Afghanistan, Pakistan report more wild poliovirus cases – University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Five countries reported new polio cases this week, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, which both reported new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases, according to the latest weekly update from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).
Afghanistan reported one WPV1 case, which involves a patient from Hilmand province, bringing its total for the year to five. Similarly, Pakistan reported a new WPV1 infection, in a patient from Sindh province, also boosting its total for 2024 to five cases.
The two countries are among the few where WPV1 is still endemic. The new cases in Afghanistan and Pakistan so far this year are nearly equal to the six cases each reported for all of 2023. 
Three countries reported more vaccine-derived polio cases. The Democratic Republic of the Congo reported one infection involving circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1), lifting its total for the year to four. 
Two countries reported more circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases, South Sudan, with one new illness, and Yemen, with three more cases. South Sudan’s case—its fifth of 2024—is from Upper Nile province. Yemen has three more cases, two in Alhudaidah and one in Ibb, lifting the country’s total to 10.
Today the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said at least 15 people in nine states have been sickened with Salmonella linked to pet bearded dragons. Four people have required hospitalization, but no deaths have been reported.
New York has reported four cases, Ohio and California have each reported three cases, and Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia have each reported a single case. 
“The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses,” the CDC said. The outbreak strain is Salmonella Cotham.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 8, 2024, to May 16, 2024. Of the 12 people interviewed, 7 (58%) reported contact with a bearded dragon before getting sick. At least one child did not report contact, suggesting he or she was likely exposed indirectly at home.
“60% of sick people are children under 5 years old,” the CDC said in an email to reporters. “Bearded dragons are not recommended as pets for children younger than 5, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems because these people are more likely to get a serious illness from germs that reptiles carry.”
“Bearded dragons are not recommended as pets for children younger than 5, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune system
The CDC warned that pet dragons can shed Salmonella through feces even when appearing healthy. Contact between pet dragons and children 5 and under should be avoided if possible because of the risk of illness. 

Experiments by researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) on milk samples spiked with H5N1 avian influenza found that levels rapidly decline when heated to pasteurization temperatures, but small amount of infectious virus remain.
The team reported its findings today in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, and they emphasized that the findings reflect experimental lab conditions and don’t reflect large-scale industrial pasteurization of raw milk.
Using virus isolated and grown from a mountain lion that died from H5N1 in Montana, they mixed the virus with raw cow milk samples, then heated them to 63°C (145.4°F) and 72°C (161.6°F), the temperatures most commonly used in commercial pasteurization, for different periods. Then they cultured the milk sample to see if any infectious virus remained.
Heating the milk to 63°C led to a tenfold decrease in H5N1 levels after 2.5 minutes, and they noted that standard pasteurization of 30 minutes would eliminate infectious virus. Heating the milk to 72°C decreased virus levels fourfold within 5 seconds, but they detected very small levels of infectious virus after 20 seconds in one out of three samples.
“This finding indicates the potential for a relatively small but detectable quantity of H5N1 virus to remain infectious in milk after 15 seconds at 72℃ if the initial virus levels were sufficiently high,” the group wrote.
Researchers emphasized that the conditions should be replicated with commercial pasteurization equipment and that the study’s findings should not be used to judge the safety of the US milk supply.
The US Food and Drug Administration still concludes that the US milk supply is safe. Its initial findings on 297 retail dairy product samples were negative for viable virus. In light of recent H5N1 outbreaks in dairy herds, federal health officials have reiterated their warnings about illness risks from drinking raw milk.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, yesterday announced up to $500 million in Project NextGen funding to plan and conduct multiple phase 2b clinical trials evaluating novel vaccines administered as a nasal spray or as a pill to protect against symptomatic COVID-19.
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell, JD, said, “The next generation vaccines that BARDA is investing in may bolster our protection against COVID-19 and be easier to administer through intranasal or oral delivery.”
The project awards were made through BARDA’s Rapid Response Partnership Vehicle to support the following companies in readying their vaccine candidates for phase 2b clinical trials:
Castlevax and Cyanvac phase 2b trials are in partnership with BARDA’s Clinical Studies Network.
Shared equipment, shared staff, and animal movements were among key findings for virus spread among different farms.
The CDC estimates that cases are growing or likely growing in 34 states and territories.
The CDC said the findings aren’t surprising, given that the virus hasn’t spread widely in people and is very different from seasonal flu strains.
The paper has already led to much confusion and has been used as fodder for anti-vaccine advocates.
The Netherlands had the most detections.
The researchers also show that more than 1 in 5 adults had protracted recoveries.
Researchers emphasized that the findings reflect experimental lab conditions and don’t reflect large-scale industrial pasteurization of raw milk.
A negative result indicates low immunity, but a positive result doesn’t necessarily indicate sufficient immunity.
Officials didn’t say how the man contracted the virus, but most past cases involved contact with poultry or poultry environments.
The odds ratio of any persistent symptoms was more than double in COVID-19 patients.
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