News Scan for Oct 04, 2016

Salmonella in eggs
AFM in the US
Tick-borne thrombocytopenia

Three-state Salmonella outbreak linked to eggs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today that so far 8 people in Missouri (6), Illinois (1), and Kansas (1) have reported salmonellosis linked to eggs distributed by Good Earth Egg Company of Bonne Terre, Mo. Yesterday the company recalled all of its shell eggs with sell by dates of Oct 8.

The eggs were distributed throughout the Midwest to supermarkets, wholesalers, restaurants, institutions, and direct-sales to customers. Illnesses began from Apr 23 to Aug 24, and epidemiologic investigations have traced back three cases of the foodborne illness to a Missouri restaurant that used Good Earth eggs. Patients range in age from 1 year to 85, with a median age of 44, and there have been two hospitalizations. Five of the patients are women.

According to the CDC, the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg is genetically linked to a Salmonella Oranienburg strain from a 2015 outbreak that also originated with the Good Earth Egg Company. In that outbreak, 52 people in six states suffered from salmonellosis, and the company recalled all of its shell eggs on Jan 9, 2016.
Oct 4 CDC outbreak report
Oct 3 FDA recall notice


CDC notes 50 acute flaccid myelitis cases so far this year

The CDC yesterday announced an uptick in the number of cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare polio-like illness that can cause paralysis. The CDC said that from Jan 1 to Aug 31, 50 people in 24 states have been diagnosed as having AFM. This is more than double the cases (21 in 16 states) reported in all of 2015.

From August through December of 2014, there were 120 cases of AFM diagnosed in 34 states, many linked to outbreaks of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in children. AFM can be caused by many different viruses, and the CDC warns that the cause behind the recent spike is not yet clear.

"It is currently difficult to interpret trends of the AFM data since reporting only started in 2014 and is voluntary in most states," the CDC said. "Also, since AFM reporting is relatively new, there may initially be more variability in the data from year to year making it difficult to interpret or compare case counts between years. One possible reason for the differences in annual reporting is more awareness among and reporting by healthcare providers and health departments."
Oct 3 CDC AMF update


Tick-borne disease causes high fever, severe illness in Southeast Asia

A tick-borne bunyavirus is causing severe fever and illness in patients in Southeast Asia, according to new reports published yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is a hemorrhagic fever that's been documented in China and South Korea. The symptoms are fever, gastrointestinal signs and symptoms, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia, with a history of exposure to ticks, shrubs, and weeds

In the first study, involving 25 Chinese patients who had been diagnosed and hospitalized with SFTS, researchers were able to detect neutralizing antibodies in up to 4 years after the initial illness. Through blood draws, the researchers were able to monitor antibody levels in the patients, and though antibodies waned over time, all patients produced long-lasting neutralizing antibodies to the SFTS virus. This suggests re-infection with the disease is unlikely.

In another study, doctors in South Korea looked at serum samples from patients with fever and insect bite history in scrub typhus–endemic area in 2013. They found that 23% of patients suspected of having scrub typhus also had SFTS, meaning co-infection is possible and likely.

The doctors collected blood samples from 74 patients at Samsung Changwon Hospital who presented with fever and a history of bug bites from September to December of 2013—during scrub typhus season.

"The results of this study suggest that in South Korea, prevalence of SFTS is quite high among patients suspected of having scrub typhus. Signs and symptoms of SFTS can be atypical," the authors wrote. "Therefore, healthcare workers in contact with patients suspected of having scrub typhus should take standard precautions."
Oct 3 Emerg Infect Dis Chinese study
Oct 3 Emerg Infect Dis
Korean study

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