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As governments throughout the world develop and implement national action plans to increase their capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to health emergencies, experts at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partners are working to develop a scientifically grounded evidence base of effective and measurable global health security interventions that can help guide future efforts.        

 

The foundation of this work is detailed in a series of articles and commentaries in a special supplement to Health Security, "Building the Evidence Base for Global Health Security Implementation," published Nov. 27. The supplement was a collaborative effort between the CDC and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Full Issue


A perspective written by Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo and Dr. Tom Inglesby was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In the article, they discuss the urgent need for increased resources to prevent the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo from becoming a major epidemic.  Go to article
  
T oday's Headlines: December 4, 2018

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases
    
Polio-like Disease in US Kids Appears to Have Peaked for 2018, CDC Says (Washington Post) Federal health officials said Monday that cases of the paralyzing, polio-like illness that was spiking in children in the US this year appears to have peaked. In 2018, 134 cases of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, have been confirmed in 33 states, according to the CDC. Another 165 cases are under investigation. In a statement, the CDC said officials expect the number of cases to decline for the remainder of the year. Most of the latest confirmed cases occurred in September and October. Go to article
 
DRC Ebola Total Climbs to 444 with Cases in Several Areas (CIDRAP) Over the weekend and through today, the Democratic Republic of the Congo reported 16 new Ebola cases in several locations in and around the main hot spots. Go to article
 
 
Domestic Preparedness & Response
 
House Lawmakers, Alliance for Biosecurity Urge Senate to Pass Pandemic, All-hazards Reauthorization Bill (Homeland Preparedness News) Federal officials are pushing for the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018, which was approved by the US House of Representatives in September, to be signed into law this year. Go to article
 
 
Global Health Security
 
Polio Outbreak in Syria Successfully Stopped (WHO) The polio outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 detected in 2017 in Syria has been successfully stopped, with no international spread, according to experts. Go to article
 
WHO Says It Can Fight Ebola Outbreak Despite US Withdrawal (AP News) The head of the World Health Organization said Monday it can fight the deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo despite the withdrawal of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insisting: "We can cover it." Go to article
 
Sacking of Italy's Health Experts Sparks Political Interference Concerns (The Guardian) The Italian health minister's decision to sack the entire board of the country's most important committee of technical-scientific experts who advise the government on health policy, has raised alarm over who will replace them. Go to article
 
 
Medicine & Public Health
 
Are We on the Cusp of a Breakthrough in Ebola Treatment? (The Guardian) Ebola could be transformed from a terrifying disease into something that can be managed at home if drug trials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are successful, a leading scientist believes. Four experimental drugs are starting to be used as part of a groundbreaking trial under extremely difficult conditions in an outbreak in conflict-ridden eastern DRC. Go to article
 
 
Science & Technology
 
A New Approach to Studying the Flu (Science Daily) Scientists have known for decades that a flu virus in a human body can be a lot different than viruses grown in a lab. As opposed to the uniform, spherical, textbook-style viruses in a petri dish, in humans they vary in shape and composition -- particularly the abundance of certain proteins -- even if they are genetically very similar. Go to article
 
Universal Flu Vaccine Remains 'an Alchemist's Dream' (Science) What if instead of lining up for a flu shot of unknown effectiveness each fall, people could receive one vaccine that protects against all strains and lasts for many years, if not for life. It could spare incalculable amounts of suffering, and even eliminate terrifying pandemics. Scientists have spent decades trying to concoct such a "universal" flu vaccine and, at times, they seem to have made solid headway. But it remains an "alchemist's dream," as one virologist declared last month at a gathering on the topic organized by the Human Vaccines Project, a nonprofit based in New York City. Go to article


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Preparedness Pulsepoints: December 4, 2018
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