China's coronavirus outbreak proves we must pay closer attention to animal health. Coronavirus 2019-nCoV. The Observer view on the coronavirus outbreak | Observer editorial. The world’s most populous country yesterday celebrated the lunar new year, usually a time of family reunion and joyful celebration. For many Chinese people who have moved away from their place of birth, it is the one time of year they get to visit their familiesThis year the coronavirus outbreak has profoundly muted the celebrations in China, with several cities in lockdown, the imposition of quarantine measures unprecedented in their scale, and many citizens anxious about their own health and that of their families.
The Chinese have borne the brunt of the outbreak so far: coronavirus is known to have killed more than 40 people, and infected another 1,300. But the first cases have already been recorded in the US, Australia, and – on Friday – in Europe. Like Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome, also a coronavirus), bird flu and Ebola, this coronavirus is a zoonotic virus, transferred from animals to humans. But they provide ideal conditions for new and dangerous viruses to emerge. Depriving poor nations of drugs is a dangerous false economy | Kenan Malik. “We have reached a tipping point where large and prominent drug-makers have retreated from the antibiotics field.” So says Jayasree K Iyer, the executive director of the charity Access to Medicine Foundation.
The organisation’s latest report shows that, despite growing need, fewer pharmaceutical companies are engaged in antibiotic research and development, as there is little money to be made. Global demand for antibiotics climbed by 65% between 2000 and 2015. But most of that demand was from poor countries – four of the six countries with the highest antibiotic consumption rates were low- or middle-income nations, so-called “access countries”. Not only are pharmaceutical companies more reluctant to invest in research, they are also more reluctant to provide medicines to poorer countries.
It’s another example of how the market system is failing the world’s poor when it comes to medical R&D. . • Kenan Malik is an Observer columnist. The story of one frustrated scientist’s mission to beat flu. ‘After four decades working on influenza, this vaccines expert decided to embrace a new way to tell the flu vaccine story ’ ‘It’s so frustrating to see people suffering and dying from an infection which is avoidable and preventable.’ Dr Bram Palache is a mild-manner person but his pulse quickens when someone mentions flu.
‘What drives me crazy is that the influenza story, in principle, is extremely simple. We know there is a serious disease, it occurs every year, and we have safe and effective vaccines.’ After 40 years in the field of influenza vaccinology, Dr Palache has seen seasonal flu vaccine campaigns come and go. Every year, influenza infections cause avoidable deaths and contribute to the winter peak in hospitalisations. ‘The more people who are vaccinated and protected, the less other people are vulnerable to getting influenza infections,’ he says, with visible exasperation. Coronavirus shakes citizens' faith in Chinese government | Science. Zhu Wenyi, 21, has spent the eve of the lunar new year at home, worrying whether or not she has caught a deadly virus that has spread from her province to much of the rest of the country.
Zhu, a university student, is back in her hometown of Huangshi, one of 10 cities in Hubei province, including Wuhan, that have been locked down in an attempt to contain the virus this week. She recently stayed at a friend’s in Wuhan who later developed a fever, one of the virus’s symptoms. The friend recovered, but Zhu is still anxious. “I’m so worried, I feel like I’m having trouble breathing,” she said.
As Chinese authorities scramble to restrict an illness that emerged a month ago, citizens are asking whether their government has failed them by failing to disclose information and not acting decisively or early enough. Less than a week ago, officials in Wuhan, where the virus was detected, said the mystery illness posed little danger and there was no evidence it could be passed from human to human. HPV infections nearly eliminated in England under vaccine scheme | Society. Very few sexually active young women are now getting infected with the virus that causes most cervical cancers following the introduction of a mass HPV vaccination programme in schools, Public Health England has said.
In 2008, the year vaccination began, 15% of young women were infected with HPV (human papilloma virus), which circulates among sexually active people. Two types, HPV16 and 18, cause the vast majority of cervical cancers. Data from PHE shows the infection rate dropped to 2% in 16- to 18-year-old women between 2014 and 2018. In a sample of 600 young women tested in 2018, no infections were found. The figures will boost hopes that cervical cancer cases will drop dramatically in the years to come and eventually will be eliminated.
There is no measurable impact on cancer incidence yet. The cancer is most often diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 29, usually picked up by screening. Should the world be worried about the coronavirus in China? What is the virus causing illness in Wuhan? It is a novel coronavirus – that is to say, a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. Like other coronaviruses, it has come from animals, or possibly seafood. Many of those infected either worked or frequently shopped in the Huanan seafood wholesale market in the centre of the Chinese city. New and troubling viruses usually originate in animal hosts. Ebola and flu are examples. What other coronaviruses have there been? Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers) are both caused by coronaviruses that came from animals.
