News Pouch: 14 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


Taiwan reports further H5N6 spread, other strains strike Iran, Europe, Africa
CIDRAP, 13 Feb
Coming just a week after the first highly pathogenic H5N6 avian flu detection in Taiwan in a wild bird, officials reported four more outbreaks involving poultry, as a handful of countries reported more H5N8 outbreaks and Nigeria reported one more from H5N1.

H7N9 cases detected in Beijing and Shanghai
CIDRAP, 13 Feb
The H7N9 avian influenza virus has sickened two more people in China. The infections were detected in two of the country's biggest cities: Beijing and Shanghai.

A New Avian Flu Review
Avian Flu Diary, 13 Feb
Two years ago, in An Avian Flu Primer, I counted down the top avian flu threats around the world.  Since then we've seen a number of changes in the field. So today an updated look at our current crop of avian flu subtypes around the globe.

Early and Real-Time Detection of Seasonal Influenza Onset
PLOS: Computational Biology, 3 Feb
Every year, influenza epidemics affect millions of people and place a strong burden on health care services. A timely knowledge of the onset of the epidemic could allow these services to prepare for the peak. We present a method that can reliably identify and signal the influenza outbreak.

To Stem Spread Of Avian Flu In China, Some Provinces Shutter
NPR, 13 Feb
Authorities are closing live poultry markets in multiple Chinese cities and provinces, in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly H7N9 strain of the avian flu virus.

Bird flu outbreak hits poultry farms in central Nigeria
News Ghana, 13 Feb
A bird flu outbreak hit at least six farms in Nigeria's central state of Plateau, ... The bird flu, also known as avian flu, is influenza that spreads among birds and can ...



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


Vulnerability of primitive human placental trophoblast to Zika virus
PNAS, 13 Feb

Significance. We have tested the hypothesis that the placenta of early pregnancy might be more easily breached by the Zika virus (ZIKV) than the relatively ...


Zika crosses the placenta by latching on to fetal blood vessels
Ars Technica, 13 Feb

A representation of the surface of the Zika virus with protruding envelope glycoproteins (red) shown. Courtesy of Kuhn and Rossmann research groups, Purdue ...

Sperm-egg fusion proteins have same structure as those used by Zika and other viruses
Phys.Org, 14 Feb
Structural and phylogenetic analysis of HAP2 proteins revealed they are homologous to proteins used by viruses such as Zika and Dengue to fuse viral ...



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

Saudi Arabia reports more MERS cases; WHO announces Buraydah outbreak over
CIDRAP, 13 Feb
A WHO overview of recent cases from Saudi Arabia said a small hospital outbreak in Buraydah is now considered over.


New study describes role of Ebola super-spreaders
CIDRAP, 13 Feb
A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) says that super-spreaders likely transmit up to 61% of Ebola virus cases. Feb 13 PNAS study

Ebola 'super-spreaders' cause most cases
BBC News, 14 Feb
The majority of cases in the world's largest outbreak of Ebola were caused by a tiny handful of patients, research suggests. The analysis, published in ...

This 'Scorecard' Makes it Easier to Fight Ebola Outbreaks
Newsweek, 13 Feb
The tool calculates the severity of an ebola case and could save lives if the epidemic returns.

The Ebola Suspect's Dilemma
The Lancet Global Health, March 2017
In 1950, Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher of the RAND Corporation developed a theoretical model of cooperation and conflict, which was later formalised by Albert W Tucker as the prisoner's dilemma. This model represents a situation in which 2 prisoners each have the option to confess or not, but their sentencing outcomes depend crucially on the simultaneous choice of the other.


Big Changes Coming for Hospital Emergency Managers
Emergency Management, 10 Feb
Emergency management leaders at hospitals and medical centers are grappling with a major rule change from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS finalized a rule it says is intended to establish consistent emergency preparedness requirements for health-care providers participating in Medicare and Medicaid.

USA: DOD, HHS, and DHS Should Use Existing Coordination Mechanisms to Improve Their Pandemic Preparedness
GAO, 10 Feb
HHS and DHS have plans to guide their response to a pandemic, but their plans do not explain how they would respond in a resource-constrained environment in which capabilities like those provided by DOD are limited. DOD coordinates with the agencies, but existing coordination mechanisms among HHS, DHS, and DOD could be used to improve preparedness.

ECDC Releases Its First Mobile Application: Infectious Disease Threats on the Go
H5N1, 13 Feb
ECDC has released a new Threat Reports app, a free and open access application that gives you direct access to key updates and reports on communicable disease threats of concern to the EU on your mobile device.

Latest humanitarian snapshot highlights displacement in Myanmar, Philippines earthquake and flooding
ReliefWeb, 14 Feb
Aid reaches the displaced in Myanmar, severe rainfall hits Fiji, Indonesia and Solomon Islands, while 9,300 people remain displaced in the Philippines after an earthquake.

About 60,000 people affected by floods and heavy snowfall in Pakistan
ReliefWeb, 14 Feb


Surprise us, Mr Trump
The Lancet Global Health, March 2017
The halls of global health diplomacy were buzzing last month, as the WHO Executive Board voted on Jan 25 to narrow the field to 3 candidates for the position of WHO Director-General. The USA is part of the current 34-member board and a vital member and funder for WHO, one that provides close to a quarter of the total membership dues and about a third of voluntary contributions to the agency's budget--at least for now.


GIS for Disease Surveillance and Monitoring Training
Date: 10-14 Apr 2017
Location: Kenya (Nairobi)

GIS for Health Sector Programme Management Training
Date: 03-07 Apr 2017
Location: Kenya (Nairobi)

Post Graduate Diploma Program in Population, Public Health & Disaster Management (PPDM)
East West University (EWU)
Themes: Children and Youth; Disaster Risk Management; Gender; Health & Health Facilities