HPS Weekly Report
13 Nov 2018
Volume 52 No. 45
SEPA publish report on the environmental impact of Scottish fish farms
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has published a survey report evaluating a new seabed monitoring approach to investigating the impacts of marine cage fish farms. The report examined the environmental impact from eight Scottish fish farms, with analyse of 302 chemical samples from 93 sample stations and 296 ecological samples from 142 sample stations carried out.
Samples for chemical analysis were analysed for the sea lice medicine Emamectin benzoate and Teflubenzuron, last used in 2013. The medicines were detected in 98% and 46% of samples respectively, with residues more widely spread in the environment around fish farms than had previously been found. Moreover, the research concluded that the impacts of individual farms may not be contained to the vicinity of individual farms.
The research survey was published as part of proposals by SEPA, one of a number of organisations regulating finfish aquaculture, for a revised regime that will strengthen their regulation of the sector. Proposals for regulations that will undergo consultation include:
- a new tighter standard for the organic waste deposited by fish farms;
- more powerful computer modelling that will improve our understanding of the risk to the local environment and allow assessment of the larger-scale impacts including interactions with other farms;
- enhanced environmental monitoring and new enforcement unit;
- a new interim approach for controlling the use of Emamectin benzoate;
- a new approach to sustainable sitting of farms in the most appropriate areas where the environment can assimilate wastes.
Further information on the consultation process and details of consultation events are available on the SEPA website
The survey report is also available on the SEPA website
Source: SEPA, 7 November 2018
Antimicrobial use/resistance annual report – SONAAR
To coincide with World Antibiotic Awareness Week, Health Protection Scotland (HPS) has today (13 November 2018) published the ‘Scottish One Health Antimicrobial Use and Antimicrobial Resistance Report’ (SONAAR).
The report tracks the changes in antimicrobial use in humans in Scotland and on the levels of resistance in a broad range of human and animal infections, including for the first time resistance in both candidaemia and the sexually transmitted organism Mycoplasma genitalium.
The report brings together human antimicrobial prescribing with human and animal antimicrobial resistance data, providing an overview of the current situation in Scotland for the public, professionals and policy makers.
The report can be viewed on our website
Report improves understanding of UK shelf seas ‘blue carbon’ role
A new report, ‘Shelf seas: the engine of productivity’ has been prepared by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS). It summarises the main outcomes from a five-year research programme on what is happening in the seas around Britain.
The report covers top-down processes (how marine ecosystems are affected by the atmosphere) and bottom-up (the hidden benefits provided by the seafloor), as well as the impacts of human activities and climate change.
Key findings presented in the report include:
- climate change is already affecting UK shelf seas and impacts will intensify;
- many interacting factors control the amount and growth of the microscopic plants (phytoplankton) that underpin nearly all other life in the sea;
- the chemistry and biology of shelf seas is strongly affected by the highly variable conditions at the seafloor, affected by natural processes and human disturbance;
- marine protected areas provide unique opportunities for separating climate-driven changes from direct human actions, such as trawling;
- most trawling impacts on seafloor life and processes seem to occur the first time an area is trawled;
- novel technologies are increasingly being used to find out how shelf seas work, providing many direct and indirect benefits to society.
Source: CEFAS, 6 November 2018
Review of Scottish air quality strategy announced
Professor Campbell Gemmell has been announced as the chair of a forthcoming independent review of Scotland’s air quality strategy.
‘Cleaner air for Scotland – the road to a healthier future’ was published in November 2015. The review of CAFS will explore the progress and impact of Scotland’s previous air quality strategy, identify and assess any new evidence and developments, make recommendations for future air quality policy and outline actions needed to meet targets.
ECDC study on attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years caused by infections with antibiotic resistant bacteria in the EU/EEA in 2015
A study developed by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimates the burden of five types of infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria of public health concern in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA).
The burden of disease is measured in number of cases, attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). These estimates are based on 2015 data provided by the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net).
The study estimates that about 33,000 people die each year as a direct consequence of an infection due to bacteria resistant to antibiotics and that the burden of these infections is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined. It also explains that 75% of the burden of disease is due to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and that reducing this through adequate infection prevention and control measures, as well as antibiotic stewardship, could be an achievable goal in healthcare settings.
The study is available on the Lancet website
Source: ECDC, 6 November 2018
HFS publish decontamination guidance
Health Facilities Scotland (HFS) has published the first release of the best practice guidance SHTM 01-01: 2018. This is a seven part series titled ‘Decontamination of medical devices in a Central Decontamination Unit’.
The SHTM 01-01: 2018 series comprises of seven parts as follows:
- test equipment/methods
- sterilization by steam
- automated cleaning and disinfection equipment
- sterilization by hydrogen peroxide or ethylene oxide
- inspect, assemble and package
- GUID 5017 supplement – guidance for service users
The series is available on the HFS publications page and can be accessed on the HFS website
Source: HFS, 6 November 2018
World Antibiotic Awareness Week: 12-18 November
Each November, World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) aims to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance (AMR) and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers in order to avoid further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.
The 2018 WAAW campaign seeks to provide greater flexibility to regions and countries to reflect their unique priorities, audiences, levels of awareness and enabling environment for behaviour change towards handling antibiotics with care. The messaging theme for WAAW 2018 will be anchored in the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, which offers a ‘one health’ and cross-sectoral approach to address the threat of AMR through its five strategic objectives.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed a range of materials for WAAW, including posters, infographics and media resources, which are available on the WHO website
An evaluation of last year’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week and European Antibiotic Awareness Day which highlights the success of activities from 2013 onwards and make recommendations for the future can be found on the Public Health England website
British traveller dies from rabies in Morocco
Public Health England (PHE) has issued a reminder to travellers to avoid coming into contact with animals in countries affected by rabies, after a person in England died, following a bite from a rabid cat whilst in Morocco.
Rabies is passed on through injuries such as bites and scratches from an infected animal, there are no documented instances of direct human-to-human transmission. Rabies does not circulate in either wild or domestic animals in the UK, although some species of bats can carry a rabies-like virus. Human rabies is extremely rare in the UK.
Rabies is common in other parts of the world, especially in Asia and Africa. All travellers to rabies affected countries should avoid contact with dogs, cats and other animals wherever possible, and seek advice about the need for rabies vaccine prior to travel.
- TRAVAX has recently highlighted increased levels of rabies in Morocco
- Information and advice on rabies is available on TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public)
- Travel advice on Morocco can also be found on TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public).
Source: PHE, 12 November 2018