News Pouch: 7 August 2017





OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks



Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China
WHO, 7 Aug
On 11, 14, and 21 July 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) notified WHO of three individual laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China.

Southern Africa pursues coordinated response to Avian Influenza Outbreak
FAO, 3 Aug

Johannesburg – The recent outbreaks of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), commonly referred to as the bird flu, are threatening the ...

H5N8 outbreaks in southern Africa prompt strategy talks
The latest outbreak affects a farm housing almost 400,000 poultry.

Ahead of Print -Monitoring Avian Influenza Viruses from Chicken Carcasses Sold at Markets, China, 2016
CDC EID, 2 Aug

During 2016 in Guangzhou, China, we detected infectious avian influenza viruses (AIVs) in 39.8% of samples from chicken carcasses slaughtered at live poultry ...

Serological survey of avian influenza virus infection of unvaccinated ...
Science Direct, 2 Aug

To investigate serologically the presence of avian influenza virus (AIV) in backyard chickens from Mandlhakazi district, Southern Mozambique.A total of 439 ...



WHO Ebola Situation report: 2 July

Ebola scare shows that the world is still not ready for a major disease outbreak
STAT, 4 Aug
hen cases of Ebola were detected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in May, local officials moved swiftly and global resources were rushed to help them.

Ebola Mutation Map Suggests the Virus May Evolve to Become More Lethal, 5 Aug

Microbiologist Stanley Falkow is credited with saying, "The goal of every bacterium is to become bacteria." Similarly, the goal of every pathogen is to infect a new host. Pathogenic microbes face an evolutionary trade-off: On the one hand, they want to be as nasty as possible, because the nastier they are, often the easier it is to spread from one host to the next.

60 Minutes investigates medical gear sold during Ebola crisis
CBS News, 6 Aug
During the last major outbreak of the Ebola virus in 2014, more than 500 health care workers died of the disease, and something called Personal Protective ...

Ebola virus RNA can persist in semen of survivors two years after infection, researchers say, 2 Aug
Ebola virus RNA can persist in the semen of survivors more than two years after the onset of infection researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel ...




NIH Scientists Track Zika Virus Transmission in Mice
NIH, 3 Aug
NIH scientists have developed a mouse model to study Zika virus transmitted sexually from males to females, as well as vertically from a pregnant female to her fetus. They are using the model to study how and when the virus is spread, including how the virus crosses the placenta, as well as to investigate potential treatments to block virus transmission.

Sexual Transmission & Prevention | Zika Virus
CDC, 2 Aug

Zika Can Be Passed Through Sex. Infected People Can Pass Zika Through Sex Even When They Don’t Have Symptoms. Pregnant couples at risk for Zika should use condoms or not have sex for their entire pregnancy.

Sealed with a Kiss — Can Zika Be Transmitted Through Saliva?
Invisiverse, 5 Aug
A new study shows the Zika virus is present in saliva — but it may not be enough to make you sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes there ...


Singapore: Second Zika cluster reported at Serangoon North Avenue 1
Channel NewsAsia, 4 Aug
SINGAPORE: A second Zika cluster has been reported at Serangoon North Avenue 1, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Friday (Aug 4).





New MERS case, death reported in Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) identified a new case of MERS-CoV in Jeddah today and said a patient identified earlier this week has died from complications of the virus.

WHO - MERS-CoV Situation update on Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, July 2017Highlights, July 2017
At the end of July 2017, a total of 2045 laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), including 733 deaths (case–fatality rate: 35.8%) were reported globally; the majority of these cases were reported from Saudi Arabia (1676 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 659 deaths with a case–fatality rate of 39.3%).


ECDC tool for the prioritisation of infectious disease threats
ECDC, 7 Aug
This qualitative tool, implemented as an Excel workbook, is based on multi-criteria decision analysis. It ranks infectious disease threats in a transparent, comparable and methodologically reproducible manner. The tool enables the relative ranking of different infectious disease threats. It is intended as a supplement to other methods that also support decision-making in preparedness planning.

Novel anthrax type causes wildlife deaths
A research letter in Nature yesterday said that up to 40% of all animal deaths in the Ivory Coast's Tai National Park were caused by an unusual strain of the bacteria that causes anthrax. The strain, Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis, could even lead to extinction of the park's chimpanzee population, researchers said.

Increasing Airline Travel May Facilitate Co-circulation of Multiple Dengue Virus Serotypes in Asia
PLOS: Neglected Tropical Diseases, 3 Aug
The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades worldwide, especially in Southeast Asia and the Americas with substantial transmission in 2014-2015. Yet the mechanisms underlying the spatio-temporal circulation of dengue virus serotypes at large geographical scales remain elusive.

Health Security is as Important to America's Future as Border Security
Quartz, 1 Aug
The US government rightly spends many billions of dollars to protect the nation from terrorism and other security threats. But it's just as important to guard against another category of threats--infectious diseases--which cause enormous loss of life and damage our economy. Research into new therapies and funding for global health programs are essential for keeping our citizens healthy and reducing illnesses that destabilize other nations and create refugee crises.


CDC to invest millions in enhanced antibiotic resistance testing
Funds will help combat resistance, launch a TB surveillance center.

Wellcome and Gates Foundation to support new global body to tackle superbugs
Wellcome, 10 July
Hamburg, 8 July 2017 – G20 leaders have announced a new global body to oversee discovery and development of urgently needed new antimicrobials to tackle the rising threat of drug-resistant infections.

Participation of Women and Children in Hunting Activities in Sierra Leone and Implications for Control of Zoonotic Infections
PLOS: Neglected Tropical Diseases, 27 July
The emergence of infectious diseases of zoonotic origin highlights the need to understand social practices at the animal-human interface. This study provides a qualitative account of interactions between humans and wild animals in predominantly Mende villages of southern Sierra Leone.