News Pouch: 17 July 2017






WHO Ebola Situation report: 2 July


End of Ebola sparks crisis for Sierra Leone's teen mums

The Guardian, 16 July

Just over a year since the country was declared free of Ebola, the government has pledged to prioritise fixing the dire state of maternal and sexual health ...

Re-integration of Ebola Volunteer Burial Teams into their Communities
UNDP, 14 July

In Sierra Leone, volunteers were trained in safety procedures that replaced the traditional high-risk burial practices, and worked in ‘Safe and Dignified Burial’ teams. Many were ostracized by their communities but thanks to the support of the Ebola Multi-Partner Trust Fund, they were able to  successfully reintegrate.

New research headed up by SA scientists may hold the key to containing deadly Ebola virus
The Advertiser, 15 July
“We took cells to the CSIRO and infected them with Ebola, brought it back to Flinders, processed it and looked at which cells were being affected and which were ...


OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks


China's weekly H7N9 case totals stay in single digits
CIDRAP, 14 July
In other H7N9 developments, China's agriculture ministry this week announced plans to expand poultry vaccination to the whole country.

China to begin mass vaccination of poultry against H7N9 bird flu
PoultryWorld, 14 July

China is to conduct a mass poultry vaccination programme this autumn in a bid to stamp out a virulent strain of avian influenza.

CHP notified of human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Yunnan
7thSpace Interactive, 14 July
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (July 14) monitoring a notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission that one additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) was recorded from July 7 to 13 in Yunnan, and strongly urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.




Brazil risks new Zika outbreak 3 months after end of health emergency

USA Today, 15 July

Brazil has not addressed the longstanding issues that led to the Zika epidemic, leaving it at risk for another outbreak, report finds.

Zika and chikungunya led to neuro complications in patient
CIDRAP, 14 July
A 74-year-old man who suffered simultaneous Zika and chikungunya infections developed severe meningoencephalitis and neurological injury as a patient in a northeastern Brazilian hospital. A new case history published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases describes the man's illness, offering one of the first accounts of severe brain damage due to Zika and chikungunya co-infection.

Study: Central and peripheral nervous system involvement caused by Zika and chikungunya coinfection

Google's Verily to Release Infected Mosquitoes to Fight Zika
Fortune, 14 July

Google parent company Alphabet's life sciences arm Verily will release 20 million bacteria-infected mosquitoes. It's meant to fight Zika.

See also:
Verily's Mosquito Factory Accelerates the Fight Against Zika
Wired, 14 July
Early this morning, a white Mercedes Sprinter van began a delivery route along the streets of Fancher Creek, a residential neighborhood on the southeastern edge of Fresno, California. Its cargo? 100,000 live mosquitoes, all male, all incapable of producing offspring....

Experimental Vaccines Might Shield Fetus from Zika
US News and World Report, 13 July
Two experimental vaccines might help protect human fetuses against the Zika virus, a new mouse study suggests. Researchers found female mice that were vaccinated before they got pregnant had babies with no sign of Zika infection.




MERS warning issued for Hajj pilgrims
The Express Tribune, 15 July
ISLAMABAD: The National Institute of Health (NIH) on Friday issued an advisory regarding prevention and control of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) during the upcoming Hajj season.


UN Assembly backs $40.5 million for Haiti cholera victims
AP, 13 July
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The General Assembly adopted a resolution Thursday backing the U.N. chief's appeal to member states to transfer $40.5 million in unspent funds from Haiti's peacekeeping mission to help victims of a cholera outbreak that has afflicted over 800,000 people.

WHO Warns of Cholera Risk at Annual Haj, Praises Saudi Preparedness
Reuters UK, 14 July
A cholera epidemic in Yemen, which has infected more than 332,000 people, could spread during the annual haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia in September, although Saudi authorities are well prepared, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Diarrhoea, Vomiting, Sudden Death...Cholera's Nasty Comeback
The Guardian, 12 July
Eradicated for a century in some parts of the world, Alexandra Ossola looks at the history of a disease that has infected 246,000 people in Yemen in eight months...

Science, 14 July
Outbreaks of infectious diseases regularly shock human societies. Outbreaks may be unpredictable, but future events are inevitable. During an outbreak, the exigencies of current circumstances tend to be overwhelming, and all we can do is respond. Collectively, the international community fails to coordinate and plan interventions preemptively between crises. Why can't we predict outbreaks or mount faster and more effective responses?

What Does Warming Planet Mean for Mosquito-bourne Diseases?
Global Biodefense, 11 July
As temperatures rise with climate change, mosquito season extends past the summer months in many parts of the world. The question has been how this lengthened season influences the risk of being infected with mosquito-born diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

Droughts in East Africa: some headway in unpacking what’s causing them
Conversation Media Group, 11 July
Drought is a common phenomenon in East Africa and has occurred throughout known history. Now, with climate change top of the mind, whenever there’s a drought some are quick to blame climate change as the “cause”.

UN Reports that Billions Lack Safe Water and Proper Sanitation
IISD, 12 July
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) released the first global assessment of “safely managed” drinking water and sanitation services.

Health and Well-Being Issues Under Consideration at HLPF
IISD, 13 July
UN agencies emphasized the importance of improving countries’ health systems, with a view to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal on good health and well-being (SDG 3), in the lead up to the consideration of implementation of SDG 3 by the 2017 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).


APHIS Announces Emerging Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Plan
APHIS, 14 July
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) is making the Emerging Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Plan (PDF) available today.  The plan outlines a strategy to detect and respond to emerging animal diseases and define the processes that APHIS will use to identify, evaluate, and respond to emerging diseases in animal populations.