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WHO: Excessive Air Pollution Affects 92 Percent of People

CLICK HERE - WHO - Ambient air pollution: A global assessment of exposure and burden of disease

CLICK HERE - WHO - News Release - WHO releases country estimates on air pollution exposure and health impact

Associated Press - by Jamey Keaten - September 26, 2016

GENEVA (AP) — More than nine out of 10 people worldwide live in areas with excessive air pollution, contributing to problems like strokes, heart disease and lung cancer, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

The U.N. health agency said in a new report that 92 percent of people live in areas where air quality exceeds WHO limits, with southeast Asia, eastern Mediterranean and western Pacific regions hardest hit.

The country-by-country figures come from new satellite data over rural areas to complement traditional ground measurements of pollution, mostly in cities, in about 3,000 places worldwide.

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Syria Bombings Leave 1.75 Million Without Running Water in Aleppo

           

People inspect a water-filled hole at the site of an airstrike on the rebel-held Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood of Aleppo. Photograph: Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Unicef says children at risk of outbreaks of waterborne diseases after two pumping stations left out of action

theguardian.com - September 24, 2016

Heavy bombardment of the rebel-held eastern area of Aleppo has left about 1.75 million people without running water, the United Nations has said.

Intense attacks on Friday prevented repairs to the city’s damaged Bab al-Nayrab pumping station, which supplies water to 250,000 people in the eastern parts of the city, according to the UN’s children’s agency, Unicef. 

In retaliation, the nearby Suleiman al-Halabi station, which pumps water to 1.5 million people in the west of Aleppo, was switched off, it said.

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Post-Ebola, West Africans Flock Back to Bushmeat, With Risk

submitted by Jeff Williams

            

FILE-In this file photo taken on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, Yaa Kyarewaa, await clients as she stands next to her makeshift bush meat shop at one of the largest local markets in Accra, Ghana. As the deadly outbreak of Ebola has subsided, people in several West African countries are flocking to eat bush meat again after restrictions were lifted on the consumption of wild animals like hedgehogs and cane rats. But some health experts call it a risky move. (AP Photo/Christian Thompson, File) 

Associated Press - by HILAIRE ZON and CARLEY PETESCH - September 21, 2016

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — As the deadly outbreak of Ebola has subsided, people in several West African countries are flocking to eat bushmeat again after restrictions were lifted on the consumption of wild animals like hedgehogs and cane rats. But some health experts call it a risky move.

Ivory Coast, which neighbors two of the three countries where Ebola killed more than 11,300 people since December 2013, lifted its ban on wild animal meat this month.

The meat of squirrel, deer, fruit bats and rats has long been a key source of protein for many in the region, but it is also a potential source of the Ebola virus.

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UN Suspends All Aid Convoy Movements in Syria After Airstrike

           

Aid is strewn across the floor in Urem al-Kubra, on the western outskirts of Aleppo, after Monday’s strike on a convoy of lorries. Photograph: Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images

Red Cross president says attack on UN and Red Crescent convoy delivering supplies is unacceptable violation of international law

theguardian.com - by Haroon Siddique, Julian Borger and agencies - September 20, 2016

The United Nations has suspended aid convoys in Syria after an airstrike hit a fleet of trucks carrying food to a rebel-held area near Aleppo on Monday.

The UN humanitarian aid spokesman Jens Laerke said: “As an immediate security measure, other convoy movements in Syria have been suspended for the time being, pending further assessment of the security situation.” . . .

. . . The strike on a convoy of Syrian Red Crescent trucks carrying UN-supplied food was described by the International Committee of the Red Cross as a flagrant violation of international law. It took place as a week-old ceasefire brokered by Russia and the US collapsed amid a surge of Syrian government bombing.

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Zika: Scientists Warn of Global Microcephaly 'Epidemic' After Study Shows Strong Links to Virus

A baby with microcephaly at a rehabilitation centre in Recife, Brazil.  Reuters: Ueslei Marcelino

CLICK HERE - The Lancet Infectious Diseases - Association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in Brazil, January to May, 2016: preliminary report of a case-control study

abc.net.au - AFP - September 15, 2016

Scientists are warning that the world should prepare for a "global epidemic" of microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby's head is smaller than usual, as the Zika virus spreads to new countries.

