Health Security Digest

  • CIDRAP

    UN report calls for urgent action against antimicrobial resistance

    29 April 2019 - CIDRAP

    That's the conclusion of a report out today from the United Nations (UN) Interagency Coordination Group (IACG), a panel of global experts formed to provide guidance and ensure sustained global action on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The report by the IACG, which was convened to help UN member states fulfill and implement the pledges made at the UN's 2016 high-level meeting on AMR, is the culmination of a series of meetings, country visits, and stakeholder interviews conducted from March 2017 to December 2018. The aim of the group was to develop a blueprint to help countries respond to the alarming levels of AMR that have been reported in countries of all income levels. Emphasizing a One Health approach, the report calls on UN member states to accelerate national response plans to the AMR crisis, increase and encourage investment in development of new antibiotics and programs to combat drug resistance, collaborate with civil society groups and other stakeholders, and strengthen accountability and global governance.

  • Oxford Academic

    Viral factors associated with the high mortality of human infections with clade 2.1 influenza A/H5N1 virus in Indonesia

    26 April 2019 - Oxford Academic

    Via CIDRAP

    A new study in Clinical Infectious Diseases uses nasal and fecal samples to estimate viral loads in human patients with avian influenza H5N1, finding that higher viral loads are linked to fatal cases. Researchers collected specimens from 180 H5N1 patients between 2007 and 2015, representing 90% of all Indonesian patients and 20% of reported H5N1-infected patients globally. Feces and blood had the highest concentrations of H5N1 RNA, and higher viral loads correlated with fatal cases. Genes that conferred resistance to antivirals were also more prevalent in fatal cases. Detailed clinical virological analyses were performed in specimens from 180 H5N1 patients, representing 90% of all Indonesian patients and 20% of reported H5N1-infected patients globally. These observations confirm the association of viral load with outcome of human H5N1 infections and suggest potential differences in virulence and antiviral responses to oseltamivir that may explain the exceptionally high mortality of clade 2.1 H5N1 infections in Indonesia.

  • BMC

    Public health law coverage in support of the health-related sustainable development goals (SDGs) among 33 Western Pacific countries

    11 April 2019 - BMC

    Yuri Lee et al.,

    A resilient health system is inevitable in attaining the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. One way of strengthening health systems is to improve the coverage of public health laws for better health governance. The aim of this study is to describe the public health law situation in the Western Pacific Region, and analyse the association of public health law coverage with health-related SDGs statistics.

  • Microbiology Society

    Inter-species transmission of avian influenza virus to dogs: 10 years experience

    8 April 2019 - Microbiology Society

    Daesub Song et al.,

    Influenza viruses have continuously evolved into multiple mutant strains from several regions, resulting in aggravated endemic or epidemic outbreak conditions. In the 2000s, several outbreaks of inter-species transmission were reported, such as, the avian H3N2 influenza virus that crossed the host barrier to dogs. Studies on sero-prevalence and artificial infection suggested the possibility of co-infection of and reassortment between the two viruses in dogs; later, H3N1 and variants of M-variant H3N2 reassortants between pandemic H1N1/2009 and prototype H3N2 CIV were isolated. Our findings emphasized the necessity of intensive monitoring for influenza infection in companion animals for investigating the potential for the emergence of novel human influenza strains.

  • Manila Bulletin

    Dengue in Central Visayas nearing epidemic stage

    7 April 2019 - Manilla Bulletin

    Minerva Newman

    After end­ing its measles vaccination campaign, the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas is turning its attention on the rising number of dengue cases. In a weekly media forum, DOH re­gional medical officer Dr. Ronald Jarvik Buscato said the rise in dengue cases in the region for the period from January 1 to March 30 was alarming. Based on DOH’s comparative analy­sis, dengue cases usually increase every two years. Buscato said the five-year average number of cases is 10 percent higher than is recommended to declare an epidemic.

  • Centres for disease control and prevention

    Southeast Asia Strategic Multilateral Dialogue on Biosecurity

    2 April 2019 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Anita Cicerot al.,

    Numerous risk factors in Southeast Asia increase the vulnerability of this region to natural, deliberate, and accidental biological threats. Countries in the region have made major progress in fighting infectious diseases within their own borders; however, the widespread geographic population distribution—ranging from remote, rural villages to densely populated cities—combined with highly mobile populations (e.g., tourists, migrant workers, displaced persons) and areas of porous international borders create a dynamic human–animal–plant–environment (i.e., One Health) interface that enhances the susceptibility of the region to the emergence and spread of infectious diseases.

  • Harvard Business School

    Can biometric tracking improve healthcare provision and data quality? Experimental evidence from tuberculosis control in India

    31 March 2019 - Harvard Business School

    Thomas Bossuroy et al.,

    This paper examines the benefits of using a biometric monitoring device to improve service delivery and reduce misreporting in tuberculosis control efforts in India. The authors partnered with Operation ASHA, the largest NGO delivering primary care to TB patients in India, to randomise the roll-out of biometric devices across 131 treatment centres, each covering a population of over 20,000 individuals, located in urban slums across four states in Northern India. The technology was designed to perform three main functions: ensuring that patients themselves received their drugs from the health worker; generating alerts when they failed to take their pills, which facilitated rapid follow-up by health workers; and creating a real-time tool for program managers to monitor attendance and performance of health workers. The devices also drastically cut the scope for health workers to alter health records by over-reporting new cases or under-reporting instances of treatment interruption.

  • The Straits Times

    A billion more people risk getting Zika, dengue

    30 March 2019 - The Straits Times

    The analysis tracked the expected movement of two of the most common disease-carrying mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, by looking at predicted future temperatures to gauge risks up to 2050 and to 2080. Those at risk can help lower the threat through measures such as using insect spray, putting screens on windows and removing excess trash and water from around the home... But the more effective way to limit expansion of the diseases is to curb climate change and further develop global programmes aimed at tracking and limiting the spread of mosquitoes. 

  • The New York Acadmy of Sciences

    Complexities in understanding antimicrobial resistance across domesticated animal, human, and environmental systems

    29 March 2019 - The New York Acadmy of Sciences

    David W. Graham et al.,

    In this article we review research on the nonfoodborne spread of AMR, with a focus on domesticated animals and the environment and possible exposures to humans. Attention is especially placed on delineating possible sources and causes of AMR bacterial phenotypes, including underpinning the genetics important to human and animal health.

  • Stanford researchers develop a simple new blood test for tuberculosis

    29 March 2019 - Stanford University

    Nathan Collins

    Tuberculosis usually attacks patients’ lungs, so to test for the tuberculosis bacteria doctors need to get patients to cough up fluid – the technical term is sputum – from their lungs. Unfortunately, not everyone can cough up sputum. Kids and people with HIV/AIDS, for example, struggle to do so. One way to get around this problem would be to search blood and urine for tuberculosis bacteria DNA. The problem is that there is usually little DNA amidst a sea of proteins and other molecules.

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