Journal News Pouch - November 2016


  • Zika Virus
  • Avian Influenza  
  • Ebola 
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)
  • Emergencies and Disasters Journals


Zika Virus Infection in the Central Nervous System and Female Genital Tract
CDC EID, Dec 2016
Our case highlights the potential for Zika virus neurotropism and the need for early identification of Zika virus–related neurologic symptoms. Moreover, the presence of Zika virus in the genital tract supports the recommendation of safe sex practice for women returning home from areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission.

Description of 13 Infants Born During October 2015–January 2016 With Congenital Zika Virus Infection Without Microcephaly at Birth — Brazil
MMWR, Nov 2016
Congenital Zika virus infection can cause microcephaly and severe brain abnormalities (1). Congenital Zika syndrome comprises a spectrum of clinical features (2); however, as is the case with most newly recognized teratogens, the earliest...

Incidence of Zika Virus Disease by Age and Sex — Puerto Rico, November 1, 2015–October 20, 2016
MMWR, Nov 2016
Zika virus is a flavivirus transmitted primarily by Aedes species mosquitoes; symptoms of infection include rash, arthralgia, fever, and conjunctivitis.*,† Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other serious brain anomalies (1), and in rare cases, Zika virus infection has been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome...

Inactivation of Zika virus in human breast milk by prolonged storage or pasteurization
Virus Research, Jan 2017
Zika virus infection during pregnancy poses a serious risk for pregnant women as it can cause severe birth defects. Even though the virus is mainly transmitted via mosquitos, human-to-human transmission has been described. Infectious viral particles have been detected in breast milk of infected women which raised concerns...

Harmonisation of Zika virus research protocols to address key public health concerns
The Lancet Global health, Dec 2016
Prior to 2013–14, Zika virus infection was described as a mild febrile illness with clinical symptoms. However, the emergence of Zika virus in the Pacific and the Americas, the sharp increase in cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and the birth of babies with neurological complications such as microcephaly in several countries led to the Declaration of a National Emergency in Public Health...

Zika virus in Pakistan: the tip of the iceberg?
The Lancet Global health, Dec 2016
We found that the highest proportion of high-risk travellers arrived from Singapore (figure). Miami, FL, USA, and Brazil were the next two largest contributors to arrivals. While fewer in numbers, travellers to Pakistan converged from an additional 23 Zika-virus-infected regions. All international Pakistani airports are possible entry routes for Zika virus, and all are located in areas where Aedes moquitoes breed (appendix), indicating the potential for onward transmission.

Association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in Brazil, January to May, 2016: preliminary report of a case-control study
The Lancet Infectios Diseases, Dec 2016
Our data suggest that the microcephaly epidemic is a result of congenital Zika virus infection. We await further data from this ongoing study to assess other potential risk factors and to confirm the strength of association in a larger sample size.


Effect of Live Poultry Market Interventions on Influenza A(H7N9) Virus, Guangdong, China
CDC EID, Dec 2016
Temporary closure of these markets appears not to have halted virus transmission or prevented its dissemination.

Genetically Different Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Viruses in West Africa, 2015
CDC EID, Dec 2016
To trace the evolution of highly pathogenic influenza A(H5N1) virus in West Africa, we sequenced genomes of 43 viruses collected during 2015 from poultry and wild birds in 5 countries. We found 2 co-circulating genetic groups within clade Mutations that may increase adaptation to mammals raise concern over possible risk for humans.

Highly Pathogenic Reassortant Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus Clade in Poultry, Bhutan
CDC EID, Dec 2016
Highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1), clade, with an H9-like polymerase basic protein 1 gene, isolated in Bhutan in 2012, replicated faster in vitro than its H5N1 parental genotype and was transmitted more efficiently in a chicken model. These properties likely help limit/eradicate outbreaks, combined with strict control measures.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus among Poultry, Ghana, 2015
CDC EID, Dec 2016
Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1) virus among poultry were first reported in Africa in 2006, with initial reports from Nigeria (1). The virus then spread to several countries (e.g., Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger) in Africa, leading to large economic losses...

Avian Influenza Virus H5 Strain with North American and Eurasian Lineage Genes in an Antarctic Penguin
CDC EID, Dec 2016
Only recently was an H11N2 subtype virus isolated from Adélie penguins in Antarctica. We performed AIV surveillance in the Antarctic Peninsula to identify the strains currently circulating in different penguins species in this area.

Forecasting Influenza Outbreaks in Boroughs and Neighborhoods of New York City 
PLoS Comp Bio, Nov 2016
Recently developed influenza forecast systems have the potential to aid public health planning for and mitigation of the burden of this disease. However, current forecasts are often generated at spatial scales (e.g. national level) that are coarser than the scales at which public health measures and interventions are implemented (e.g. community level).