Key points:

Researchers say microcephaly epidemic will spread to all countries with Zika

Scientists recommend Zika be added to list of congenital birth infections

Not all study babies with microcephaly had abnormalities show in brain scans

The warning comes after researchers in Brazil and Britain found further evidence to link the condition with Zika virus, a connection already widely accepted in medical circles.

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World Health Organisation Should Outsource Key Duties, Experts Say

         

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical staff tackle Ebola in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. The outbreak killed 11,000 people. Photograph: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images

British Medical Journal report advises fundamental overhaul of the WHO to avoid loss of funding, warning it is at risk of repeating mistakes of the Ebola crisis

CLICK HERE - British Medical Journal - Outsourcing: how to reform WHO for the 21st century

theguardian.com - by Harriet Grant - September 12, 2016

Global public health experts have called for “fundamental and extensive reform” of the World Health Organisation (WHO) including major outsourcing of key activities, warning that the organisation is already at risk of repeating the mistakes it made in handling the Ebola crisis.

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What Doctors Learned From 42 Infants With Microcephaly

           

Infants born with microcephaly are held by mothers at a meeting for mothers of children with special needs in Recife, Brazil.  Mario Tama/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - CDC - Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) - Early Growth and Neurologic Outcomes of Infants with Probable Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome

npr.org - by Susan Brink - September 14, 2016

"These babies do not catch up as they grow," says Dr. Antonia Augusto Moura da Silva of the Federal University of Maranhao, Sao Luis, Brazil.

He's describing the findings from a study of 48 babies whose mothers were believed to have been infected with the Zika virus. Forty-two of the children were diagnosed with microcephaly. The study, on the early neurological growth pattern of the infants, will be published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases in November but was released early online.

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2.6 Billion People Could Be at Risk of Zika, Scientists Say

           

A pest control worker fumigates the grounds of a residential estate in the Bedok North area of Singapore on Sept. 1, 2016.  Roslan Rahman—AFP/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - Potential for Zika virus introduction and transmission in resource-limited countries in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region: a modelling study

time.com - by Maria Cheng - September 1, 2016

Scientists are trying to figure out where Zika might gain a future foothold

(LONDON) — Scientists trying to predict the future path of Zika say that 2.6 billion people living in parts of Asia and Africa could be at risk of infection, based on a new analysis of travel, climate and mosquito patterns in those regions.

Some of the most vulnerable countries include India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, Vietnam, Pakistan and Bangladesh, according to the research. . . .

. . . The study was published online Thursday in the journal, Lancet.

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The Coming Trials of Generation Zika

           

An Aedes aegypti mosquito. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

We may see an increase in the incidence of mental illness, Parkinson’s and dementia.

wsj.com - by W. Ian Lipkin - September 6, 2016

Some four million children are born each year in the U.S., about half in areas where the mosquito species capable of carrying the Zika virus is found. If we assume that 3% of pregnant women in the U.S. will become infected over the next three years and at least 1% of children born to those mothers will be microcephalic, we can anticipate up to 20,000 microcephalic children. Humanitarian considerations aside, the estimated cost of caring for one such child over the course of his lifespan is $10 million.

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CLICK HERE - The White House - Letter From The President - Zika Virus - February 22, 2016

 

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Ebola Cluster Traced to Sexual Transmission 15 Months After Man's Illness

cidrap.umn.edu - September 2, 2016

A cluster of Ebola cases in Guinea earlier this year has been traced to sexual transmission from a man who had recovered from the disease close to 15 months earlier, marking the longest known period of sexual transmissibility after recovery from the disease.

"Evidence for sexual transmission of the persisting EBOV in February 2016, about 470 days after onset of symptoms in the survivor, is compelling," says the report by an international team of researchers, published yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The cluster involved 3 probable and 7 confirmed cases in Guinea, with 8 deaths, in February, March, and April of this year, the report says.

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CLICK HERE - CID - Resurgence of Ebola virus disease in Guinea linked to a survivor with virus persistence in seminal fluid for more than 500 days

 

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