About  |  Subscribe
New from the Center for Health Security


In February 2017, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted a Track II dialogue on biosecurity between experts in India and the US in New Delhi, India. There are multiple goals for the dialogue: to expand knowledge and understanding between India and the US about biological threats; increase awareness and probability of exchanges for early warning and detection of unusual biological events; deepen relationships between participants to serve as technical resources to each other going forward; and to identify issues that may warrant official government-to-government priority. Read now

Today's Headlines: May 17, 2017
Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases

Houston Had This Superbug Problem for Years and Never Knew ( NBC News) A dangerous strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is far more common in Houston than anyone knew and shows signs it can spread prolifically, researchers reported Tuesday. Go to article

Yellow Fever--Americas (46): Brazil, Virus Mutations ( ProMED Mail) Researchers from the Owsaldo Cruz Institute have discovered that the virus from the latest outbreak of yellow fever in Brazil--the largest since the Health Ministry began record keeping--has a genetic sequence that has never been encountered before. Go to article

Russia's Bird Flu Reports Continue ( Avian Flu Diary) Over the past few weeks we've seen a series of Russian bird flu reports--both official, and in the media--involving both 'infected' meat entering the food chain, and fresh outbreaks in poultry. Go to article

Government Affairs & National Security

Hearing: #SubOversight to Examine Zika Virus and State of Public Health Response for Potential Outbreaks ( The Energy and Commerce Committee) The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy, MD (R-PA), announced a hearing for Tuesday, May 23, 2017, at 10 am in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, "US Public Health Response to the Zika Virus: Continuing Challenges." Go to article

Global Health Spending Good for US Security and Economy, National Academies Say ( Science) If a serious infectious disease blossomed across the globe today, the US death toll could be double that of all the casualties suffered in wars since the American Revolution. Those 2 million potential American lives lost to a global pandemic is just one sobering statistic cited in a new report released today by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that urges sustained US spending on global health initiatives. Go to article

Expanded Mexico City Policy Could Imperil $8.8 Billion in Global Health Funding ( STAT News) The State Department on Monday officially announced a broad expansion of the Mexico City Policy, a regulation put in place by every Republican president since Ronald Reagan that prevents foreign nongovernmental organizations that perform or promote abortions from receiving American dollars. Go to article

Global Health Security

Attacks on Health Facilities and Health Workers: Time for the Security Council to Act ( The Lancet) May 3, 2017, marked the 1st anniversary of a UN Security Council resolution that condemned attacks on health facilities and personnel in conflict and the "prevailing impunity" for these atrocities. Go to article

WHO Prepares Experimental Ebola Vaccine for Possible First Use in Democratic Republic of Congo ( STAT News) The WHO and outside experts are making arrangements to send an experimental Ebola vaccine to the Democratic Republic of Congo, should officials there say they need it to quell an outbreak there. Go to article

Undetected Ebola Infection in International Healthcare Workers Very Unlikely ( EurekAlert!) Undiagnosed Ebola virus infection was probably very rare in international workers who were deployed during the 2013-2015 outbreak of the virus in West Africa, despite mild and asymptomatic cases of Ebola being known to occur, according to new research published in the journal PLOS Medicine. Go to article

3,900 Persons Enroll in Ebola Natural History Study ( H5N1) At least 3,900 persons have enrolled in the Ebola Natural History Study being conducted by PREVAIL--the Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia in Margibi County. Go to article

Ebola's Reappearance an Early Test of Global Health Improvements ( The Global Observatory) Ebola has resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, killing 3 people and infecting up to 17 others since April 22, the WHO announced this week. Go to article

Medicine & Public Health

Ebola Exposure, Illness Experience, and Ebola Antibody Prevalence in International Responders to the West African Ebola Epidemic 2014-2016: A Cross-Sectional Study ( PLOS: Medicine) Healthcare and other front-line workers are at particular risk of infection with Ebola virus. Despite the large-scale deployment of international responders, few cases of Ebola virus disease have been diagnosed in this group. Go to article

The Percentage of Americans Without Health Insurance Hit an All-Time Low ( Business Insider) According to the CDC's National Health Interview Survey, 9.0% of Americans did not have health insurance in 2016. That was down slightly from 9.1% in 2015 and down from 16.0% in 2010. Go to article

Science & Technology

Texas Leans into Unproven Stem Cell Treatments, to the Dismay of Scientists ( STAT News) He made the emotional plea to his colleagues: Pass this bill. "It might give somebody like my wife a chance to walk," Texas Representative Drew Springer said through tears late Thursday at the state Capitol in Austin. Go to article

China is Creating a DNA Database Straight Out of Science Fiction ( Defense One) In the name of safeguarding its 1.4 billion people, China has been collecting biometric information from millions of people whom it deems potential threats--among them, Uyghurs, migrant workers, and college students--as part of national DNA database. Go to article

Beaumont Researchers Develop Revolutionary Zika Test ( CBS Detroit) Testing for the Zika virus currently involves mailing blood samples to a lab and waiting for weeks to get the results. But new research from a local hospital is speeding up the process. Go to article

Consensus and Conflict Among Ecological Forecasts of Zika Virus Outbreaks in the United States ( BioRxiv) Ecologists are increasingly involved in the pandemic prediction process. In the course of the 2015-2016 outbreak of Zika virus, several ecological models were developed to forecast the potential global distribution of the disease. Go to article

Identification and Characterization of a Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibody That Provides Complete Protection Against Yersinia pestis ( PLOS: One) Yersinia pestis has caused an alarming number of deaths throughout recorded human history, and novel prophylactics and therapeutics are necessary given its potential as a bioweapon. Go to article

Health Security Headlines: Daily news related to US and global health security.
Preparedness Pulsepoints: Weekly updates on USG action on readiness and response. 
Clinicians' Biosecurity News: Analysis of advances and challenges in clinical biosecurity.

Published by JHSPH Center for Health Security | 621 East Pratt Street, Suite 210 | Baltimore, MD 21202
Visit us on the Web: www.CenterforHealthSecurity.org