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  #321  
Old 10-16-2017, 06:32 PM
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HEPATITIS A
CALIFORNIA

http://www.latimes.com/local/califor...013-story.html

Quote:
California declares state of emergency over deadly hepatitis A outbreak
Spoiler:
California Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency Friday because of a hepatitis A outbreak that has killed at least 18 people in the state.

The declaration allows state health officials to buy additional doses of the hepatitis A vaccine to try to halt the outbreak, which is already the nation’s second largest in more than two decades.

“We have the capacity to use as much vaccine as we can get our hands on,” said Dr. Gil Chavez, state epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health.

The outbreak began in San Diego’s homeless community late last year, but has since spread outside the region. Los Angeles and Santa Cruz counties are also now experiencing outbreaks.

So far, 581 people in California have been sickened with the liver virus, more than half of whom have ended up in the hospital. The virus is particularly dangerous, and can be fatal, for people who already have other liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or C.

Federal health officials said last week that, even with the ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the disease, California’s outbreak could last years.

“Vaccinating people at risk of exposure is the most effective tool we have to prevent the spread of hepatitis A,” said California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Karen Smith.

The hepatitis A shot is already required for children, but now health officials are recommending it for people who are homeless and drug users.

“The general population does not have an increased risk of infection at this time,” Chavez said.

Hepatitis A is commonly transmitted through contaminated food. The only U.S. outbreak in the last 20 years bigger than California’s occurred in Pennsylvania in 2003, when more than 900 people were infected after eating contaminated green onions at a restaurant.

California’s outbreak, however, is spreading from person to person, mostly among the homeless community. Unsanitary conditions make the virus more likely to infect more people because it’s also transmitted through contact with feces.

State health officials said they had already distributed 81,000 doses of the vaccine this year and some counties had purchased their own additional vaccines separately. But Brown’s emergency declaration allows them to be able to buy more directly from manufacturers to up their supply, Chavez said.

Hepatitis A is particularly hard to control because people can spread the disease before they have symptoms and even know that they have the virus. The virus itself is also highly contagious and can survive in the environment for a long time once it’s introduced.

Hepatitis A in California

490 cases in San Diego County
71 cases in Santa Cruz County
13 cases in Los Angeles County
7 cases elsewhere in the state

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  #322  
Old 10-30-2017, 02:26 PM
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ADULT VACCINATION

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/27/w...e=sectionfront

Quote:
Should I Get Revaccinated as an Adult?

Q. Is there any benefit to revaccinating adults against measles, mumps, whooping cough and other diseases making a comeback?

A. Yes, there are some vaccinations that are recommended for adults, to protect themselves or infants too young for vaccination.

Spoiler:



A student at a college with a mumps outbreak, for example, may be asked to get revaccinated to increase protection, because immunity wanes over time, said Dr. Amanda Cohn, a pediatrician and senior adviser for vaccines at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In adulthood, mumps can cause severely swollen glands and testicles as well as aseptic meningitis, which produces such symptoms as fever, headache, stiff neck and vomiting.

The mumps part of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is the weak link, said Dr. Cody Meissner, chief of pediatric infectious disease at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and a member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, which advises the federal government. “We could use a better mumps vaccine,” he said, though there’s unlikely to be a new one because of the economics of vaccine development.

With measles, anyone who was born after 1957 and received two doses of the measles vaccine in childhood should have lifelong protection, said Dr. Matthew Leibowitz, chief of infectious diseases at Newton-Wellesley Hospital outside Boston. People who are unsure whether they got two shots in childhood should get revaccinated if they are traveling to areas where measles is common, including South America, Asia or Africa, he said.


Most Americans who get measles now are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated, Dr. Cohn said, because they grew up in a country where vaccination was not required, chose not to be vaccinated, are too young for vaccination or have compromised immune systems.



