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Identified Bio-Outbreaks (2012) 3/4

BIOTERRORBIBLE.COM: The following outbreaks occurred within the calendar year of 2012. While some of the following reports may have been legitimate outbreaks, most if not all of them appear to be generated man-made outbreaks with the overall goal of convincing American and the world that it is on the precipice of a major pandemic. The fact that these outbreaks exists in mass confirms that an upcoming bio-terror attack is in the cards and may be played in a last ditch effort to regain political, economic and militarial control of society. 

Identified Bio-Outbreaks (September 1, 2012 - October 15, 2012)
Title: Whooping Cough Cases In England And Wales Continue To Rise
Date:
September 1, 2012
Source:
Outbreak News

Abstract: The British Health Protection Agency (HPA) said Friday that more than 1,000 confirmed cases of pertussis, or whooping cough were reported to authorities in the month of July.

1,047 cases of whooping cough in England and Wales were reported to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) last month, bringing the total number of cases so far this year to 3,523.

To put this number in perspective, in all of 2011, 1,118 cases were reported to the HPA.

Health officials say this ongoing outbreak is mainly in teenagers and young adults; however, they are seeing high numbers of cases in very young babies. 235 cases have been reported in infants under three months so far this year including 6 fatalities.

Young infants are at highest risk of severe complications and death from whooping cough as babies do not get the benefits from vaccination until they are around four months old.

Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, an expert in immunisation at the HPA, said: “We are very concerned about the continuing increase in cases. Parents should ensure that their children are vaccinated on time so that they are protected at the earliest opportunity and be alert to the signs and symptoms – whichinclude severe coughing fits accompanied by the characteristic “whoop” sound in young children but as a prolonged cough in older children or adults. We also advise parents to keep their babies away from older siblings or adults who have the infection.”

Whooping cough is caused by the bacterium, Bordetella pertussis. This vaccine-preventable disease is spread through direct contact with respiratory discharges via the airborne route.

Pertussis goes through a series of stages in the infected person; initially a irritating cough followed by repeated, violent coughing. The disease gets its nickname by coughing without inhaling air giving the characteristic high-pitched whoop. Certainpopulations may not have the typical whoop like infants and adults.

It is highly communicable, especially in very early stages and the beginning of coughing episodes, for approximately the first 2 weeks. Then the communicability gradually decreases and at 3 weeks it is negligible, though the cough my last for months.

Those that are not immunized are susceptible to this disease. Young infants and school aged children (who are frequently the source ofinfection for younger siblings) are at greatest risk (Outbreak News, 2012).

Title: Ohio Health Officials Report First H3N2v-Associated Death
Date: September 2, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: A 61-year-old woman from 
Madison County,Ohio, who had multiple underlying medical conditions, is reportedly the first person who died in which the influenza virus, H3N2v, may have contributed to her death.

According to an Ohio Department of Health (ODH) news release Friday, testing at the Ohio Department of Health Laboratory confirmed that the individual had been infected with the H3N2v influenza virus.

She reportedly had direct contact with swine at the Ross County Fair before becoming ill.

While most cases of H3N2v influenza result in a mild illness, health officials advise at-risk individuals and those with underlying medical conditions to take extra precautions like avoiding swine exhibits to protect themselves.

As ODH Director, Dr. Ted Wymyslo notes, “H3N2v, like many other viruses, has the greatest potential to impact those with weakened immune systems.”

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH), in conjunction with local health officials have identified several additional human cases of Influenza A variant H3N2 in Ohio bringing the total cases to 102 (Examiner, 2012)

Title: Vietnam Reports First Case Of ‘Brain-Eating Amoeba’
Date: September 2, 2012
Source:
Outbreak News

Abstract: A 25-year-old man perished to the amoebic infection after contracting it while trying to catch fish in a pond in his hometown.

According to a Saigon Giai Phong report, Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, director of the TropicalDiseases Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, assured the public on August 30 not to be worried about ‘Naegleria fowleri’, the brain-eating amoeba, saying it’s quite rare with only 144 cases reported since 1965 worldwide.

Dr. Chau said that this is the first case of its kind in the country.

How do you get this microscopic creature and what exactly does it do to you? People typically get it byswimming, jumping or playing in freshwater and get the water up their nose. From there the parasite travels to the brain and spinal cord and necrotizes, or basically eats brain tissue.

The disease is known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) and it has a very rapid progression. Typical symptoms may start after a day or two; headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. Later symptoms may include seizures, irrational behavior, hallucinations and finally coma and death. The course of the disease typically last about a week. Because the symptoms are very similar to bacterial meningitis, PAM may not even be considered in the diagnosis.

Fortunately, it’s a pretty rare disease, unfortunately, treatment is usually unsuccessful with only a handful of people surviving infection.

You should always assume there is some risk when swimming in freshwater. The location and number of amoeba present in a body of water varies from time to time. The Centers ofDisease Control and Prevention recommends these four steps to reduce your risk of infection:

• Avoid water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater, hot springs, and thermally-polluted water such as water around power plants.
• Avoid water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature and low water levels.
• Hold the nose shut or use nose clips when taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, or hot springs.
• Avoid digging in or stirring up the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas
(Outbreak News, 2012)

Title: Yosemite Rangers In Triage Mode After Hantavirus Outbreak
Date: September 2, 2012
Source: 
LA Times

Abstract:  The phones in the administrative building here are constantly ringing. Half a dozen rangers answer the calls:

"You were here just this last weekend?"

"Do you remember the area the cabin was in?"

"I understand your fear. I would have the same level of anxiety."

Responding to questions about a recent outbreak of hantavirus linked to the park, the rangers rattle off information about the rodent-borne disease. Calendars, news articles and park maps cover their tables. In front of each phone sits a notepad where rangers tally the number of calls received.

Paul Ollig, the park's deputy chief of interpretation, said that as of Saturday afternoon, the number was in the thousands. The emergency phone line opened Tuesday.

"We're getting calls from worldwide," Ollig said. "A lot of them from California, but we're getting calls from the U.K., we're getting calls from France, from China.... We haven't really seen much of a lull at all."

Public health authorities have traced six hantavirus cases toYosemite, including two fatalities. Of the confirmed cases, five have been connected to the 91 "signature tent cabins" in Curry Village, one of the park's most popular campgrounds. The origin of the final reported case is still unclear.

The park has attributed the cases to a design flaw in the signature tent cabins, which are now closed indefinitely as an investigation into the outbreak continues.

Yosemite officials have sent letters or emails to about 3,100 people who reserved one of the signature tent cabins between June 10 and Aug. 24. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 10,000 people stayed in the cabins during that time and were at risk for contracting the disease.

And Yosemite is already feeling the effects. Although park spokesman Scott Gediman said there wasn't a noticeable dip in the 75,000 or so visitors expected during the busy Labor Day weekend, a spokeswoman for the concessionaire that handles lodging within the park says there was a 20% cancellation rate on a weekend that should be sold out.

"For us, we've had unprecedented cancellations," Delaware North Cos. Parks & Resorts spokeswoman Lisa Cesaro said. "We've never seen this for a Labor Day."

Most of the cancellations were in the roughly 500-unit Curry Village, Cesaro said. The Ahwahnee Hotel and Yosemite Lodge, the company's marquee facilities, were still sold out.

Officials are also concerned about the effect hantavirus could have on future reservations, especially at Curry Village. Guests can book Yosemite lodging 366 days in advance, but Cesaro said they've already noticed a decrease in requests for Curry Village.

"It will definitely have an impact," she said. "But I think it's too new to know what that is."

Gediman and his counterpart, park spokeswoman Kari Cobb, said the hantavirus outbreak has been one of the bigger incidents they've handled in years. They've fielded about 600 calls from the media, including from foreign outlets like Al Jazeera.

Yosemite is no stranger to high-profile stories, they said. But the difference with hantavirus — unlike the deaths of three people swept over Vernal Fall last summer or the young boys carried down the Merced River the day before the hantavirus news broke — is that there is no end in sight.

"With Vernal Fall, you put the news out there and the stories are there, but there's an end to it," Cobb said. "With hantavirus, we don't know where the end is going to be. We don't know how many more people are out there who may have contracted hantavirus or who think they may have contracted hantavirus. We don't know."

Terri Power worries her 11-year-old nephew could be one of those people.

Power, a California native who moved to Bristol, England, a decade ago, has been to Camp Curry often. When she and her partner decided to visit the States this summer with their nephew, the park was on their list.

They had heard about hantavirus before their trip, but Power's grandmother called the park and was reassured precautions had been taken.

But now, Power says her nephew has flu-like symptoms — which can be the initial indicators of hantavirus. His doctor is monitoring him in case he takes a turn for the worse.

Power said they weren't told about hantavirus upon checking in Aug. 23 and haven't been contacted by the park since. Although they didn't stay in the signature tent cabins, she said she'd still like first-hand information.

"I know they don't want to start a panic," she said. "But I've got an 11-year-old nephew I'm really worried about."

Power said she would still return to Yosemite but would find another place to stay.

"I think the Curry Village days are over," she said.

But others kept their plans to visit Yosemite this week, both at Curry Village and beyond. The lobby of the Yosemite Lodge had a steady trickle of guests waiting to check in Friday evening.

One man standing in line eyed a flier sitting on the front desk. "HANTAVIRUS CAUTION," it read (LA Times, 2012).

Title: Vermont Health Officials Confirm Two Cases Of Human Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Date: September 2, 2012
Source:
Outbreak News

Abstract: The 
Associated Press reports Saturday, two people have been hospitalized in Vermont with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) according to the Vermont Department of Health.

Both cases involve adults from the Addison and Rutland counties in western Vermont, where mosquito pools recently tested positive for EEE and West Nile virus, the department said.

“The severe form of EEE is a terrible disease, and we want to take every reasonable action to prevent people from becoming infected,” Health Commissioner Harry Chen said in a statement. “These viruses will continue to circulate until the first freeze. Although spraying will help reduce the risk of infection, it’s important that we all take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bitesno matter where we live.”

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a mosquito-borne virus that is quite rare in the United States, with only 5-10 cases reported annually according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). EEE virus is one of several mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).

It is not transmitted from person to person.

People at highest risk of getting this infection are those who live in or visit woodland habitats, and people who work outside or participate in outdoor recreational activities, because of greater exposure to potentially infectedmosquitoes.

Symptoms usually start from a few days to more than a week after getting bit by an infected mosquito. These include a sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The disease can progress to disorientation, seizures, and coma. It is fatal in approximately 30 percent of the cases.

There is no specific treatment for this infection and a vaccine is not available for prevention.

The CDC advises the public to take the following preventive measures to prevent mosquito-borne diseases:

1. Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing. The repellent/insecticidepermethrin can be used on clothing to protect through several washes. Always follow the directions on the package.
2. Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
3. Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
4. Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels, and other containers. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used
(Outbreak News, 2012).

Title: DR Congo Ebola Outbreak Death Toll Rises To 14: Medics
Date: September 3, 2012
Source:
Reuters

Abstract: The death toll from an Ebola outbreak in northeastern Democratic Republic of 
Congo has risen to 14 and the crisis is not yet under control, medical officials said on Monday.

The epicenter of the outbreak, which killed its first victim last month, is in the busy town of Isiro in Orientale Province, but it has spread to the settlement of Viadana 75 km (45 miles) away, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a statement.

WHO also called for aid of nearly $2 million to help Congo's weakened health sector cope with the disease.

Last month officials confirmed that the epidemic was a different strain from the one that killed at least 36 people in neighboring Uganda, and had likely been sparked by locals eating infected meat in the forest.

As of Sunday, there had been 29 confirmed or probable cases with 14 deaths and a mortality rate of around 48 percent, Anja de Weggheleire, medical co-ordinator in the area for the charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF), said.

"A week ago we were a bit optimistic ... but a few days later we got some more cases ... We have quite a clear picture of what is happening, but I cannot say it is under control," she said.

Officials say that nearly 170 people remain under surveillance to see if they develop symptoms of the disease and with the last confirmed case on Saturday, the end of the epidemic remains a long way off, de Weggheleire said.

Ebola is transmitted to humans from monkeys and birds and causes massive bleeding in victims. Mortality rates can be as high as 90 percent (Reuters, 2012)

Title: Anthrax Outbreaks Reported In Siberia And Kyrgyzstan
Date: September 3, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract: An outbreak of the bacterial disease, anthrax, in the Siberian village of Druzhba has left one person dead and 10 others hospitalized as the Russian government declared a state of emergency in the area in a bid to prevent an epidemic 
according to a Bloomberg News report.

It is reported that the deceased man became infected after handling the carcass of a sick cow. The others infected are being treated in a hospital in the nearby city of Bilsk.

According to Russia’s chief disease control official Dr Gennady Onishchenko, the village is in quarantine and all hoofed livestock in it have already received vaccination. People were also vaccinated.

The anthrax outbreak is “under control and localized,” Deputy Governor Daniil Bessarabov said in the statement.

In the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan, health officials say  five people had tested positive for anthrax.

The five were among nine people who had been hospitalized in the central Asian country for anthrax-like symptoms in the past month, a Kyrgyz Health Ministry spokesman said.

As in Siberia, quarantine measures and people and livestock have been vaccinated against anthrax.

Anthrax is an infectious disease due to a type of bacteria called Bacillus anthracis. Infection in humans most often involves the skin, gastrointestinal tract, or lungs.

PubMed Health says anthrax commonly affects hoofed animals such as sheep, cattle, and goats, but humans who come into contact with infected animals can get sick from anthrax, too.

There are three types of anthrax with differing degrees of seriousness:

Cutaneous anthrax: this occurs when the spore (or possibly the bacterium) enters a cut or abrasion on the skin. It starts out as a raised bump that looks like an insect bite. It then develops into a blackened lesion called an eschar that may form a scab. Lymph glands in the area may swell plus edema may be present. This form of anthrax responds well to antibiotics. If untreated, deaths can occur if the infection goes systemic. 95% of cases of anthrax are cutaneous. The CDC states there are 1-2 cases annually in the US.

Gastrointestinal anthrax: this follows the ingestion of contaminated meats. It is characterized by stomach pain, severe bloody diarrhea, bloody vomit and an inflammation of the intestinal tract. Up to half of those infected will perish from this form of disease. This is a very rare type of anthrax.

Inhalation anthrax: also known as “woolsorter’s disease”, happens due to inhaling the spores. After incubating for less than a week; fever, aches, vomiting are early symptoms. After the initial symptoms, ashort period of improvement (less than a day) may occur. It then progresses to severe respiratory distress. Shock and death soon follow. Later stages of this infection have nearly a 100% chance of death even withantibiotics.

Most people with anthrax are treated with antibiotics. Several antibiotics are effective, including penicillin, doxycycline, and ciprofloxacin (Global Dispatch, 2012).

Title: Two New Suspected Ebola Cases Reported In Kibaale
Date: September 4, 2012
Source:
Daily Monitor

Abstract: Medical officials in Kibaale district have registered two new suspected Ebola cases.

Gertrude Keneema (25) and her four-year child, Tidiya Birungi, were admitted to Kagadi Hospital isolation ward on Sunday afternoon with clinical symptoms similar to those of Ebola.

“They are admitted in an isolation ward at the hospital. They have received medication and they are stable,” the District health officer Dr Dan Kyamanywa told this newspaper on Tuesday.

He says medical experts then carried out investigations to establish whether they had come into contact with an Ebola patient.

“They do not have that history,” Dr Kyamanywa said.

The patients are residents of Kabuga LCI, Nyamacumu parish in Muhorro sub-county. Dr Kyamanywa says the two had fever, and were vomiting as well as passing blood.

“We extracted a blood sample from them and sent it to the Uganda virus research institute for testing” Kyamanywa added.

The results had not been returned by press time.

The suspected cases come within the period health authorities say must elapse before the district is declared Ebola free. The incubation period for Ebola is around 21 days, and the district can only be declared Ebola free if no new case is reported after that period.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday said the outbreak could be coming to an end since no new confirmed cases have been reported since August 3, 2012.

The WHO stressed Monday that all probable and confirmed cases had been monitored for 21 days or more, adding that "the last confirmed case was discharged on August 24 ... following recovery" (Daily Monitor, 2012)

Title: Brazil Chagas Outbreak Linked To Consumption Of Acai Berries
Date: September 4, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract: An outbreak of 
Chagas disease in Brazil’s Para state is believed to be due to the consumption of acai berries. In the Para state, 35 people are infected with the parasitic disease. In the city of  Abaetetuba alone, there are 11 recorded cases.

According to a report in the news source, 
G1 Globo (translated), ”We have a recent outbreak in the Abaetetuba municipality. We have about 11 people who are ill, including a man who grinds up acai and 2 people in his family.   We know that this number of ill individuals is going to increase. Health Surveillance and Epidemiology of the municipality is working on the situation and we, as state government officials, are supervising their actions,” explained Elenild Goes, state coordinator for Chagas disease.

Acai is a small (about the size of a grape) black-purple fruit and an important staple for people of the region. Acai berry is a common dietary supplement.

While typically transmitted through the bite of a “kissing bug”, this parasite can also be transmitted via congenital transmission (mother to baby), through blood transfusions and organ transplants, and some cases of transmission through feces contaminated food.

The oral mode of transmission of Chaga’s disease is being increasingly recognized in the region. It is associated with the contamination of fresh food or beverages with intestinal contents of triatomid (kissing) bugs infected from wildlife reservoirs. The insects are accidentally ground up with the acai berries when preparing the drink (Global Dispatch, 2012)

Title: Syphilis Outbreak Hits Nunavut
Date: September 4, 2012
Source:
CBC News

Abstract: The Government of Nunavut is warning residents about a syphilis outbreak in the territory.

The government's Health Department said it identified the first case of the sexually transmitted infection in May and has since become concerned as the number of cases has continued to rise.

13 cases have been reported and all of them are in Iqaluit.

"I urge anyone who thinks they may be infected with syphilis to visit their health care provider today," said Dr. Geraldine Osborne, the territory's Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Osborne said it's unusual to see so many of the cases in Nunavut. She adds that she won't be surprised if the number climbs higher and spreads to other Nunavut communities.

"Because people are mobile I'm expecting we'll see cases quite soon in other communities."

Two years ago in Nunavut there were no diagnosed cases. Last year there were five.

Osborne said the disease has re-emerged in Europe and North America in the past 10 years, and Nunavut's outbreak is following a similar pattern.

"Generally it starts in urban areas and particularly among high risk groups like men who have sex with men, then it moves into the heterosexual population and that seems to be what's happening here in Nunavut as well."

Osborne said a high number of people having unprotected sex is the biggest factor in the syphilis outbreak.

The department plans to launch an awareness campaign with posters in public washrooms.

The symptoms of the infection are usually a rash or sore, but many people do not show any symptoms at all.

Syphilis is sexually transmitted from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. The infection can be cured with antibiotics if caught early. If left untreated, it can cause damage to the heart, blood vessels, and brain and can even cause death (CBC News, 2012).

Title: Death Prompts Greece Dengue Scare
Date: September 4, 2012
Source:
BBC

Abstract: An elderly man has died in Greece in what officials believe to be the country's first case of dengue fever since the 1920s.

The man, in his 80s, died in hospital on 30 August after contracting fever in the western village of Agrinio.

Blood tests are being carrying out to check whether villagers or members of his family also have the viral disease.

Dengue fever is spread particularly by the Asian tiger mosquito which has increasingly been seen in Europe.

The Asian tiger mosquito is also considered the main carrier of West Nile Virus, several cases of which have been reported in Greece this summer.

Although health officials believe the elderly man in western Greece had contracted dengue fever, they are describing it as a probable rather than a definite infection, because of the complications of his case.

There was evidence of West Nile Virus in his blood when he died in hospital in Patras, but the dengue fever was stronger.

He also had an infection and low platelets (thrombocytopenia) - both of them symptoms of the dengue viral disease.

"We are dealing with a disease we haven't seen for several decades," said Dr Sotirios Tsiodras of the Greek Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

"It might be an isolated case but we want to make sure there are no further cases. We need to take it very seriously," he said.

As well as blood tests, mosquito traps have been set up in Agrinio as part of an entomological investigation.

In 2010, cases of dengue fever were reported in Croatia and France and the spread of viruses by the Asian tiger mosquito in Europe has been linked to travellers and migrants (BBC, 2012)

Title: Vermont Man Dies From Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Date: September 5, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: Just a few days after 
Vermont health officials reported the first cases of human infection with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), they now report the first fatality from from the mosquito-borne virus.

According to a WCAX.com Burlington report Wednesday, the victim has been identified as 87-year-old Brandon resident, Richard Breen.

On Saturday, the Vermont Department of Health reported that two adults from Addison and Rutland counties in western Vermont were hospitalized with EEE. This is the first time EEE has been confirmed in humans in the state.

Last September, emus were the first and only confirmed cases of EEE to date in animals. WCAX reports that Mr. Breen lived on an emu farm where 19 of his birds died from the virus.

The cases has prompted the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets to plan aerial spraying for mosquitoes in areas where mosquito pools have been identified with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus.

Because the risk to public health is significant, state health and agriculture officials have planned targeted aerial spraying of this area, weather conditions permitting, on September 6 from about 8:00 to 11:00 p.m.

