Disease

Leptospirosis kills four in Udupi, India

Four deaths have recently been attributed to leptospirosis in the Coastal Karnataka city of Udupi, causing fear among the population. Health officials are currently trying to ease the tension among the public by creating awareness programs about the bacterial disease.

Leptospirosis is caused by a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Leptospira interrogans, is often referred to as “rat fever” due to the principal role rats play in spreading the disease.

Australia: Cats found carrying superbug

The first evidence of a superbug in a domestic cat that could infect humans and livestock has been discovered in Australia.

The Salmonella strain is resistant to carbapenems, a drug used as the last line of defence in Australian hospitals. Experts believe this resistance may pose a serious threat to public health. This is the first time that a Salmonella strain with resistance to most antimicrobial drugs has been reported in any Australian domestic animal and it is a significant concern to public health.

Thailand teenagers dig up rabid dog and eat it

In what is clearly one of the most bizarre and potentially tragic stories today, 13 teenagers in Thailand’s Northeast province of Mukdahan dug up a dog that was buried and ate it, not aware all along, the animal was put down by officials because it was rabid.

The dog was killed because it had attacked a number of locals recently. The teens were sent to Mukdahan Hospital for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Eating dog meat is considered taboo in most of Thailand.

Advertisements

Disease

Salmonellosis – United States of America

On 20 April 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of the United States of America notified PAHO/WHO of an ongoing investigation of four multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to exposure to small turtles (with shell length <4inches/10 centimetres) or their environments (e.g., water from a turtle habitat) in the United States.

A total of 124 cases with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 22 U.S. states. Of these, 33% of patients have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. Of the total, 51 cases (41%) were aged less than 5 years. The earliest illness associated with the four outbreaks began on 1 January 2015. Initial investigations have identified four turtle farms in Louisiana as potential sources of the turtles linked to these 2015 outbreaks. Pond water testing from the four farms resulted in the identification of additional non-outbreak Salmonella isolates.

A ‘tropical’ parasitic disease emerges in the Canadian Arctic

An outbreak of an intestinal parasite common in low income areas in the tropics, known as Cryptosporidium, has been identified for the first time in the Arctic. The discovery was made in Nunavik, Quebec.

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that lives in the intestine of mammals, including humans, and is transmitted by the fecal-oral route from ingestion of contaminated food or water or contact with infected individuals. The parasite causes an illness known as Cryptosporidiosis which is characterized by diarrhea, cramps and vomiting.

Disease

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 1 and 5 September 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 25 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. Ten (10) of these reported cases are associated with a MERS-CoV outbreak currently occurring in a hospital in Riyadh city.

Salmonella Outbreak – USA

A cucumber recall linked to a fatal case of salmonella includes products shipped to 22 states, including New Jersey.

The recalled cucumbers, grown in Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, have sickened 285 people in 27 states, including a woman in California who died from the illness, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Ebola – West Africa

Though several of the West African countries most impacted by the worst Ebola outbreak in history have declared themselves free of the devastating virus, experts say the fight against it overall is far from over.

“This virus and this outbreak in particular has a nasty sting in the tail,” the World Health Organization’s lead on Ebola response Bruce Aylward said, according to Reuters. “It’s not finished, by a long shot.”

Aylward led a new study to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine that still found traces of the virus in semen after six months in half of men considered to be Ebola survivors — three months longer than the virus was previously thought to remain in survivors’ systems.

One country that has seen several new cases of Ebola recently is Sierra Leone.

The WHO declared Liberia Ebola-free for a second time earlier this month after the country hardest hit by the deadly virus saw a brief resurgence of cases not long after the first time it thought the disease was gone for good. It’s now within a 90-day surveillance period.

Global Warming – Potential for Disease Outbreaks

Scientists have discovered a 30,000-year-old Frankenvirus in the frozen Siberian wastelands. They fear the dangerous virus, known as Mollivirus sibericum, could reanimate as global warming melts the ice and snow, releasing the microscopic pathogens into the air to infect humans.

Researcher Jean-Michael Claverie stated that some of the particles they discovered were still considered to be infectious.

Researchers are astounded by the prehistoric viruses they have found over the last 12 years. Each has been much larger and more complex than current viruses. The Mollivirus sibericum has over 500 genes. A virus found in 2003 was found to have more than 2,500 genes. In comparison, the flu virus has only eight genes.

Testing on the Mollivirus sibericum will take place in a safe laboratory, where the virus will not spread outside of the room after it is woken up and testing begins. Researchers are anxious to learn from the Frankenvirus and see what impact it had on prehistoric life and could potentially have on modern day life.

Disease

Salmonella – USA

A multistate Salmonella outbreak has so far sickened 278 people in 18 states, which prompted a public health alert Monday from the US Department of Agriculture and has led the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recall some staff sidelined by the federal government shutdown.

Illnesses from Salmonella Heidelberg strains have been associated with raw chicken products produced at three Foster Farms facilities in California. So far most of the cases have been reported in California, and the products were mainly distributed to retail stores in California, Oregon, and Washington state. Foster Farms said it hasn’t issued a recall.

Yellow fever in Cameroon

The Ministry of Health of Cameroon carried out a yellow fever mass vaccination campaign with a reported 94% coverage of the targeted population of 663 900 in 13 health districts considered to be at high risk of yellow fever.

Disease

An outbreak of the highly contagious respiratory disease pertussis (whooping cough) has claimed its first life. A nine week old infant girl died this week in Idaho, USA. The outbreak extends to Montana and Washington State.

The latest Salmonella outbreak in the US has been linked to dog food made by Diamond Pet Foods. At least 14 people in 9 States have been hospitalized.

Dengue fever outbreak in Sri Lanka.