Monday, October 8, 2007

avian Influenza, HIV and E. coli...Oh My!

Here is a selection of three short new and hot findings, just to keep us all up to date about some of the big players...

Avian bird flu – the situation in Indonesia continues...

(October, 8th 2007)

According to the World Health Organization this morning, Indonesia has a new case of H5N1 infection. []

"A 44-year-old female from Pekanbaru City in Riau Province developed symptoms on 1 October and died on 6 October. A team is currently investigating the case to determine the source of her exposure. All of the contacts are being monitored but all remain healthy.
Of the 108 cases confirmed to date in Indonesia, 87 have been fatal".

A new finding says that "MicroRNAs may help HIV hide, evade drugs"

(October 1st, 2007)

PHILADELPHIA (UPI) -- Scientists suspect that microRNA helps HIV avoid being detected.

"Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Medical Center said microRNA, or miRNA, better known for its roles in cancer, could be a key to unlocking the secrets of how HIV -- the AIDS virus -- hides in the immune system.

The researchers discovered when an individual infected with HIV receives a powerful cocktail of antiviral agents called HAART -- Highly Active AntiretRoviral Therapy -- the virus calls on miRNAs to help it remain quiet and practically undetectable, temporarily shutting down its ability to replicate and infect".

Copyright 2007 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.
from Science Daily

Okay, not exactly a virus, but kind of a big deal..."Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157 Infections Linked to Topp's Brand Ground Beef Patties"

(October 5th, 2007)

also from the CDC []

"Several state health departments, CDC, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections. On September 29, USDA issued a notice about a recall of 21.7 millions pounds of frozen ground beef patties.
Health officials in several states who were investigating reports of E. coli O157 illnesses found that many ill persons had consumed the same brand of frozen ground beef patties. Ground beef patties recovered from patients' homes were tested by state public health department and federal laboratories. Tests conducted by the New York State Wadsworth Center Laboratory and by a USDA-FSIS laboratory on opened and unopened packages of Topp's brand frozen ground beef patties yielded E. coli O157 isolates with several different “DNA fingerprint” patterns."

States with Outbreak-Associated Cases of E. coli O157, October 2007

US States with Outbreak-Associated Cases of E. coli O157, October 2007

"Ill persons reside in 8 states [Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Indiana (1), Maine (1), New Jersey (7), New York (9), Ohio (1), and Pennsylvania (10)]. Twenty-one (91%) of 23 patients with a detailed food history consumed ground beef. Three illnesses have confirmed associations with recalled products because the strain isolated from the person was also isolated from the meat in their home. The first reported illness began on July 5, 2007, and the last began on September 15, 2007. Among twenty-three ill persons for whom hospitalization status is known, fifteen (65%) were hospitalized. One patient developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). No deaths have been reported. Fifteen (47%) patients are female. The ages of patients range from 1 to 77 years; 50% are between 15 and 24 years old (only 14% of the US population is in this age group)."


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