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Today's Headlines: June 14, 2017
 
Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases

China Reports More High-Path H7N9 Outbreaks in Poultry ( CIDRAP) In the latest avian flu developments, China reports more highly pathogenic H7N9 outbreaks in 3 provinces, and South Korea continues to battle a flare-up of H5N8 activity, according to the latest notifications from the World Organization for Animal Health. Go to article

DRC Reports 11 More Outbreaks of HPAI H5N8 ( Avian Flu Diary) A little over 2 weeks ago, in OIE Confirms HPAI H5 in DRC, the Democratic Republic of Congo reported their first HPAI H5 bird flu outbreak, although at the time the n-type was unknown.  Go to article

Deadly Cholera Epidemic Infecting One Child Every Minute Sweeps Through Yemen ( Independent) Save the Children has warned that the rate of cholera infection in Yemen has tripled over the past 14 days, with an average of 105 children contracting the disease every hour--or 1 every 35 seconds. Go to article

Polio: Syria Update, Democratic Republic of the Congo ( Outbreak News Today) In an update on the polio outbreak in Syria, WHO reports there is evidence of genetic linkage among 3 isolates of type-2 vaccine-derived polioviruses isolated in the stool specimens of 2 acute flaccid paralysis cases with dates of onset of paralysis on 5 March and 6 May 2017, and the contact specimen of an AFP case collected on 17 April 2017. Go to article


Domestic Preparedness & Response

Stacking Countermeasures for Layered Defense ( Global Biodefense) The Defense Threat Reduction Agency Joint Science and Technology Office's Toxicant Penetration and Scavenging research program, managed by Brian Pate, PhD, explores countermeasure development for increased protection against chemical and biological weapons. Go to article

Why NIMS Continuing Education is Needed ( Domestic Preparedness) The National Incident Management System and the National Response Framework are very important and overall well-constructed documents despite some past failures related to their implementation. However, one common denominator in disaster failures or successes is the people involved and the education and training of those personnel. Go to article


Government Affairs & National Security

Congress Questions Global Health Impact of Proposed Budget Cuts ( Healio) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testified before the House and Senate this week on the State Department's 2018 fiscal year budget request of $37.6 billion, a cut of nearly 30%. Senators and representatives from both parties weighed in on the impact on world health initiatives. Go to article

Florida Congressional Members Want US Army to Hold Public Hearings on Zika Vaccine ( Miami Herald) A bipartisan group of members of Congress from Florida has asked the acting secretary of the US Army to hold public hearings before awarding exclusive rights to a French pharmaceutical manufacturer to develop a Zika vaccine using technology invented by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and funded by American taxpayers. Go to article

Democrats Urge Against Cuts to Biological Threat Preparedness Programs ( Homeland Preparedness News) In a public letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman US Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), a group of Democratic House members requested that the committee hold a hearing regarding the country's ability to be prepared for and respond to various biological threats.  Go to article

The NSA Has Linked the WannaCry Computer Worm to North Korea ( Washington Post) The National Security Agency has linked the North Korean government to the creation of the WannaCry computer worm that affected more than 300,000 people in some 150 countries last month, according to US intelligence officials. Go to article


Global Health Security

The World Health Organization Just Picked a New Leader. These are the Challenges He Faces. ( Washington Post) On May 23, WHO elected a new director-general: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, known as Tedros. The 1st DG from an African nation, he is also the 1st nonmedical doctor to lead the organization. With a doctorate in public health, he served as Ethiopia's health minister from 2005 to 2012 and foreign minister from 2012 to 2016. Go to article

WHO Director General Elect Welcomes New Funding for Polio Eradication ( WHO) WHO Director-General elect, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has welcomed contributions and pledges of $1.2 billion for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The pledges were made at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta, USA which is being attended by 32 000 Rotarians from around the world. Go to article


Medicine & Public Health

Michigan's Health Chief, Four Others, Charged with Manslaughter Over Flint Water Contamination ( Los Angeles Times) Five people, including the head of Michigan's health department, were charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter in an investigation of Flint's lead-contaminated water, all blamed in the death of an 85-year-old man who contracted Legionnaires' disease. Go to article

Estimated Impact of the FY18 President's Budget on Selected Public Health Programs by State ( Trust for America's Health) The President's FY 2018 budget proposal would have serious negative consequences for our nation's health and would likely lead to staggering increases in health care costs if these proposed cuts become law. The proposed budget would cut the CDC by more than $1.2 billion (17%) in FY 2018. Go to article

Unintended Consequences and the Paradox of Control: Management of Emerging Pathogens with Age-Specific Virulence ( BioRxiv) We project the long term incidence of Zika virus disease under varying hazards of infection and consider how the age-distribution of disease burden varies between these scenarios. Go to article

Anti-Malaria Drugs: Potential New Target Identified ( Science Daily) A newly described protein could be an effective target for combatting drug-resistant malaria parasites. The protein regulates a number of genes involved with a critical part of the parasite's complex life cycle--its invasion of a person's red blood cells. Go to article


Science & Technology

Google Bets on European Biotech Drugs, Backs New Fund ( Reuters) Google is betting on the potential of European biotech companies to deliver life-changing drugs by investing alongside Swiss company Novartis in a new $300 million fund run by leading life sciences investment firm Medicxi. Go to article

Mask Prototype Developed to Better Protect Warfighters Against Biological Agents ( Homeland Preparedness News) The Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, the Battle Memorial Institute, and Priority Designs recently partnered to produce an improved protective mask against biological agents for soldiers in the field. Go to article

Engineering Nature to Prevent Disease Signals Potential of Synthetic Biology ( Straits Times) If mosquitoes could be "engineered" to die before they can reproduce, diseases which are spread by these insects, such as Zika and dengue, could be slowed down. Go to article
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