The report on quarterly epidemiological data on Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), Escherichia coli bacteraemia (ECB), Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) and Surgical Site Infection (SSI) in Scotland, October to December 2019, was published on 7 April 2020 under the mandatory programmes for surveillance of CDI, ECB, SAB, and SSI. The report provides data for the fourth quarter of 2019 in 14 NHS boards and one NHS special health board.
The report and an appendix detailing all cases and denominator data for each NHS board and overall for Scotland can be accessed on the Health Protection Scotland (HPS) website.
The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to produce daily situation reports on the coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic, listing all affected countries and the number of confirmed cases.
As of 30 March 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has announced that the UK government is working in partnership with the airline industry in an effort to charter flights to help British nationals who are currently overseas return home. Charter flights are being organised from certain countries only, further information can be found on the FCO website.
This latest FCO advisory also gives information to travellers who are unable to return home at this time. This includes following the advice of local authorities to help minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and keeping up-to-date with FCO travel advice.
Information relating to travel and COVID-19 is available on the TRAVAX (for healthcare practitioners) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Information on COVID-19 for the general public is available on the NHS Inform (Scotland) and the NHS.UK (rest of the UK) websites.
Information and resources on COVID-19 for health professionals is available on the Health Protection Scotland (HPS) (Scotland) and Public Health England (PHE) (rest of the UK) websites.
Source: TRAVAX, 31 March 2020
World Health Day takes place on 7 April 2020. The theme this year celebrates the work of nurses and midwives, aiming to remind global leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy.
As well as highlighting the current status of nursing around the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) and their partners will make a series of recommendations designed to strengthen the nursing and midwifery workforce. These measures aim to support the attainment of national and global targets such as universal health coverage, maternal and child health, infectious and non-communicable diseases including mental health, emergency preparedness and response, patient safety and the delivery of integrated, people-centred care.
More information and resources on World Health Day are available on the WHO website.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published new guidance on the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in EU countries, covering the following areas:
• efficacy/effectiveness of the 9-valent HPV vaccine
• efficacy/effectiveness of HPV vaccination in people living with HIV
• efficacy/ effectiveness of HPV vaccination in males
• the cost-effectiveness of expanding the HPV vaccination programme to include males
Key conclusions of the guidance include:
• The 9-valent HPV vaccine is efficacious in preventing persistent HPV infection and cervical high-grade or worse lesions caused by the additional HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 covered by the vaccine and HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 in females aged 16–26 years.
• The quadrivalent HPV vaccine reduces the risk of persistent HPV infections, genital warts and high-grade anal intraepithelial lesions in males aged 16–26 years (including men who have sex with men), while data on the efficacy of the bivalent HPV vaccine against HPV infection and HPV-related disease in males were not found.
• There was no direct evidence of the efficacy of HPV vaccination on HPV-related clinical outcomes in people living with HIV for the period covered by the systematic review, although low quality evidence of efficacy of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine against HPV persistent infection and against oral HPV infection became available in 2018 and 2019.
• Cost-effectiveness analysis is sensitive to context, and context-specific studies should ideally be conducted to inform decision-making in this area.
Source: ECDC, 30 March 2020
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reports that monitoring data on the presence of residues of veterinary medicines and contaminants in animals and animal-derived food show high rates of compliance with recommended safety levels in the EU. The report summarises monitoring data collected in 2018 and is underpinned by information that will be made available on Knowledge Junction, the EFSA’s open repository.
The percentage of samples that exceeded maximum levels was 0.3%. This figure is within the range of 0.25%-0.37% reported over the previous ten years. A total of 657,818 samples were checked by 28 EU member states.
Compared to 2017, non-compliance increased slightly for antithyroid agents and steroids. Small decreases were noted for antibacterials, other veterinary drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and other substances and environmental contaminants including chemical elements and mycotoxins.
Source: EFSA, 31 March 2020
The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s) OpenFoodTox database on chemical hazards has been updated, and now includes toxicity data on over 5,000 chemicals drawn from over 2,000 scientific evaluations carried out by the EFSA since 2002.
OpenFoodTox was launched in 2017 to provide a single point of access for summary data on substances assessed by EFSA. It describes for each substance the food/feed areas, such as additives, pesticides, contaminants, and the affected populations, such as humans, farm animals and wild animals.
Source: EFSA, 27 March 2020