News Scan for Jan 26, 2017

More H7N9 in China
H9N2 in baby
Texas Zika case
Saudi MERS case
E coli in pizza dough

H7N9 sickens 2 more in China

With H7N9 cases in China in January already outpacing December's sudden and steep rise, China reported at least two more cases today, according to the latest official reports.

Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) today acknowledged two cases reported from Hubei province yesterday, a 65 year-old man and a 78 year-old woman from two different cities, both in critical condition.

Also, the CHP reported a new case from Shandong province, involving a 59 year-old man. The second new case-patient is a 67 year-old man from Hunan province who is in critical condition after having contact with poultry, according to a report today from China's state news agency Xinhua, which cited Hunan province's health department.
Jan 26 CHP statement
Jan 26 Xinhua story


H9N2 infects Chinese baby

China recently reported an H9N2 avian influenza infection, involving a 7-month-old girl from Guangdong province who had a mild illness, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest monthly report on flu transmitted between animals and humans. The report covers cases reported between Dec 20 and Jan 16.

The baby's symptoms began on Dec 11, and she wasn't hospitalized and has since recovered. Investigators found she had been exposed to a live poultry market before she got sick.

The case is China's first since last summer when it reported two H9N2 cases to the WHO. Unlike H7N9, many the of the H9N2 cases have been in children. H9N2 is endemic in Chinese poultry.
Jan 16 WHO flu at the human-animal interface report


Texas reports local Zika infection in a pregnant woman

Health officials in Texas yesterday announced that a pregnant woman who had been in Brownsville when other local cases were detected has tested positive for Zika virus.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) said the woman from Bexar County had visited Brownsville in November around the time six residents contracted the virus from local mosquitoes. She had not traveled outside of Texas, wasn't sick, and her infection was detected during routine prenatal care.

The woman could have been exposed to the virus by a mosquito bite or through sexual contact with an infected partner, the TDSHS said.
Jan 25 TDSHS statement


Saudi Arabia reports new MERS case

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) reported one new case of MERS-CoV today in the city of Turbah.

The 59-year-old Saudi man is in critical condition after presenting with symptoms of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus). The man had direct contact with camels, a known risk factor for the disease.

The new case raises Saudi Arabia's MERS-CoV total to 1,546 infections, including 641 deaths. Nine people are still in treatment or monitoring.

Today the World Health Organization (WHO) released details on nine cases of MERS-CoV reported by Saudi Arabia between Jan 2 and 7. The report details a small healthcare-related outbreak of five cases, including two deaths, in the city of Buraydah. Two hospitals were involved.

There was one patient with exposure to camels, a 70-year-old Saudi man from Medina who reported drinking camel milk.

Since September 2012, 1,888 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 670 related deaths, have been reported to WHO.
Jan 26 MOH report
Jan 27 WHO


CDC details multistate 2016 E coli outbreak involving dessert pizza dough

Thirteen cases of Escherichia coli poisoning have been linked to contaminated dessert pizza dough, according to a new report published in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The cases were reported early last winter.

The cases appeared in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. All states reported one case each, except Minnesota which reported five cases. The median age of patients was 17 years (range, 7 to 71 years) and 53% were female. Eight patients were hospitalized, but no deaths were reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) interviewed 12 patients and all reported eating a dessert pizza from "restaurant A," identified by the media last year as Pizza Ranch. Dry dough mix samples from restaurant A showed contaminated flour as the possible source of pathogen introduction.

"Flour is usually not thought to be a food safety risk, but flour-based mixes are ubiquitous in restaurants and are often used for dusting of surfaces for transfer of pizzas," the authors write. "This outbreak serves as a reminder that consumers, industry, and government should consider that flour, a raw agricultural product, might be contaminated with pathogens and, when consumed raw or undercooked, might pose a risk to human health."
Jan 26 MMWR study

Newsletter Sign-up

Get CIDRAP news and other free newsletters.

Sign up now»


Unrestricted financial support provided by

Bentson Foundation Unorthodox Philanthropy logo and text 'Leading Underwriter'3M logoGilead 
Grant support for ASP provided by


  Become an underwriter»