News Pouch: 27 September 2017



7 biggest trends to emerge from Global Goals Week
Devex, 25 Sept
No single story can encapsulate one of the most frenetic and wide-ranging weeks on the global development calendar. While humanitarian agencies fight for safe passage and better opportunities for people fleeing conflict, a multinational consumer goods company might unveil its commitment to use digital payments...




Sierra Leone taps global cholera vaccine stockpile to prevent outbreak
Devex, 25 Sept
A portion of the world's cholera vaccine stockpile is being used in Sierra Leone following an August mudslide that killed more than 400 people. Over the next two weeks, under the guidance of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, an estimated 1 million doses will be administered during a campaign to vaccinate 500,000 Sierra Leoneans.

Amid cholera outbreak in north-east Nigeria, UN steps up aid, warns pregnant women most vulnerable
UN News Centre, 26 Sept
New patient being admitted and washed with chlorinated water in the cholera treatment centre run by the Borno state Ministry of Health in northern Nigeria and ...


At the UN, usual optimism swapped for hopelessness on Yemen
Quartz, 26 Sept
A massive cholera outbreak caused by collapsed water and sanitation systems is growing worse—and water provided by humanitarian groups isn't nearly ...


Yemen - Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #16, Fiscal Year (FY) 2017
ReliefWeb, 25 Sept
UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) plan to use the new assistance to address Yemen's food security crisis and unprecedented cholera ...


WHO warns of cholera outbreak in Bangladesh camps
Press TV, 25 Sept
The army claims Rohingya militant attacks prompted a military “cleansing operation,” but numerous reports, including by United Nations (UN) officials and ...


OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks


Antiviral combo cuts flu virus shedding but not symptoms
CIDRAP, 25 Sept
A new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases suggests that a triple combination of antivirals reduced the number of days the influenza virus was shed from participants compared with treatment of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) alone but did not did not provide a clinical benefit to patients.

See the study: Oseltamivir, amantadine, and ribavirin combination antiviral therapy versus oseltamivir monotherapy for the treatment of influenza: a multicentre, double-blind, randomised phase 2 trial

CIDRAP Flu Scan - 26 Sept
New avian flu outbreaks reported in France, Switzerland
In the latest avian flu developments, France reported a low-pathogenic H5N3 outbreak at a turkey farm and Switzerland detected highly pathogenic H5N8 in a pair of wild swans, according to new notifications from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Plant-based VLP flu vaccine reaches phase 3 clinical trials
A plant-based quadrivalent (four-strain) flu vaccine has entered phase 3 clinical trials, according to Medicago, a Canadian-based pharmaceutical company. The virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine is called Medicago QIV candidate.

11 Pigs at Frederick County Fair Test Positive for Influenza A
Avian Flu Diary, 25 Sept
Yesterday, in Updating The Maryland Swine Variant H3N2v Outbreak, we looked at reports from the Maryland Health Department that the number of human H3N2v infections reported since the middle of last week had increased to 10, and a media report that a Sick Pig and Child Causes Shut Down Of Frederick Co. Fair Pig Exhibit.

Reports of HPAI H5N6 In Vietnam, H7N7 In South Korea
Avian Flu Diary, 26 Sept

Today we've two media reports of avian flu activity; one from Vietnam and one from South Korea. ... Appear outbreak of influenza A / H5N6 in poultry in Kontum...

Australian Biotech Leads New Hope for Influenza Control
Business Wire, 26 Sept
Preclinical results also showed that the drug compounds are highly effective against the avian influenza viruses H5N1 (“Bird Flu”) and H7N9, both which have ...



Researchers identify novel way to target Ebola
EurekAlert, 26 Sept
Researchers have identified a potential new way to attack Ebola. Scientists have discovered that a protein called Tim-1 (T-cell immunoglobulin and ...


Scientists unlock mysteries of how Ebola uses people's immune defenses to cause infection
ScienceDaily, 26 Sept

Scientists have gained new insight into how the Ebola virus uses the body's natural defenses to speed the rate of infection and unleash its lethal disease, ...


Scientists identify dengue antibody that protects against Zika
CIDRAP, 26 Sept
The antibody protected both adult and fetal mice against Zika infection.


A Single-Dose Live-Attenuated Vaccine Prevents Zika Virus Pregnancy Transmission and Testis Damage
Nature Communications, 22 Sept
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause congenital abnormities or fetal demise. The persistence of Zika virus in the male reproductive system poses a risk of sexual transmission.




Study shows 5% rate of MERS healthcare worker spread in Saudi outbreak
CIDRAP, 26 Sept
After a nurse was infected with MERS-CoV in a Saudi Arabian hospital in 2015, investigators determined that 4.6% of healthcare worker (HCW) contacts eventually contracted the virus, according to a study yesterday in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC).

See the study: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus transmission among health care workers: Implication for infection control

Saudi Arabia identifies first new MERS cases in weeks
CIDRAP, 25 Sept
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) reported two new cases of MERS-CoV in Al Hofuf late last week, one of which was fatal. These are the first cases reported by the MOH in 10 days.


Battered Puerto Rico Hospitals on Life Support After Hurricane Maria
Reuters, 25 Sept
Puerto Rico's medical services are in critical condition in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The strongest storm to hit the island in decades has left hospitals flooded, strewn with rubble and dependent on diesel generators to keep the neediest patients alive.

'If Anyone Can Hear Us...Help.' Puerto Rico's Mayors Describe Widespread Devastation from Hurricane Maria 
Washington Post, 23 Sept
In the northern Puerto Rican town of Vega Baja, the floodwaters reached more than 10 feet. Stranded residents screamed "save me, save me," using the lights in their cellphones to help rescue teams find them in the darkness, the town's mayor said.


Voices from the Storm
Texas Monthly, Sept 2017
The story of Hurricane Harvey, as told by 28 Texans who helped their state through its darkest hour.


Harvey. Irma. Maria. Why is this Hurricane Season So Bad?
Washington Post, 23 Sept
The 2017 hurricane season has been a full-on assault from Mother Nature. We are under siege, and our attackers have benign names like Harvey and Irma and Maria. But they are callous, powerful, indiscriminate, terrifying, destructive, merciless and relentless.

To predict how climate change will affect disease, researchers must fuse climate science and biology
PreventionWeb, 15 Sept
Predicting how climate change will affect the incidence of infectious diseases would have great public health benefits. But the relationship between climate and disease is extraordinarily complex, making such predictions difficult. Simply identifying correlations and statistical associations between climatic factors and disease won’t be enough, said Princeton University researcher Jessica Metcalf.

PAHO reports 37,000 new chikungunya cases in the Americas
CIDRAP, 25 Sept
Fueled almost entirely by a large increase in Brazil, chikungunya cases in the Americas jumped by more than 37,000 last week, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said in its weekly update. See Sep 22 PAHO update

Vietnam: Dengue Cases Near 125,000 in 2017
Outbreak News Today, 25 Sept
The number of dengue fever cases in Vietnam near 125,000 through mid-September 2017, a more than 40 percent increase over the same period in 2016. This includes 29 fatalities. The good news is health officials do say the number of new dengue cases has declined nearly 24 per cent nationwide over the past four weeks.