News Scan for Jul 12, 2013

H5N1 case in Cambodia
US West Nile cases
Polio in Nigeria, Somalia
Dengue vaccine production

Cambodian boy has H5N1 avian flu

A 3-year-old boy from Cambodia's eastern Prey Veng province has tested positive for H5N1 avian flu, marking the country's 14th case this year, according to Xinhua, China's state news agency, today.

Citing a joint statement by the World Health Organization and Cambodian Health Ministry from today, the story said the boy was admitted to Kantha Bopha Hospital in Phnom Penh with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing on Jul 8 and tested positive for H5N1 on Jul 10. "At the hospital, he was treated with Tamiflu [oseltamivir] and is currently in stable condition," the statement said.

It added that the boy "was likely to be exposed to sick and dead poultry before he became sick," as poultry deaths had been reported in his village.

Of the 14 H5N1 cases so far this year in Cambodia, 9 have been fatal. Since 2005, the country has had 35 H5N1 cases, 28 of which were fatal. Although Cambodia is fifth globally in total H5N1 cases, this year it leads all countries in confirmed cases, with Egypt second at four cases.
Jul 12 Xinhua report


CDC reports 14 West Nile infections

In its first update on US West Nile virus activity this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported this week that it has confirmed 14 cases, including 5 neuroinvasive cases and 2 deaths.

Mississippi had the most West Nile cases, numbering 6, followed by Nevada and Texas with 2 each; states reporting 1 case were California, Colorado, South Dakota, and Tennessee. The deaths were in California and Mississippi.

The CDC reported 130 West Nile cases with illness onset before Jul 1 last year, en route to 5,674 cases for the year, the CDC said in a recap in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) last month. That was the country's highest total since 2003.
Jul 9 CDC update
Jun 28 MMWR report


Nigeria, Somalia report new polio cases

After a 2-week lull, polio returned to Nigeria recently, with nine cases reported in a week to bring the country's total this year to 35 cases, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's (GPEI's) weekly report.

Somalia saw four new polio cases in the most recent week for which data were available, the only other country to report new cases. Somalia now has 45 polio cases this year. All the new cases were in Banadir, a region that houses a refugee camp of almost 500,000 people.

Globally, polio cases are up slightly compared with the same time last year. As of Jul 10, GPEI has confirmed 108 cases, compared with 91 in the same period in 2012. So far this year Pakistan has reported 18 polio cases; Kenya, 7; and Afghanistan, 3.

At this time last year Nigeria had 54 cases; Pakistan, 22; Afghanistan, 11; and Chad, 4. Somalia and Kenya reported no cases at any time last year.

Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are the only countries worldwide considered to be endemic for polio.
Jul 10 GPEI weekly report

In related news, Israel has discovered evidence of poliovirus in two more sewage sites, Israel News reported yesterday. The virus was detected in sewage systems that serve the municipalities of Lev Hasharon, Qalansuwa, Jaljulia, Kfar Bara, and Horeshim in central Israel.

Earlier this year health officials detected the virus in separate locations in southern Israel. The nation has not had a polio case since 1988, though environmental sampling was positive in 1991 and 2002.
Jul 11 Israel News article


Sanofi starts producing experimental dengue vaccine

France-based drug maker Sanofi began producing its experimental dengue vaccine in hopes of having it ready to launch in 2015, Reuters reported today. Guillaume Leroy, director of the dengue vaccine project at Sanofi Pasteur, the company's vaccine unit, said the goal is to produce 100 million doses a year.

"Production time is rather long; it takes 2 years to produce this vaccine," said Anthony Quin, head of the company's manufacturing plant in Neuville-sur-Saone, France. Sanofi received authorization from regulators to be the first company to launch a vaccine against the mosquito-borne disease, the story said.

Results of the first clinical trial of Sanofi's dengue vaccine were published in September and showed 30% overall efficacy but a higher efficacy—61% to 90%—for three of the four vaccine strains.

Sanofi said two late-stage trials are under way involving 45,000 people in Asia and Latin America, with results due in late 2013 and 2014, according to Reuters.
Jul 12 Reuters story
Sep 11, 2012, CIDRAP News story on first clinical trial

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