Swine Disease In China Caused Toxic Shock Syndrome

CHINA - A large and deadly outbreak of Streptococcus suis disease, in Sichuan province in China last year alarmed health officials worldwide and now scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and other Chinese institutions have published the first scientific details of the outbreak.
calendar icon 13 April 2006
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Streptococcus suis is form of a meningitis which is endemic in adult pigs in most countries where pig farming is common.

Infections in adult pigs are usually asymptomatic, but infant piglets that get infected through contact with colonized adult females can develop fatal infections.

The dangerous infection that pigs can pass to people appeared in an unusual fatal form last year and according to the Chinese scientists all but one of the people killed by Streptococcus suis in July and August 2005 in China died of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

Such a severe type of immune reaction has never been seen in Streptococcus suis infections; transmission to humans is rare and generally restricted to individuals with occupational exposure to live or dead pigs.

The first human case of Streptococcus suis infection was reported in Denmark in 1968, and the majority of the 200 or so previously reported human cases were characterized by meningitis and septicemia; fewer than 1 in 10 infected humans died.

The recent Sichuan outbreak however affected over 200 individuals and killed 38 of them.

Source: News-Medical.net

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