“The severe form of EEE is a terrible disease, and we want to take every reasonable action to prevent people from becoming infected,” Health Commissioner Harry Chen said in a statement. “These viruses will continue to circulate until the first freeze. Although spraying will help reduce the risk of infection, it’s important that we all take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites no matter where we live.”

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a mosquito-borne virus that is quite rare in the United States, with only 5-10 cases reported annually according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). EEE virus is one of several mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).

It is not transmitted from person to person.

People at highest risk of getting this infection are those who live in or visit woodland habitats, and people who work outside or participate in outdoor recreational activities, because of greater exposure to potentially infected mosquitoes.

Symptoms usually start from a few days to more than a week after getting bit by an infected mosquito. These include a sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The disease can progress to disorientation, seizures, and coma. It is fatal in approximately 30 percent of the cases.

There is no specific treatment for this infection and a vaccine is not available for prevention.

The CDC advises the public to take the following preventive measures to prevent mosquito-borne diseases:

1. Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing. The repellent/insecticide permethrin can be used on clothing to protect through several washes. Always follow the directions on the package.
2. Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
3. Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
4. Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels, and other containers. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used
(Examiner, 2012)

Title: Diphtheria Outbreak Kills Five Children In Haryana State, India
Date: September 6, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: An 
outbreak of the vaccine-preventable bacterial disease, diphtheria, has resulted in the deaths of five children in the urban slum communities in Haryana state.

According to a Hindustan Times report Thursday, Haryana health officials have treated more than 500 children in the slum areas of Davar Colony and Ashok Vihar and special wards have been set up at a local hospital to treat those that are ill.

Haryana health authorities have confirmed the children who became infected were not vaccinated for DPT. In addition, inspection of the areas show a lack of hygiene and proper sewage disposal.

Nine other children were taken to a hospital in Delhi for treatment.

Diphtheria is caused by a potent toxin produced by certain strains of the bacterium,Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

Unlike tetanus, diphtheria is extremely contagious through coughing or sneezing. Risk factors include crowding, poor hygiene, and lack of immunization.

Symptoms usually appear within a week of infection. This infection is characterized by a sore throat, coughing and fever very similar to many common diseases like strep throat. Additional symptoms may be bloody, watery discharge from the nose and rapid breathing. However, a presumptive diagnosis can be made by observing a characteristic thick grayish patch (membrane) found in the throat. In more severe cases, neck swelling and airway obstruction may be observed.

In the tropics, cutaneus and wound diphtheria is much more common and can be a source of transmission.

The real serious danger is when the toxin that is produced by the bacterium gets into the bloodstream and spreads to organs like the heart and nervous system. Myocarditis, congestive heart failure and neurological illnesses of paralysis that mimic Guillain-Barre syndrome are most severe. Even with treatment, fatalities are still seen in up to 10% of cases.

Diphtheria can be treated and cured successfully with antitoxin and antibiotics if started early enough.

The prevention of diphtheria is through vaccination. Immunity does wane after a period of time and revaccination should be done at least every 10 years (Examiner, 2012)

Title: Colorado Girl Recovering From Bubonic Plague
Date: September 6, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: The parents of 7-year-old Sierra Jane Downing thought she had the flu when she felt sick days after camping in southwest Colorado.

It wasn't until she had a seizure that her father knew something was seriously wrong and rushed her to a hospital in their town of Pagosa Springs. She had a 107-degree fever, and doctors were baffled by the cause.

"I didn't know what was going on. I just reacted," Sean Downing said. "I thought she died."

The Downings eventually learned their daughter was ill with one of the last things they would've thought: bubonic plague, a disease that wiped out one-third of Europe in the 14th century but is now exceedingly rare -- it hasn't been confirmed in Colorado since 2006 -- and treatable if caught early.

Federal health officials say they are aware of two other confirmed and one probable case of plague in the U.S. so far this year -- an average year. The other confirmed cases were in New Mexico and Oregon, and the probable case also was in Oregon. None were fatal.

Plague is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas but also can be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, rabbits and pets.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged that a series of frightening illnesses linked to insects and pests have been surfacing lately across the country, including mosquito-borne West Nile virus outbreaks in Texas and other states, deadly hantavirus cases linked to Yosemite National Park, and some scattered plague cases.

But with some of the illnesses -- like plague -- this is not an unusually bad year; it's just getting attention. And the number of cases of each disease is driven by different factors.

"I don't think there's a confluence of any particular set of factors" driving the recent illness reports, said Kiersten Kugeler, a CDC epidemiologist in Colorado who tracks plague reports.

In Sierra Jane's case, a Pagosa Springs emergency room doctor who saw her late on Aug. 24 called other hospitals, some of whom thought she'd be fine the next day, before the girl was flown to Denver, Sean Downing said.

There, a pediatric doctor at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children racing to save Sierra Jane's life got the first inkling that she had bubonic plague. Dr. Jennifer Snow suspected the disease based on the girl's symptoms, a history of where she'd been, and an online journal's article on a teen with similar symptoms.

Dr. Wendi Drummond, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the hospital, agreed and ordered a specific antibiotic for Sierra Jane while tests were run, later confirming their rare diagnosis.

It was the first bubonic plague case Snow and her colleagues had seen.

"I credit them for thinking outside the box," said Dr. Tracy Butler, medical director of the hospital's pediatric intensive unit.

It's not clear why Colorado hasn't seen another human case until now, state public health veterinarian Elisabeth Lawaczeck said.

By the night of Aug. 25, Sierra Jane's heart rate was high, her blood pressure was low, and a swollen lymph node in her left groin was so painful it hurt to undergo the ultrasound that detected the enlarged node, Snow said.

Doctors say the girl could be discharged from the hospital within a week.

On Wednesday, Sierra Jane flashed a smile with two dimples as she faced reporters in a wheelchair, her pink-toed socks peeking out from the white blanket enveloping her as she held a brown teddy bear.

"She's just a fighter," said her mother, Darcy Downing.

Darcy Downing said her daughter may have been infected by insects near a dead squirrel she wanted to bury at their campground on U.S. Forest Service land, even though Darcy had warned her daughter to leave it alone. She remembered catching her daughter near the squirrel with her sweat shirt on the ground. Her daughter later had the shirt tied around her torso, where doctors spotted insect bites.

The bubonic plague, or Black Death, killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe in the Middle Ages. Today, it can be treated with antibiotics, but it's important to catch it early.

"If she had stayed home, she could've easily died within 24 to 48 hours from the shock of infection," Snow said (Fox News, 2012)

Title: France Investigating 2 Suspected Cases Of Deadly Yosemite Virus
Date: September 6, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: Health officials in France were investigating two suspected cases of deadly mouse-borne hantavirus in people who may have been exposed at Yosemite National Park this summer. 

Some 1,923 Europeans in 18 countries may be at risk of contracting hantavirus pulmonary syndrome from visits to the U.S. national park in California between June and August, according to an assessment by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on Wednesday.

"In France, the French National Institute for Public Health Surveillance has reported an ongoing investigation into two potentially exposed cases," the European CDC said.

The disease has so far been confirmed to have killed two men and sickened four other people, all U.S. citizens, prompting the U.S. authorities to issue a health alert.

But officials are concerned that more Yosemite visitors could develop the lung disease over the next month. Most of the victims identified so far were believed to have been infected while staying in one of 91 "Signature" tent-style cabins in the park's popular Curry Village camping area.

Of the 10,000 people thought to be at risk, as many as 2,500 live outside the United States, park service epidemiologist David Wong said. U.S. health officials sent warnings to 39 other countries earlier this week that citizens who stayed in Yosemite should be on the lookout for symptoms of the lung disease.

Of the European visitors to Yosemite this summer, the greatest number came from France, at 502, the European assessment said. It said 342 British people also could have been exposed, along with 250 Germans and large groups from the Netherlands, Italy and Belgium.

There is no cure for hantavirus, which kills 36 percent of those it infects, but early detection through blood tests greatly increases survival rates. The disease has never been known to be transmitted between humans.

Last week, park officials shut down the "Signature" tent cabins after finding deer mice, which carry the disease, infesting the double walls.

Early symptoms of the disease include headache, fever, muscle aches, shortness of breath and coughing. The virus may incubate for up to six weeks after exposure and can lead to severe breathing difficulties and death (Fox News, 2012)

Title: Cancer Survivor Dies From Rare Bacterial Infection
Date: September 6, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: A woman battling an aggressive bacterial infection for more than two months has died, MyFoxAtlanta reported.
   
Hannah Rinehart, 32, passed away early Wednesday morning while surrounded by her family, according to family members.
   
According to FOX 5's George Franco, Rinehart was a triple cancer survivor, whose immune system was weakened when she contracted a rare bacterial infection from her dog's saliva. The infection had caused Rinehart to have her hands and feet amputated.

She was the wife of high school math teacher Mark Rinehart.  Earlier in August, Mark Rinehart's colleagues attempted to donate their paid time off to him to spend more time with his wife, but the school district denied their requests.

The district said with 22,000 employees, more than 500 can be on paid time off at any one time. 

A representative said at the time that their human resources department would work with Mark Rinehart to come up with a solution (Fox News, 2012)

Title: Wales Intravenous Drug User Being Treated For Anthrax
Date: September 6, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: An injectable drug user from Gwynedd in north-west 
Wales has been confirmed positive for the bacterial infection, anthrax according to health officials.

Public Health Wales reported Thursday that the patient is currently hospitalized and in stable condition.

Health authorities are not sure if this case is linked to recent cases of anthrax infection in people who inject drugs in Blackpool andLanarkshire, Scotland.

Physicians and other health care professionals have been advised to be alert for anthrax symptoms.

The Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory at Health Protection Agency in Porton Down (Salisbury), is providing diagnostic support to clinical teams to assist them with the handling of anthrax incidents.

Public Health Wales said there was an ongoing outbreak of anthrax among intravenous drug users in Europe.

Eight cases have been identified since early June, with contaminated heroin the suspected source.

Anthrax is an infectious disease due to a type of bacteria called Bacillus anthracis. Infection in humans most often involves the skin, gastrointestinal tract, or lungs.

PubMed Health says anthrax commonly affects hoofed animals such as sheep, cattle, and goats, but humans who come into contact with infected animals can get sick from anthrax, too.

There are three types of anthrax with differing degrees of seriousness:

1. Cutaneous anthrax: this occurs when the spore (or possibly the bacterium) enters a cut or abrasion on the skin. It starts out as a raised bump that looks like an insect bite. It then develops into a blackened lesion called an eschar that may form a scab. Lymph glands in the area may swell plus edema may be present. This form of anthrax responds well to antibiotics. If untreated, deaths can occur if the infection goes systemic. 95% of cases of anthrax are cutaneous. The CDC states there are 1-2 cases annually in the US.

2. Gastrointestinal anthrax: this follows the ingestion of contaminated meats. It is characterized by stomach pain, severe bloody diarrhea, bloody vomit and an inflammation of the intestinal tract. Up to half of those infected will perish from this form of disease. This is a very rare type of anthrax.

3. Inhalation anthrax: also known as “woolsorter’s disease”, happens due to inhaling the spores. After incubating for less than a week; fever, aches, vomiting are early symptoms. After the initial symptoms, a short period of improvement (less than a day) may occur. It then progresses to severe respiratory distress. Shock and death soon follow. Later stages of this infection have nearly a 100% chance of death even with antibiotics.

Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, Dr Chris Whiteside said, “Although a very serious disease, anthrax responds to antibiotics and patients have a better chance of recovery if treatment is started early. It is therefore important for medical professionals to know the signs and symptoms to look for, so that there are no delays in providing the necessary treatment”  (Examiner, 2012)

Title: Third Yosemite Visitor Dies Of Hantavirus; Eight Now Infected
Date: September 6, 2012
Source:
LA Times

Abstract: Two more cases of hantavirus have been linked to Yosemite National Park, including one that resulted in the death of a West Virginia resident, officials announced Thursday.

Three people have now died of the rare, rodent-borne disease after visiting the park this summer; five others have been sickened.

Yosemite officials announced the two additional cases; the death was confirmed by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in West Virginia, which said that a Kanawha County resident who visited the park "in recent months" died of the disease.

Yosemite officials previously traced the cases to the "signature tent cabins" in the park's popular Curry Village campground, saying a design flaw allowed mice to get inside the walls of the insulated cabins. But Thursday, park officials said that although seven of the cases had been linked to the cabins, one was believed to have originated in the High Sierra Camps, a different area of the park.

Public health agencies across the U.S. have been warned about the outbreak, and alerts were issued internationally this week. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initially said 10,000 people who stayed in the signature tent cabins between June 10 and Aug. 24 were at risk; that number could rise now that a case originated outside Curry Village.

Spread through urine, droppings or saliva of infected rodents, hantavirus takes one to six weeks before causing symptoms in humans, officials said. The disease is generally transmitted when people come in contact with an enclosed area that has been infested by mice.

The disease is rare — 587 cases were diagnosed nationwide from 1993 and 2011, of which about one-third were fatal, according to the CDC.

But the cases at Yosemite are perhaps even more unusual. Park officials and public health authorities said they had not heard of more than one case of the disease in the same location within a year.

News of the outbreak rattled recent visitors. Rangers have fielded thousands of calls from concerned travelers, and a spokeswoman with the concessionaire that handles park lodging said there was a 20% cancellation rate on the usually sold-out Labor Day weekend (LA Times, 2012).

Title: CDC Investigating Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Hedgehogs
Date: September 7, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has teamed up with public health and agriculture officials in many states and USDA officials to investigate an outbreak of human 
Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked to hedgehogs purchased from multiple breeders.

According to a CDC outbreak alert Thursday, the multistate outbreak has resulted in salmonella infections in 14 people in six states from December 2011 to last month. Three people required hospitalization for their illness.

Half of those infected are kids 10 years and younger.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Indiana (1), Michigan (3), Minnesota (2), Ohio (2), and Washington (5).

Contact with hedgehogs can be a source of human Salmonella infections. Salmonella germs are shed in their droppings and can easily contaminate their bodies and anything in areas where these animals live and roam.

Salmonella is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis (Examiner, 2012).

Title: San Diego Health Officials Warn Of Hepatitis A Risk From Walmart McDonalds
Date: September 7, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: Officials from the 
San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) are advising patrons of a Walmart McDonalds that they may have been exposed to the Hepatitis A virus.

According to a San Diego County news release Friday, customers who ate at the McDonald’s restaurant, inside the Walmart store on 3412 College Ave. in San Diego on August 25, 26, 27 and 30 may have been exposed to the virus.

Health officials are encouraging individuals who have not had the Hepatitis A vaccine and those who may have been exposed to contact their health care provider.

“The risk to the public is low, but anyone who ate at the restaurant on those dates and times should be aware of the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A”, says Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer.

She continues, “Anyone who has been immunized with the Hepatitis A vaccine or previously had the disease is considered protected from the virus.”

Shoppers of the College Ave. Walmart who did not eat at the fast food restaurant are not at risk for exposure to the virus.

San Diego County health officials say:

Individuals can obtain Hepatitis A immunizations through their primary care physicians. Anyone who was exposed to the virus but is not covered by a medical insurance plan, and wants to be evaluated for Hepatitis A may go to the HHSA Central Region Public Health Center at 5502 University Avenue in San Diego, where vaccinations will be given for minimal or no cost. A special clinic at this location will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to provide Hepatitis A immunizations.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort. Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes, may occur a few days after symptoms appear. Anyone with these symptoms should contact ahealth care provider. The incubation period, or time between exposure and symptoms, is typically 28 days. It is possible for hepatitis A to be active but not show symptoms for up to 7 days. Symptoms usually last one to two weeks but can last longer. Young children with hepatitis A often have no symptoms.

Hepatitis A is spread person-to-person and through a fecal-oral transmission route, and typically occurs when a person eats food or drinks a beverage contaminated by someone with the virus. The virus is not spread by coughing, sneezing or by casual contact. Severe complications from hepatitis A are rare and occur more often in people who have liver disease or a weakened immune system.

Thorough hand washing after visits to the restroom, before touching food or drink and after changing a diaper are the best way to control the spread of hepatitis A (Examiner, 2012).

Title: New Jersey Reports First 2012 West Nile Virus Death, In Burlington County
Date: September 7, 2012
Source:
CBS Philly

Abstract: Health officials in New Jersey are confirming the first death in the state this year related to West Nile virus. An elderly Burlington County man died earlier this week after being hospitalized on August 26th.

Authorities say the man developed symptoms of fever, weakness, and respiratory distress on August 20th, and was hospitalized nearly a week later.  He remained hospitalized till his death.

It was the first West Nile virus-related death in New Jersey since 2010, when two people died and the state reported 30 confirmed cases.

To date, more than half of the counties in New Jersey have reported at least one confirmed case of West Nile virus.  Ocean County has the most confirmed cases in the state, with three.

State epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan says the elderly and people with a weakened immune system are most at risk of developing serious health complications related to West Nile, and that people who fall into either of those groups should take extra precautions against mosquito bites, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts, using repellent, and eliminating pools of standing water around the home, which are prime breeding grounds for mosquitos (CBS Philly, 2012)

Title: Hepatitis A Outbreak Reported In Apayao, Philippines
Date: September 7, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract:
hepatitis A outbreak has been reported in the northern Luzon province of Apayao according to health officials there.

The Philippines new source, SunStar Baguio reported Friday that at least 17 of the 29 cases of the viral disease have been confirmed with many of the cases linked to a carinderia, or canteen frequented by students and faculty of Lourdes High School in Kabugao Poblacion.

The outbreak has been traced to improperly handled food in the canteen. Two of the food handlers tested positive for hepatitis A. This prompted Department of Health (DOH)-Cordillera officials to shut down the canteen.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort. Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes, may occur a few days after symptoms appear. Anyone with these symptoms should contact ahealth care provider. The incubation period, or time between exposure and symptoms, is typically 28 days. It is possible for hepatitis A to be active but not show symptoms for up to 7 days. Symptoms usually last one to two weeks but can last longer. Young children with hepatitis A often have no symptoms.

Hepatitis A is spread person-to-person and through a fecal-oral transmission route, and typically occurs when a person eats food or drinks a beverage contaminated by someone with the virus. The virus is not spread by coughing, sneezing or by casual contact. Severe complications from hepatitis A are rare and occur more often in people who have liver disease or a weakened immune system.

Thorough hand washing after visits to the restroom, before touching food or drink and after changing a diaper are the best way to control the spread of hepatitis A (Examiner, 2012)

Title: Yosemite Extends Hantavirus Warning; Death Toll Rises
Date: September 7, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: Yosemite National Park doubled the scope of its hantavirus warning on Thursday to some 22,000 visitors who may have been exposed to the deadly mouse-borne disease as the number of confirmed cases grew to eight and a third death was reported.

U.S. officials recently sounded a worldwide alert, saying that up to 10,000 people were thought to be at risk of contracting hantavirus pulmonary syndrome after staying at the popular Curry Village lodging area between June and August.

As many as 2,500 of those individuals live outside the United States, U.S. health officials said.

Officials are concerned that more Yosemite visitors could develop the lung disease in the next month or so because the virus may incubate for up to six weeks after exposure.

The warning was expanded to roughly 12,000 additional visitors to the park's more remote High Sierra Camps, after an eighth case of the illness was confirmed in a man who had stayed in tent cabins at three of those camps.

He also had stayed in a tent cabin at the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge and had camped in the wilderness - all locations in the park's high country, Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman said.

His symptoms were so mild that he never went to a hospital, but after hearing about the outbreak he was tested, and laboratory results confirmed on Thursday that he had been ill with the disease, Gediman said.

The seven other confirmed victims are all believed to have contracted the virus while staying in one or more of the 91 insulated "Signature" tent cabins in Curry Village, located at a lower-elevation area of the park.

The 91 Curry Village tent cabins were shut down after deer mice were found infesting the double walls of the structures.

Officials in Yosemite, a fabled national park destination in California whose scenic vistas, hiking trails and wildlife draw some 4 million visitors a year, did not previously consider the High Sierra Camps to be at risk for hantavirus.

Those camps will remain open, based on recommendations from public health officials, Gediman said, adding, "We do inspections, and we try to keep the rodents out. It's impossible to say every tent cabin is rodent-proof. That's impossible."

He estimated that a few hundred notices also were being sent to individuals who still had reservations to stay at the High Sierra Camps before they close for the season on September 17.

Third Death
The expanded warning came as Yosemite announced that a third person had died of the disease and the number of confirmed cases rose to eight, all of them among U.S. visitors to the park.

Health officials in France were also investigating two suspected hantavirus cases there of people who may have been exposed while at Yosemite, according to an assessment by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Gediman identified the third fatality as a West Virginia resident who contracted hantavirus while staying in Curry Village tent cabins in June. That person died at the end of July, and laboratory tests confirmed on Thursday that the death was due to hantavirus, he said.

The two others who died were a man from northern California and a man from Pennsylvania.

The World Health Organization also issued a global alert this week over the cases of hantavirus linked to Yosemite, and advised travelers to avoid exposure to rodents.

The virus can lead to severe breathing difficulties and death. Early flu-like symptoms include headache, fever, muscle aches, shortness of breath and coughing.

