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The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security is hosting Clade X , a pandemic tabletop exercise, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15. The exercise will illustrate high-level decisions and policies needed to prevent a severe pandemic or diminish its consequences should prevention fail. A livestream of the exercise will be available on the Center's page on Facebook. We hope you and many others interested in biosecurity will join us online and share the link in your networks. You can also follow #CladeX on Twitter for updates. 

Today's Headlines: May 14, 2018

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases 

Ebola Virus Disease - Democratic Republic of the Congo ( WHO) Since the publication of the first Disease Outbreak News on the Ebola outbreak in Equateur province, Democratic Republic of the Congo on 10 May 2018, an additional seven suspected cases have been notified by the country's Ministry of Health. Importantly, since the last update, cases have been reviewed and reclassified, and some discarded. Go to article

See also: Early in an Outbreak, Everything Is Questions... ( Virology Down Under) Nothing is usually clear in the early days of an outbreak of any infectious disease. Numbers, the source of the outbreak, place names and maps, estimates of severity and declarations of doom and gloom wax and wane. While we wait to hear more detail passed on from those on the ground who are best able to gather accurate information, this post is just a very rough summary of where we might be at. Go to article

Nigeria's Lassa Fever Outbreak Contained, but Continued Vigilance Needed ( WHO Africa) With six weeks of declining numbers and only a handful of confirmed cases reported in recent weeks, the critical phase of Nigeria's largest-ever Lassa fever outbreak is under control, according to the World Health Organization. However, Nigeria is endemic for Lassa fever and people could be infected throughout the year, making continued efforts to control any new flare ups crucial. Go to article

Domestic Preparedness & Response

Hawaii Residents Scrambling for Masks the Government Says Won't Help Them ( CNN) As volcanic eruptions spew toxic gas into the air, some residents of Hawaii's Big Island are frantically searching for masks for protection. But the Hawaii Department of Health says "no commercial mask sold in stores" would actually do residents any good. Go to article

Government Affairs & National Security

Ebola Returns Just as the White House Loses Its Top Biodefense Expert ( The Atlantic) This week, three things happened with painfully ironic synchronicity. First, the Democratic Republic of the Congo revealed that it is facing down its ninth Ebola outbreak. Second, President Trump asked Congress to rescind a $252 million pot that had been put aside to deal with Ebola. And third, global health expert Tim Ziemer unexpectedly departed the National Security Council, where he served as senior director for global health security and biodefense. Go to article

Global Health Security

The New Ebola Outbreak Could Take 'Three, Maybe Four' Months to Control ( The Atlantic) The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently fighting its ninth Ebola outbreak-and Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum is as calm as ever. Warm, round-faced, and preternaturally chill, Muyembe was the first scientist to encounter Ebola during the first-ever outbreak in 1976, and he has been involved in studying and fighting the disease ever since. Go to article

WHO Director General Visits Ebola-affected Areas in DR Congo ( H5N1) World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today visited the town of Bikoro in the north-west of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to assess the response to the current Ebola outbreak. Go to article

Experimental Vaccine to be Used Against Ebola Outbreak in the DRC ( STAT) A campaign to vaccinate people at risk of developing Ebola in the latest outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo could begin by the end of this week, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, said Sunday. Go to article

What's Behind the Alarming Spike in HIV Infections in Panama? ( NPR Goats and Soda) Arlene Calvo is a research professor at the University of South Florida's Panama City campus. She says HIV was unheard of in Ngabe territory until recently. The first case wasn't identified until 2001, decades after the virus first ravaged other parts of the world. And now that it's here, it's entrenched. Go to article

Medicine & Public Health

Multi-drug Resistant Infections Rising in Children ( Science Daily) Antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infections, one of the most common hospital-acquired infections in children across theUS, are on the rise, according to results of a recent study published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society on March 22. Go to article

Science & Technology

Risk-based Reboot for Global Lab Biosafety ( Science) Laboratory biosafety is fundamental to controlling exposure to pathogens, protecting the laboratory workforce and the wider community against inadvertent exposures or releases. Since 1983, the World Health Organization Laboratory Biosafety Manual has encouraged countries to implement basic concepts in biological safety and to develop national codes of practice for the safe handling of pathogenic microorganisms in laboratories. But as technologies continue to evolve, and with them potential threats and benefits to laboratory safety, so too must approaches to biosafety. Go to article

Other 21st Century Threats

Snooping on Denuclearization ( Arms Control Wonk) We read a lot of newspaper stories, some of which seem ... unreliable. One of the reason we like OSINT, especially satellite images, is that we can actually see things that are happening. Staring at satellite images is hardly a perfect way of knowing, but it seems more reliable to us than some of the, er, reporting that we are seeing. Go to article


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