News Pouch: 8 September 2017new





OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks


Deadly Bird Flu In China Evolves, Spreads To New Regions
NPR, 7 Sept
A patient with the H7N9 avian flu is treated in a hospital in Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province, in February of this year. The 2017 outbreak was the ...

Latest H7N9 epidemic biggest yet, new vaccines sought
Healio, 7 Sept
The latest H7N9 avian influenza epidemic to affect China is by far largest and most widespread, with 759 cases reported as of Aug. 7, according to researchers.


South Africa: Update On Avian Influenza in the Western Cape, 8 Sept
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities and the state vet team briefed media on the current regional outbreak of avian influenza in the province.


Meta-analysis shows better performance for newer rapid flu tests
CIDRAP, 6 Sept
Newer commercially available rapid tests for diagnosing influenza A and B are much more sensitive than traditional rapid tests and are just as specific, a Canadian-led research team reported yesterday in Annals of Internal Medicine (see below). 

Sep 5 Ann Intern Med study: Diagnostic Accuracy of Novel and Traditional Rapid Tests for Influenza Infection Compared With Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Sep 5 Ann Intern Med editorial: Contemporary Influenza Diagnostics: Renewed Focus on Testing Patients

Update: Increase in Human Infections with Novel Asian Lineage Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Viruses During the Fifth Epidemic — China, October 1, 2016–August 7, 2017
CDC, 7 Sept

Among all influenza viruses assessed using CDC’s Influenza Risk Assessment Tool (IRAT), the Asian lineage avian influenza A(H7N9) virus (Asian H7N9), first reported in China in March 2013,* is ranked as the influenza virus with the highest potential pandemic risk...


WHO seeks input on health worker PPE for viral hemorrhagic fever
CIDRAP, 7 Sept
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a draft of a preferred product profile for personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers responding to Ebola and other viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks.

WHO: Global Open consultation for innovative Personal Protective Equipment
Preferred Product Characteristics for Personal Protective Equipment for the Healthcare Worker on the Frontline Responding to Ebola Virus and Haemorrhagic Fever Outbreaks in Tropical Climate.

Ecological Niche Modeling for Filoviruses: A Risk Map for Ebola and Marburg Virus Disease Outbreaks in Uganda
PLOS: Currents Outbreaks, 5 Sept
Uganda has reported 8 outbreaks caused by filoviruses between 2000 to 2016, more than any other country in the world. We used species distribution modeling to predict where filovirus outbreaks are likely to occur in Uganda to help in epidemic preparedness and surveillance.




Study: Zika damages ganglion cells in retina, leading to vision problems
CIDRAP, 7 Sept
A study today in JAMA Ophthalmology suggests that congenital infection with the Zika virus interferes with the correct formation of the retina's ganglion cell layer (GCL), leading to lasting vision problems.Sep 7 JAMA Ophthalmol study

Zika virus could shrink brain tumors in adults new research suggests
USA Today, 6 Sept

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine found the Zika virus killed ...





WHO | Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

WHO, 6 Sept

Between 13 and 30 August 2017, the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported 12 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), including one death and, and one death from a previously reported case.

Two new Saudi MERS cases announced as WHO details household cluster
CIDRAP, 6 Sept
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) reported two new cases of MERS-CoV yesterday and today.

See also: Saudi Arabia reports new MERS case in Riyadh
CIDRAP, 7 Sept
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) reported another new case of MERS-CoV in Riyadh today.


Mexico Earthquake: Hurricane Katia THREAT as Mexico faces faces aftershocks and tsunamis..., 8 Sept
MEXICO is being hit by a wave of natural disasters as the shock of the 8.2 magnitude quake off its Pacific coast is due to be compounded by the ...


HHS Security Price Declares Public Health Emergency in Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands Due to Hurricane Irma
HHS, 6 Sept
Following the lead of President Trump's emergency declarations for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, today declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands as Hurricane Irma continues its track in the Caribbean.

Hurricane Irma: WHO taking measures to provide support
WHO, 7 Sept
WHO country offices in the Caribbean are taking preventive measures to provide the necessary support to the authorities, and a team of infrastructure, engineering, and administrative specialists has been prepared to support the immediate assessment and response to the impact of countries located on the path of hurricane Irma.

Hurricane's Health Toll: A Texas Doctor Taps Lessons from Katrina
Kaiser Health News, 6 Sept
As Dr. Ruth Berggren digests the calamity affecting her new home state of Texas, she admits to some PTSD. In 2005, she was an infectious-disease doctor at the nearly 3,000-bed Charity Hospital in New Orleans, one of a small number of physicians left managing patients and performing triage in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

As Texas hospitals learned in the wake of Harvey, preparedness key to protecting lives
MH, 2 Sept
Last week, Houston-area hospitals displayed great resiliency as they faced catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey's relentless rains over several days. However, some vital hospital services - understandably - experienced significant disruptions.


Brazil declares end to yellow fever outbreak
Xinhua, 6 Sept
Brazil's Ministry of Health on Wednesday declared an end to the outbreak of yellow fever, which began last December, saying that no cases have been reported since June. According to the ministry's latest bulletin, 777 cases of yellow fever were confirmed from December 2016 to August 2017, leading to 261 deaths.

Sierra Leone to Begin Cholera Vaccination Drive in Disaster-Affected Areas
Gavi and UNICEF, 5 Sept
Half a million people in Sierra Leone will be able to access the life-saving cholera vaccine within weeks, the country's Ministry of Health and Sanitation announced on Tuesday.

What Is Fuelling Yemen's Cholera Epidemic?
Al Jazeera, 5 Sept
With Yemen mired in the third year of a war led by Saudi Arabia and its allies, the country's population is facing a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions. More than 20 million Yemenis require humanitarian support, with nearly half of those in acute need of assistance, according to the UN.


Event Invitation: The Global Health Security Agenda: Public & Private Partnerships
When: Thursday, September 14, 2017 12:00 pm
Where: ONE UN New York Hotel
RSVP: Please RSVP by September 8, 2017