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A delegation of staff from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security is attending the 2017 Meeting of States Parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from Dec. 4-8, alongside representatives from 179 nations that have signed and ratified the treaty.  Read now
Today's Headlines: December 6, 2017

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases

South Africa Reports Listeriosis Outbreak, Most Cases in Gauteng Province ( Outbreak News Today) According to the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases, sporadic listeriosis cases are reported in the country. The first documented outbreaks of listeriosis were in 1977. Between August 1977 to April 1978, 14 cases were reported in the Johannesburg area. In 2017, the NICD reports a total of 557 laboratory-confirmed listeriosis cases from all provinces since the beginning of the year. Go to article

Missouri Reports a Significant Increase in Flu Early on ( Outbreak News Today) Missouri state health officials have reported a four-fold increase in influenza, or flu cases to start out the 2017-2018 flu season. As of November 25, 2017, there were 1,545 cases of the flu reported to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, compared to 379 cases reported at the same time last year. Go to article


Government Affairs & National Security

Antimicrobial Resistance from Environmental Pollution Among Biggest Emerging Health Threats, Says UN Environment ( UN Environment) Growing antimicrobial resistance linked to discharge of drugs and particular chemicals into the environment is one of the most worrying health threats today, according to new research from UN Environment that highlights emerging challenges and solutions in the environmental space. Go to article

HHS/CDC/CMS Update on Public Health Emergencies ( CDC) On Monday, December 4, Health and Human Services Acting Secretary Eric Hargan will travel to Atlanta, Georgia, where he will meet with CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, and CMS Administrator Seema Verma to discuss departmental response to ongoing public health emergencies. Following the meeting, Acting Secretary Hargan and Administrator Verma will join Dr. Fitzgerald for a press conference. Go to article


Medicine & Public Health

CVS and Aetna Say Merger Will Improve Your Health Care. Can They Deliver? ( New York Times) When CVS Health and Aetna announced their merger on Sunday, their executives painted an image of a dawning health care utopia. The new company, combining one of the country's biggest pharmacies with one of its largest health insurers, will create a world where patients will get the "human touch," they said. Fewer people will fall through the cracks, they promised, and getting high-quality, low-cost medical care will be as close as your corner drugstore. Go to article

West and Central Africa Lagging Far Behind World in HIV Response, Warns UNICEF ( UN News Centre) Four in five children living with HIV in West and Central Africa are still not receiving life-saving antiretroviral therapy and AIDS-related deaths among adolescents aged 15-19 are on the rise, the United Nations Children's Fund has warned. "It is tragic that so many children and adolescents today are not receiving the treatment they need just because they have not been tested," said Marie-Pierre Poirier, the UNICEF Director for the region, in a news release, Tuesday, calling for improvement of early diagnosis and access to HIV treatment and care for children. Go to article

Xi Jinping Thought Doesn't Mention China's Health Care Crisis. It Should ( STAT) There is a crisis brewing in China. I'm not talking about anything military or political. The newly constitutionalized Xi Jinping Thought, a set of principles meant to guide Chinese economic, political, and military expansion in the next two decades, has been silent on the issue of national health care, which may threaten the long-term stability of China. Go to article

Trouble Mounts for Sanofi Dengue Vaccine over Safety Concerns ( Reuters) The World Health Organization said on Monday it hopes to review safety data on Sanofi's dengue vaccine this month, while the Philippines ordered an investigation of its now suspended massive immunization program after the French drugmaker said it could actually worsen the disease in some cases. Go to article


Science & Technology

Engineers 3-D Print a 'Living Tattoo' ( Science Daily) Engineers have devised a 3-D printing technique that uses a new kind of ink made from genetically programmed living cells. The cells are engineered to light up in response to a variety of stimuli. When mixed with a slurry of hydrogel and nutrients, the cells can be printed, layer by layer, to form three-dimensional, interactive structures and devices. Go to article

Rats Join Mosquitoes as Targets for 'Gene Drive' Pest Control ( Reuters) Rodents have joined mosquitoes in the cross-hairs of scientists working on a next-generation genetic technology known as "gene drive" to control pests. Researchers in Scotland said on Tuesday they had developed two different ways to disrupt female fertility in rats and mice, building on a similar approach that has already been tested in the lab to eliminate malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Go to article

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