Electrolyte and Metabolic Disturbances in Ebola Patients during a Clinical Trial, Guinea, 2015
CDC EID, Dec 2016
Electrolyte and Metabolic Disturbances in Ebola. Such abnormalities were common during infection and enabled accurate stratification of the risk for death.

Unusual Ebola Virus Chain of Transmission, Conakry, Guinea, 2014–2015
CDC EID, Dec 2016
In October 2015, a new case of Ebola virus disease in Guinea was detected. Case investigation, serology, and whole-genome sequencing indicated possible transmission of the virus from an Ebola virus disease survivor to another person and then to the case-patient reported here. This transmission chain over 11 months suggests slow Ebola virus evolution.

Evaluation of convalescent whole blood for treating Ebola virus disease in Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • We evaluated convalescent whole blood (CWB) to treat EVD from December 2014 up to April 2015.
  • We recruited 69 subjects: 44 were enrolled on CWB.
  • There was a significant difference between admission viral load and viral load after 24 h of treatment with CWB; but the control group had no such difference.
  • Case fatality rates were 27.9% for the CWB group and 44% for the control group.
  • CWB could still be important in the treatment of EVD.

The Ebola Outbreak: Catalyzing a “Shift” in Global Health Governance?
BMC, Nov 2016
Despite the need for a fully modernized WHO, reform proposals recently announced by WHO fail to achieve the “evolution” in global health governance needed in order to ensure that global society is adequately protected against the multifaceted and increasingly complex nature of modern public health emergencies. Instead, the lasting legacy of the EVD outbreak may be its foreshadowing of a governance “shift” in formal sharing of the complex responsibilities


Time Course of MERS-CoV Infection and Immunity in Dromedary Camels
CDC EID, Dec 2016
Knowledge about immunity to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in dromedary camels is essential for infection control and vaccination. A longitudinal study of 11 dam–calf pairs showed that calves lose maternal MERS-CoV antibodies 5–6 months postparturition and are left susceptible to infection, indicating a short window of opportunity for vaccination.

Alisporivir inhibits MERS- and SARS-coronavirus replication in cell culture, but not SARS-coronavirus infection in a mouse model
Virus Research, Jan 2017
Currently, there is no registered treatment for infections with emerging zoonotic coronaviruses like SARS- and MERS-coronavirus. We here report that in cultured cells low-micromolar concentrations of alisporivir, a non-immunosuppressive cyclosporin A-analog, inhibit the replication of four different coronaviruses, including MERS- and SARS-coronavirus.

A dynamic compartmental model for the Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak in the Republic of Korea: A retrospective analysis on control interventions and superspreading events
Journal of Theoretical Biology, Nov 2016
Our model was able to provide a good fit to the trajectory of the outbreak and was useful to analyze the role of hypothetical control scenarios. Specifically, we assessed the impact of the timing of control measures, especially associated with a reduction of the transmission rate and diagnostic delays on outbreak size and duration.


Infectious disease emergencies: taking the long-term view

The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Dec 2016
Large outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome, Middle East respiratory syndrome, pandemic influenza, Ebola virus, and Zika virus are not exceptional independent events, they are consequences of the world we live in. Increasing urbanisation, the ease of global travel and transport, and anthropogenic changes to the environment such as global warming and deforestation provide favourable conditions for new zoonotic events and rapid international spread.


The UN in Haiti: an adulterated vision of accountability
The Lancet Global Health, Dec 2016
Cholera has affected around 800 000 people in Haiti and killed more than 9000 since the outbreak began in October, 2010, yet the UN has stubbornly maintained its position that it is constitutionally immune from any legal responsibility for the effects of a disease that was almost certainly brought in by its peacekeeping staff from Nepal and unleashed on a prostrate population by careless effluent disposal and lack of screening.

Factors Influencing Emergency Nurses' Burnout During an Outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus in Korea
Asian Nursing Research, 9 Nov
ED nurses taking care of MERS-CoV-infected patients should be aware that burnout is higher for nurses in their divisions than nurses in other hospital departments and that job stress is the biggest influential factor of burnout. To be ready for the outbreak of emerging contagious diseases such as MERS-CoV, efforts and preparations should be made to reduce burnout.

Critical attributes for proactive engagement of stakeholders in disaster risk management
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, March 2017
Proactive engagement of stakeholders in early phases of disaster risk management is a requisite for resilient society and built environment against disasters. Recent research indicates that proactive approaches by stakeholders reduce disaster risk significantly, however, it is not mentioned the critical attributes that play role in proactive engagement of stakeholders in disaster risk management context.

Patterns of health service utilization following the Tsunami in Thailand
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Dec 2016
Understanding the patterns of health service utilization may inform decision-makers and assist in future planning of post-disaster support. Often, organizations and governments fail to anticipate lasting effects of disasters and prematurely withdraw support services even though affected areas need long-term support.