News Scan for Aug 24, 2018

More H1N2v flu cases
Cyclospora outbreak grows
Polio in Nigeria, Somalia
Avian flu, distemper in seals

CDC again reports 4 more H1N2v flu infections

For the third week in a row the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed four cases of variant H1N2 (H1N2v) flu, this time in California and Ohio.

The new H1N2v cases bring the total this year to 12, with the most in California (6), followed by Michigan and Ohio (3 each). The new cases double the number of H1N2v cases confirmed since 2011, to 24. The only other variant flu case reported so far this year was caused by the much more common H3N2v strain, in a patient in Indiana.

Of the four new cases, three involved exposure to swine at agriculture fairs in the week before illness onset, while the other person had not recently attended a fair nor had contact with swine, the CDC said. All patients were children, did not require hospitalization, and are recovering or have fully recovered from their illness.

"Early identification and investigation of human infections with novel influenza A viruses are critical so that the risk of infection can be more fully understood and appropriate public health measures can be taken," the CDC said.
Aug 24 CDC FluView report


Cyclosporiasis cases linked to McDonald's salads top 500

The CDC yesterday reported 31 more cases in a Cyclospora outbreak linked to McDonald's salads, pushing the illness total to 507.

Three more cyclosporiasis patients required hospitalization, putting that number at 24. No deaths have been reported. The number of affected states remained at 15.

Illness-onset dates range from May 20 to Jul 21. Ill people range in age from 14 to 91 years old, with a median age of 52. Two-thirds are female. The CDC notes that it can take 6 weeks between illness onset and when illnesses are reported in people infected with Cyclospora cayetanensis, the parasite that causes the disease.

In late July, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified Cyclospora in a romaine lettuce and carrot salad mix distributed to McDonald's by a Fresh Express processor in Streamwood, Ill. There is no evidence that the Cyclospora outbreak related to McDonald's salads is related to an earlier Cyclospora event connected to Del Monte fresh vegetable trays.

The FDA said yesterday in its own update that the investigation is ongoing and it is reviewing distribution and supplier information for romaine lettuce and carrots.
Aug 23 CDC update
Aug 23 FDA update


Nigeria, Somalia report vaccine-derived polio cases

Nigeria and Somalia have each reported a case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2), while Afghanistan has confirmed wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in environmental samples and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) noted cVDPV2 in two healthy people, according to a weekly update today from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

The cVDPV2 case in Nigeria occurred in Borno state, with onset of acute flaccid paralysis on Jul 13. Nigeria has now logged five such cases this year. In addition, officials reported two new cVDPV2-positive environmental samples, one in Yobe state and one in Sokoto state.

The new cVDPV2 case in Somalia is in Banadir province, and the patient's paralysis began on Jul 10. Somalia has reported 5 polio cases in 2018: 2 cVDPV2, 2 cVDPV3 and 1 cVDPV2&3.

The WPV1-positive environmental samples in Afghanistan were from Jalalabad and Kandahar provinces. The cVDPV2-positive people in the DRC were contacts of two people with AFP who tested negative for polio.

Global WPV1 cases this year remain at 14, compared with 9 at this point last year. cVDPV cases have climbed to 25 but lag behind the 41 reported at this time last year.
Aug 24 GPEI update


Avian flu, distemper viruses found in samples from Northeast seal die-off

Samples from seals stranded on the coast of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts in recent weeks have tested preliminarily positive for both avian flu virus and phocine distemper viruses, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported yesterday.

The outbreak had puzzled scientists after 467 seals became stranded and 351 died. Results are based on the first set of samples analyzed by lab researchers at Tufts University and the University of California, Davis. NOAA scientists have many more samples to analyze, "so it is still too soon to determine if either or both of these viruses are the primary cause of the mortality event," the agency said in a news release.

"Past seal mortality events in northeastern U.S. coast have been linked to avian flu and phocine distemper virus," the NOAA added. "However, avian flu and phocine distemper virus have also been detected at low levels in seals along the northeastern US coast in non-outbreak years."
Aug 23 NOAA news release

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