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Today's Headlines: September 12, 2017

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases

The Predictors of 3- and 30-day Mortality in 660 MERS-CoV Patients ( BMC Infectious Diseases) The mortality rate of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus patients is a major challenge in all healthcare systems worldwide. Because the MERS-CoV risk-standardized mortality rates are currently unavailable in the literature, the author concentrated on developing a method to estimate the risk-standardized mortality rates using MERS-CoV 3- and 30-day mortality measures. Go to article

Effectiveness and Economic Assessment of Routine Larviciding for Prevention of Chikungunya and Dengue in Temperate Urban Settings in Europe ( PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases) In the last decades, several European countries where arboviral infections are not endemic have faced outbreaks of diseases such as chikungunya and dengue, initially introduced by infectious travellers from tropical endemic areas and then spread locally via mosquito bites. To keep in check the epidemiological risk, interventions targeted to control vector abundance can be implemented by local authorities. Go to article

Multistate Outbreak of Human Campylobacter Infections Linked to Pet Store Puppies ( CDC) The Ohio Department of Health, several other states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are investigating a multistate outbreak of human Campylobacter infections linked to puppies sold through Petland, a national pet store chain. The outbreak includes 39 people with laboratory-confirmed Campylobacter infections or symptoms consistent with Campylobacter infection who live in 7 states (Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin) and were exposed to puppies sold through Petland stores. Go to article

Domestic Preparedness & Response

Florida Keys Facing Potential 'Humanitarian Crisis' in Irma Aftermath ( Guardian) Florida governor Rick Scott reported a scene of devastation in the Keys, the low-lying island chain to the south of the mainland, after an aerial tour at lunchtime. "The water is not working, the sewer is not working, and there's no electricity, so it's very tough," he told reporters. He said he had seen boats carried into homes, mobile home parks destroyed and major damage to even the sturdiest buildings. Go to article

Public Health Preparedness Funding: Key Programs and Trends from 2001 to 2017 ( AJPH) To evaluate trends in funding over the past 16 years for key federal public health preparedness and response programs at the US Department of Health and Human Services, to improve understanding of federal funding history in this area, and to provide context for future resource allocation decisions for public health preparedness. Go to article

Global Health Security

Can You Track the Ebola Funding from Pledge to Delivery? ( The Politics of Poverty) For aid transparency information to be useful, we need not just information on funding, but also needs to include information about where the funds are used and what they intend to deliver. Go to article

Referral Challenge Hits Bid to Contain Cholera in Nigeria's Northeast ( Thomson Reuters Foundation) Efforts to contain a cholera outbreak that has struck more than 1,000 people in refugee camps in northeast Nigeria are being hampered because people are failing to report suspected cases to authorities, a United Nations official said. Go to article

Medicine & Public Health

Houston's Floodwaters Are Tainted with Toxins, Testing Shows ( New York Times) Floodwaters in two Houston neighborhoods have been contaminated with bacteria and toxins that can make people sick, testing organized by The New York Times has found. Residents will need to take precautions to return safely to their homes, public health experts said. Go to article

Floodwater Pathogens Can't Be Washed Off of Fresh Produce ( Food Safety News) The state of Florida produces more fresh fruits and vegetables than any other state except California, and is the top tomato state in the country. As with backyard gardens, Hurricane Irma has turned many of Florida's commercial fruit and vegetable fields into patches of pathogens that can't be washed away. Even the thick rinds of pumpkins and melons cannot protect the edible portion of the produce if it has been exposed to floodwater. From the Food and Drug Administration to county extension agents, experts on fresh produce are warning of the dangers of eating fresh produce that has been touched by floodwaters. Go to article

Science & Technology

New Portable, Cost-effective Agile R100 Detects Zika Viral Protein with High Sensitivity and Specificity ( Erie News NOW) Nanomedical Diagnostics, a cutting-edge life science company pioneering graphene biosensors that accelerate pharmaceutical and biotherapeutics development, announces a new publication in Biosensors and Bioelectronics demonstrating detection of Zika viral antigen using the label-free Agile R100 biosensor. Antibodies developed by the Centers for Disease Control were used to directly detect the viral protein Zika NS1 at clinically relevant levels of sensitivity. Specificity to Zika NS1 was demonstrated with no sensor response to Japanese Encephalitis NS1, a closely-related infection that potentially produces false positives. Go to article

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