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CIDRAP News Scan for Feb 05, 2020 | The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

New DRC Ebola case; Antibiotic combo for pneumonia; Avian flu in Saudi Arabia, Vietnam.

Latest Ebola case in DRC lifts total to 3,429 infections.

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO's) online Ebola dashboard, a new case today lifts the outbreak total to 3,429 confirmed Ebola cases in the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The WHO also noted 123 probable cases, and 473 suspected cases still under investigation.

Since the outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces began in August 2018, 2,246 people have died from Ebola virus disease (EVD).

In its latest situation report on the outbreak, the WHO said that, of six cases reported last week, five were in known contacts, a good sign that transmission chains are known to health authorities. All six cases were found in Beni and Mabalako, recent hot spots in the outbreak.

In the past 3 weeks, officials have tracked 25 new Ebola cases, with 18 in Beni and 7 in Mabalako.

"New confirmed EVD cases continue to be reported in Beni and Mabalako Health Zones in North Kivu Province," the WHO said. "Sustained and secure access to affected areas and heightened vigilance is required to continue essential response activities in order to refer and to test alert cases as soon as possible, treat confirmed cases early, and to tackle further transmission of the disease in the community and in healthcare facilities."
WHO Ebola dashboard
Feb 4 WHO situation report

FDA to review drug for hospital-acquired, ventilator-associated pneumonia.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for priority review a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for the antibacterial combination drug Recarbrio to treat adult patients with hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia (HABP) and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia (VABP) caused by gram-negative pathogens.

Recarbrio, developed and marketed by Merck, is a combination of the antibiotic imipenem-cilastatin and the novel beta-lactamase inhibitor relebactam. It was approved by the FDA in July 2019 to treat patients who have complicated urinary tract infections and complicated intra-abdominal infections and no alternative treatment options. The sNDA is based on the results of a phase 3 clinical trial in adult patients with HABP/VABP.

"This submission reinforces Merck's continued dedication to researching and developing potential antibiotic treatment options which address unmet medical needs," Nicholas Kartsonis, MD, Merck Research Laboratories senior vice president of clinical research in infectious diseases and vaccines, said in a company press release.

The FDA is expected to make a decision on the sNDA by early June.
Feb 3 Merck press release

Saudi Arabia, Vietnam report avian flu outbreaks.

For the first time since 2018, Saudi Arabian officials have detected H5N8 avian flu at a poultry farm in Sudair in Riyadh province in the center of the country.

The outbreak began on Jan 30, according to a notification from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The virus killed 22,700 birds, and officials culled an additional 385,300 birds to help curb disease spread.

The OIE also noted an outbreak of H5N6 at a village in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam. A total of 2,500 cases were detected including 2,200 fatal ones, and an additional 300 birds were euthanized as part of infection control measures.

The province is located in the northeast corner of Vietnam, on the border with China.
Feb 4 OIE report on H5N8 in Saudi Arabia
Feb 4 OIE report on H5N6 in Vietnam


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Non-polio enteroviruses among healthy children in the Philippines | BMC Public Health.

[Open Access] [Received 15 August 2019; Accepted 27 January 2020; Published 03 February 2020]

Abstract.

Background.

Enteroviruses (EVs) are most commonly associated with either mild or asymptomatic infections, however, the presence of silent carriers in the community has been proven to play a crucial role in the spread of diseases such as hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) that records high incidence in Asia Pacific region. In the Philippines, limited information is available on the etiology and prevalence of enterovirus outside the Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) surveillance, thus, a study to determine the baseline prevalence of Non-Polio Enteroviruses (NPEVs) among healthy Filipino children was conducted.

Methods.

A descriptive, cross-sectional study was performed to determine the prevalence of NPEV among healthy children under 6 years old in the Philippines. Duplicate stool samples were collected from 360 healthy children residing in three major urban cities in the country. Virus isolation and polymerase chain reaction were performed to identify enteroviruses present in the samples. To determine if the results of the study are comparable to the AFP surveillance data, the results of the study were compared to the prevalence and isolation rate among AFP cases of the similar cases collected the same year.

Results.

Prevalence of enteroviruses among healthy children was found to be at 24.7%. Comparing the NPEV rates from the study and AFP surveillance of similar age and the same year of collection, there was no significant difference in NPEV case prevalence. The study identified a total of 19 different enterovirus serotypes with majority belonging to species Enterovirus B (EV-B).

Conclusion.

The study was able to establish a baseline NPEV case prevalence of 24.7% among healthy children aged under 6 years old in three major urban sites in the Philippines. The high isolation of NPEV among healthy children signifies continuous fecal-oral transmission of enteroviruses in the community.


