Monday, 18 November 2013

China medical news roundup for Monday 18 November

Thousands of fake rabies vaccine doses may still be on the market

Almost 11,000 fake rabies vaccines brought into the eastern Shandong Province have yet to be found, some 10 days after the case was busted, Qilu Evening News reported yesterday.
According to the Ministry of Public Security, the suspect bought 12,000 fake rabies vaccines in the central Henan Province, and since 2009 has sold 10,800 in Shandong.
The fake shots are made from distilled water and vitamin K1.
Police say the suspect, surnamed Liu, bought vaccines at 0.8 yuan (13 US cents) each and resold them for 1 yuan to vendors in Shandong. In turn, they sold them to patients for 26 yuan each.
Health and drug authorities in Shandong Province started an investigation earlier this month after the suspect was held.
However, they don’t know where the fake rabies vaccines have gone.
Insiders warned they could flood the market as vaccination units are allowed to buy stocks independently.
This increases the risk of buying fake vaccines, compared to unified provincial-level purchases in the past.
As inspectors didn’t find fake rabies vaccines in legal vaccine trade companies, there is speculation that they were bought by unlicensed vaccination units or licensed vaccination units that didn’t check certification, said Zhang Jun, who works in the industry in Jinan, capital of Shandong.
There have been fake rabies vaccine cases across the country since 2005.
In 2009, a five-year-old boy in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region died 21 days after he was injected with a rabies vaccine which was later discovered to have been a fake.

Adenovirus implicated in severe infant pneumonia

Adenovirus is a critical pathogen that can cause severe respiratory infections even in immunocompetent children, researchers from Hangzhou have found.
In a study of children hospitalised with acute lower respiratory tract infection from 2006 to 2012 they found that infection due to adenovirus infection was infrequent but often caused severe outcome. In an analysis of 479 children with adenovirus infection, the incidence rate of adenovirus-associated acute lower respiratory tract infection peaked in the second six months of life.
Children with pneumonia accounted for 74% of the patients, and more than one-third developed severe pneumonia. Features of severe adenovirus-associated lower respiratory tract infection included persistent high fever with serious infective symptoms, and hepatic dysfunction was one of the most common complications. Mixed infection of atypical pathogens was common (19%).
 The researchers from concluded that “co-infection of adenovirus with atypical pathogens is common and that antibiotic treatment with azithromycin or erythromycin is necessary in patients with mixed infection of atypical pathogens.”

H6N1 poultry flu reported in humans for first time

The first report of human infection with a wild avian influenza A H6N1 virus has ben published by clinicians from Taipei.
Writing in the Lancet, researchers from the Taiwan Centres for Disease Control say the virus is one of the most common viruses isolated from wild and domestic avian species, but human infection with this virus has not been previously reported.
They publish a case history concerning a 20-year-old woman with an influenza-like illness who presented to a hospital with shortness of breath in May, 2013. An unsubtyped influenza A virus was isolated from her throat-swab specimen and was transferred to the Taiwan Centres for Disease Control (CDC) for identification.  The virus was identified as the H6N1 subtype, but the source of infection was not established. Sequence analyses showed the human case was very similar to chicken H6N1 viruses.
“These viruses continue to evolve and accumulate changes, increasing the potential risk of human-to-human transmission,” they comment.
“Our report highlights the continuous need for preparedness for a pandemic of unpredictable and complex avian influenza.”
Read the full study in The Lancet.


Chinese women fare worse after stroke compared to males

Neurologists in north east China have shown that women fare worse than men after a stroke.
Health-related quality of life was significantly worse for  adult females compared to males, according to a study carried out by Dr Wu Xiaoning and colleagues at the First Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning Medical University.
More than 400 stroke survivors were followed up six months after discharge from hospital.
Following stroke, improvements in physical functioning, bodily pain, vitality, social functioning, emotional role, and mental health in the SF-36 survey were significantly higher for men than woman.
Regression analyses confirmed that female sex was adversely associated with overall health status at discharge.
Female stroke patients were older than male stroke patients and were more likely to have transient ischemic attack and hypertension. Male stroke patients were more likely to have a history of smoking, heart disease and dyslipidemia, while female patients were less likely to achieve daily living independence.
“Our results demonstrate that sex has a significant impact on stroke outcome in Chinese individuals, wherein female stroke survivors are more likely to live a life of profound disability with poor self-care ability compared to male survivors,” the researchers concluded.

Lung cancer increase seen in Beijing

Beijing municipal health authorities said on Friday that the number of lung cancer patients in the city has been rising over the last decade, without elaborating on what might have caused the rise.
The number of lung cancer patients per 100,000 people was 63.09 in 2011, compared with 39.56 registered in 2002, according to the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau, citing figures from the city's tumor prevention and treatment office.
In 2011, Beijing reported a total of 7,999 new lung cancer cases, accounting for 20.8 percent of the malignant tumor cases that year.
The bureau said lung cancer is the most common disease among male malignant tumor patients.
The statistics also showed that the lung cancer incidence rises as people age, and male patients outnumber female patients after the age of 35.
Health experts with the Beijing Cancer hospital said lung cancer is highly linked to lifestyle, noting that smoking is the top reason for the disease, followed by passive smoking and environmental pollution, such as air pollution.
People with respiratory diseases are more likely to contract lung cancer, the experts added.
Source: Xinhua

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