31 August, 2010

Spotlight News of the Week

Japanese Encephalitis outbreak causes 215 deaths in India, mostly children:
This year’s Japanese Encephalitis season came earlier and deadlier to India than previous years. Officials report that since July, 215 people have died from the disease, most of them children and occurred in the Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Local health officials worry that the number of encephalitis patients may reach at least 3,500 with a case-fatality rate of 20% while over 70 million children are at risk of the disease. As Japanese Encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes, the heavy rain and flooding brought in by the arrival of monsoon season have only exacerbated the severity of the outbreak. Hospitals are currently heavily under-staffed and have expressed frustration by the government’s inadequate response.

Additional New Highlights:

UPDATE - Salmonella outbreak in eggs linked to chicken feed:
The source of the Salmonella that led to a massive recall of eggs in the US is now believed to be contaminated feed. However, the feed is believed to have been sent to only the two egg facilities under investigation.

Plague spreads to Bolivia:
The infamous bubonic plague that caused a panic and killed 3 people in Peru has spread to Bolivia. Eight people are suffering from the disease in Apolo, a small town on the border with Peru. Last Tuesday, August 24, Bolivia officially declared a health alert after a 14 year old boy died from the bubonic plague.

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