in two separate outbreaks, one in Haut Lomami province involving 5 cases with the most recent paralysis onset on Jun 13, and 2 in Maniema province with the most recent paralysis onset date of Apr 18, with another positive isolate collected from a healthy person on May 2. Two rounds of immunization took place in the affected provinces in June and July.
Syria now has 30 cVDPV2 cases in its outbreak, with the most recent paralysis onset occurring on Jun 16. Of the total, 29 are in Deir ez-Zur governorate and 1 is in Raqqa governorate.
One of two vaccination campaigns was carried out in Deir ez-Zur in late July, which reached 88.4% coverage, according to health worker estimates. Another is planned for the last half of August. A campaign is slated to begin in Raqqa tomorrow.
For both countries, GPEI said confirmation of more cases is expected.
Aug 9 GPEI update