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News Scan for Apr 09, 2021

Nigeria reports H5 avian flu infections in poultry workers

Nasal swab testing of poultry workers and handlers in recent highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu outbreak settings in Nigeria turned up seven positive results in humans, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in its weekly communicable disease threat report.

So far this year, Nigeria has reported 30 H5N1 outbreaks in poultry, spanning seven states. As part of outbreak investigations, health officials tested 83 people, none of whom were experiencing symptoms.

The group included farmers, bird handlers, and traders in four states: Kano, Bauchi, Kano, and Plateau. Real-time polymerase chain reaction on 64 samples found that 7 that were positive for influenza A. Six were H5, and 1 was unsubtypable. The samples have been shipped to a World Health Organization collaborating lab in the United States for further characterization.

Investigators have also collected blood samples from 13 close contacts of people in three of the affected states.

The ECDC said different H5 viruses are circulating in West African countries, and more epidemiologic and virologic details are needed to assess the situation, but for now, it considers the risk of zoonotic spread in European countries to be very low.

So far, the human cases haven’t been confirmed as H5N1, though the ECDC reported a single H5N1 case in Nigeria in 2007.
Apr 9 ECDC weekly communicable disease threat report
Jan 31, 2007, CIDRAP News story

Laos reports first human H5N6 avian flu case

Laos has reported its first human H5N6 avian flu case, the first known infection to occur outside of China.

The patient is a 5-year-old boy from Luang Probang province in the north central part of the country whose symptoms began on Feb 28, according to the weekly communicable disease threat report from the ECDC. He was hospitalized and recovered from his infection.

An investigation found that he had been exposed to poultry, which also tested positive for H5N6. No similar infections were found among his contacts at home or in the hospital.

H5N6 has been detected in poultry in China and a handful of other nations since 2014, but until the Laos case, human cases involving the strain had been detected only in China. The ECDC said the latest case raised the global total to 32, including 17 deaths. All but 5 cases involved poultry exposure, and so far the virus hasn’t been linked to case clusters.
Apr 9 ECDC weekly communicable disease threat report

Three countries report more vaccine-derived polio cases

Three countries 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 the Middle East, Afghanistan reported 5 cases, four in Zabul province and one in Badghis province, raising the country’s total for the year to 28.

In Africa, Burkina Faso reported 1 cVDPV2 case, in Banfora, a city in the southwest. The case is included in the country’s 2020 total, which is now 60. Meanwhile, Sierra Leone reported one more case, in Northern province, putting its total at nine.
Apr 8 GPEI update

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