Today's Headlines: March 13, 2019
New from the Center for Health Security

Clade X: State and Local

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security is excited to announce that we will be presenting a tailored version of the original day-long   Clade X exercise  at the NACCHO-hosted Preparedness Summit in Saint Louis, MO on Tuesday, March 26 from 1:30-5:00PM. The exercise, “Clade X: State and Local,” will focus on domestic public health challenges during a severe pandemic and illustrate high-level strategic decisions and policies that the US will need to pursue in order to diminish its consequences. The exercise debrief will be conducted by Dr. Stephen Redd, Director for the Center for Preparedness and Response at the US CDC. Participants are encouraged to pre-register by using   these instructions , also available at the Preparedness Summit   online schedule . If you plan on attending the Preparedness Summit, we hope to see you at Clade X: State and Local!
Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases
MERS-CoV Infects 2 More in Saudi Arabia, 102 This Year ( CIDRAP ) Saudi Arabia today reported two MERS-CoV cases, and, in the latest medical literature developments, researchers described new findings about mortality predictors, while another group profiled seroprevalence patterns in camels. Go to article
WHO: Ebola Spread in DRC Still 'Moderate' ( CIDRAP ) Today the Democratic Republic of the Congo recorded two new cases and two new deaths in its ongoing Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. The new cases occurred in Mandima and Masereka, and the deaths included a community death in Masereka and a death at an Ebola treatment center in Butembo. Go to article

Domestic Preparedness & Response
When It Comes to Disease, Why Wait for a Pandemic to Respond? (Wired) Rapid response to a real-life pandemic is essential, and the role of community awareness and preparedness is critical—why wait for a real-life pandemic to learn how to respond? Go to article

Medicine & Public Health
Italy Bans Unvaccinated Children from School ( BBC ) Italian children have been told not to turn up to school unless they can prove they have been properly vaccinated. The deadline follows months of national debate over compulsory vaccination. Go to article

Two Studies On the Recent Evolution of HPAI H5 Viruses in the Middle East ( Avian Flu Diary) One of our biggest concerns about avian influenza is that these viruses are often found in regions of the world where surveillance and testing are marginal at best, or in places where press freedoms and government willingness to divulge information are less than exemplary (see Why No News Isn't Necessarily Good News). Go to article

A Systematic Review of MERS Seroprevalence and Viral RNA Prevalence in Dromedary Camels ( H5N1 ) Human infection with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus is driven by recurring dromedary-to-human spill-over events, leading decision-makers to consider dromedary vaccination. Dromedary vaccine candidates in the development pipeline are showing hopeful results, but gaps in our understanding of the epidemiology of MERS-CoV in dromedaries must be addressed to design and evaluate potential vaccination strategies. Go to article

Minimally-invasive Nasal Sampling in Children Offers Accurate Pneumococcal Colonization Detection ( bioRxiv) Nasopharyngeal colonization of potential respiratory pathogens such as Streptococcus pneumoniae is the major source of transmission and precursor of invasive disease. Swabbing deeply the nasopharynx, which is currently recommended by WHO, provides accurate pneumococcal detection but is unpleasant. We showed that nasal lining fluid filter strips offer equal detection sensitivity. Go to article

Trends in Cause-specific Mortality Among Children Aged 5-14 Years from 2005 to 2016 in India, China, Brazil, and Mexico: An Analysis of Nationally Representative Mortality Studies ( Lancet) With global survival increasing for children younger than 5 years of age, attention is required to reduce the approximately 1 million deaths of children aged 5-14 years occurring every year. Causes of death at these ages remain poorly documented. We aimed to explore trends in mortality by causes of death in India, China, Brazil, and Mexico, which are home to about 40% of the world's children aged 5-14 years and experience more than 200 000 deaths annually at these ages. Go to article

Science & Technology
In a First, US Private Sector Employs Nearly as Many PhDs as Schools Do ( Science ) The job market for US science and engineering PhDs is about to pass a long-anticipated milestone. For decades, educational institutions have been the largest employer of PhDs. In 1997, for instance, they eclipsed private sector employment by 11 percentage points, according to the US National Science Foundation’s biennial Survey of Doctorate Recipients. But the academic job market has not kept pace with the supply of graduates, and the equivalent data for 2017--released last month--reveals a very different picture: For the first time, private sector employment (42%) is now nearly on par with educational institutions (43%). Go to article

Phage Therapy: Turning the Tables on Bacteria ( GEN ) Throughout the life and death (and nonlife) struggle between bacteria and bacteriophages, bacteria try to cut apart the genetic material that bacteriophages deploy when they try to commandeer bacterial resources. And now the bacterial weapon of choice, the immune system known as CRISPR, is starting to cut both ways. Go to article

Published by Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security 
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