Pregnant women are advised to get a vaccine against whooping cough (also known as pertussis, and delivered with a diphtheria and tetanus vaccine) during the third trimester of every pregnancy. That way, their newborn will be protected against the disease during the earliest months of life when it is most dangerous and before it is safe to vaccinate, Dr. Cohn said. The father and close relatives should also be revaccinated, Dr. Meissner said, to provide “cocooning around the infant,” because the disease is now so common and adults might not be aware that they have it.


Other vaccinations recommended for adults include an annual flu shot, a tetanus booster every 10 years, the shingles vaccine and the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine.


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  #323  
Old 11-03-2017, 05:47 PM
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MADAGASCAR
PLAGUE

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...rocket-40.html

Quote:
Deadly airborne plague in Madagascar is now at 'crisis' point and the 'worst outbreak in 50 years' as cases rocket by almost 40% in just 5 DAYS and could hit a further 20,000 in weeks
The World Health Organization now states there are 1,801 suspected cases
This is significantly higher than the 1,309 the agency reported last Thursday
Professor Robin May, an infectious diseases expert at Birmingham University, told MailOnline that the outbreak is 'concerning definitely'
Analysis of figures by MailOnline show the epidemic could strike a further 20,000 people in just a matter of weeks, if current trends continue
The 'unprecedented' outbreak has prompted warnings in 9 nearby countries



Spoiler:
The deadly airborne plague spreading rapidly across Madagascar is now at 'crisis' point as cases have rocketed by 37 per cent in just five days, official figures reveal.
The outbreak, the 'worst in 50 years', is being fueled by a strain more lethal than the one which usually strikes the country off the coast of Africa.
The World Health Organization (WHO) now states there are 1,801 suspected cases - significantly higher than the 1,309 it reported last Thursday.
Academics have revealed such a jump in cases over the period of five days is concerning and have predicted it could get worse. The most recent statistics show there have been 127 deaths.
Professor Robin May, an infectious diseases expert at Birmingham University, told MailOnline that 'whichever way you look' at the outbreak, it’s 'concerning definitely'.
Analysis of figures by MailOnline show the epidemic could strike a further 20,000 people in just a matter of weeks, if current trends continue. It could be made worse by crowds gathering for an annual celebration to honour the dead earlier this week.
The 'truly unprecedented' outbreak has prompted warnings in nine nearby countries - South Africa, Seychelles, La Reunion, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Comoros and Mauritius.
Two thirds of this year's cases have been caused by the airborne pneumonic plague and means it is spread through coughing, sneezing or spitting. It is different to the traditional bubonic form that strikes the country each year.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Professor Johnjoe McFadden, an expert in molecular genetics at the University of Surrey, said: 'It’s a crisis at the moment and we don’t know how bad it’s going to get.'
Professor Jimmy Whitworth, an international public health scientist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told MailOnline earlier today: 'This outbreak though is the worst for 50 years or more.'


Plague season hits Madagascar each year and still has six months to run, however, this year’s outbreak has seen triple the amount of cases that was expected.
This year's outbreak has started earlier as forest fires have driven rats into rural communities, which has then spread into cities for the first time, local reports state.


t comes amid warnings annual celebrations to honour the dead saw large crowds gather in cities, increasing the risk of infection.
HOW QUICKLY WILL IT SPREAD?

DATE OF REPORT

26TH OCT

31ST OCT

5TH NOV

10TH NOV

15TH NOV

20TH NOV

25TH NOV

30TH NOV

5TH DEC

10TH DEC

CASES

1,309

1,801

2,478

3,409

4,690

6,453

8,879

12,217

16,809

23,128

These figures in italics are MailOnline’s analysis of what would happen if the current 37 per cent increase continued in five-day gaps.

Actual figures in upcoming reports issued by the WHO completely depend on intervention by international aid agencies, and could paint a much different picture.

