News Scan for Jun 06, 2018

Cutting healthcare-acquired infections
Aedes aegypti in Alabama
Avian flu in 3 nations

Report shows billions saved by increased patient safety measures

The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released new data showing that national efforts to reduce hospital-acquired conditions, including adverse drug events and infections, helped prevent an estimated 8,000 deaths and save $2.9 billion from 2014 through 2016.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services initiated these efforts and set a goal of reducing hospital-acquired conditions by 20% by 2019. Harm reduction efforts made in more than 4,000 of the country's 5,000 hospitals have included reducing the risk of infections, including catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central-line–associated bloodstream infections, and surgical-site infections.

In total, infections decreased by 15% in 2 years. Infections from Clostridium difficile dropped by 11%, central line-associated bloodstream infections dropped by 31%, and ventilator-associated pneumonias dropped by 32%.

The information is published in the report, AHRQ National Scorecard on Hospital-Acquired Conditions.
Jun 5 AHRQ press release
Jun 5 AHRQ


Aedes aegypti mosquitoes found in Alabama after 26-year absence

For the first time in 26 years, Alabama is playing host to Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the insects that transmit Zika, dengue, and other viruses, according to a study in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Scientists from Auburn University's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences found the mosquitoes in Mobile. The research was part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) mosquito surveillance program.

"Our CDC-funded research has not only allowed for the detection and molecular confirmation of the mosquito in the state, but over the last year we have documented the spread of the mosquito from central Mobile to all of Mobile County," said Sarah Zohdy, PhD, in an Auburn news release. Zohdy coauthored the study and is a professor of disease ecology at Auburn.

From July of 2016 to May of 2017, Zohdy collected mosquitoes twice monthly at gas stations, abandoned buildings, and open containers. The Ae aegypti were found in the southwest corner of Mobile.

Ae aegypti were last found in the state in 1991, and were thought to have been knocked out of local mosquito populations by Aedes albopictus, another species that breeds in open containers.
Apr 5 J Med Entomol study

Jun 4 Auburn University press release


Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Taiwan report more avian flu outbreaks

In ongoing sporadic avian flu outbreaks in birds, three countries recently reported more highly pathogenic outbreaks involving different strains, according to recent updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Saudi Arabia's agriculture ministry reported three more H5N8 outbreaks on commercial poultry farms in Riyadh province, all of which occurred in April. Between the three events, the virus killed 2,100 birds and sickened 90,900 others, after which authorities culled 580,140 surviving poultry as part of the outbreak response.

Elsewhere, Sweden detected H5N6 in another wild bird, a white-tailed eagle found dead on Apr 6 at a nature park in Sodermanlands County on the country's southeast coast.

In other developments, Taiwan reported two more H5N2 outbreaks at commercial poultry farms, one housing meat ducks in Changhua County and the other raising native chickens in Yunlin County. The outbreaks began in late May, killing 321 of 15,921 susceptible birds. Animal health officials culled the remaining poultry to curb the spread of the virus.
Jun 5 OIE report on H5N8 in Saudi Arabia
Jun 5 OIE report on H5N6 in Sweden
Jun 5 OIE report on H5N2 in Taiwan

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