The mission of the Global Health Working Group is to explore and improve current and emerging states of health and human security worldwide.
Image: A child at a lead-contaminated site. Credit: Blacksmith Institute
ipsnews.net - May 9th, 2013 - Stephen Leahy
Toxic waste sites in 31 countries are damaging the brains of nearly 800,000 children and impairing the health of millions of people in the developing world, two new studies have found.
Toxins and pollutants in the environment are major sources of illness and reduced lifespans globally. The impacts on health in some countries are on par with malaria, said Kevin Chatham-Stephens, a pediatric environmental health fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
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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.
chathamhouse.org - April 2013 - Jon Liden
The decade 1998-2008 was a period of rapid growth in the resources devoted to global health problems and of unprecedented innovation in the way these resources were delivered.
The innovation was principally manifested in new forms of partnerships which included in their governance the private sector, foundations and civil society alongside governments.
This institutional innovation was driven forward by dynamic new leadership at the World Health Organization under Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland and by political leaders in the G8 countries seeking to give globalization a human face, who were themselves heavily influenced by the moral and political force of AIDS activists and protestors.
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Professor David L. Heymann, CBE
chathamhouse.org - by David L. Heymann - April 15, 2013
Since the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory infection (SARS) ten years ago, efforts to detect unusual severe respiratory disease have intensified. At the same time, there have been major advances in the development of diagnostic tests. This is a result of a major increase in the research and development budget for tests to diagnose unknown disease, and this investment was driven by the perception that anthrax and other organisms such as the smallpox virus will continue to be a bioterrorism threat.
When disease detection efforts are intensified, surveillance systems often become better at picking up illness that would have otherwise gone undetected until enough people developed the disease that an outbreak occurs and is noticed. Throughout history, mysterious severe respiratory infections that have resulted in death have emerged, but with new diagnostic tests it is also now possible to determine the cause of such disease, often soon after it is detected.
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.
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Global Health Policy Center
by Stephen Morrison
February 23, 2013
I am pleased to share with you a new report and video series from the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, Global Health Policy in the Second Obama Term.
This volume analyzes seven important dimensions of a complex, widening U.S. global health agenda: HIV/AIDS; malaria; polio eradication; women’s health; health security; health diplomacy; and multilateral partners. Each chapter strives to catalog and interpret the past four years’ developments in their respective focal area, charting the measurable health impacts for which the United States can claim at least partial credit, and highlighting persistent problems and challenges. The essays conclude with concrete recommendations on how the United States can achieve the best results in the next four years in promoting the improvement of health, especially among the world’s most vulnerable citizens. Coupled with each essay is an author video interview.
Retirees do Taichi during their morning exercise on a hazy day in Fuyang city, in central China's Anhui province, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. Air pollution is a major problem in China due to the country's rapid pace of industrialization, reliance on coal power, explosive growth in car ownership and disregard for environmental laws. (AP Photo)
huffingtonpost.com - by Dominique Mosbergen - February 23, 2013
reuters.com - by Kate Kelland - February 13, 2013
(Reuters) - A third patient in Britain has contracted a new SARS-like virus, becoming the second confirmed British case in a week and showing the deadly infection is being spread from person to person, health officials said on Wednesday.
The latest case, in a man from the same family as another patient, brings the worldwide number of confirmed infections with the new virus - known as novel coronavirus, or NCoV - to 11.
Of those, five have died. Most of the infected lived or had recently been in the Middle East. Three have been diagnosed in Britain.
New Era of Food Scarcity Echoes Collapsed Civilizations (Adapted from Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity by Lester R. Brown)
Earth Policy Institute - Book Byte - February 7, 2013
In Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity, Lester Brown explains that "The world is in transition from an era of food abundance to one of scarcity."
With the demand for grain increasing and the supply of grain decreasing, food prices are rising and hunger is spreading. "On the demand side of the food equation, population growth, rising affluence, and the conversion of food into fuel for cars are combining to raise consumption by record amounts. On the supply side, extreme soil erosion, growing water shortages, and the earth’s rising temperature are making it more difficult to expand production."
"Food shortages undermined earlier civilizations. The Sumerians and Mayans are just two of the many early civilizations that declined apparently because they moved onto an agricultural path that was environmentally unsustainable ... We, too, are on such a path."
"The bottom line is that it is becoming much more difficult for the world’s farmers to keep up with the world’s rapidly growing demand for grain ... We are entering a time of chronic food scarcity, one that is leading to intense competition for control of land and water resources—in short, a new geopolitics of food."
The Global Health & Innovation Conference (GHIC) is the world's leading and largest global health conference as well as the largest social entrepreneurship conference, with 2,200 professionals and students from all 50 states and more than 55 countries. This must-attend, thought-leading conference convenes leaders, changemakers, and participants from all sectors of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.
Official Report of 01 Ogawa Cholera in Havana
Ministry of Public Health, Cuba - sld.cu - January 16, 2013
The outbreak of cholera (01 Ogawa Vibrio cholerae) in Havana is now being reported as under control. Cuba has a strong public health system, which has traced the cholera outbreak to a single asymptomatic food vender. In addition to rigorous epidemiological measures, the Ministry of Health has also stepped up health communication regarding hand-washing, and the use of sanitary measures regarding clean water and the cooking of food.
Submitted by Luis Kun
mountsinai.org - January 17th, 2013
Scientists have discovered that that the flu virus can essentially tell time, thereby giving scientists the ability to reset the virus' clock and combat it in more effective ways. According to researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the flu knows how much time it has to multiply, infect other cells, and spread to another human being. If it leaves a cell too soon, the virus is too weak. If it leaves too late, the immune system has time to kill the virus.
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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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Centre for Science in the Public Interest - cspinet.org
The Third Biennial Championing Public Health Nutrition
October 29-30, 2012 at the University of Toronto's Hart House
7 Hart House Circle, Toronto, Canada
Health and food-policy experts, key policy-makers, journalists, and health advocates from across Canada and around the world will explore how to reform public health nutrition policies. The conference will convene at the University of Toronto's Hart House Great Hall, steps away from the Ontario Legislature.
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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Cuban government stays mum on new cholera reports
mcclatchydc.com - The Miami Herald - by Juan O. Tamayo - September 25, 2012
MIAMI — Four weeks after the Cuban government announced that an outbreak of cholera in the eastern part of the island was over, there are unconfirmed reports of new cases popping up in two small towns.
Twenty-seven cases were reported in the municipality of San Luis, in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, and 19 more in the Bahia Honda municipality 35 miles west of Havana.
Roberto Gonzalez, a dissident living in San Luis, said that area public health workers and residents have told him of the more than two dozen confirmed cases and 102 suspected cases of cholera in the municipality over the past two weeks.
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