The United Kingdom (UK) has informed WHO of another confirmed case of infection with the novel coronavirus (NCoV). The patient is a UK resident and a relative of the case announced on 11 February 2013. The latest confirmed case does not have any recent travel history outside the UK and is currently hospitalized in an intensive care unit. It is understood that this patient has pre-existing medical conditions that may have increased susceptibility to respiratory infections.
Confirmed NCoV in a person without recent travel history indicates that infection was acquired in the UK. As of 13 February 2013, evidence of person-to-person transmission has been limited. Although this case is suggestive of person-to-person transmission, on the basis of current evidence, the risk of sustained person-to-person transmission appears to be very low. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) is following up on all close contacts (family and healthcare workers) who may have been exposed to either of these two new confirmed cases.
As of 13 February 2013, a total of 11 confirmed cases of human infection with NCoV have been notified to WHO, with no change in the number of fatalities i.e., five deaths since April 2012.
Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns. Testing for the new coronavirus should be considered in patients with unexplained pneumonias, or in patients with unexplained severe, progressive or complicated respiratory illness not responding to treatment. Any clusters of SARI or SARI in healthcare workers should be thoroughly investigated, regardless of where in the world they occur. New cases and clusters of the NCoV should be reported promptly both to national health authorities and to WHO. WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event nor does it recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied. WHO continues to monitor closely the situation.
Wild poliovirus has been found in samples taken from sewage in Al Haggana (Nasr City) and Al Salam district in Cairo. The wild poliovirus is related to the wild poliovirus type 1, from north Sindh, Pakistan, which was reported in September 2012.
This is the first documented importation of wild poliovirus from Pakistan, after Egypt was declared polio free, with its last case in May 2004. At this stage, there are no cases (children) of paralysis associated with this importation.
These poliovirus strains have been detected through ongoing environmental surveillance in Egypt, which involves regular testing of sewage water from multiple sites (total in the country 34, in Cairo 5).
Emergency response and coordination efforts are ongoing between the Ministry of Health and Population, the Government of Egypt and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners, WHO and UNICEF. Teams have been sent to each of the areas in which the virus was detected in environmental sampling and a field investigation and active search for cases is ongoing. The frequency of environmental sampling has been increased; environmental samples will be collected fortnightly instead of monthly from the five sites located in Cairo.
Supplementary immunization activities are being planned for a large-scale Cairo-wide campaign for children under 5 years of age, targeting approximately 3 million children. The campaign is planned during the coming month; dates have not yet been finalized. Immediate response vaccination in these two areas has been strongly recommended to the Ministry of Health and Population.
Meanwhile, in a joint statement, WHO, UNICEF and the Polio Monitoring Cell in Pakistan have announced this situation as critical and alarming for the polio programme in Pakistan. The statement further adds that children under the age of five departing Pakistan will be given polio drops at special counters at the airports.
Cases of multidrug-resistant (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) are rising in Europe as the treatment success rate for TB is slipping, the World Health Organization (WHO) said 28 June 2012 as managers of national TB programs opened a meeting in London. The WHO’s Regional Office for Europe estimated that 81,000 people fall ill with MDR-TB in the region each year, but because of limited access to care, only 29,000 cases were diagnosed in 2010. Noting that treatment for resistant TB is lengthy, complicated, and costly, the WHO said treatment success rates for new and previously treated TB cases fell from 72% and 50%, respectively, in 2005 to 69% and 48% in 2010. The statement quoted a Romanian man who described how, while being treated for XDR-TB, he wasn’t allowed to work, but he had to return work to keep his family from starving. He died in May 2012. Following adoption of a regional action plan in 2011, many European Region countries have increased access to treatment for resistant TB, but many patients still go undiagnosed or untreated, the WHO said.
The WHO statement may be accessed at http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/communicable-diseases/tuberculosis/news/news/2012/6/tackling-tuberculosis-means-looking-beyond-the-disease-experts-meet-to-address-its-broader-causes2