There is no cure for the lung disease, which kills over a third of those infected, but early detection through blood tests greatly increases survival rates.

Hantavirus is carried in rodent feces, urine and saliva that can mix with dust and be inhaled by humans, especially in small, confined spaces with poor ventilation. People also can become infected by eating contaminated food, touching tainted surfaces or being bitten by infected rodents.

The disease has never been known to be transmitted between humans.

Hantavirus previously was known to have infected just two Yosemite visitors, one in 2000 and another in 2010, both at higher elevations in the park (Fox News, 2012)

Title: E. Coli Outbreak In Upstate New York Sickens 10
Date: September 7, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract: At least 10 people, mostly from the Finger Lakes region of New York State, have  been sickened with E. coli since August from a still unknown source.

Nine of the victims are from Livingston County and one from Onondaga County. Three of the patients required hospitalization for their illness.

The Food Poisoning Bulletin reports that based on pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), eight of the cases are the same strain of  E.coli 0157:H7, while two tests are still pending.

Health authorities still have not identified the source of this outbreak.

Symptoms of the diseases caused by E.coli O157:H7 include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that may in some cases progress to bloody diarrhea.  The infection may lead to a life-threatening disease, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS is characterized by acute renal failure, hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia. It is estimated that up to 10% of patients with E.coli infection may develop HUS, with a case-fatality rate ranging from 3% to 5% (Global Dispatch, 2012)

Title: Bed Bug Sightings Confirmed At L.A. Central Library
Date: September 7, 2012
Source:
CBS LA

Abstract: One bed bug found crawling across a book has led to officials confirming the presence of the bloodthirsty, resilient creatures at the L.A. Central Library.

There have been at least two separate sightings of lone bed bugs at the library – one on Aug. 9, crawling across a reference desk in the Science & Technology Department, and one on Labor Day, walking across a page of a novel a library patron had taken home, according to the L.A. Weekly.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the newspaper she put the book in a Ziplock bag and questioned Central Library personnel until she got confirmation of the presence of the pests.

“We’ve had reports [of bed bugs] from all over the place. We’re spraying all over. But we hadn’t heard they’d gotten to Literature yet,” the woman was told, according to the LA Weekly.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Public Library System confirmed the bed bug sighting on Aug. 9, according to the newspaper, and that it was the only bed bug found in any library in the system.

Bed bugs can be found traveling alone, but will often congregate in small clusters (CBS LA, 2012).

Title: Haiti Cholera Outbreak Going On 2 Years, Over 500,000 Cases Reported To Date
Date: September 7, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract: The cholera outbreak which began in October 2010, is still ongoing on the Caribbean island of Haiti, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  still advises travelers to the country to take preventive measures against the gastrointestinal disease.

According to the Ministere de la Sante Publique et de la Population (MSPP), as of July 22, 2012, 581,952 cases and 7,455 deaths have been reported since the cholera epidemic began in Haiti. Cases have been officially reported in all 10 departments of Haiti. Since spring, cases have increased significantly in the Centre and Nord departments and in Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital In Port-au-Prince, 158,575 cases have been reported since the beginning of the outbreak. Cases in Port-au-Prince have been reported from the following neighborhoods: Carrefour, Cite Soleil, Delmas, Kenscoff, Petion Ville, and Tabarre (Global Dispatch, 2012)

Title: CUE Magazine Publisher, Joseph Cecchini, Dies Of Apparent Meningitis
Date: September 8, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) has issued a public health notice for people who came into "close contact" with a
Squirrel Hill man who may have died from bacterial meningitis.

According to an announcement Friday on the CUE Magazine Pittsburgh Facebook page:

"As some of you may know, Joseph Cecchini passed away yesterday. While the Allegheny County Health Department is still investigating, Joseph Cecchini most likely died from bacterial meningitis”.

Cecchini, 29, also known as Joe Christopher, died from meningococcal meningitis according to ACHD acting director, Dr. Ron Voorhees.

Allegheny County health officials are particularly interested in talking to people who had close contact with Mr. Cecchini between Aug. 24 and Wednesday to determine if they need prophylactic antibiotics. Individuals are encouraged to contact the ACHD at 412-687-ACHD (2243) to be assessed.

Meningococcal meningitis is caused by the bacterium,Neisseria meningitidis, which causes the most severe form of bacterial meningitis. Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It can also be found in the bloodstream. This particular type of meningitis is very severe and can result in death if not treated promptly. Even in cases where treatment has been given, the fatality rate is around 15%.

The symptoms of bacterial meningitis are sudden, with fever, stiff neck, body aches and headaches. As the disease progresses other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, photophobia and seizures. A petechial rash seen on the trunk and lower extremities, bleeding complications, multi-organ failures and shock are usually final signs. This disease has the ability to kill within hours of getting it.

Up to 10-20% of older children and young adults carry this organism in the mouth and nose, though the carriage rate will vary with age and closeness of population. The majority of people that carry this bacterium have no clinical disease.

The organism is spread person to person through respiratory secretions from the nose and mouth (coughing, sneezing and kissing). Experts are unsure why some people advance to meningitis disease while many do not.

Crowded living conditions facilitate the spread of the organisms and places like military barracks and college dormitories are well documented areas of concern with this disease.

If you have close contact with someone with meningococcal meningitis, see your doctor for prophylactic antibiotics.

Meningococcal meningitis is a devastating disease with epidemic potential. This disease is considered a medical emergency and if you have the classic symptoms see your health care professional. It can be treated with antibiotics, but without delay.

Meningococcal meningitis can be prevented with vaccination.

CUE Magazine catered to the LGBT communities in Chicago, Columbus, OH and Pittsburgh offering comprehensive coverage of culture, issues and news in these regions.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports visitation for Mr. Cecchini will be held at the Jaycox-Jaworski Funeral Home, 2703 O'Neil Blvd., McKeesport, PA, 15132, from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. A funeral will be held at the funeral home at 11 a.m. Monday and entombment will follow at the New St. Joseph Cemetery mausoleum in North Versailles (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Cholera In Sierra Leone - Update
Date: September 8, 2012
Source:
WHO

Abstract: The Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) is closely working with partners at national and international levels to step up response to the cholera outbreak that has affected Sierra Leone since the beginning of the year.

As of 5 September 2012, a total of 16 360 cases including 255 deaths with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.6% have been reported from 12 out of 13 districts. The western area of the country where the capital city of Freetown is located, reported more than 60% of all new cases.

The President of Sierra Leone has declared the cholera epidemic a "humanitarian crisis". A high level Presidential Cholera Task Force was established to oversee coordination, mobilization of resources and guide the response. A multi-sectoral approach to the response has been adopted involving the MOHS and other line ministries such as Finance, Information and Communication, and local governments together with partners and stakeholders.

With support from national and international partners and donors, including UNICEF, Oxfam, British Red Cross, Save the Children, Care, Concern MSF, DFID, OCHA, IRC, and WHO, the MOHS is scaling up the response particularly in the areas of coordination of the overall response, surveillance and case management.

A Cholera Control and Command Center (C4) has been established at the WHO Country Office in Freetown to strengthen coordination, and support the MOHS and other health providers to implement activities related to the Cholera Preparedness and Response Operation Plan (CPROP), in order to bring the epidemic under control as soon as possible. The C4 will also provide information to guide the decision-making of the national task force.

Emphasis is being placed on early detection of cases and timely provision of treatment at the district levels in order to reduce deaths. Cholera cases are managed in cholera treatment units (CTUs) and where there are no established CTUs, emphasis is placed on designating specific areas within the health facilities for isolation purposes.

WHO through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) has provided experienced case management and laboratory experts from the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) to build capacity among health-care workers and laboratory technicians in case management and laboratory diagnosis.

Laboratories at the national level are being supplied with appropriate materials and reagents to collect, transport and analyze laboratory specimens. Laboratory confirmation is important, particularly in new areas experiencing the cholera outbreak.

There are ongoing community interventions on cholera prevention and control activities. More than 200 traditional healers have been oriented on cholera. Community meetings are organized in Freetown to raise awareness of the importance of avoiding drinking water from unprotected water sources. Text messages are also being used to channel information to the public by telephone companies. UNICEF and other partners are supporting water, sanitation and hygiene activities.

With respect to this event, WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to Sierra Leone (WHO, 2012).

Title: Greece Reports 11 Additional Cases Of Vivax Malaria
Date: September 8, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract: Greece has 
seen a resurgence of malaria since 2011, after the south European country was declared malaria-free about four decades ago.

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Malaria Alert Wednesday, federal health officials have received information that there have been 11 additional P. vivax malaria cases identified in Greece.

Of the 11 cases, two were locally-acquired cases in Greek residents with no previous travel, two possible relapses in patients who had locally-transmitted malaria in 2011, and seven cases in immigrants.

For the first eight months of the year, Greece has reported 50 cases of malaria, with more than 80% of the cases seen in immigrants and are considered “imported” cases.

According to the CDC: One of the new cases had onset of symptoms the first week of August and is believed to have acquired the infection in Evrotas in the Laconia (southeastern Peloponnese) region. The agricultural area of Evrotas was the principal site of the 2011 P. vivaxoutbreak and was also where other locally-acquired cases were identified in June and July of 2012. The other new case is believed to have acquired infection in Markopoulo, in the East Attica region and had onset of symptoms the week of August 13th 2012. Other locally-transmitted cases have been identified in June and July of 2012 in Marathon and Markopoulo of East Attica region. Markopoulo is a suburban town approximately 30 km southeast of Athens. No malaria cases have been reported in Athens.

The Hellenic CDC (KEELPNO) continues to work with the European CDC and has responded by enhancing its surveillance systems for malaria cases and malaria vectors.

The CDC recommends that travelers to the agricultural areas of Evrotas in the Laconia region take prophylactic antimalarials. For travel to other affected areas, health officials recommend only mosquito avoidance; use of  insect repellant, staying in air conditioned areas or screened buildings (Global Dispatch, 2012).

Title: Meningococcemia In Occidental Mindoro Results In The Quarantine Of 30 Families
Date: September 9, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: A woman from the southern Luzon province of Occidental Mindoro, 
Philippines is believed to have died from the lethal bacterial infection, meningococcemia, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRMC).

According to a NDRRMC update Saturday, 63-year-old Gloria Sumayang from Brgy. Lumangbayan in Abra de Ilog developed the signs and symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection and suffered fever for about a week and rashes one day prior to admission. She died one day later.

Initial differential diagnosis to consider was Kawasaki Disease but manifested high index of suspicion that the condition is Meningococcal in nature.

This prompted authorities to quarantine some 30 families in the village and place them under observation of local health officials.

Health officials have initiated prophylactic antibiotics for close contacts of the victim and are monitoring for the presence of new cases.

Meningococcemia is an acute and potentially life-threatening infection of the bloodstream that commonly leads to inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis).

Meningococcemia is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria meningitidis. The bacteria frequently live in a person's upper respiratory tract without causing visible signs of illness. The bacteria can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets -- for example, you may become infected if you are around someone with the condition when they sneeze or cough.

Meningococcal sepsis has a fatality rate of 40%, even for those who receive timely treatment.
Sepsis, or septicemia, can cause shock when endotoxins are released from bacteria into the bloodstream. These toxins cause vasodilation, resulting in a dramatic fall in blood pressure and are a major contributing factor to the failure of the circulatory system.

Household members and others determined to be close contacts that had direct exposure to the individual's oral secretions are at risk and will require prophylactic antibiotics (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Dawn Princess Norovirus Outbreak Investigation Update
Date: September 9, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an outbreak update last week concerning the Princess Cruises Dawn Princess norovirus outbreak.

According to the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program Update, the investigation involves Dawn Princess cruise ship voyage dates were from August 21 to September 13, 2012.

Of the 1,778 passenger on board the ship, 114 were stricken with the symptoms of norovirus infection. In addition, of the 851 crew aboard the ship, 11 displayed symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.

Princess Cruises have reportedly increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan.

In addition, the following other actions have been taken:

  • Made announcements to notify onboard passengers of the outbreak, encourage case reporting, and encourage hand hygiene,
  • Collected stool specimens from ill passengers and crew, tested the specimens onboard using a rapid Norovirus test, and made plans to send them to the CDC lab,
  • Made twice daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the VSP,
  • Has deployed a public health officer from the corporate office to supervise implementation of the ship’s response plan,
  • Is consulting with CDC on plans for their super sanitation procedures in Seward, AK.

The CDC reports that two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers will board the ship on arrival in Juneau, AK on September 7, 2012 to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities. Stool specimens will be sent to the CDC lab for confirmatory testing and genome sequencing.

Norovirus is a highly contagious illness caused by infection with a virus of the same name. It is often called by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.

The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.

Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.

Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States (Global Dispatch, 2012)

Title: Ebola Outbreak Kills 15 In Eastern Congo
Date: September 10, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: An outbreak of the Ebola virus has killed 15 people in northeastern Congo and the local communities are quickly learning how frighteningly deadly the disease is, and how to prevent its spread.

"Ebola entered my house and I did not know what it was," said Gabriel Libina Alandato, who survived the hemorrhagic fever. "My three daughters and their mother died in August, but it is only when I was taken to the quarantine center that I learned about the disease."

Health officials say the population lacks knowledge of Ebola and must learn that the tradition of washing of corpses before funerals spreads the epidemic.

Although it is the ninth Ebola epidemic in Congo, it is the first one in the Haut-Uélé territory, in northeastern Congo. Ebola has no cure and is deadly in 40 percent to 90 percent of cases. The disease causes severe internal bleeding.

Initially restricted to Isiro, a city north in Haut-Uélé, the Ebola outbreak has now spread to Viadana, a town located 75 kilometers (47 miles) away. According to local medical staff, the virus was transmitted to a woman from Viadana when she attended the funeral of an Ebola victim in Isiro. She then travelled back to Viadana where she contaminated several people and died herself.

"A lady participated in a funeral and was contaminated. A second quarantine center was open in Viadana to isolate people who might have been contaminated," said Dr. Jacques Gumbaluka, the district's chief doctor. Three people have already died in Viadana, he said.

The washing and displaying of bodies during funerals, a widespread tradition, is intended to show love and respect for the deceased. But the practice facilitates the propagation of the epidemic as dozens of people come in close contact with victims of the deadly virus.

"The cases that have been identified are linked to certain practices like self-medication or the washing of the corpses and their exposition during funerals. People want to touch and see the body, it's the tradition everywhere in Africa," said Faïda Kanyombe, who is responsible for health promotion at Doctors without Borders in the province.

About 170 people are currently under surveillance after they came into contact with infected patients and 28 cases have been identified, of which eight have been confirmed.

Education campaigns led by Doctors without Borders, the World Health Organization and the Congolese ministry of health are going on in the area to warn people of the risks linked to this practice. Local medical staff members say people are responding well, although the epidemic is not yet fully under control.

"Even if it is not the first epidemic in Congo, it is the first one here. People had just heard about it and at the beginning they thought the deaths were due to poisoning because the disease has the same symptoms as a local poison," said Faïda Kanyombe. Local radio stations have been broadcasting information about Ebola and health promotion teams have been going in the field to meet with affected communities.

Psycho-socio support teams have also been sent to the area, to help survivors and victims' relatives to cope with the trauma. "It was horrible, it is a miracle I survived. But I can't forget what happened. I don't understand why my daughters died and I survived," said Gabriel Libina Alandato.

Ebola was first discovered in Congo in 1976 and the country has since been hit by several epidemics. "There is enough local expertise to manage the crisis. Local medical staff knows what to do," said Eugène Kabambi, the WHO spokesperson in Kinshasa. Doctors without Borders is managing the two quarantine centers in Isiro and Viadana and the UN has called for the creation of a $2 million fund to fight the epidemic (Fox News, 2012).

Title: West Nile Virus Transmitted By Mosquitoes In Coachella Valley
Date: September 10, 2012
Source:
KESQ News

Abstract: Four human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.  None are in the Coachella Valley.

Yet that doesn't mean the threat posed by mosquitoes and West Nile is over for Valley residents.

The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District reports 106 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile this year.  20 more than the previous record.

"We did increase the amount of surveillance we've done since that time,
so we have been collecting more mosquitoes, said Greg White, a vector ecologist with Mosquito and Vector Control.  "There is a combination of probably more collections being done, but also there just more virus this year.

Beginning Monday and for five consecutive nights, Mosquito and Vector control is scheduled to spray for mosquitoes in the Mecca area and in Indio around the Valley Sanitary District marshlands.  The spraying is scheduled for between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in Indio and between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. in Mecca.

The humid weather the Valley has experienced this summer has allowed mosquitoes to thrive (KESQ News, 2012)

Title: Dozens Of Children Treated For Diphtheria At Delhi Hospital
Date: September 10, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract: In a 
follow-up to a report Thursday, the number of children being treated for the bacterial disease, diphtheria, continues to rise, particularly at Delhi’s Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Disease hospital.

According to a Times of India report, more than two dozen kids are being treated for the potentially lethal, vaccine-preventable infection.

“Over the past two weeks, we have been flooded with cases of diphtheria. At present, 26 patients are admitted with the disease in the hospital,” said Dr Seema Mukherjee, a senior doctor at the hospital. She said that most patients are from Haryana, UP and the NCR.

Laboratory tests have confirmed that the five children who died at two slum colonies in the last 10 days as previously reported were suffering from diphtheria.

One physician noted that diphtheria cases increase after monsoon season. Poor vaccination coverage is blamed on this outbreak although diphtheria is covered under the government of India’s universal immunization program.

Diphtheria is caused by a potent toxin produced by certain strains of the bacterium,Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

Diphtheria is extremely contagious through coughing or sneezing. Risk factors include crowding, poor hygiene, and lack of immunization.

Symptoms usually appear within a week of infection. This infection is characterized by a sore throat, coughing and fever very similar to many common diseases like strep throat. Additional symptoms may be bloody, watery discharge from the nose and rapid breathing. However, a presumptive diagnosis can be made by observing a characteristic thick grayish patch (membrane) found in the throat. In more severe cases, neck swelling and airway obstruction may be observed.

In the tropics, cutaneus and wound diphtheria is much more common and can be a source of transmission.

The real serious danger is when the toxin that is produced by the bacterium gets into the bloodstream and spreads to organs like the heart and nervous system. Myocarditis, congestive heart failure and neurological illnesses of paralysis that mimic Guillain-Barre syndrome are most severe. Even with treatment, fatalities are still seen in up to 10% of cases.

Diphtheria can be treated and cured successfully with antitoxin and antibiotics if started early enough.

The prevention of diphtheria is through vaccination. Immunity does wane after a period of time and revaccination should be done at least every 10 years (Global Dispatch, 2012)

Title: 26 New Human Cases Of West Nile Virus
Date: September 10, 2012
Source:
Fox 40 TV

Abstract: Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports 26 new human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2012. The new cases were reported in Bolivar (1), Calhoun (1), Copiah (2), Forrest (1), Hinds (1), Jackson (2), Jasper (2), Leake (1), Madison (6), Marion (1),  Rankin (5), Sunflower (1), Walthall (1) and Yazoo (1) counties, bringing the state total to 140 cases and four deaths. 

In 2011, Mississippi had 52 WNV cases and five deaths. The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public.

MSDH is currently working with city and county officials to boost mosquito control efforts in their jurisdictions by providing map specific information for spraying efforts. The agency has developed and printed educational materials and door-hangers for mayors, boards of supervisors and other elected officials that are now being distributed locally through civic groups, churches and volunteer organizations. The MSDH is also working with the Mississippi High School Athletics Association and the Mississippi Independent Schools Association in announcing public service messages at high school football games and other athletic events.

Peak season for WNV is July, August, and September in Mississippi, but mosquito-borne illnesses can occur year-round. Mississippians should take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses: remove sources of standing water, especially after rainfall; install or repair screens on windows and doors; and if you will be in mosquito-prone areas, wear protective clothing (such as long-sleeved shirts and pants) during peak times from dusk until dawn, and use repellents containing DEET, or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered repellents for use on human skin. Always read the manufacturer's directions carefully before you put on a repellent.

Symptoms of WNV infection are often mild and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In a small number of cases, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death
(Fox 40 TV, 2012).

Title: SC Man Is State's First West Nile Death Of 2012
Date: September 10, 2012
Source:
Fox Charlotte

Abstract: A man from Aiken County is the first person to die with West Nile virus so far this year. The Department of Health and Environmental Control said Monday that the man tested positive for the virus after he was hospitalized for a sudden high fever, confusion and headache. Officials say the man was likely bitten by mosquitoes near his home. His name has not been released. DHEC says West Nile has been detected in 17 people, three animals and 13 birds in South Carolina so far in 2012. Mosquitoes get the virus from feeding on infected birds and then spread the virus to people they bite. People bitten by an infected mosquito may become sick up to two weeks later with flu-like symptoms like fever, headache and nausea  (Fox Charlotte, 2012).

Title:
Bacillus Cereus Outbreak At Belgian Day Care Center Sickens 20 Children
Date: September 10, 2012
Source:
Outbreak News

Abstract: The 
Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA) in Belgium reported last week an foodborne outbreak at a Borgerhout day care center which resulted in at least 20 children suffering with the symptoms of vomiting.

