News Pouch: 13 February 2017







OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks

WHO: Situation updates - Avian influenza
WHO Global Influenza Updates - 6 Feb
WHO: FluNet Summary - 6 Feb
Monthly Risk Assessments - Influenza at the Human-Animal Interface - 16 Jan  
FAO: H7N9 situation - update - 24 Jan
FAO - H5N8 HPAI Global situation update - 6 Feb


WHO: Analysis of recent scientific information on avian influenza A(H7N9) virus
WHO, 10 Feb
An increase in human infections with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus has been reported by China since October 20161. This document presents recent scientific findings on A(H7N9) viruses.

China now in its worst H7N9 avian flu season on record
CIDRAP, 10 Feb
Since November China has totaled at least 347 H7N9 avian flu cases.


Death of Teen Athlete a Reminder that Flu Can Kill Anyone
NBC News, 8 Feb
Kayla Linton was a healthy, all-around athlete, but being fit did not protect her from the flu. Linton, who died last week in Baltimore, is among the dozens of often perfectly healthy children who die from influenza every year in the US.

Studies shed light on effects of serial flu shots, current vaccine's benefits
CIDRAP, 10 Feb
A Canadian study released this week added to the evidence that getting a flu shot 2 years in a row may sometimes result in lower protection against flu the second year, while another new Canadian study estimated that this year's flu vaccine is 42% effective against the dominant flu strain in circulation.

H5N5 strikes again in Germany, other strains spark more outbreaks in Europe, Japan
CIDRAP, 10 Feb
In the latest avian flu developments, Germany yesterday reported its third highly pathogenic H5N5 outbreak in poultry, according to a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Avian flu outbreaks spread in Taiwan's Hualien, Tainan
Taiwan News, 12 Feb
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Avian influenza is rapidly spreading across the nation as the highly pathogenic strain of H5N6 virus was detected in Hualien, and then ...

Study: SMS Surveillance in Avian Flu Outbreak
Magpi, 13 Feb

Australian government responders studied the use of SMS surveillance messages to respond to an outbreak of avian influenza on a poultry farm.




WHO Zika Situation Report - 2 Feb
- 9 Feb 
WHO: Quarterly update of the Strategic Response Plan 28 October 2016


Environmental and Social Change Drive the Explosive Emergence of Zika Virus in the Americas
PLOS: Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9 Feb
Since Zika virus was detected in Brazil in 2015, it has spread explosively across the Americas and has been linked to increased incidence of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. In one year, it has infected over 500,000 people (suspected and confirmed cases) in 40 countries and territories in the Americas....

From Zika to Dengue, a Warming Europe Faces New Disease Threats
Medscape,10 Feb
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Europe is facing a growing risk of new disease outbreaks - which may prove difficult to quickly detect and stop - as ...

The campaign to eradicate Zika has trampled over women's rights
The Independent, 12 Feb
The World Health Organisation declared that the Zika epidemic was an international emergency in February 2016. But, while the WHO lifted the declaration nine ...


Jamaica: Increase in Guillain Barre Syndrome since Zika
Jamaica Observer-10 Feb
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Since the outbreak of the Zika virus infection in Jamaica, there has been a marked increase in the number of suspected cases of Guillain ...


International Attention On Zika Must Focus On Affected Individuals
Kaiser Family Foundation, 10 Feb
It would be tempting to laud the Zika response as a success and redirect attention to other emergent issues. To do so would ignore the continued spread of Zika ...



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

WHO: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia
World Health Organization, 10 Feb
Globally, since September 2012, 1905 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV including at least 677 related deaths have been reported to WHO ...

Saudi Arabia reports severe MERS infection in Mecca
CIDRAP, 10 Feb
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed another MERS-CoV infection yesterday, noting a severe case in Mecca.



Rapid Ebola test to detect early infection in the works
Science News, 10 Feb
Detecting Ebola's genetic material in patients' blood samples now takes a full day and requires access to a specialized laboratory. Simpler and speedier tests ...