What are the symptoms caused by the Wuhan coronavirus? The virus causes pneumonia. Is the virus being transmitted from one person to another? Human to human transmission has been confirmed by China’s National Health Commission in two cases of infection in Guangdong province, although it does not appear to be happening easily as was the case with Sars. Video: Sue Welburn - one world, one health - from rhetoric towards reality. Social Inequalities and Emerging Infectious Diseases. The grim prospect (Economist briefing on antibiotic resistance - 21 May 2016) Theconversation.
All it takes is a sneeze. A few days later, you wake up with a fever, a sore throat and a headache. By lunchtime, your nose is running and your muscles hurt. You have the flu. The annual vaccination that you may have received should have stopped the virus, but it was one step ahead and mutated, making the vaccine ineffective. How? Influenza is an RNA virus, a notorious group of pathogens that cause diseases like SARS, measles, Ebola and rabies. Blueprint for trouble A virus is essentially just genetic material – its genome – contained within a protein coat.
RNA polymerase, the enzyme that is crucial to this process, copies the genome of the influenza virus one unit of information (or nucleotide) at a time. Most countries have vaccine programmes to stop the spread of influenza viruses and many also stockpile drugs such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to treat severe cases or fight pandemic flu.
Snapshots and new targets So what’s next? World Bank Group Launches Groundbreaking Financing Facility to Protect Poorest Countries against Pandemics. First-ever insurance and pandemic bonds will save lives and protect economies SENDAI, Japan, May 21, 2016—The World Bank Group today launched the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF), an innovative, fast-disbursing global financing mechanism designed to protect the world against deadly pandemics, which will create the first-ever insurance market for pandemic risk. Japan, which holds the G7 Presidency, committed the first $50 million in funding toward the new initiative. “Pandemics pose some of the biggest threats in the world to people’s lives and to economies, and for the first time we will have a system that can move funding and teams of experts to the sites of outbreaks before they spin out of control,” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group.
“This facility addresses a long, collective failure in dealing with pandemics. The announcement came a week ahead of the May 26-27 Summit of Group of Seven Leaders in Ise-Shima, Japan. Theconversation. Once travelled by famous historical figures such as Marco Polo and Genghis Khan, the Silk Road was a hugely important network of transport routes connecting eastern China with Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. It came to prominence during the Chinese Han Dynasty (202 BC to AD 220) and remained a key transport route for the following 2,000 years. Given that the Silk Road was a melting pot of people, it is no wonder that researchers have suggested that it might have been responsible for the spread of diseases such as bubonic plague, anthrax and leprosy between China and Europe. However, no one one has yet found any evidence to show how diseases in eastern China reached Europe.
Travellers might have spread these diseases taking a southerly route via India and the Middle East, or a northerly route via Mongolia and Russia. We investigated latrines at the Xuanquanzhi relay station, a fortified stopping point along the Silk Road that was built in 111 BC and used until 109 AD. Leading world experts call on UN to mobilize a comprehensive global action plan to widen access to effective antibiotics | Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) This is only the third time in its history that the UN General Assembly will use its High-Level Heads of State meeting to deliberate on a health issue that threatens the health of populations worldwide. This is also the first time that a One Health issue, a concept which involves the health of humans, animals and the environment, is being discussed at this high-level forum. “Since antibiotics are used widely in livestock, humans and in the environment, the problem of antibiotic resistance can be tackled only by involving all of these sectors,” said Ramanan Laxminarayan, Director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, and a lead author of the call to action.
“The United Nations is the appropriate forum for countries to set goals and commit themselves to global collective action to ensure that our children and grandchildren are able enjoy the benefits of effective antibiotics.” The comment in The Lancet can be accessed here: Commentary authors: Emerging zoonotic diseases. Real Life Zombies: Can Consciousness Be Controlled by Parasites? In the tropical rainforests of South America, Asia and Australia, there thrives a parasitic fungus (Cordyceps) that creates real life zombies. This astonishing disease prevents the host from controlling its own behaviors - making actionable choices on its behalf and overriding innate survival instincts. We're not talking human zombies - don't expect Word War Z just yet - but rather insect ones.
