News Scan for Dec 26, 2018

More AFM cases
MERS case in Saudi Arabia
Turkey-linked Salmonella developments

CDC: 17 more AFM cases raise 2018 total to 182

In an update released Dec 24, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced 17 more cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) across the United States, raising this year’s total to 182.

Thirty-nine states have reported cases this year, and 336 cases are currently under investigation. Texas has the most cases with 25, followed by Colorado (15), and Ohio (12).

This year has seen the most AFM cases of any outbreak year since 2014, when the CDC began tracking the condition. Since then AFM has increased every 2 years in the United States, in the fall.

Last week, Public Health England said the United Kingdom was also experiencing an uptick of AFM cases.

AFM is a mysterious polio-like disease that usually affects young children. Ninety percent of patients report mild respiratory symptoms in the week preceding AFM symptom onset, which typically involves limb weakness and paralysis.
Dec 24 CDC update


New case of MERS recorded in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) today recorded a new MERS-CoV case for epidemiologic week 52.

The patient is an 80-year-old woman who is hospitalized with her infection. She is from Sajir and is listed as having had both camel contact and household contact with a MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) patient.

This is the fifth MERS case the MOH has recorded in December. It raises the global total since the virus was first detected in humans in 2012 to 2,280, at least 806 of them fatal.
Dec 26 MOH report


Jennie-O expands ground turkey recall; US, Canada report more Salmonella

In the latest developments in the Salmonella Reading outbreak linked to raw turkey products, Jennie-O on Dec 21 expanded its recall of ground turkey products, US health officials announced 52 more illnesses, and Canada has reported 22 related cases.

In mid November, Jennie-O had recalled 91,338 pounds of raw ground turkey from its facility in Barron, Wis., that may be associated with the outbreak. Health officials have said the outbreak involves a strain that is present in live turkeys and many types of raw turkey products and may be widespread in the turkey industry.

In a Dec 21 update, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said a Jennie-O producer in Faribault, Minn., has recalled about 164,210 pounds of raw ground turkey products that may be tainted with Salmonella Reading. The packages were produced on Oct 22 and 23 and include plain, taco, and Italian seasoned versions. The recall is the result of a traceback investigation following a positive test in an unopened ground turkey package from a Michigan patient's home.

Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said 52 more illnesses have been reported in the multistate outbreak linked to raw turkey products, which was first announced in July. The new cases are from 26 states and the District of Columbia. The developments push the outbreak total to 216 people from 38 states.

So far, 84 people have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported, in a person from California. The latest illness onset is Dec 6. In a related development, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on Dec 21 announced 22 cases in four provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and New Brunswick. Five patients were hospitalized, and one died.

The CDC said investigations suggest that many different brands of raw turkey products are involved and that three people got sick after feeding their pets raw ground turkey pet food.

Genetic sequencing has found that outbreak isolates are resistant to all or some of the following antibiotics: ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, kanamycin, gentamicin, nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, and fosfomycin. However, most are susceptible to antibiotics commonly used for treatment.
Dec 21 USDA FSIS update
Dec 21 CDC update
Dec 21 PHAC announcement

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