Infection Control News: April 1-5, 2019Apr082019

Unvaccinated: Pockets of Canada vulnerable to serious outbreaks of disease. News.

Some Kelowna properties have been put under a boil water advisory due to increased water turbidity in Mill Creek, B.C. News.

A recall has been added to the CFIA’s Food Recall Report. Reason for Recall: Listeria. Product: Oreinos Mylopotamos brand Cretan Dry Mizythra. Recalling Firm: MFG Distribution Inc. Distribution: Ontario, Quebec. CFIA Listing.

A recall has been added to the CFIA’s Food Recall Report. Reason for Recall: Salmonella. Product: Lee’s Tea brand Teas. Recalling Firm: Lee’s Provisions Inc. Distribution : National. CFIA Listing.

A prospective, observational study found that 39% of HCW caring for patients on contact precautions for MDROs made multiple errors when doffing personal protective equipment, and had increased rates of self-contamination. Study.

Measles in BC and elsewhere:

Third measles case confirmed on Southern Vancouver Island. News.

Health officials have confirmed a 22nd case of the measles in British Columbia. News

Potential measles exposure on Skytrain and bus, March 27 News.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has issued a public alert to potential measles exposure, marking the second lab-confirmed case in Calgary this month. News.

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, will advise the board of health to ask Health Canada and the WHO to find ways to combat what’s known as “vaccine hesitancy”. News.

PH Toronto is investigating a lab-confirmed case of measles in an adult who acquired the disease in another country. Public may have been exposed at the Vaughan Mills shopping mall in Vaughan, Ont. on March 20. News.

USA. The number of U.S. measles cases through the first three months of this year have surpassed the count for all of 2018. There have been 387 cases through March and 372 last year. News.

Measles: How a preventable disease returned from the past. News.

The vast majority (90%) of Canadians believe that vaccinations should be mandatory for school-aged children, according to a new poll. News.

Ebola & MERS-CoV:

DRC confirmed 1,092 cases of Ebola, with 81 occurring in HCW,  28 HCW have died. The overall case-fatality rate for the outbreak stands at 62%. Communique.

An ongoing surge of Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo saw another rise with 15 new cases. News.

A new Ebola species first identified in bats last year in Sierra Leone—named Bombali virus— has now been found in Kenya. So far there’s no evidence that it can be transmitted to people. Ahead of Print ‘Dispatch’ Study.

Saudi Arabia today reported two more MERS-CoV cases. Report.


According to a study, a high percentage of trainees and program leaders, 54% & 26%, respectively, reported that they showed up to work with influenza-like illness despite knowing the risk to others. Study.

A study highlights the importance of the intraoperative discipline of staff, suggesting that a restriction of staff movements and door openings may prevent airborne contamination and the associated SSI risk.  Study.

Tuberculosis case reported in Victoria. News.

Lassa fever outbreak reaches 500-case in Nigeria. The outbreak began on Jan 1, and so far 119 people have died, resulting in a case-fatality rate of 22.9%. The majority of sicknesses occurring in Edo and Ondo states. News.

A study revealed that Influenza activity was associated with an increase in heart failure (HF) hospitalizations across 4 influenza seasons. Study.

According to a recent study funded by NASA; Latent herpes virus reactivation has been documented in more than 50% of astronauts during space shuttle & International Space Station missions. The cause? Stress. Study.

Some infection control resources and tools:

Infection Prevention is not a game. Click on the link below to watch a pretty cool video (an award-winning one), where Diego takes simple steps to protect himself and his grandmother from harmful infections. Watch the video today and share! Video

 A free online accredited CPD program for healthcare professionals is available online until 5/12/19. It covers the clinical impact of Herpes Zoster, the importance of being vaccinated & many more. Education session.

A free online accredited CPD program for healthcare professionals is available online until 08/29/19. It is about influenza in older adults & ensuring optimal protection.  Education session.

This is a great tool to have for point-of-care health care providers. It provides quick information on vaccine-preventable diseases which are uncommon or rarely seen, but can still occur in children and youth from Canada and elsewhere. Resource.


Infection Control News: March 25-29, 2019Apr012019

Zika. The US CDC downgraded its travel restriction guidelines for pregnant women. Zika transmission has dropped in 88 countries. According to the CDC, the only country pregnant women should avoid traveling to is India. NewsCDC zika webpage

The Interior Health Authority has confirmed a new case of measles in 100 Mile House, B.C., nearly two weeks after a previous case of the infection was discovered in the southern Interior community. News.

Chickenpox. Some parents are still choosing to expose children to the chickenpox with an infection party instead of vaccinate their kids. Some experts warns it is a terrible idea as it can cause death and increase risk of getting shingles later on in life. News.

