News Scan for Apr 27, 2017

More H5N8, H5N1
Vaccination info systems
MERS overview

H5N8 strikes more Russian poultry, Vietnam reports more H5N1

In avian flu developments today, Russia reported two more highly pathogenic H5N8 outbreaks and Vietnam reported another H5N1 detection in backyard poultry, according to notifications from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Russia's outbreaks occurred at a large poultry farm in Rostov oblast in the far west and a backyard holding in Moscow oblast, about 670 miles to the north. The outbreaks began Apr 16 and Apr 22, respectively. Taken together, the virus killed 13 of 99,363 susceptible birds. None of the farm birds died, but the virus wiped out the entire small backyard flock.

In Vietnam, officials reported another H5N1 outbreak, this time in backyard birds in Dak Lak province in the south central part of the country. Of 450 susceptible birds, the virus killed 100 poultry and sickened 200.
Apr 27 OIE report on H5N8 in Russia
Apr 27 OIE report on H5N1 in Vietnam


Most European nations have electronic immunization info systems

A survey by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) found that 21 of 30 countries have developed or are developing electronic immunization information systems, according to a report published today in Eurosurveillance.

Fourteen of the countries already have their systems in place, and new systems are being piloted in seven.

Five countries have systems that have automated reminders, which can help target undervaccinated groups, determine when vaccination is due, and send reminders to providers and patients: Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. The ECDC conducted the survey in 2016, which also asked about issues such as financial support for systems, software, and integration electronic medical records.

Thirteen countries allow public health organizations to use data for research, such as vaccine effectiveness or safety studies.

In a press release, ECDC Director Andrea Ammon, MD, MPH, said the report provides the first clear picture of immunization information systems across European countries. "As healthcare systems strive to improve quality, safety and sustainability, digital solutions are proving to have the potential to strengthen disease prevention through immunization."
Apr 27 Eurosurveill report
Apr 27 ECDC press release


WHO details Saudi and Qatari cases of MERS

Today the World Health Organization (WHO) released new details about 13 cases of MERS-CoV reported by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health between Mar 18 and Apr 20, and one case reported by Qatar on Apr 18. Two of the Saudi cases were deadly.

Six of the 13 Saudi MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases were linked to camel exposure (including drinking raw camel milk), as was the Qatari case. The Qatari man remains in stable condition in a negative pressure ward.

According to the WHO, Qatar has reported 20 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS sine 2012.

Globally, since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 1,952 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including at least 693 related deaths.
Apr 27 WHO update

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