Journal NewsPouch - 11 November 2015


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



Letter: Surveillance for Ebola Virus in Wildlife, Thailand

Emerging Infectious Diseases

Although EBOV has historically been viewed as a virus from Africa, recent studies found that bat populations in Bangladesh and China contain antibodies against EBOV and Reston virus recombinant proteins, which suggests that EBOVs are widely distributed throughout Asia.

Age and EBOLA viral load correlate with mortality and survival time in 288 Ebola virus disease patients

International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Oct 2015

A Chinese Medical Team (CMT) managed Ebola virus disease (EVD) patients in Sierra Leone and received 693 suspected patients, of whom 288 were confirmed from October 2014 to March 2015. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted for the 288 confirmed patients. The clinical symptoms, manifestations and serum viral load were analyzed and compared for mortality and survival time among the different groups.

Use of Capture–Recapture to Estimate Underreporting of Ebola Virus Disease, Montserrado County, Liberia 

Emerging Infectious Diseases, December 2015

Underreporting of cases during a large outbreak of disease is not without precedent (1–5). Health systems in West Africa were ill-prepared for the arrival of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) (6). The Ebola outbreak in Liberia was declared on March 31, 2014, and peaked in September 2014. However, by mid-June, the outbreak had reached Montserrado County, where the capital, Monrovia, is located.

Ebola Virus Disease Complicated by Late-Onset Encephalitis and Polyarthritis, Sierra Leone

Emerging Infectious Diseases, December 2015

Ebola virus (EBOV) disease is usually an acute illness, but increasing evidence exists of persistent infections and post-Ebola syndromes. We report a case of EBOV encephalitis. A 30-year-old woman with no known EBOV contact sought treatment at an Ebola isolation unit in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on January 1, 2015 (day 7 of illness).

Ebola in West Africa - CDC’s Role in Epidemic Detection, Control, and Prevention

Emerging Infectious Diseases, December 2015

Since Ebola virus disease was identified in West Africa on March 23, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has undertaken the most intensive response in the agency’s history; >3,000 staff have been involved, including >1,200 deployed to West Africa for >50,000 person workdays.

Ebola Virus Outbreak Investigation, Sierra Leone, September 28–November 11, 2014

Emerging Infectious Diseases, November 2015

During 2014–2015, an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) swept across parts of West Africa. The China Mobile Laboratory Testing Team was dispatched to support response efforts; during September 28–November 11, 2014, they conducted PCR testing on samples from 1,635 suspected EVD patients.

Contact Tracing Activities during the Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic in Kindia and Faranah, Guinea, 2014

Emerging Infectious Diseases, November 2015

The largest recorded Ebola virus disease epidemic began in March 2014; as of July 2015, it continued in 3 principally affected countries: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Control efforts include contact tracing to expedite identification of the virus in suspect case-patients.

Workplace Safety Concerns among Co-workers of Responder Returning from Ebola-Affected Country

Emerging Infectious Diseases, November 2015

We surveyed public health co-workers regarding attitudes toward a physician who returned to New Hampshire after volunteering in the West African Ebola outbreak. An unexpectedly large (18.0%) proportion of staff expressed discomfort with the Ebola responder returning to work. Employers should take proactive steps to address employee fears and concerns.

Liberia—Moving Beyond “Ebola Free”

Emerging Infectious Diseases, November 2015

Although the ongoing Ebola epidemic has brought much attention to Liberia, diseases of poverty, such as malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and maternal–newborn complications, rarely make the headlines.

Raising the standard for clinical care of patients with Ebola virus disease

The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Nov 2015

In The Lancet Infectious Disease, Luke Hunt and colleagues1 present data from an observational cohort study done at the Kerry Town Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone between December, 2014, and January 2015.

Era of global Ebola: risk of exposure in health-care workers

The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Nov 2015

An era of global Ebola virus disease is upon us, having begun suddenly in August, 2014, with medical evacuations of infected international health-care workers from west Africa to their home countries.

Ebola: missed opportunities for Europe–Africa research

The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Nov 2015

The current unprecedented Ebola virus disease outbreak in parts of west Africa, which has caused more than 11 200 deaths, has emphasised how the medical and scientific communities lack specific pathways for tackling relevant logistical, design, and ethical issues for assessment of novel diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines through implementation of appropriate clinical trials.

