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Within days of confirming a new Ebola case in North Kivu province, medical teams in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today launched an Ebola vaccination campaign in Beni, the area where the fatal case was reported.
On Twitter, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it provided 200 vaccine doses and is supporting the country’s ring vaccination campaign.
In a separate statement, the WHO shared more details about the new case, which officials have said has been genetically linked to the virus that circulated during the region’s large outbreak in 2018 to 2020. It said the 46-year-old woman who died from her infection on Aug 15 had underlying health conditions and had been hospitalized for 23 days. Samples were obtained just after she died, and her body was buried before the Ebola results were known. So far, it’s not known if the woman had been vaccinated against Ebola.
So far, investigators have identified 134 hospital contacts and 9 family contacts.
The WHO said the risk to the DRC is high, with the threat to the region and the world moderate and low, respectively. It added that the Beni area is affected by insecurity, with frequent protests against security measures, adding challenges to the outbreak response.
The agency also said the DRC is juggling responses to other diseases, such as cholera, measles, polio, yellow fever, and monkeypox, putting further pressure on the healthcare system and resources.
Aug 25 WHO tweet
Aug 25 WHO statement
A study of patients at a sexual health clinic in Seattle found that recent treatment with azithromycin was associated with subsequent azithromycin-resistant gonococcal infections, researchers reported yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
To explore the relationship between individual-level azithromycin exposure for sexually transmitted infections and subsequent azithromycin resistance in people with Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections, researchers with the University of Washington and Public Health-Seattle & King County (PHSKC) analyzed data collected data on patients treated for gonorrhea at the PHSKC Sexual Health Clinic from 2012 through 2019. Azithromycin is one of the last two antibiotics recommended for treatment of uncomplicated gonorrhea, which has progressively developed resistance to all antibiotics used for its treatment, but azithromycin-resistant gonorrhea infections have been rising worldwide in recent years.
During the study period, 2,155 unique patients were diagnosed with 2,828 culture-positive gonorrhea infections, 156 (5.5%) of which were caused by azithromycin-resistant N gonorrhoeae. Of those 156 patients, 4 (2.6%) had received an azithromycin prescription in the 29 days prior to their gonorrhea diagnosis, and 37 (24%) had received azithromycin the prior 30 to 365 days.
After the researchers adjusted for clinical, demographic, and risk behavior characteristics, they found that an azithromycin-resistant N gonorrhoeae infection was strongly associated with receipt of azithromycin in the prior 29 days (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 6.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.76 to 25.90), but not with receipt of azithromycin in the prior 30 to 365 days.
The researchers also found that azithromycin minimum inhibitory concentration levels—a measurement of how much antibiotic is needed to prevent growth of bacteria—were associated with the number of azithromycin prescriptions in the prior 30 days.
The study authors say the findings suggest that the long half-life and persistence of subtherapeutic levels of azithromycin in people who’ve recently been exposed to the antibiotic may result in the selection of azithromycin-resistant gonorrhea strains.
Aug 24 Clin Infect Dis abstract
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