04 March, 2011

Measles Update, Chikungunya Appears in New Caledonia and More Infectious Disease News

40 Cases of Food-Borne Illness in Russia
Between January 12th and February 22nd a preschool in Rosinka, Russia recorded 40 cases of gastroenteritis. Upon further investigation the diagnosis was confirmed in 31 children. Following an examination of products used at the preschool, bacteria was detected in milk, yogurt and cottage cheese.

С 12 января по 22 февраля в дошкольном учреждении «Росинка» были зафиксированы 40 случаев с предварительным диагнозом ОКИ (острая кишечная инфекция). После обследований такой диагноз подтвердился у 31 ребенка. После проведенной экспертизы поставляемых продуктов в некоторых нашлись бактерии группы кишечной палочки. Так, данные бактерии были обнаружены в молоке, кефире и твороге. Кроме этого, кефир не проходил термической обработки, что так же могло сказаться на состоянии здоровья детей.

Measles in Review: USA, New Zealand, Angola, DR Congo
Measles is one of the leading causes of death in children and one of the most contagious diseases known.  Among susceptible people (those who are unvaccinated and never had it before), 90% who come into contact with a case will become infected.  Measles kills about 450 people (mostly children) on average every day.  It is preventable through vaccination.  In some part of the world, vaccination has never been widespread enough to prevent outbreaks.  Due to decreased levels of vaccination in places with formerly excellent coverage, measles is a re-emerging threat that has been in the news a great deal recently.  

On February 20th, a woman with measles traveled from London to Washington, DC’s Dulles International Airport (IAD).  She traveled around the city and two days later flew from Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI)  to Albuquerque (ABQ), with a three hour layover at Denver International Airport (DIA).  Thousands of travelers may have been exposed.  Although Public Health officials are contacting individuals on the flights, susceptible people in those airport terminals could also have been infected.  The classic measles rash typically takes two weeks to develop, so the number of related cases is still unknown.

In a separate incident, a worker at the French Consulate in Boston was diagnosed with measles, triggering extensive vaccination efforts.  A second case has been confirmed and three more are suspected, including a professor at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

Earlier this year, a traveler with measles flew from Dubai to Auckland, New Zealand.  Unfortunately, New Zealand has seen numerous cases subsequent to the flight.  Last week, an earthquake evacuation center in Christchurch had to be closed due to concerns about a measles at the shelter.

In areas of the world with greater malnutrition and additional diseases, measles remains deadly to children.  An ongoing outbreak in Angola has led 320 cases.  Nine have died and 170 are severely ill.  DR Congo has seen almost 4,000 cases since January.  Thirty one children are known to have died.

Chikungunya makes its debut in New Caledonia
New Caledonia’s first ever case of chikungunya was recorded this week.  The patient who remains anonymous according to French news, has since recovered.  The patient was contaminated while on vacation in Indonesia.  Chikungunya is a mosquito borne virus that has symptoms similar to those of dengue fever (fever, rash, joint pain).

Chikungunya en Nouvelle-Calédonie
Le premier cas de chikungunya en Nouvelle-Calédonie a été diagnostiqué cette semaine.  La patient a été contaminé pendant les vacances en Indonesie.   Le chikungunya est un virus, transmis par les moustiques, qui a des symptomes très similaires aux symptomes de la dengue (la fièvre, les rougeurs, douleurs des articulations).

Dengue in Miami, Florida
The 2nd locally-acquired case of dengue fever since November 2010 was confirmed this week in Miami-Dade county, Florida. Dengue is a disease spread by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Health officials are encouraging residents to take precautions such as to clear areas of standing water (where mosquitoes are able to lay eggs) and to utilize insect repellent when outdoors.

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