News Pouch: 6 September 2017





OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks



Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China
WHO, 5 Sept
On 4 August 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) notified WHO of one additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China.

WHO: Global Influenza Update
WHO, 4 Sept
In the temperate zone of the southern hemisphere and in some countries of South and South East Asia, high levels of influenza activity continued to be reported. In Central America and the Caribbean influenza activity continued to be reported in a few countries. Influenza activity remained at low levels in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere. Worldwide, influenza A(H3N2) viruses are predominating.

CIDRAP Flu Scan - 5 Sept
  • Working group calls for better research for maternal influenza
  • Flu still rising in Australia; levels high in parts of Asia
  • H5N8 avian flu strikes more poultry and other species in South Africa


From Original Antigenic Sin to the Universal Influenza Virus Vaccine
Trends in Immunology, 1 Sept
Antibody responses are essential for protection against influenza virus infection. Humans are exposed to a multitude of influenza viruses throughout their lifetime and it is clear that immune history influences the magnitude and quality of the antibody response.


Massive Ebola Data Site Planned to Combat Outbreaks
Nature, 4 Sept
More than 11,000 people died when Ebola tore through West Africa between 2014 and 2016, and yet clinicians still lack data that would enable them to reliably identify the disease when a person first walks into a clinic. To fill that gap and others before the next outbreak hits, researchers are developing a platform to organize and share Ebola data that have so far been scattered beyond reach.

From Ebola to mudslides, Sierra Leone learns painful disaster lessons
Reuters, 5 Sept

Experience gained taming West Africa’s Ebola outbreak is helping Sierra Leone deal with its recent mudslide disaster, but urgent action is needed to prevent future catastrophes, experts say. ... Humanitarian workers and others are drawing on




Zika virus used to treat aggressive brain cancer
BBC News, 5 Sept
Until now, Zika has been seen only as a global health threat - not a remedy. But latest research shows the virus can selectively infect and kill hard-to-treat ...

We may be able to use Zika virus to attack brain cancer cells
New Scientist, 5 Sept

Zika can cause babies to be born with severe brain damage – but we may be able to harness the virus to fight brain tumours in adults. ... Jeremy Rich at the University of California, San Diego, and his team have tested the Zika virus on glioblastoma, the most common kind of brain ...

Sanofi halts work on Zika vaccine amid federal funding cuts
CIDRAP, 5 Sept
The vaccine it has been developing with Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has been halted.

Increased Rates of Guillain-Barre Syndrome Associated with Zika Virus Outbreak in the Salvador Metropolitan Area, Brazil
PLOS: Neglected tropical Diseases, 30 Aug
In mid-2015, Salvador, Brazil, reported an outbreak of GBS, coinciding with the introduction and spread of ZIKV. We found that GBS incidence during April-July 2015 among those greater than or equal to 12 years of age was 5.6 cases/100,000 population/year and increased markedly with increasing age to 14.7 among those greater than or equal to 60 years of age.





New case of MERS in Saudi Arabia linked to camels
CIDRAP, 5 Sept
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) noted a new case of MERS-CoV over the weekend in a person who had direct contact with camels, a known risk factor for the virus.


  Yemen's cholera epidemic hits 600000, confounding expectations

Reuters, 5 Sept

GENEVA (Reuters) - Yemen's cholera outbreak has infected 612,703 people and killed 2,048 since it began in April, and some districts are still ...

With adjustment in Brazil, chikungunya totals in the Americas drop 28,000
CIDRAP, 5 Sept
In ruling out more than 28,000 suspected chikungunya cases, Brazil has dropped its case count considerably, leading to a substantial drop in overall cases in the Americas this year, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said late last week in its most recent update.


Floods in Africa in August killed 25 times more people than Hurricane Harvey did
Quartz, 4 Sept
The rainy season is usually welcomed in parts of Africa as a timely break from the heat of the dry season. But so far, in 2017, the rains have given way to flood ...



Sierra Leone to begin cholera vaccination drive in disaster-affected areas
World Health Organization, 5 Sept
Sierra Leone to begin cholera vaccination drive in disaster-affected areas ... Gavi, WHO, UNICEF and partners are working with the Ministry of Health and ...


Thousands hit by malaria, dengue as S Asia's worst floods in a decade recede
Reuters via ReliefWeb, 6 Sept
About 13,000 people are ill with diarrhoea and respiratory infections in Bangladesh after floods in its north. In Nepal, 26,944 cases of illness have been reported by district health facilities.