Vol. III, No. 4~ EINet News Briefs ~ March 24, 2000
The EINet listserv was created to foster discussion, networking, and collaboration in the area of emerging infectious diseases (EID's) among academicians, scientists, and policy makers in the AsiaPacific region. We strongly encourage you to share their perspectives and experiences, as your participation directly contributes to the richness of the "electronic discussions" that occur. To respond to the listserv, use the reply function.
In this edition:
Below is a biweekly summary of AsiaPacific EID issues based on postings to the ProMED Electronic Network and other sources. ProMED is the prototype for a communications system that monitors emerging infectious diseases globally, an initiative of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), and cosponsored by WHO.
In 1999, only 751 cases and 45 fatalities were recorded
in the capital, compared to over 15,000 cases and 133 fatalities recorded
in 1998. Health officials have asked the public to help prevent an outbreak
situation by avoiding clean and still water where the Aedes aegypti
mosquito, the carrier of the virus, lays its eggs. Experts believe that
dengue can be eradicated by ending the life cycle of the mosquito.
VIETNAM MALARIA REBOUND
The Health Ministry has earmarked VNN25 billion for malaria
prevention programs this year; this request is expected to lead to decreases
in the malaria and mortality rates to 7 per 1000 and 0.7 per million,
respectively, in these regions. Last year, the number of malaria patients
in these regions decreased by 14.74% overall.
KOREA TUBERCULOSIS DEATH RATE
The nation reported a drop in TB cases from 52,000 in 1980 to 36,000 in 1999. However, a growing number of young people are becoming infected; last year, 8,000 cases reported were between the ages of 15 and 34.
The health ministry and the government aim to develop control measures to cut the TB rate to 0.4%. [KOREA TIMES 3/23/00]
PAPUA NEW GUINEA TUBERCULOSIS
Health officials believe that the disease can be eradicated with patient compliance to the short course directly observed treatment (DOTS) strategy and cooperation with the general community to control TB in workplaces and homes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared a "TB
crisis" in the Western Pacific, a region that includes PNG.
MEXICO DRUGRESISTANT TUBERCULOSIS
Among patients who were smearpositive for acidfast bacilli (n=238), the overall resistance rate was 28.4%, with a rate of resistance to isoniazid and rifampin of 10.8%. Another study (n=460) showed resistance to at least one drug used as firstline defense of 12.9% in new cases, and 50.5% in retreatment cases.
Researchers propose adopting a 4drug regimen for patients with no history of treatment, and developing a national strategy to treatment patients with multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) to improve cure rates and control further spread of drug resistant TB strains.
Other "hot spots" of drugresistant TB strains include Russia, Thailand,
the Phillipines, Africa, India, Pakistan, Indonesia.
USA (OHIO) STREPTOCOCCUS GROUP A INVASIVE
Invasive Group A Streptococcal disease is transmitted through direct contact with mucus from the nose (or throat), or contact with an open wound of an infected person. Most people who are exposed to the bacteria develop mild skin infections or a sore throat; only a few who are infected develop serious illness.
Typically, only 3 to 5 cases are expected in the greater Cincinnati area
during the same time each year. The 63 cases that were reported statewide
in January and February alone, exceeded the total number of cases (39)
reported during 1999.
USA LISTERIA CONTAMINATION
Listeria can cause fever, severe headaches, nausea, and diarrhea in healthy
individuals, and may lead to serious and fatal infections in children,
the elderly, and the immunocompromised.
USA SKINPREP PRODUCTS CONTAMINATED
The products, which include swabsticks, prep pads, towelettes, ointments,
pouches, and protective dressings, are packaged in various institutional
kits, or sold separately, to blood banks, hospitals, clinics, and retail
pharmacies. The Clinipad sterileproducts line are distributed under such
names: Clinipad, Cliniswab, Clinipad, EZ Prep, and Cliniguard.
USA SMALL POX VACCINE
An estimated 7 million Dryvax doses are currently available in the U.S. The stocks are held in highsecurity laboratories at the CDC and at the Russian State Center for Research on Virology and Biotechnology (Novosibirsk).
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the world free of smallpox
in 1980, after routine vaccinations eradicated the disease.
USA (NEW YORK) WEST NILE VIRUS THREAT
The CDC has recommended the development of larvicide and monitoring programs,
due to potential transmission of the virus this spring. Larvaecidal pellets
will be used in mosquito breeding grounds in New York City to kill insects
before they take to the air in the spring. The West Nile Virus outbreak
last yearthe first of its kind in the Western Hemisphereled to 7 fatalities
and dozens of illnesses.
ARGENTINA LEPROSY BATTLE
The World Health Organization (WHO) aims to eradicate Leprosy worldwide
SPAIN HEPATITIS C SINGLE SOURCE OUTBREAK
In April 1998, the Valencia Health Department reported that over 200
patients had been infected with HCV after surgery at one of the 2 local
hospitals during the previous year. Subsequently, experts were commissioned
to analyze the blood samples from more than 500 HCV carriers to determine
the exact DNA sequence of their viruses. The findings revealed only a
one nucleotide difference between the nonhypervariable region in the
virus of 170 patients and that of the anaesthetist's.
U.K. NEW VARIANT CREUTZFELDJAKOB DISEASE
The passing of nvCJD from mother to infant was previously considered
OUTBREAK RESPONSE SURVEY
The survey design was discussed at a side meeting on Emerging Infectious Diseases and Environmental Health issues, chaired by Dr. Jean Larivière of Canada (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Monday, March 14. Representatives from Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam attended the meeting.
Gathering information about the current status of computer capability,
facilities, and staff is one of the first steps in a project approved
at the 17th ISTWG in Seattle to improve networking on infectious diseases.
For more information about the project contact Col. Patrick Kelley (Patrick.email@example.com).
Questions specifically about the survey may be sent to Nedra Floyd Pautler
© 1998, The University of Washington