News Scan for Dec 02, 2015

MERS incubation & death rate
Pork Salmonella outbreak over
Polio in India

Researchers link longer MERS incubation to lower risk of death

Having a longer incubation period—the time from virus exposure to disease—was tied to a lower risk of death in MERS-CoV patients in South Korea, according to a study yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

French and Hong Kong researchers analyzed data on 170 cases of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) infection, of which exposure data were available for 109.

They found that the incubation period was 6.4 days for patients who died compared with 7.1 days for those who survived. They calculated that the risk of death dropped 17% for every additional day of incubation period.

The investigators wrote that they found a similar correspondence with SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in an earlier study. SARS is also caused by a coronavirus.
Dec 1 Emerg Infect Dis study


Pork-related Salmonella outbreak grows to 192 cases, declared over

A multistate pork-related Salmonella outbreak grew by 40 cases since late August, to 192, but is now considered over, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in an update.

The vast majority of cases—184—were in Washington state, with 3 cases in Oregon, 2 in California and Idaho, and 1 in Alaska. Two strains were involved, Salmonella Infantis and Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-. Thirty people were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported.

Illness-onset dates ranged from Apr 25 to Sep 25. Patients ranged in age from less than a year to 90, with a median age of 35 years.

The cases were epidemiologically tied to pork products made by Kapowsin Meats of Graham, Wash. On Aug 27 the company issued an expanded recall of 523,380 pounds of pork products that might be contaminated with Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-.

All isolates collected from 10 outbreak patients were found to be resistant to ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline, the CDC said.
Dec 2 CDC update


India reports case of vaccine-derived polio in toddler

India has reported its second case of circulating vaccine-derived polio virus (cVDPV) infection this year, in a 2-year-old, while an expert World Health Organization (WHO) committee said such cases reflect gaps in immunization coverage.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain emphasized that the case involving the 2-year-old Delhi child is rare, The Indian Express reported today. "This is just one very rare case. Immunisation rounds have been carried out in the area, so there is no risk of the virus spreading further," he said.

Officials have tested 36 stool samples from the family and other close contacts, as well as samples from seven sewage sites, the story said. Yesterday the Express reported that the child was diagnosed as having type 2 cVDPV about 3 weeks ago.

A Nov 26 report from the WHO's South-East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) reported 2 cVDPV cases so far in India. The country had 3 such cases last year and 5 in 2013.
Dec 2 Indian Express story
Dec 1 Indian Express story
Nov 26 WHO SEARO report

Also on Nov 26, the WHO posted a statement following the seventh International Health Regulations expert committee meeting on polio on Nov 10. The expert panel warned of cVDPV.

"During the current polio endgame cVDPVs reflect serious gaps in immunity to poliovirus due to weaknesses in routine immunization coverage in otherwise polio-free countries," the statement said. "Moreover, there is a particular urgency to stopping type 2 cVDPV in advance of the globally synchronized withdrawal of type 2 [oral polio vaccine] in April 2016."

The committee unanimously recommended extending the public health emergency of international concern for the spread of polio, first issued in May 2014, along with temporary recommendations. Group members will reconsider the issue again in 3 months.
Nov 26 WHO expert panel statement

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