News Pouch: 2 August 2017





OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks


UN: Urgent Action Needed to Contain Avian Flu in Southern Africa
Voice of America, 1 Aug
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says besides Zimbabwe, the other countries in the region hit by the avian influenza outbreak are the ...

Death Toll From H1N1 Influenza Rises to 12 in Myanmar
Radio Free Asia, 31 July
Myanmar is simultaneously experiencing an outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza flu in the town of Dawei in the country's southeastern Tanintharyi region, about ...


H5N8 strikes again in South Africa and Italy; H5N1 hits Inner Mongolia
The highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N8 has struck again in South Africa and Italy, while H5N1 has surfaced in China's Inner Mongolia province, according to reports from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and press services.

Zimbabwe: Avian Flu Hits Again, 31 July
Lanark Farm in Beatrice has been hit again by a highly pathogenic avian influenza, the second time that the farm has had such an attack. The first outbreak ...

H5N1 case reported in north China
Xinhua, 1 Aug
North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has reported a case of H5N1 bird flu virus, the Ministry of Agriculture said ...


China's Inner Mongolia region culls 66,500 chickens after bird flu outbreak
The Times of India, 1 Aug
The H5N1 strain of the virus was confirmed at a hen farm in Tongliao city, which has of 3 million people, and has killed 15,000 birds, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

FAO, SADC to meet tomorrow over bird flu outbreak
Insider, 1 Aug
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) are set to meet from tomorrow to discuss the recurrence of an outbreak of a highly contagious bird flu in the key markets of South Africa and Zimbabwe.



WHO Ebola Situation report: 2 July

Ebola May Linger in Men's Semen for More Than 2 Years
Live Science, 1 Aug
Ebola may linger in men's semen for more than two years, a new study suggests. What's more, at least one man who survived Ebola and then tested negative for ...

New vaccines in development: HIV, cancer, Ebola, heroin addiction ..., 1 Aug

There have been many major advances to vaccines since their inception in the 1700s, but there are still many diseases for which no vaccine exists.

'Inferno: A Doctor's Ebola Story', 31 July
Early in the 2013-2015 Ebola outbreak, blogging here in Vancouver, I was baffled by reports that a treatment centre run by Médecins Sans Frontières had been ...




Study: Saliva spread of Zika possible but unlikely
Under extreme and precise circumstances, Zika virus was transmitted via saliva in macaques.


As US Zika cases slow, CDC expert urges vigilance
CIDRAP, 31 July
"Fewer cases don't mean we are completely safe from Zika," Ben Beard says.

CDC Updates Guidance on Zika Testing for Pregnant Women, 31 July

Specifically, as the prevalence of Zika disease falls, the likelihood of false-positive test results rises. Additionally, emerging epidemiologic and laboratory data ...

Florida reports first sexually transmitted Zika infection of 2017
Miami Herald, 1 Aug
Health officials on Tuesday reported Florida's first sexually transmitted Zika infection of 2017, which occurred in Pinellas County and brings the statewide total to ...





Saudi Arabia confirms new MERS case
CIDRAP, 31 July
Over the weekend the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed a new MERS-CoV case in Khamis Mushait.

The tetraspanin CD9 facilitates MERS-coronavirus entry by scaffolding host cell receptors and proteases (uncorrected proof)
PLOS, 31 July

The observation that a single tetraspanin family member, CD9, promoted cell entry for some, but not all CoVs, suggested that CD9 interacts with one or more MERS-CoV and 229E-CoV entry factors. We considered whether CD9 associates with DPP4 and APN, the MERS-CoV and 229E-CoV receptors, or with TMPRSS2.


WHO reports another 33,000 cases of cholera in Yemen
The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday said there were almost 33,000 new cholera cases in Yemen last week, cementing the current outbreak as one of the world's worst.

Brazil reports 51,000 new chikungunya cases
CIDRAP, 31 July
After several consecutive weeks reporting increases in the hundreds, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported a huge jump of 51,006 new chikungunya cases (a 57% increase), almost all of them in Brazil, according to an update published late last week. Jul 28 PAHO update

Only Six Nations Have Evaluated Readiness for Global Pandemic
New York Times, 31 July
The 2003 funeral of a doctor who died of SARS infection in Hong Kong during the pandemic. Only six countries have taken steps to evaluate their abilities to ...

Center for Health Security Publishes First Working Definition of Global Catastrophic Biological Risks
JHCHS, 27 July
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has published the first working definition of Global Catastrophic Biological Risks (GCBRs) to place new focus on a special category of biological risks that have received too limited research and effort given their potential for harm to humanity.




European report ties drug resistance to use in humans, animals
CIDRAP, 31 July
Results highlight a need to fight resistance in people, animals, and the environment.

Vaccines Are Part of the Solution to the Emerging Crisis of Antibiotic Resistance
STAT, 1 Aug
Superhero. Superhighway. Superglue. Adding the prefix "super" highlights a thing's unrivaled rank and elevates it above and beyond what is expected. But superbug has a different connotation. These microbes are increasingly resistant to currently available antibiotics, turning what should be easily treatable infections into deadly ones. Wiser use of antibiotics is one solution. Wider use of vaccines is another.