News Pouch: 5 July 2017






WHO Ebola Situation report: 2 July NEW

How the Democratic Republic of the Congo Beat Ebola in 42 Days
The Atlantic, 3 July
The symptoms of Ebola are greatly exaggerated in the popular press. It's not a disease of apocalyptic hemorrhaging from every orifice, and symptoms can easily ...

The Ebola Epidemic Defeated in the DRC
Reliefweb, 5 July
The Ministry of Health has declared the end of the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo after 42 days passed ...


Opinion: In a time of high crisis, the humanitarian's work has never been so important
Devex, 3 July
As we saw again in the Ebola crisis in West Africa, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is proof positive that the local dimension adds indispensable value.

Ebola Response in Cities: Learning for Future Public Health Crises
ALNAP, 27 June
This paper aims to share reflections and learning about the urban nature of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak by looking at the case of the urban informal settlement of West Point, Monrovia, Liberia. In doing so, it aims to improve future urban public health responses. It builds on existing learning around the EVD response, focusing on urban issues as a noted gap in the key literature on the response thus far.

Ebola outbreak in Africa ends, gaps in public health leave region vulnerable
Nature, 2 July
The existence of the Ebola assay is a sign that the world’s ability to respond to outbreaks of the virus has improved. But the test was not available where it was needed when Ebola erupted in the DRC, says Rimoin, of the University of California, Los Angeles, who has worked with the Congolese Ministry of Health for 15 years.


OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks



Two African nations report highly pathogenic avian flu outbreaks
CIDRAP, 3 July
Two African nations reported highly pathogenic avian influenza, Togo with its first H5N1 outbreak since 2016 and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which reported nine more H5N8 outbreaks, according to separate reports from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Influenza A(H7N9) virus in China - implications for public health - 7th update
ECDC, 3 July

Since the notification of a novel reassortant influenza A(H7N9) virus on 31 March 2013, 1 548 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus have been reported. This is the fifth winter season in the northern hemisphere with human cases caused by A(H7N9) infections.

France Confirms H5N8 Bird Flu Case Near Belgium Border
ThePoultrySite, 3 July
"A case of highly contagious H5N8 bird flu was confirmed on 30 June on a ... in its southwest region of Les Landes to prevent avian influenza contamination.


H5N2 found in chicken at Taipei market
Taipei Times, 4 July
A chicken slaughtered at a poultry wholesale market in Taipei was confirmed to be infected with the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N2, but other chickens in the same batch were free of the disease, Council of Agriculture officials said yesterday.

Knowledge of Influenza Vaccination Recommendation and Early Vaccination Uptake during the 2015-16 Season Among Adults Aged Greater Than or Equal To 18 Years--United States
Vaccine, 1 July
We analyzed data from the 2015 National Internet Flu Survey, to assess knowledge and awareness of the influenza vaccination recommendation and early influenza vaccination coverage during the 2015-16 season among adults.



Thailand: 11 zika cases confirmed in Phichit, 27 under watch
Bangkok Post, 3 July
Eleven people in Bung Na Rang district of Phichit province are confirmed to be infected with the zika virus while 27 others are being monitored for confirmation, ...


Understanding Zika's silent presence in Africa is key to tackling the next epidemic
The Conversation, 5 July

The 2015 Zika outbreak in South America brought the virus to global attention. But tracing the history of the virus in West Africa can give clues to tackling future ...

With Zika, monsoon fevers more worrying
Times of India, 3 July
Ahmedabad: In the month of June the city witnessed 852 malaria cases, while the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the Zika, chikunguniya and dengue ...




Lebanon reports imported MERS case, virus sickens one more in Saudi Arabia
CIDRAP, 3 July
In other MERS-CoV news, following a surge of hospital-related cases from Riyadh, new cases in Saudi Arabia seem to be slowing, with one illness reported over the past 6 days.


Protecting health from climate change
WHO, July 2017
Climate change undermines access to safe water, adequate food, and clean air, exacerbating the approximately 12.6 million deaths each year that are caused by avoidable environmental risk factors. Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress, and billions of dollars in direct damage costs to health.

Medical alert! Climate change is harming our health
Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, March 2017
This report outlines the ways climate change is adversely affecting American public health, including through extreme heat and weather, air pollution, climate change-induced rises in disease-carrying tick and mosquito populations, water and food contamination, and threats to mental and nutritional health.

European heat, 2017 - Seeking climate change clues in sizzling heat
Climate Central, June 2017
Scientists have confirmed that human-caused climate change played an important role in the excessively-high temperatures that gripped much of Western Europe in June.

FEATURE-With a touch of paint, India's women slum dwellers battle extreme heat
Reuters, 3 July 
As summer heat becomes unbearable, simple measures can help people cope better.

Science, 2017
This research develops a flexible architecture for computing economic damages that integrates climate science, econometric analyses, and process models. The researchers used this approach to construct spatially explicit, probabilistic, and empirically derived estimates of economic damage in the United States from climate change. The combined value of market and nonmarket damage across analyzed sectors—agriculture, crime, coastal storms,...

PAHO reports small increase in chikungunya cases
CIDRAP, 3 July
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in its most recent update reported 488 more chikungunya cases in the Americas. 30 June PAHO update


Statistical modeling and genomics to enhance livestock breeding in Africa
ILRI, 1 July
The increasing demand for animal protein in emerging economies in Africa presents opportunities to sustainably improve livestock productivity. A better understanding of quantitative genetics—the basis of traits controlled by multiple genes in livestock—underpins the development of more successful livestock breeding programs that could accelerate animal protein production and move Africa towards food security.