CDC updates guidance for infants born to mothers with possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today issued updated interim clinical guidance for health care providers caring for infants born to mothers with possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy. This update includes information that has become available since the August 2016 release of the previous guidance.

Zika virus continues to be a public health threat to pregnant women and their infants. Despite the lower number of Zika cases in 2017 than at this time during 2016, Zika cases continue to be reported by many countries around the world.  Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious damage to the brain of the developing fetus. It can lead to congenital Zika syndrome in babies, a pattern of birth defects that includes brain abnormalities, vision problems, hearing loss, and problems moving limbs. Babies with congenital infection may also appear healthy at birth but have underlying brain defects or other Zika-related health problems.

“There’s a lot we still don’t know about Zika, so it’s very important for us to keep a close eye on these babies as they develop,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “Learning how best to support them will require a team approach between healthcare providers and families.”

The updated recommendations emphasize that it is important for pediatric health care providers to assess risk of congenital Zika virus infection, to communicate closely with obstetrical providers, and to remain alert for any problems that may develop in infants without birth defects born to mothers with possible Zika virus exposure during pregnancy.

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FDA: General Mills Issues Voluntary Recall of Cascadian Farm Organic Cinnamon Raisin Granola Cereal

General Mills is voluntarily recalling two days of production of Cascadian Farm Organic Cinnamon Raisin Granola cereal because of an undeclared allergen. There have been no reports of illness.

Cascadian Farm Organic Cinnamon Raisin Granola cereal produced on July 15 and 16, 2017 is being recalled because the product may contain almonds, an undeclared nut allergen. More

Infant Sleep Positioners: FDA Warning – Risk of Suffocation

FDA is reminding parents and caregivers not to put babies in sleep positioners. These products—sometimes also called “nests” or “anti-roll” products—can cause suffocation (a struggle to breathe) that can lead to death.

In the last 13 years, the federal government has received 12 reports of babies known to have died from suffocation associated with their sleep positioners. Most of the babies suffocated after rolling from the side to the stomach. In addition to the deaths, the commission has received dozens of reports of babies who were placed on their back or side in the positioners only to be found later in hazardous positions within or next to the product.

To reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their backs, positioned on a firm, empty surface. This surface should not contain soft objects, toys, pillows, or loose bedding. More

CDC: New study shows Tdap vaccination during pregnancy can prevent whooping cough in babies

A new CDC study published today in Clinical Infectious Diseases reported that vaccination with whooping cough vaccine, Tdap, during the third trimester of pregnancy prevented more than three out of four (78 percent) cases of whooping cough (also known as pertussis) in babies younger than two months. However, only 49 percent of pregnant women who delivered between fall 2015 and spring 2016 received the vaccine. CDC recommends women get Tdap during each pregnancy to provide critical short-term protection to babies when they are most at risk for this life-threatening illness. More

Pregnant Women Should Still Get The Flu Vaccine, Doctors Advise

lu symptoms can be more severe when you’re pregnant, landing women in the hospital, threatening their lives and even leading to preterm birth or miscarriage. The virus is a risk to the woman and the baby.

So, it’s particularly important that people who are pregnant get the flu vaccine. And it’s also important that the effects of those vaccines be studied in pregnant women. More

CDC Health Advisory: Rifampin/Penicillin-Resistant Strain of RB51 Brucella Contracted from Consumption of Raw Milk

The Texas Department of State Health Services, with assistance from CDC, is investigating Brucella RB51 exposures and illnesses that may be connected to the purchase and consumption of raw (unpasteurized) milk from K-Bar Dairy in Paradise, Texas. Symptoms of brucellosis can include: fever, sweats, malaise, anorexia, headache, fatigue, muscle & joint pain, and potentially more serious complications (e.g., swelling of heart, liver, or spleen, neurologic symptoms). Read the full CDC Health Advisory.

For More Information
Risks from Unpasteurized Dairy Products
Brucellosis and Expecting Mothers
Raw Milk Questions and Answers

Update: Increase in Human Infections with Novel Asian Lineage Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Viruses During the Fifth Epidemic — China, October 1, 2016–August 7, 2017

Summary

What is already known about this topic?

The current Asian lineage avian influenza A(H7N9) virus (Asian H7N9) epidemic in China is the fifth and largest epidemic on record.

What is added by this report?

Human infections with Asian H7N9 virus were reported from more provinces, regions, and municipalities in China during the fifth epidemic than in the previous four epidemics combined. Because of antigenic variation between the Yangtze River Delta lineage viruses, the newly emerged high pathogenic Asian H7N9 viruses, and 2013 candidate vaccine viruses, new candidate vaccine viruses have been produced.

What are the implications for public health practice?

These candidate vaccine viruses, as well as others being developed by other World Health Organization Collaborating Centers for Influenza, could be used for vaccine production, clinical trials, stockpiling, and other pandemic preparedness purposes, based on ongoing public health risk assessment. CDC has partnered with China CDC, and other China government organizations, United Nations organizations, and surrounding countries to enhance surveillance and laboratory capacity to detect and respond to Asian H7N9 in animals and humans.

Read the full MMWR. 

Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia

The annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is among the largest mass gatherings in the world. In 2017, Hajj will take place from approximately August 30 to September 4. Umrah is a similar pilgrimage that can be undertaken at any time of the year, but is likely to be more crowded during the month of Ramadan (approximately May 27 to June 24).

Because of the crowds, mass gatherings such as Hajj and Umrah are associated with unique health risks. Before you go, you should visit a travel health specialist for advice, make sure you are up to date on all routine and recommended vaccines, and learn about other health and safety issues that could affect you during your trip.

Clinicians

In advance of this event, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed the attached brief notice regarding Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) testing.  Because of the potential increase in travelers returning from Hajj that may be ill, consider MERS-CoV testing if the person meets CDC’s patient under investigation (PUI) testing guidelines.  CDC also recently updated reporting guidelines for a MERS PUI (EPI-X, July 25, 2017).

CDC: Increase in Reported cases of Cyclospora cayetanensis Infection, United States, Summer 2017

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), State and Local Health Departments, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating an increase in reported cases of cyclosporiasis. The purpose of this HAN Advisory is to notify public health departments and healthcare facilities and to provide guidance to healthcare providers of the increase in reported cases. Please disseminate this information to healthcare providers in hospitals and emergency rooms, to primary care providers, and to microbiology laboratories.

Healthcare providers should consider a diagnosis of cyclosporiasis in patients with prolonged or remitting-relapsing diarrheal illness. Testing for Cyclospora is not routinely done in most U.S. laboratories, even when stool is tested for parasites. Healthcare providers must specifically order testing for Cyclospora, whether testing is requested by ova and parasite (O&P) examination, by molecular methods, or by a gastrointestinal pathogen panel test. Cyclosporiasis is a nationally notifiable disease; healthcare providers should report suspect and confirmed cases of infection to public health authorities.

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