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T oday's Headlines: January 9 , 2019

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases

WHO: Influenza Activity Jumps Across Much of Northern Hemisphere  (CIDRP via WHO)  In its latest global influenza update, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported an increase of influenza activity across most of the Northern Hemisphere, with the 2009 H1N1 strain predominating in North America and Eastern Asia. Go to article
Influenza Update - 332 (WHO)  In the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere influenza activity continued to increase slowly. Go to article
Measles in New York: Largest Outbreak Since Elimination (Outbreak News Today) Since September 2018, New York state health officials have seen approximately 170 measles cases to include 55 confirmed cases in the Orthodox Jewish community in  Brooklyn , 105 cases in  Rockland County , 7 in  Orange County  and one in  Monroe County  in western  NY. Go to article   
Virus that has Killed Millions of Piglets Around the World Found in Alberta for First Time (CBC) The Alberta Pork Producers Development Corp. says the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, known as PED, has been found at a 400-head hog operation in the province. Go to article

Domestic Preparedness & Response
Rep. Lowey Introduces Bill to Provide Relief for Hurricane, Natural Disaster Victims  (Homeland Preparedness News) The bill would authorize $12.1 billion in emergency spending, including $3.0 billion for infrastructure and economic and community development, $2.5 billion for resiliency funding to mitigate damage from future disasters that are accelerating in number due to climate change, $1.9 billion in assistance to farmers and rural communities, and $1.5 billion for the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to repair and reconstruct damaged facilities. Go to article

Global Health Security
Exclusive: Cuba Failed to Report Thousands of Zika Virus Cases in 2017 (New Scientist) THOUSANDS of  Zika virus  cases went unreported in Cuba in 2017, according to an analysis of data on travelers to the Caribbean island. Veiling them may have led to many other cases that year. Go to article
  Taiwan to Upgrade Lab for Biological Warfare Defense  (Asia Times) Taiwan's defense ministry has outlined a five-year initiative to beef up the island's biological warfare defense as well as a plan to upgrade a biosafety laboratory. Go to article
Medicine & Public Health

Research Explains Public Resistance to Vaccination (EurekaAlert) Why is it so challenging to increase the number of people who get vaccinated? How does popular resistance to vaccination remain strong even as preventable diseases make a comeback? Go to article
New Ebola-Like Virus is Discovered in China (STAT) he notorious filovirus family - which includes such dangerous actors as the Ebola and Marburg viruses - seems to just keep getting bigger. In a new study, scientists from Singapore and China have announced they found a new branch of the family, in bats in China. Go to article
UC Davis Scientists Identify Wildlife Most Likely to Host New Flaviviruses (Homeland Preparedness News) By running data on flavivirus-positive species through a machine-learning model of known mammal and bird species, scientists from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) believe they have honed in on those animals most likely to host future flaviviruses. Go to article
A Virus Even More Dangerous Than Zika to Pregnant Woman (New York Times) The Zika virus must take the "side roads" into the placenta to infect a fetus, one researcher said - but the Rift Valley fever virus takes the "expressway." Go to article

Science & Technology
New CRISPR-based Technology Developed to Control Pests with Precision-guided Genetics (PHYS.ORG) Using the CRISPR gene editing tool, Nikolay Kandul, Omar Akbari and their colleagues at UC San Diego and UC Berkeley devised a method of altering key genes that control insect sex determination and fertility. Go to article



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