News Scan for Jan 25, 2019

More Saudi MERS cases
Polio in Pakistan, Nigeria
Bon Appetit's antibiotics update

MERS sickens 2 more men in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia's health ministry today reported two more MERS-CoV cases, both involving men from Riyadh who apparently didn't have exposure to camels or people with known infections.

In its update to its epidemiologic week 4 report, the ministry said the patients, ages 53 and 69, are both hospitalized for their MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) infections.

Most of the country's recent cases have been from Riyadh. Since epidemiologic week 1, Saudi Arabia has reported nine MERS-CoV cases, of which seven are from Riyadh, the country's capital.

In the World Health Organization's (WHO's) most recent MERS-CoV update, it said that, as of Dec 31, it had received reports of 2,279 MERS-CoV cases since 2012, at least 806 of them fatal. Saudi Arabia has been by far the hardest-hit country.
Jan 25 Saudi MOH update


Pakistan, Nigeria report more polio cases

Pakistan has reported two more wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV) cases, and Nigeria has reported another circulating vaccine-derived polio type 2 case (cVDPV2), according to the latest weekly update today from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). In all three instances, symptom onsets were in December, meaning the cases are counted in 2018 totals.

In Pakistan, the illnesses involve a patient from Lakki Marwat district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province who had a Dec 16 paralysis onset and one from Banjour Agency in the Federal Administered Tribal Areas with a Dec 25 paralysis onset. The country now has 12 WPV1 cases for 2018.

Also, there were five positive WPV1 environmental samples in the past week in Pakistan, two from different cities in Khyber Pakhutnkhwa province, one from Lahore in Punjab province, one from Quetta in Balochistan province, and one from Sindh province.

Nigeria's latest cVDPV2 case involves a patient from Baruten in Kwara state near the border with Benin who had a Dec 5 paralysis onset, lifting the country's total to 34 for 2018. In addition, three more environmental samples positive for cVDPV2 were reported in the past week, one from Borno state and two from Kaduna state. Nigeria is experiencing two separate cVDPV2 outbreak.
Jan 25 GPEI weekly report


Bon Appetit updates its antibiotics policy to include seafood

The Bon Appetit Management Company, which in 2003 became the first US food service company to pledge to reduce antibiotic use in the animals it uses for food, has updated and streamlined its antibiotics policy, which for the first time includes seafood.

The company, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said in a press release, "Our companywide purchasing standard is to buy only meat, poultry, and seafood raised without the use of antimicrobials, except where necessary to treat sick animals in the documented presence of disease in the flock, herd, or fish population as verified by a veterinarian.

"This standard exceeds the World Health Organization's most recent recommendations, which recommend restricting only those drugs important in human medicine. Although it may seem simpler, policy-wise, for us to have declared that we will buy only proteins raised without any antibiotics (by requiring the 'never ever' standard that consumers are beginning to recognize), that approach unfairly penalizes some of our smaller farmers and ranchers."

Bon Appetit explained that these growers want to be able to treat sick animals with appropriate medicines but are not large enough to have a secondary, "conventional" sales channel in which to sell a food animal that has required antibiotics.

In incorporating seafood for the first time into its antibiotic standards, the company said, "The seafood supply chain is not yet transparent enough to allow us to parse within specific rating subcategories for each fishery. With the exception of salmon, for which our companywide standard has long been wild-caught (and thus no antibiotics, ever), Bon Appetit's seafood supply does not yet meet our new standard. This is an area in which we will continue to seek transparency and apply pressure."
Jan 23 Bon Appetit news release

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