Influenza update - 343
In the temperate zones of the southern hemisphere, influenza detections increased overall. The 2019 influenza season appeared to have started earlier than previous years in Australia, Chile, South Africa and New Zealand. Influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominated in Oceania and South Africa.Influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 viruses predominated in South America. In Southern Asia and South East Asia, influenza activity was low overall, with exception of Bangladesh and Cambodia, respectively. For more information on influenza transmission zones, see the link below:
Polio: Statement of the Twenty-first IHR Emergency Committee
The Emergency Committee reviewed the data on wild poliovirus (WPV1) and circulating vaccine derived polioviruses (cVDPV). The Secretariat presented a report of progress for affected IHR States Parties subject to Temporary Recommendations. The following IHR States Parties provided an update on the current situation and the implementation of the WHO Temporary Recommendations since the Committee last met on 19 February 2019: Afghanistan, DR Congo, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia.
Dengue 3 Outbreak, Palau, December 2018 – May 2019 - Report Date: May 28, 2019
The Ministry of Health activated its emergency response team on December 7, 2018. The team has been tasked with raising community awareness of the outbreak and dengue prevention measures, conducting disease surveillance and reporting, strengthening mosquito control measures, and ensuring adequate resources are available to combat the outbreak. Between May 20 26, 2019, there were 9 new cases reported . This brings the total from December 1, 2018 to May 26, 2019 to 196 cases.
Malaria rates plummet in Solomons but mosquitos adapt
Research into malaria in Solomon Islands has found that while there have been big reductions in the number of people becoming ill in the past 20 years, the mosquitoes that carry the infectious parasite are adapting their behaviour. Professor Tom Burkot from the Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at Australia's James Cook University, says mosquitoes have changed their behaviour since the introduction of insecticide treated bed nets, by feeding from humans earlier in the evening and staying outdoors.
Southeast Asia hit by dengue outbreak
Thailand is experiencing its biggest outbreak in more than two decades. The Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia have also reported significant upticks in cases this year. The World Health Organization said there are big increases in Cambodia, Laos, China and Australia too. Health authorities throughout Southeast Asia track the dengue outbreaks every year. Between 2017 and 2018, the numbers dropped but spiked up again this year. According to statistics from Thailand's Ministry of Public Health, until May 13 this year, 20,733 people were infected with dengue. "The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades," says the WHO. "A vast majority of cases are asymptomatic and hence the actual numbers of dengue case are underreported and many cases are misclassified." The WHO estimates that there are about 390 million infections every year.
To Calm Nervous Families, Pakistan Changes Polio Vaccination Tactics
After serious setbacks in April led to a cluster of new polio cases, Pakistan is revamping its vaccination strategy in a renewed effort to wipe out the virus.The country is one of just three — along with Afghanistan and perhaps Nigeria — in which polio is still endemic. Eradication of the virus in Pakistan is crucial to the drive to rid the world of polio, once and for all. Now, vaccination teams will take a friendlier approach, ask fewer questions, make fewer follow-up visits, and stop recording extensive details about the families they visit, Pakistan’s polio eradication program announced.
Panorama #2019-1-Eradication of bovine tuberculosis: a One Health issue
Articles include case studies of bTB control/eradication in Fiji, Canada and Australia, and reports on vaccine development, use of tuberculin and perspectives on developing national strategies. There is also a report on the September 2018 UN high level meeting on tuberculosis, and the importance for zoonotic and bovine tuberculosis.
Paper stickers to monitor pathogens are more effective than swabs
Using paper stickers to collect pathogens on surfaces where antisepsis is required, such as in food processing plants, is easier, and less expensive than swabbing, yet similarly sensitive. "The porous structure of paper seems able to collect and accumulate [bacterial] contamination," said first author Martin In Bobal. the study, the investigators, who specialize in monitoring cheese production, chose to target the organism Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli. The investigators showed that plain paper stickers could trap not only bacterial pathogens and related DNA, but dead, and viable but non-culturable pathogens, which also can pose a threat to public health."A major advantage of stickers is in handling: they are easy to distribute and to collect," the authors concluded.
Eurosurveillance: The re-emergence of HPAI H7N9 Human Infection in Mainland China, 2019
Two years ago pandemic concerns were heightened as the world watched the biggest human outbreak of Avian Influenza on record, in Mainland China. The culprit was H7N9 - which emerged as an LPAI virus in 2013 - but evolved into co-circulating LPAI & HPAI strains in late 2016.
Editorial: Epidemiology of Avian Influenza Viruses
Mathilde C. Paul et al.,
The international dimension and the difficulties in effectively controlling these epidemics, highlight the need for more scientific information in relation to the epidemiology and patterns of the disease in affected countries, especially in East Asia, as well as the need for effective policies against HPAI. This Research Topic aims at contributing to fill this gap. It includes 10 papers. Control can be particularly challenging in endemic areas, such as Indonesia, where multiple HPAI virus subtypes and clades may circulate, as described by Durr et al. Another great challenge of HPAI control is the intense circulation of AI viruses in waterfowl populations, which act as a natural reservoir with periodic spill-over to domestic poultry.The two studies presented by Scott et al. illustrate the relevance of such approaches in the context of early warning systems in disease-free areas. Scenario tree modeling approaches made it possible to assess the pathways of LPAI exposure, as well as to quantify the risk of LPAI and HPAI spread within and between Australian commercial chicken farms.