The most extreme zombification takes place in ants, in three bizarre phases: 1. To create a zombie-ant, first a Cordyceps fungal spore must attach itself and use enzymes and pressure to blow a hole into the ant's body. "We know from studies of fungal parasites of plants, particularly rice, they can build up a pressure inside their spore equivalent to the pressure in the wheel of a 747," says David Hughes, a behavioral ecologist at Pennsylvania State University, who studies the disease. With its genetic material blasted into the ant host, the fungi grows rapidly. 2. 3. The Species Jump Going Viral. The year of your birth could decide whether you live or die in the next big flu pandemic | The Independent. The year of your birth could determine whether you live or die in a major flu pandemic, such as the 1918 outbreak that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, according to new research.
Virulent new strains of the disease have periodically jumped from animals to humans over the centuries with devastating results, raising concern about new outbreaks in pigs and chickens, for example. The last week has seen reports of bird flu in Germany, Austria, Hungary and several other countries, prompting the authorities to set up 'protection zones' and slaughter infected birds. But extreme forms of virus gradually evolve to become less deadly because strains that do not kill their host spread more easily. The human flu around today can be a serious disease but it is essentially a relatively mild echo of the past. One of the researchers, Professor Michael Worobey, head of Arizona University’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, said: “In a way it’s a good-news, bad-news story. Tackling drug-resistant infections a priority | Investing in Health. This Op-Ed originally appeared in the China Daily, USA. While the last half century has seen major advances in global health, new challenges are now threatening these hard-won health gains.
One of these is antimicrobial resistance (AMR), or drug-resistant infections which can no longer be treated by antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs. AMR is on the increase globally both in humans and animals. As a physician I'm concerned that if this trend continues unchecked, many common infections will again become untreatable. As a development professional, I'm worried that the impact of AMR could also reverse decades of hard-earned development gains. New research by the World Bank, entitled Drug-Resistant Infections: A Threat to Our Economic Future, shows that by 2050, the cost of continued inaction on AMR would be higher than that of the devastating financial crisis in 2008-09. There is also an important role for regulations and financial measures. Mobile. Almost untreatable superbug CPE poses serious threat to patients, doctors warn | Society.
Doctors are warning that the rise of an almost untreatable superbug, immune to some of the last-line antibiotics available to hospitals, poses a serious threat to patients. The number of lab-confirmed cases of the bug, called carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE), rose from three to nearly 2,000 in the 12 years to 2015, according to Public Health England (PHE). But that may be far short of the real number because hospitals are not compelled to report suspected cases. PHE admits it does not know where the infections are coming from or how many people are dying. Freedom of information requests made by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveal that at least 81 people infected with CPE have died since 2009 at 66 NHS trusts in England – although the bug may have been a complicating factor rather than the main cause of death in some cases.
But the real figure is almost certain to be much higher. In Manchester and London, dealing with CPE has cost NHS trusts almost £10m. Uk.businessinsider. Smallpox used to be one of the world's deadliest illnesses. The disease has existed for thousands of years, causing fevers, rashes, and death in 30% of cases, according to the World Health Organization. There's no treatment for the disease, but there have been vaccines to prevent it since 1796. Even so, smallpox remained a huge problem through the 1900s, eventually being eradicated in the late 1970s.
Now, the virus exists in two labs: one in the US and the other in Russia. To get a sense of how the eradication efforts panned out, Get Science, a site run by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, created this graphic to map out the smallpox outbreaks over the years. Here's what the spread of smallpox looked like in the 20th century, including when eradication efforts began in the 1950s.
So far, smallpox remains the only disease that's been completely eradicated. Virus genomes reveal factors that spread and sustained the Ebola epidemic : Nature. Field Epidemiology Training Program: About Us | Division of Global Health Protection | Global Health | CDC. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, WHO and partners rapidly and effectively coordinate the response to Ebola.
Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) | Division of Global Health Protection | Global Health | CDC. The world is running out of antibiotics, WHO report confirms. ‘Antibiotic apocalypse’: doctors sound alarm over drug resistance | Society. Ahead of Print -Global Disease Detection—Achievements in Applied Public Health Research, Capacity Building, and Public Health Diplomacy, 2001–2016 - Volume 23, Number 13—December 2017.
Marburg virus outbreak in Uganda – what you need to know. Unlocking Potential: How Water and Sanitation Can Address Childhood Stunting. A small number of farms are responsible for the majority of antibiotic use | Environment. Tanzania’s Disease Detectives Crack a Complicated Case | Division of Global Health Protection | Global Health. Richard Smith: A cholera epidemic - The BMJ. Tapping the Benefits of Clean Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene to Achieve the Sustainable Development GoalsUnited Nations Foundation. Scientists hail malaria breakthrough as bed nets prove deadly to mosquitoes | Global development.
