News Pouch: 9 August 2017





OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks



Flu activity remains high in parts of Southern Hemisphere
The World Health Organization (WHO) released their weekly global flu update, noting that activity remained high in the temperate zone of the Southern Hemisphere and in some countries in Southeast Asia. Influenza A (H3N2) is still the predominate strain worldwide.

H5N8 detected again in Russian poultry
Russia's agriculture ministry reported another highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza outbreak, which struck backyard poultry in Moscow Oblast in the country's east, according to a report today from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

See also:

H5N8 strikes again in Italy, South Africa, UK
The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reported three new highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza outbreaks on turkey farms in Italy's Lombardy region.

Avian flu returns to China's poultry sector | WATTAgNet
Wattagnet, 8 Aug

After an absence of about 18 months, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) returned to the poultry sector in China.

Human Infection with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus, China
CDC EID, 7 Aug
The recent increase in zoonotic avian influenza A(H7N9) disease in China is a cause of public health concern. Most of the A(H7N9) viruses previously reported have been of low pathogenicity. We report the fatal case of a patient in China who was infected with an A(H7N9) virus having a polybasic amino acid sequence at its ...

Preliminary Epidemiology of Human Infections with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus, China, 2017
CDC EID, 7 Aug
We compared the characteristics of cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) A(H7N9) virus infections in China. HPAI A(H7N9) case-patients were more likely to have had exposure to sick and dead poultry in rural areas and were hospitalized earlier than were LPAI A(H7N9) case-patients.

Genesis of Influenza A(H5N8) Viruses
CDC EID, 7 Aug
Highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N8) clade virus emerged in 2016 and spread to Russia, Europe, and Africa. Our analysis of viruses from domestic ducks at Tanguar haor, Bangladesh, showed genetic similarities with other viruses from wild birds in central Asia, suggesting their potential role in the genesis of A(H5N8).



WHO Ebola Situation report: 2 July


CDC exhibit explores Ebola outbreak, aftermath
Fogarty International Center, Aug 2017
Visitors to the CDC museum in Atlanta, Georgia can explore various aspects of the historic 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in a new exhibit. Titled "Ebola: People + Public Health + Political Will," the display describes the early days of the outbreak...

Retinal pigment epithelial cells a potential reservoir for Ebola
Healio, 8 Aug
Human retinal pigment epithelial cells support replication of Ebola virus and release the virus in high titer, according to researchers who studied live Ebola virus ...


Ebola Detected in Survivors' Semen 2 Years After Infection
Infectious Disease Special Edition, 8 Aug
This potential was confirmed during the 2013 to 2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, when two cases of Ebola transmission were almost certainly linked to ...

Controversial Ebola Vaccine Trials in Ghana: A Thematic Analysis of Critiques and Rebuttals in Digital News
Bio Med Central, 7 Aug
Communication is of paramount importance in responding to health crises. We studied the media messages put forth by different stakeholders in two Ebola vaccine trials that became controversial in Ghana. These interactions between health authorities, political actors, and public citizens can offer key lessons for future research.

Development of a Set of Community-informed Ebola Messages for Sierra Leone
PLOS: Neglected Tropical Diseases, 7 Aug
The West African Ebola epidemic of 2013-2016 was by far the largest outbreak of the disease on record. Sierra Leone suffered nearly half of the 28,646 reported cases. This paper presents a set of culturally contextualized Ebola messages that are based on the findings of qualitative interviews and focus group discussions ...




Characteristics of Dysphagia in Infants with Microcephaly Caused by Congenital Zika Virus Infection, Brazil, 2015
CDC EID, 7 Aug
We summarize the characteristics of dysphagia in 9 infants in Brazil with microcephaly caused by congenital Zika virus infection. The Schedule for Oral Motor Assessment, fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, and the videofluoroscopic swallowing study were used as noninstrumental and instrumental assessments.

Zika Virus Infection in Patient with No Known Risk Factors, Utah, USA, 2016
CDC EID, 7 Aug
In 2016, Zika virus disease developed in a man (patient A) who had no known risk factors beyond caring for a relative who died of this disease (index patient). We investigated the source of infection for patient A by surveying other family contacts, healthcare personnel, and community members, and testing samples for Zika virus.

Real-Time Evolution of Zika Virus Disease Outbreak, Roatán, Honduras
CDC EID, 7 Aug
A Zika virus disease outbreak occurred in Roatán, Honduras, during September 2015–July 2016. Blood samples and clinical information were obtained from 183 patients given a clinical diagnosis of suspected dengue virus infection. A total of 79 patients were positive for Zika virus, 13 for chikungunya virus, and 6 for dengue virus.

Early Evidence for Zika Virus Circulation among Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
CDC EID; 7 Aug
During 2014–2016, we conducted mosquito-based Zika virus surveillance in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Results suggest that Zika virus was probably introduced into the area during May–November 2013 via multiple in-country sources. Furthermore, our results strengthen the hypothesis that Zika virus in the Americas originated in Brazil during October 2012–May 2013.

Why Did Zika Not Explode in Cuba? The Role of Active Community Participation to Sustain Control of Vector-Borne Diseases
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Aug 2017
As the global public health community develops strategies for sustainable Zika prevention and control, assessment of the Cuban response to Zika provides critical lessons learned. Cuba's early and successful response to Zika, grounded in the country's long-standing dengue prevention and control program, serves as a model of rapid mobilization of intersectoral efforts.




MERS infects 7 more in Saudi Arabia, some part of hospital cluster
So far nine cases have been reported in the cluster, though illnesses reports continue from other parts of Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Arabia reported five new MERS-CoV cases over the past 2 days, one of them fatal, and three of the illnesses appear to be linked to a healthcare-related cluster in Dumah Al Jandal in the country's northwest.



Ivory Coast reports growing dengue outbreak
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported late last week that Ivory Coast's capital city, Abidjan, is experiencing a dengue outbreak. As of Jul 11, there have been 623 suspected cases, including 2 deaths.

Americas countries report more chikungunya cases
Countries in the Americas reported 697 more suspected, confirmed, and imported chikungunya cases last week, most of them from Panama, which added 4 week's worth of cases, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said in its latest regular update.

Here's How We Can Stop Planes From Becoming Total Cesspools of Infection
ScienceAlert-7 Aug 2017
As a case study, the team applied their hybrid model to a hypothetical case of an Ebola infection, so see how this close-contact disease might propagate through ...

UNDP and UNICEF to promote emergency preparedness among Iraqi children
ReliefWeb, 3 Aug
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are joining efforts to conduct child-centric advocacy and promote school-based preparedness along the Tigris River flood path in Iraq. The two sister agencies signed a partnership agreement in this regard in Baghdad.