Upon notification, the agency immediately conducted a thorough inspection of the establishment. Several samples of leftover food and vomit were collected. They were immediately sent for analysis at the Scientific Institute of Public Health.

It turned out that Bacillus cereus was discovered in both the food and vomit samples.

No specific food source was mentioned in the AFSCA press release.

Bacillus cereus is an aerobic, spore-forming bacterium found in the soil and the environment worldwide. It commonly found in low levels in raw, dried and processed foods.

A well recognized and common cause of food poisoning worldwide, Bacillus cereus causes two types of toxins: a diarrheal type and a vomiting type.

The diarrheal type of this food poisoning is usually associated with meats, milk and vegetables. The onset for the disease is from 8-16 hours and it lasts 12 to 14 hours.

The vomiting type of this food poisoning is due to rice, grains, cereals and other starchy foods. The onset is quite rapid (30 minutes to 6 hours) and usually lasts a day or so. This type is frequently associated with outbreaks due to cooked rice held at room temperature.

This type of food poisoning is rarely fatal and cannot be transmitted from person to person.

Improper storage of food stuffs is the issue. Bacillus cereus spores can survive boiling and if the food, rice for example is stored at ambient temperature, the spores can germinate into toxin producing bacteria.

Then the person eats the rice contaminated with the pre-formed toxin that causes the illness.
The vomiting type of toxin is also heat resistant, much like the enterotoxin that causes Staphylococcus aureus food poisoning, and cooking will not destroy the toxin.

To prevent B. cereus food poisoning the key is to thoroughly cook food and if you do not eat it immediately, hold it at 140°F or refrigerate promptly. Do not let the food cool slowly  (Outbreak News, 2012).

Title: Hantavirus Case Linked To Home Featured On TLC’s “Hoarders”
Date: September 10, 2012
Source:
WTVR News

Abstract: The hantavirus has made headlines since three people died after contracting it at Yosemite National Park, now another possible case has been reported–this time on the set of a reality show filming in Texas.

A person contracted the hantavirus while cleaning out a Woodlands home set to be featured in an episode of TLC’s show “Hoarders:Buried Alive.” All 29 people who helped the homeowner clean out her home have been put on alert–notified that they could come down with it too.

The hantavirus can only be contracted from rodents or their excrement. Its symptoms are similar to the flu–and there is no cure.

“It can be fatal, in fact the mortality rates over the past 20 years have ranged from about 20 percent up to 50 percent,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Medical Director of Montgomery County’s Health Department.

“Over the past 20 years, there have only been a few dozen cases in Texas, about 600 nationwide. There has never been a case in Montgomery County.”

Since it cannot be spread from person to person, neighbors are not worried. At the same time , however,  they’re also not surprised about the home it came from.

“There had been times when it has been clean,” said neighbor Maria Celaya. “Neighbor and then six months would go by and those weeds are taller than us. And, you know, so yeah, it was bad.”

That’s why the community volunteered to help the family clean out the home, but now, they say that a woman close to the family is sick.

Doctors say it’s possible others may still be infected. Symptoms can take up to six weeks to show and the cleanup began in late august. Right now, no one is allowed inside the home (WTVR, 2012).

Title: Breeder’s Choice Dog Food Recalled Over Salmonella Concerns
Date: September 12, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: Pet Food company, Breeder’s Choice announced the recall of one of their dog food products after the bacterium, 
salmonella was discovered during microbial testing.

According to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Firm Press Release Tuesday, the recall affects a single manufacturing batch of Breeder's Choice AvoDerm Natural Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Adult Dog Formula.

The dog food was packaged in 26 lb. bags with a “Best Buy Date” of August 28, 29 and 30, 2012.

Recalled products were distributed to retailers and distributors in the states of California, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington.

Salmonella is a pathogen to both humans and animals. There is a risk for humans handling the contaminated dog food if poor hand washing techniques are not performed or surfaces in contact with the dog food are not properly cleaned.

In humans, Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Pets, including dogs, with Salmonella can become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. The clinical features of canine salmonellosis vary on strain, amount ingested and dog host factors.

Many dogs however are asymptomatic carriers of the bacteria and may shed Salmonella for up to 100 days after being infected. This can become a risk for family members and anyone with confirmed salmonellosis without a known risk of exposure, the family pet should be tested regardless of symptoms (Examiner, 2012).

Title: CDC: Tainted Cheese Linked To Death, Illnesses
Date: September 12, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says ricotta cheese tainted with listeria bacteria is linked to 14 illnesses and at least one death.

The imported Italian ricotta salata cheese distributed by Forever Cheese, Inc., of New York is linked to illnesses in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Forever Cheese issued a recall of one lot-- 800 wheels of ricotta salata, or roughly 4,800 pounds -- on Monday.

The cheese was distributed to retail stores and restaurants in California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington between June 20 and August 9.

Jeff DiMeo of Forever Cheese said the recalled Frescolina brand ricotta salata cheese is from one batch manufactured in Italy's Puglia region but would not name the Italian company that manufactured it. The Food and Drug Administration identified the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in an uncut sample of the cheese.

Most people who consumed the cheese would not know where it came from because it was distributed in large wheels for retailers or restaurants to break down into smaller servings or packages. Ricotta salata is a salty, white cheese made from pasteurized sheep's milk. It is not the same as soft ricotta cheese sold in tubs and used to make lasagna.

DiMeo said he would generally advise his customers not to hold on to the cheese for more than 30 days.

The CDC, however, said the ricotta can have up to a four-month shelf life, so some consumers may still have it in their homes. The company and the government advised consumers who may still have the cheese to ask retailers where it came from or just throw it out to be safe.

Listeria is rare but deadlier than well-known pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli. It is most dangerous to pregnant women, the elderly and others with compromised immune systems.

It was not immediately clear how many deaths were caused by the listeria outbreak. The CDC said listeriosis contributed to "at least one" of two deaths in New York and Nebraska but did not elaborate. A third deceased person in Minnesota was infected with listeriosis linked to the cheese but that is not thought to be the primary cause of death, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Health said.

Three people from Maryland reported becoming ill from the strain of listeria linked to the ricotta. One person each from California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia also reported an illness. Two of the illnesses were in newborn babies, the CDC said (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Epidemiological Update: Anthrax Cases Among Injecting Drug Users
Date: September 12, 2012
Source:
ECDC

Abstract: On 10 September, the Health Protection Agency in United Kingdom reported an additional fatal case of anthrax in England. It concerns a person who injected heroine, and died in a hospital in Blackpool, the same area where this year’s first English patient was from. This brings the number of anthrax cases reported in the EU since June 2012 to ten: three in Germany, two in Denmark, one in France, and four in the UK (one in Scotland, two in England and one in Wales). Four of these cases were fatal.

These cases follow an outbreak of anthrax in 2009 and 2010 involving 127 injecting drug users in the UK (England and Scotland with five and 119 cases respectively) and Germany (three cases).

Heroin users in Europe are still at risk of exposure to anthrax. Drug users may become infected with anthrax when heroin is contaminated with anthrax spores. This could be a source of infection if injected, smoked or snorted. There is no safe route for consuming heroin or other drugs that may be contaminated with anthrax spores. Likewise, this new fatal case doesn’t change the assessment made by ECDC and EMCCDDA published on 16 July 2012 (ECDC, 2012)

Title: Indiana Farm Implicated In Cantaloupe-Salmonella Outbreak Recalls Watermelons
Date: September 13, 2012
Source:
CBS News

Abstract:  Chamberlain Farms, an Indiana farm linked to a deadly outbreak of salmonella caused from cantaloupes, said Wednesday it had voluntarily withdrawn its watermelons from the market and was working with state and federal officials to find the source of the foodborne illness in the larger fruits.

Chamberlain Farm Produce Inc. of Owensville issued a statement saying it was unaware of anyone becoming ill from eating any of its watermelons.

"We are continuing to cooperate fully with authorities at the FDA and the Indiana State Department of Health to determine the full facts about the source of the salmonella found on our watermelon," the statement said.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Pat El-Hinnawy confirmed the agency was investigating watermelon from Chamberlain, located about 20 miles north of Evansville in southwestern Indiana.

The investigation was first reported Wednesday by the Evansville Courier & Press.

Indiana State Department of Health spokeswoman Amy Reel said the watermelon strain was found as a result of an inspection of the farm prompted by the cantaloupe salmonella outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that outbreak affected 204 people in 22 states, including Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. Two of those people died and 78 were hospitalized.

The farm produces only cantaloupes and watermelons, Reel said.

She confirmed that no illnesses have been linked to the watermelon. But she said the same strain of salmonella as found in the watermelon has been linked to some illnesses.

The CDC reported last month that the strain identified in the watermelon was among three salmonella strains linked to live poultry identified in 163 people from 26 states, including Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.

St. Louis-based grocery chain Schnucks announced last week that it had removed Chamberlain Farms watermelons from all of its stores in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin, Missouri after being contacted by the farm.

Chamberlain Farms attorney Gary Zhao of Chicago said he could not disclose any information beyond the company's statement. The statement did not reveal where the watermelons were distributed, but Reel said the distribution area for the watermelons was smaller than for the cantaloupes.

On Aug. 28, the FDA confirmed that cantaloupe samples from Chamberlain Farms showed evidence of salmonella matching the strain associated with the multistate outbreak.

Salmonella bacteria can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.

The FDA had announced a recall of Chamberlain Farms' cantaloupes on Aug. 22, though the farm had already voluntarily removed its cantaloupes from the marketplace (CBS News, 2012).

Title: Scabies Outbreak At Nellis AFB School Affects 150 Schoolchildren
Date: September 14, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: An 
outbreak of the “itch mite” scabies has resulted in the treatment of approximately 150 kids and the sanitizing of a Nevada military installation school.

According to a Nellis Air Force Base news release Wednesday, the base hospital, the Mike O'Callaghan Federal Medical Center has treated some 150 patients, primarily Lomie Gray Heard Elementary School students for rashes consistent with scabies this week.

Col. Kirsten Watkins, deputy commander of the 99th Medical Group at Nellis said, "We are committed to the health of those affected and are making every effort to ensure access to early treatment is readily available. We want to keep this cluster of scabies contained."

The outbreak has prompted the school to take action also. Heard Elementary Principal, Kori Deal said in a letter to parents this week:

The students who had scabies are under a doctor’s care and will not return to school until medical release is granted. Our employees have received extensive training on the proper techniques for cleaning and sanitizing all educational environments. Areas where students and staff may have come in contact with the individuals at school will be thoroughly cleaned according to the proper sanitary procedures.

Clark County School District’s director of health services, Diana Taylor told Las Vegas Fox affiliate, KVVU-TV, the school will be sanitized nightly through Saturday, but the school will not be closed down.

"This is something we don't need to close down the school for because we want kids to be in school, and since it is treatable, we want kids to be treated and come back," Taylor said.

It will probably make you itchy just thinking about scabies, mites burrowing into the skin and laying eggs. And then to think the mites are also leaving fecal deposits in these burrows in the skin.

These burrows are tiny threadlike projections, ranging from 2 mm-15 mm long that appear as thin gray, brown, or red lines in affected areas. The burrows can be very difficult to see.

Scabies is caused by an infestation by the eight-legged “itch mite”, Sarcoptes scabiei.

Transfer of this mite from person to person typically occurs through prolonged direct contact with infested skin.

Transfer from undergarments and bedclothes occur only if these have been contaminated by an infested person immediately beforehand.

Outbreaks have happened in nursing home, prisons, schools and similar institutions.

Scabies produces skin rash composed of small red bumps and blisters and affects specific areas of the body.

Lesions are prominent around finger webs, wrist and elbows, armpits, belt line, thighs and genitalia of males and nipples, abdomen and buttocks are frequently seen in women. In infants, the head, neck palms and soles may be involved.

Itching is intense, especially at night and complications due to secondary bacterial infections with staph and strep are possible.

Human scabies is caused by a different parasite than that that causes mange in animals. When canine or feline mites land on human skin, they fail to thrive and produce only a mild itch that goes away on its own.

Diagnosis is made based upon the appearance and distribution of the rash and the presence of burrows. Whenever possible, scabies should be confirmed by isolating the mites, ova or feces in a skin scraping. Scrapings should be made at the burrows, especially on the hands between the fingers and the folds of the wrist.

Scabies can be treated by using a variety of scabicides. There are no over the counter medications that are approved to treat scabies.

Health officials at the 99th Medical Group also recommend family members of people diagnosed with scabies should also seek medical advice, as the whole family should be treated simultaneously to prevent re-infestation (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Hong Kong CHP Investigate Tetanus Case
Date: September 14, 2012
Source:
Outbreak News

Abstract: Hong Kong health officials are investigating a case of the vaccine-preventable disease, tetanus involving a 43-year-old woman.

According to a Centre for Health Protection (CHP) press release today, the patient, with good past health, was admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital on September 6 for neck stiffness and general muscle spasm. The clinical diagnosis was tetanus. She was febrile and developed respiratory distress on September 8. She was transferred to Intensive Care Unit on the same day and is currently in a critical condition.

This is the third case of tetanus reported to the CHP this year. One case was filed in 2011, no case in 2010 and one case in 2009.

Tetanus is infection of the nervous system with the potentially deadly bacteria Clostridium tetani (C. tetani).

Spores of the bacteria C. tetani live in the soil and are found around the world. In the spore form, C. tetani may remain inactive in the soil, but it can remain infectious for more than 40 years.

Infection begins when the spores enter the body through an injury or wound. The spores release bacteria that spread and make a poison calledtetanospasmin. This poison blocks nerve signals from the spinal cord to the muscles, causing severe muscle spasms. The spasms can be so powerful that they tear the muscles or cause fractures of the spine.

The time between infection and the first sign of symptoms is typically 7 to 21 days.

Tetanus often begins with mild spasms in the jaw muscles (lockjaw). The spasms can also affect the chest, neck, back, and abdominal muscles. Back muscle spasms often cause arching, called opisthotonos.

Sometimes the spasms affect muscles that help with breathing, which can lead to breathing problems.

Prolonged muscular action causes sudden, powerful, and painful contractions of muscle groups. This is called tetany. These episodes can cause fractures and muscle tears (Outbreak News, 2012).

Title: Sudanese Refugees Facing Hepatitis E Outbreak, 16 Killed
Date: September 14, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract: The South Sudan in the midst of government forces clashing with rebels, a mass influx of refugees are fleeing as fast as possible.

Faced with unimaginable violence, the exodus has began, but with this comes food and water shortages and malnutrition and disease are inevitable outcomes.

The United Nations are reporting an outbreak of the viral disease, Hepatitis E in three South Sudanese refugee camps near the volatile border with Sudan

Fox News reports, South Sudan’s Ministry of Health has reported almost 400 cases of the virus since the outbreak was identified in July.

“Cases are rising day by day, thus placing immense pressure on the available heath services and resources. This is of grave humanitarian concern,” the ministry said in a joint statement with U.N. agencies.

Director of preparedness and response at the Sudanese Ministry of Health, John Lagu lays out the situation with the outbreak saying the virus thrived in camps that are overcrowded and flooded.

“There is a lack of food, clean drinking water and the number of latrines is very low … so you have all the right conditions for this type of outbreak to take place,” he said.

In addition, there are fears of the outbreak spreading into the local population as they have less access to healthcare than the refugee camps.

Hepatitis E is also known as enterically transmitted non-A non-B hepatitis has been the cause of several outbreaks and sporadic cases over a large geographical region.

The clinical course of hepatitis E is similar to that of hepatitis A with no chronic form of the disease. Jaundice, fever, loss of appetite and lethargy are commonsymptoms.

People are infected primarily through the fecal-oral route, usually through contaminated water or food. There have been several cases of hepatitis Einfection in France due to eating raw figatellu, which is made with pig liver.

Much like hepatitis A, the fatality rate is low with the exception of pregnant women where it can reach 20% among those infected in the third trimester. Liver failure is a frequent outcome with pregnant women.

Hepatitis E is found endemically in countries that have inadequate environmental sanitation. It is most frequently seen in Asia, Africa, Central America and the Middle East.

There is no vaccine or drugs available for prevention or treatment. Any treatment available is supportive (Global Dispatch, 2012).

Title: Second Crook County Plague Victim Confirmed
Date: September 14, 2012
Source:
KTVZ News

Abstract: A second person who was bitten by the same Crook County cat sick with plague in June has tested positive for antibodies to the disease on follow-up blood work, Crook County Health Department officials said Friday.

The woman, who asked not to be identified at this time, was bitten by the cat at the same time as the Crook County man who became ill with the plague in June. 

“When I was notified of the first case of plague on Sunday afternoon (June 10th), my role as communicable disease coordinator was activated. With the help of the sick man’s family, a list was put together of all persons who might be at risk.” said Karen Yeargain of Crook County Health Department.

“At that time, one of those people happened to be at an out-of-area hospital with a family member. Her efforts there to receive treatment as a contact to a case of plague were being met with disbelief, as you might imagine, and it just wasn’t happening.

"As we later found out, she was also starting into early symptoms that were similar to our known case. With my phone call confirming that this was real, the hospital Emergency Department literally walked her medication to the room where she was located and got her started. We got to her just in time. If this hadn‘t happened, we would have had another critically ill person on our hands.”

On learning that she had also been bitten by the sick cat, there was suspicion that the woman’s symptoms were early plague, but it was the lab results from blood sent to the CDC showing the presence of antibodies to the plague bacteria that confirmed the diagnosis. Those results were received by the Crook County Health Department late last week.

Paul Gaylord, the Prineville-area man hospitalized for weeks, is still recovering at home. Gaylord spent almost a month on life support after he and the woman were bitten while trying to remove a mouse from the sick cat's throat.

Plague is a bacterial illness that is spread through the bite of infected fleas or through direct contact with an animal or person who is sick with the disease.

In the Crook County cases, attempting to help the sick outdoor cat, which tested positive for the plague after its death, was the cause of the illnesses. There was no spreading of the disease from person to person.

According to Yeargain, one thing that can happen in a community when a rare disease occurs is that folks don’t know much about the illness and become afraid to be around the person who had the disease.

Like other bacterial illnesses, plague is killed by the correct antibiotics. Once it is treated, it is gone. The person no longer has the illness and cannot pass it to others.

However, if friends, neighbors and community members shun the person who is recovering from the plague, because of unfounded fears, it can make returning to a normal life that much harder, she said.

“Someone who is recovering from the plague (or other severe illness) needs the support of their community” says Yeargain. “That friendly smile and a handshake can make a real difference!” (KTVZ News, 2012).

Title: Second Case Of Plague Confirmed In Oregon
Date: September 14, 2012
Source:
KPTV News

Abstract: New lab results show a second person became infected with the plague in June after being bitten by a sick cat, health officials in Oregon said Friday.

The woman was bitten around the same time as 
a Prineville man who became ill with the plague in June. He had tried to take a dead rodent from the cat's mouth in a rural area outside the Central Oregon city. The man became seriously ill, but survived.

Blood tests later conducted on the woman were sent to the Center for Disease Control and the results, just returned to the Crook County Health Department in Prineville, confirmed she had the plague.

Fortunately, antibiotics given to the woman in the spring were effective in stopping the plague's symptoms, officials said.

Karen Yeargain, a communicable disease coordinator in Crook County, said she first started investigating June 10 after learning of the first case of the plague.

"With the help of the sick man's family, a list was put together of all persons who might be at risk," said Karen Yeargain, of the Crook County Health Department.

Health workers said the woman happened to be at a hospital out of the area with a family member. When she tried to get treatment for the plague, she was met with disbelief by hospital staff,  Yeargain said. She soon began to experience early plague symptoms.

"With my phone call confirming that this was real, the hospital emergency department literally walked her medication to the room where she was located and got her started," Yeargain said. "We got to her just in time. If this hadn't happened, we would have had another critically ill person on our hands."

Plague is a bacterial illness spread through the bite of infected fleas or through direct contact with an animal or person who is ill with the disease. In this case, the illness did not spread from person to person
(KPTV News, 2012)

Title: Hepatitis Outbreak Kills 16 In South Sudan Refugee Camps
Date: September 14, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: An outbreak of the Hepatitis E virus has killed 16 people in three South Sudanese refugee camps near the volatile border with Sudan, authorities and the United Nations said on Thursday.

South Sudan's border region has been flooded with hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

South Sudan's Ministry of Health has reported almost 400 cases of the virus since the outbreak was identified in July.

"Cases are rising day by day, thus placing immense pressure on the available heath services and resources. This is of grave humanitarian concern," the ministry said in a joint statement with U.N. agencies.

In Maban county, the area affected, 108,000 Sudanese refugees live in camps in dire conditions, aid officials say. Hepatitis E causes liver infections and is spread by drinking water contaminated with faeces.

John Lagu, director of preparedness and response at the Ministry of Health, said the virus thrived in camps that are overcrowded and flooded.

"The good thing is that the virus is not very aggressive ... and that cases of mortality are low. Few people die from it," Lagu told Reuters by telephone.

However, he warned that there was a risk the virus could spread to local people, who have less access to healthcare than those in the camps.

"It's just another indication of the very bad conditions that are there," said Stefano Zannini at medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres.

