News Pouch: 1 May 2017





OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks



CHP notified of human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Mainland
CHP, 28 April
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (April 28) received notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission that 17 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including two deaths, were recorded from April 21 to 27, and strongly urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel. 

CIDRAP Flu Scan for Apr 28, 2017
  • H7N9 in China
  • US flu season slows


Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report
CDC, 28 April
During week 16 (April 16-22, 2017), influenza activity decreased in the United States.

H9N2 infects baby in China
Poultrymed, 28 April
This is the first human case of avian influenza A(H9N2) virus infection reported to WHO since December 2016 and the first human case reported from Gansu ...



Zika - Epidemiological Update - Pan American Health Organization

PAHO, 27 April

Since epidemiological week (EW) 44 of 2016, no additional countries or territories of the Americas have confirmed autochthonous, vector - borne transmission of Zika virus disease. To date, 48 countries and territories in the Americas have confirmed autochthonous, vector - borne transmission of Zika virus disease since 2015, 1 while five countries have reported sexually transmitted Zika cases.

South America sees Zika rise; study estimates US disease cost
CIDRAP, 28 April
Zika cases are once again on the rise in Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru where Zika upticks are expected this time of year, according to the latest epidemiologic update from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The potential economic burden of Zika in the continental United States
PLOS, 27 April
Our model and study show how direct medical costs, Medicaid costs, productivity losses, and total costs to society may vary with different attack rates across the six states and the circumstances at which they may exceed certain thresholds (e.g., Zika prevention and control funding allocations that are being debated by the US government).

Zika virus persists in the central nervous system and lymph nodes of Rhesus monkeys
Cell, 27 April
Zika virus (ZIKV) is associated with severe neuropathology in neonates as well as Guillain-Barré syndrome and other neurologic disorders in adults. Prolonged viral shedding has been reported in semen, suggesting the presence of anatomic viral reservoirs. Here we show that ZIKV can persist in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and lymph nodes (LN) of infected rhesus monkeys for weeks after virus has been cleared from peripheral blood, urine, and mucosal secretions.



- WHO MERS-CoV Disease Outbreak News full archive here 
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia and Qatar - 27 April
- Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia - 24 April
- Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Qatar - 4 April
- WHO: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) maps and epicurves - April 2017
- Saudi Arabia MOH Statistics 
- FAO’s MERS-CoV monthly update

Infection prevention and control measures are critical
WHO, 28 April
Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for acute respiratory infections and to carefully review any unusual patterns. Infection prevention and control measures are critical to prevent the possible spread of MERS-CoV in health care facilities.


MERS sickens three more in Saudi Arabia
CIDRAP, 28 April
Saudi Arabia today reported three more MERS-CoV cases, all of them in men from different parts of the country, two of whom had direct contact with camels.


WHO vaccine advisors weigh in on polio, cholera, Ebola, diphtheria
CIDRAP, 28 April
World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine advisors wrapped up a 3-day meeting in Geneva yesterday and made recommendations regarding immunization for several diseases, including polio, cholera, Ebola, and diphtheria.

Bill Gates Won't Save You From The Next Ebola
Huffington Post, 1 May
The Gates Foundation says responding to deadly outbreaks isn't its forte. But the Ebola crisis showed just how much global public health depends on the ...


WHO: Press Conference Notes on Cluster of Unexplained Deaths in Liberia
Avian Flu Diary, 28 April
The past few days the media has been filled with reports of a cluster of severe illness and sudden deaths among attendees of a funeral in Liberia - a scenario similar enough to that seen during their 2014 Ebola epidemic to raise concerns that the virus had resurfaced.

Investigation yet to find cause of 11 mystery deaths at Liberia funeral
The Guardian, 28 April

Eleven people have died and five are in hospital in Liberia after contracting a mystery illness the World Health Organisation (WHO) said was linked to their attendance at the funeral of a religious leader, officials have said. ... Ebola,” said Liberia’s chief medical officer ...

Six Months into Battle for Mosul, Water, Trauma Care Are Key UN and Partner Priorities
UN News Centre, 26 April
Safe drinking water is a major concern in Mosul, where a battle has been underway for the past six months to retake the city from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the UN humanitarian arm has said.

Addressing a Yellow Fever Vaccine Shortage--United States, 2016-2017
CDC MMWR, 28 April
Recent manufacturing problems resulted in a shortage of the only US-licensed yellow fever vaccine. This shortage is expected to lead to a complete depletion of yellow fever vaccine available for the immunization of US travelers by mid-2017. CDC, the Food and Drug Administration, and Sanofi Pasteur are collaborating to ensure a continuous yellow fever vaccine supply in the US.

Why Are We More at Risk Than Ever for a Global Pandemic?, 28 April
Ebola brought the realities of borderless outbreaks to the forefront, especially with ... saw healthcare workers refuse to treat patients with AIDS and Ebola was no ...


Swift action needed to prevent hunger deaths in four countries stalked by famine
ReliefWeb, 1 May
FAO and WFP stressed that both agencies' famine response operations are severely underfunded, there must be an immediate and substantial rise in resources to save lives and livelihoods.


Free Online Course: Climate Change and Health

Free Online Course: Research Methodology for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response

Resilience Action Planning: Implementing the Sendai Framework at the Local Level - Online course

APHES Summer course 2017: Assessing Public Health in Emergency Situations

Source: PreventionWeb