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Climate Change Pushing Tropical Diseases Toward Arctic

Temperature changes around the globe are pushing human pathogens of all kinds into unexpected new areas, raising many new risks for people.

           

Bathers on the Baltic have recently been confronted with a new threat: dangerous disease that is normally only found in warm water.  PHOTOGRAPH BY PRIIT VESILIND, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

news.nationalgeographic.com - by Craig Welch - June 14, 2017

 . . . It's no secret that climate change can spread illnesses such as West Nile virus, Zika, and malaria, as rising temperatures push disease-carrying mosquitoes into new places, from the highlands of Ethiopia to the United States. But warm temperatures and shifting weather patterns work in subtle ways, too. Changes in precipitation, wind, or heat are shifting the threat posed by other human illnesses, from cholera to a rare freshwater brain-eating amoeba to rodent-driven infections like hantavirus. And the importance of all these changes are only growing more significant.

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For the first time, a new strain of bird flu was transmitted human-to-human. This is highly unusual–and could be the first sign of new global pandemic.

           

Avian flu surveillance efforts. Credit: Province of British Columbia

CLICK HERE - A suspected person‑to‑person transmission of avian influenza A (H7N9)

undispatch.com - Alanna Shaikh, MPH  - May 26, 2017

 . . . a Chinese medical journal reported a human-to-human transmission of H7N9. H7N9, as mentioned, has a mortality rate of about 40%. Its impact on humans has been mitigated by the fact that it only spreads from birds. Family members can care for each other without fear.

Last week, though, China reported a case of H7N9 that appears to have spread person to person, not bird to person. The infected patient had no contact with birds or live bird markets, and he had no underlying medical condition. He was a healthy 62-year-old man, who helped a family member hospitalized with H7N9 to use the bathroom. Genetic analysis of the infecting virus indicates that he was infected with the same strain of virus that infected his family member.

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Miami's Zika Outbreak Began Months Before It Was First Detected

           

A groundskeeper at Pinecrest Gardens sprays pesticide to kill mosquitoes in Miami-Dade County, Fla., in 2016.  Gaston De Cardenas/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Nature - Genomic epidemiology reveals multiple introductions of Zika virus into the United States

npr.org - by Greg Allen - May 24, 2017

Last year's Zika outbreak in Miami likely started in the spring of 2016, with the virus introduced multiple times before it was detected, researchers say. And most of those cases originated in the Caribbean.

The study, published Wednesday in Nature, examined more than 250 cases of local Zika transmission in three Miami neighborhoods. Researchers analyzed 39 Zika virus genomes isolated from 32 people who had been infected and seven Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the species that carries Zika.

Comparison of differences in those genomes finds the virus was introduced by travelers at least four and perhaps as many as 40 different times as early as March 2016. Local transmission of Zika wasn't confirmed in Miami until late July.

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Infectious Disease Is the Next Big Global Security Risk

The World Is Not Ready for the Next Pandemic

           

John Hackett and Charles Chiu handle Zika samples at the University of California, San Francisco-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center - Cody Pickens for TIME

time.com - by Bryan Walsh - May 4, 2017

 . . . From Ebola in West Africa to Zika in South America to MERS in the Middle East, dangerous outbreaks are on the rise around the world . . . 

 . . . The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks H7N9 as the flu strain with the greatest potential to cause a pandemic--an infectious-disease outbreak that goes global. If a more contagious H7N9 were to be anywhere near as deadly as it is now, the death toll could be in the tens of millions.

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Zimbabwe - Mystery Disease Puzzles Doctors - Close to 50 People Admitted, 15 Cattle Dead

thezimbabwedaily.com - by Fairness Moyana - 21 May 2017

CLOSE to 50 people from Change, Dinde and Nekabandama in Hwange District, Matabeleland North have since the beginning of the month been hospitalised at Lukosi Hospital and surrounding health institutions complaining of severe pain which causes paralysis of the backbone, lower and upper body rendering patients immobile.

However, although no deaths have been reported in the area, health officials said they are failing to detect what the disease was or its causes after all patients tested negative for malaria which they were initially suspecting. Apart from the mystery of the disease, local people are now suspecting that there could be some poisonous plant or water source, as during the same time at least 15 cattle died under mysterious circumstances.

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POLIOMYELITIS UPDATE (06): SYRIA (DEIR AL ZOUR), CIRCULATING VACCINE DERIVED POLIOVIRUS SUSPECTED

promedmail.org - 12 May 2017

The current information is that there is a cluster of 23 AFP [acute flaccid paralysis] cases in Miadin district, with one of the specimens having a possible vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV). Samples were sent to Atlanta for further testing.

A concern is that the VDPV is a cVDPV [circulating vaccine derived poliovirus] which is now considered to be just like a wild polio. (The virus is a type 2 virus).

The investigation will reveal the status of this case and the hope is that it will be ambiguous or perhaps in an immune deficient individual.

(CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

CLICK HERE - ProMED mail - Updates

ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE WITHIN THE LINK BELOW . . .

CLICK HERE - Suspected polio cases found in Islamic State-controlled area of eastern Syria

 

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Hospitals On The Brink As Cholera Kills 184 In Yemen’s Capital In Mere Days

submitted by Alison Thompson

           

More than half of the health facilities in Yemen are closed or partially functioning due to severe shortages in medicines, infrastructure, equipment and staff.  AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

The outbreak in Sanaa is the second in less than a year in the war-torn country.

huffingtonpost.com - by Rowaida Abdelaziz - May 16, 2017

 . . . At least 184 Yemenis have died of cholera just this weekend in the capital, which Houthi rebels have controlled for the past three years. On Sunday, the city declared a state of emergency and called for international help to deal with the crisis. Yemen’s health ministry, run by Houthi rebels, said on its news agency Saba that the outbreak was “unprecedented” and had become impossible “to contain.” There have also been cases of the disease have been reported in other major cities including Hodeidah, Taiz and Aden.

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Chasing Cures for Deadly Scourges, and Getting in Our Own Way

nytimes.com - RETRO REPORT - by Clyde Haberman - May 14, 2017

What do the C.I.A. and Nigerian imams have to do with the fight to end polio? Retro Report examines how the worlds of politics and public health can collide. By RETRO REPORT on May 14, 2017.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/14/us/retro-report-disease-eradication.html

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New Zika Virus Inhibitor Identified

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Characterization of the Zika virus two-component NS2B-NS3 protease and structure-assisted identification of allosteric small-molecule antagonists

business-standard.com - ANI - May 17, 2017

A new research has brought a drug to treat Zika infections closer to reality.

The team led by Alexey Terskikh and Alex Strongin from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) discovered a compound that prevents the virus from spreading.

"We identified a small molecule that inhibits the Zika virus protease, and show that it blocks viral propagation in human cells and in mice," Terskikh said. "Anti-Zika drugs are desperately needed. The fact that the compound seems to work in vivo is really promising, so we plan to use it as a starting point to make an even more potent and effective drug."

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