Venezuelans Storm Colombia Border City in Search of Food and Basic Goods

          

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.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - BBC - Venezuelan women push past border controls for food

 

 

 

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World Bank Contributes to Improved Disease Surveillance and Health Systems in West Africa following Ebola Epidemic

                                                

worldbank.org

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.

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Report of the Independent Panel on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Ebola Response

                    

disasterlit.nlm.nih.gov - June 30, 2016

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.

CLICK HERE - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND ACCESS TO THE REPORT - Report of the Independent Panel on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Ebola Response

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CLICK HERE - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND ACCESS TO THE REPORT - Report of the Review Committee on the Role of the International Health Regulations (2005) in the Ebola Outbreak and Response

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How Mosquito Spit Might Affect Zika Risk

           

The inoculation of viruses into mosquito bite sites is an important and common stage of virus infections. Inflammation helps the virus replicate and spread. on Pingen et al./Immunity 2016 / Immunity

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Immunity - Host Inflammatory Response to Mosquito Bites Enhances the Severity of Arbovirus Infection

CLICK HERE - STUDY - PLOS Pathogens - Mosquito Saliva Increases Endothelial Permeability in the Skin, Immune Cell Migration, and Dengue Pathogenesis during Antibody-Dependent Enhancement

nbcnews.com - by Maggie Fox - June 21, 2016

Mosquito saliva might be even more important for spreading infection than anyone thought.

Two studies published in the past week show that mosquito saliva lures immune cells to the site of a bite, and tricks them into spreading any viruses, such as Zika virus, throughout the body.

Tests in mice show that mosquito spit is such an important factor that it could sometimes turn a normally benign viral infection deadly.

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Ibuprofen 'Disables' Ebola Virus

SPL

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Nature - Toremifene interacts with and destabilizes the Ebola virus glycoprotein

bbc.com - by James Gallagher - June 30, 2016

The painkiller ibuprofen and the cancer drug toremifene can disable the Ebola virus, say researchers.

Scientists used the UK's national synchrotron facility - Diamond Light Source - to analyse the virus in incredible detail.

They revealed the two drugs could bind to the crucial part of Ebola that the virus needs to infect cells.

However, the team warns this is just a starting point and more effective drugs need to be researched.

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ADDITIONAL REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED BELOW:

Toremifene interacts with and destabilizes the Ebola virus glycoprotein
http://www.nature.com/nature/archive/subject.html?code=326

Toremifene interacts with and destabilizes the Ebola virus glycoprotein
http://www.nature.com/subjects/ebola-virus

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Over-populated or under-developed? The real story of population growth

People shopping at a market in Lagos, Nigeria. Photograph: Sunday Alamba/AP 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.

But there is more to the population story than unprecedented numbers.

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NutriCare Sierra Leone works in partnership with local communities.


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.

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CDC - Clinical Alert to U.S. Healthcare Facilities - Global Emergence of Invasive Infections Caused by the Multidrug-Resistant Yeast Candida auris

submitted by Carrie La Jeunesse

cdc.gov - June 24, 2016

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.

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New Studies Show Just How Tricky the Zika Virus Is

           

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

CLICK HERE - STUDY - A rhesus macaque model of Asian-lineage Zika virus infection

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Human antibody responses after dengue virus infection are highly cross-reactive to Zika virus

nbcnews.com - by Maggie Fox - June 28, 2016

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.

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New Doubts on Zika as Cause of Microcephaly

sciencedaily.com - June 24, 2016

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?

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CLICK HERE - A Possible Link Between Pyriproxyfen and Microcephaly

necsi.edu - Dan Evans, Fred Nijhout, Raphael Parens, Alfredo J. Morales, Yaneer Bar-Yam, A possible link between pyriproxyfen and microcephaly, New England Complex Systems Institute (2016).

Abstract

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Top Brexit campaigner mocks 'apocalypse' fears but MP suggests Parliament could DEFY vote

Ukip's Suzanne Evans eased 'apocalypse' fears over Brexit as France told UK to hurry up and leave.

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. 

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Worst day in 10 months as Wall Street reacts to 'Brexit'

reuters.com - June 24th 2016 - Rodrigo Campos

The S&P 500 turned negative for the year-to-date on Friday as Wall Street suffered its largest selloff in 10 months after Britain's decision to leave the European Union caught traders wrong-footed.

In the busiest trading volume for a single session in nearly five years, financial stocks .SPSY led the decline on the S&P 500 with a 5.4 percent drop -the largest for the sector since November 2011.

The S&P 500 lost all the year's gains and suffered its largest decline since late August last year.

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Togo Prexy Draws Up Post-Ebola Program For ECOWAS

-President Sirleaf Discloses
By: 
Alaskai Moore Johnson, Observer Health Correspondent

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf assuring ECOWAS Commission President Marcel Alain De Souza (2nd from right), she and her colleagues’ support to his Commission on Friday, June 17, 2016

 

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has disclosed that her Togolese colleague, President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, has been given the task of drawing up a post-Ebola plan for the ECOWAS region.

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C.D.C. and States Ponder Plans to Keep Ahead of Zika

CLICK HERE - REVISED - Zika - CDC Draft Interim Response Plan - July 2016 (57 page .PDF report)

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.”

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UNHCR Report: More Displaced Now than After WWII

           

Fig.1  Trend of global displacement & proportion displaced | 1996 - 2015 (end-year)

CLICK HERE - UNHCR - Global Trends - Forced Displacement in 2015 (68 page .PDF report)

cnn.com - by Euan McKirdy - June 20, 2016

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.

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