Health Security Digest

  • Manila Bulletin

    Dengue in Central Visayas nearing epidemic stage

    7 April 2019 - Manilla Bulletin

    Minerva Newman

    After end­ing its measles vaccination campaign, the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas is turning its attention on the rising number of dengue cases. In a weekly media forum, DOH re­gional medical officer Dr. Ronald Jarvik Buscato said the rise in dengue cases in the region for the period from January 1 to March 30 was alarming. Based on DOH’s comparative analy­sis, dengue cases usually increase every two years. Buscato said the five-year average number of cases is 10 percent higher than is recommended to declare an epidemic.

  • Centres for disease control and prevention

    Southeast Asia Strategic Multilateral Dialogue on Biosecurity

    2 April 2019 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Anita Cicerot al.,

    Numerous risk factors in Southeast Asia increase the vulnerability of this region to natural, deliberate, and accidental biological threats. Countries in the region have made major progress in fighting infectious diseases within their own borders; however, the widespread geographic population distribution—ranging from remote, rural villages to densely populated cities—combined with highly mobile populations (e.g., tourists, migrant workers, displaced persons) and areas of porous international borders create a dynamic human–animal–plant–environment (i.e., One Health) interface that enhances the susceptibility of the region to the emergence and spread of infectious diseases.

  • The Straits Times

    A billion more people risk getting Zika, dengue

    30 March 2019 - The Straits Times

    The analysis tracked the expected movement of two of the most common disease-carrying mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, by looking at predicted future temperatures to gauge risks up to 2050 and to 2080. Those at risk can help lower the threat through measures such as using insect spray, putting screens on windows and removing excess trash and water from around the home... But the more effective way to limit expansion of the diseases is to curb climate change and further develop global programmes aimed at tracking and limiting the spread of mosquitoes. 

  • Stanford researchers develop a simple new blood test for tuberculosis

    29 March 2019 - Stanford University

    Nathan Collins

    Tuberculosis usually attacks patients’ lungs, so to test for the tuberculosis bacteria doctors need to get patients to cough up fluid – the technical term is sputum – from their lungs. Unfortunately, not everyone can cough up sputum. Kids and people with HIV/AIDS, for example, struggle to do so. One way to get around this problem would be to search blood and urine for tuberculosis bacteria DNA. The problem is that there is usually little DNA amidst a sea of proteins and other molecules.

  • The New York Acadmy of Sciences

    Complexities in understanding antimicrobial resistance across domesticated animal, human, and environmental systems

    29 March 2019 - The New York Acadmy of Sciences

    David W. Graham et al.,

    In this article we review research on the nonfoodborne spread of AMR, with a focus on domesticated animals and the environment and possible exposures to humans. Attention is especially placed on delineating possible sources and causes of AMR bacterial phenotypes, including underpinning the genetics important to human and animal health.

  • EurekAlert!

    HIV/tuberculosis co-infection: Tunneling towards better diagnosis

    26 March 2019 - EurekAlert!

    An international team led by researchers at the CNRS and Inserm have revealed that in the presence of tuberculosis, HIV-1 moves from one cell to the next via nanotubes which form between macrophages, drastically increasing the percentage of infected cells. In a case of severe TB, the development of nanotubes between macrophages accelerates, increasing the spread of the AIDS virus and viral production as a result. Because the presence of this specific type of macrophage can be measured, diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from both illnesses could be made easier. This research paves the way to new therapeutic approaches aimed at limiting viral load increases in tuberculosis patients.

  • BMC

    Opinion: India aspiring malaria-free status: the long and short of it

    26 March 2019 - BMC

    Dr Vas Dev

    Malaria elimination is a buzz word and, given the present-day intervention tools, it has become reality. The world malarial map is shrinking with many countries having acquired malaria-free status. Among these, in the South-East Asia Region (SEAR) of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Maldives (2015) and Sri Lanka (2016) have been certified to be malaria free and Bhutan is fast approaching towards elimination in the foreseeable future. However, the road ahead to elimination is fraught with many bottlenecks. So much so that WHO has listed India among 11 ‘high burden to high impact’ countries for contributing 4% of the global malaria burden.

  • DOH fights dengue in Calabarzon areas

    25 March 2019 - Manila Standard

    The Department of Health in Calabarzon has intensified its anti-dengue campaign to bring down the cases of the disease in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon. DOH Calabarzon regional director Eduardo Janairo said local government units are monitoring the increase in dengue cases, adding that all logistics are in place should there be an outbreak.

  • CIDRAP

    Four countries report avian flu outbreaks in poultry

    25 March 2019 - CIDRAP

    In the latest avian flu developments in poultry, China reported a highly pathogenic H7N9 outbreak in zoo birds, Nepal reported three more highly pathogenic H5N1 outbreaks, Iraq reported an event involving highly pathogenic H5N8, and Cambodia reported three outbreaks involving low-pathogenic H7N4.

  • nature

    Effects of dengue immunity on Zika virus infection

    25 March 2019 - Nature

    Stephen S. Whitehead et al.,

    Zika virus (ZIKV) was discovered in Africa in 1947. Its impact on public health seemed restricted to sporadic local outbreaks associated with an illness characterized by mild fever. But in 2013–14, ZIKV was introduced into the Americas, where it spread quickly. The large number of infections that occurred during the resulting epidemic revealed a previously unappreciated link between ZIKV infection of pregnant women and a devastating congenital neurodevelopmental disease in their babies. The analysis of well-characterized study populations in areas where these diseases are endemic, using innovative serological methods, holds great promise for identifying elements of the immune response and mechanisms of disease that will guide the development of countermeasures.

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