"There is a lack of food, clean drinking water and the number of latrines is very low ... so you have all the right conditions for this type of outbreak to take place," he said.

South Sudan became independent in July 2011 from Sudan under a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war but the two nations are at loggerheads over demarcation of the border and other issues (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Ebola Outbreak In Democratic Republic Of Congo – Update
Date: September 14, 2012
Source:
WHO

Abstract: Retrospective epidemiological investigation recently identified additional confirmed and probable cases with Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

As of 12 September 2012, 41 cases (9 laboratory confirmed, and 32 probable) have been reported from Haut-Uélé district in Province Orientale. Of these cases, 18 have been fatal. (5 confirmed and 13 probable). 18 healthcare workers are included among the probable cases. 28 suspected cases have also been reported and are being investigated.

Since the last update, an additional 27 cases (1 laboratory confirmed and 26 probable) of EHF were identified through retrospective epidemiological investigation in the two health zones of Isiro and Viadana. The retrospective epidemiological investigation was done to identify cases of illness which might have been EHF between the end of April 2012 and August 2012, and thus help clarify the possible origins of the outbreak and provide additional information on chains of transmission. In addition, active field epidemiological investigation is continuing to help identify all possible chains of continuing transmission of the illness, to ensure that appropriate measures are immediately taken to interrupt the transmission, and stop the outbreak.

Initial samples were tested by the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe, Uganda, and were confirmed for Ebola virus (Ebola subtype Bundibugyo). Subsequent samples have been tested by the field laboratory in Isiro that has been established by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The MoH continues to work with partners to control the outbreak of EHF. A National Task Force convened by the Democratic Republic of Congo Ministry of Health is working with several partners including WHO, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), US Agency for International Development (USAID) and CDC to control the outbreak.

WHO deployed epidemiologists and logisticians from the Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) including the Inter-country Support Team, and WHO headquarters to support the MoH and is working closely with partners in the areas of coordination, surveillance, epidemiology, public information and social mobilization and logistics for outbreak response. Support from the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), includes deployment of an infection prevention and control (IPC) specialist and an anthropologist to assist with a clearer understanding of the social and anthropological issues among the affected population that could impact the on-going response efforts.

With respect to this event, WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to the DRC (WHO, 2012).

Title: Massachusetts Health Officials Report Fourth Human Case Of EEE
Date: September 15, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: Several towns on 
Massachusetts’s South Shore have been placed on a “High” Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) threat level after a Plymouth County resident was confirmed positive for the mosquito borne viral infection.

According to a Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) news release Thursday, the patient, in his 60s, is the fourth human case of EEE in the state this year.

This prompted health officials to raise the EEE threat level in the towns of Duxbury, Marshfield, Norwell, and Plymouth.

The DPH says communities, which have been designated at “High” risk of EEE, are urged to cancel all planned evening outdoor events for the remainder of the season until the first hard frost. Mosquito control projects will be increasing ground spraying activities in these communities.
The current EEE patient is hospitalized and being treating for the infection. Massachusetts has reported one fatality as a result of EEE this year.

In addition to the EEE cases, DPH also reported the confirmation of the 14th human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in a Massachusetts resident this year.

DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria said, "Today’s announcement is yet another serious reminder that the threat of mosquito-borne illness is still with us, and will remain so until we see the first hard overnight frost”.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a mosquito-borne virus that is quite rare in the United States, with only 5-10 cases reported annually according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). EEE virus is one of several mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).

It is not transmitted from person to person.

People at highest risk of getting this infection are those who live in or visit woodland habitats, and people who work outside or participate in outdoor recreational activities, because of greater exposure to potentially infected mosquitoes.

Symptoms usually start from a few days to more than a week after getting bit by an infected mosquito. These include a sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The disease can progress to disorientation, seizures, and coma. It is fatal in approximately 30 percent of the cases.

There is no specific treatment for this infection and a vaccine is not available for prevention  (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Philippines: Dengue Fever Cases Exceed 95,000 So Far This Year
Date: September 15, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract: The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) released the latest dengue fever data and the numbers continue to climb, even though the August numbers were significantly lower than those of  the same period in 2011.

According to the latest data released by the DOH, there have been 95,142 cases of dengue from January to September 2012, or an increase of 13% compared to the same period last year with 84,244 cases.

According to an ABS-CBN report this week, the total number of deaths as of September is 549, higher than 486 during the same period last year.

Most of the dengue cases were recorded in Metro Manila with 19,602. Central Luzon and Southern Luzon followed with 14,791 and 14,417 cases, respectively.

DOH spokesperson and National Epidemiology Center Dr. Eric Tayag said dengue cases were down by 41% in August with a recorded 16,859 cases, lower compared to 28,549 cases in 2011.

Tayag says the decrease of the mosquito borne virus in last month may be attributed to the peak of the habagat (southwest monsoon) season in August where heavy rains were experienced.

Still, Tayag says the public needs to remain vigilant in preventing mosquito bites.

Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease was once called called “break-bone fever” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.

Dengue fever of multiple types is found in most countries of the tropics and subtropics particularly during and after rainy season.

There are four types of dengue virus: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4.

People get the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It is not contagious from person to person.

There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

The symptoms of classic dengue usually start within a week after being infected. They include very high fever, up to 105°F, severe headache, pain behind the eye, severe joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting and a rash.

In cases of DHF and DSS, all four types can be the cause in descending order of frequency; type 2, 3, 4 and 1.

There is evidence that types 2 and 4 need to be secondary infection to cause DHF, while primary infection with types 1 and 3 can cause DHF.

Symptoms of DHF include all the symptoms of classic dengue plus severe damage to the blood vessels. Bleeding from the nose, gums or under the skin are common. This form of dengue can be fatal.

Symptoms of DSS include all of the above symptoms plus; fluid leaking outside of blood vessels, massive bleeding and shock. This form of the disease usually happens in children experiencing their second infection.

Two-third of all fatalities occurs among children.

There is no treatment for dengue, just treat the symptoms. Persons who think they have dengue should use analgesics (pain relievers) with acetaminophen and avoid those containing aspirin. They should also rest, drink plenty of fluids, and consult a physician (Global Dispatch, 2012)

Title: Superbug Kills 7th Person At Maryland NIH Hospital
Date: September 15, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: A deadly germ untreatable by most antibiotics has killed a seventh person at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Maryland.

The Washington Post reported the death Friday. NIH officials told the paper that the boy from Minnesota died Sept. 7. NIH says the boy arrived at the research hospital in Bethesda in April and was being treated for complications from a bone marrow transplant when he contracted the bug.

He was the 19th patient at the hospital to contract an antibiotic-resistant strain of KPC, or Klebsiella pneumoniae. The outbreak stemmed from a single patient carrying the superbug who arrived at the hospital last summer.

The paper reported the Minnesota boy's case marked the first new infection of this superbug at NIH since January (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Rabbit Tests Positive For Plague In Colorado Springs, ‘Plague Alert’ Issued
Date: September 16, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract:
El Paso County health officials announced Friday, September 14, that a wild rabbit found on the northeast side of Colorado Springs has been laboratory-confirmed positive for Yersinia pestis, the cause of plague.

This comes on the heels of a Pagosa Springs girl who contracted the plague and recovered from the disease. El Paso County’s last reported human case occurred in 1991.

An El Paso County Public Health news release Friday says the animal was found is East of Powers Boulevard near the St. Francis Medical Center/Hospital.

Of utmost importance is the risk to the human population in the area. Infectious disease experts are conducting an investigation to determine potential human exposures and to assess the general area for additional plague concerns. The people exposed have been identified and have been given preventive antibiotics to prevent plague from developing.

Health officials are trying to raise “plague awareness” by handing out “Plague health alert” flyers and putting up warning signs in the affected area.

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium,Yersinia pestis. It is found in animals throughout the world, most commonly rats but other rodents like ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, rabbits and voles. Fleas typically serve as the vector of plague. Human cases have been linked to the domestic cats and dogs that brought infected fleas into the house.

People can also get infected through direct contact with an infected animal, through inhalation and in the case of pneumonic plague, person to person.

Yersinia pestis is treatable with antibiotics if started early enough (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Fourth Case Of Anthrax In A Heroin User Confirmed In Germany
Date: September 17, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: A fourth case of anthrax has been confirmed in a German heroin user since June, reports the Robert Koch Institut (RKI) in a 
news release Friday, September 14.

According to the release (translated), the individual saw a doctor in mid-September presenting with a soft tissue infection in the area of injection site. The presumptive diagnosis of anthrax was confirmed by the RKI using real-time PCR laboratory on the wound material.

Germany has now confirmed 4 cases in two states, two in Regensburg and two in Berlinsince June 2012.

The RKI says, the fact that the anthrax strains that were isolated from the first three anthrax cases in 2012 are similar or at least very closely related to the strains of the German and British cases of the years 2009/2010, suggests that the same source of infection might still be active.

This case is the eleventh of anthrax among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Europe reported since June. In addition to the four cases in Germany, there have been four in the United Kingdom, two in Denmark and one in France.

The RKI reminds the public, since anthrax is not passed on from person-to-person, there is no risk of transmission (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Diphtheria Takes The Lives Of Six Children In Nigeria
Date: September 17, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: An 
outbreak of diphtheria has killed six children, five boys and a girl, in Duzum village, Madara district in Katagum Local Government Area of Bauchi State, according to a Nigerian Tribune report Monday.

Local government official, Alhaji Abubakar Dahuwa Abdulkadir, made the announcement as he visited the families who lost children.

Abdulkadir says the children died unnecessarily due to ignorance of not receiving routine immunizations.

Government officials in Bauchi say they are committed to delivering a free ante-natal service and routine immunization to women and children.

Local government representatives also call upon the public to maintain personal hygiene as well as ensure that they live in clean environment.

According to the National Library of Medicine, diphtheria is an acute infectious disease caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

Diphtheria spreads through respiratory droplets (such as those produced by a cough or sneeze) of an infected person or someone who carries the bacteria but has no symptoms. Diphtheria can also be spread by contaminated objects or foods (such as contaminated milk).

The bacteria most commonly infects the nose and throat. The throat infection causes a gray to black, tough, fiber-like covering, which can block the airways. In some cases, diphtheria may first infect the skin, producing skin lesions.

Once infected, dangerous substances called toxins, produced by the bacteria, can spread through your bloodstream to other organs, such as the heart, and cause significant damage.

Risk factors include crowded environments, poor hygiene, and lack of immunization.

Prevention of diphtheria is by immunization (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Cantaloupes Recalled Due To Possible Salmonella Contamination
Date: September 17, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: A California-based company has recalled cantaloupes in Colorado sold in August due to possible salmonella contamination, KDVR reported.

DFI Marketing Inc. of Fresno, Calif. ordered the recall as a precautionary measure because it “has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella,” according to the FDA.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a press release stating that salmonella was found on a single sample of cantaloupe during routine USDA testing, and that DFI Marketing is voluntarily recalling the product as a precautionary measure. No illnesses have been reported.

According to a Longmont King Sooper’s clerk, robocalls were sent out to customers requesting they return any cantaloupes purchased at the store between Aug. 27 and Sept. 10, because the product may be contaminated with salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and even fatal infections in children, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems.

The suspected cantaloupes were packed on Aug. 26th, and include approximately 28,000 cartons of bulk-packed product, according to the FDA. The cantaloupes are packed in  6, 9, 12, 15 or 18 cantaloupes per carton, with a DFI brand label. The following is stamped in black on the carton: “826 CALIFORNIA WESTSIDE.”

Repeated calls were made to the marketing company Sunday, but they are not returning phone calls.

Thirty-three deaths were associated with a large listeria outbreak last year, which was linked to cantaloupes from Jensen Farms in Denver (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Second Person In Vermont Dies Of Fatal Brain Infection Spread By Mosquitoes
Date: September 19, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: A second Vermonter has died from the eastern equine encephalitis, a rare and potentially fatal brain infection spread by mosquitoes, Health Department officials confirmed on Tuesday.

Scott Sgorbati, 49, of Sudbury, died within the last few days after fighting the virus for several weeks.

Two weeks ago, Richard Hollis Breen, 87, of Brandon died of EEE, after being sick with the disease for five days.

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen on Tuesday offered condolences to the families of both men and reminded Vermonters that EEE is a very rare virus. On average there are only six cases a year nationwide, he said. About one-third of the people with severe EEE die from the disease. Many of those who survive have mild to severe disabilities.

“What’s important right now is that Vermonters are aware of EEE and take steps to avoid exposure,” he said, such as limiting time outdoors at dawn and dusk, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants outside and using insect repellents labeled as being effective against mosquitoes.

Efforts to control mosquitoes in Brandon and Whiting are working, but it doesn’t eliminate the threat of EEE, the Health Department said.

Earlier this month, the state used aircraft to spray pesticides in Whiting and Brandon and the number of mosquitoes captured in traps in the area has been cut in half. The small risk of exposure will remain until after the first hard frost, Chen said (Fox News, 2012)

Title: Kroger Recalls Spinach Due To Possible Listeria Risk
Date: September 19, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: Kroger is recalling spinach sold at grocery stores in 15 states due to possible Listeria contamination.

The Fresh Selections Tender Spinach was sold in 10-ounce packages and had a "best if used by" date of Sept. 16. The grocer said Wednesday that if customers did buy the recalled product, they should return it to stores for a full refund or replacement.

Listeria can lead to severe illness for women who are pregnant or people who have a weakened immune system.

The Kroger Co. said the product was sold in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. The recall involves its Kroger, Jay C, Owen's, Pay Less, Scott's, Food 4 Less, Dillons, Baker's and Gerbes stores in selected states (Fox News, 2012)

Title: Woman Who Had Liposuction In Baltimore County Dies From Infection
Date: September 19, 2012
Source:
Washington Post

Abstract: A woman who had liposuction at a Baltimore County cosmetic surgery center has died after contracting a bacterial infection, Maryland health officials said Wednesday. Two other women who had liposuction at the same center were also hospitalized with the same infection.

State health officials shut down the facility, Monarch Med Spa, in Timonium, Md., on Wednesday as part of an investigation to determine the possible sources of infection and to limit further spread. State and county investigators found “probable deviations from standard infection control practices,” among other deficiencies, according to the state order shutting the facility.

Citing privacy, health officials declined to provide details on the fatality or the two other patients, except to say they are no longer hospitalized.

Officials were alerted Monday when the University of Maryland’s infection-control unit notified them that three patients who had procedures at the cosmetic surgery center between mid-August and mid-September had contracted invasive streptococcal infections and that one had died.

The women had Group A Streptococcusinfections. The bacterium is often found in the throat and on the skin, and people who carry it may have no symptoms of illness. Most GAS infections are relatively mild illnesses, such as strep throat. But occasionally these bacteria can cause severe and even life-threatening diseases when they infect parts of the body where bacteria usually are not found, such as blood, muscle or the lungs. These infections are known as “invasive GAS disease.” About 10 to 15 percent of patients with the disease die from the infection.

One of the most severe, but least common, forms of the disease is necrotizing fasciitis, sometimes described as “the flesh-eating bacteria.” Health officials declined to give specifics about the patients’ infections.

People with skin lesions such as cuts, surgical wounds and chickenpox, or the elderly and adults with a history of alcohol abuse or injection-drug use have a higher risk for invasive GAS disease.

Officials are urging individuals who had any procedure at Monarch Med Spa and who have concerns about an infection to check with their doctors. Symptoms include fever; redness at the wound site; abrupt onset of generalized or localized severe pain and swelling; and progressive dizziness, weakness and confusion.

A spokeswoman for Monarch Med Spa said the company has voluntarily agreed to suspend all procedures at its Timonium facility as a precautionary measure pending an investigation by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

In a statement, Monarch said its “primary concern is for the safety and well-being of all of our patients, and we extend our deepest sympathy to deceased patient’s family.”

Monarch, in business for eight years, has “successfully performed thousands of complication-free surgical procedures performed by licensed health professionals,” it said. The company performs nearly 40,000 procedures annually and uses “only highly trained and licensed professionals,” according to its Web site. It describes itself as “the East Coast leader in its field.” One of the monthly specials includes $750 off and 0 percent financing for liposuction procedures, according to the Web site.

The suspected infections, the company said in its statement, “are a new development and their possible origins are being closely and carefully investigated.”

The company has three locations in Pennsylvania — King of Prussia, Philadelphia and Harrisburg — and another in Greenville, Del.

Cosmetic surgery centers in Maryland are not subject to state licensure. The state health department will seek public comment in the near future on potential approaches to oversight of these facilities, health department spokeswoman Dori Henry said.

Peter Pronovost, senior vice president for quality at Johns Hopkins, said the increasing number of centers that perform outpatient procedures, including cosmetic surgery, poses risks to consumers.

“It’s a bit of the Wild West out there,” he said. “There’s no oversight. . . . We have closer inspections of restaurants than we have of health care.”

Over the past five years, an average of 189 cases of invasive GAS were reported annually in Maryland. About 9,000 to 11,500 cases of invasive GAS disease occur each year in the United States, resulting in 1,000 to 1,800 deaths, according to federal statistics (Washington Post, 2012).

Title: Kroger Recalls Some Spinach Products Over Listeria Fears
Date: September 19, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: Supermarket chain, 
Kroger Co. has issued a recall on certain spinach products in 15 states amid concerns they may be contaminated by the bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes.

According to an Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Firm Press Release Sept. 19, the recall involves 10 ounce packages of Kroger Fresh Selections Tender Spinach with the UPC code 0001111091649 with a "best if used by" date of September 16.

NewStar Fresh Foods LLC is the supplier of the potentially contaminated spinach.

Specifically, Kroger stores and several other named stores in the following states are included in the recall: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Kroger has removed affected items from store shelves and initiated its customer recall notification system. Customers who may have purchased the affected products will receive register receipt messages and/or automated phone calls. Kroger is also placing signs in stores in produce departments.

The company advises customers not to consume any opened or unopened spinach and return it for a refund.

Listeriosis, a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteriumListeria monocytogenes, is an important public health problem. . The disease primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. However, rarely, persons without these risk factors can also be affected.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled. Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness, however, infections during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Manila: Massive Flooding Last Month Results In Over 1700 Leptospirosis Cases
Date: September 19, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: The 
massive flooding that occurred in the National Capital Region of the Philippinesin early August has resulted in more than 1,700 cases of the bacterial disease, leptospirosis.

As reported in the Philippines news source, PhilStar.com Sept. 19, Philippine health officials say 1,713 cases were recorded in 20 private and government hospitals in Metro Manila from Aug. 9 to Sept. 16, based on a Quick Count.

In addition, of the more than 1,700 cases reported, 116 resulted in death.

The 1,713 leptospirosis cases is part of the 3,410 cases, including 149 deaths, recorded by the Department of Health from Jan. 1 to Aug. 25 nationwide.

Leptospirosis is a spirochetal bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Leptospira interrogans. Exposure to fresh water and wet soil contaminated by the urine of an infected animal, rats being the most common, is how humans typically pick up the infection.

It is commonly considered an occupational disease for those who work outdoors or with animals. Recreational activities, which involve exposure to fresh water contaminated with infected animal urine, are also a risk for leptospirosis.

Weil’s disease is the more severe phase of leptospirosis where the person may have kidney or liver failure (jaundice) or meningitis (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Cholera In Sierra Leone: The Case Study Of An Outbreak
Date: September 19, 2012
Source: WHO


Abstract: Sierra Leone is in the midst of its worst cholera outbreak in 15 years. As of 19 September, there were more than 19 000 cases reported and 274 deaths. WHO and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation have established a cholera control and command centre to coordinate the response to what has turned into a national emergency.

When reports of suspected cholera cases first came into Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation in February, alarm bells sounded. Cholera outbreaks normally occur in the rainy season. But February is the middle of the dry season, and more than 2000 cases had already been reported from three districts.

WHO’s Representative in Sierra Leone, Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu reacted immediately, assigning seven staff members from his office to work with the government and other health sector partners on the response.

The first challenge was to confirm that the outbreak was indeed cholera. And this was not easy.

“In the beginning, we had reports of cases of acute diarrhoea and vomiting in a significant number of people aged more than five years,” said Dr Alemu. “This prompted further investigation but unfortunately there is very little laboratory capacity and the disease reporting system is weak in this country.”

Detection, Treatment and Prevention
In the early stages of the outbreak, WHO worked with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and partners including UNICEF and Médecins Sans Frontières-Belgium to detect and confirm new cases, train health workers in cholera treatment and prevention and send medical supplies to support specially established cholera treatment units. By mid-June, cases began to decrease to fewer than 40 per week.

In late June, however, it began to rain. The epidemic spread rapidly to other districts and the number of cases reported rose to more than 2000 per week in early August. More than half of all cases were in the Western Area where the capital Freetown is located.

A cholera Command and Control Centre
On 16 August, President Koroma declared the situation a “public health emergency”. Ten days later, the Ministry of Health established, with WHO support, a Cholera Command and Control Centre. Building on experience from the 2008 cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, the centre coordinates the response among the many health partners involved in the relief effort. The Minister of Health and WHO co-chair daily meetings at WHO’s office in Freetown at which the partners discuss the day’s case numbers and other information to plan activities.

