Archive for April 21st, 2012

CDC: 2011 was worst measles year in US in 15 years – BusinessWeek

21 April, 2012

See on Scoop.itVirology News

“Last year was the worst year for measles in the U.S. in 15 years, health officials said Thursday.

There were 222 cases of measles, a large jump from the 60 or so seen in a typical year. Most of the cases last year were imported — either by foreign visitors or by U.S. residents who picked up the virus overseas.

U.S. children have been getting vaccinated against the measles for about 50 years. But low vaccination rates in Europe and other places resulted in large outbreaks overseas last year.

So far this year, 27 U.S. cases have been reported and it’s too early to gauge whether 2012 will be as bad as last year. But with large international events like the London Olympics coming up, health officials are urging everyone — particularly international travelers — to make sure they’re fully vaccinated.”

 

And so it begins…the collapse of what used to be near-universal anti-measles vaccination, resulting in re-importation of the virus to places where it had almost been eradicated.

See on www.businessweek.com

Vietnam’s new war: Incurable mystery virus [=EV71] kills 19 kids to date — RT

21 April, 2012

See on Scoop.itVirology News

“Hanoi has asked the World Health Organization for help to cure a virulent disease affecting children. Symptoms include blistering on hands, feet and mouths accompanied by high fever and eventual organ failure.

Nineteen children died from the illness in 2011 alone.
The virus spreads through direct contact with an infected person’s oral discharges or saliva, the fluid from burst blisters or the stool of infected persons.
The Red Cross mission in Vietnam reports the disease has already infected over 28,000 children this year, which is more than 10 times the number of infected children in the same period last year.
According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), last year a record 110,000 children became infected, with 169 deaths.
The hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) disease mostly affects children under three years old (80 per cent of totals cases) the Red Cross said. There is no known treatment for HFMD.”

 

The virus is EV71, a picornavirus similar to the polioviruses and hepatitis A virus – so hardly a “mystery virus”.  There are also a number of vaccines in the pipeline for the disease, including one highlighted here a while ago.

See on rt.com

USUTU VIRUS – POTENTIAL RISK OF HUMAN DISEASE IN EUROPE

21 April, 2012

See on Scoop.itVirology News

Usutu virus (USUV) is an African mosquito-borne flavivirus, member of the Japanese encephalitis antigenic group. This avian virus is transmitted by arthropod vectors (mainly mosquitoes of the Culex pipiens complex). It is well known that free-living birds, including migratory species, have the potential to disperse certain pathogenic microorganisms. Usutu virus has recently been introduced to Europe and is spreading through Austria, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, causing disease in birds and humans. Like West Nile virus, USUV may become a resident pathogen in Europe and the consequences for public health should be considered. Many different biotic and abiotic factors affect the survival of the virus in a new environment and influence the efficiency of its geographical dispersal

See on www.eurosurveillance.org