News Scan for Jul 01, 2016

More E coli linked to flour
Variant H1N2 flu cases
H5N6 outbreak in Vietnam

E coli outbreak linked to General Mills flour grows to 42 cases in 21 states

An outbreak of Escherichia coli O121 linked to General Mills flour has grown by 4 cases, to 42, and the company has expanded its recall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.

Cases have now been reported in 21 states, with Indiana just added to the list. Eleven patients have required hospitalization, one more than in the CDC's initial report on the outbreak on Jun 1.

Illness-onset dates range from Dec 21, 2015, to Jun 8, with patients trending young. They vary in age from 1 to 95 years, but with a median age of 18. About 81% are female. No patient has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been reported.

Officials have isolated the outbreak strain of E coli from samples of General Mills flour collected from patients' homes in Arizona, Colorado, and Oklahoma.

Today General Mills expanded its recall to include additional lots of Gold Medal Flour, Signature Kitchens Flour, and Gold Medal Wondra Flour, the CDC said. The agency has a list of the recalled flours on its Advice to Consumers page. The company announced its first recall related to the outbreak on May 31.
Jun 1 CDC update


Wisconsin, Minnesota report variant H1N2 flu cases

Officials in Wisconsin and Minnesota have each reported a case of variant H1N2 (H1N2v) influenza in a person who had recent swine contact, bringing to three the number of such cases this year, the CDC said today in its weekly FluView update.

The patient in Wisconsin was hospitalized for the illness and "continues to recover," the CDC said. He or she had direct contact with swine in the weeks before illness onset, and authorities did not detect any transmission to other people. The agency did not say when the person contracted the disease or give other details about the patient or clinical course.

The H1N2v patient in Minnesota was infected in April. He or she also had close contact with swine, as recently as the week before illness onset. The Minnesota case, however, did not involve hospitalization, and the patient has fully recovered.

The previous H1N2v patient was also from Minnesota but was hospitalized before recovering, the CDC said on May 13. A few other H1N2v cases were reported in earlier years, including one in Minnesota in 2011 and one in Michigan in 2007. In January New Jersey reported an H3N2v case, the only other case of variant flu in the country this year.

In 2012, more than 300 people tested positive for H1N1v, H1N2v, or H3N2v strains—primarily the latter—in cases that were mostly linked to county and state fairs in the Midwest.
Jul 1 CDC FluView report
May 13 CIDRAP News story on earlier H1N2v case


H5N6 avian flu hits backyard birds in central Vietnam

Vietnam has seen another outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N6 avian flu, this one resulting in the loss of nearly 4,000 backyard birds, according to a report posted today by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

The outbreak, which occurred in Quang Ngai city on the central coast of the country, sickened and killed 700 birds of unspecified species. The remaining 3,000 birds in the flock were destroyed.

Among containment measures undertaken were disinfection of the premises and vaccination, according to the report. The source of the outbreak is unknown, and its status is listed as "continuing."

There were several H5N6 outbreaks in Vietnam in January and February of this year, and the OIE lists the date of the most recent previous report as Mar 11.
Jul 1 OIE report

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