NEWS SCAN: H5N1 in Indonesia, Myanmar; resistant H1N1 cases; HCW flu vaccine rates; preventing food tampering

Mar 24, 2011

Indonesian toddler recovering from H5N1 infection
Indonesia's health ministry has announced another H5N1 avian influenza infection, in a 22-month-old girl from Bekasi, West Java province, who is recovering, according to a report yesterday from Bird Flu Information Corner, a Web message board operated by Kobe University in Japan and Airlangga University in Indonesia. The site includes information from the Indonesian media and global health sources and based yesterday's report on a statement translated from Indonesia's Health Ministry. The girl got sick on Mar 2, was treated at an avian flu specialty hospital in East Jakarta, and has been released. An investigation into the source of her illness revealed she may have been exposed to ornamental birds in her neighborhood. Samples from the birds were positive for H5N1. If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the girl's infection, she will be listed as Indonesia's 175th case, of which 144 have been fatal. So far the WHO has confirmed three Indonesian H5N1 cases this year, all of them fatal.
H5N1 hits Myanmar farm
H5N1 avian flu struck a poultry farm in Myanmar, killing 350 chickens within 4 days, the country's livestock officials reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) yesterday. The outbreak occurred at a layer chicken operation in Sagaing state, located in central Myanmar. The farm's remaining 430 birds were culled to control the spread of the virus. The outbreak, which started Mar 16, is Myanmar's 10th since the virus surfaced in January after a 10-month lull.
Mar 23 OIE report

Delaware reports three Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 cases
Editor's note: This item was revised Mar 25 to include additional information on the patients involved.
Delaware health officials yesterday reported three recent infections with 2009 H1N1 influenza viruses resistant to oseltamivir (Tamiflu). The cases were in a 1-month-old girl and a 33-year-old woman from Kent County and a 3-year-old boy from Sussex County, the Delaware Division of Public Health reported. All the patients recovered without hospitalization, and there were no connections between them, division officials told CIDRAP News. The state had identified one other case earlier in the season, officials said. Noting that oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 cases are rare, officials said there is no need to change treatment approaches. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found three oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 isolates among 533 tested this season, according to the agency's latest flu surveillance update, released Mar 18.
Mar 23 Delaware press release
Mar 18 CDC flu update

Cancer patients show high rate of drug-resistant H1N1 mutation
One fourth of a small sample of patients with leukemia or other cancers who contracted pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza had the mutated form known to cause oseltamivir resistance, according to a new study. Seattle-area researchers examined 33 samples from hematology-oncology patients who had confirmed 2009 H1N1 flu. Of the 8 with H275Y mutations, 1 had severe pneumonia, 3 had mild pneumonia, and 4 had upper respiratory tract infections. All patients with mild pneumonia and 3 of the 4 with upper respiratory tract infections exhibited prolonged H1N1 virus shedding, several for more than 60 days. All patients with the mutation had received oseltamivir.
Mar 23 Emerg Infect Dis study

Web-based reporting program boosts health-worker flu vaccine rate
Iowa officials were able to raise the flu vaccination rate among healthcare workers (HCWs) at acute-care hospitals in the state from 73% to 93% over four seasons using a voluntary provider-based project, according to a study published yesterday in Vaccine. Starting in 2006, hospitals submitted vaccination rates to a Web site, where data were posted for all participating hospitals. Hospital participation rates in the project started at 86% in the first season but rose to 100% for the other three seasons. Statewide median hospital HCW vaccination rates rose from 73% in the first season to 93% in 2009-10, when 35% of participating hospitals achieved a 95% vaccination rate or better. In 2009-10 the mean employee vaccination rate of 19 hospitals using a mandatory vaccination policy was 96%, compared with 87% in the 64 hospitals not mandating vaccination.
Mar 23 Vaccine abstract

FDA offers resource to help businesses prevent food tampering
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday announced the launch of an online database designed to help food businesses protect food from deliberate contamination or tampering. The Food Defense Mitigation Strategies Database (MSD) provides "a range of preventive measures that companies may choose to implement to better protect their facility, personnel, products, and operations," the FDA said. The recommended preventive measures are organized into categories and subcategories that address each step of food production and distribution. For example, the retail food service category includes items such as finished product storage, food bar, retail display, and returned/reshopped products. The database is designed for companies that produce, process, store, package, distribute, and/or transport food, the FDA said.
Mar 23 FDA statement
MSD home page

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