Third bird flu outbreak in less than a week in Japan

Japan has started culling another 230,000 chickens after the discovery of a highly contagious form of avian influenza on a farm in the north of the country.

The latest bird flu outbreak in Joetsu City in Niigata prefecture marks the second instance in the prefecture and the third in Japan in less than a week.

The Niigata government have been culling more than 300,000 chickens at a poultry farm in Sekikawa (about 140 km from Joetsu) after tests had confirmed the presence of the highly virulent H5 strain of the bird flu virus.

In Aomori, around 18,000 ducks have been culled at a farm where ducks tested positive for the H5 bird flu strain.

These are the first cases of infection in domestic poultry in Japan since January 2015, when bird flu was detected in Okayama and Saga prefectures.


DATE : 1 December 2016

SOURCE : Japan Times

Last-line antibiotics are failing

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has released its latest EU-wide data on antibiotic resistance and antibiotic consumption.

In 2015, antibiotic resistance continued to increase for most bacteria and antibiotics under surveillance. In particular, the EU average percentage of carbapenem resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae increased from 6.2% in 2012 to 8.1% in 2015, and combined resistance to carbapenems and polymyxins (eg colistin) was sometimes reported. These two groups of antibiotics are considered last-line antibiotics as they usually are the last treatment options for patients infected with bacteria resistant to other available antibiotics.

While antibiotic consumption in hospitals significantly increased in several EU Member States, antibiotic consumption in the community decreased in six EU Member States.

ECDC’s data also shows that antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli, one of the most frequent causes of bloodstream infections and urinary tract infections, requires close attention as the percentages of isolates resistant to commonly used antibiotics continues to increase throughout Europe.

In contrast, the percentage of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) showed a significantly decreasing trend at EU/EEA level between 2012 and 2015. Despite this positive development, MRSA remains a public health priority as eight out of thirty countries reported percentages above 25%.


DATE : 18 November 2016

SOURCE : European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Sierra Leone still suffers the consequences of Ebola

Over 11,000 people died of ebola in west Africa. Many who were affected by the disease survived and are living with the after effects.

In Sierra Leone there are 4,000 ebola survivors.

Dr Anders Nordström, WHO country representative for Sierra Leone, discusses how the country is better prepared for another outbreak. Systems are now in place for earlier detection of future health threats like ebola.


DATE : 28 November 2016

SOURCE : Al Jazeera

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