WHO has brought in additional experts in epidemiology, surveillance, logistics, social mobilization, water and sanitation from other WHO country offices, from the regional office in Brazzaville and headquarters. Mobilizing international expertise from WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, cholera experts have been sent from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, and the Health Protection Agency in the United Kingdom. These experts are supporting surveillance and data management, and have been training health workers and laboratory scientists to improve the country’s capacity to manage cholera patients and perform reliable laboratory testing.

Daily Updates of Cases
According to William Perea, coordinator of the Control of Epidemic Diseases unit at WHO, one of the Organization’s most important contributions has been to set up a national reporting network that requires all health centres to submit daily updates of cases.

“This network is essential to identifying disease hotspots that require urgent response,” says Perea. “The system will have long-term benefits for surveillance of all disease outbreaks.”

Disseminating Safety Messages
WHO has also been supporting the Ministry and partners in disseminating messages about safe drinking water, hand washing and food preparation.

“This not only has the immediate benefit of reducing cholera infection, but will help reduce all diarrhoeal disease, a big killer of children under-five in Sierra Leone,” says Dr Eugene Lam, epidemic intelligence service officer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA) working for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Water and Sanitation are Key
Water and sanitation remain a long-term challenge, particularly in the urban slums where people are at high risk of cholera infection.

“Until there is significant improvement in the water and sanitation infrastructure, Sierra Leone will continue to be vulnerable to cholera, especially in the rainy season,” says Perea. “But even if cholera becomes endemic, there are many things that we can do to make sure that people don’t die from it.”

Life-Saving Treatment in Short Supply
Having visited many villages struck by the epidemic, Perea says there is a serious shortage of oral rehydration salts (ORS) solution, the most effective, life-saving treatment for diarrhoeal disease. “People in rural areas know about ORS, but those who need it most can’t get hold of it,” he says.

Since early September, there has been a significant reduction in new cases coming in to some of the cholera treatment centres, particularly in Freetown. In more isolated districts, however, numbers of new cases are still rising. Projections suggest that as many as 32 000 cases could be expected in this outbreak.

“This is a major crisis for a country with a fragile health system recovering from several years of conflict,” says Dr Alemu. “The health sector still urgently needs around US$ 1.2 million to sustain the response operations and help bring this outbreak under control and save lives.

“The already-weak health system is struggling to deal with the additional burden of this outbreak. Health workers are giving priority to treating emergency cases of cholera and this takes resources away from other essential services such as maternal and child health,” he says. “While the rain continues to fall, the infection will keep spreading” (WHO, 2012)

Title: Vietnam Reports Second Ever ‘Brain-Eating Amoeba’ Death
Date: September 19, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: In a 
follow-up to a story earlier this month, Vietnamese health officials report Wednesday, Sept. 19, the second-ever fatality due to the parasitic amoeba in the country.

According to a Vietnam Net report Wednesday, Director of the Preventive Medicine Agency, Dr. Nguyen Van Binh, confirmed that the child who died of brain abscess in Ho Chi Minh City is actually killed by brain eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

Dr. Binh continues, "The test results show that the samples of the child are positive for amoeba Naegleria fowleri."

The 6-year-old boy from Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Thanh District is the second case of a person being infected by the deadly amoeba in the Southeast Asian country.

The first patient, a 25-year-old male from the southern province of Phu Yen, died from contracting the amoeba after diving in a lake near his home to catch mussels a little over a month ago.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says Naegleria fowleri (commonly referred to as the "brain-eating ameba or amoeba"), is a free-living microscopic amoeba, (single-celled living organism). It can cause a very rare, but severe, infection of the brain calledprimary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). The amoeba is commonly found in warm freshwater (e.g. lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil.

Naegleria fowleri usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. Once the amoeba enters the nose, it travels to the brain where it causes PAM, which is usually fatal. Infection typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. In very rare instances, Naegleria infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated and contaminated tapwater) enters the nose.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has warned people not to swim in lakes and rivers and limit water flow into their noses (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Oregon Plague Victim Loses Fingers And Toes
Date: September 19, 2012
Source:
CBS Seattle

Abstract: An Oregon man who nearly died from the plague in June has now lost his withered fingers and toes to the disease known as the Black Death.

Doctors amputated the blackened extremities of Paul “Steve” Gaylord in an operation that lasted 2 1/2 hours Monday at the St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.

The 60-year-old Prineville man told The Oregonian the surgery was a success but painful.

Surgeons removed his fingers to his palms, leaving half of his left thumb and less of his right one. They also cut off his toes and the top part of his right foot.

“I’m very happy to be alive,” Gaylord said. “I can’t change it. I want to get out of pain and be able to walk again and do things for myself.”

Gaylord was infected in June when he tried to remove a mouse from the throat of a choking cat. The plague-stricken cat bit him and a family friend. The friend was treated with antibiotics and never developed severe symptoms.

Gaylord spent nearly a month on life support as his family braced for his death. The former welder faces months of physical therapy to learn how to use his feet. He’ll also need prosthetics for his hands.

“I don’t think he’ll be splitting his own wood,” said his niece, Andrea Gibb. “He’ll have limitations, but at the same time he’ll be able to function.”

Besides the physical pain of recovery, he has to surmount the fear of people who mistakenly think he’s contagious.

“A lot of people are really leery,” Gibb said. “They’re not well-educated. It freaks a lot of people out.”

His family is trying to raise money and collect supplies to build him a new house because the trailer in which he had been living was dilapidated and unsafe. The family has collected $16,000 so far (CBS Seattle, 2012).

Title: Dengue Fever Cases Increase 36 Percent In Costa Rica
Date: September 20, 2012
Source: Global Dispatch

Abstract: The 
Costa Rican Health Ministry reported this week the latest dengue fever numbers in the Central American country.

According to an official report released Monday, a total of 8,480 people have been affected by dengue fever in Costa Rica, marking a year-on-year increase of 36 percent.

This percentage represents an increase of 2,230 cases more than the same period in 2011.

Of the more than 8,000 cases reported this year, only nine had the more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Dengue fever is caused by one of four different but related viruses. It is spread by the bite of mosquitoes, most commonly the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which is found in tropic and subtropic regions.

Also known as O’nyong-nyong fever and Breakbone fever, dengue fever should not be confused with Dengue hemorrhagic fever, which is a separate disease that is caused by the same type of virus but has much more severe symptoms, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Dengue fever begins with a sudden high fever, often as high as 104 – 105 degrees Fahrenheit, 4 to 7 days after the infection.

A flat, red rash may appear over most of the body 2 – 5 days after the fever starts. A second rash, which looks like the measles, appears later in the disease. Infected people may have increased skin sensitivity and are very uncomfortable.

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. You will need fluids if there are signs of dehydration. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is used to treat a high fever. Avoid taking aspirin (Global Dispatch, 2012).

Title: Canadian Ground Beef Recall Expands, FSIS Issues Alert In U.S.
Date: September 21, 2012
Source: Outbreak News

Abstract: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has expanded the nationwide ground beef recall  (
see list) and is warning the public, distributors and food service establishments not to consume, sell, or serve the ground beef products described in the link above because the products may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The CFIA adds, the recall also includes unlabelled and/or unbranded ground beef products available for sale from August 24 through September 16, 2012 and sold at retail stores not identified in the CFIA‘s product list below, which may include small retailers, local meat markets and butcher shops, etc.Therefore, the CFIA is advising consumers who are unsure if they have the affected ground beef product in their home to check with the store(s) where the product was purchased or throw it out.

This voluntary recall is part of an ongoing food safety investigation. The CFIAis working with the recalling firms and distributors to identify and verify all affected products.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with these products to date.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued Thursday a Public Health Alert for raw boneless beef trim products imported from Canada that may be contaminated with E. coliO157:H7.

The agency said testing of raw boneless beef trim product from Canadian Establishment 38, XL Foods, Inc., confirmed positive for E. coli O157:H7 on September 3, 2012.

The products subject to the Canadian recall were distributed to U.S. establishments in the following states: California, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

In some related news, the news source, The Tyee reports the Alberta Health Services is saying an outbreak of 5 cases of E. coli O157:H7  are not linked to the above recall of ground beef.

Alberta Health Services says four of the infections are in Edmonton and one is in Calgary.

Symptoms of the diseases caused by E.coli O157:H7 include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that may in some cases progress to bloody diarrhea.  The infection may lead to a life-threatening disease, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS is characterized by acuterenal failure, hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia. It is estimated that up to 10% of patients with E.coli infection may develop HUS, with a case-fatality rate ranging from 3% to 5% (Outbreak News, 2012).

Title: Christchurch Health Reports Increase In Syphilis In Gay And Bi Men, Internet ‘Hook-Ups’ Blamed
Date: September 21, 2012
Source: Outbreak News


Abstract: Anonymous sexual hookups arranged over the internet is the likely reason for an “incredible rise” in syphilis young gay and bi men in Christchurch, according  to Dr Edward Coughlan of Christchurch.

As reported on the website, gaynz.com Friday, Coughlan notes the incidence of Syphilis, primarily amongst men who have sex with men in their early 20s, has surged in the past eight months with over 50 men in the city now diagnosed with syphilis.

The report continues to say, half of the young men identified in Christchurch who contracted the disease still had no symptoms and were only identified through contact tracing starting with men who already had symptoms.

Coughlan says reaching vulnerable sexually active men with alerts to ensure they practise safer sexual techniques and also get tested every three to six months is difficult as internet-based contact sites such as dating sites and locator apps such as Grinder tend to isolate such men from glbti-focussed community health initiatives. He says the Canterbury District Health Board and the NZ AIDS Foundation are currently looking at initiatives to reach these men and head off a further blowout of syphilis.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium, Treponema pallidum. The most common way to get syphilis is by having sexual contact (oral, genital or anal) with an infected person. The secondary lesions are also infective and contact with them could transmit the bacteria. It can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby (congenital transmission). It can also be transmitted throughblood transfusion, though extremely rare because of testing of donors.

Because of the fragility of the organism, you cannot get syphilis from eating utensils, pools or toilets.

Syphilis goes through four stages that can overlap:

Primary Syphilis
The first symptom of primary syphilis is frequently a small, round, firm ulcer called a chancre (pronounced “shanker”) at the place the bacteria enters the body (usually the penis, vulva or vagina, but it may appear on the cervix, tongue or lips). There is usually just one chancre, however there can be many. Swollen lymph nodes in these areas are common.

The chancre usually appears in about 3 weeks after infection, but can occur anytime from 9-90 days after infection.

Because chancres are painless and can occur inside the body, you may not notice it. It disappears after 3-6 weeks whether you are treated or not. If primary syphilis goes untreated, it then moves into the secondary stage.

Secondary Syphilis
The most common symptom of this stage is a non-itchy rash. The rash is usually on the palms of the hands (see below) and soles of the feet, it can cover the whole body or only a select few areas. This occurs 2-10 weeks after the chancre heals. Other common symptoms are sore throat, fatigue, headache, swollen glands and less frequently hair loss and lesions in the mouth.

Much like primary syphilis, secondary syphilis will disappear even without treatment. If untreated it goes into the latent and tertiary stages.

Latent Syphilis
This is the hidden stage of syphilis. At this stage there are no symptoms. This stage can last for weeks or decades.
Early latent syphilis is still an infectious stage and you can transmit the disease to your partner. In late latent syphilis, the risk of infecting a partner is low or absent.

Signs and symptoms may never return or if untreated it goes into the most serious stage, tertiary syphilis.

Tertiary Syphilis
Even without treatment only a minority of infected people develop these horrible complications. In this stage, the bacteria will damage the heart, eyes, brain, bones, joints and central nervous system. This can happen decades after the initial infection. This can result in blindness, deafness, memory loss, heart disease and death. Neurosyphilis is one of the most severe signs of this stage.

Congenital syphilis can results in miscarriages, premature births and stillbirths. Some infants with congenital syphilis have symptoms at birth, but most develop symptoms later. Sore on infected babies are infectious so holding and kissing infected babies could transmit the disease.

It is very easy to detect early stages of syphilis through blood tests that detect antibodies. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and other major medical organizations recommend that all pregnant women be screened for syphilis. The bacteria can be visualized through special microscopic techniques from the primary chancre or other sores .

If it is suspected to be neurosyphilis, testing can be done on spinal fluid.

It is easy to treat syphilis in the early stages with one injection of Penicillin. Later stages or neurosyphilis may take daily doses given by IV in a hospital. It is important to note in late syphilis, any damage done to organs cannot be reversed.

Having a syphilis chancre can increase the transmission of HIV up to 5-fold.

To reduce your risk of syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases, practice safe sex:

• Avoid sex, or have mutually monogamous sex with one partner who is uninfected.
• Talk with your sex partners about your HIV status and history of other sexually transmitted infections.
• If you don’t know the STI status of your partner, use a latex condom with each sexual contact.
• Avoid excessive use of alcohol or other drugs, which can cloud your judgment and lead to unsafe sexual practices (Outbreak News, 2012).

Title: Woman's Brain Becomes Riddled With Tapeworm
Date: September 21, 2012
Source:
9 News

Abstract: A UK mother-of-four had to have emergency surgery after her brain became riddled with tapeworm which caused an aneurysm when they started to die.

Suki-Jane Taylor, 42, contracted neurosysticercosis, a parasitic disease where tapeworm get into the nervous system, after she was infected by pork tapeworm in 2009.

The mother-of-four is now fighting to be moved from her third-floor council flat, saying the tapeworm caused permanent damage — she now suffers epileptic fits, impaired eyesight and sense of balance — that makes it unsafe for her to use stairs.

The damage occurred after Ms Taylor ingested the tapeworm eggs and the larvae travelled to her brain where they formed cysts — when the tapeworm started to die it caused the brain tissue around the cysts to swell, triggering an aneurysm.

Ms Taylor was rushed to a hospital in South London and surgeons had to insert a shunt into her skull to drain away a build-up of fluid and remove the aneurysm.

"They removed it straight away and when I was coming around he [the doctor] was talking to my partner and he said I was two weeks away from death," Ms Taylor told The Local Guardian newspaper.

"[The aneurysm] was right at the top of my spine at the back of my brain."

Ms Taylor suffered a loss of taste and smell and now suffers epilepsy and depression as a result of her illness.

Tapeworm eggs are spread through food, water or surfaces that have been contaminated with faeces but neurosysticerosis is only contracted by ingesting eggs excreted by a person with intestinal tapeworm.

Once they are ingested the tapeworm larvae embed in tissues, including in the brain, and form cyst sacs called cysticerci.

Symptoms, including seizures, headaches, confusion, lack of attention to people and surrounds and excess fluid around the brain, can occur months or years after infection.

Neurosysticerosis is rare in developed countries with just 24 cases reported in the UK.

It is the main cause of acquired epilepsy in developing countries (9 News, 2012).

Title: Amansie Central District, Ghana Report 50 New Cases Of Buruli Ulcer Each Month
Date: September 21, 2012
Source:
Outbreak News

Abstract:  Despite efforts to eradicate the disfiguring disease, health authorities in Amansie Central District, Ghana continue to report a monthly average of 50 new cases.
Myjoyonline.com report Friday states, though the cause of the disease is unknown, health experts suspect the use of unwholesome water from polluted sources due to galamsey activities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks Ghana as the second highest among countries with buruli ulcer cases.

About one thousand and forty Ghanaians are living with the disease associated with marshy or water logged areas.

Buruli ulcer, one of the neglected tropical diseases, has in recent years been spreading greatly, particularly in western Africa.

What organism causes Buruli ulcer?
Buruli ulcer is a bacterial infection by Mycobacterium ulcerans. Like the agentof tuberculosis, it is a slow-growing, acid fast bacilli. But unlike TB, it is an organism that is found in wetland type environments.

Where is Buruli ulcer found?
The infection is found in over 30 countries throughout the globe, most are tropical areas. Africa is the place most affected with Buruli ulcer.

How does someone get infected?
This is has been the big question that has perplexed scientists. Some evidence points to the various creatures and flora that are present inwetlands. Snails, insects and fish normally harbor M. ulcerans and may be a source of infection.

Some suggest that the bite from a water-borne insect may be the source of infection. Most do agree that it involves introduction of the organism through some type of trauma.

Environmental changes like dam construction and irrigation projects may be associated with outbreaks of Buruli ulcer. Farming in rural wetlandareas may also contribute.

What are the symptoms of Buruli ulcer?
Typically it presents itself painless skin wound with a necrotic white or yellow base, typically seen on the extremities. The incubation time from the time of infection to a visible ulcer may be up to 3 months and probably only a small percentage of people infected actually get the disease.

Untreated ulcers can cause bad scarring and ulceration resulting in severe deformities. The spread of the bacteria either directly or through the bloodstream, can affect the joints and bone. It is rarely fatal.

Transmission of the infection from person to person is extremely rare.

How is Buruli ulcer treated?
Antibiotics and depending on the severity of the ulcer, surgery and skin grafts may be required.

What can be done to prevent the infection?
Several things to include avoiding insect bites, prompt cleansing of wounds, early detection and treatment of the disease and the use of the BCG vaccine may offer short term protection. And of course, educating the population of the causes of this disease is important in the prevention of this overlooked but serious disease
(Outbreak News, 2012).

Title:
Yuma Health Officials Report A Scabies Outbreak
Date: September 22, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract:  Health officials in Yuma, Arizona say that a scabies outbreak have affected several people in the community.

According to a Yuma Pioneer report Friday, the “itch mite” outbreak apparently began at the nursing home, and then additional cases were reported today  at Yuma High School, prompting school officials to call off school early as a precautionary measure.

The report notes that Principal Carl Rice said there were three confirmed cases, Friday morning. He said the decision was made to send the students home so the school could be fumigated. Plus, scabies, a skin infection caused by mites that causes severe itchiness, has about a 72-hour incubation period, so it should be fine by Monday.

It may actually make you feel itchy just thinking about it; mites burrowing into the skin and laying eggs. And then to think the mites are also leaving fecal deposits in these burrows in the skin.

These burrows are tiny threadlike projections, ranging from 2 mm-15 mm long that appear as thin gray, brown, or red lines in affected areas. The burrows can be very difficult to see.

Scabies is caused by an infestation by the eight-legged “itch mite”, Sarcoptes scabiei.

Transfer of this mite from person to person typically occurs through prolonged direct contact with infested skin and also during sexual contact. In fact, sexual contact is the most common form of transmission among sexually active young people.

Transfer from undergarments and bedclothes occur only if these have been contaminated by an infested person immediately beforehand.

Outbreaks have happened in nursing home and similar institutions, albeit rare.

It may take up to two months for symptoms to appear after initial infestation. Scabies produces skin rash composed of small red bumps and blisters and affects specific areas of the body.

Lesions are prominent around finger webs, wrist and elbows, armpits, belt line, thighs and genitalia of males and nipples, abdomen and buttocks are frequently affected in women. In infants; the head, neck palms and soles may be involved.

Itching is intense, especially at night and complications due to secondary bacterial infections with staph and strep are possible.

A more severe form is called Norwegian scabies, or crusted scabies. There seems to be a problem with the immune response to the mites, allowing for the infestation of an individual with hundreds of thousands of the mites.

Crusted scabies almost always affects people with a compromised immune system and is observed most frequently in the elderly, those who are mentally or physically disabled, and in patients with AIDS, lymphoma, or other conditions that decrease the effectiveness of the immune response.

The lesions of this distinctive form of scabies are extensive and may spread all over the body.

Human scabies is caused by a different parasite than that that causes mange in animals. When canine or feline mites land on human skin, they fail to thrive and produce only a mild itch that goes away on its own.

Diagnosis is made based upon the appearance and distribution of the rash and the presence of burrows. Whenever possible, scabies should be confirmed by isolating the mites, ova or feces in a skin scraping. Scrapings should be made at the burrows, especially on the hands between the fingers and the folds of the wrist.

Scabies can be treated by using a scabicide like 5% permethrin, 10% Crotamiton or 1% lindane. There are no over the counter medications that are approved to treat scabies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following to prevent and control scabies:

Scabies is prevented by avoiding direct skin-to-skin contact with an infested person or with items such as clothing or bedding used by an infested person. Scabies treatment usually is recommended for members of the same household, particularly for those who have had prolonged skin-to-skin contact. All household members and other potentially exposed persons should be treated at the same time as the infested person to prevent possible reexposure and reinfestation.

Bedding and clothing worn or used next to the skin anytime during the 3 days before treatment should be machine washed and dried using the hot water and hot dryer cycles or be dry-cleaned. Items that cannot be dry-cleaned or laundered can be disinfested by storing in a closed plastic bag for several days to a week. Scabies mites generally do not survive more than 2 to 3 days away from human skin. Children and adults usually can return to child care, school, or work the day after treatment.

Persons with crusted (Norwegian) scabies and their close contacts, including household members, should be treated rapidly and aggressively to avoid outbreaks. Institutional outbreaks can be difficult to control and require a rapid, aggressive, and sustained response.

Rooms used by a patient with crusted scabies should be thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed after use. Environmental disinfestation using pesticide sprays or fogs generally is unnecessary and is discouraged (Global Dispatch, 2012).

