Building tuberculosis awareness in low-risk countries
On a global scale, the impact of tuberculosis in Australia is small — the country holds just over 1,400 of the 10 million people affected annually. But experts believe that this lack of exposure to TB among Australians — including medical practitioners — is reducing TB awareness among the community. And this is playing an important role in limiting the advocacy to pressure governments into greater action.
Effects of dengue immunity on Zika virus infection
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.
Opinion: The UN’s Political Declaration on the fight against Tuberculosis must be operationalized to rapid effect
Given the Political Declaration on the Fight against TB that was subsequently endorsed, and which sets a series of interim targets crucial to ending TB by or before 2030, that truth is especially significant. There is not a moment to lose in recognizing and acting on it. In fulfilling the Declaration’s targets, the WHO South-East Asia Region will do much of the heavy lifting. Not only does the Region account for almost half of the 10 million people who contract TB every year; it also makes up more than 50% of the 1.27 million TB deaths which, when TB-HIV mortality is accounted for, is estimated to be 1.6 million annually.
Opinion: Ending tuberculosis: we can get there with a new roadmap
Robert W. Eisinger and Anthony S. Fauci
Two recent events have nudged tuberculosis, the leading infectious cause of death around the word, onto the world stage. The first was the World Health Organization’s Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB, which was held in Moscow in 2017. The second was the United Nations High Level Meeting on tuberculosis in September 2018. At that seminal gathering of national leaders, a political declaration laid out two goals to achieve by 2022: prevent at least 30 million people from becoming ill with TB, and successfully treating 40 million people who are already infected with the disease.
TB threat a risk to our wellbeing
According to the Angau Memorial General Hospital’s 2017 Annual Report, the TB DOTS Clinic in 2014 attended to a total of 6978 TB patients, then 6805 patients in 2015. In 2016 the clinic attended to a total of 8892 which increased to 10,945 in 2017. And PNG is recognised by the World Health Organisation as having a ‘high TB burden’.That is definitely a health security issue for PNG to deal with.
399 districts identified as high risk areas for bird flu
According to the national plan on avian influenza prevention and control from 2019 to 2025 approved recently by the Prime Minister, the high-risk districts are those that fall into at least one of three categories. As many as 399 districts across Vietnam have been identified as high risk areas for the outbreak of bird flu.According to the agriculture ministry, over 12 million households across the country raise poultry, mostly on a small scale, which is said to cause difficulties in applying synchronised disease-free production measures.
Areas Kenya will partner with Thailand in UHC roll out
Kenya will partner with Thailand in four key areas in its bid to roll out Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Strengthening of health systems will include short courses where people from Kenya will be facilitated to study in Thailand and vice versa. The courses will include apprenticeships, short courses and masters in various fields or healthcare management and administration. The two countries have signed a memorandum of understanding that will run between 2019 and 2021.
Thais urged to get flu shot
Thais are being urged to get an influenza vaccination as almost 100,000 people have been infected so far this year and at least six have died. Dr Tawee Chotepittayasunont, president of the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Society of Thailand, said on Friday that the number of child patients is nine times higher than adults. “As a precaution, it is best to take a vaccine shot,” Tawee said. The Disease Control Department found that as many as 99,087 people came down with influenza between January 1 and March 18, he said.
Report highlights success, challenges in fight to end TB
Analysts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported today that overall tuberculosis (TB) incidence and mortality continue to decline throughout Europe, but trends among countries vary widely, and multidrug-resistant (MDR)-TB remains a major concern. Although the decline in the notification rate is significant, the authors of the report point out that the 2030 target is a notification rate of 2.4 per 100,000.
Zika study may ‘supercharge’ vaccine research
Scientists looking at the genetics of Zika virus have found a way to fast-track research which could lead to new vaccines. The study, led by The University of Queensland and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, used a new technique to uncover Zika mutations that help foster virus replication in mosquito hosts, while hindering its ability to replicate in mammals. “We used deep mutational scanning to survey all of the possible amino acid mutations in what’s known as the envelope protein of the virus, which is responsible for how it binds with, enters and exits host cells. We found two mutations that resulted in a virus that grew well in mosquito cells, but very poorly in mammalian cells, revealing the amino acids that are critical for Zika virus to survive in mammals.”