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Today's Headlines: June 11, 2018

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases 

Dozens Sickened in New Multistate Salmonella Outbreak, This Time Traced to Pre-Cut Melons ( Washington Post) At least 60 people have been sickened and dozens have been hospitalized with salmonella after tainted pre-cut melons were distributed to stores such as Walmart, Kroger, Costco and Whole Foods in several states, federal officials said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced the outbreak to a Caito Foods facility in Indiana.  Go to article

Ntwetwe Virus - Uganda: (Kyankwanzi) 2016 ( ProMED Mail) A Ugandan child with unexplained encephalitis was investigated using viral metagenomics. Several sequences from all segments of a novel orthobunyavirus were found. The S-segment, used for typing, showed 41 percent amino acid diversity to its closest relative. The virus was named Ntwetwe virus, after the hometown of the patient. Go to article

Sweden Investigates Outbreak of 'Unusual' Salmonella Type ( Outbreak News Today) Since the beginning of May 2018, thirteen cases of an unusual salmonella type (S. Typhimurium MLVA 2-17-NN-211) have been identified by the Public Health Authority's microbial monitoring program, according to the Public Health Agency of Sweden, aka Folkhalsomyndigheten (computer translated). Go to article

Epidemiological Update - Measles - 8 June 2018 ( ReliefWeb) Between epidemiological week (EW) 1 and EW 22 of 2018, 11 countries reported 1,685 confirmed cases of measles in the Region of the Americas: Antigua and Barbuda (1 case), Argentina (3 cases), Brazil (114 cases), Canada (11 cases), Colombia (26 cases), Ecuador (12 cases), Guatemala (1 case), Mexico (4 cases), Peru (2 cases), the US (84 cases), and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (1,427 cases). Go to article

Poliomyelitis Update (19): Venezuela, Vaccine Virus Found, Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Polio Suspected ( ProMED Mail) On [7 Jun 2018], the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR) Regional Contact Point received an unofficial report on the detection of Sabin type 3 vaccine poliovirus in a sample of a Venezuelan patient with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). The same day [7 Jun 2018], a request for verification was sent to the Venezuela IHR National Focal Point (NFP). Go to article

Colistin-Resistant Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria Pervasive in Rural Vietnam Town ( EurekAlert!) A new study has found that the majority of residents in a rural village of Vietnam harbored multi-drug-resistant (MDR), colistin-resistant E. coli bacteria. Colistin is typically used as a last-resort treatment when there are no other therapy options available. Go to article

First 'Triple Threat' Strain of Klebsiella Pneumoniae Found in the US ( ContagionLive) An extremely virulent (hypermucoviscous) strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae ( K pneumoniae) that is resistant to carbapenem and colistin has been isolated for the first time from a patient in the US. Go to article

Nipah Virus Contained, Last Two Positive Cases Have Recovered: Kerala Health Min ( The News Minute) The deadly Nipah virus that struck Kozhikode district in Kerala last month and claimed 16 lives in the state has been finally contained and the last of the two positive cases have fully recovered, said Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja on Sunday. Go to article


Global Health Security

Ebola in Equateur: 90% of Reported Cases Have Been Vaccinated, Says Minister Oly Llunga ( H5N1) Ninety percent of the reported cases of Ebola virus have been vaccinated in Equateur Province, said Minister of Health Oly Ilunga. At the press conference held on Saturday 9 June in Kinshasa, he said that vaccination and free healthcare in the 7 health zones of Bikoro territory have had a positive impact in the response to the Ebola virus disease. Go to article

An Encouraging Prediction About the Ebola Outbreak ( NPR Goats and Soda) When an Ebola outbreak was declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo this spring, there were all kinds of predictions about how the epidemic would play out. But now it looks as if the outbreak is slowing down. And one mathematical epidemiologist is predicting it'll all be over soon. Go to article

