Vol. VI, No. 14~ EINet News Briefs ~ July 18, 2003
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In this edition:
1. OVERVIEW OF INFECTIOUSDISEASE
Japan — Hepatitis B virus, blood transfusion, 2000
The inquiries revealed that the blood used in the transfusion
had come from 8 donors, one of whom was later found to have HBV, but with a
viral load so low it slipped through the improved Nucleic Acid Test
The donor had donated blood several times over the past 5 years
and has not developed the symptoms of HBV infection, the Red Cross said. Detailed
analyses that the society conducted on samples of blood newly drawn from
The Red Cross said that HBVinfected blood that could slip undetected
through the current testing system would be limited to blood from persons who
are in the early stages of infection called the "window period." The
Japan — HIV, Hepatitis, and Syphilis contaminated blood
According to the organization, initial laboratory tests of the blood were negative, but it is possible that the results were misleading, given that conventional technology is unable to detect the viruses during the period immediately after the donor becomes infected.
The Red Cross will carry out a survey to determine how many people have received blood from HIVinfected donors. It estimates that the number could reach 50 000, and that the blood, distributed over the past 13 months, could also be tainted by syphilis and viral hepatitis.
So far, the Red Cross has only been able to recover 13 of the
6419 units, suggesting that the rest have already been used. However, the Ministry
of Health, Labor, and Welfare, has assured that the risk of infection from
this blood is low, but that the Ministry will contact everyone to whom it was
administered in order perform tests and confirm that no one has become infected.
Japan — Transmission of Hepatitis E Virus from Wild Sika Deer
Some of family members had several times eaten raw meat from
deer caught in the wild in the 7 weeks preceding the first hospital admission
of hepatitis. They were negative for hepatitis A, B, and C viruses. Leftover
meat had been frozen and dated at the time of eating. HEV RNA sequences in
the meat of one deer and most of the patients' samples were 100 percent identical.
They also believe consumption of substantial amounts of raw deer meat is necessary
for transmission, since eating only a little did not lead to infection in other
Philippines (Igugao province) — Malaria kills 87 in Nueva Vizcaya
China (Guangdong) — 74 Cases of Rabies Reported in Province
Guangdong, where the SARS virus originated, has also witnessed
a "minioutbreak" of encephalitis B caused by Japanese encephalitis
virus since the end of April 2003. The most recent figures available, from
July 2, 2003, showed that the disease had killed 27 people from 310 confirmed
China (Hong Kong) — Influenza
None of the laboratory tests conducted so far is positive for SARS. At least eight patients from the Lai King Hostel outbreak have positive laboratory results for influenza A. The Government Virus Unit of Hong Kong, SAR China has isolated 2 viruses from this outbreak which are further subtyped as similar to the reference strain A/Panama/2007/99(H3N2), the recommended strain for influenza vaccination for 2003 influenza season by WHO.
For more information,
Editors note: If any of our listserv members
is aware of the influenza immunization practices for Hong Kong in institutional
settings this would be important additional information for this outbreak.
China — AIDS Violence Flares
For more details, please visit the following URL:
Thailand — Costeffectiveness of universal ARV access
According to the Nation daily newspaper, Thailand, July 5, 2003, researchers said that the government should include antiretroviral drugs in the universal healthcare scheme, as studies show that it is a costeffective treatment for HIV/Aids.
Depending on different options and regimens, the inclusion of
these drugs would cost Bt4 billion to Bt10 billion a year, said Sathitpong
Thanawiriyakul, faculty, Pharmaceutical Sciences of Chulalongkorn University.
Comparing hospital expenses and other costs incurred if patients are not given
antiretroviral drugs with the overall improvement
There are about one million people living with HIV/Aids in Thailand,
of whom 70,000 to 100,000 are believed to be in need of medication, according
to authorities and Aidscare advocates. The Public Health Ministry announced
that it would spend some Bt1.6 billion next year to provide GPOvir to cover
50,000 patients whose symptoms met the medical criteria that required treatment.
Russia (Volga Region) — Parasitic infection, Capillaria
Parasitologist Viktor Kiselev suggests that it was caused by eating dried fish. Other theories point to raw or semiraw food, or perhaps this unknown parasite was carried by birds and fish and has adapted to life in a closed reservoir.
Editors note: Capillaria philippensis usually
causes a malabsorption picture and typicall has been associated with eating
raw infected fish. C. hepatica is a rodent nematode and causes liver enlargement
and parenchymal damage.
Russia (Stavropol) — CrimeanCongo hemorrhagic fever outbreak
Ukraine (Luhansk) — 12 More Hepatitis A Cases in Luhansk
Canada (Saskatchewan) — West Nile Viruspositive Blood donor
Once the blood tested positive for the virus, it was withdrawn from inventory
and the donor, who has been notified, will not be eligible to donate blood
again for 56 days, at which time the virus will no longer be present.
The Central Florida Blood Bank The blood bank also found the 2 men's infected samples among 15 000 donations it has tested since June 30, 2003, using a new machine that identifies viral nucleic acid. One of the men recovered from a brief illness by the time he gave blood. The other man didn't suffer any significant illness.
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta has reported 12 human cases of
West Nile so far in 2003 in 8 states, numbers that do not include the 2 Florida
cases. In 2002, more than 4000 people in the United States had symptoms of
the virus, and 284 died. Hardest hit was Illinois, with 884 cases and 64
deaths. Florida had 28 cases and 2 deaths last year.
Some of the symptoms are stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
Also possible are irritation of the skin, nose, throat and eyes, and "more
damage and nervous system damage.
Five countries including Canada and the USA — PCB contamination,
Kimberly Rawlings, a press officer for the FDA, said the FDA was considering
updating its guidelines. "We are clearly aware of it and actively looking
at the science to see whether the science dictates that it needs to be changed," she
"The 14 cases were geographically dispersed and came from different units," the release stated, adding there's no evidence soldiers were exposed to chemical or biological weapons, environmental toxins or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
The surgeon general's office says young, healthy soldiers dying from pneumonia
is rare, but does occur. From 1998 to 2002, 17 soldiers have died from pneumonia
or complications from the illness.
China — Last SARS Cases Declared Free of Virus
Official media said that Beijing's last 12 SARS patients had recovered from the disease, marking an apparent end to the scourge in China. The World Health Organization said the reported recoveries were expected, but it was still on alert, given the possibility the disease could rebound in China or elsewhere.
The 12 patients were still in hospital receiving treatment for other illnesses
but no longer showed symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and
were not infectious, the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily quoted
Beijing's deputy health chief Liang Wannian as saying. "Beijing has
no more SARS patients," he said.
Population Health: Implementation Success Stories from Developing Countries Workshop
June 21㪮, at the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica in Cuernavaca, Mexico
Slides of presentations are available at the following URL:
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