Title: Minnesota Reports Nearly 200 New Pertussis Cases This Week
Date: September 22, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract:  During the past week, the 
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has recorded 189 new cases of the respiratory disease, pertussis, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 3,558 this year, according to a MDH Pertussis Disease Statistics update Sept. 20.

Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that provisional counts from their surveillance system indicate that nearly 29,000 cases of pertussis were reported to CDC through September 20, 2012.

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) report Saturday notes that MDH health officials see waning immunity to vaccines as the main cause of this year’s outbreak.

Director of the infectious disease division at the MDH, Kris Ehresmann is reported as saying three-quarters of Minnesota's cases have occurred in vaccinated people.

Related article: Minnesota Health Officials Report Three Human Cases of Swine Flu H1N2v

"Definitely this outbreak has been driven I think, in fairness, more by waning immunity than by those folks who have chosen not to vaccinate," Ehresmann said.

Pertussis, or whooping cough is caused by the bacterium, Bordetella pertussis. This “vaccine-preventable disease” is spread through direct contact with respiratory discharges via the airborne route.

Pertussis goes through a series of stages in the infected person; initially a irritating cough followed by repeated, violent coughing. The disease gets its nickname by coughing without inhaling air giving the characteristic high-pitched whoop. Certain populations may not have the typical whoop like infants and adults.

It is highly communicable, especially in very early stages and the beginning of coughing episodes, for approximately the first 2 weeks. Then the communicability gradually decreases and at 3 weeks it is negligible, though the cough my last for months.

Those that are not immunized are susceptible to this disease. Young infants and school aged children (who are frequently the source of infection for younger siblings) are at greatest risk (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Avian Botulism The Cause Of Die-Off Of 1,200 Birds At Oregon Wetland
Date: September 22, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract:  Labs in Wisconsin and at 
Oregon State University say that testing performed on at least a dozen ducks show preliminary findings that avian botulism was the cause of death of more than 1,200 birds at a Portland-area wetland, according to a Metro government news release Sept. 20.

Metro and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff have removed more than 1,200 dead or dying waterfowl from the Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area.

Smith and Bybee Wetlands is a 200-acre natural area that attracts a variety ofmigratory birds.

In addition to migrating waterfowl, several shorebirds and a pelican also died. The Portland Audubon Society has been receiving and rehabilitating two dozen live affected birds, which will be released when they have recovered and are able to continue their migration.

Officials report there is little public health risk to humans from avian botulism. However, wetland officials will keep the area closed until the outbreak is declared over.

According to the USGS National Wildlife Center, avian botulism is a paralytic disease caused by ingestion of a toxin produced by the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria is widespread in soil and requires warm temperatures, a protein source and an anaerobic (no oxygen) environment in order to become active and produce toxin. Decomposing vegetation and invertebrates combined with warm temperatures can provide ideal conditions for the botulism bacteria to activate and produce toxin. There are several types of toxin produced by strains of this bacterium; birds are most commonly affected by type C and to a lesser extent type E.

Birds either ingest the toxin directly or may eat invertebrates (e.g. chironomids, fly larvae) containing the toxin. Invertebrates are not affected by the toxin and store it in their body. A cycle develops in a botulism outbreak when fly larvae (maggots), feed on animal carcasses and ingest toxin. Ducks that consume toxin-laden maggots can develop botulism after eating as few as 3 or 4 maggots.

Healthy birds, affected birds, and dead birds in various stages of decay are commonly found in the same area. The toxin affects the nervous system by preventing impulse transmission to muscles. Birds are unable to use their wings and legs normally or control the third eyelid, neck muscles, and other muscles. Birds with paralyzed neck muscles cannot hold their heads up and often drown. Death can also result from water deprivation, electrolyte imbalance, respiratory failure, or predation (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Linked To Multistate Salmonella Outbreak
Date: September 22, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract:  Health officials in 
New York City and several states issued advisories Friday, Sept. 21 in their respective jurisdictions in response to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella, which has been linked to a Trader Joe's Peanut Butter brand.

According to a New York City Health Department press release Friday, officials are recommending that the public to discard Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with sea salt.

This product has been linked to a nationwide outbreak, which has sickened 29 individuals in 18 states.

Health officials in the Big Apple recommend the public take the following actions:

1. New Yorkers who consumed Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with sea salt and have symptoms described above should see their doctor and ask to be tested for Salmonella.

2. New Yorkers should not eat and should discard all Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter with sea salt in their home.

Although Trader Joe's has removed this particular brand of peanut butter from it's stores, it may still be available at other retailers and online.

The Trader Joe’s peanut butter was linked to the outbreak since mid-June.

In addition to New York City, health departments in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts have reported cases in their states, which prompted them to issue health advisories.

Health officials in the several states are working in conjunction with federal health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct this ongoing investigation.

Salmonella is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis (Examiner, 2012)

Title: Multiple State Health Departments Warn Customers Of Monarch Med Spa Over Possible Strep Exposure
Date: September 23, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract:  Health departments in several states are warning customers of a cosmetic surgery center chain about the potential risk of exposure to Group A Streptococcus.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the Baltimore County Department of Health are investigating a cluster of three severe invasive Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections in persons who recently had liposuction at a cosmetic surgery center, Monarch Med Spa, in Timonium, Maryland.  The procedures occurred in mid-August to mid-September.  All three patients were hospitalized; one subsequently died.

DHMH and Baltimore County have ordered the facility closed while the investigation proceeds to determine possible sources of the infections and to limit further spread.  The facility has been cooperative in the course of the investigation.

This has prompted health officials in neighboring Pennsylvania and Delaware to advise customers of Monarch Med Spa location there as a precautionary measure.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is advising customers of Monarch Medspa in Harrisburg, King of Prussia and Philadelphia and the Delaware Division of Public Health is doing the same for patrons at the Greenville location in New Castle County.

Symptoms of Group A strep infections include fever and prolonged redness around the site of a medical procedure. Anyone who has these symptoms is asked to contact their healthcare provider or the local health department (Global Dispatch, 2012).

Title: India Reporting Outbreaks Of Cholera, Scrub `Typhus And Japanese Encephalitis
Date: September 23, 2012
Source:
Outbreak News

Abstract:  Health officials in different parts of India are battling a variety of infectious disease outbreaks to include the bacterial disease, cholera, the mite-borne infection, scrub typhus and the mosquito-borne disease, Japanese encephalitis.

In Pune, doctors have been noticing a considerable increase in water-borne diseases like gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, typhoid and jaundice in Pune over the last two months. Lack of rainfall and water shortage are compelling people to use water that may not be clean, says a report in the Times of India.

Included in this list is nine cases of cholera that were reported in the city in one week. S T Pardeshi, medical officer of health (MoH), Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) said, ”Nine cases of cholera in a week is a high number but not an outbreak. We are monitoring the situation and there is no need to panic,” he added.

Cholera is an acute bacterial intestinal disease characterized by sudden onset, profuse watery stools (given the appearance as rice water stools because of flecks of mucus in water)  due to a very potent enterotoxin. The enterotoxin leads to an extreme loss of fluid and electrolytes in the production of diarrhea. It has been noted that an untreated patient can lose his bodyweight in fluids in hours resulting in shock and death.

It is caused by the bacterium, Vibrio cholerae. Serogroups O1 and O139 are the types associated with the epidemiological characteristics of cholera (outbreaks).

The bacteria are acquired through ingestion of contaminated water or food through a number of mechanisms. Water is usually contaminated by the feces of infected individuals.

Drinking water can be contaminated at the source, during transport or during storage at home.

Food can be contaminated by soiled hands, during preparation or while eating.

Beverages and ice prepared with contaminated water and fruits and vegetables washed with this water are other examples. Some outbreaks are linked to raw or undercooked seafood.

The incubation for cholera can be from a few hours to 5 days. As long as the stools are positive, the person is infective. Some patients may become carriers of the organism, which can last for months.

Cholera is diagnosed by growing the bacteria in culture. Treatment consists of replacement of fluids lost, intravenous replacement in severe cases. Doxycycline or tetracycline antibiotic therapy can shorten the course of severe disease.

There is an oral vaccine available in some countries but it is not available in the U.S. Cholera prevention is the same as in other causes of traveler’s diarrhea.

In Himachal Pradesh, health officials report 2 additional fatalities due to scrub typhus, bringing the total to 10 this season.

The Business Standard reports that 155 patients have tested positive for the infection so far.

Scrub typhus is an infectious disease that is transmitted to humans from field mice and rats through the bite of mites that live on the animals. The main symptoms of the disease are fever, a wound at the site of the bite, a spotted rash on the trunk, and swelling of the lymph glands.

Scrub typhus is caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, a tiny parasite about the size of bacteria that belongs to the family Rickettsiaceae.

In northern India, the Voices of America report an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis, which has affected hundreds of children.

Pediatrician, Dr. K.P. Kushwaha said, “We had the highest number of patients admitted in one day, which was 550 patients, we never got such figures in the past. In the current cases of encephalitis, the children not only have swelling in their brains, but their skin, kidney, liver and heart also have swelling”.

Infectious disease expert with the Gates Foundation, Dr. Julie Jackobson said that the zoonotic infection is one that will never be eliminated.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
Japanese encephalitis is a viral disease that infects animals and humans. It is transmitted by mosquitoes and in humans causes inflammation of the membranes around the brain. Intensification and expansion of irrigated rice production systems in South and South-East Asia over the past 20 years have had an important impact on the disease burden caused by Japanese encephalitis.

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a disease caused by a flavivirus that affects the membranes around the brain. Most JE virus infections are mild (fever and headache) or without apparent symptoms, but approximately 1 in 200 infections results in severedisease characterized by rapid onset of high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, seizures, spastic paralysis and death. The case fatality rate can be as high as 60% among those with disease symptoms; 30% of those who survive suffer from lasting damage to the central nervous system. In areas where the JE virus is common, encephalitis occurs mainly in young children because older children and adults have already been infected and are immune.

The virus causing Japanese encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes belonging to the Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Culex vishnui groups, which breed particularly in flooded rice fields.

Japanese encephalitis is a leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia with 30,000-50,000 clinical cases reported annually. It occurs from the islands of the Western Pacific in the east to the Pakistani border in the west, and from Korea in the north to Papua New Guinea in the south. Because of the critical role of pigs, its presence in Muslim countries is negligible. JE distribution is very significantly linked to irrigated rice production combined with pig rearing (Outbreak News, 2012)

Title: Health Protection Agency Confirms New Human Coronavirus In A Patient
Date: September 23, 2012
Source: Examiner


Abstract:  The British Health Protection Agency (HPA) has laboratory-confirmed a new type of coronavirus in patient suffering from severe respiratory illness, 
according to an HPA press release Sunday.

The patient, who recently arrived from Qatar, is being treated in a London intensive care unit for the illness.

This is the second laboratory-confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in a human, the first was seen in an elderly man in Saudi Arabia who later died.

As reported in a letter in ProMED Mail recently, the new coronavirus was isolated from a patient with pneumonia in a Jeddah, Saudi Arabia hospital.

The virus was isolated from sputum of a male patient, aged 60 years old, presenting with pneumonia associated with acute renal failure.

The virus RNA was also tested at a lab in the Netherlands, which was confirmed to be a new member of the beta group of corononaviruses, closely related to bat coronaviruses.

There is a variety of coronaviruses and these include viruses causing common cold symptoms and other types causing the much more serious illness of SARS.

The HPA is advising health professionals how manage patients infected with the new virus to include strict respiratory isolation and any staff caring for them must wear full personal protective equipment - FFP3 respirator (staff should be fit tested), goggles, gown and gloves.

The novel coronavirus is believed to have an incubation period of up to seven days. Symptoms include fever, cough, or other respiratory symptoms.

Professor John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the HPA said, "Further information about these cases is being developed for healthcare workers in the UK, as well as advice to help maintain increased vigilance for this virus. This information is also being shared with national and international authorities including the World Health Organization and the European Centre for Disease Control.

As we are aware of only two cases worldwide and there is no specific evidence of ongoing transmission, at present there is no specific advice for the public or returning travelers to take but we will share any further advice with the public as soon as more information becomes available” (Examiner, 2012)

Title:
Penn State Reports Two Cases Of Pertussis
Date: September 26, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: At least two cases of 
whooping cough orpertussis have been confirmed in Penn Stateoff-campus students, according to a Penn State news release Sept. 25.

The Penn State University Health Services (UHS) said the two cases have been laboratory confirmed.

University officials say the first case was confirmed Friday, Sept. 21; the second case was confirmed Monday, Sept. 24. Both students live off campus and are being treated with antibiotics.

In addition, a possible five additional cases were reported yesterday. The probable cases are also being treated with antibiotics.

According to the release, UHS is working closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to manage the situation. UHS staff is identifying close contacts (students, faculty, staff) of both of the confirmed cases and all of the probable cases for evaluation and possible prophylactic treatment. Faculty and staff with concerns should contact Penn State Occupational Health at 814-863-8492 .

Pertussis is caused by the bacterium, Bordetella pertussis. This “vaccine-preventable disease” is spread through direct contact with respiratory discharges via the airborne route.

Pertussis goes through a series of stages in the infected person; initially a irritating cough followed by repeated, violent coughing. The disease gets its nickname by coughing without inhaling air giving the characteristic high-pitched whoop. Certain populations may not have the typical whoop like infants and adults.

It is highly communicable, especially in very early stages and the beginning of coughing episodes, for approximately the first 2 weeks. Then the communicability gradually decreases and at 3 weeks it is negligible, though the cough my last for months.

Those that are not immunized are susceptible to this disease. Young infants and school aged children (who are frequently the source of infection for younger siblings) are at greatest risk (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Publix Recalls Lettuce Product Due To Listeria Risk
Date: September 26, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: Lakeland, 
Florida grocery giant, Publix Super Markets has issued a voluntary recall on bags of its romaine lettuce product after being notified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Listeria contamination during routine testing, according to a Publix news release Sept. 25.

The affected product is 10-ounce plastic bags of Publix Hearts of Romaine, bearing the UPC code 41415 03886 on the back right-hand corner of the package.

The lettuce was distributed in several Florida counties, plus Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee between September 8, 2012 through September 20, 2012.

Publix media and community relations director, Maria Brous said, "While the product is no longer available on store shelves, we have issued a voluntary recall because of our commitment to food safety and to advise our customers who may still have this product at home.”

No illnesses linked to the Hearts of Romaine have been reported.

Listeriosis, a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteriumListeria monocytogenes, is an important public health problem. . The disease primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. However, rarely, persons without these risk factors can also be affected.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled. Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness, however, infections during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Five in Denmark Contract SARS-Linked Virus
Date: September 26, 2012
Source:
Telegraph

Abstract: “We have sent samples from the five for testing and hope to get the results this afternoon,” said chief physician Svend Stenvang Petersen of Odense University Hospital.

“The five have a fever, coughing and influenza-like symptoms,” he added.

Petersen said those admitted were a family of four where the father had been to Saudi Arabia, and an unrelated person who had been to Qatar. Two of those with symptoms were under the age of five.

The five contacted their doctors following a Danish health authority advisory on Monday recommending that those who had travelled to Qatar and Saudi Arabia seek medical help if they experienced a fever, coughing, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

The new virus, which is in the same family as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus, was recently identified by the British Health Protection Agency in a Qatari man transferred to London from Qatar.

A Saudi national died earlier this year from a virtually identical virus, the World Health Organisation has said.

The WHO confirmed in a global alert on Monday that the new virus was in the coronavirus family which causes the common cold but can also include more severe illnesses including SARS.

SARS swept out of China in 2003, killing more than 800 people worldwide (Telegraph, 2012).

Title: New Disease Strain Found In Midland Mosquitoes
Date: September 27, 2012
Source:
My West Texas

Abstract: A new strain of a mosquito-borne disease has led the Texas Department of State Health Services to conduct surveillance programs and tests.

The California serogroup strain has appeared this week for the first time in Midland County and staff are testing those mosquitoes that may be carrying the disease.

Zoonosis control specialist Kathy Parker set out nine traps Monday and Tuesday to catch mosquitoes to send to Austin for testing.

The testing is in conjunction with the regular surveillance testing that is done each year from May through November, said Parker, who covers about 36 counties in West Texas and the Permian Basin.

While West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease, Parker said several other viruses in the area are linked to other mosquito species.

The California serogroup disease recently was found in a Midlander when a doctor suspected it could be an arbovirus, she said.

Symptoms of arboviruses, which are not as severe as West Nile, include headaches and seizures, officials said.

When conducting the surveillance program, Parker said they test the mosquito pools to see if the area sprayings are successful and to check if mosquito levels are down.

Levels have dropped in Midland because sprayings have been conducted all over the city, officials said.

There are diseases specific to each species of mosquito. The California serogroup disease is found mostly in the Eastern states. There have been only five known cases in Texas since 1964, according to officials.

To conduct the surveillance program, Parker said she goes out before sunset, usually between 6 and 8 p.m., and sets traps in a water hole where there have been reports of mosquitoes.

The trap -- which is made with a PC pipe -- sucks up mosquitoes into nets. The next morning, she collects the live mosquitoes and then sends them in vials to Austin for testing.

"The main thing is trapping. We go to areas where there is a high concentration to evaluate the spraying and whether it's working or not. If it is, it's then decreasing the (mosquito) population," she said.

Midland and West Texas are approximately two weeks behind the peak season of West Nile that regions such as East Texas have been experiencing. Officials said Wednesday that it's likely West Texans still will see West Nile cases in both humans and horses through the end of October.

The number of cases has begun to drop, but Parker said DSHS is trying to be vigilant and get a start on next summer's cases by conducting these surveillance programs.

"We got really lucky. It could have been so much worse," she said about this year's West Nile.

Parker said officials want to develop a good plan of action to address West Nile before the mosquito season starts up again.

While the mosquito population never will be completely eliminated, residents can help reduce breeding. It takes approximately four days for an egg to mature into an adult, Parker said.

With rain expected in the forecast today, Friday and Saturday, Parker said residents should eliminate standing water on their property. Tires or empty garbage cans that collect rainwater could be breeding grounds, she said.

Parker plans to place traps around the city on Monday and Wednesday and requests that people do not touch the traps.

She hopes that staying on top of the surveillance will provide information and insight before next year's West Nile season hits.

"Who could have known this season we had?" she said (My West Texas, 2012).

Title: CDC: Another 400 West Nile Cases Reported In U.S. In Past Week
Date: September 27, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: More than 400 new U.S. cases of West Nile virus emerged in the last week, in an outbreak that remains the second worst on record but has begun to show signs of slowing.

So far this year, 3,545 cases have been reported to federal health officials as of September 25, up from 3,142 reported the week before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its weekly update of outbreak data.

That marked a rise of nearly 13 percent, down considerably from a 30 percent weekly jump witnessed earlier this month.

About 38 percent of all cases have been reported in Texas. Other states with large number of cases include Mississippi, Michigan, South Dakota, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and California.

A total of 147 people have died from the disease, compared with 134 reported one week ago. Just over half of the cases reported to the CDC this year have been of the severe neuroinvasive form of the disease, which can lead to meningitis and encephalitis.

The milder form of the disease causes flu-like symptoms and is rarely lethal.

Experts believe the disease originated in Africa and was first detected in New York City in 1999. Outbreaks tend to be unpredictable. Hot temperatures, rainfall amounts and ecological factors such as bird and mosquito populations have to align just right to trigger an outbreak such as the one this year.

The CDC said the number of cases this year is the highest reported to federal health officials through the last week in September since 2003, the year with the most cases (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Dengue Fever Confirmed In Florida Girl
Date: September 27, 2012
Source:
USA Today

Abstract: South Florida health officials say they've confirmed the state's first case of dengue fever this year in a 7-year-old girl.

The Miami-Dade County Health Department said Thursday that the girl had not been traveling and contracted the flu-like illness in Florida. She has recovered.

Dengue fever is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a species common in the southeastern U.S. and the tropics. It's sometimes called "breakbone fever" because of the severe joint pain it can cause in extreme cases.

Dengue fever was once thought eradicated in the U.S. No cases were reported in Florida for more than half a century until a small number of people were diagnosed with the illness in 2009 and 2010.

Health officials say residents can protect themselves by reducing their exposure to mosquitos (USA Today, 2012).

Title: Oklahoma's West Nile Deaths Up To 9
Date: September 27, 2012
Source:
USA Today

Abstract: Health officials say another person has died of the West Nile virus in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health indicated on its website Thursday that the number of West Nile Virus deaths in the state had risen to nine and the number of reported cases in the state had increased to 154.

At least 88 people have been hospitalized for treatment of the mosquito-borne illness.

In Oklahoma, the West Nile virus season runs from May to November, and people are at greatest risk of exposure to infected mosquitoes from July through October (USA Today, 2012).

Title: 7 Ill From Unknown Substance At Ind. Hospital
Date: September 27, 2012
Source:
USA Today

Abstract: Authorities say an unknown substance has sickened seven adults and temporarily closed an Indianapolis hospital's emergency room.

Riley Hospital for Children President Dr. Jeff Sperring says the incident has been contained and there are no signs that it has spread. He says the source of the substance hasn't been determined.

