NEWS SCAN: 3 poultry-linked Salmonella outbreaks, measles & rubella in Europe, polio eradication plans

Apr 26, 2013

Officials probe three multistate Salmonella outbreaks tied to baby poultry
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced yesterday that it, state, and other federal officials are investigating three multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to contact with chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry. The outbreaks involve Salmonella serotypes Infantis, Mbandaka, and Typhimiurim. Public health authorities are using PulseNet, the CDC's national subtyping network, to identify illnesses that are part of the outbreaks. Investigators are still getting a handle on the number of states and illnesses involved, and the CDC said it would issue an update when more information is available. So far, interviews with some of the sick patients have revealed that they purchased live chicks and ducklings from multiple feed stores and mail-order hatcheries. Investigations are also underway to determine the source of the live poultry in the outbreaks. Some states have already announced outbreaks related to live baby poultry. For example, on Apr 23 the Minnesota Department of Health announced three cases of S Infantis in people who bought ducklings at a store in the Twin Cities area. On Apr 19 South Dakota health officials announced four salmonellosis cases that they said could be part of a multistate outbreak. Last year the CDC reported three separate outbreaks liked to live chicks, involving at least 334 cases.
Apr 25 CDC outbreak announcement
Apr 24 CIDRAP News item "Salmonellosis from ducklings reported in 3 Minnesotans"
Apr 22 CIDRAP News item "Small South Dakota Salmonella outbreak linked to chicks"

Big increases in measles, rubella incidence in Europe
The year-long period from March 2012 through February 2013 saw the highest number of measles cases in the United Kingdom (UK) since 1994, and rubella in Poland showed a 10-fold increase early this year over the same period last year, according to a report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) yesterday. Measles cases in 29 European Union (EU) and European Economic Area countries plus Croatia, which will join the EU in July, numbered 8,499. The UK reported more than 2,000 of the cases, and ongoing outbreaks are occurring in northeastern England and the Swansea area of Wales, says the report. Infants less than 1 year old had the highest rate of measles, with 249 cases per 1 million population, followed by children 1 to 4 years of age, with 108 cases per million. Nearly all (99%) of the 21,549 cases of rubella reported during the period were in Poland and Romania, with Poland alone accounting for 90%. January and February 2013 brought 4,520 cases in Poland, ten times the 453 cases in that period in 2012; the epidemic is centering on adolescents 15 to 19 years of age.
Apr 25 ECDC report

Meeting: Goal of eradicating polio within reach
Funding for the Polio Eradication & Endgame Strategic Plan, a comprehensive 6-year global effort to eradicate polio, is three-quarters of the way to the finish line, with $1.5 billion remaining toward the $5.5 billion goal, according to a press release from the World Health Organization (WHO) and a Bloomberg News story yesterday. The announcement was made at the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, this week. The plan's aim is to wipe out both wild and vaccine-derived polio by 2018. Said Bill Gates, chairman and co-founder of Microsoft Corp., in an interview at the meeting, "We've got to double down and finish the eradication." The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $1.8 billion to the cause; another 60% has come from governments and much of the remainder from philanthropists. Children paralyzed by polio in 2012 numbered 223, the lowest yearly level so far, and only 19 cases have been reported so far in 2013. Polio has been eliminated in all but three countries—Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
Apr 25 WHO press release
Apr 25 Bloomberg News story

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