News Pouch: 25 September 2017



UN General Assembly Meetings Coverage
Key Moments From the UN General Assembly
Wall Street Journal, 22 Sept
President Donald Trump and other world leaders held meetings this week at UN headquarters in New York. North Korea's nuclear program and the Iran deal ...




OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks


Study finds flu vaccine protection wanes in older people in H3N2 seasons
CIDRAP, 22 Sept
Flu vaccine protection wanes in older people during H3N2-dominated seasons, according to Spanish researchers who analyzed the timing of flu vaccination in adult patients hospitalized for influenza over four seasons. The team published its findings Sep 20 in Vaccine.

See the study: Waning protection of influenza vaccination during four influenza seasons, 2011/2012 to 2014/2015

H5N8 avian flu strikes more poultry farms in South Africa
CIDRAP, 22 Sept
South Africa today reported 11 more highly pathogenic H5N8 outbreaks, 10 involving commercial farms, according to two notifications today from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Why Australia Wasn't Ready for a Dangerous Flu Season
New York Times, 19 Sept
Australia's carefree attitude toward preventive medicine may have met its match: the flu. The country is reeling from a potent flu season that has had a historically high number of cases in some states, and the resulting fatalities have raised growing alarms. Last week, an 8-year-old girl from Melbourne died from influenza complications - just weeks after a 30-year-old father passed away after getting the flu.

Data and Product Needs for Influenza Immunization Programs in Low- and Middle-income Countries: Rationale and Main Conclusions of the WHO Preferred Product Characteristics for Next-generation Influenza Vaccines
Vaccine, Oct 2017
In 2017, WHO convened a working group of global experts to develop the Preferred Product Characteristics for Next-Generation Influenza Vaccines. PPCs are intended to encourage innovation in vaccine development. They describe WHO preferences for parameters of vaccines, in particular their indications, target groups, implementation strategies, and clinical data needed for assessment of safety and efficacy.


The Security Sector's Role in Responding to Health Crises - Lessons from the 2014–2015 Ebola Epidemic and Recommendations for the Mano River Union and Its Member States
Reliefweb, 22 Sept
The Security Sector's Role in Responding to Health Crises representatives from key regional organizations involved in the Ebola response, including the African ...





Zika vaccine prevents pregnancy spread, testicle damage in mice
CIDRAP, 22 Sept
A single dose of the live-attenuated vaccine prevents transmission to the offspring of pregnant mice, as well as preventing testicular damage in male mice.

Move over Malaria: Mosquitoes Carrying Zika, Dengue May Thrive in Warmer Africa
Reuters, 22 Sept
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria.

The Risk of Sustained Sexual Transmission of Zika Is Underestimated
PLOS: Pathogens, 21 Sept
The national and international community is grappling with how to respond to the ongoing Zika virus outbreak. One of the most uncertain aspects of this disease is its potential for sustained sexual transmission. Recent studies have suggested that there are large differences in the age- and sex-specific Zika virus attack rates--with women of childbearing age having the highest incidence of infection--and that the risk of sustained sexual transmission may be low.

Global Reaction to the Recent Outbreaks of Zika Virus: Insights from a Big Data Analysis
PLOS: One, 21 Sept
The recent spreading of Zika virus represents an emerging global health threat. As such, it is attracting public interest worldwide, generating a great amount of related Internet searches and social media interactions. The aim of this research was to understand Zika-related digital behavior throughout the epidemic spreading and to assess its consistence with real-world epidemiological data, using a behavioral informatics and analytics approach.




New case of MERS-CoV found in United Arab Emirates 
CIDRAP, 22 Sept
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported a new case of MERS-CoV to the World Health Organization (WHO), according to a WHO update yesterday.


Bangladesh: Immediate Action Needed to Avert Massive Public Health Disaster
Medecins Sans Frontieres, 21 Sept
A massive scale-up of humanitarian aid is needed in Bangladesh to avoid a public health disaster following the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, warned the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres on Thursday.

France and Italy report more local chikungunya cases
CIDRAP, 22 Sept
France has detected a second local chikungunya cluster, and Italy has reported 75 more local cases in its outbreak, raising the total to 92, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in its latest weekly communicable disease threat report.