Animal influenza virus infections in humans: a commentary
Laura K. Borkenhagen, et al.,
Here we review evidence for influenza A viruses (IAVs) moving from swine, avian, feline, equine, and canine species to infect humans. The aggregated data point to industrialized swine farming as the most likely source of future pandemic viruses, yet IAV surveillance on such farms is remarkably sparse. Collaborative partnerships with human medical researchers could aid in efforts to mitigate emerging virus threats by offering new surveillance and diagnostic technologies to livestock farming industries.
Warning to New Zealand travellers over dengue fever outbreaks
The Ministry of Health is warning New Zealanders embarking on tropical holidays to "fight the bite", amid outbreaks of mosquito-borne dengue fever in Bangladesh and Philippines. Fourty-seven people were diagnosed with dengue fever in New Zealand in May and June after travelling overseas, marking an increase of 14 people compared with the same months last year. Half of those people had travelled to Fiji, with others having visited Indonesia, the Cook Islands, Malaysia, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vietnam. Director of Public Health Carolyn McElnay urged travellers to cover up and take precautions to avoid being bitten.
Nordic researchers: A quarter of the world's population at risk of developing tuberculosis
A new study from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University, Denmark, has shown that probably 1 in 4 people in the world carry the tuberculosis bacterium in the body. The researchers have reviewed 88 scientific studies from 36 different countries, and on the basis of this epidemiological evidence they have estimated a prevalence also in those countries where no studies are available, additionally they have calculated the approximate total global prevalence. It has previously been estimated that somewhere between one-third and one-fourth have latent tuberculosis, but the new study, which is based on tests from 351,811 individuals, indicates that it is between one-fifth and one-fourth, depending on the test method used.
MMV July Newsletter
Representatives from the 2018 Project of the Year team discuss the discovery and validation of PfKRS1, an important and exciting novel biological target.
From Townsville to Tuvalu: health and climate change in Australia and the Asia Pacific region
Mason Littlejohn et al.,
Most people accept that climate change is transforming the global atmosphere and environment. Yet far fewer understand the significant impacts that climate and environmental change are having on human health. In the Asia Pacific region, climate change is raising sea levels, exacerbating the severity of natural disasters, reducing nutrition levels in food and increasing disease produced by unclean water. All present substantial risks for the health of humans, including Australians. This policy paper highlights evidence and case studies to show how climate and environmental change will affect human health in the Asia Pacific region. It provides proposals for how Australian governments - federal, state and local - might respond to this challenge, arguing that Australia’s aid, health and agricultural portfolios have an opportunity to develop policies that build resilience in our region to the impacts of climate change on human health. Such an approach would elevate Australia’s standing in the region. The benefits are also closer to home, in terms of reduced health risks, and improved political, health and economic security for Australians.
Overcoming the ‘tyranny of the urgent’: integrating gender into disease outbreak preparedness and response
This article contributes to discussions on the gender dimensions of disease outbreaks, and preparedness policies and responses, by providing a multi-level analysis of gender-related gaps, particularly illustrating how the failure to challenge gender assumptions and incorporate gender as a priority at the global level has national and local impacts. The implications of neglecting gender dynamics, as well as the potential of equity-based approaches to disease outbreak responses, is illustrated through a case study of the Social Enterprise Network for Development (SEND) Sierra Leone, a non-government organisation (NGO) based in Kailahun, during the Ebola outbreak.
Read the latest malaria elimination news and updates in the APMEN Newsletter, a bi-monthly compilation of stories from the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network.
Showcasing Animal Health through Performing Art
In support of the government’s public awareness agenda, Stephen Rudgard, FAO Representative in Indonesia stated, “We are pleased to present the achievements of the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO to strengthen food security by improving animal health through an awareness-raising theatre performance. Theatre can uniquely educate and entertain the public.”
Cambodia sees rise in dengue fever cases
Cambodia reported 13,000 cases of dengue fever from January to June 24, about five-fold rise over the same period last year, Huy Rekol, director of the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, said on Thursday. In a bid to control the outbreak of the virus, about 300 tons of Abate (a chemical substance used to put in water pots to kill larvae) has been handed out to households, he said, adding that health officials have also been spraying insecticide to target Aedes mosquitoes which are the carrier of the dengue virus. According to a health ministry report, there were 24,684 cases of dengue fever with 23 deaths last year compared with 6,372 cases with three deaths in 2017.
World-first gathering showcased health security's past and future
More than 900 members of the global health security community gathered in Sydney to participate in the first international scientific conference on Global Health Security, organised by Associate Professor Kamradt-Scott and Associate Professor Rebecca Katz from Georgetown University. High-profile speakers included Australia’s Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP and representatives from the NSW Government, Peter Sands from the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, Assistant Director-General and Regional Directors from the World Health Organisation, leaders from several Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and many more. “Achieving global health security requires collaboration across disciplines, industries and seniority, and Associate Professor Katz and I are thrilled that our conference was able to bring together members of the global health security community for the first time to measure progress, determine gaps, and identify new opportunities to enhance national, regional and global health security” Dr Kamradt-Scott said.