News Scan for Apr 06, 2016

Guinea Ebola death
Imported yellow fever in China, Kenya
New Saudi MERS case
; ; ;

Guinea Ebola cluster death toll rises to 8

A woman infected in Guinea's recent Ebola cluster died from her illness at a treatment center in Nzerekore, lifting the death total to eight, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported yesterday.

Ibrahima Sylla, spokesman for Guinea's Ebola response team, told AFP that the woman died on Apr 3 and that one more confirmed case-patient is still being treated at the center. The case total in the cluster remains at nine.

Earlier this week the World Health Organization (WHO) said it and its partners were investigation a possible cross-border connection in a two-person Ebola cluster that emerged more recently in Liberia than the one in Guinea.
Apr 5 AFP story

In other Ebola developments, scientists at the National Institutes of Health Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Mont., in an effort to help guide policies for decontaminating and removing specimens from high-containment labs, recently tested the effectiveness of different chemical inactivation methods. They reported their findings today in an early edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The researchers used the Ebola Zaire strain as model for a range of similar pathogens, using in vitro and in vivo approaches for their comparisons. They said their results spelled out the inactivation procedures that can be used for specific specimen types and research purposes, which could help streamline inactivation procedures without safety testing each individual sample.

They noted that safety testing for inactivation in Ebola can rely on cell culture, because sensitivity seemed to match in vivo testing.
Apr 6 Emerg Infect Dis report


WHO details imported yellow fever cases in China and Kenya

In developments reflecting the continuing global impact of Angola's yellow fever outbreak, the WHO today reported eight more imported cases in China and the first two imported cases in Kenya.

At the end of March China reported its first imported case from Angola, and today's WHO report notes eight more from three provinces: Fujian, Jiangsu, and Sichuan. Ages range from 36 to 53, and five of the patients are men. Of five people with known immunization status, none had been vaccinated against yellow fever before traveling to Angola. One was vaccinated while in Angola but was probably infected before developing protection, the agency said.

In a separate report, the WHO said Kenya notified it of two imported cases between Mar 15 and Mar 18. Both involve men in their 30s who had been working in Luanda, Angola. Both traveled back to Kenya while they were sick, and neither had been vaccinated against yellow fever before arriving in Angola.

One of the patients died from multi-organ failure, and the other has recovered and has been discharged from the hospital, the WHO said.
Apr 6 WHO report on yellow fever in China
Apr 6 WHO report on yellow fever in Kenya


Saudi officials report new MERS case, note common misconceptions

The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health (MOH) today confirmed a new MERS-CoV case in Najran, and yesterday it noted that Saudis have high rates of misconceptions about the disease, according to an MOH survey.

The new case involves a 53-year-old Saudi man in Najran. He is hospitalized in critical condition, and his possible exposure to MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) is under investigation, the MOH said today. He is not a healthcare worker.

His case brings the Saudi total since the outbreak began in 2012 to 1,368, including 584 deaths.

The MOH survey included 1,373 respondents who were interviewed in February and March. About 82% of them were from urban areas, 69% were women, and 45% were 20 to 29 years old. They expressed the following rates of belief in these untruths about MERS: infected camels are culled by authorities (82.7%), risk is higher in kids (79.8%), infected camel meat is not a MERS-CoV source (64.8%), and there is no such thing as asymptomatic cases (53.5%).

Participants listed the Internet as their top source of MERS-CoV information, followed by TV/radio and newspapers.
Apr 6 MOH update
Apr 5 MOH
survey results

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