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Pakistan: CM directed to utilize possible resources to make Punjab polio-free | Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).

[February 5, 2020]

LAHORE, Feb 5 (APP):Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar directed to utilize every possible resource to make Punjab polio-free and added that surfacing of polio cases in some cities was a very serious issue.

He said this while presiding over a meeting at his office here on Wednesday to review anti-polio steps and arrangements for safety from coronavirus.

He said that role of the community was very important for making polio-free Punjab and administrating anti-polio drops to the children at entry points of the province should be ensured.

He directed that special focus should be paid to high-risk districts.
Recruitment of 3600 anti-polio workers had been allowed and action would be initiated against polio case.

He reiterated that saving the children from deadly diseases, like polio, was an important obligation and added that organized efforts were being needed.

CM asked the parents to vaccinate their children and no child should remain deprived of anti-polio vaccination. He emphasized to work with renewed vigour to achieve anti-polio targets as there was no room for any leniency. Similarly, every possible precaution should be adopted for safety from coronavirus threat and the health department should keep a vigilant eye to the situation.

Sardar usman Buzdar directed to set up an isolation ward for suspected patients in PKLI and announced to visit the health department’s control room set up for coronavirus.
Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare briefed about steps taken for safety from coronavirus and eradication of polio.

Chief Secretary, Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare, representatives of WHO and UNICEF and others attended the meeting.


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Pakistan: Another polio case reported in Sindh as tally reaches 3 | The News International.

[February 5, 2020]

KARACHI: Another poliovirus case emerged in Sindh’s Kashmor district, said Emergency Operation Centre for Polio on Wednesday.

After the latest case in Sindh, the tally of polio cases in the current year became three from the province.

As per the emergency centre, the virus was confirmed in a three-year-old girl.

This year, so far, eight polio cases have been reported across the country.


Original Source Article »

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Pakistan: PM Imran meets Rotary International delegation to discuss polio situation | The News International.

[February 5, 2020]

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that Pakistan’s biggest priority is to eradicate polio from the country, adding that the government will utilise every measure in its fight against the disease.

The prime minister met with a delegation of the organization Rotary International working towards polio eradication, where he was accompanied by Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza.

The SAPM briefed the session about the measures taken to root out polio from the country, saying that four million children under the age of five were administered polio drops.

Dr Mirza said that in the ongoing drive, more than 100,000 security personnel and 250,000 polio workers performed their duties.

The prime minister said that the government will put to use all the possible resources to get rid of the disease, adding that measures to streamline cross-border (Pakistan and Afghanistan) movement are being taken.

The prime minister said that the government values every organization working to eradicate polio from the country. 

COAS lauds role of Rotary International in Pakistan’s fight against polio.

On Tuesday, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa lauded  the role of Rotary International in Pakistan’s fight against polio, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations.

Gen Bajwa met Rotary International’s four-member team, where measures related to healthcare in Pakistan and the country’s battle against poliovirus were discussed.

The army chief praised the contributions of the organisation in the eradication of polio in Pakistan.


Original Source Article »

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Ghana: Second Round Of Polio Immunization Commences In Bono, Bono East And Ahafo | Modern Ghana.

[05.02.2020]

The second round of polio immunization has commenced in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions.

The exercise has become necessary following an outbreak of Acute Flaccid Paralysis in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions in 2019.

The four-day exercise which begins today 5th February to 8th February 2020 is expected to cover about 577,000 children less than five years in the three Regions.

Dr. John Ekow Otoo, the Deputy Director of the Ghana Health Service in the Bono Region in charge of Public Health indicated that this exercise is to ensure that the children are protected from the disease.

“Fortunately for us, we have not recorded any more cases after the three cases that we had already. But as part of the strategies to ensure that the children are protected, it is important that every child receives at least two doses of the oral polio vaccine. So we are organizing this round which is Round 2. We did the Round zero which involved only six districts. In the Round one, all the 29 districts in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions were involved. We are repeating the same exercise in all these districts. So the focus is to make sure that all children less than five years in these regions are protected,” he said.

The early part of January this year saw Ghana Health Service embarking on a 5-day polio vaccination exercise in the Oti Region .

The exercise was targeted at foiling a resurfacing of poliomyelitis in all eight districts of the region following the record of a case in the Nkwanta North district of the region.

Polio, short for poliomyelitis, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus.

In about 0.5 percent of cases, there is muscle weakness resulting in disabilities.


Original Source Article »

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