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Diane Meyer, Matthew Shearer, Yi-Chien Chih, Yu-Chen Hsu, Yung-Ching Lin, Jennifer Nuzzo


Rapid medical countermeasure (MCM) dispensing is an important intervention during a public health emergency. In the United States, MCM planning and exercising efforts have largely focused on dispensing therapeutics, with less emphasis on mass vaccination operations that would require additional specialized staff and infrastructure. Read now

Today's Headlines: September 14, 2018

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases

OIE Notification: African Swine Fever Jumps to Belgium ( Avian Flu Diary) African Swine Fever (ASF) was eradicated in Western Europe decades ago, but was reintroduced into Eastern Europe in 2007. Since then it has spread rapidly east through Russia, while making slower inroads towards Western Europe. Yesterday the news broke that two wild boar in Belgium have tested positive for the virus, the first occurrence in that country in over 30 years. Go to article

Ebola Infects 5 More in DRC, Lifting Total to 137 ( CIDRAP) The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in updates yesterday and today, reported five more confirmed Ebola cases, including two from the urban hub of Butembo, one of which involves a health worker from a clinic where the city's first case had been treated. Go to article

Domestic Preparedness & Response

Preparing for Hurricane Florence and Potential ID Impacts ( IDSA) As the hurricane season reaches its peak, and Hurricane Florence brings threats of catastrophic weather events and flooding to the eastern United States, preparation and sustained responses will be essential to prevent and respond to public health and infectious disease impacts that pose risks in a storm's aftermath. IDSA and HIVMA stand ready to offer help and guidance to our colleagues in the affected areas in the days to come. Go to article

Multiple International Flights Were Quarantined in the US. Here's What Happened. ( BuzzFeed News) An Emirates airplane from Dubai that was carrying 549 people -- including rapper Vanilla Ice -- was quarantined at New York's JFK airport after 100 passengers reported feeling sick with coughing, fevers, and vomiting. The next day, two American Airlines flights from Paris and Munich were quarantined in Philadelphia after 12 passengers reported feeling sick with similar symptoms. Go to article

Global Health Security

WHO is Scaling Up Response to a Fast-Moving Cholera Outbreak in Zimbabwe's Capital ( WHO) The WHO is scaling up its response to an outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe, which is expanding quickly in Harare, the country's capital with a population of more than two million people. Go to article

World Health Organization Early Warning, Alert, and Response System in the Rohingya Crisis, Bangladesh, 2017-2018 ( Emerging Infectious Diseases) The Early Warning, Alert, and Response System (EWARS) is a web-based system and mobile application for outbreak detection and response in emergency settings. EWARS provided timely information on epidemic-potential diseases among >700,000 Rohingya refugees across settlements. EWARS helped in targeting new measles vaccination campaigns and detecting outbreaks of acute jaundice syndrome. Go to article

Global Trends in Typhoidal Salmonellosis: A Systematic Review ( The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene) Typhoid and paratyphoid fever continue to significantly contribute to global morbidity and mortality. Disease burden is higher in low-and middle-income settings where surveillance programs are rare and little systematic information exists at population level. This review evaluates national, regional, and global trends in the incidence of typhoid fever and of related morbidity and mortality. Go to article

Medicine & Public Health

Strategies to Increase Vaccine Acceptance and Uptake: From Behavioral Insights to Context-Specific, Culturally-Appropriate, Evidence-Based Communications and Interventions ( Vaccine) Vaccines save least 5 lives a minute, but they could save many more. An estimated 1.5 million deaths - the equivalent of 8 jumbo jets crashing every day - could be averted if global vaccination uptake improved. Yet, increasing vaccine coverage is not as simple as educating people about the benefits of vaccination. Go to article

Staphylococcus Cornubiensis sp. nov., a Member of the Staphylococcus Intermedius Group (SIG) ( International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology) We here describe a novel species in the Staphylococcus intermedius Group (SIG) which is phenotypically similar to Staphylococcus pseudintermedius but is genomically distinct from it and other SIG members, with an average nucleotide identity of 90.2% with its closest relative S. intermedius. Go to article

