Health Security Digest

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Defense Visual Information Distribution Service

    Defense Threat Reduction Agency Partners with Laos

    6 May 2019 - Defense Visual Information Distribution Service

    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.”

  • The star

    Malaysia on track to meet zero malaria target by 2020, says Health Ministry

    5 May 2019 - The Star

    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.

  • Telegraph logo

    Market failure over antibiotics threatens trade as well as global health

    3 May 2019 - The Telegraph

    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.

  • ABC News

    Dengue fever outbreak risk for Brisbane residents from unsealed water tanks

    3 May 2019 - ABC News

    Rebecca Hyam

    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.


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