Vol. VI, No. 16~ EINet News Briefs ~ September 5, 2003
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In this edition:
1. OVERVIEW OF INFECTIOUSDISEASE
Japan — Contaminated feed caused BSE outbreak
BSE was first confirmed in Britain in 1986. It is believed to be caused by the consumption of MBM contaminated with abnormal prions. Japan's first case of mad cow disease was confirmed in September 2001. Seven Holsteins had been confirmed as infected with the brainwasting illness as of Jan. 31, 2003.
Humans who have consumed tainted beef have developed variant CreutzfeldtJakob
disease. Britain imposed a complete ban on the use of MBM for cattle feed
in 1996. The Japanese government did not impose a similar ban until October
2001, following the discovery of the first BSEinfected cow in Japan.
China – Mass Food Poisoning
On Aug. 22, sixty students from Yangzhou University were hospitalized, complaining of vomiting and dizziness, in a suspected food poisoning case.
Food poisoning in China normally peaks in the summer months when food is not adequately protected from the heat. About 140 people died from food poisoning in the country in 2002, but figures are declining on a yeartoyear basis, according to the Chinese government.
Deliberate poisonings have also been reported. Chinese police arrested
the head of a nursery school on suspicion of poisoning 70 children and
2 teachers at a rival school in November 2002. The man had opened his own
school one month prior to the attack but was reportedly jealous of his
rival's success. There was another mass poisoning in September 2002 by
a restaurant owner who was said to be envious of his business rivals in
the eastern city of Nanjing.
Asian governments urged to fight AIDS
Health specialists estimate the Asia Pacific region is home to 7 million people living with HIV, and could account for 40 per cent of new global infections by 2010 if prevention efforts are not stepped up.
HIV infection rates are climbing in China, and infections among sex workers in Vietnam's two main cities are also on the rise. Thailand and Cambodia are the only two Asian countries where HIV infection rates are on the decline.”
To see the entire article, visit http://www.goasiapacific.com/news/GoAsiaPacificBNA_927283.htm
New Zealand — Sudden deaths from pulmonary hemorrhage
According to Otago Medical Officer of Health John Holmes, all three patients (two women and one man in their 40s and 50s) came from a small geographical area in Dunedin and suddenly fell ill; dying within hours from pulmonary hemorrhage, but the cause of the bleeding into their lungs was yet to be determined.
Director General of Health Dr Karen Poutasi said hospitals nationwide
were being notified of the mystery deaths, and were being asked to investigate
any recent unexplained deaths. Dr Poutasi said the Health Ministry was
putting surveillance measures into place throughout the country.
USA (Florida) – Malaria, autochthonous
Tim O'Connor, spokesman for the Palm Beach County Health Department,
said the two latest cases, a 17yearold boy and a 48yearold man, are
unrelated and not geographically close together, although they fall within
zone, which the distance mosquitoes can fly.
Blood specimens from the malariainfected people are being analyzed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see how closely they match each other, and to determine other characteristics of the disease, she said.
The rising number of cases increases the possibility of a second and third
wave of malaria, said Dr. Don Krogstad, chairman of tropical medicine at
University's School of Public Health in New Orleans.
USA (multistate) – Hamburger Recalled
Over E. Coli O157 Suspicion
The products subject to recall bear the date code “5630053” and establishment code “EST. 5712” inside the USDA seal of inspection. The meats were produced May 30, 2003 and shipped to wholesalers nationwide. An E. coli illness in Wisconsin triggered an investigation by the state Health Department, and tests of J&B Meats ground beef proved positive for E. coli, a potentially deadly contaminant.
So far there is no definitive link implicating the meat which was voluntarily
recalled to any illness, the department's Food Safety and Inspection Service
Canada — Acute respiratory syndrome
Clinically, the disease itself was strikingly different from the SARS outbreak in the spring of 2003. The features of the current outbreak included a low case fatality, runny nose, lack of fever in most patients, and no SARSlike changes in the lung seen on Xray.
Furthermore, sequencing of a portion of the virus causing the outbreak has
led to the finding that it was not the SARS coronavirus but another human
coronavirus known as OC43. This virus, which is one of the causes of the
common cold, has been associated with respiratory outbreaks in aged care
facilities in other countries.
SARS could reemerge this fall
"The wave of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has been overcome, but SARS has not been eradicated," says the report, prepared by Karen Monaghan, acting national intelligence officer for economics and global issues. It adds that "many health experts fear it could return again in the fall when cooler temperatures return in temperate areas. We remain vulnerable."
The World Health Organization, the U.N.'s health agency, fears the disease could become seasonal. It urged medical authorities worldwide to launch an influenza vaccination campaign, saying it would help stop confusion in future outbreaks of SARS.
The U.S. intelligence report offers three scenarios that health officials
might face in the coming months and years:
A quick response from national and international authorities is critical to containing the disease, the report says. "China's efforts to hide the initial outbreak allowed SARS to build up dangerous momentum before Chinese officials became more open," the report adds.
SARS disrupted business worldwide but hit Asian economies and people the
hardest, the report says. Canada also suffered, with a secondary outbreak
in the Toronto area.
Etiology of SARS
The researchers warned that detecting the source of the disease might take years, which means measures to curb further transmission must be undertaken before it is fully understood. "Obviously we can't wait until we've got the whole jigsaw together before action is taken," said Field. "So really we have to look at the best information we've got at the time in terms of risk and respond according to that." "We need to recognize that if it doesn't return this year, that doesn't mean it will never return," Field added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it would train thousands of medical workers in China. The training program is meant to better equip health workers to prevent infectious diseases from spreading in hospitals, said Alan Schnur, a WHO communicable diseases expert.
"Whether or not SARS returns, China must have a strong surveillance
network already in place," says Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO's China Representative. "China
has a unique opportunity to contribute to the international understanding
of this disease. Investing now in this safety net may be the key to successfully
MethicillinResistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections Among Competitive
Sports Participants — Colorado, Indiana, Pennsylvania, & Los Angeles
To see the eintire article, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5233a4.htm
Web guide to HIV/AIDS in Asia Pacific
As part of the World AIDS Campaign, Church World Service (CWS) Indonesia is a compiling a list of HIV/AIDS related web resources, in AsiaPacific region to be published as a resource book and on the web page of CWS (www.cwsindonesia.or.id ) as well. If you or your agency is hosting a web page on AIDS related issues and you are based in AsiaPacific region, please help us to compile a comprehensive list of Web resources on HIV/AIDS in Asia Pacific region.
It will be appreciated if you could fill the following questionnaire and send it to us at within next 20 days.
Please forward this message to other HIV/AIDS web masters/ moderators in Asia
1. Name of the agency
2. Name of the web page
3. URL of the web page
4. Please briefly describe the web page
5. How you classify your web page:
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© 2003, The University of Washington