Ebola's Aftermath: A West Africa Update
MSF via Satellite PR News, 10 Feb
With the publication of the new book The Politics of Fear: Médecins Sans Frontières and the West African Ebola Epidemic, MSF provides a deeper reflection ...


We can improve health systems in Africa – WHO official
The New Times, 12 Feb
During the first year, my initial priority was to bring the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa to an end, which was achieved in December 2015, and to strengthen ...


Senegal's minister wins award for Ebola battle, 13 Feb
The World Government Summit, an annual forum on good governance held in Dubai, on Sunday awarded Senegal's Awa Marie Coll Seck for her role in ...


'Ebola Virus Cure' Latest News & Update: Effective & Affordable
Science Times, 11 Feb
'Ebola Virus Cure' Latest News & Update: Effective & Affordable Horse ... pirates if given within 24 hours after exposure to a lethal dose of Ebola Virus.


What three decades of pandemic threats can teach us about the future
Health Affairs Blog, 9 Feb
One of the most important challenges facing the new Administration is preparedness for the pandemic outbreak of an infectious disease. Infectious diseases will continue to pose a significant threat to public health and the economies of countries worldwide. The U.S. government will need to continue its investment to combat these diseases wherever they emerge...

WHO responds to health needs of populations fleeing conflict in Al-Mokha City in Taizz governorate, Yemen
WHO, 12 Feb
As violent conflict continues in Al-Mokha City in Taizz governorate, Yemen, more than more than 8000 internally displaced persons have fled to several districts of Al-Hudaydah governorate. WHO teams in the governorate are providing trauma care and primary health care services to newly displaced persons, and delivering medicines and supplies to health facilities.

Philippines Report More Than 200,000 Dengue Cases for a 2nd Year
Outbreak News Today, 9 Feb
The Philippines has been one of southeast Asia's dengue hotspots in recent years and according to the latest figures from the Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau, the archipelago recorded more than 200,000 dengue cases for the second year in a row. Health officials report a total of 211,108 dengue cases in 2016, slightly down from 2015 when 213,930 cases were recorded.

About 60,000 people affected by floods and heavy snowfall in Pakistan
ReliefWeb, 13 Feb
The government declared an emergency in three districts and called for assistance for people in Balochistan. The authorities reported 13 deaths and 650 people injured.

Kenya declares drought a national disaster
ReliefWeb, 13 Feb
The Government has declared the current drought affecting 23 arid and semi-arid counties and pockets of other areas a national disaster.


New institute for global health at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences receives major grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
KVA:SE, 13 Feb
Through an initiative of three researchers The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has received a grant of 1.2 million USD to establish the Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation, (SIGHT). The institute will create an interdisciplinary platform to promote Swedish research, education, and to provide a scientific basis for policy work in the field of global health.


Post Graduate Diploma Program in Population, Public Health & Disaster Management (PPDM)
East West University via PreventionWeb, Feb 2017
This program aims to address the need for trained professionals in Bangladesh in the field of population, public health and disaster management. 

Target audience:
This program is designed for professionals who are now working in government agencies, UN agencies, NGOs/ INGOs, corporate sectors and research organizations. It is also for those individuals who want to diversify their research interests in the arena of population and environment.

GIS for Health Sector Programme Management Training - DATE: 3 -7 April 2017
VPSL, Feb 2017
This course offers an introduction to GIS and how it is used in public health and epidemiological research. It will introduce participants to the basics including: working with and integrating spatial and non-spatial data; geographic scale and spatial precision; decoding; visualization; thematic mapping; and understanding spatial relationships.

Supporting training for emergency response to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents U.S. Department of State's Official Blog, Feb 2017
In 2011, an earthquake and tsunami brought unimaginable destruction to Japan. These natural disasters were made more catastrophic by their impact on nuclear reactors at Fukushima. Though almost six years have passed, the life-threatening and massively destructive effects of this disaster remain a vivid reminder of the critical importance of national preparedness for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents.