Nipah article by Kerala Health Secretary: ‘There is no mix-up in the figures’
25 NOV - The articles in The Journal of Infectious Diseases (TJID) and British Medical Journal (BMJ) Global Health, co-authored by Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan, mention the death toll as 21, whereas the government figure is 17. The BMJ and TJID published the articles in September and October, respectively.
Sri Lanka highlights priorities in health-security interface in Geneva
24 NOV - Representing Sri Lanka at this health-security interface forum, Ambassador Azeez explained the existing disease surveillance mechanism in Sri Lanka, which comprised a wide range of medical and administrative networks including at national, provincial, and district levels. He also drew attention to the role and contribution of hospitals and primary healthcare units in addressing this challenge efficaciously as well as to laws and policies in place in this context.
Animal viruses: new model predicts which may spread among humans
22 NOV - Joseph W. Walker et al.,
Researchers have developed a model that predicts which of the viruses that can jump from animals to people can also be transmitted from person to person–and are therefore possible sources of human diseases. The study, published recently in PLOS One, identified several viruses that are not yet known to spread among humans but may have that potential, suggesting possible targets for future disease surveillance and research efforts.To understand these interactions, Drake and his team compiled the most comprehensive list to date of viruses known to infect humans and the biological characteristics of those viruses.The team identified several traits that were most common among the viruses on their list that are known to spread among humans. These included the ability to infect nonhuman primates such as monkeys and apes, the lack of an encasing envelope of lipids around the virus, and the presence of the virus in the human liver, central nervous system or respiratory tract.The next step was to analyze viruses not known to spread among humans and rank how likely they were to be transmissible based on their traits.
Influenza: Authorities urge Territorians to vaccinate amid 'spike' in H1N1 virus cases
22 NOV - Adam Steer et al.,
The virus has been contracted in a remote community in the Daly River region, south-west of Darwin, and in the capital city, the Northern Territory Centre for Disease Control confirmed. In 2009, an outbreak of the H1N1 swine flue virus prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare a global pandemic, with the worldwide death toll estimated to be in the thousands.
Threat to access to medicines looms large
22 NOV - Anand Grover
Globally spiraling prices of medicines and vaccines continue to present a major barrier to treatment. However, this concern is not reflected in trade negotiations. Yet, hidden in the intellectual property chapter are clauses that could prevent millions of people in Indonesia from gaining access to necessary, life-saving medicines.
Report urges vigilance for Zika spread from India's outbreak hot spot
22 NOV Via CIDRAP Subscription required - Alexander G Watts et al.,
India is currently experiencing its largest Zika virus outbreak, with most cases reported from the Rajasthan state capital of Jaipur, and Indian cities and countries with close connections to the city should prepare for possible imported cases, a Canadian-led research team recently reported in a letter to the Journal of Travel Medicine.
UAE supports halal vaccine production from Indonesia
22 NOV - Libertina W. Ambari
Amin Hussain Alameeri, assistant undersecretary of Public Health Policy and Licensing at the United Arab Emirates`s (UAE`s) Ministry of Health, has supported Indonesia`s idea to produce halal vaccines and medicines in accordance with Islamic Law. Halal vaccine was one of the topics discussed at the OIC meeting, in addition to efforts toward attaining independence in the production of drugs and vaccines, and the control of counterfeit drugs.
Patients in India benefit from fixation of drugs prices: minister
21 NOV - Patients across India saved around 15,000 crore Indian rupees (around 2.2 billion U.S. dollars) in the past couple of years, after the fixation of ceiling prices and maximum retail prices (MRPs) of essential and life-saving drugs.
Antimicrobial resistance is a priority issue for all people
21 NOV - Urgen Voegele et al.,
Our bodies have provided a safe environment for thousands of species of microbes to flourish and in return microbes have provided us with many benefits – like protection against “bad” organisms and regulation of many of our physiological processes. We now know that a healthy, balanced microbiome is essential to human wellbeing. However, this coevolved synergy with microbes was never enough to avoid many infectious diseases which were often fatal, until the advent of modern antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics that revolutionized human medicine in the 1940s. Since then, hundreds of millions of lives have been saved and economic development has accelerated with less human suffering and illness.
Access to Medicines Index highlights role of collaboration in stimulating R&D
21 NOV - The Index reports that every year, more than six million people in low- to middle-income countries die because the vaccines, medicines and diagnostic tests that they need are either ineffective or do not exist. The 2018 Index analysed how 20 of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies are addressing access to medicines in 106 countries for 77 diseases, conditions and pathogens.