News Scan for Aug 29, 2018

BSE in Florida cow
Salmonella in kosher chicken
Congo yellow fever threat
Zika and congenital delays

USDA notes BSE case in Florida cow; no threat to humans

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a case of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or "mad cow" disease) in a 6-year-old beef cow in Florida.

The animal had not entered slaughter channels and does not pose any threat to the food supply or human health, the USDA said. According to a press release, the animal was tested during routine surveillance of cattle that are deemed unsuitable for slaughter.

BSE is not contagious and comes in two forms, classical and atypical. Classical BSE is associated with the outbreak in the United Kingdom in the 1980s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

"Atypical BSE is different, and it generally occurs in older cattle, usually 8 years of age or greater. It seems to arise rarely and spontaneously in all cattle populations," the USDA said.

This is the sixth detection of BSE in the United States. The first, found in 2003, was a case of classical BSE in a cow imported from Canada. The remaining five have been atypical BSE cases.
Aug 29 USDA press release


CDC: Salmonella in kosher chicken sickens 17, kills 1

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today issued an outbreak notice for Salmonella illness tied to kosher chicken products in which 17 people in 4 states have been sickened.

Eight people have been hospitalized, including one in New York state who died. New York has reported 11 cases, Pennsylvania 4, and Maryland and Virginia 1 each. The outbreak strain is Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i.

On Aug 24 the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc, first announced the outbreak but didn't specify how people were affected. Empire Kosher has not yet recalled any chicken products, which include whole birds and chicken parts.

"In interviews, ill people reported eating kosher chicken, and when asked about the specific brand eaten, several people reported Empire Kosher brand," the CDC said. "The outbreak strain was also identified in samples of raw chicken collected from two facilities, including one facility that processes Empire Kosher brand chicken."

Illnesses started on dates ranging from Sep 25, 2017, to Jun 4, 2018. Nine of the 11 people infected are female.
Aug 29 CDC notice

Aug 27 CIDRAP News Scan


Congo government warns of growing yellow fever outbreak

Officials from the Congo Republic warned on Monday of at least 70 suspected yellow fever cases, according to a post on ProMED Mail, on online infectious disease tracking message board.

The 70 cases are in five health districts, including a border district with Angola, according to the minister of health and population, Jacqueline Lydia Mikolo. Reuters reported that officials are suggesting there are as many as 186 suspected yellow fever cases, and they warned of "an emerging event of epidemic proportions."

Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported one confirmed case of the mosquito-borne diseases in a Congolese man who traveled to and from Angola in July. The man, who was treated at a health center in Pointe Noire, had not been vaccinated against yellow fever.

In 2016, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, saw a major yellow fever outbreak, which killed more than 400 people, and put a run on the global supply of yellow fever vaccine.
Aug 27 ProMED post

Aug 27 WHO weekly report
Aug 28 Reuters story


Study finds link between congenital defects, maternal Zika infection

A small case-control study conducted during the Zika outbreak in French Polynesia shows an association between congenital defects with both maternal Zika virus seropositivity and symptomatic Zika virus infection during pregnancy. The study was published yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The study tracked 21 cases and 102 controls in 2013 and 2014. Of the 21 case-patients, 7 had microcephaly, 5 had brainstem dysfunction characterized by an inability to suck and swallow, and 9 had other central nervous system defects.

"Maternal Zika virus seroprevalence was 95% among case-patients and 76% among controls (P = 0.07)," the authors said.

Thirty-eight percent of mothers of case-patients and 17% of controls had symptomatic Zika virus infection during pregnancy, and mothers of 57% of case-patients and 60% of controls had asymptomatic infection (timing unknown, P = 0.07.)

Among women who reported Zika symptoms in pregnancies for case-patients, 88% (7/8) reported it in the first trimester and 12% (1/8) in the second trimester. For controls, 71% (12/17) of mothers reported symptoms in the first trimester and 29% (5/17) in the second or third trimesters.

The authors conclude, "We found evidence for an association of congenital defects with both maternal Zika virus seropositivity (time of infection unknown) and symptomatic Zika virus infection during pregnancy. Although the early childhood development assessment found no excess burden of developmental delay associated with maternal Zika virus infection, larger, longer-term studies are needed."
Aug 28 Emerg Infect Dis study

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