We are NOT authorized by Govt of India for Yellow Fever Vaccination

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

H7N9 Avian Flu Continues to Spread, Worsen in China, Medscape Sept 2017

The latest epidemic of Asian lineage avian influenza A (Asian H7N9) in China infected almost as many patients as the four previous outbreaks combined and gave rise to a variant less susceptible to available treatments and vaccines, researchers report in an article  published in the September 8 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The fifth annual epidemic, which occurred from October 1, 2016, through July 31, 2017, included 759 patients and 281 deaths (37%). The cumulative mortality for all five Asian H7N9 outbreaks since February 2013 is 39% (605 of 1557 patients).
"Although human infections with Asian H7N9 viruses from poultry are rare and no efficient or sustained human-to-human transmission has been detected, when human infections do occur, they are associated with severe illness and high mortality," write James C. Kile, DVM, from the Influenza Division at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and colleagues. "Continued vigilance is important to identify changes in the virus that might have epidemiologic implications, such as increased transmission from poultry to humans or transmission between humans."
The fifth outbreak involved all but three of 33 provinces, regions, and municipalities in China. All infected patients had either lived in or traveled to these areas, and most (90%) infections were associated with poultry exposure, especially at live bird markets.
The authors note, however, that the increase in infections was the result of wider geographic spread and higher prevalence of Asian H7N9 viruses among poultry, not increased poultry-to-human or human-to-human transmission.
Notably, during the fifth epidemic, some Asian H7N9 strains acquired mutations that turned them from low-pathogenic to high-pathogenic strains. Twenty-seven patients were infected with high-pathogenic avian influenza strains that had acquired mutations.
Sequencing data from 166 viral isolates collected during the fifth epidemic uncovered genetic markers of resistance to amantadine and rimantadine. In addition, researchers found significant changes in surface proteins among some of the high-pathogenic avian influenza strains, making them less similar to previous candidate vaccine viruses.
These factors contributed to the CDC's decision to classify Asian H7N9 as the virus with the highest potential pandemic risk among all viruses evaluated using the Influenza Risk Assessment Tool.
The government of China is trying to minimize Asian H7N9 spread by promoting large-scale farming and centralized slaughtering, improving poultry product handling, and routinely closing, cleaning, and disinfecting live poultry markets and enhancing surveillance for influenza-like illness.
The authors write, "CDC has partnered with China CDC, and other China government organizations, United Nations organizations, and surrounding countries to enhance surveillance and laboratory capacity to detect and respond to Asian H7N9 in animals and humans."
One coauthor holds two US patents for influenza vaccines. The other authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66:928-932. Full text  

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Yellow Fever Vaccine Shortage Affects Arkansas Travelers, Sept 2017

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- - Yellow fever is a viral disease transmitted by infected mosquitos. 
The depletion of the US-made vaccine means an alternative vaccine,manufactured in France, will have to be imported. 
"We are down to our last few right now so we will have to refer students and faculty who are in need of the vaccine to other clinics who do stock the current yellow fever vaccine that is there," Executive Director, Pat Walker Health Center Mary Alice Serafini.  
The disease impacts people in almost 50 countries, including South America and Africa. 
Health officials say if you're told to get the vaccine before visiting a certain country, do it. 
"Not only is the person at risk for yellow fever once they are there, but it is possible that they could be infected and bring it back," Medical Director for Immunizations, Arkansas Dept. of Health Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said. "Although we do not have yellow fever currently the united states, we have had serious yellow fever epidemics in history."
The shortage is so widespread, the only clinic with the vaccine in the state is in Little Rock. 
"Any travel clinic is equipped and trained on these types of things and make recommendations for the kind of health risks people will encounter and how they should overcome the health risks," Dr. Dillaha said. 
Travelers in Northwest Arkansas include study abroad students from the university. 
"We send a lot of students to Central and South America and Africa," Assistant Director, Office of Study Abroad at The University of Arkansas Brian Poepsel said. "Those students are going to have to work a little bit harder to obtain it. "

Friday, September 8, 2017

Brazil declares end to yellow fever outbreak that killed 261, Sept 2017

AO PAULO — Brazil’s Health Ministry has declared an end to a yellow fever outbreak that killed more 250 people over the past nine months.
The ministry said Wednesday that the last case of the mosquito-borne disease was in June. In total, 777 people were infected, of whom 261 died.
The outbreak was highly unusual in a country that typically sees a handful of cases each year. The disease also occurred in areas not previously considered at risk and where vaccination rates were low.
In response, Brazil mounted a massive vaccination campaign, sending out more than 36.7 million doses. Vaccination efforts are continuing since the ministry says the average coverage rate in areas that bore the brunt of the outbreak is around 60 percent, below the target of 95 percent.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Brazil's Yellow Fever Cases Wane, But Scientists Fear Resurgence, Sept 2017

There were no new cases of yellow fever reported in Brazil last month, a change from earlier this year when the country reported more than 700 cases, including those near big cities like Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
But scientists still fear a resurgence, especially as Brazil enters its summer months.
Here & Now's Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with writer Sam Kean(@sam_kean) who followed the trail of yellow fever and the push to prevent outbreak for Science magazine.

This segment aired on August 29, 2017.