News Pouch: 8 May 2017





OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks



China reports 24 more H7N9 avian flu cases, 9 fatal
China continues to see a steady pace of new H7N9 avian flu infections late into the season, with 24 cases reported over the past week, including at least one from a province that had never reported one before.

See also:

CIDRAP Flu Scan - 5 May

  • H3N2v sickens Texas resident who had contact with pigs; US flu ebbs
  • Mexico reports H7N3 recurrence, UK detects H5N8 again


CDC:  2016-2017 Influenza Season Week 17 ending April 29, 2017

During week 17 (April 23-29, 2017), influenza activity decreased in the United States.

The ecology of avian influenza viruses in wild dabbling ducks (Anas spp.) in Canada
PLOS, 5 May
Cumulative number of confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) reported to WHO. 2017; Available: Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus–China.

Mexico: H7N3 avian influenza reported on Jalisco farm
Outbreak News Today, 5 May
An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) serotype H7N3 was reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Friday by Joaquin ...

UK confirms new avian flu case, industry awaits next move
AgraNet, 5 May
UK confirms new avian flu case, industry awaits next move ... UK authorities have confirmed a new case of avian flu in chickens, just days before legally- binding ...



CDC updates Zika test guidance for pregnant women
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today updated its Zika antibody testing guidance for women who live in or travel to affected areas, based on the latest evidence that Zika virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies can persist beyond 12 weeks in some infected patients.

Recurrent Potent Human Neutralizing Antibodies to Zika Virus in Brazil and Mexico
Cell, 4 May
Antibodies to Zika virus (ZIKV) can be protective. To examine the antibody response in individuals who develop high titers of anti-ZIKV antibodies, we screened cohorts in Brazil and Mexico for ZIKV envelope domain III (ZEDIII) binding and neutralization. 

Zika testing recommendations changed for pregnant women
Stat, 5 May

The CDC is also suggesting that pregnant women who have no symptoms of Zika infection but may have been infected should be tested with two different tests at various ...

Even Without Symptoms, Men Could Suffer Lasting Fertility Impacts from Zika
Invisiverse, 6 May

Findings from a mouse study suggest that the Zika virus infection may have serious reproductive consequences for men. Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that often ...

Costa Rica Reports More Cases of Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue
Prensa Latina, 7 May
Costa Rica Reports More Cases of Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue ... Ministry of Health of Costa Rica has reported a total of 142 Zika cases confirmed in the 13 ...


Low-cost, Low-tech Zika Surveillance Tool Developed
Technology Networks, 5 May
To combat potential outbreaks of the Zika virus, some countries have considered using pesticides so strong that they are banned elsewhere. But if you could ...



- WHO MERS-CoV Disease Outbreak News full archive here 
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia and Qatar - 27 April
- Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia - 24 April
- Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Qatar - 4 April
- WHO: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) maps and epicurves - April 2017
- Saudi Arabia MOH Statistics 
- FAO’s MERS-CoV monthly update


Further Evidence for Bats as the Evolutionary Source of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus
mBio, 4 May
The evolutionary origins of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are unknown. Current evidence suggests that insectivorous bats are likely to be the original source, as several 2c CoVs have been described from various species in the family Vespertilionidae.


Ebola vaccines for Guinea and the world

WHO, 6 May
More than 11 000 people in Guinea participated in a WHO-led trial to develop the world’s first vaccine against Ebola virus disease. The ground-breaking trial, which ended in January 2016, resulted in a vaccine that is highly protective against the deadly virus. Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, visited some of the communities who participated in the vaccine trial in the city of Conakry.


With vaccines and vigilance, world better set for future Ebola outbreaks
Reuters, 4 May
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The lessons learned from the world's worst Ebola epidemic and progress made in developing vaccines mean future outbreaks should be far less damaging, health experts said on Thursday. Presidents and ministers ...

According to WHO, another outbreak of Ebola is inevitable. How can we prepare for this?
Ventures Africa, 5 May
Africa has received another warning that an outbreak of the dreaded ebola virus is inevitable. This warning by the World Health Organization, WHO, is to ensure that Africa is not caught unaware anymore. Records show that 28,645 people were infected ...

IBM says big data has provided new insight into how Ebola spread
Healthcare IT News, 5 May
IBM researchers are employing big data analytics to zero in on a group of Ebola virus-infected animal carriers that had not been previously identified.


Op-ed: Africa needs an insurance policy against future epidemics, 5 May
Three of the four viruses CEPI will target initially for vaccine development – Ebola, Nipah virus, Lassa virus and MERS-CoV – are found in Africa. And of the 25 ...

The World Is Not Ready for the Next Pandemic
TIME, 4 May
From Ebola in West Africa to Zika in South America to MERS in the Middle East, dangerous outbreaks are on the rise around the world. The number of new ...

WHO | Unexplained cluster of deaths – Liberia
WHO, 5 May

Disease outbreak news 5 May 2017. On 25 April 2017, the Ministry of Health of Liberia notified WHO and partners of a cluster of sudden deaths of unknown ...

WHO Says Liberia Taking Precautions After Mystery Deaths
Huffington post, 6 May
Liberian health authorities are taking rapid precautionary steps after eight ... Margibi County, has ruled out Ebola virus disease as the cause of the deaths.”.


Cholera in the Americas - Situation Summary
Between epidemiological weeks (EW) 1 and 14 of 2017, a total of 4,871 suspected cholera cases were reported in Haiti, including 69 deaths. During the same period, 62 suspected cholera cases were reported in the Dominican Republic, including two deaths. 

WHO Team Calls for 'Radical' Measures to Control Chikungunya
Dawn group via ReliefWeb, 5 May
A nine-member team of World Health Organisation experts on Thursday recommended to the government to take 'radical' measures to safeguard the city from increasing incidence of chikungunya. The WHO team comprising epidemiologists, entomologists and observers exchanged their findings with Sindh health ministry officials after completing their three-day mission...

Global Mosquito Alert launched to save 2.7 million lives a year
ReliefWeb, 4 May
Alliance of citizen-science organizations and UN Environment will seek to boost the global fight against mosquito-borne diseases, estimated at 500 million cases every year, according to WHO.

UN health agency warns of cholera outbreak in drought-hit Somalia as rainy season starts
UN News, 5 May
Somalia is suffering from the largest cholera outbreak in the past five years and the number of people killed is expected to double by the end of June, the United Nations health agency.The UN World Health Organization (WHO) reported close to 32,000 cases of cholera, including 618 deaths, since the beginning of the year.


Urban green space interventions and health: A review of impacts and effectiveness
WHO, 2017
Interventions on green space in urban settings can help address public health issues related to obesity, cardiovascular effects, mental health and well - being. However, knowledge on the ireffectiveness in relation to health, well-being and equity is incomplete. To explore the effectiveness of urban green space interventions to enhance healthy urban environments..

Urban green spaces and health - a review of evidence
WHO, 2016
This report summarizes the available evidence of beneficial effects of urban green spaces, such as improved mental health, reduced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, obesity and risk of type 2 diabetes, and improved pregnancy outcomes.