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Today's Headlines: March 17, 2017

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases

High-Path H7N9 Confirmed on Second Tennessee Farm ( CIDRAP) Federal animal health officials have confirmed a highly pathogenic H7N9 avian flu outbreak at a second farm in Tennessee, as Alabama agriculture authorities wait for test results to see if 3 recent outbreaks in neighboring areas are related. Go to article

Severe Neurologic Disorders in 2 Fetuses with Zika Virus Infection, Colombia ( Emerging Infectious Diseases) We report the results of pathologic examinations of 2 fetuses from women in Colombia with Zika virus infection during pregnancy that revealed severe central nervous system defects and potential associated abnormalities of the eye, spleen, and placenta. Amniotic fluid and tissues from multiple fetal organs tested positive for Zika virus. Go to article

Alabama Ag. Dept. Update on Avian Flu ( Avian Flu Diary) Two days ago the Alabama Department of Agriculture announced 3 suspected outbreaks of bird flu along their northern border with Tennessee. Samples were forwarded to the APHIS lab in Ames, Iowa, and we've been waiting for official confirmation.  Go to article

Detailing Recent H7N9 Cases, WHO Notes 3 Clusters ( CIDRAP) WHO in 2 new reports weighed in on 84 recently reported H7N9 avian influenza infections reported by China, including a recent imported case from Hong Kong, noting 3 possible human-to-human illness clusters. Go to article

Typhus is Making a Comeback in Texas--Aided by Heat, Poverty, and Cats ( Vocativ) An old microbial enemy of ours is mounting a quiet comeback in the South, a new study published this month in Emerging Infectious Diseases has found--1 aided by poverty, climate change, and cats. Go to article

Domestic Preparedness & Response

Trump Budget Would 'Erode' State and Local Emergency Preparedness and Response ( Route Fifty) State and local officials visiting Capitol Hill on Thursday were already grappling with the fallout from President Trump's proposed "skinny budget," which would cut Federal Emergency Management Agency program grants by $667 million. Go to article

From Concept to Operations: Building Disaster Health Resilience in One of America's Largest Communities ( ASPR) If you want to take your disaster health security plans from paper to practice you need to involve the community--no matter what the size. But when your community is large, diverse and vulnerable to a wide array of threats, community engagement becomes even more important. Go to article

Government Affairs & National Security

Antibiotic Resistance ( GAO) This report examines actions HHS and USDA have taken to manage use of antibiotics in food animals and assess the impact of their actions, identifies actions selected countries and the EU have taken to manage use of antibiotics in food animals, and examines the extent to which HHS and USDA conducted on-farm investigations of foodborne illness outbreaks from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in animal products. Go to article

Science and Technology Issues in the 15th Congress ( Congressional Research Service) This report briefly outlines an array of science and technology policy issues that may come before the 115th Congress. Given the rapid pace of S&T advancement and its importance in many diverse public policy issues, S&T-related issues not discussed in this report may come before the 115th Congress. Go to article

Trump's Budget Cuts 20% of NIH; Group Express Outrage ( CIDRAP) President Donald Trump released his preliminary $1.1 trillion 2018 budget this morning, which details how the new administration will tackle discretionary spending and includes drastic cuts in key public health programs. Go to article

MCMi Fiscal Year 2016 Program Update ( FDA) The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013, enacted in 2013, requires FDA to issue an annual report detailing its medical countermeasure activities. This report responds to that requirement for fiscal year 2016. Go to article

Global Health Security

Global Health in a Populist and Nationalist Age ( Journal of International Affairs) For nearly two decades, there has been a positive, dreamy side to globalization. Building on the 1948 founding of the WHO and its stated mission of health for all, the early 21 century saw billions of dollars moving yearly from the wealthy world to poorer countries, which financed treatments, medical systems, public health infrastructures, safe water and waste disposal, training and education for millions of health workers, routine vaccination against a raft of microbes, and rapid responses against dangerous outbreaks. Go to article

