News Scan for May 10, 2019

Oyster-linked GI illness outbreak
;
US flu tapers off
;
Pakistan polio cases

Tainted oysters from Mexico linked to multistate outbreak

A gastrointestinal illness outbreak involving several different pathogens linked to oysters imported from Mexico has sickened 16 people in 5 states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today.

Two people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. The illnesses began Dec 16, 2018, and Apr 4 was the most recent onset.

Lab testing of samples from patients has revealed multiple pathogens, with some patients infected with more than one. They include Shigella flexneri, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli non-O157, Campylobacter lari, Vibrio albensis, norovirus genogroup 1, and Vibrio of unknown species. Four people were sick without a pathogen identified.

The epidemiologic and traceback investigations found that raw oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon in Baja California Sur in Mexico are the source of the outbreak. Patients sickened in the outbreak ate raw oysters at restaurants in California and Nevada. The CDC said investigations are still underway and it will provide further updates when more information is available.
May 10 CDC outbreak notice

 

US flu activity drops, but official note 5 new deaths in kids

Influenza-like illness (ILI) represented just 1.6% of outpatient clinic visits last week, a sure sign seasonal flu activity is dwindling in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its weekly FluView update.

But, as in last week’s report, the CDC recorded 5 new pediatric flu deaths, raising this year's total to 106. The fatal flu infections occurred in March, April, and May. All but one were associated with influenza A strains.

Only Massachusetts and New York reported widespread flu activity, and no states experienced high ILI activity, the CDC said.

The flu-associated hospitalization rate rose slightly, to 65.7 per 100,000 population. The highest rate was among patients over the age of 65 (221.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 people).

As has been the case in the last 3 weeks, most current flu activity is caused by influenza A (H3) viruses. Of all lab-tested samples collected last week, 66% were influenza A, and 34% were influenza B.
May 10 CDC FluView

 

Pakistan reports three more polio cases

Over the past week, Pakistan has reported three more wild poliovirus type 1 cases, according to the latest weekly update from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

Two of the cases are from Lahore district in Punjab province and one is from Bannu district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Patient paralysis onsets were Apr 2, 17, and 19, respectively. The country has now reported 11 WPV 1 cases for 2019.

Elsewhere, Niger has reported that circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been detected in a healthy community contact in Magaria in Zinder state. The sample was collected on Mar 16. The country is experiencing an outbreak linked to an event originating in Nigeria's Jigawa state.
May 10 GPEI update

In other polio developments, the GPEI said yesterday that it and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, have successfully achieved a goal they set in 2013 of having 126 countries that use oral polio vaccine (OPV) incorporate at least one dose of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in their immunization campaigns. They noted that the last two countries—Mongolia and Zimbabwe—added the vaccine to their programs in April. Introducing one dose of IPV is part of the phased removal of OPV.
May 9 GPEI statement

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