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News Scan for Sep 03, 2021

Survey shows COVID-19 reduced AMR resources across 73 countries

A survey across 73 countries assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) highlights reduced availability of nursing, medical, and public health staff for AMR efforts. The study was published today in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

The survey, conducted from October to December 2020 through the WHO Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS), was the first to analyze how and if the pandemic was affecting AMR efforts across high-, middle-, and low-income countries. A glass point person in each of the 73 nations completed the survey.

The most significant findings were shortages in staffing: Reduced availability of nursing, medical and public health staff for AMR was reported by 71%, 69%, and 64%, of survey respondents, respectively. Additionally, 67% of countries reported limited ability to work with AMR partnerships, with low-and middle-income countries reporting the largest decreases in funding (P < 0.01).

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic threaten the progress made and are thought to be having wide-reaching impacts on AMR surveillance, prevention and control efforts,” the authors wrote. “This underlines the importance of maintaining AMR surveillance to monitor trends during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Sep 3 J Antimicrob Chemother

Chronice wasting disease turns up at another Wisconsin deer farm

For the second day in a row, animal health officials in Wisconsin have reported positive chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing at a deer farm, this time Outagamie County, located in the northeastern part of the state near Green Bay.

In a statement, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) said the farm was already in quarantine after receiving animals from a CWD-affected farm. It didn’t provide any details about the age or number of animals that tested positive.

The announcement came a day after the DATCP reported a similar finding at a deer farm in Langlade County, where a 1-year-old doe tested positive. That farm was also already in quarantine, having received animals from an earlier affected farm. Langlade County is also in northeastern Wisconsin.

CWD at cervid farms pose a risk of transmitting the disease to wild deer. A fatal prion disease, CWD has affected deer, elk, and other cervids in 26 states and 3 Canadian provinces. Some experts fear that it could jump to humans, similar to a pattern seen with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or “mad cow disease.”
Sep 2 DATCP bulletin

H9N2 avian flu infects another person in China

China reported another H9N2 avian flu infection, this time in a young child from Hunan province who had been exposed to poultry, according to a regular avian influenza update from the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific regional office (WPRO).

The patient is a 20-month-old girl who started having mild symptoms on Aug 23 and was hospitalized the next day. An investigation found that she had been exposed to domestic poultry before she got sick. No other cases in her family or contacts have been detected.

Her infection marks the 15th H9N2 case in China for 2021 and the country’s 56th since 2015.

H9N2 commonly circulates in poultry in Asia, and sporadic infection occur in people who have indirect or direct contact with poultry. Onward transmission hasn’t been reported, and infections are typically mild and more commonly reported in children.
Sep 3 WHO WPRO avian flu update

Five countries report more vaccine-derived polio cases

Five countries—four in Africa and one in Central Asia—reported more polio cases this week, all involving circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2), according to the latest weekly update from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

In Africa, Nigeria reported 23 more cases in five states, raising its total for the year to 123. The locations are Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, and Kano states. Ethiopia reported 2 cases, both in Oromiya, putting its number at 9 for 2021. Two countries each reported 1 more case: Mali and Sierra Leone. Mali’s case is in Koulikoro and is included in its 2020 total, which is now 51. Sierra Leone’s case is from Northern province, lifting its 2021 total to 5.

In Central Asia, Tajikistan reported 1 case from Khatlon, raising its total for the year to 32.
Sep 2 GPEI update

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