All Saints Day, otherwise known as the 'Day of the Dead', is a public holiday which takes place on November 1 each year, sees families often gathering at local cemeteries.
'In that type of situation, it may be easy to forget about respiratory etiquettes,' Panu Saaristo, the International Federation of Red Cross' team leader for health in Madagascar, told MailOnline.
And earlier this week MailOnline revealed the 'Godzilla' El Niño has been blamed for the severity of this year's outbreak by causing freak weather conditions.
Commenting on the WHO figures, Professor May told MailOnline: ‘It sounds like a very big increase in five days. It’s a serious outbreak and needs careful monitoring.’
‘Depending on what position of the curve you’re at, you’re either going to see a lot more cases or it’ll hit the peak and drop down.’
The figures dispute claims by Dr Manitra Rakotoarivony, Madagascar's director of health promotion, that the epidemic is on a downward spiral.
On the same day WHO released its latest situation report, he told local radio: ‘There is an improvement in the fight against the spread of the plague, which means that there are fewer patients in hospitals.’
In Madagascar, a sacred ritual sees families exhume the remains of dead relatives, rewrap them in fresh cloth and dance with the corpses


The WHO also remains adamant that cases are on the ‘decline in all active areas’ across the country.
It said on its website: ‘In the past two weeks, 12 previously affected districts reported no new confirmed or probable cases of pulmonary (pneumonic) plague.’
Bubonic plague, which is transmitted by flea bites and was responsible for the ‘Black Death’ in the 14th century, which killed 100 million people.
If left untreated, the Yersinia pestis bacteria can reach the lungs. This is where it turns pneumonic – described as the ‘deadliest and most rapid form of plague’.
Pneumonic, which is much more serious, is spread through coughing, sneezing or spitting and can kill within 24 hours if untreated.
Health officials are unsure how this year's outbreak began, but local media report that forest fires have driven rats towards rural communities.
This is believed to have been the start of the bubonic outbreak, which then develops into the more virulent pneumonic form which spreads rapidly without treatment.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...#ixzz4xP69W3Zy
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
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  #324  
Old 11-03-2017, 06:10 PM
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  #325  
Old 11-05-2017, 11:40 PM
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MONKEYPOX

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graph...adlines&wpmm=1

Quote:
U.S. and Congolese scientists are tracking a virus.
At a time when a deadly disease can cross the globe,
they need to understand the mysterious monkeypox.
CHASING A KILLER
Spoiler:
MANFOUETE, CONGO REPUBLIC — Along a narrow, winding river, a team of American scientists is traveling deep into the Congo rain forest to a village that can be reached only by boat.

The scientists are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they have embarked on this watery journey to solve a decades-old mystery about a rare and fatal disease: monkeypox.

A cousin to the deadly smallpox virus, the monkeypox virus initially infects people through contact with wild animals and can then spread from person to person. The disease produces fever and a rash that often turns into painful lesions that can feel like cigarette burns. It kills up to 1 in 10 of its victims, similar to pneumonic plague, and is particularly dangerous in children. Monkeypox is on the U.S. government list of pathogens such as anthrax and Ebola with the greatest potential to threaten human health. There is no cure.

Over the past year, reports of monkeypox have flared alarmingly across Africa, one of several animal-borne diseases that have raised anxiety around the globe. The Congolese government invited CDC researchers here to track the disease and train local scientists. Understanding the virus and how it spreads during an outbreak is key to stopping it and protecting people from the deadly disease.

In Congo Republic, many suspected monkeypox cases trace back to the village of Manfouete, a six-hour boat trip from the nearest airport. The village has 1,600 people, no electricity and no running water. The scientists are traveling upriver in a big motorized boat that looks like an open-air school bus. They must bring everything they need for their work. So a second boat — a long, wooden dugout canoe — will follow later carrying most of their supplies: boxes of traps and test tubes, a portable centrifuge, jerrycans of gasoline, a 25-kilogram sack of rice and lots of bottled water.

......
Monkeypox in middle America
Manfouete lies in the tropical rain forest of central Africa, just north of the equator. Leprosy and other infectious diseases long wiped out elsewhere still lurk in this remote corner of the world. Ebola, caused by one of the most dangerous pathogens ever discovered, is considered endemic in neighboring Congo, where eight outbreaks have been recorded in the past 40 years.

