People protest against lack of food, in San Cristobal, Tachira state, on the border with Colombia, earlier this month. Photograph: George Castellano/AFP/Getty Images
Five hundred women pour into markets of Cúcuta to buy toilet paper, flour and other goods as economic crisis in Venezuela deepens
theguardian.com - by Sibylla Brodzinsky - July 5, 2016
Five hundred hungry Venezuelan women have stormed across a bridge into Colombia, defying a year-long border closure in search of basic foodstuffs and goods which are hard to find back home.
Dressed in white T-shirts, the women from the Venezuelan town of Ureña marched up to the barriers manned by members of the national guard. The guardsmen formed a cordon to prevent the women from passing but they eventually broke through, cheering as they ran across the bridge into the Colombian city of Cúcuta.
WASHINGTON, June 29, 2016—In Guinea, Sierra Leone and Senegal, more than 33.3 million people will benefit from stronger health systems and more effective disease surveillance systems through US$110 million in International Development Association (IDA) financing, approved yesterday by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors. This is the first in a series of investments planned under the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement Program (REDISSE), which aims to address systemic weaknesses within the human and animal health sectors that hinder effective disease surveillance and response. The REDISSE program was developed with financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and technical support from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This 57-page report summarizes a request to capture critical lessons from the Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016 and review the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)'s international and domestic responses. It summarizes an Independent Panel's assessment of HHS's challenges, and, where appropriate, challenges facing the broader U.S. government. It describes notable opportunities for improvement in leadership and organization, communication, management, and logistics, as well as in development and use of vaccines and treatments. It also presents recommendations for addressing future urgent public health threats.
Image: People shopping at a market in Lagos, Nigeria. Photograph: Sunday Alamba/AP
theguardian.com - June 28th 2016 - Kweifio-Okai and Josh Holder
Global population hit 7.3 billion midway through 2015, an increase of 2 billion since 1990. It will continue to climb steadily, according to forecasters, reaching 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100.
More than a billion people on a wider perspective suffer from chronic malnutrition and hunger. In spite of official pledges to halve the world's hungry, the trend now runs in the opposite direction. More than thirty million people die of malnutrition and starvation every year - nearly 100,000 every day.
Summary: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received reports from international healthcare facilities that Candida auris, an emerging multidrug-resistant (MDR) yeast, is causing invasive healthcare-associated infections with high mortality. Some strains of C. auris have elevated minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) to the three major classes of antifungals, severely limiting treatment options. C. auris requires specialized methods for identification and could be misidentified as another yeast when relying on traditional biochemical methods. CDC is aware of one isolate of C. auris that was detected in the United States in 2013 as part of ongoing surveillance. Experience outside the United States suggests that C. auris has high potential to cause outbreaks in healthcare facilities. Given the occurrence of C. auris in nine countries on four continents since 2009, CDC is alerting U.S. healthcare facilities to be on the lookout for C. auris in patients.
A strain of Aedes aegypti mosquitos feed from a membrane of blood in a research lab insectary in the Hanson Biomedical Sciences Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on May 17, 2016. Jeff Miller / University of Wisconsin-Madison
A batch of new studies show the Zika virus is trickier than it appeared at first glance, lurking for months in pregnant females and interfering with the immune system's response.
The findings help explain why the virus seems so mild in some people, yet causes devastating birth defects. And while the data suggests it is not going to be so easy to fight the epidemic, at least two studies offer some hope for a good, protective vaccine.
Brazil's microcephaly epidemic continues to pose a mystery -- if Zika is the culprit, why are there no similar epidemics in other countries also hit hard by the virus? In Brazil, the microcephaly rate soared with more than 1,500 confirmed cases. But in Colombia, a recent study of nearly 12,000 pregnant women infected with Zika found zero microcephaly cases. If Zika is to blame for microcephaly, where are the missing cases?
Image: Ukip's Suzanne Evans eased 'apocalypse' fears over Brexit as France told UK to hurry up and leave.
express.co.uk - June 26th 2016 - Rob Virtue and Greg Heffer
Ukip's parliamentary spokesperson Suzanne Evans has listed an abundance of reasons why Britain’s post-Brexit future is looking bright after a predicted uncertain first day of independence.
In a Facebook post lauded by Leave voters, Ms Evans noted how both the pound and FTSE 100 both recovered from Friday's early falls, while pro-EU campaigners had now backtracked on pre-referendum 'Project Fear' scare stories.
This version of the CDC Interim Zika Response Plan replaces the previous document posted on June 14, 2016. Notable updates include:
Revised guidance is included on the risk of Zika virus transmission, including the potential for sexual transmission both from men and women to sex partners.
When a case of locally acquired Zika virus infection is identified, state and local health departments should initiate interventions and target these interventions appropriately. Based on available epidemiologic, entomologic, and environmental information, states will define geographic areas for targeted Zika virus interventions.
The described continuum of preparedness to response has been condensed from 5 phases (0 to 4) to 4 phases (0 to 3). Transmission phases have been reorganized and renamed: “Suspect case of local transmission,” “Confirmed local transmission,” and “Confirmed multiperson local transmission.”
The U.N.'s refugee agency reports that the number of displaced people is at its highest ever -- surpassing even post-World War II numbers, when the world was struggling to come to terms with the most devastating event in history.
The total at the end of 2015 reached 65.3 million -- or one out of every 113 people on Earth, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The number represents a 5.8 million increase on the year before.
A little under 1% of the earth's population is either "an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee" according to the UNHCR report, which was released Monday.