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Anti-Infectives and Antimicrobials Review and Outlook 2011

submitted by Albert Gomez

pharmalive.com - July 2011

Steady Growth Anticipated

The global market for anti-infective drugs is anticipated to exceed $100 billion by 2015, driven by significant unmet needs, growing patient populations, better diagnostics, and innovative new drugs. Because viruses mutate rapidly and acquire drug resistance, the antiviral pipeline needs to be continuously replenished with better treatments. 

Six infectious diseases account for half of all premature deaths worldwide: pneumonia, tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases, malaria, measles, and HIV/AIDS. Antimicrobials have been the standard for treating infectious diseases for more than 70 years and have greatly reduced illness and death from such diseases.

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Software Uses Twitter To Track Dengue Outbreaks In Brazil

submitted by Mary Suzanne Kivlighan

Kaiser Family Foundation - July 19, 2011

The New Scientist reports on a software program that is being used "to identify a high correlation between the time and place where people tweet they have dengue and the official statistics for where the disease appears each season."

Researchers at two Brazilian National Institutes of Science and Technology worked together to create the software, which filters tweets containing the word "dengue" and user location details. "Dengue outbreaks occur every year in Brazil, but exactly where varies every season. It can take weeks for medical notifications to be centrally analyzed, creating a headache for health authorities planning where to concentrate resources," the publication notes. Using Twitter could speed up response time, according to Wagner Meira, a computer scientist at the Federal University of Minus Gerais who led the study (Corbyn, 7/18).

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Video - Somalia is 'World's Worst Humanitarian Disaster'

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Fears of 'Death on an Epic Scale' in Somalia Crisis

channel4.com - July 14, 2011

An aid worker in Somalia, the centre of the East Africa drought crisis which has hit 12m people, tells Channel 4 News he fears "death on an epic, unimaginable scale" if more is not done.

Jens Opperman, the head of charity Action Against Hunger in Somalia, said the situation is deterioriating and will continue to do so unless there is a significant increase in international support.

"We are witnessing unimaginable human suffering," he told Channel 4 News.

The Horn of Africa's worst drought in 60 years has hit people across Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. It has caused perhaps the most serious emergency in Somalia, where hundreds of thousands have become displaced as they desperately seek food and water.

Mr Opperman estimated that 2.8m people in Somalia are in urgent need of life-saving humanitarian assistance. He estimated that one in three children is currently on the brink of starvation.

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Traces of Radiation Found in 2 Whales Off Japan

submitted by Luis Kun

by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press - June 15, 2011

In this Monday, June 13, 2011 photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co., a machine collects radioactive substances in the air for sampling at the Unit 3 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese whalers caught two animals along the northern coast that had traces of radiation, presumably from leaks at a damaged nuclear power plant, officials said Wednesday.

Two of 17 minke whales caught off the Pacific coast of Hokkaido showed traces of radioactive cesium, both about one-twentieth of the legal limit, fisheries officials said.

They are the first whales thought to have been affected by radiation leaked from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant since it was hit by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

"The levels are far below the limit, and the meat from the catch is safe for consumption," Fisheries Agency official Kosei Takekoshi said.

Infographic - We Can End Malaria

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We Can End Malaria

We are making progress in preventing and treating malaria, but together, we can do more. Learn about the number of lives we can save with increased interventions, the methods used to fight malaria, and more. Browse more infographics and learn more about our work in malaria.

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/infographics/Pages/we-can-end-malaria.aspx

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Alarm Spreads as E. Coli Cases Rise Sharply (in Europe) - With Unusual Neurological Effects

June 1, 2011

The number of E. coli cases has risen dramatically in northern Germany, authorities announced Wednesday, with at least 180 new cases emerging in the past 24 hours in Hamburg and Lower Saxony alone.

The new figures came as doctors in Schleswig-Holstein reported that the bacterial illness was also causing unusual neurological effects including epilepsy.

Seventeen people – one in Sweden and the rest in Germany – have now died from the virulent form of enterohamorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), which can cause bloody diarrhoea and kidney failure known as haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS).

In the past day, the number of cases rose in Lower Saxony by 80 to 344, while in Hamburg another 99 cases were identified, bringing the total in the port city to 668.

“We are again seeing a clear rise in cases of people sick with EHEC and HUS,” Hamburg’s Health Minister Cornelia Prüfer-Storcks said. “The situation remains worrying and it is definitely too early to give any kind of all-clear.”

An 84-year-old woman who died on Sunday has now been identified as the 17th confirmed victim, the Lower Saxony Health Ministry announced Wednesday.

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Where is the Evidence-base for Health Policy and Health System Management?

There is a need for a One Health Knowledge Management System that addresses the need for evidence in health policy and health system management in the U.S. as well as overseas. The article below rightly claims that evidence-based medicine is growing and is positively impacting clinical practice. That said, there needs to be a One Health Knowledge Management System that can inform policy makers, planners, and health systems managers about the cascading health issues and impacts within their domains and jurisdictions. See below.

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Nosocomial Infections: Drug-resistant "Superbugs"

September 17, USA TODAY – (International) Drug-resistant ‘superbugs’ hit 35 states, spread worldwide. Bacteria that are able to survive every modern antibiotic are cropping up in many U.S. hospitals and are spreading outside the country, public health officials said. The bugs, reported by hospitals in more than 35 states, typically strike the critically ill and are fatal in 30 percent to 60 percent of cases. Israeli doctors are battling an outbreak in Tel Aviv that has been traced to a patient from northern New Jersey, said the director of infection control and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania and president of the Society of Healthcare Epidemiologists. The bacteria are equipped with a gene that enables them to produce an enzyme that disables antibiotics. The enzyme is called Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenamase. It disables carbapenam antibiotics, last-ditch treatments for infections that don’t respond to other drugs. “We’ve lost our drug of last resort,” he said. Source: http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/health/medical/2010-09-17-1Asuperbug17_ST_N.htm

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