WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Public Health England releases updates on VTEC, Ebola, pertussis vaccinations and cyclospora

HPR releases updates on VTEC, EVD, pertussis, respiratory infections, and cyclospora | Courtesy of biology.usf.edu
Public Health England (PHE) released a Public Health Report update on Friday about several health concerns including a verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) outbreak, prenatal pertussis vaccine coverage, Ebola virus disease (EVD) and cyclospora.

In August 2015, several VTEC cases were detected to be genetically clustered by whole genome sequencing (WGS). The cluster now includes 38 cases, one probable case and four potential cases that await WGS results. Most of the cases are female patients between the ages of 18 and 73. Most of the patients live across England, one lives in Wales and none has been found in Scotland. The cases appear to be connected to prepacked salads purchased from a supermarket chain.

New reports concerning prenatal pertussis vaccine coverage have been released for the 2014-2015 season. The analysis shows the vaccination rates of the prenatal pertussis immunization program in England from April 2014 to March 2015. The data was gathered from 94 percent of medical practices in England. PHE monitored, confirmed and evaluated the data. This is the first time that ethnicity details have been included in the data. PHE continues to encourage pregnant women to receive the pertussis vaccine.

The West African Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak is an ongoing health concern. There are now three more confirmed cases from the last five weeks. There have been 28,109 clinical compatible EVD cases as of August 2015, and 11,305 people have died from the disease, all of which have been connected to the outbreak in West Africa. A new round of outbreaks has started in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Mexico has reported that its cyclospora outbreak is connected to travelers. The outbreak has lasted since June 2015. There are now 69 cases of the illness in England, Wales and Scotland; all of these cases are connected to travels to Mexico. Another six cases still need to turn in their travel history information. It is most likely that the sickness is spreading through a food product.

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