Vol. VI, No. 03~ EINet News Briefs ~ Feb. 7 , 2003
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In this edition:
1. OVERVIEW OF INFECTIOUSDISEASE INFORMATION
Below is a semimonthly summary of AsiaPacific emerging infectious diseases.
China (Hong Kong) — Avian influenza
Japan — Suspected Source of BS
BSE prions could have been introduced through calfmilkreplacers that included
(probably contaminated) animal fat from the Netherlands. However, a causal relationship
between the feed and the infections has not been determined. The Dutch report
does not support the hypothesis incriminating calfmilkreplacements.
Canada (Ontario) — E. coli O157
Public health inspectors started with a list of dozens of potential
food and drink contaminants. They've now cut the list down to 4 "risk items":
haggis, white wine, milk, and roast beef, in that order. To get to the final 4,
218 people were questioned on what they ate and how they felt afterward. Food
and drink samples have been sent to the Ontario public health lab in Toronto to
test for traces of the bacteria, Taha said. Results are pending..
USA: Newcastle disease, game fowl, poultry
In a simlar outbreak in 1971, eradication of END required 3 years
and involved the destruction of 12 million commercial hens and other birds at
a cost of $60 million.
Chile (Valdivia) — Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
During 2002, 64 cases of HPS were confirmed in Chile. Characteristics
of HPS cases since 1993 are reported at the Chilean Ministry of Health Epidemiology
Also, a detailed description of an outbreak of hantavirus pulmonary
syndrome in Chile can be seen at the following URL: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol4no4/toro.htm
USA — Measles imported from Philippines: Alert
Within 2 days she developed a morbilliform rash starting on her face and extending to her legs by the third day. She gave a vague history of having measles at age 3 and never received a measlesmumpsrubella immunization. She was diagnosed serologically as having measles by the New York City Department of Health and has recovered. The local and national public health authorities are involved.
Physicians should be aware that any susceptible contacts on the
airplane or at the airport may present with measles after an incubation period
of 10㪦 days, i.e., from Jan. 27㪷, 2003.
USA (California) — Staph. aureus (MRSA), Community
Federal health officials believe that the outbreak of drugresistant Staphylococcus aureus, is the largest of its kind in any of the nation's correctional systems. By comparison, a similar outbreak in Mississippi prisons in 1999 infected 59 inmates.
Similar outbreaks of the same strain have been found elsewhere in the Los Angeles area since the summer, among gay men, members of a sports team, and newborns in a hospital's nursery. Some inmates are entering the jails with infections picked up in the community and are spreading the staph behind bars, doctors said.
Some hygienic precautions that are routine in a hospital can't be followed in jails. Replacing bar soap with plastic soap dispensers poses a security risk, and jails won't use paper towels instead of cloth towels because inmates could use them to stuff toilets.
"The problem at the jail is not under control yet,"
said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county's public health director. More than 100
infections have been reported this month.
USA (Washington) — TB rate at 30year high in King
Using DNA testing techniques, health department investigators have determined that the cases in the homeless population are related to the same molecular strain of bacteria, which means the disease was being transmitted from person to person.
Health officials believe it spread quickly in the homeless population because many people on the streets have compromised immune systems and other health problems that make them susceptible. Also, homeless people often share close quarters at shelters or in makeshift tents.
Although TB is treatable with antibiotics, because the drugs must be taken for at least six months, it's particularly difficult to ensure compliance in the homeless population, Narita said. The health department sends outreach workers out daily to make sure homeless patients are taking their medicine.
Even without the homeless outbreak, however, TB cases were climbing.
This is primarily due an increase in cases among foreignborn patients. There
have been a few cases of foreign students with TB, but there has been no evidence
of transmission in educational settings, Narita said. About a third of the world's
population has been infected with TB, and with global travel patterns, refugee
movement and immigration, the disease is easily introduced in new areas. Health
officials have said that the majority of King County cases are in foreignborn
USA—CDC Update: West Nile Virus Case Count
WHO — Dr Jong Wook Lee nominated To Be WHO DirectorGeneral
Born on 12 April 1945, in Seoul, Republic of Korea, Dr Lee received a Medical Doctor degree (M.D.) from Seoul National University and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Hawaii.
He has worked at WHO for 19 years in technical, managerial and policy positions. After heading the WHO Global Programme for Vaccines and Immunizations and serving as a Senior Policy Advisor, he became Director of the Stop TB programme in 2000.
This nomination will be submitted for approval to the 56th World Health
WHO Guidelines — Bioterrorism, Food Safety
The document, entitled "Terrorist Threats to Food: Guidance for Establishing and Strengthening Prevention and Response Systems", is available at the following website: http://www.who.int/fsf
“The guidance document emphasizes the need to strengthen existing emergency
alert and response systems by improving links with all relevant agencies and with
the food industry. Many developed and most developing countries are not yet adequately
prepared to deal with a largescale food safety emergency. All countries should
undertake preparedness and response planning to be able to cope with food safety
emergencies regardless of their cause. Also described are the services of various
technical programmes of WHO, as well as other organizations, that may be of assistance
to countries in addressing this newly emerging public health concern.”
Thailand — Vacancies: Health and Development Networks (HDN)
HDN is developing several new project areas during the course of 2003, as part of a plan of work for 2003 supported by the Government of Ireland. Each work area will be managed by a Project Manager. The candidates for these positions will be considered for specific project assignments depending upon their previous experience and projectrelated knowledge.
Application closing date is February 15, 2003. To see further information about
HDN and the vacancies, please visit the following website: http://www.hdnet.org
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