Bi-weekly News Pouch: 28 March 2017





OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks



Vietnam reports more H5N1, two European countries report H5N8
CIDRAP, 27 Mar
In highly pathogenic avian flu developments, Vietnam reported another H5N1 avian flu outbreak and two European countries –Greece and Poland—reported more H5N8 in poultry, according to the latest updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

China: CHP notified of human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Mainland
CHP, 24 Mar
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (March 24) received notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission that 18 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including two deaths, were recorded from March 17 to 23.

See also:

Avian Influenza Infections Increasing in China
NEJM Journal Watch, 27 Mar
There have now been five annual epidemics in China caused by the novel avian influenza virus A(H7N9) since 2013 involving a total of 1258 people. During ...

High-path H7N9 expands to poultry in China's Hunan province
CIDRAP, 24 Mar
Japan, meanwhile, reports two large H5N6 outbreaks at poultry farms in different prefectures.

CDC Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report
CDC, 24 Mar
During week 11 (March 12-18, 2017), influenza activity decreased, but remained elevated in the United States.

Japan Begins Culling of Chickens After H5 Strain of Bird Flu Detected
The Poultry Site, 27 Mar
Local authorities in northeastern and western Japan began the culling on Friday of around 300,000 chickens after a highly virulent stain of the H5 strain of bird flu was detected in dead birds at poultry farms in the regions.



WHO Zika Situation Report - 10 Mar
- 10 Mar 


CDC reports 7 more babies born with Zika defects
CIDRAP, 24 Mar
Research news includes microcephaly in infants and mapping of the Aedes aegypti genome.


Long-Term Impact Of Zika Virus In Puerto Rico Unknown
NPR, 27 Mar
Living With Zika In Puerto Rico Means Watching, Waiting And Fearing Judgment. ... She's one of more than 1,000 babies already born in Puerto Rico to mothers with Zika. ... Doctors in Puerto Rico are just beginning to assess the long-term consequences for children born to mothers with Zika.

Researchers crack structure of key protein in Zika virus, 27 Mar
Zika virus (ZIKV), which causes Zika virus disease, is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito.

Amazingly fast, cheap genome sequencing: Zika virus mosquito genome assembled from scratch
Science Daily, 24 Mar
A multi-institutional team has sequenced the genome of the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus uisng a new way to sequence the genome of an organism ...


Students' kit can detect Zika and dengue faster, 26 Mar
A team from the Singapore Polytechnic has devised a kit to detect and distinguish between Zika and dengue infections.. Read more at



- WHO MERS-CoV Disease Outbreak News full archive here 
- Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia - 10 Mar
- WHO: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) maps and epicurves - March 2017
- Saudi Arabia MOH Statistics 
- FAO’s MERS-CoV monthly update


New camel-related MERS case reported in Saudi Arabia
CIDRAP, 27 Mar
After of week of no updates, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) reported a new case of MERS-COV today in a man who had direct contact with camels.

Mouse-adapted MERS coronavirus causes lethal lung disease in human DPP4 knockin mice
PNAS, 27 Mar

The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012, caused by a zoonotically transmitted coronavirus (CoV).


What Can Africa’s CDC Learn from the Zika and Ebola Epidemics?
Geopolitical Monitor, 24 Mar
2017 has been an active year for health authorities in Africa, with the establishment of Africa’s own CDC in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and another regional prevention center opened in Abuja, Nigeria, post-Ebola efforts to prepare for the next major outbreak appear to be gaining momentum. However, these efforts lack the acknowledgment of sufficient conditions to keep pace with the manifold threats in the areas of health and human security in Africa.

Doctor was 'dishonest' in screening nurse who had Ebola, tribunal finds
The Guardian, 27 Mar

Panel finds Dr Hannah Ryan, who worked in Sierra Leone with Pauline Cafferkey in Ebola outbreak, misled screening staff. A doctor acted dishonestly when she lied to investigators about the dangerously high temperature of a nurse who went on to develop Ebola, a tribunal has found.


Getting Pandemic Prevention Right
The Lancet, 25 Mar
The voices of the countries most affected by Ebola have not been at the forefront of the numerous global commissions convened to review the crisis. The history of the HIV pandemic suggests that nuances of managing such a response need to come from those who managed the response and were most affected by it.

Time is running out for children as famine, drought and war threaten millions
UNICEF, 28 Mar
Some 22 million children have been left hungry, sick, displaced and out of school in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UNICEF said.

The impact of mental health and psychosocial support interventions on people affected by humanitarian emergencies: A systematic review
Oxfam, 16 Mar
This systematic review, commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme and carried out by a team from the EPPI-Centre, University College London (UCL), draws together primary research on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programmes for people affected by humanitarian crises in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Rio starts vaccinating against yellow fever after the worst outbreak in decades
euronews, 25 Mar
Authorities in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro have started vaccinating against yellow fever amid the worst outbreak of the disease in decades. Nearly 140 people have died from the virus in recent months. Yellow fever is not new to Brazil, but its ...


Global Health at the Human Animal Ecosystem Interface
A new interdisciplinary and multi-expert MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) provided by more than 30 experts from 20 top institutions including University of Geneva, Institut Pasteur, University of Montreal and World Health Organisation.