The conditions of those who became ill haven't been released. The Indianapolis Star reports one patient was taken to another hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Sperring says the Riley emergency room remained closed more than two hours after the incident occurred shortly before noon, but other hospital operations have resumed.

Indianapolis Fire Department spokesman Lt. Derrick Sayles says a hazardous materials unit collected clothing from the affected employees and will have it tested to determine what the substance is (USA Today, 2012).

Title: Syphilis Shoots Up 97 Percent In Houston; Health Department Takes Action
Date: September 27, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: The sexually transmitted infection (STI), syphilis, has skyrocketed in the 
Houston, Texas area, so much that a health department official called the spike “very alarming”, according to a Chron.com report Sept. 26.

According to a Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) news release, there has been a 97 percent increase in new infectious syphilis cases during the first seven months of 2012 compared to the same time period last year.

From January to August of this year, 318 infectious syphilis cases, known as primary and secondary syphilis were reported. This compares with the 264 cases of the spirochete disease reported during the entirety of 2011.

The increase reverses a trend of syphilis cases decreasing between 2008 and 2011.

This has prompted HDHHS officials to declare an outbreak of the STI in Houston and Harris County.

Health officials recommend those at higher risk for syphilis get tested. This includes men who have sex with men, people who engage in anonymous sex, anyone who has had multiple sex partners and people who test positive for other sexually-transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia and HIV (Approximately 39 percent of people with infectious syphilis this year also tested HIV positive).

Other actions taken by health authorities include intensified syphilis detection and community field work and expanding the schedule of its HIV/STD mobile clinic to provide education, counseling and testing services directly to the community, especially high-risk or hard-to-reach populations.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium, Treponema pallidum. The most common way to get syphilis is by having sexual contact (oral, genital or anal) with an infected person. The secondary lesions are also infective and contact with them could transmit the bacteria. It can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby (congenital transmission).

It can also be transmitted through blood transfusion, though extremely rare because of testing of donors.

Because of the fragility of the organism, you cannot get syphilis from eating utensils, pools or toilets (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Locally Acquired Case Of Dengue Fever Confirmed In South Florida
Date: September 27, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: An individual from 
Miami-Dade County has been confirmed positive for the mosquito borne viral disease, dengue feveraccording to a Miami-Dade County Health Department press release Sept. 27.

Health officials report the patient acquired the infection locally and has since fully recovered.

There has not been a locally acquired case of dengue fever in Miami-Dade County in six decades, according to officials.

Also read: Publix recalls lettuce product due to listeria risk

Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease used to be called “break-bone fever” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.

Dengue fever of multiple types is found in most countries of the tropics and subtropics particularly during and after rainy season. It has been seen repeatedly in Texas and Hawaii in this country.

A small number of patients in Florida were diagnosed with the illness in 2009 and 2010.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate 100 million cases annually, this includes 100-200 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mostly in people that have traveled abroad.

In recent years, there has been an increase in epidemics in many parts of the world.

There are four types of dengue virus: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4.

People get the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It is not contagious from person to person.

There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

The symptoms of classic dengue usually start within a week after being infected. They include very high fever, up to 105°F, severe headache, pain behind the eye, severe joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting and a rash.

In cases of DHF and DSS, all four types can be the cause in descending order of frequency; type 2, 3, 4 and 1.

There is evidence that types 2 and 4 need to be secondary infection to cause DHF, while primary infection with types 1 and 3 can cause DHF.

Symptoms of DHF include all the symptoms of classic dengue plus severe damage to the blood vessels. Bleeding from the nose, gums or under the skin are common. This form of dengue can be fatal.

Symptoms of DSS include all of the above symptoms plus; fluid leaking outside of blood vessels, massive bleeding and shock. This form of the disease usually happens in children experiencing their second infection.

Two-third of all fatalities occurs among children.

There is no specific treatment for dengue, just treatment of the symptoms. Persons who think they have dengue should use analgesics (pain relievers) with acetaminophen and avoid those containing aspirin. They should also rest, drink plenty of fluids, and consult a physician.

There is not a vaccine for dengue fever (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Meningococcal Meningitis Outbreak Seen In HIV Infected Men In New York City
Date: September 27, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: A cluster of 
meningococcal meningitis cases have been reported among gay men and men who have sex with men in New York City, prompting health authorities to alert doctors, according to a New York City Department of Health press release Sept. 27.

According to health officials, in the past four weeks, there have been four cases; one died and one person is in critical care. The cases are spread across several boroughs and among men ages 31 to 42 years old.

All four individuals are HIV infected men. A Wall Street Journal report says the outbreak includes a dozen cases in the last two years. Of the 12 total cases, four died.

Meningococcal meningitis is caused by the bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis, which causes the most severe form of bacterial meningitis. Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It can also be found in the bloodstream. This particular type of meningitis is very severe and can result in death if not treated promptly. Even in cases where treatment has been given, the fatality rate is around 15%.

The symptoms of bacterial meningitis are sudden, with fever, stiff neck, body aches and headaches. As the disease progresses other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, photophobia and seizures. A petechial rash seen on the trunk and lower extremities, bleeding complications, multi-organ failures and shock are usually final signs. This disease has the ability to kill within hours of getting it.

Up to 10-20% of older children and young adults carry this organism in the mouth and nose, though the carriage rate will vary with age and closeness of population. The majority of people that carry this bacterium have no clinical disease. The organism is spread person to person through respiratory secretions from the nose and mouth (coughing, sneezing and kissing). Experts are unsure why some people advance to meningitis disease while many do not.

Crowded living conditions facilitate the spread of the organisms and places like military barracks and college dormitories are well-documented areas of concern with this disease.

The NYC health department says people living with HIV are at a greater risk than the general population of acquiring invasive meningococcal disease and if infected, dying from infection.

If you have close contact with someone with meningococcal meningitis, see your doctor for prophylactic antibiotics.

Meningococcal meningitis is a devastating disease with epidemic potential. This disease is considered a medical emergency and if you have the classic symptoms see your health care professional. It can be treated with antibiotics, but without delay (Examiner, 2012).

Title: CFIA Issues Health Hazard Alert For Kirkland Brand Beef Steaks Sold At Edmonton Costco Due To E.Coli Risk
Date: September 28, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume certain Kirkland brand beef steaks  because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

According to the alert, all beef steaks including the Strip Loin Grilling Steak prepared and sold in variable weight packages from Costco Wholesale store #156, located at 13650, 50th street, Edmonton, Alberta are affected by this alert. These steaks were sold during the period September 4 through 7, 2012.

The alert was issued after several confirmed illnesses associated with the consumption of the Kirkland brand Strip Loin Grilling Steaks purchased from the Costco Wholesale store #156 in Edmonton, Alberta.

According to an Edmonton Journal report, a meat tenderizing machine that pierces steak with needles  was used at a northeast Edmonton Costco to tenderize strip loin steaks that later made four people sick, Dr. Gerry Predy, senior medical officer of health for Alberta Health Services, said Wednesday.

Upon this discovery, Alberta health officials told Costco stores across the province to stop using a meat tenderizing machine.

Why did health officials tell Costco to stop using the machine? How does it increase the risk?

The report goes on to say, the meat tenderizing process used on the steaks increases the risk of E. coli poisoning since the needles can push the bacteria inside the steak, where it is insulated from the heat, said Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. James Talbot.

“If the organism is on the surface, that’s where the heat is the most intense and so the organism dies. If it’s protected by the meat around it, particularly if the meat isn’t fully cooked, then it’s a problem,” he said. “That’s why this process is something that needs to be looked at pretty stringently.”

Costco has stopped using the tenderizing machine.

Dr. Predy said if Costco resumes the practice, he suggested that the packaging include a label telling consumers the steak must be properly cooked (Global Dispatch, 2012).

Title: Egypt Mumps Outbreak Affects More Than 100 Children
Date: September 28, 2012
Source:
Outbreak News

Abstract: The Egyptian Health Ministry announced Friday that scores of children have been infected with the viral disease, mumps, in the governorates  of Minya and Qena, 
according to an Egypt Independent report.

According to the report, forty-three cases of mumps have been confirmed so far in Minya, while 70 school children were diagnosed with the virus at the Omar Ibn al-Khattab Primary School in the Qena village of Marashda.

The Health and Education Ministry’s have jointly issued an alert in the two governorates.

The Undersecretary for preventative medicine, Abdel Moaty Abdel Alleim said all theinfected children are being treated for the illness.

Mumps is an acute viral disease that is characterized by fever and swelling and tenderness in one or more of the salivary glands. Maximum infectiousness occurs between two days prior to onset of illness to four days afterwards.

Complications to mumps may include orchitis (which has been reported to be a risk factor for testicular cancer), encephalitis and spontaneous abortion. Sterility in males is a rare possible outcome (Outbreak News, 2012).

Title: Miami Resident Contracts Dengue Fever, Recovers
Date: September 28, 2012
Source:
CBS News

Abstract: A rare case of dengue fever has popped up in Miami, according to health officials, but the patient has fully recovered.

CBS Miami reports it is the first known case of locally acquired Dengue in Miami-Dade County in 2012.

More than one-third of the world's population is at risk for the mosquito-borne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as many as 100 million people are infected each year. Dengue however rarely occurs in the continental United States, but is endemic in Puerto Rico, and in many popular tourist destinations in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

People contract dengue through mosquito bites; mosquitoes become infected if they bite someone who has the virus in his or her blood. If unrecognized, the disease can be fatal, but with proper medical management including pain relievers, rest and plenty of fluids, 99 percent of people survive.

Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding from possibly the nose or gums. Older children and adults typically experience more severe illness than younger children and those with their first dengue infection.

The Miami Herald reports the patient was a woman in her late 60's who developed the fever in early September.

Dr. Alvaro Mejia-Echeverry, a medical epidemiologist with the Miami-Dade Health Department, told the Herald that residents should take actions to prevent mosquito bites such as draining standing water in their backyards, birdbaths, old tires and gutters where mosquitoes may lay eggs.

"Dengue is transmitted by the bite of the mosquito called Aedes aegypti, and this specific species is present in our community," said Mejia-Echeverry. "This disease cannot be transmitted person to person, but we need the community to take action to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes" (CBS News, 2012).

Title: Artemisinin-Resistant Malaria Has Spread To Vietnam And Myanmar: WHO
Date: September 28, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: Global health officials say that measures to stop the spread of 
artemisinin-resistant malaria need to be stepped up as evidence mounts about the spread of the drug resistant parasite to Vietnam and Myanmaraccording to World Health Organization (WHO) news release Sept. 27.

Regional Director for the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, Dr Shin Young-soo said, the need to "urgently address this issue before we put at risk not only the fragile gains we have made in malaria control but also our goal of a malaria-free Western Pacific Region".

The drug-resistant malaria was found on the Thailand-Cambodia border in 2005, and has since also been discovered along the Thailand-Myanmar border, according to scientists.

Evidence has shown that artemisinin-resistant malaria has emerged in southern and central Viet Nam and in southeastern Myanmar according to the WHO.

According to the release, malaria is still endemic in 10 of the 37 countries and areas in the Western Pacific Region. Significant progress has been achieved, with the number of confirmed malaria cases reduced by 34% and malaria deaths by 62% from 2000 to 2010. However, WHO warns that if the momentum to control the mosquito-borne disease is not sustained, there is potential for artemisinin resistance to spread to other endemic countries in the Region and beyond.

Shin urges countries in the area to step up efforts to contain and eliminate artemisinin-resistant malaria based on the WHO's Global Plan for Artemisinin Resistance Containment.

Actions in the global plan include:

• eliminating oral artemisinin monotherapies, which are major factors in the development of artemisinin resistance and are still produced despite WHO's call in 2006 to stop their use for treatment of uncomplicated malaria;
• monitoring the quality of antimalarial medicines;
• stopping counterfeit drugs, which are another major factor in the development of artemisinin resistance;
• ensuring universal access to specific diagnosis, safe-quality medicines and malaria prevention.
• securing financial resources; and
• strengthening coordination within and between countries
(Examiner, 2012).

Title: Meatpacking Plant Linked To Tainted Beef Shut Down
Date: September 28, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has temporarily shut a meatpacking plant linked to contaminated beef products that have been distributed across Canada and the United States.

Brian Evans, special advisor to the president of the inspection agency, said Friday that an XL Foods plant in Brooks, Alberta, won't resume operations until it has taken the steps necessary to ensure its products are free of E. coli bacteria.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this week extended its public health alert about the company's beef to stores in 30 states, including retail giant Walmart.

Canada revoked the plant's permit to export beef to the U.S. on Sept. 13 at the request of the USDA.

The agency says it cannot yet confirm cases of people getting sick from eating the ground beef (Fox News, 2012).

Title: More Than 8,000 German Schoolchildren Stricken With Food Poisoning, Norovirus Suspected
Date: September 29, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract: German health authorities say 
at least 8,300 children, along with some teachers,  have fallen ill with vomiting and diarrhea after eating food from school canteens and daycare centers in eastern Germany.

The viral gastrointestinal bug, norovirus has been found in some of the children.

According to a Deutsche Welle report Saturday, 16 cases of norovirus has been detected in patients in Saxony, while  seven cases of norovirus was discovered in Thuringia.

Despite these findings, German health officials say it is still unclear and too early to say norovirus is the cause of the epidemic.

The Robert Koch-Institut (RKI) says it was alerted to a sudden surge in gastroenteritis cases that began late Tuesday in Berlin and surrounding regions.

The RKI, which advises the German health ministry said today:

The competent health and food control authorities at the federal, state, and local levels are working to stop the current outbreak of acute gastroenteritis and identify the cause. At the federal level, these are the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL)The focus of activities to identify the source of the outbreak are epidemiological studies, which coordinates the RKI, and research on the origin and distribution channels of food that are coordinated at national level by the BVL. BfR will possibly make a risk assessment, once the relevant data are available. Necessary steps are taken by the competent food control authorities.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the “stomach flu,” or gastroenteritis in people.

The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.

Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea (Global Dispatch, 2012).

Title: Philippines DOH Monitoring Chikungunya Outbreak In Surigao Del Sur
Date: September 29, 2012
Source: 
Global Dispatch

Abstract: The Department of Health (DOH) is 
monitoring the outbreak of chikungunya, a disease caused by the same mosquito species that spreads dengue, in Surigao del Sur.

Unconfirmed reports say there have been 114 cases of the viral disease in Surigao del Sur; however, DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag said only a few have been confirmed.

The virus is not new to the Philippines, in fact, there were more than 1,000 cases reported across the archipelago last year.

On Thursday, Tayag warned through Twitter:

#chikungunya also causes fever and skin rash similar to dengue but mostly affects adults unlike #dengue in wc children are mostly affected

Tayag said  chikungunya had been around in the Philippines in the 1990s, but he said they noted an increase of cases in the last two years.

Many of the cases are in Metro Manila, Laguna, Pangasinan, and parts of Mindanao, he said.

Chikungunya fever is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes, particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (the “Asian Tiger Mosquito”). Chikungunya virus is a member of the genus Alphavirus, in the family Togaviridae. Chikungunya fever is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., joint swelling), laboratory testing, and the possibility of exposure to infected mosquitoes. There is no specific treatment or vaccine available for chikungunya fever; care is based on symptoms. Chikungunya infection is not usually fatal (Global Dispatch, 2012)

Title: New Virus Found For Deadly Haemorrhagic Fever
Date: September 29, 2012
Source:
Google News

Abstract: A haemorrhagic fever that killed two people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2009 and left a third person seriously ill was caused by a novel virus, researchers said.

The newly-found microbe is likely to exist naturally among insects or animals but may also be spread by human contact, they said.

It has been called Bas-Congo virus, or BASV, after the province in southwestern DR Congo where the three cases occurred, they said in a genetic study of the pathogen.

"These are the only three cases known to have occurred, although there could be additional outbreaks from this virus in the future," said Charles Chiu of the University of California at San Francisco.

BASV is unlike any of the other viruses known to cause haemorrhagic fever, a group of diseases that causes severe fever and muscle pain, sometimes ending in organ failure or unstoppable bleeding.

Called a rhabdovirus, it is genetically closer to the types of virus that cause rabies, according to their study, published on Thursday in the journal PLoS Pathogens. In fish, rhabdoviruses can cause fatal bleeding called haemorrhagic septicaemia, previous research has found.

The outbreak occurred in mid-2009 when a 15-year-old boy in a remote village called Mangala fell ill with a bleeding nose and gums, and bloody vomit, and died within three days, the paper said.

A week later, a 13-year-old girl who lived in the same neighbourhood and attended the same school fell sick with the same symptoms, also dying within three days.

The third case, who survived, was a male nurse who had cared for the girl.

He was transferred to a hospital at the river port city of Boma, where doctors took samples which led to the viral discovery.

Tests of other people who had been in contact with the third patient found that a caregiver who had treated him in Boma also had BASV virus in the blood, but had not fallen ill.

"What this suggests is that the disease may be transmissible from person to person, though it's most likely to have originated from some other source," said Nathan Wolfe, a co-author who heads a California health company, Global Viral Forecasting.

"The fact that it belongs to a family of viruses known to infect a wide variety of mammals, insects and other animals means that it may perpetually exist in insect or other 'host' species and was accidentally passed to humans through insect bites or other means."

Other microbes that cause haemorrhagic fever include the Ebola, Lassa and Crimean-Congo viruses.

An ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the DR Congo may have killed up to 33 people, the health ministry in Kinshasa said on Thursday. In Uganda, 17 deaths occurred from Ebola in an outbreak in July and August in the west of the country near the Congolese border.

The researchers said they had developed an antibody test for BASV that should help diagnosis in future outbreaks (Google News, 2012).

Title: Skin Infections Postpone High School Football Game
Date: September 30, 2012
Source:
MyFox Philly

Abstract: The big game against Pennsbury H.S. was canceled due to a MRSA outbreak. But students we spoke with say the school is taking the necessary precautions to make sure this skin condition stops in its tracks.

At first David Haun thought he had turf burn.  But it turns out, he had something worse. 

"It's not as itchy as poison ivy it's just a little itch like every once and a while you just wanna scratch at it."

Haun and nearly a third of the Council Rock South football team have a skin condition known as MRSA, a staph infection affecting the skin.

Not just itchy... But contagious.. And the school isn't taking the situation lightly.

In an email to the entire school community.. Principal Albert Funk explained the issue.. And that they were postponing their game against Pennsbury High School.

Players like Greg Paprocki have been lucky. No sign of MRSA so far, but worried he might be next. 

"I was very paranoid checking my body all over like every cut I was looking at it getting it checked out by the trainer just very very paranoid"

In the meantime, the entire school will be completely sanitized, especially the locker rooms, weight room and shower facilities.   Athletes in other sports were told to take home their gear as well.

FOX29 has been told that all of the players who have been affected have been cleared by their doctors to play in Monday night's makeup game (MyFox Philly, 2012).

Title: Novel Invasive Salmonella Disease In Africa Intensified By HIV Epidemic, According To Study
Date: September 30, 2012
Source:
Global Dispatch

Abstract: A study published Sept. 30 in 
the journal Nature Genetics shows that the emergence of an invasive Salmonella infection in sub-Sahara Africa may have been intensified by the concurrent HIV epidemic on the continent.

A international team of researchers found that invasive non-Typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) disease is caused by a new form of the bacteria Salmonella Typhimurium that has spread from two different focal hubs in Southern and Central Africa beginning 52 and 35 years ago, respectively.

Prof Gordon Dougan, from the Sanger Institute in Cambridge in the UK, told the BBC: “It quite clearly parallels the emergence of HIV in Africa.”

In addition, they also found that one of the major contributing factors for the successful spread of iNTS was the acquisition of genes that afford resistance to several front line drugs, such as chloramphenicol,  used to treat blood-borne infection such as iNTS.

One in four people in Africa infected with the novel strain died; however, everywhere else on the globe, the infection is typically a “self-limiting” diarrheal infection with a fatality rate of less than 1%.

Malnutrition, HIV and malaria, ever present in sub-Sahara Africa, intensifies the Salmonella infection.

According to Chinyere Okoro, joint first author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, ”The immune system susceptibility provided by HIV, malaria and malnutrition at a young age, may provide a population in sub-Saharan Africa that is large enough for this detrimental pathogen to enter, adapt, circulate and thrive.

“We used whole genome sequencing to define a novel lineage of Salmonella Typhimurium that is causing a previously unrecognized epidemic across the region. Its genetic makeup is evolving into a more typhoid like bacteria, able to efficiently spread around the human body”

Researchers created a “family tree” by analyzing the genetic code of scores of samples and found the epidemic came in two waves 52 and 35 years ago, as mentioned earlier.

“The HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa is thought to have begun in a central region and underwent expansion eastwards, a strikingly similar dynamic to that observed for the second iNTS wave,” said Okoro’s colleague, Robert Kingsley.

“Our findings suggest the current epidemic of iNTS and its transmission across sub-Saharan Africa may have been potentiated by an increase in the critical population of susceptible immune-compromised people.”

Professor Dougan said, ”There has been some evidence that this disease can be passed from human to human. Now the race is on to discover how NTS is actually transmitted in sub-Saharan Africa so that effective intervention strategies can be implemented” (Global Dispatch, 2012).