Candida Auris in Healthcare Facilities, New York, USA, 2013-2017 ( Emerging Infectious Diseases) Candida auris is an emerging yeast that causes healthcare-associated infections. It can be misidentified by laboratories and often is resistant to antifungal medications. We describe an outbreak of C. auris infections in healthcare facilities in New York City, New York, USA. The investigation included laboratory surveillance, record reviews, site visits, contact tracing with cultures, and environmental sampling. We identified 51 clinical case-patients and 61 screening case-patients. Go to article

Ebola Virus Disease Preparations Do Not Protect the United States Against Other Infectious Outbreaks ( American Journal of Public Health) The 2014-2016 West African Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic took the world by surprise. While 11 patients were treated in the US, it challenged public health, health care, and emergency response infrastructures. The outbreak highlighted the need for robust systems of screening and care for patients with highly hazardous communicable diseases (HHCDs), especially because the outbreak showed how modern travel hastens international disease spread. Go to article

Carbapenem-Sparing Therapy for Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase-Producing E coli and Klebsiella Pneumoniae Bloodstream Infection ( JAMA) Bloodstream infections due to Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae are associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and financial costs. Resistance to third-generation cephalosporins is increasing in these species both in the community and in health care settings. Go to article

Science & Technology

Structural Basis for Importin Alpha 3 Specificity of W Proteins in Hendra and Nipah Viruses ( Nature Communications) Seven human isoforms of importin α mediate nuclear import of cargo in a tissue- and isoform-specific manner. How nuclear import adaptors differentially interact with cargo harbouring the same nuclear localisation signal (NLS) remains poorly understood, as the NLS recognition region is highly conserved. Here, we provide a structural basis for the nuclear import specificity of W proteins in Hendra and Nipah viruses. Go to article

How DNA Fends Off a Favourite Gene-Editing Tool ( Nature) The popular genome-editing system CRISPR-Cas9 is a powerful tool for altering DNA sequences. But experiments show that this system cannot edit target sites in DNA wrapped tightly around a protein, which might limit CRISPR's usefulness. Go to article

Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2018 ( Scientific American) Artificial intelligence will greatly hasten the design of innovative drugs and materials. Advanced diagnostic tools will enable increasingly personalized medicine. Augmented reality will be everywhere, overlaying information and animation on real-world images to help you with everyday tasks--and to help industry to operate more efficiently. Go to article

Bio-On-Magnetic-Beads (BOMB): Open Platform for High-Throughput Nucleic Acid Extraction and Manipulation ( bioRxiv) Current molecular biology laboratories rely heavily on the purification and manipulation of nucleic acids. Yet, commonly used centrifuge- and column-based protocols require specialised equipment, often use toxic reagents and are not economically scalable or practical to use in a high-throughput manner. Go to article

It's in the Mix: Reassortment of Segmented Viral Genomes ( PLOS pathogens) Segmentation of viral genomes allows exchange of intact genes between related viruses when they coinfect the same cell. This exchange is a type of recombination called reassortment. Classical recombination involves the joining of nucleic acid sequences derived from two different templates into one chimeric product. Go to article

In Vivo CRISPR Editing with no Detectable Genome-Wide Off-Target Mutations ( Nature) CRISPR-Cas genome-editing nucleases hold substantial promise for developing human therapeutic applications but identifying unwanted off-target mutations is important for clinical translation. A well-validated method that can reliably identify off-targets in vivo has not been described to date, which means it is currently unclear whether and how frequently these mutations occur. Go to article

21st Century Threats

Radioactive Material is Still Missing in Malaysia: Cause for Concern? ( Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists) A radioactive source was reported missing on August 10 in Malaysia. Since then, Malaysian authorities have expressed growing concern about the possible use of this material in a terrorist attack. The reality is that this material could be used to build a radiological dispersal device (RDD), commonly known as a "dirty bomb," and it can be found virtually in any country in the world. Go to article


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