HPS Weekly Report
11 Sep 2018
Volume 52 No. 36
HPS immunisation web page quarterly updates
World Sepsis Day – 13 September 2018
World Sepsis Day is an initiative organised by the Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA) and takes place annually on the 13 September. This year, GSA is urging all nations, with active support of the World Health Organisation (WHO), to co-ordinate and align practices in infection control and prevention and reduce the incidence of antimicrobial resistance.
Sepsis arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. This potentially life-threatening condition follows a unique and time-critical clinical course, which in the early stages is highly amenable to treatment through early diagnosis and timely and appropriate clinical management. Currently, sepsis causes approximately between six and nine million deaths worldwide every year, many of which are preventable.
Full details of World Sepsis day can be viewed on the campaign website.
New HIV diagnoses across the UK fell by 17% in 2017
The latest data published by Public Health England (PHE) reveals that new HIV diagnoses in the UK have fallen for the second year in a row. New diagnoses decreased by 17% in 2017, from 4,363 new diagnoses reported compared to 5,280 in 2016. This brings new cases down to their lowest level since 2000.
This decrease continues a downward trend that started in 2015, with an overall 28% reduction in new HIV diagnoses between 2015 and 2017. The reduction was largely driven by a decline in new HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men, which fell by 17% compared to 2016 and by 31% compared to 2015. This decrease was partly due to the high uptake of HIV testing in this group, particularly repeat HIV testing among higher risk men. Increased uptake of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) also contributed to the decline in new diagnoses.
New HIV diagnoses in black African and Caribbean heterosexuals have been steadily decreasing over the past decade, from 2,655 in 2008 to 594 in 2017. For the first time, a UK-wide fall was also seen in new diagnoses in heterosexuals from other ethnicities, with a drop of 20% to 849 in 2017. Previously, diagnoses had remained stable at around 1,000 per year in this group.
Despite these reductions, the data indicates that challenges remain to the control of HIV in the UK. For example, the proportion of people diagnosed at a late stage of infection has remained around 40% for the past five years. Late diagnosis is associated with a ten-fold increased risk of short-term mortality and an increased risk of onward transmission.
The data can be viewed on the UK Government website.
The current quarterly HIV infection in Scotland surveillance report, which includes data on new reports, to 31 March 2018, can be viewed on our website. The latest data for Scotland, to the end of June 2018, will be published on our website on 18 September 2018.
Source: PHE, 4 September 2018
Monkeypox case confirmed in England
On 8 September 2018, Public Health England (PHE) confirmed that an individual has been diagnosed with monkeypox in England. This is the first time the infection has been diagnosed in the UK.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild, self-limiting illness and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals. The infection can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person, however there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population.
The patient is a resident of Nigeria, which is where they are believed to have contracted the infection, before travelling to the UK. As a precautionary measure, PHE are working closely with NHS colleagues and will be contacting people who might have been in close contact with the individual to provide information and health advice.
Source: PHE, 8 September 2018.
Survey of antimicrobial resistance bacteria in chicken and pork published
The results of a survey commissioned by Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to assess the amount of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria in fresh pork mince, fresh chicken and frozen chicken on sale in UK shops have been published.
The findings from the survey will be used as a baseline for the level, types and occurrence of AMR bacteria found in these UK retail meats and will help inform future surveillance on AMR. It follows on from a report by a group established by the Advisory Committee on Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) to advise the FSS and FSA on research questions and potential approaches to AMR in the food chain.
The survey involved the testing of Campylobacter in chicken samples and Salmonella in pork mince samples for the occurrence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. The survey also looked for AMR in other bacteria in both types of meat, including enterococci, Klebsiella and Escherichia coli.
The risk of people developing antimicrobial resistant infections from these foods is very low providing that both chicken and pork is cooked thoroughly, until the juices run clear. This will kill off the bacteria that may give you food poisoning including bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobials. Further advice for the public on the safe cooking of meat can be viewed on the FSA website.
The report can be viewed on the FSS website.
Source: FSS, 5 September 2018
WHO launches new package to scale-up risk communication capacity in Europe
On 6 September 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a new Emergency Risk Communication (ERC) package, which is aimed at guiding countries in the European region towards developing an ERC tailored to their specific contexts.
WHO believe the following five steps will make a difference to how effectively risks are communicated during health emergencies:
- training to build homogeneous capacity based on a country’s priority hazards
- capacity-mapping to identify needs and gaps in view of strengthening in-country ERC
- plan-writing to develop a multi-hazard ERC plan based on a WHO template
- plan-testing through multi-sectoral simulation and tabletop exercises
- plan adoption to update the national ERC plan and integrate it into national preparedness and response plans
The first phase of the ERC project, financed by the Federal Ministry of Health of Germany, focused on working closely with 13 countries of the region to pilot the five-step capacity-building package at different stages. A newly released report details this phase, which targeted Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.
The second implementation phase of the five-step package has been underway since March 2018, providing continued support to pilot countries and territories and expanding to other priority countries in the region. The package can be viewed on the WHO Europe website.
Source: WHO Europe, 6 September 2018.