Winning the Infectious Disease Marathon. Wider use of rotavirus vaccine urged after 'potent' success of Malawi trial | Global development. Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in Europe 2017. UK meets UN target in drive to end HIV epidemic | Society. Stigma means Russia risks HIV epidemic as cases rise. Italy's M5S sacks entire board of health experts, sparking political interference concerns. Ebola responders face deadly attacks. We must step up security in DRC | Global development. Springer Nature sur Twitter : "Special Offer ends on Dec 17 - Springer Nature supports #WorldToiletDay by presenting a collection of research tackling the global sanitation crisis and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Read and share the cont.
Ebola virus disease contact tracing activities, lessons learned and best practices during the Duport Road outbreak in Monrovia, Liberia, November 2015. Focus: Infectious Diseases: From Skin Infections to Ebola: Practice, Policy, and Beyond. Measles is often spread by adults - Never too old. No link between autism and MMR, affirms major study | Society. Hand dryers v paper towels: the surprisingly dirty fight for the right to dry your hands | Society. Anti-vaxxers are taking populism to a new, deadly level | Gaby Hinsliff. UK should consider 'no jab, no school' policy, Italian study says | Society.
Lyme disease: is a solution on the way? | Science. UK Lyme disease cases may be three times higher than estimated | Science. China mystery illness: travellers checked as officials fear lunar new year could spread bug. Sepsis deaths around world 'twice as high as previously thought' | Society. Measles vaccination begins in Ebola-hit Congo amid fears of 'massive loss of life' | Global development. Briton dies from rabies after trip to Morocco | Science. Climate Change Pushing Tropical Diseases Toward Arctic. World Health Organization (WHO) sur Twitter : "#Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection, widespread throughout the tropics, with risk increased by: □rainfall □temperature □unplanned rapid urbanization. □
'We were burying 10 children a year': how toilets are saving lives in Madagascar | Environment. The Guardian view on Ebola in the DRC: help needed – and dialogue too | Editorial. 'Most complex health crisis in history': Congo struggles to contain Ebola | Global development. Killings of police and polio workers halt vaccine drive in Pakistan | Global development.
Nearly 170m under-10s unvaccinated against measles worldwide | Society. As Ebola kills in Africa, in the west lies over vaccines beguile the complacent | Mark Honigsbaum. Disease Detectives: The role of a field logistician in international disease outbreaks. People, not statistics: Health Heroes in a Ugandan Fishing Village. The Guardian view on vaccination: a duty of public health | Editorial. Revealed: Facebook enables ads to target users interested in 'vaccine controversies' | Technology. How Facebook and YouTube help spread anti-vaxxer propaganda | Media. The endless hunt for the perfect flu vaccine | News. Anti-vaxxers spread misinformation on social media – report | Society. ‘We’re Out of Options’: Doctors Battle Drug-Resistant Typhoid Outbreak. Fight against Zika, dengue get boost from reliable spread of bacteria. Scientists divided over new research method to combat malaria. Theconversation. The Virus Hunters: The Daunting Search for the Next Deadly Pathogen.
From Panic and Neglect to Investing in Health Security: Financing Pandemic Preparedness at a National Level. Theconversation. Preventing Local Outbreaks from Becoming Global Pandemics: FETP Enhances Capabilities to Track Diseases and Stop Them at the Source | | Blogs | CDC. One health economics for healthy people, agriculture and environment | Investing in Health. World Health Organization hails major progress on tackling tropical diseases | Global development. Pandemic response a cycle of 'panic and neglect,' says World Bank president. WASH 1,000 and Community Led Total Sanitation in Ghana | SPRING. One Health | CDC. WHO names 12 bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health | Society. One Health: let’s not have pandemics get in the way | Investing in Health. Trachoma. The world’s dirty little secret. This article will make you want to wash your hands | Bee Wilson | Society. World Bank Group Launches Groundbreaking Financing Facility to Protect Poorest Countries against Pandemics.
Global Health - Global Health Security - Why It Matters. Successful Ebola responses in Nigeria, Senegal and Mali. Zika And Ebola Are Both Global Health Emergencies, But The Responses Will Look Very Different. Sierra Leone Contains New Threat of Ebola With Lessons Learned | Traansforming Lives | Sierra Leone. IHR Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network respond. Blog: how government action was key to getting Ebola under control in Liberia.