The Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) annual report was published by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) on 4 May 2018, to coincide with and support the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Hand Hygiene Day 2018, which took place on 5 May 2018 (see current note 52/1702).
This year, the WHO's ‘SAVES LIVES: Clean your hands’ campaign is entitled ‘It’s in your hands - prevent sepsis in healthcare’, and focuses on healthcare associated sepsis.
The HAI annual report provides the latest figures on healthcare associated infections. These infections continue to represent a threat to patient safety across Scotland and to safe care as a whole, wherever that is delivered. The threat of sepsis from HAI remains a key focus for current and future health protection strategies.
On 8 May 2018, Health Protection Scotland (HPS) published its 2017 report on laboratory-confirmed travel-related infections in Scotland. This report summarises:
- recent travel trends as a context
- laboratory notifications of travel-related significance
UK travel abroad continues to increase and among the pathogens reported, gastrointestinal infections are again the most commonly reported. Food and water hygiene remain essential methods for protecting the health of the travelling public, among others.
Between January 2016 and April 2018, six sporadic hospital transmissions of malaria were identified in the EU. While the countries reporting these six cases (Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain) have not observed an increase in the number of sporadic hospital-acquired cases of malaria since January 2016, the concomitant occurrence of these cases in four countries makes the overall event unusual. The mode(s) of transmission have not been determined for any of the cases. Following the occurrence of several hospital-acquired malaria cases in the EU, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has assessed the risk related to transmission of the parasite in hospital settings.
This rapid risk assessment presents the context, details investigations into the cases and offers options for prevention and control. It concludes that clinicians and healthcare providers in hospitals should be aware of the possibility of hospital transmission and strictly follow standard precautions for infection prevention and control.
Source: ECDC, 30 April 2018
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) data shows that up to 80% of teenagers and young adults who contracted measles in 2017 had not been vaccinated.
ECDC analysis of sub-national data indicates that even countries with high overall levels of vaccine coverage may have groups that are unvaccinated. In recent and ongoing measles outbreaks, ECDC’s recent rapid risk assessment identifies healthcare workers as among those affected.
All countries in the EU/EEA have routine measles vaccination programmes in place targeting children and the ECDC suggests these programmes should be fully implemented. Due to an increasing number of cases among teenagers and young adults, catch-up programmes for individuals who have missed vaccination or for those who were too old to have been targeted by routine programmes exist in a number of countries and could be considered in other countries.
Not only can measles cause severe complications in adults, it is infants who are the most affected, as they cannot be vaccinated and have a six-fold risk of death according to analysis of ECDC data from 2013-2017. Infants can only be protected through so-called ‘herd immunity’, which is when 95% of the population in a country are vaccinated with two doses of measles vaccine.
ECDC has recently published data and analysis on the serious and escalating situation in many EU countries. Between 1 January and 31 December 2017, 14,600 cases of measles were reported by EU/EEA countries which was more than triple the number reported in 2016. Within the broader European region, the number of measles cases quadrupled from 2016 to 2017.
Source: ECDC, 23 April 2018
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has launched a national conversation to improve Scotland’s future flood risk management plans. The public consultation runs from 1 May to 31 July 2018.
Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) are where significant flood risk exists now or is likely to occur in the future. Identifying those areas is a vital part of protecting people, properties, communities, businesses, infrastructure and environment.
SEPA is calling on people from across Scotland to shape its understanding by sharing their local knowledge to help make Scotland become more resilient in the face of increased flood events.
Source: SEPA, 1 May 2018
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published its annual epidemiological report for 2015 on cases of campylobacteriosis on 30 April 2018.
In 2015, 231,650 confirmed cases of campylobacteriosis were reported by 27 EU countries, plus Iceland and Norway. From 2011 to 2015, Germany, the UK and the Czech Republic reported the highest numbers of cases per year. In 2015, the cases from Germany, the UK, the Czech Republic and Spain accounted for 71% of all confirmed cases.
The male-to-female ratio was 1.2:1 in 2015. Overall, 13.0% of all reported cases were children below five years and the notification rate was 181.2 cases per 100,000 population in this age group. Higher rates in males than females were seen across all age groups.
Human cases of campylobacteriosis followed a clear seasonality, with most cases reported in June, July and August, similar to previous years.
The number of reported deaths attributed to campylobacteriosis increased from 25 in 2014 to 60 in 2015. Eighty per cent of reported deaths were observed in the age group 65 years and above.
Source: ECDC, 30 April 2018
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published its analysis of food data collected following the widespread detection of Fipronil residues in eggs in 2017. In July 2017, the detection of Fipronil residues in eggs by Belgian authorities led to millions of eggs being withdrawn from the market in the EU. The contamination was caused by illegal use of non-approved veterinary medicinal products in poultry farms.
Member states submitted to EFSA the results of more than 5,000 samples of eggs and chicken collected between 1 September and 30 November 2017. The samples were analysed for Fipronil and other active substances specified by the European Commission. The analysis showed that 742 of the samples contained residues in quantities exceeding legal limits, almost all related to Fipronil.
The majority of exceedances were found in suspect samples – those derived from products or producers where illegal use was known or assumed.
Products with exceedances of legal limits originated from eight member states – the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Poland, Hungary, France, Slovenia, and Greece.
The food products affected were mainly unprocessed chicken eggs and the fat of laying hens. Some exceedances were reported for muscle of laying hens and egg powder.
The report has been shared with risk managers at EU and member state level.
Source: EFSA, 3 May 2017