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We are pleased to announce the opening of the application process for the 2018 class of the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative. We invite you to circulate this call for applications among your colleagues and students. Applications will be accepted through December 22, 2017. Learn More and Apply

Today's Headlines: November 14, 2017

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases
Why Did 1918 Flu Kills So Many Otherwise Health Young Adults? ( Smithsonian) Vaccination is underway for the 2017-2018 seasonal flu, and next year will mark the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed roughly 40 million people. It is an opportune time to consider the possibility of pandemics--infections that go global and affect many people--and the importance of measures aimed at curbing them. Go to article

Development of Gillain-Barre Syndrome Associated with Zika Virus Infection ( Neurology Advisor) Growing evidence suggests that there is a causal association between Zika virus infection and Guillain-Barré syndrome, according to the results of a recent case-control study conducted in Puerto Rico and published in JAMA. Go to article

Resource Utilization and Cost of Influenza Requiring Hospitalization in Canadian Adults: A Study from the Serious Outcomes Surveillance Network of the Canadian Immunization Research Network ( ISIRV) Study utilized previously recorded clinical characteristics, resource use, and outcomes of laboratory-confirmed influenza patients admitted to hospitals in the Serious Outcomes Surveillance (SOS), Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN), from 2010/11-2012/13. Go to article

Disneyland Shuts Down 2 Cooling Towers After Legionnaires' Disease Sickens Park Visitors ( Los Angeles Times) Disneyland has shut down 2 bacteria-contaminated cooling towers after Orange County health officials discovered several cases of Legionnaires' disease in people who had visited the Anaheim theme park, authorities said. Go to article

Southeast Michigan Hepatitis A Outbreak Nears 500 Cases, 20 Deaths ( Outbreak News Today) In a follow-up on the hepatitis A outbreak reported in southeastern Michigan, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) continues to see an elevated number of hepatitis A cases in the area. Go to article

See also: Vaccine Shortage Complicates Efforts to Quell Hepatitis A Outbreaks ( Kaiser Health News) San Diego County, battling a deadly outbreak of hepatitis A, is postponing an outreach campaign to provide the second of 2 inoculations against the contagious liver disease until a national shortage of the vaccine is resolved, the county's chief public health officer said. Go to article

Domestic Preparedness & Response

$1 Million Grant Helps Iowa State Pursue Biosecurity in Wake of 2015 Bird Flu ( The Gazette) The 2015 bird flu outbreak was this country's biggest-ever animal health emergency, and Iowa--a top egg producer and major turkey supplier--took the brunt. That can't happen again, as far as industry experts are concerned, and Iowa State University in collaboration with the USDA is taking steps to see it doesn't. Go to article

Inside the Decades-Long Fight for Better Emergency Alert ( Wired) More than 20 years later, Tom Wheeler can still remember the sound that several thousand tons of aluminum train make when they crash into an abandoned vehicle. Wheeler, who would eventually serve as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under President Obama, was at the time working on the opposite end of the regulatory spectrum, as CEO of the cell phone lobbying group, CTIA. He was sitting in the office of then-FCC chairman Reed Hundt. On the desk between them sat an old reel-to-reel tape recorder. Go to article

US Remains Unprepared for Agricultural Disease Outbreaks ( Emergency Management) The poultry farmers of Iowa could see it coming, almost like a storm on the horizon. Avian influenza struck Minnesota--the nation's largest turkey producer--first, striking hardest where turkey production was the dominant industry. Go to article

Government Affairs & National Security

Puerto Rico Seeks $94 Billion in Federal Aid After Hurricane ( AP News) Puerto Rico's governor on Monday asked the federal government for $94.4 billion as the island struggles to recover from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria, with much of the US territory without power and thousands still homeless. Go to article

Trump Picks Alex Azar to Lead Health and Human Services ( npr) President Trump is nominating a former pharmaceutical executive to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency that, among other things, regulates prescription drugs. The nomination comes at a time when rising drug prices have become a hot political issue. Go to article

Global Health Security

Saudi Siege on Yemen: 'Hundreds Will Die Within a Week' ( Aljazeera) Hundreds of sick and elderly Yemenis "will die within the next week" unless Saudi Arabia lifts its blockade and allows urgently needed medical supplies into the country. Go to article

As the Eradication of Polio Nears, A New Crisis for Global Health Looms ( STAT News) The world--or the part that pays attention to polio eradication, anyway--has fixed its sights on zero, the nearly 30-year-old goal of stopping transmission of the paralyzing virus that causes polio. But as the finish line comes into view, officials are largely overlooking a big potential problem, a new report warned Monday. Go to article

WHO Welcomes Appointment of New Executive Director of the Global Fund ( WHO) WHO welcomes the appointment of Peter Sands as the new Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Peter Sands will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Global Fund and help the organization to enhance its critical role in the global fight against HIV, TB and malaria, which together kill over 2.7 million people each year. Go to article

Medicine & Public Health

With Cures in Hand, a Major City Tries to Eliminate Hepatitis C--And Build a Model for Others ( STAT News) Just a few years after the introduction of a reliable cure for hepatitis C, this city has launched a campaign built on shoe leather and shrewd epidemiology to eliminate the virus. Health workers are expanding testing and searching the streets for homeless patients who don't pick up their medication. Clinicians are training more doctors to treat infections. Patients can store their medications at a syringe exchange. Go to article

If You're Sick, Stay Away from Work. If You Can't, Here is What Doctors Advise ( New York Times) When Elle Fraser, a business operations assistant for the New Jersey Devils, came down with the flu just before Thanksgiving last year, she didn't think about staying home from work. The hockey team had home games on Wednesday and Friday that week, and she worried that her work would never get done without her, even if she had a 103-degree fever. Go to article

Annual Influenza Vaccination Does Not Prevent Natural Immunity ( Science Daily) Earlier studies have suggested that having repeated annual influenza vaccination can prevent natural immunity to the virus, and potentially increase the susceptibility to influenza illness in the event of a pandemic, or when the vaccine does not "match" the virus circulating in the community. Go to article

Science & Technology

FDA Approves the First Pill That Can Alert Your Doctors When You Swallow It ( STAT News) The FDA has approved the first pill embedded with a sensor that can alert a patient's physician or caregiver when it's been ingested, the agency announced on Monday. Go to article

Other 21st Century Threats

Global Warming Really Did Make Hurricane Harvey More Likely ( The Atlantic) Think of the Earth's climate system as a pair of dice. You never know exactly how a roll will end. But some outcomes, like rolling a seven, are much more likely than others, like snake eyes. But when we warm the globe, we essentially load the dice to favor extreme outcomes, including some of the most unpleasant weather possible in the US. Go to article
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