Health Security Digest

  • UNSW Sydney tops ARC Research Hub grants

    19 August 2019 - UNSW

    Lucy Carroll

    More than $8 million worth of ARC grants have been awarded to two UNSW projects that will involve research into the major global challenges of antibiotic resistance and recyclable waste. The two UNSW projects, which were awarded funding over five years, will tackle critical challenges facing Australians, including antimicrobial resistance and finding solutions to global waste and recycling issues. 

  • Taiwan to begin checking all carry-on bags from Philippines for African swine fever

    18 August 2019 - Taiwan News

    All travelers from the Philippines will have their carry-on baggage checked during entry to Taiwan starting Monday (Aug. 19) as a precaution against African Swine Fever (ASF). ASF cases have been detected in Bulacan and Rizal Province of the Philippines, even though the authorities have not reported the cases to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). 

  • Medical press

    Monkey malaria breakthrough offers cure for relapsing malaria

    15 August 2019 - Medical Press

    Liane Topham-Kindley

    A breakthrough in monkey malaria research by two University of Otago scientists could help scientists diagnose and treat a relapsing form of human malaria. Dr. Adelina Chua and Jessica Ong have cracked an in vitro method for culturing a monkey malaria parasite which is closely related to the relapsing vivax parasite. "We can't culture vivax malaria, but now we can culture its almost identical sister species which gives us an unprecedented opportunity to develop and rapidly test new antimalarials," Ms Ong, a doctoral candidate from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, explains.

  • Outbreak news

    Thailand dengue case count nears 50,000

    15 August 2019 - Outbreak News

    Thailand health officials reported an additional 4,500 dengue fever cases during the past week, which has brought the total case tally to 49,174 cases with 64 deaths, according to a Chiang Rai Times report. This has prompted the Health Minister to order preventive measures against dengue fever to include requiring the healthcare sector to report the number of new infections to contain the outbreak. Local authorities and volunteers will spray chemicals to kill mosquitoes and pubic members are advised to destroy mosquito-breeding grounds around their houses.

  • News Asia & Pacific

    Dengue fever kills 48, infects over 10,700 people in Myanmar

    14 August 2019 - Xinhua

    Via CIDRAP

    10,757 people were infected by Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) across Myanmar in the past seven months, according to a release from the Public Health Department under the Ministry of Health and Sports on Wednesday. As of July 27, Ayeyarwady region registered highest numbers of DHF infection cases with 1,974 cases and five deaths, followed by Yangon region with 1,788 cases and 15 deaths, the department's figures said.

  • TB Alliance

    FDA Approves New Treatment for Highly Drug-Resistant Forms of Tuberculosis

    14 August 2019 - TB Alliance

    Pretomanid, a novel compound developed by the non-profit organization TB Alliance, was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) today for treating some of the most drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis (TB). TB, in all forms, must be treated with a combination of drugs; the most drug-sensitive forms of TB require six months of treatment using four anti-TB drugs. Treatment of XDR-TB or treatment-intolerant/non-responsive MDR-TB has historically been lengthy and complex; most XDR-TB patients currently take a combination of as many as eight antibiotics, some involving daily injections, for 18 months or longer. Prior to recent introduction of new drugs for drug-resistant TB, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported estimates for treatment success rates of XDR-TB therapy at approximately 34 percent and about 55 percent for MDR-TB therapy. Pretomanid is only the third new anti-TB drug approved for use by FDA in more than 40 years, as well as the first to be developed and registered by a not-for-profit organization.

  • Pacific Health Ministers address health consequences of a changing climate

    14 August 2019 - Pacific Community

    The health impacts of a changing climate were a focus of last week’s 13th Pacific Health Ministers Meeting, with ministers acknowledging the ‘climate crisis’, and endorsing a roadmap to address climate-related threats to safe drinking water, sufficient food, resilient health infrastructure, and secure shelter in the Pacific. Health security - an essential requirement in one of the most disaster-prone regions - was also a key focus, with ministers committing to develop and fund national health security action plans to fill gaps in emergency preparedness and response capacities, and sustain gains already made.

  • CEPI announces support for fourth Nipah virus vaccine

    12 August 2019 - CEPI

    Via CIDRAP

    The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Public Health Vaccines (PHV), LLC, have announced a partnership agreement worth up to $43.6 million to support the development and manufacturing of a Nipah virus vaccine. The vaccine uses a weakened version of the recombinant vesicular stomatitis (rVSV) that expresses a Nipah virus protein on its surface, which prompts protection against the virus. CEPI was founded in the wake of West Africa's Ebola outbreak as a novel way to fund and speed the development of new vaccines against emerging infectious diseases, especially Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Nipah virus, and Lassa virus. CEPI has so far committed to investing $456 million in vaccine development. 

  • International Society for Infectious Diseases

    Animal influenza virus infections in humans: a commentary

    8 August 2019 - International Society for Infectious Diseases

    Laura K. Borkenhagen, et al.,

    Here we review evidence for influenza A viruses (IAVs) moving from swine, avian, feline, equine, and canine species to infect humans. The aggregated data point to industrialized swine farming as the most likely source of future pandemic viruses, yet IAV surveillance on such farms is remarkably sparse. Collaborative partnerships with human medical researchers could aid in efforts to mitigate emerging virus threats by offering new surveillance and diagnostic technologies to livestock farming industries.

  • Medical press

    Nordic researchers: A quarter of the world's population at risk of developing tuberculosis

    5 August 2019 - Medical Press

    A new study from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University, Denmark, has shown that probably 1 in 4 people in the world carry the tuberculosis bacterium in the body. The researchers have reviewed 88 scientific studies from 36 different countries, and on the basis of this epidemiological evidence they have estimated a prevalence also in those countries where no studies are available, additionally they have calculated the approximate total global prevalence. It has previously been estimated that somewhere between one-third and one-fourth have , but the new study, which is based on tests from 351,811 individuals, indicates that it is between one-fifth and one-fourth, depending on the test method used.

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