News Scan for Sep 10, 2021

Variant flu cases in Iowa
;
Plague in Madagascar
;
Polio in Nigeria
;
Avian flu in Europe, Pakistan

CDC confirms 2 new variant flu cases in Iowa

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today confirmed two new variant flu cases in Iowa, according to its weekly Fluview update.

One case involves the influenza A H3N2 variant (H3N2v) and the other the influenza A H1N2 variant (H1N2v). Both infections are in children. Neither was hospitalized, and both have fully recovered, the CDC said.

Household members of one of the patients kept or cared for swine, while the other child had  direct contact with swine. No human-to-human transmission has been associated with either case.

The CDC said, "When an influenza virus that normally circulates in swine (but not people) is detected in a person, it is called a 'variant influenza virus.' "

So far this year the CDC has recorded 9 variant flu cases, 2 of which were H3N2v, 2 H1N2v, and 5 H1N1v. Five cases have involved children, and four involved adults, all with direct or indirect contact with swine. No instances of human-to-human spread have occurred.
Sep 10 FluView report

 

Plague outbreak reported in Madagascar

Thirty cases of pneumonic plague have been reported in Madagascar, according to the latest communicable disease threats report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The cases, 12 of which have been confirmed, were reported on Aug 29 by health authorities in the Arivonimamo district in the Itasy region of Madagascar. Seven cases have been fatal, all of them in the municipality of Miandrandra.

According to media reports, the first case was in a patient who died in the week starting Aug 23, and a second person in the same family died a week later. Active case finding and preventive drugs for high-risk contacts are ongoing.

Plague, which is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and is mainly transmitted to humans through bites of infected fleas, is endemic in Madagascar. The country's last major plague outbreak, in 2017, resulted in 2,417 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases and 209 deaths. Seventy-seven percent of those cases were classified as pneumonic plague.
Sep 10 ECDC communicable disease threats report

 

Nigeria reports more vaccine-derived polio cases

Nigeria was the only country to report more polio cases this week, according to the latest weekly update from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GEPI).

The 18 cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2), reported in seven states, bring Nigeria's total for 2021 to 141 cases. Nine of the cases were reported in Borno, 3 in Kano, 2 in Jigawa, and 1 each in Gombe, Katsina, Tarabe, and Yobe.

Earlier in the week, at a meeting in Rome, G20 health ministers reaffirmed their commitment to eradicating polio.
Sep 10 GEPI weekly update
Sep 5-6 G2o health ministers declaration

 

H5N8 avian flu outbreaks reported in Europe, Pakistan

France has reported highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu in poultry in the northeast of the country, following similar outbreaks in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Ducks, hens, turkeys and pigeons at a household in the Ardennes region of France were all slaughtered after detection of H5N8, Reuters reported.

Earlier this week, Luxembourg had reported its first detection of high-path H5N8 in wild birds at a backyard facility after the introduction of new animals, according to a World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) report. In that outbreak, which began on Sep 2, 14 of 60 birds died, and the rest were culled to prevent further disease spread.

According to Reuters, the French farm ministry said, "The health situation regarding highly pathogenic avian influenza is worrying. Since Aug. 1, 25 cases have been detected in Europe among wild and captive birds."

Last winter France had to cull 3 million birds in its duck-breeding region after wild birds spread H5N8 to poultry flocks, among other factors.

In Pakistan, an outbreak of H5N8 was reported in poultry at a farm in Punjab province. The virus killed all 3,000 birds at the facility, according to the OIE. That outbreak began on Aug 4.
Sep 10 Reuters
story
Sep 7 OIE Luxembourg
report
Sep 8 OIE Pakistan
report

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