Drug assessment in the Ebola virus disease epidemic in west Africa

The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Nov 2015

Lanini and colleagues distinguished study designs of experimental agents as randomised versus non-randomised studies, including within the latter anecdotal experiences and compassionate use. It is irrational to make no distinction between phase 2 clinical trials and compassionate treatment.

Clinical presentation, biochemical, and haematological parameters and their association with outcome in patients with Ebola virus disease: an observational cohort study

The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Nov 2015

Clinical management of Ebola virus disease remains challenging. Routine laboratory analytics are often unavailable in the outbreak setting, and few data exist for the associated haematological and biochemical abnormalities.

Post-exposure prophylaxis against Ebola virus disease with experimental antiviral agents: a case-series of health-care workers

The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Nov 2015

We devised a risk assessment and management algorithm for health-care workers potentially exposed to Ebola virus and applied this to eight consecutive individuals who were medically evacuated to the UK from west Africa between January, and March, 2015.


Molecular Epidemiology of Hospital Outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2014

Emerging Infectious Diseases, November 2015

We investigated an outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) at King Fahad Medical City (KFMC), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during March 29–May 21, 2014. This outbreak involved 45 patients: 8 infected outside KFMC, 13 long-term patients at KFMC, 23 health care workers, and 1 who had an indeterminate source of infection.

Association of Higher MERS-CoV Virus Load with Severe Disease and Death, Saudi Arabia, 2014

Emerging Infectious Diseases, November 2015

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes a spectrum of illness. We evaluated whether cycle threshold (Ct) values (which are inversely related to virus load) were associated with clinical severity in patients from Saudi Arabia whose nasopharyngeal specimens tested positive for this virus by real-time reverse transcription PCR.

Mortality Risk Factors for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Outbreak, South Korea, 2015

Emerging Infectious Diseases, November 2015

As of July 15, 2015, the South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare had reported 186 case-patients with Middle East respiratory syndrome in South Korea. For 159 case-patients with known outcomes and complete case histories, we found that older age and preexisting concurrent health conditions were risk factors for death.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in 3 Persons, South Korea, 2015

Emerging Infectious Diseases, November 2015

In May 2015, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection was laboratory confirmed in South Korea. Patients were a man who had visited the Middle East, his wife, and a man who shared a hospital room with the index patient. Rapid laboratory confirmation will facilitate subsequent prevention and control for imported cases.

Serological evidence of MERS-CoV antibodies in dromedary camels (Camelus dromedaries) in Laikipia County, Kenya

PLOS One, October 2015

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a recently identified virus causing severe viral respiratory illness in people. Little is known about the reservoir in the Horn of Africa. In Kenya, where no human MERS cases have been reported, our survey of 335 dromedary camels, representing nine herds in Laikipia County, showed a high seroprevalence (46.9%) to MERS-CoV antibodies...

Host-directed therapies for improving poor treatment outcomes associated with the middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus infections

International Journal of Infectious Diseases, November 2015

Three years after its first discovery in Jeddah Saudi Arabia, the novel zoonotic pathogen of humans, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) continues to be a major threat to global health security.

Differences in the seasonality of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and influenza in the Middle East

International Journal of Infectious Diseases, November 2015

It was found that the first two major waves of weekly laboratory confirmations of MERS-CoV cases closely followed the seasonal epidemic waves of influenza A in the Middle East. This finding is important to revealing the mechanisms behind the seasonality of MERS-CoV in the Middle East.

Conservation of nucleotide sequences for molecular diagnosis of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, 2015

International Journal of Infectious Diseases, November 2015

Protocols for the laboratory diagnosis of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) were developed in 2012. Nucleotide sequences of the viruses detected between 2012 and 2015 were analyzed.     Mismatches between the sequences of primers/probes and viruses were found. Such mismatches could lead to a lower sensitivity of the assay.


One health, multiple challenges: The inter-species transmission of influenza A virus

One Health, Dec 2015

Influenza A viruses are amongst the most challenging viruses that threaten both human and animal health. Influenza A viruses are unique in many ways. Firstly, they are unique in the diversity of host species that they infect.

