Chinese researchers have identified the origins of the novel H7N9 influenza virus
asianscientist.com - April 29, 2013
In March 2013, a novel H7N9 influenza virus was identified in China as the source of a flu-like disease in humans. A group of scientists, led by Professor Chen Hualan of the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, investigated the origins of this novel H7N9 influenza virus.
“We suggest that strong measures, such as continued surveillance of avian and human hosts, control of animal movement, shutdown of live poultry markets, and culling of poultry in affected areas, should be taken during this initial stage of virus prevalence to prevent a possible pandemic. Additionally, it is also imperative to evaluate the pathogenicity and transmissibility of these H7N9 viruses, and to develop effective vaccines and antiviral drugs against so as to reduce their adverse effects upon human health,” say the authors.
View H7N9 map in a larger map
Click on each balloon for more information on individual patients infected with the avian flu virus: blue, patients infected with the H7N9 virus under treatment; red, those infected with H7N9 who have died; and pink, those infect with the H1N1 avian flu virus.http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1208847/hong-kong-standby-new-bird-flu-cases-revealed-shanghai
ALSO SEE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IN LINKS BELOW:
foreignpolicy.com - by Laurie Garrett - April 1, 2013
China's mysterious pig, duck, and people deaths could be connected. And that should worry us.
Here's how it would happen. Children playing along an urban river bank would spot hundreds of grotesque, bloated pig carcasses bobbing downstream. Hundreds of miles away, angry citizens would protest the rising stench from piles of dead ducks and swans, their rotting bodies collecting by the thousands along river banks. And three unrelated individuals would stagger into three different hospitals, gasping for air. . .
. . . the facts delineated are all true, and have transpired over the last six weeks in China.
Image: Health employees protest outside the Health Ministry in Athens against pay and budget cuts. Fewer resources for malaria treatment and mosquito control may be contributing to malaria's comeback in Greece. Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images
npr.org - October 26th, 2012 - Michaeleen Doucleff
After a 40-year hiatus, malaria is returning to Greece.
Some 70 cases have been reported there this year, and at least 12 people appear to have been infected in the country. (The others picked up the disease elsewhere.)
That's a concern for health workers because it means malaria may now be endemic to Greece — and not just hitching a ride with travelers.
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Image: Cholera bacteria, image from Wikipedia
submitted by Jenny Boyle
tribune242.com - October 31st, 2012 - Maranda McBride, Lemuria Carter, Merrill Warkentin
Last night the Ministry of Health confirmed its first case of cholera. It said that although it continues to investigate, “there are no other reported cases of cholera in the Bahamas.”
The Ministry said that it “continues its heightened surveillance activities and other necessary precautions to identify cases and prevent the transmission of cholera in the Bahamas.”
It advised the public to use clean water, wash their hands regularly and otherwise maintain good hygienic practices to prevent cholera from developing and spreading.
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Image: The Marburg virus: 'If tourists were tripping in and out of some python-infested Marburg repository, unprotected, and then boarding their return flights to other continents… it was an international threat.' Photograph: Science Photo Library
guardian.co.uk - September 28th, 2012 - David Quammen
Astrid Joosten was a 41-year-old Dutch woman who, in June 2008, went to Uganda with her husband. At home in Noord-Brabant, she worked as a business analyst. Both she and her husband, Jaap Taal, a financial manager, enjoyed annual adventures, especially to Africa. The journey in 2008, booked through an adventure-travel outfitter, took them to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to mountain gorillas.
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huffingtonpost.com - by Mike Stobbe - September 12, 2012
NEW YORK — As the U.S. wrestles with its biggest whooping cough outbreak in decades, researchers appear to have zeroed in on the main cause: The safer vaccine that was introduced in the 1990s loses effectiveness much faster than previously thought.
A study published in Wednesday's New England Journal of Medicine found that the protective effect weakens dramatically soon after a youngster gets the last of the five recommended shots around age 6.
The protection rate falls from about 95 percent to 71 percent within five years, said researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Research Center in Oakland, Calif.
Study - NEJM - Waning Protection after Fifth Dose of Acellular Pertussis Vaccine in Children
physics.aps.org - August 10, 2012
Researchers find the source of an epidemic using relatively little information. Their technique could also help authorities track down contamination in water systems or locate problems in electrical grids.
Epidemiologists often have to uncover the source of a disease outbreak with only limited information about who is infected. Mathematical models usually assume a complete dataset, but a team reporting in Physical Review Letters demonstrates how to find the source with very little data. Their technique is based on the principles used by telecommunication towers to pinpoint cell phone users, and they demonstrate its effectiveness with real data from a South African cholera outbreak. The system could also work with other kinds of networks to help governments locate contamination sources in water systems or find the leaders in a network of terrorist contacts.
thepigsite.com - August 8, 2012
ANALYSIS - The spread of African Swine Fever from the Caucasus to the east coast of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine presents an alarming and concerning situation, writes Chris Harris.
The latest outbreak, discovered at the end of July and confirmed through PCR tests on samples taken from back yard pigs in the Zaporozhye region, is worrying because it represents not so much a gradual spread of the disease, but a dramatic jump.
The outbreak has occurred 170 kilometres from the Russian border.
African Swine Fever in Ukraine
[DEFRA's International Disease Monitoring Preliminary Outbreak
Assessment "ASF in Ukraine" (Reference: VITT/1200 ASF) of 2 Aug 3012 ,
including a map and references, is available at
<http://www.defra.gov.uk/animal-diseases/files/poa-asf-ukraine-20120802.pdf>. - (3 page .PDF file)