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T oday's Headlines: January 11, 2019

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases

New York Tackles 'Largest Measles Outbreak' in State's Recent History as Cases Spike Globally (CNN) A measles outbreak in New York has been called the largest in the state's recent history, and it's occurring at a time when there have been spikes in measles cases globally. Since the outbreak emerged in September, measles has been diagnosed in at least 112 people across Rockland and Orange counties and at least 55 in New York City, according to numbers provided by the New York state and city health departments on Tuesday. Go to article 

Severe Flu Raises Risk of Birth Problems for Pregnant Women, Babies (npr) A study out this week shows that pregnant women with the flu who are hospitalized in an intensive care unit are four times more likely to deliver babies prematurely and four and a half times more likely to have a baby of low birth weight. Go to article

 
Domestic Preparedness & Response
 
Court Strikes Down Iowa's 'Ag-Gag' Law That Blocked Undercover Investigations (npr) A federal judge in Iowa says it's no longer a crime to go undercover at factory farms, slaughterhouses and any other ag-related operations. Go to article 

 
Global Health & Security
 
Role of Backyard Flocks in Transmission Dynamics of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N8) Clade 2.3.4.4, France, 2016-2017 (CDC In the past 2 years, major outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza occurred in Europe, resulting in severe socioeconomic effects on the poultry industry. Go to article 


Government Affairs & National Security
 
F.A.A. Unions Highlight Potential Risks to Air Safety from Shutdown ( NY Times)  The leaders of unions representing air traffic controllers and aviation safety inspectors warned Thursday that the partial government shutdown was hurting the safety of the nation's air travel system, another effort by the labor movement to press Washington to put federal employees back to work. Go to article

With Key Government Agencies Shut Down, Science Sputters (npr) Big, important scientific breakthroughs are built of small, incremental experiments. And the partial government shutdown is already interfering with some of that research. Go to article

US Official Says Withdrawal from Syria Has Begun ( AP News) After days of conflicting statements about a timeline for U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out American troops from Syria, a U.S. military official said Friday that the withdrawal process has begun, declining to comment on specific timetables or movements. Go to article 

 
Medicine & Public Health
 
Louisiana Proceeds with Plans for a 'Netflix' Subscription Model to Buy Hepatitis C Drugs (STAT) After months of consideration, Louisiana officials are proceeding with plans for a so-called Netflix payment model for obtaining hepatitis C treatments at an affordable price. Go to article 

Surgeries in Mexico Linked to Antibiotic-resistant Infections in US, CDC Says  (CNN) Nearly a dozen Americans who had surgery in Tijuana, Mexico, have returned home with dangerous antibiotic-resistant infections, the US CDC said Wednesday. Go to article 

 
Science & Technology
 
Pregnancy-Associated Malaria Vaccine Passes First Human Trial ( GEN) University of Copenhagen have just released Phase I clinical trial data from a newly developed PAM vaccine and the results are promising. Go to article


Other 21 st Century Threats

The Year of Living Dangerously with Nuclear Weapons (Foreign Affairs) 2019 is poised to be a much more dangerous year for Washington, particularly when it comes to nuclear weapons. If the Trump administration's foreign policy continues on its current trajectory, there is a significant chance that the United States could find itself in not one but three nuclear crises in the next 12 months: one with North Korea, one with Russia, and one with Iran. Go to article


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Clinicians' Biosecurity News, January 10, 2019
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Moderate-Sized Cities and the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic It is widely believed that major cities-especially megacities-play an outsized role in the transmission of infectious diseases. Historical examples abound of cities being inundated with infectious disease outbreaks, with residents fleeing the cities. Much of our public health emergency infrastructure is concentrated in major cities. However, new research suggests that in the last flu pandemic, which occurred in 2009, moderate-sized cities served as transmission hubs for the fall wave of the virusRead Now


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