Cholera Vaccination Campaign Begins in Somalia ( Gavi) Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has delivered 953,000 doses of Oral Cholera Vaccine to the country to protect over 450,000 people from the disease. The campaign will take place in 3 of the worst-hit regions, Banadir, Kismayo and Beledweyne, with the vaccination being given in 2 doses to everyone over the age of one. Go to article

Trump Proposes Shuttering NIH Program that Promotes Medical Research Overseas ( STAT News) One of NIH's only programs devoted to global health research and training is on the chopping block as part of President Trump's vision for an overhaul of some government agencies. Go to article

Modernizing Pandemic Response the Central Challenge for Next WHO Chief ( The Global Observatory) The rise of superbugs, the yellow fever outbreak in Brazil, and the spread of H7N9 avian influenza in China are among the global health threats facing the next leader of WHO. Go to article

Q&A with Tony Fauci on the State of Pandemic Security ( Devex) Devex spoke to Fauci about what his institute is doing--and what global health organizations need to do--to better prepare governments and health systems for those inevitable, unpredictable threats. Go to article

Medicine & Public Health

"We are Not Ready": Experts Warn World is Unprepared for Next Ebola-Size Outbreak ( CBS News) Is the world ready to defend against the next big infectious disease outbreak? It's one of the biggest threats humanity could face. But experts who have reviewed reports on the global response to the massive Ebola outbreak that swept through West African countries for 2 years starting in 2014 say we're "grossly underprepared" to handle a similar health crisis. Go to article

Public Health Advocates Say Trump Budget Undermines Their Efforts ( Modern Healthcare) The release of President's Trump's budget on Thursday has drawn ire from public health advocates who say the cuts being proposed would put people at risk while helping to exacerbate a shortfall in healthcare professionals. Go to article

Science & Technology

UK Grants 1st License to Make Babies Using DNA from 3 People ( AP News) The release of President's Trump's budget on Thursday has drawn ire from public health advocates who say the cuts being proposed would put people at risk while helping to exacerbate a shortfall in healthcare professionals. Go to article

Structural Biology of the Zika Virus ( Trends in Biochemical Sciences) Cryo-electron microscopy structural studies revealed that the ZIKV particle has 2 unique features: a protruding N154 glycosylation site and a more compact surface with higher thermostability. Go to article

The Socio-Economic Drivers of Bushmeat Consumption During the West African Ebola Crisis ( PLOS: Neglected Tropical Diseases) Bushmeat represents an important source of animal protein for humans in tropical Africa. Unsustainable bushmeat hunting is a major threat to wildlife and its consumption is associated with an increased risk of acquiring zoonotic diseases, such as Ebola virus disease. Go to article

Synergy Between the Classical and the Alternative Pathways of Complement is Essential for Conferring Effective Protection Against the Pandemic Influenza A(H1N1) 2009 Virus Infection ( PLOS: Pathogens) The pandemic influenza A(H1N1) 2009 virus is now circulating seasonally and causing a significant disease burden worldwide. Hence, it is important to delineate the immune components required for protection against its infection. Go to article

H1N1 Influenza Viruses Varying Widely in Hemagglutinin Stability Efficiently from Swine to Swing and to Ferrets ( PLOS: Pathogens) A pandemic-capable influenza virus requires a hemagglutinin surface glycoprotein that is immunologically unseen by most people and is capable of supporting replication and transmission in humans. HA stabilization has been linked to 2009 pH1N1 pandemic potential in humans and H5N1 airborne transmissibility in the ferret model. Go to article

Other 21st Century Threats

Tillerson Says Diplomacy Has Failed as North Korea Warns of Nuclear War ( Chicago Tribune) The Trump administration made a clear break Thursday with diplomatic efforts to talk North Korea out of a nuclear confrontation, bringing the US and its Asian allies closer to a military response than at any point in more than a decade. Go to article

Health in Conflict ( The Lancet) The Lancet and the American University of Beirut have together established the concept for a Commission on Syria: Health in Conflict. The aim of the Commission will be to describe, analyse and interrogate the calamity before us through the lens of health and wellbeing. Go to article

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