News Scan for Feb 19, 2019

Four Saudi MERS cases
Dengvaxia ban

Four new MERS cases recorded in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) today recorded four more MERS-CoV cases for epidemiologic week 8, including three in Wadi ad-Dawasir.

The latest cases raise Saudi Arabia's MERS-CoV  (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) total since the first of the year to 69, with 44 of those cases recorded in Wadi ad-Dawasir.

The patients from Wadi ad-Dawasir include an 82-year-old woman and a 56-year-old man who are both hospitalized. The MOH said the cause of their infections is still under investigation, but neither reported recent camel contact, a known risk factor.

A 35-year-old woman from Wadi ad-Dawasir is also hospitalized. She contracted the virus in a healthcare setting.

Also recorded today is a case involving a 45-year-old man from Afif. His case is classified as primary, meaning it is unlikely he contracted the virus from another person, and he had contact with camels.
Feb 19 MOH report


Philippines bans Dengvaxia after Sanofi fails to meet directives

The Philippines has stopped all sales, distribution, and marketing of Sanofi Pasteur's Dengvaxia, a dengue vaccine that was widely used in the Philippines in 2016 and 2017, Reuters reported today.

Director General Nela Charade Puno, RPh, of the country's Food and Drug Administration, said Sanofi had failed to follow the agency's directives, and had not complied with post-marketing authorization requirements by December 2018.

The Philippines suspended the use of Dengvaxia in December 2017, after Sanofi said the vaccine could worsen dengue infections in some recipients, most notably dengue-naive children. At that time, the country had already vaccinated 800,000 schoolchildren in an effort to reduce the 200,000 dengue cases reported annually.

The Philippines spent $67 million on its Dengvaxia campaign, Reuters reported, and conducted two congressional inquiries and a criminal investigation into the vaccine.
Feb 19 Reuters story

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