NEWS SCAN: H5N1 in Tibet, H1N1 vaccine coverage, listeriosis risks

Dec 12, 2011

H5N1 hits flock of Tibetan poultry
China has confirmed an outbreak of H5N1 avian flu in a village flock on the Tibetan plateau near Lhasa, according to a report filed today with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Of a flock of 1,865 poultry in Sangda village, 290 died from the disease and the rest were killed to prevent its spread, according to the report. Authorities have disinfected the area and controlled movement of birds in the region. H5N1 was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction and other tests, the report said. An official with China's Ministry of Agriculture said the outbreak is under control and no signs or symptoms of avian flu have been detected in people who had close contact with the dead birds, according to Xinhua, the state news agency.
Dec 12 OIE report
Dec 12 Xinhua story

Latin America, Caribbean report high H1N1 vaccine uptake in target groups
Although Latin American and Caribbean countries had overall pandemic H1N1 vaccine coverage of 28% by the end of 2010, they reported reaching almost 99% of those targeted before the pandemic began, according to a study in Vaccine. The researchers, however, found a wide range of coverage among countries. As of December 2010, the team of Pan American Health Organization scientists reported that 145 million doses were delivered, which covered about 99% of the 147 million people targeted in pre-pandemic plans. But success in reaching high-priority people varied widely, with several Caribbean countries and Suriname reporting low coverage among all targeted groups: healthcare workers (HCWs), pregnant women, and those with underlying conditions. In contrast, Argentina reached more than 100% of the goal in all three target groups, and Brazil, Cuba, and Honduras topped 100% of the goal in two of the three groups. Overall the nations reached 110% of the goal in HCWs, 100% of the goal for those with chronic conditions, and 67% of the goal for pregnant women Though overall coverage amounted to 28% of the entire population of the region, coverage in the general population varied widely by country, from 1.5% in the Bahamas to 47.9% in Brazil.
Dec 11 Vaccine abstract

Analysis finds cancer patients at high risk for listeriosis
Cancer may increase the likelihood of developing listeriosis, according to an analysis of French data. Writing in Clinical Infectious Diseases, French and US researchers reported on 1,959 cases of Listeria illness confirmed in France from 2001 through 2008. Compared with those under 65 with no underlying conditions, people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia had a greater-than-1,000-fold risk of contracting listeriosis. They also found that those with any of a number of other cancers—as well as liver cirrhosis patients, pregnant women, and recipients of organ transplants—had a 100- to 1,000-fold increased risk. The investigators conclude, "Stringent dietary guidance, to avoid specific foods with a high risk for Listeria contamination, should be targeted to pregnant women and to others at highest risk of listeriosis."
Dec 9 Clin Infect Dis abstract

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