Mozambique – WHO says it is expecting a “spike” in malaria cases after a devastating cyclone. The widespread flooding caused by Cyclone Idai has left large bodies of standing water where malaria-carrying mosquitoes can breed. News.

An 18-year-old woman died on Saturday after contracting a meningitis, prompting Montreal health officials to issue a public warning. News.

What you need to know about recent salmonella outbreaks in Canada. News.

Ebola. Congo’s Ebola epidemic has now exceeded 1,000 cases, the Health Ministry said on Monday, with a death toll of 629 in the world’s second worst ever outbreak. News.

A Montreal pediatrician explains rare strain of meningitis. Video.

Jane Stanton’s life changed after she contracted measles. She even said that it makes her life hell. Now she is calling for people to take-up all available vaccines. Watch also how experts plan to update their campaigns to counter their messages. Vidéo.

Access to soap & water in humanitarian emergencies is limited. According to a research, a wash cloth made from antimicrobial microfiber were more effective than soap & water at removing nonpathogenic E. coli bacteria from hands. Study.

Various studies have shown that many C. difficile cases classified as HAIs are not. In fact, many were colonized on admission. If many cases of CDI are currently classified in IAS, this would have important implications for infection control. Study.

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry, suggests that some infections in childhood could lead to the development of mental illness later in life. Study.

One out of four people interviewed in eastern Congo last year believed Ebola wasn’t real, according to a new study, underscoring the enormous challenges health care workers are facing in what has become the second-deadliest outbreak in history. News.

A recall has been added to the CFIA’s Food Recall Report. Reason for Recall:  Salmonella. Product: Lee’s Tea brand Teas. Recalling Firm: Lee’s Provisions Inc. Distribution: National  Report.

Mozambique cholera cases jump to 139 a day after outbreak. News.

US begins organ transplants from living donors who have HIV.  News.

A large increase in cholera activity has been under way in Yemen since 2019. The outbreak comes 2 yrs after the country experienced the world’s largest cholera outbreak ever. Nearly 109,000 cases of watery diarrhea and suspected cholera have been reported. News.


Influenza H3 – US CDC Health AdvisoryApr012019

Dear Colleagues –
The US CDC‎ has issued an official health advisory through their health alert notice (HAN) related to the late-season increase in H3N2 that they are also experiencing, see: 
Note that vaccine effectiveness (VE) against H3N2 viruses is less than 40% on average, including among working age adults. We have highlighted that low H3 VE‎ this season as reported earlier from Europe (see page 13 of our weekly surveillance bulletin, another of which was issued yesterday). FYI, interim findings from Canada are also consistent with low H3 VE this season. 
In that context, note that the US CDC is reinforcing early empiric antiviral treatment for those with suspect or confirmed influenza and this is particularly important for those at high risk of serious influenza A(H3N2) complications, notably elderly adults.
Please share this message as appropriate with your colleagues.
Best wishes,
Danuta Skowronski MD, FRCPC

Epidemiology Lead

Influenza & Emerging Respiratory Pathogens

BC Centre for Disease Control

Ph: 604-707-2511

Fx: 604-707-2516

Infection Control News: March 18-22, 2019Mar252019

Canadian experts say prolonged antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease ‘harmful’. News

Children’s noses ‘hold clues’ to serious lung infections. News

Drug-resistant superbugs may have found a new foe in the Irish soil. News

Nearly four in 10 US HIV infections from people unaware of infection. News

Being in outer space can have some odd effects on the body, including triggering dormant herpes viruses to reawaken, according to a recent review study. News

Pacemaker envelope cuts post-surgery infection by 40 percent: Cleveland Clinic study. News

Ukraine measles outbreak tops 30,000 cases year to date. News

Alberta father of boys with weak immune systems pushes for measles vaccinations. News

Pakistan pilots hepatitis C therapy in bid to wipe out silent epidemic. News

Vaxart Commences Bivalent Norovirus Vaccine Phase 1b Clinical Trial. News

The World Health Organization says Ebola has spiked in Congo in recent days because of “increased security challenges. News.

Poverty, deprivation driving up TB rates among Manitoba First Nations. News.

A recall has been added to the CFIA’s Food Recall Report. Reason for Recall:  Salmonella. Product: Janes brand Pub Style Chicken Nuggets. Recalling Firm: Sofina Foods Inc. Distribution: National. Report.

After waiting an extra month to decide on the H3N2 strain, WHO vaccine advisors today finalized their recommendations on strains to include in the Northern Hemisphere 2019-20 flu vaccines. Report.

Why we are all complicit in the rise of the anti-vaxxers. News 

B.C. launches measles immunization catch-up program. The program will run from April to June with the goal of reaching a 95 per cent immunization rate province-wide. News