News Scan for Sep 06, 2018

More Ebola in DRC
Salmonella pasta salad outbreak
Drug resistance and death certificates

DRC confirms 3 more Ebola cases as details emerge about urban infection

According to an outbreak update from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), officials recorded three more confirmed cases of Ebola yesterday, including one in a patient who died in Butembo, a major city in North Kivu province.

The other confirmed cases include one each in Mabalako and Mandima. The new cases raise outbreak totals to 127, of which 96 confirmed and 31 probable. There have been 87 deaths. Four cases are still under investigation.

The DRC offered new details about the patient in Butombo, who was a contact from a confirmed case in Beni. An official from the World Health Organization first reported the case early yesterday. This is the first case in Butembo, North Kivu province's second largest city, which has an airport and is not far from the border with Uganda.

The patient "refused to cooperate with the health authorities and fled to Butembo after falling ill. He died at Butembo University Hospital. The hospital's health staff, having already been trained on how to deal with suspected cases, complied with individual protection measures. The burial has been secured," the DRC said.

A surveillance team was already in place in Butembo after officials had tracked several contacts of cases in Beni who had moved into the city. Yesterday, DRC’s Ebola Response Coordinator, Ndjoloko Tambwe Bathe, MD, traveled to Butembo to set up a response team, a mobile laboratory, and a new Ebola treatment center—the fifth constructed during this outbreak. Vaccination of identified first contacts was also able to begin, the DRC said.

A total of 6,343 people have now been vaccinated during this outbreak, up by more than 200 from the day before. Yesterday's total includes 3,210 in Mabalako, 1,856 in Beni, 1,067 in Mandima, 121 in Oicha, 70 in Katwa (Butembo), and 19 in Kinshasa.
Sep 5 DRC update


Final CDC report notes 101 Salmonella cases linked to Hy-Vee pasta salad

Late yesterday the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its final update on a multistate Salmonella outbreak connected to pasta salad sold at Hy-Vee grocery stores and said the outbreak appears to be over.

A total of 101 people in 10 states were infected with Salmonella Sandiego (92 people), Salmonella enterica subspecies IIIb (7 people), or both (2 people). Twenty-five people were hospitalized, but no deaths were recorded.

Illness onsets ranged from Jun 21 to Aug 7, and the median case-patient age was 50. Most cases (61%) involved women. Iowa, where Hy-Vee is headquartered, had the most cases (37), followed by Minnesota (23), South Dakota (19), and Nebraska (11). Kansas and Missouri each had 3 cases, Illinois had 2, and North Dakota, Oregon, and Tennessee each reported 1 case.

On Jul 17, Hy-Vee removed all Spring Pasta Salad packages from its stores. According to the CDC, any recalled Spring Pasta Salad would now be expired.
Sep 5 CDC update


England's top medical officer wants deaths from drug resistance recorded

England's chief medical officer is calling for antibiotic-resistant infections to be recorded on death certificates, according to reports in the British press.

The Guardian reports that Dame Sally Davies told British members of parliament on the Health and Social Care Select Committee on Tuesday that recording deaths from drug-resistant infections would raise public awareness of antibiotic resistance.

"I would really love death certificates to collect when people die of infections and if resistance has been involved, because that would really wake people up to the deaths as they happen," Davies said.

Davies said England's National Health Service (NHS) rarely tells families when a loved one has died of a resistant infection, because doing so would make it look like the service is failing patients.

Davies, a leading voice on the dangers of antibiotic resistance, also warned that unless more effective measures were introduced to contain the spread of drug-resistant infections, advanced medical procedures and organ transplants will be threatened. "There will be a lot of suffering, and modern medicine will be lost," she said.
Sep 4 Guardian story

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