Since late last year, reports of monkeypox have been on the rise. An outbreak occurred in chimps in a Cameroon primate sanctuary. Human cases have been reported in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo Republic, the Central African Republic and, most recently, Nigeria.

The United States experienced a monkeypox outbreak in 2003. An exotic pet dealer imported 800 animals from Africa, including giant pouched rats, dormice and rope squirrels. While the animals were housed in a facility in Illinois, some of them infected prairie dogs that were later sold as pets. Forty-seven people in six Midwestern states were sickened, all of whom recovered. The youngest was a 3-year-old girl bitten on the finger by her new pet prairie dog.

Worldwide, animal-borne infectious diseases that jump to humans are on the rise. Tropical rain forests, with their rich diversity of animal life, are disease hot spots. An outbreak that begins in a remote village such as Manfouete can reach major cities on any continent in less than 36 hours, blossoming into a global crisis.

In the Congo Republic, the monkeypox outbreak began in January with a hunter from Manfouete. Since then, at least 88 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported throughout the country, and six people have died, including one confirmed case from Manfouete.

Some people were infected while caring for sick relatives. Others became sick through contact with wild animals or while hunting or preparing this critical source of protein in the local diet. But scientists don’t know which animals carry the virus.

Despite its name, monkeypox is probably not spread by monkeys. It was discovered in research monkeys in Denmark in 1958. Giant pouched rats, dormice and squirrels are the chief suspects, but there could be others. If the sources could be identified, villagers could avoid those species and prevent future outbreaks.

....
Some nice interactive features on the full story
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  #326  
Old 11-12-2017, 10:25 AM
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PLAGUE
MALAWI

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ion-alert.html

Quote:
Plague fears grow as Malawi becomes tenth African nation put on alert for the spread of the killer disease
At least 143 people have died of the plague following an outbreak in Madagascar
Another 2,000 people have been infected since the spread in August this year
Malawi's Dr Dan Namarika warned 'porous borders' may help spread the disease
The last reported case of the plague in Malawi were reported in 2002


Spoiler:
Malawi is bracing itself for an outbreak of the plague after the deadly disease continues to spread across the island nation of Madagascar.

At least 143 people have died and more than 2,000 others have been infected in Madagascar since an outbreak in early August this year.

Yet Malawi's health secretary confirmed the country is ready for any reported cases of the disease amid mounting concerns of Africa's 'porous borders'.

Dr Dan Namarika, principal secretary in the ministry of health, said the country were working in conjunction with Mozambique to help best prepare for a possible outbreak.

He said: 'We have infection prevention materials ready and groups and teams ready to be activated if there is a trigger.'
South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, La Réunion, Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia and Comoros have all been warned they could be at risk from a possible outbreak as well.
The last reported case of the plague in Malawi were reported in 2002.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has pledged £3.8m to combat the disease - yet predicts it may take six months to stem the outbreak.
Officials in Madagascar have warned residents not to exhume bodies of dead loved ones and dance with them because the bizarre ritual can cause outbreaks of plague +3
Officials in Madagascar have warned residents not to exhume bodies of dead loved ones and dance with them because the bizarre ritual can cause outbreaks of plague
People carry a body wrapped in a sheet after taking it out from a crypt, as they take part in a funerary tradition called the Famadihana +3
People carry a body wrapped in a sheet after taking it out from a crypt, as they take part in a funerary tradition called the Famadihana
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The strain can be cured with antibiotics and the WHO money will go towards paying for extra medical personnel, the disinfection of buildings and fuel for ambulances.
Cases have risen by eight per cent in just the space of one week and scientists are now working hard to ensure the disease does not spread from Madagascar to mainland Africa.
Health expert Professor Jimmy Whitworth described the current outbreak as the 'worst in 50 years or more'.


HOW DID THIS YEAR'S OUTBREAK BEGIN?
Health officials are unsure how this year's outbreak began.

However, some believe it could be caused by the bubonic plague, which is endemic in the remote highlands of Madagascar.

If left untreated, it can lead to the pneumonic form, which is responsible for two thirds of the cases recorded so far in this year's outbreak.

