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News Scan for Aug 06, 2021

News Scan for Aug 06, 2021

China confirms 2 more H5N6 infections

Chinese officials reported two more H5N6 avian influenza infections in patients from two different provinces, raising the country’s total this year to 13, the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said today in a statement.

One is a 61-year-old woman from Guangxi province in the south who had been exposed to live poultry in a market before she got sick. Her symptoms began on Jul 6 and she was hospitalized on Jul 9. She is currently listed in stable condition.

The other is a 65-year-old woman from Sichuan province in the southwest who had contact with dead poultry before her symptoms started on Jul 13. She was hospitalized on the same day and is in critical condition.

Since 2014, when the first human H5N6 cases were detected, China has reported 37 cases. Though H5N6 is known to circulate in poultry in some Asian countries, China and Laos are the only nations to report human infections, which are often severe or fatal.
Aug 6 CHP statement


Declining susceptibility to azithromycin found in German gonorrhea samples

Analysis of Neisseria gonorrhoea samples from diagnostic laboratories throughout Germany shows a significant decrease in susceptibility to azithromycin, one of the two remaining antibiotics recommended for gonorrhea infections, German researchers reported yesterday in Eurosurveillance.

The analysis of 3,253 N gonorrhoea isolates collected from January 2014 through May 2021 noted a substantial increase in the proportion of isolates with an azithromycin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value higher than 1 mg/L (above the epidemiologic cut-off), rising from 1.3% of isolates in 2014 to 12.2% in 2020. Preliminary data for 2021 showed the proportion with an azithromycin MIC >1 climbing to 20.7%, but those data have yet to be confirmed.

“According to our current observations and data described by others, we may not be fully able to rely on azithromycin as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of gonorrhoea,” the researchers from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute wrote. 

Only two isolates—one from 2015, the other from 2018—were found to be resistant to ceftriaxone, the other antibiotic recommended for gonorrhea. Dual therapy consisting of azithromycin and ceftriaxone has been the standard treatment for gonorrhea infections in Germany since 2013, but the authors note that ceftriaxone monotherapy has become the preferred treatment in well-controlled settings where adherence can be guaranteed.
Aug 5 Eurosurveill study


Four countries report more vaccine-derived polio cases

In its latest weekly update, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) said four countries have reported more polio cases, all involving circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2.

Afghanistan reported one case, which involves a patient from Wardak and raises the country’s total for the year to 43. Neighboring Tajikistan reported seven more cases, all but one from Khatlon. The spurt of cases brings the country’s 2021 total to 23.

In Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reported one more case, a patient from Mongala, lifting its total for the year to 10. Nigeria added 16 more cases to its total for 2021, boosting its total to 65. The cases were from 11 different states.
Aug 5 GPEI weekly update

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