Mortality and Associated Factors of Patients with Extensive Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: an Emerging Public Health Crisis in China ( BMC Infectious Diseases) Limited treatment options of extensive drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) have led to its high mortality worldwide. Relevant data about mortality of XDR-TB patients in literature are limited and likely underestimate the real situation in China, since the majority of patients with XDR-TB are lost to follow-up after discharge from TB hospitals. Go to article


Government Affairs & National Security

In the Trump Administration, Science Is Unwelcome. So Is Advice. ( New York Times) As President Trump prepares to meet Kim Jong-un of North Korea to negotiate denuclearization, a challenge that has bedeviled the world for years, he is doing so without the help of a White House science adviser or senior counselor trained in nuclear physics. Go to article


Medicine & Public Health

CDC Reported Flu Deaths in Children Exceeds Seasonal High ( CDC) The CDC is reporting an additional pediatric flu-related death this week, bringing the total number this season to 172. This number exceeds the 2012-2013 season, which previously set the record for the highest number of flu-related deaths in children reported during a single flu season (excluding pandemics). Approximately 80% of these deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccination this season. CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Go to article

Urbanization and Slums: Infectious Diseases in the Built Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop ( National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine) On December 12-13, the Forum on Microbial Threats, in collaboration with the Board on Life Sciences hosted a workshop examining " Urbanization and Slums: New Transmission Pathways of Infectious Diseases in the Built Environment." The workshop featured discussions on the social, physical, environmental, and political drivers of infectious disease transmission in an increasingly urban and interconnected world; effective interventions and policies to achieve sustainable, health-promoting urban built environments; and strategies to close the research gap and scale up successful practices. Go to article

Update: ACIP Recommendations for the Use of Quadrivalent Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV4) -- US, 2018-19 Influenza Season ( CDC) Intranasally administered live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) was initially licensed in the US in 2003 as a trivalent formulation (LAIV3) (FluMist, MedImmune, LLC). Quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) (FluMist Quadrivalent, MedImmune) has been licensed in the US since 2012 and was first available during the 2013-14 influenza season, replacing LAIV3. Go to article

With Short Outbreaks and Complex Permissions, Testing Critical Ebola Treatments Is a Challenge ( STAT) The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may end without the available experimental drugs having been tested, given the way transmission appears to have slowed. And some experts who have watched with frustration the snail's pace progress of the efforts to study Ebola drugs during outbreaks are beginning to wonder if, with the advent of Ebola vaccines, the window for doing this kind of research may be closing for good. Go to article

Outpatient Antibiotic Prescribing for Acute Respiratory Infections During Influenza Seasons ( JAMA Network Open) Among 14,987 outpatients with acute respiratory infections enrolled in this cohort study during influenza seasons, 41% were prescribed antibiotics, 41% of whom had diagnoses for which antibiotics are not indicated, primarily viral upper respiratory tract infections and bronchitis; 29% of patients with influenza confirmed through research testing were prescribed antibiotics. Go to article

CDC Study: Antibiotics Still Widely Overused for Respiratory Infections ( CIDRAP) The overuse of antibiotics to treat acute respiratory infections (ARIs), including influenza, is still widespread, according to a new study that covered close to 15,000 patients in five regions around the country over two flu seasons. Go to article

Did Zika Virus Mutate to Cause Severe Outbreaks? ( ScienceDirect) Zika virus (ZIKV) has challenged the assumed knowledge regarding the pathobiology of flaviviruses. Despite causing sporadic and mild disease in the 50 years since its discovery, Zika virus has now caused multiple outbreaks in dozens of countries worldwide. Moreover, the disease severity in recent outbreaks, with neurological disease in adult and devastating congenital malformations in fetuses, was not previously seen. Go to article


Science & Technology

Development of Vaccines from AIDS to Zika, Using a Novel 'Plug and Play' Viral Platform ( American Society for Microbiology) Researchers from GeoVax have developed a flexible "Plug and Play" technology platform that delivers single-dose vaccines that fully protect against emerging infectious diseases such as Zika, Lassa fever, and Ebola. Go to article


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