11 February, 2011

Influenza Closes Russian Schools, Cholera Cases Found in NYC, and White Nose Syndrome Spreads

Epidemic of Influenza in Russia.
An epidemic of influenza has been spreading throughout Russia. Nearly 60 regions in Russia have been severely affected. In Moscow, since January 31st, all elementary and middle schools have been closed in hopes of preventing the further spread of the disease. Every week around 160,000 people are becoming ill, and about 450 are being hospitalised every day.

Почти в 60 российских регионах зафиксирована эпидемия гриппа. 31 января из-за эпидемии гриппа и ОРВИ во всех столичных школах были приостановлены занятия у 1-8 классов. Городские власти решили ввести карантин в учебных заведениях в качестве превентивной меры, чтобы обезопасить детей. Cейчас еженедельно заболевают около 160 тысяч москвичей, госпитализируется около 450 человек в день.

Measles Getting a Foothold in Auckland?
On January 11th, an individual infected with measles flew from Brisbane to Auckland, triggering a public health warning over potential exposure to other passengers.  In the month since that flight, 12 additional cases have been diagnosed in Auckland.  Public health officials now fear the outbreak will spread.  Only some of the 12 cases were on the flight or had known contacts on the flight, suggesting measles is now circulating in the community.

Cholera in New York City
This week New York City officials confirmed 3 cases of cholera, the first diagnoses since the outbreak in Haiti started.  All the patients attended a wedding in the Dominican Republic in January.  New York City typically sees one imported case of cholera per year, and the risk of spread is negligible.

White Nose Syndrome Continues to Spread
Just one week after being discovered in Indiana, the deadly White Nose Syndrome (WNS) has been identified in bats located in an old Avery County mine and in a cave within Grandfather Mountain State Park in North Carolina. This discovery marks the first time WNS has been found in bats in North Carolina. The disease, first discovered in New York State in 2006, has spread North into Canada and South to Tennessee (a total of 16 states and 2 Canadian provinces have been affected to date). WNS has devastated bat populations throughout the United States with over one million bats killed due to mortality rates close to 100% in affected populations.

Swine Flu Causes Multiple Deaths in Hong Kong and Beijing
As China ushered in its Lunar New Year this past week, the city of Beijing has reported 11 new cases and 1 death due to H1N1 since February 2nd. So far in 2011, 195 cases and 4 deaths due to H1N1 have been confirmed for the city. Chinese New Year is a time of great excitement but also of public health concern due to the great amount of movement and travel among the population and also due to large group gatherings, both publicly and at home. During this holiday period, it was reported that people within Beijing sought outpatient care 263,000 times, a 17.4% increase from last year, and emergency care 110,000 times.

The Hong Kong Center for Health Protection also reported today that in the brief past two weeks, 9 individuals have died from H1N1 since January 24th. The Center’s director explained that H1N1 is the main virus circulating this flu season, causing rates of severe complications and care-seeking to be higher in comparison to the same time period last year. He predicts that the peak period for this flu season may continue until March. Since the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, Hong Kong has accumulated over 80 deaths.

No comments:

Post a Comment