Health Security Digest

  • The Nation Thailand

    BMA continues anti-mosquito campaign after 1,550 Bangkokians hit by dengue

    13 May 2019 - The Nation

    The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will continue campaigning for Bangkokians to get rid of standing water, which provides perfect conditions for mosquitoes, after 1,550 people were reported to have caught dengue and one patient succumbed to the virus earlier this year. As parts of the campaign, the residents of 4,067 communities, 1,547 schools, 452 temples, 992 hospitals and clinics and some 30,000 to 40,000 work places will be informed to stay alert of a possible dengue outbreak and to get rid of stored water. 

  • Indonesia observes World Malaria Day in Bali, highlights 5 provinces that have yet to eradicate the disease

    13 May 2019 - Coconuts Bali

    Did you know that five Indonesian provinces have yet to declare themselves Malaria-free? This important fact was highlighted during the observance of this year’s World Malaria Day in Indonesia, which took place today in Bali. Bali is one of 29 provinces which have been declared malaria-free, but the battle is still ongoing in Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara. Perhaps not-so-shockingly, 79% of the country’s malaria cases take place in underdeveloped Papua, according to the Health Ministry.

  • Science Direct

    Trust collapse caused by the Changsheng vaccine crisis in China

    13 May 2019 - Science Direct

    The public acceptance and implementation of vaccination programs is essential to prevent infectious diseases. However, vaccine adverse events may cause public panic and eventually lead to an increasing number of populations who were hesitant or refuse to participate in these vaccination programs. In 2018, the Changsheng vaccine crisis broke out in mainland China, and 252,600 unqualified DTP vaccines were reported to be used for child vaccination. In this study, we observed media and public reactions toward the vaccine crisis.During the crisis, huge number of articles emerged on Internet, 125,882,894 articles (including forwarding) on WeChat friends circle, 1,877,660 Sina Weibo posts, 648,265 online news and 4,986,521 Baidu search indexes. Most of these articles were negative and expressed the public’s weak confidence to the China-made vaccines. Public confidence in vaccines was undermined by the actions of the manufacturer and the government.

  • British Veterinary Association

    A One Health approach without ‘culture of blame’ is key to tackling antimicrobial resistance, says BVA

    10 May 2019 - British Veterinary Association

    A collaborative One Health approach without a culture of blame is key to containing and controlling the threat of antimicrobial resistance in animals, humans and the environment, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has said in an updated position on responsible antimicrobial use in food producing animals. BVA’s position reiterates that vets should continue to be guided by the seven principles of responsible antimicrobial use. These include avoiding inappropriate use, monitoring antimicrobial sensitivity, working with clients to avoid the need for antimicrobials (through preventative measures such as herd or flock health plans, for example), and recording and justifying any deviations from protocols. As part of this, BVA has released a new-look seven-point-plan poster for vets to display on practice walls.

  • Phuket News

    Dengue on the decline in Phuket

    10 May 2019 - The Phuket News

    The chief of the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) has confirmed that the number of dengue fever cases in Phuket has decreased year-on-year and that it is no longer a cause for concern. A report in June 2018 had Phuket ranked first nationally with an average of approximately 71 cases per month between January and June 2018. This year, Phuket has recorded an average of 36 cases per month between January and May. Although the situation in Phuket is improving, the PPHO continues with its intensive measures to control and prevent the virus.


  • New England Journal of Medicine

    Transmission of Nipah Virus — 14 Years of Investigations in Bangladesh

    9 May 2019 - New England Journal of Medicine

    Via JHCHS

    Nipah virus is a highly virulent zoonotic pathogen that can be transmitted between humans. Understanding the dynamics of person-to-person transmission is key to designing effective interventions. We used data from all Nipah virus cases identified during outbreak investigations in Bangladesh from April 2001 through April 2014 to investigate case-patient characteristics associated with onward transmission and factors associated with the risk of infection among patient contacts. Of 248 Nipah virus cases identified, 82 were caused by person-to-person transmission, corresponding to a reproduction number (i.e., the average number of secondary cases per case patient) of 0.33 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.19 to 0.59).


    A computational method for the identification of Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya virus species and genotypes

    9 May 2019 - PLOS

    Via JHCHS

    In recent years, an increasing number of outbreaks of Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika viruses have been reported in Asia and the Americas. Monitoring virus genotype diversity is crucial to understand the emergence and spread of outbreaks, both aspects that are vital to develop effective prevention and treatment strategies. Hence, we developed an efficient method to classify virus sequences with respect to their species and sub-species. This method was implemented in Java and this implementation was integrated in an easy-to-use web interface. A detailed description of the method and its implementation can be found in the ‘Classification method and implementation’ Methods subsection.

  • Relief Web

    Inactivated polio vaccine now introduced worldwide

    9 May 2019 - Relief Web

    After the introduction of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) into Zimbabwe and Mongolia’s routine immunisation programmes with Gavi’s support, every country worldwide, including all 73 Gavi-supported countries, have now introduced the vaccine which protects children against the disease. Introducing IPV into routine immunisation programmes is a critical milestone on our journey towards a polio-free world,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization and Chair of the GPEI Polio Oversight Board. “It’s also vital that we use the infrastructure that has built up around polio immunisation programmes to ensure that all children receive other nationally-recommended vaccines.

  • Nippon

    Japan to Import Ebola Virus for Improving Test Accuracy

    8 May 2019 -

    Japan's health ministry and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases plan to import for the first time pathogens of deadly diseases such as Ebola, to use them to improve the accuracy of tests on patients in the event of an outbreak. Specifically, they are considering importing frozen pathogens of Ebola, Crimean-Congo, South American, Marburg and Lassa fever, officials of the ministry said. These are designated as the most dangerous diseases under Japan's infectious disease law.

  • Goats and Soda : NPR

    Bubonic Plague Strikes In Mongolia: Why Is It Still A Threat?

    7 May 2019 - Goats and Soda

    In Mongolia, a couple died of bubonic plague on May 1 after reportedly hunting marmots, large rodents that can harbor the bacterium that causes the disease, and eating the animal's raw meat and kidneys – which some Mongolians believe is good for their health. This is the same illness that killed an estimated 50 million people across three continents in the 1300s. Nowadays, the plague still crops up from time to time, although antibiotics will treat it if taken soon after exposure or the appearance of symptoms. The incident prompted local panic. The government ordered a quarantine for six days for the region, preventing scores of tourists from leaving the area. At least one aircraft was examined by health officials in contamination suits. After no new cases appeared by Monday, the quarantine was lifted.


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