Assessing cyber-user awareness of an emerging infectious disease: evidence from human infections with avian influenza A H7N9 in Zhejiang, China

International Journal of Infectious Diseases, November 2015

Daily Baidu index values were compared for different keywords, different periods (epidemic and non-epidemic), different levels of epidemic publicity (whether new cases were publicized), and different cities (divided into high, medium, low, and zero groups according to the number of cases). Furthermore, the correlation between the daily Baidu index values and the daily number of new cases was analyzed.

Bacterial Co-infection is Associated with Severity of Avian Influenza A (H7N9), and Procalcitonin is a Useful Marker for Early Diagnosis

Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease, October 2015

Patients contracting avian influenza A (H7N9) often develop severe disease. However, information on the contribution of bacterial co-infection to the severity of H7N9 is limited. We retrospectively studied 83 patients with confirmed H7N9 infection from April 2013 to February 2014.

Successful treatment of avian-origin influenza A (H7N9) infection using convalescent plasma

International Journal of Infectious Diseases, October 2015

n January 2015, there was an outbreak of avian-origin influenza A (H7N9) virus in Zhejiang Province, China. A 45-year-old man was admitted to the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University with a high fever that had lasted 7 days, chills, and a cough with yellow sputum.

In-vitro assessment of differential cytokine gene expression in response to infections with Egyptian classic and variant strains of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus

International Journal of Veterinary Science and Medicine, October 2015

In Egypt, two distinct genetic groups of HPAI H5N1 viruses are co-circulating: classic 2.2.1/C sub-clade and antigenic drift variant clade isolated from vaccinated poultry flocks. The response of chicken innate immunity to both genotypes is not investigated, so far.


Averting climate change’s health effects in Fiji

WHO Bulletin, Nov 2015

Pacific islanders face up to the dire health effects of global warming. Atasa Moceituba and Monique Tsang report.

Don’t wait for Paris summit to improve health

WHO Bulletin, Nov 2015

How developing countries will make the transition to sustainable clean-energy economies is a major challenge for the United Nations summit that opens in Paris this month.

School safety and children health in a post-disaster community: Implications to collaborative care and service learning in school health

Journal of Acute Disease, October 2015

This was an explorative single-case study. The case was defined as the two primary schools affected by the earthquake on 20th April, 2013 and relocated in a rebuilt temporary classroom.

Guide to Disaster Medicine and Public Health Literature, Oct, 2015

Disaster Lit: The Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health ... Archive containing free full-text journal articles including disaster/emergency ...

Youth Resilience Corps: An Innovative Model to Engage Youth in Building Disaster Resilience.

Disaster Med Public Health Prep, 2015 Oct

Despite the growing awareness that youth are not just passive victims of disaster but can contribute to a community's disaster resilience, there have been limited efforts to formally engage youth in strengthening community resilience.

Managing Community Resilience to Climate Extremes, Rapid Unsustainable Urbanization, Emergencies of Scarcity, and Biodiversity Crises by Use of a Disaster Risk Reduction Bank.

Disaster Med Public Health Prep, 2015 Oct

Earth's climate is changing and national and international decision-makers are recognizing that global health security requires urgent attention and a significant investment to protect the future. In most locations, current data are inadequate to conduct a full assessment of the direct and indirect health impacts of climate change.


Impact of statins on influenza vaccine effectiveness against medically attended acute respiratory illness

Oxford Journals, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Oct 2015

We conducted a retrospective cohort study over nine influenza seasons using research databases of a large managed care organization in the United States. Influenza vaccination and statin prescription statuses of cohort members and MAARI cases were ascertained on a per-season basis.

One versus two doses: What is the best use of vaccine in an influenza pandemic?

Epidemics, December 2015

  • We modeled and evaluated two possible vaccination strategies for pandemic influenza.
  • The protection gained after a single dose is key in determining the best strategy.
  • A one-dose strategy is optimal if the protection gained after one dose is substantial.
  • A two-doses strategy is optimal if little protection is gained after a single dose.
  • We show how vaccination strategies can be integrated into pandemic control plans.