News Scan for Aug 07, 2019

Superbugs in Egyptian camels, workers
;
Local dengue in Miami area
;
Low preemie vaccination rates
;
Malaria deaths in Burundi

Vancomycin-resistant Staph found in Egyptian camels, abbatoir workers

An investigation in Cairo has identified vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) in camel meat samples and slaughterhouse workers, Egyptian researchers reported in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.

The researchers collected 200 meat samples from dromedary camel carcasses at three different abattoirs in Cairo and hand swabs from 20 adult male slaughterhouse workers. S aureus was isolated from 29 of the camel meat samples (14.5%) and 11 of the hand swabs (55%). Of the 40 S aureus isolates tested for resistance, 14 (35%) were resistant to vancomycin, with 27.6% of meat samples (8/29) and 54.5% of hand swabs (6/11) showing resistance. Additionally, all VRSA isolates were also classified as methicillin-resistant.

Molecular analysis indicated that all 14 VRSA isolates harbored both vanA and vanB genes, and whole-genome sequencing of four of the isolates (two from camels, two from humans) revealed that the vanA sequences were identical to each other, suggesting potential zoonotic transmission.

"Our research is the first in Egypt to report VRSA in camels, and we urge further comprehensive molecular epidemiological surveillance studies on the extent and potential zoonotic transmission of VRSA in livestock animals," the authors of the study write. "Urgent interventions to control the transmission of these antibiotic-resistant organisms in abattoirs are needed."
Aug 5 Antimicrob Resist Infect Control study

 

Miami-Dade County records 2nd local dengue case this year

Miami-Dade County, Florida, recorded its second locally acquired dengue case of the year, the Florida Department of Health (Florida Health) confirmed yesterday. The first one was in March, the Miami Herald reported.

"There is a heightened concern of additional residents becoming ill," Florida Health said in a news release. "DOH-Miami-Dade reminds residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure."

Dengue is a painful mosquito-borne disease that is rarely reported in the United States except in people who acquire it from traveling to a dengue-endemic region. Florida Health has confirmed 75 travel-related dengue cases so far this year, according to the Herald story.
Aug 6 Florida Health news release
Aug 6 Miami Herald story

In other dengue news, the Marshall Islands yesterday declared a health emergency because of a dengue outbreak, Radio New Zealand reported today.

Officials have begun daily safety broadcasts and clearing of mosquito breeding sites after a case of type 3 dengue was confirmed on Ebeye island last week.
Aug 7 Radio New Zealand story

 

Study highlights low vaccination rates in premature infants in Washington

A study of almost 2,000 infants born prematurely in Washington state found that more than half were undervaccinated at 19 months and more than a third had still not caught up by the time they were 3 years old, according to data published today in Pediatrics.

The study enrolled 10,367 infants born in the state from 2008 to 2013, of whom 1,991 (19.2%) were born at less than 37 weeks' gestational age.

The researchers found that 47.5% of preemies had completed their recommended seven-vaccine series by 19 months, compared with 54.0% of the full-term babies. At 36 months, the rates were 63.6% and 71.3%, respectively. Full flu vaccination coverage by 19 months, however, was higher in some preterm infants; it was 47.7% in early-preterm babies, 41.5% in late-preterm babies, and 44.7% in full-term infants.

The authors conclude, "The reasons for this are unclear but could reflect parental and provider factors, such as perceptions of medical vulnerability, vaccine safety beliefs, understanding of current vaccine recommendations, and provider-family vaccine communication, as well as health care use patterns in these high-risk infants. Future work is needed to inform the design and implementation of interventions aimed at improving timely vaccination coverage of these high-risk infants."

Washington has low childhood vaccination rates in general and is one of the states hit by this year's record-setting measles outbreak, which has been fueled by parents not having their children immunized.
Aug 7 Pediatrics abstract

 

Malaria death toll in Burundi tops 1,800

As of Jul 21, malaria deaths in Burundi rival Ebola deaths in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, growing to 1,801, AllAfrica reported today.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the country has recorded about 5.7 million malaria cases so far this year, which means about half the population has been affected. The country has yet to declare a national emergency over the epidemic, however, the story said.

The outbreak has been fueled by a lack of mosquito bed nets, climate change, and people moving from mountainous areas to the plains, OCHA said. Burundi declared a national emergency in 2017 after 1.8 million malaria cases and 700 deaths, but government leaders may be refraining from taking the step now because of its upcoming 2020 national election.
Aug 7 AllAfrica report

Newsletter Sign-up

Get CIDRAP news and other free newsletters.

Sign up now»

OUR UNDERWRITERS

Unrestricted financial support provided by

Bentson Foundation Gilead 
Grant support for ASP provided by


bioMérieux

  Become an underwriter»