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Today's Headlines: April 20, 2017
Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases

Nigeria Meningitis Case Count Tops 8000 ( Outbreak News Today) The meningococcal meningitis numbers keep piling up in parts of Nigeria as officials now put the case count at 8,057 suspected cases and 745 deaths as of Monday, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. Go to article

Zika Virus Can Trigger Epilepsy ( CBS News) Beyond its known links to birth defects and other problems, the Zika virus may also trigger cases of epilepsy in infants, warn experts from CDC. Among 48 babies from Brazil with probable congenital Zika infection, "50% reportedly had clinical seizures," said Dr. Daniel Pastula, Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp and Rosemarie Kobau. Go to article

Why the Menace of Mosquitoes Will Only Get Worse ( NY Times) Climate change is altering the environment in ways that increase the potential for viruses like Zika. Go to article

Domestic Preparedness & Response

Documents Shed Light on Officials' Actions During Dam Crisis ( AP News) An Associated Press examination has revealed federal and state managers made a series of questionable decisions before and during a recent crisis at America's tallest dam. For nearly a week in February, Oroville Dam managers assured the public there was no immediate danger after a massive crack opened in the main concrete chute that carries water from the dam. Go to article

Deep Inequities Exist in States' Preparedness for Public Health Emergencies, 2017 Index Shows ( NHSPI) The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the results of the 2017 National Health Security Preparedness Index, which found the US scored a 6.8 on a 10-point scale for preparedness--a 1.5% improvement over the last year, and a 6.3% improvement since the Index began four years ago. Go to article

Government Affairs & National Security

The Education of President Trump by Bill Gates, Global Health Advocate ( STAT News) In a recent interview with STAT, the philanthropist talked about how he made the case for global health -- and vaccines -- to Trump. Though the meeting took place several weeks ago, Gates didn't speak publicly about the most recent meeting after it took place. Go to article

Trump Advisers Call for Expanded Access to Treatment in War on Opioid Addiction ( STAT News) President Trump is determined to expand access to addiction treatment to help curb the opioid crisis, several of his top health advisers said on Wednesday. Go to article

Global Health Security

Gates Backs Big Pharma Push to Wipe Out Tropical Diseases ( Reuters) The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Western countries and drug companies pledged fresh support on Wednesday to wipe out diseases that blind, disable and disfigure millions of poor in tropical areas each year and urged new donors to join the fight. Go to article

Medicine & Public Health

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Resurfaces: Threat to Humankind ( Science Times) According to Medical News Today, there are 26 infectious global diseases that are vaccine-preventable. Some of these diseases recently made a comeback. Go to article

Crowdsourcing Was Right About Weston Jimmy John's Outbreak ( Food Safety News) Iwaspoisoned.com, the crowdsourcing site for safer dining, was correct in finding norovirus was making people sick after they ate at the Weston Jimmy John's near Wausau, WI. The Marathon County Health Department reports a norovirus outbreak was responsible for making about 100 people sick since April 7. The department began collecting reports from people who picked up food from the nationally franchised sandwich shop shortly before becoming ill. Go to article

Michigan's 'Stealth Move' to Increase Vaccination Rates ( STAT News) Just 3 years ago, Michigan had the fourth-highest rate of unvaccinated kindergartners in the nation. But when a charter school in northwestern Traverse City reported nearly 2 dozen cases of whooping cough and several cases of measles that November, state officials were jolted to action. Go to article

Science & Technology

Wolbachia-infected Mosquitoes Released in Florida ( The Scientist) Kentucky-based MosquitoMate released 20,000 male Aedes aegypti this week (April 18) in a field trial in the Florida Keys, testing the insects' abilities to tamp down the local mosquito population. These male mosquitoes were treated with the bacterium Wolbachia, which causes eggs to perish when infected males mate with uninfected females. Go to article

Other 21st Century Threats

OPCW Director-General Shares Incontrovertible Laboratory Results Concluding Exposure to Sarin ( Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) The bio-medical samples collected from 3 victims during their autopsy were analysed at 2 OPCW designated laboratories. The results of the analysis indicate that the victims were exposed to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance. Go to article

Russia Vetoes UN Statement on North Korea's Missile Tests ( CNN) Russia has derailed a proposed UN Security Council statement that would have condemned North Korea's latest missile launch test, using its veto to torpedo the motion. Go to article


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