Rats carry the Yersinia pestis bacteria that causes the plague, which is then passed onto their fleas.

Forest fires drive rats towards rural communities, which means residents are at risk of being bitten and infected. Local media reports suggest there has been an increase in the number of blazes in the woodlands.

Without antibiotics, the bubonic strain can spread to the lungs - where it becomes the more virulent pneumonic form.

Pneumonic, which can kill within 24 hours, can then be passed on through coughing, sneezing or spitting.

However, it can also be treated with antibiotics if caught in time.

Madagascar sees regular outbreaks of plague, which tend to start in September, with around 600 cases being reported each year on the island.

However, this year's outbreak has seen it reach the Indian Ocean island's two biggest cities, Antananarivo and Toamasina.

Experts warn the disease spreads quicker in heavily populated areas.




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  #327  
Old 11-13-2017, 12:43 PM
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HEPATITIS
CALIFORNIA

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID...-Outbreak.aspx

Quote:
Hepatitis A Outbreak in California


CDPH Weekly Update as of November 3, 2017
Spoiler:
A large hepatitis A outbreak is ongoing in California. The majority of patients in this outbreak report experiencing homelessness and/or using illicit drugs in settings of limited sanitation. The outbreak is being spread person-to-person and through contact with a fecally contaminated environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that person-to-person transmission through close contact is the primary way people get hepatitis A in the United States.

San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles Counties have declared local outbreak status. Outbreak associated cases have been confirmed in other California jurisdictions.

Table. Outbreak Associated Hepatitis A infections by California Jurisdiction

​Jurisdiction ​Cases ​Hospitalizations ​Deaths
​San Diego ​544 ​372 20
​Santa Cruz 76 ​33 ​1
​Los Angeles ​10 8 ​0
​Other 14 ​7 ​0
​Total 644 420 21


For more information about preventing Hepatitis A, visit the CDC website or visit our Hepatitis A disease page.

Press Release
Governor's Proclamation


Situation

California is currently experiencing the largest person-to-person (not related to a common source or contaminated food product) hepatitis A outbreak in the United States since the hepatitis A vaccine became available in 1996.

The current outbreak involves cases in multiple California counties and several other states, resulting in hepatitis A-associated deaths.

Cases have been linked using laboratory evidence as well as epidemiologic evidence. The outbreak is caused by related strains of the same hepatitis A virus genotype (IB), which is not commonly seen in the United States, but is common in the Mediterranean region, South Africa, and Turkey. The investigation is ongoing.

The majority of people infected in this outbreak are homeless, use illicit drugs (injected or noninjected), or both.

.....
What public health is doing to reduce the impact of the outbreak

When hepatitis A cases are reported, local health departments try to identify all contacts the cases may have had during their infectious period and provide them with postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), to prevent them from becoming infected.



PEP is typically hepatitis A vaccine, although some high-risk contacts are also given injections of immune globulin, which helps block the hepatitis A virus.



Provision of handwashing stations and access to toilets are two additional prevention and control measures, in addition to other methods being employed by local health departments, that are being used to help reduce the risk of transmission from infected people to susceptible people in the population.



CDPH is actively supporting local health jurisdictions with and without outbreak-associated cases to control the outbreak in several ways, including: communicating with local, state, and federal (CDC) partners; conducting enhanced surveillance for additional cases; providing federally funded hepatitis A vaccine for outbreak control; facilitating (and soon to be providing) laboratory testing for cases; compiling and disseminating hepatitis A toolkit materials; providing technical consultation, and sending staff on-site to assist.


Expected course for the outbreak

It is difficult to estimate the total number of cases that will occur as a result of this outbreak. The number of cases that continue to occur will be related to the number of susceptible people that remain in the main at-risk population (homeless people/illicit drug users) and potentially other population or transmission factors.



Eventually, sufficient herd immunity will be developed through infection and immunization or other factors interrupting transmission will occur to stop the outbreak, but this is not likely to occur for some time.
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