Defense Threat Reduction Agency Partners with Laos
Dr. Robert Pope, Director, Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), met with government representatives in the Lao PDR, May 2-3, 2019. Dr. Pope’s engagements included meetings with members of the World Health Organization, where they discussed U.S. – Lao partnerships in health security. “It is critically important,” said Pope, “that we work together to design an enduring solution to improve biosecurity and detect dangerous disease outbreaks in the Lao PDR before they become global pandemics.”
Malaysia on track to meet zero malaria target by 2020, says Health Ministry
The Health Ministry (MOH) has targeted Malaysia to be declared a human indigenous malaria free nation by the World Health Organisation (WHO) by 2020. Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said to achieve this, Malaysia must show commitment in its efforts to maintain 'zero human indigenous malaria' status for three consecutive years. "With the Malaria Elimination Programme in place, we have successfully combated Malaria, from 4,164 cases in 2011 to zero cases last year. To meet this target, he said the cooperation of stakeholders in the plantation, agricultural, security and forest recreation sectors is key to protect its workers from being infected. This includes ensuring all foreign workers undergo government sanctioned health screening, including for malaria, and for infected workers to have proper access to health care services.
Market failure over antibiotics threatens trade as well as global health
Access to effective antibiotics is a prerequisite for health. But in many places, they simply aren’t available. In others, they are running out of punch. Germs are mutating but the medicines, such as antibiotics and antifungals, that usually kill them have not changed, rendering them ineffective. Ensuring a pipeline of new health technologies that can help us tackle superbugs is a top priority. Achaogen’s trajectory into insolvency despite its promise shows us the the difficulty of investing in new drugs and medicine. The lesson is that no one company, organization or even sector can solve the Rubik’s Cube of drug resistance.
Dengue fever outbreak risk for Brisbane residents from unsealed water tanks
New research has revealed the typically tropical mosquito species that spreads dengue fever could survive winters in Brisbane, with non-compliant rainwater tanks providing the perfect habitat for the species and risking an outbreak of infectious diseases. In controlled experiments, researchers simulated Brisbane winter conditions, raising Aedes aegypti larvae in tanks and buckets of water.
Opinion: Human (in)security in Pakistan
The institutionalisation of human security with the UN millennium development goals, now upgraded as the Sustainable Development Goals, have further sharpened the focus on the need for adoption and prioritisation of human security agenda by nation states. The Global Human Development Report1994 by the UN heralded the revival ofhuman security approach. The seminal report laid the philosophical and institutional foundations of the concept loosely defined as “people’s freedom from fear and freedom from want.” The report encompasses the seven essential dimensions of human security: economic security, food security, health security, environmental protection, personal security, security of community and political freedom. The report seeks to broaden the “logic of security” beyond territorial defence, nuclear deterrence and national interests to include that people have “the right to live in freedom and dignity, free from poverty and despair.”
Residents of provinces in the upper South have been warned that dengue could spread now that rains have arrived
Doctor Sirilak Thaicharoen, director of Nakhon Si Thammarat’s 11th Disease Control Office, said 1,165 people in seven upper South provinces had contracted dengue virus this year resulting in one death so far. Dengue is spread by mosquito bites. Between 4 to 7 days after a bite from an infected mosquito, victims develop flu-like symptoms which include a sudden high fever coming in separate waves, pain behind the eyes, muscle, joint and bone pain, severe headache and a skin rash with red spots. There is no antiviral treatment available.The main way to prevent its spread is to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. Use a repellent containing 20-30 per cent DEET or 20 per cent Picaridin.
First FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of dengue disease in endemic regions
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today the approval of Dengvaxia, the first vaccine approved for the prevention of dengue disease caused by all dengue virus serotypes (1, 2, 3 and 4) in people ages 9 through 16 who have laboratory-confirmed previous dengue infection and who live in endemic areas. Each year, an estimated 400 million dengue virus infections occur globally according to the CDC. Of these, approximately 500,000 cases develop into DHF, which contributes to about 20,000 deaths, primarily among children. Dengvaxia is a live, attenuated vaccine that is administered as three separate injections, with the initial dose followed by two additional shots given six and twelve months later. The FDA granted this application Priority Review and a Tropical Disease Priority Review Voucher under a program intended to encourage development of new drugs and biologics for the prevention and treatment of certain tropical diseases.
MMV April e-news
UNICEF-WHO Philippines: Measles Outbreak, Situation Report 10, 1 May 2019
Current measles outbreak started late 2017 in Mindanao. In 2018, 20,827 cases were reported with 199 deaths. Between 1 January and 13 April 2019, 31,056 measles cases including 415 deaths were officially reported through the routine surveillance system from the DoH, with a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 1,34%.
Changing climate may affect animal-to-human disease transfer
Climate change could affect occurrences of diseases like bird-flu and Ebola, with environmental factors playing a larger role than previously understood in animal-to-human disease transfer. Dr Nicholas Clark, from UQ’s School of Veterinary Science, said this was a new line of thinking in this area, changing how we understand, and tackle, emerging zoonotic diseases. “These diseases are caused by pathogens – for example, viruses, bacteria or parasitic worms – that cross from animals to humans, including notorious infections like bird flu, rabies virus and Ebola,” he said. “In the past, we’ve primarily looked at how many different types of animal species a pathogen infects – widely considered an indicator of its risk to shift between host species. “This is just one factor, and we’ve found that how infected animals are related is also important. “But importantly, our research also shows that different environments provide new opportunities for pathogens to interact with and infect new host species.”