H5N1 avian influenza the animal influenza virus of greatest concern for human health: WHO

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February 28, 2015

The World Health Organization (WHO) released the following statement yesterday concerning the global influenza situation and the serious public health implications involved: H5N1 avian influenza/CDC The current global influenza situation is characterized by a number of trends that must be closely monitored. These include: an increase in the variety of animal influenza viruses co-circulating and exchanging genetic material, giving rise to novel strains; continuing cases of human H7N9 infections in…

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Indiana HIV outbreak grows: ‘This is a complex and fast moving outbreak’

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February 28, 2015

In a follow-up to a report yesterday, the HIV outbreak announced by State health officials earlier this week continues to grow, now reaching 27 confirmed cases and 10 preliminary HIV positive cases, the Indiana State Department of Health reported today. Image/NIH All cases are linked to injection drug abuse of the prescription drug, opana, with some individuals also reporting sexual intercourse as a possible mode of transmission. Opana is a powerful opioid…

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Oslo: 2 additional botulism cases brings Europe total to 25

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February 28, 2015

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), or Folkhelseinstitutet (computer translated) has reported an additional two wound botulism cases linked to contaminated heroin, bringing the total in Norway to 10 cases since the first case was recorded in late December. European Union/CIA The individual drug users injected heroin outside the blood vessel, health officials note. In all cases the heroin was obtained in the drug environment in Oslo. In addition, Scotland’s total botulism…

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Sydney Cafe: Scombroid poisoning linked to canned tuna investigated

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February 28, 2015

New South Wales Health has reported four cases of scombroid food poisoning linked to imported canned tuna served at Sydney Cafe prompting an investigation. Image/CIA The product in question, John Bull Tuna Chunky Style in Sunflower Oil is imported into Australia from Thailand. This is minor brand catering product that is not generally available to the public. NSW Food Authority reports that this incident is isolated to one group at the one location. The café…

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Malawi: Floods, displaced people and cholera puts UNICEF on high alert

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February 28, 2015

UNICEF Malawi is on high alert following a cholera outbreak in the southern border areas, where highly-populated camps for people displaced by the floods are located. In January, 15 districts across Malawi were devastated by floods. 230,000 people are still displaced as the rains continue, and 172 people still missing. Malawi/CIA Over a period of two weeks, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 39 cases of cholera, including two deaths. New…

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Diphtheria surge in Sumatra city prompts vaccination drive

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February 28, 2015

Health officials with the West Sumatra Health Agency have reported a surge of the very serious vaccine-preventable disease, diphtheria, in the city of Padang over the past month prompting a mass vaccination campaign. Sumatra map/CIA “During the last four weeks, 28 cases of children with suspected diphtheria have been found, six of which tested positive for the diphtheria bacteria,” West Sumatra Health Agency head Rosnini Savitri said to the Jakarta Post. In…

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Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease takes the life of Utah House speaker, Becky Lockhart

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February 27, 2015

I know I’m quite late on this story but I felt it was important to publish it anyway. Slightly more than a month ago, some tragic news hit the Utah State government. Image/ National Atlas of the United States The Beehive State lost their first female Speaker of the House of Representatives to a 100 percent fatal prion disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). According to to Salt Lake Tribune on Jan. 17,…

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San Francisco issues alert over ocular syphilis

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February 27, 2015

Just about a month after Washington State reported an increase in ocular syphilis in the men who have sex with men (MSM) population, San Francisco health officials are reporting a cluster of 7 cases since December 2014. Treponema pallidum spirochete/CDC The health department says five of the affected individuals were MSM and six were HIV-infected. The San Francisco Health Department is advising physicians to test for syphilis in patients presenting with visual complaints,…

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