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T oday's Headlines: January 10, 2019

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases
Yellow Fever - Nigeria (WHO) On 22 November 2018, the World Health Organization was informed of a cluster of suspected Yellow fever cases and deaths in Edo State, Nigeria. Edo State is located less than 400km from Lagos on a dense population movement axis between Lagos and South-Eastern Nigeria. Edo State is also a known endemic area for Lassa fever - which was initially suspected as causing the outbreak. From 22 September through 31 December 2018, a total of 146 suspected, 42 presumptive positive, and 32 confirmed cases, including 26 deaths (presumptive case fatality rate: 18%), have been reported across 15 of 18 Local Government Areas in Edo State. Go to article
Poliomyelitis - Democratic Republic of the Congo (WHO) As of October 2018, genetically-linked circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 isolates were detected in two cases from Haut-Katanga province (Mufunga-Sampwe district) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The first case was a 11-year old child who experienced onset of acute flaccid paralysis on 6 October. The second case was a 29-month old child who experienced onset of symptoms on 7 October, and is a known contact of the first case. The isolated viruses are a new emergence and unrelated to previously-detected cVDPV2s affecting the country. Go to article
Domestic Preparedness & Response
Los Angeles Gets America's First Earthquake Warning App (Wired) On January 3, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the release of ShakeAlertLA, a new earthquake-warning app for residents of Los Angeles County. The app-the first of its kind in the US-promises to "save lives by giving precious seconds to you and to your family to take action and to protect yourselves," Garcetti told reporters at a launch event at City Hall. Go to article
Global Health & Security
Poles Protest Govt Plan for Mass Slaughter of Wild Boars (New York Times) Tens of thousands of Poles are protesting a government plan to hold a massive slaughter of wild boars as a way to stop the spread of the deadly African swine fever among farm pigs. Poland's veterinary and farming officials approved the plan last year to kill 185,000 wild boars this season. Critics are protesting the government's move to speed up that cull by asking all licensed hunters to hunt and kill boars on weekends this month. Go to article
Government Affairs & National Security
FDA Says Most Food Inspections Halted Amid Shutdown (The Hill) The Food and Drug Administration says it has suspended all routine domestic food facility inspections amid the partial government shutdown. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told The Washington Post that he is putting together a plan to resume inspections of facilities that are deemed "high-risk." Go to article
Here's How the Government Shutdown Could Affect Your Health (Popular Science) The US is rolling into the third week with a partially shutdown government, with no signs of a re-opening any time soon. Thousands of federal employees are working without pay, thousands more are furloughed and waiting at home, and dozens of federal programs are on pause. And some of those interruptions are affecting people's health. Go to article
Medicine & Public Health
Healthy Baby Born to DRC Mom Who Recovered from Ebola (VOA) Congo's Health Ministry says a baby has been born to a mother who recovered from the Ebola virus - a bright spot in an outbreak that is the second-deadliest in history. The ministry says the baby is the first in this outbreak born to a mother who has recovered. This is rare, though babies have been born to Ebola survivors in previous outbreaks. Go to article
Science & Technology
Scientists Say "Mosquito Birth Control" Drug Could Be Ready in Five Years (Thomson Reuter Foundation) Scientists in the US said on Tuesday they had taken a major step toward developing a "mosquito birth control" drug to curb the spread of malaria and other killer diseases blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths a year. Researchers at the University of Arizona said they had discovered a protein unique to female mosquitoes which is critical for their young to hatch. Go to article
Matching the Genetics of Released and Local Aedes aegypti Populations Is Critical to Assure Wolbachia Invasion (PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases) Traditional vector control approaches such as source reduction and insecticide spraying have limited effect on reducing Aedes aegypti population. The endosymbiont Wolbachia is pointed as a promising tool to mitigate arbovirus transmission and has been deployed worldwide. Models predict a rapid increase on the frequency of Wolbachia-positive Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in local settings, supported by cytoplasmic incompatibility and high maternal transmission rate associated with the wMelBr strain. Go to article
Specific Respiratory Microbiome May Be Linked to Influenza Susceptibility, Finds Study (News Medical Life Sciences) Specific respiratory microbiome communities may be linked to influenza susceptibility, according to a study published January 9, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Betsy Foxman from the University of Michigan, USA, and colleagues. Go to article


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