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Brazilian scientists find new Zika-linked brain disorder in adults

Scientists in Brazil have uncovered a new brain disorder associated with Zika infections in adults: an autoimmune syndrome called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, or ADEM, that attacks the brain and spinal cord.

 

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What Is Zika? Five Questions About the Virus Pitting the White House Against Congress

Where did Zika virus come from?

Zika was first noticed in Africa, in Uganda's Ziika forest (yes it's spelled with two i's) in 1947. It spread slowly at first, and seemed to be a pretty harmless virus, causing hardly any symptoms at all in most people. But it picked up speed in around 2007 when it started spreading in the South Pacific and it showed up inBrazil in 2013, according to the latest research. Because hardly anyone in the Americas has immunity to Zika, it's spread explosively since then.

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How would Indiana respond to global smallpox outbreak?

Ebola. Pandemic flu. And now the Zika virus. These emergencies all test the mettle of the world’s public health officials.

Those who would face such a challenge must have some sense of what to do.

“We need to be prepared, and quite frankly, the country is underprepared,” said U.S. Rep Susan Brooks, who Wednesday convened a group of about 40 public health workers and other would-be first responders to run through a training exercise at the Fishers Public Library.

Dr. W. Craig Vanderwagen, former assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, led the thought experiment into how to handle a blossoming smallpox outbreak that starts in Europe and rapidly spreads overseas.

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Fighting Zika Mosquitos With Tires

With 33 countries in the Americas now identified as carrying the Zika virus, the need for a solution to the epidemic is great. But with limited funds in the regions where it’s spreading the fastest, the need for a cost-effective one is even greater.

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Health needs from humanitarian emergencies at an all-time high

 WHO and partners need US$ 2.2 billion to provide lifesaving health services to more than 79 million people in more than 30 countries facing protracted emergencies this year, according to WHO’s Humanitarian Response Plans 2016 launched today.

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White House to transfer Ebola funds to combat Zika virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is to announce Wednesday it will transfer leftover money from the largely successful fight against Ebola to combat the growing threat of the Zika virus, congressional officials say.

Roughly 75 percent of the $600 million or so would be devoted to the Centers for Disease Control, which is focused on research and development of anti-Zika vaccines, treating those infected with the virus and combating the mosquitoes that spread it. The rest would go to foreign aid accounts to fight the virus overseas.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter before the White House announcement.

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Foreign nationals from Ebola-affected countries can stay 6 more months

The Obama administration said Tuesday it will allow foreign nationals from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa to stay in the U.S. for another six months, even though global health officials said the outbreak that killed 11,000 people abroad is officially over.

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Two Ebola deaths and three suspected cases in Guinea 'flare-up'

World Health Organisation had just announced ‘milestone’ of no new infections in neighbouring Sierra Leone when latest fatalities came to light

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How to Survive a Global Disaster: a Handy Guide

         

Ubisoft’s role-playing shooter The Division wouldn’t be as much fun if players followed Nafeez Ahmed’s advice and stayed rural.  Photograph: Ubisoft

Whether it’s a natural disaster, bioterrorist attack or pandemic, experts reckon society as we know it will collapse within 13 days of a catastrophic event. So what do you do next?

theguardian.com - by Keith Stuart - February 10, 2016

On 22 June, 2001, Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, organised a war game like no other. The two researchers, working with an array of bodies such as the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security, set out to simulate the effects of a biological attack on the US. The project was called Operation Dark Winter.

What they discovered was that the country was ill prepared to cope.

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NGOs Speak: Their Most Pressing Humanitarian Priorities for 2016

             

South Sudan tops many aid agencies' humanitarian priority lists. as a three-year civil war exacts a heavy toll on the citizens of the country.  (Nichole Sobecki, AFP)

Following a call from the UN for a record $20.1 billion, 15 of the world's leading aid agencies were polled on their top humanitarian concerns.

mg.co.za - by Tom Esslemont - December 28, 2015

There’s one prediction for 2016 that most aid workers can make with confidence – that the new year will usher in rising humanitarian needs.

Besides displacement caused by long-term conflicts in places like Syria and South Sudan, there is also the threat of more violence in Central African Republic and hunger caused by El Nino, which is expected to bring more drought to already-parched southern regions in Africa and potential flooding in the east. . . .

. . . A Thomson Reuters Foundation poll asked 15 of the world’s leading aid agencies to name their top three humanitarian priorities for 2016. Not surprisingly, Syria topped the list of concerns. But what were the others?

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