Category Archives: pandemic

Two Chinese cities close poultry markets after H7N9 bird flu infection, East Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

A 44-year-old man who sold poultry at a farmers market in south-western Sichuan province’s Zigong city was diagnosed with H7N9, China News Service reported. Local authorities announced a one-month halt to poultry markets in the city’s Ziliujing district from midnight on Monday.Separately, a 74-year old man who had visited poultry markets in Shandong province’s Binzhou city was also diagnosed with H7N9, China Central Television reported. Binzhou authorities will temporarily halt poultry markets in three of its districts.

Source: Two Chinese cities close poultry markets after H7N9 bird flu infection, East Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Ebola outbreak in Congo forces residents to flee

“Ebola could spread throughout the country if the government doesn’t take precautions by screening anyone who enters the city,” said Devina Katobu, a doctor in Kinshasa. “Already people are living in fear, and are still moving from one place to another to seek safe haven. I think they might be spreading the virus. The international community should move quickly to save this country from the epidemic.”The WHO has said that it needs $10 million to fight the virus in Congo. Officials believe they can stop the virus based on past experience. “We believe that the DRC’s government has strong experience, and a proven track record of handling Ebola outbreaks,” Salama said.Salama said the WHO was planning to use an Ebola vaccine if the Congolese government agrees. An Ebola vaccine was tried in West Africa but there were not enough cases to show how well it worked. The WHO was sending the team to the remote area in the north of the country and would bring the vaccine if possible.“There are 300,000 doses of Ebola vaccine available if needed to stop this outbreak becoming a pandemic,” Seth Berkley, chief executive of Gavi, an international group that seeks to provide vaccines to developing countries, said in an email. “It is a sad fact that the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo are all too familiar with this horrific disease.”

Source: Ebola outbreak in Congo forces residents to flee

WHO: Viral hepatitis deaths increasing | CIDRAP

According to the report, 325 million people, or roughly 4% of the world’s population, lives with viral hepatitis, and the disease causes 1.34 million deaths per year. That number is comparable to HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria. But unlike those diseases, deaths from viral hepatitis are increasing, not declining: Since 2000, deaths from viral hepatitis increased by 22%.

Source: WHO: Viral hepatitis deaths increasing | CIDRAP

Animal cases of yellow fever near Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo | CIDRAP Deforestation drives new outbreaks

So far, yellow fever is currently being transmitted by two types of mosquitoes on Brazil, the Haemagogus or Sabethes. If yellow fever is introduced to a major urban center, the virus could jump to the Aedes aegypti mosquito, making human transmission more likely.”There is no evidence of human cases of yellow fever virus infection transmitted by Aedes aegypti, the vector that could sustain urban transmission of yellow fever,” the WHO said in its update.

Source: Animal cases of yellow fever near Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo | CIDRAP

Report warns of rise in drug-resistant tuberculosis | CIDRAP

Growing drug resistance

According to the report, approximately 20% of TB cases globally are estimated to be resistant to at least one of the first- or second-line anti-TB drugs, and 5% are resistant to both isoniazid and rifampicin, the most powerful and commonly used antibiotics in first-line treatment. Of the estimated 480,000 cases of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB, approximately 10% are either extensively drug-resistant (XDR)—with additional resistance to second-line drugs—or totally drug resistant.While TB is curable when patients adhere to the treatment regimen, MDR- and XDR-TB are more problematic. Treatment options are limited, expensive, and often toxic, and drug therapy can last up to 2 years. The report estimates mortality rates of around 40% for MDR-TB and 60% for XDR-TB. And while China, India, Russia, and South Africa have the highest burden of MDR- and XDR-TB, widespread international travel and migration means drug-resistant TB has no borders.Although shorter treatment regimens and new drugs are providing hope for some MDR- and XDR-TB patients, the authors of the report say the fight against drug-resistant TB has to be fought on several fronts.  “Addressing drug-resistant tuberculosis requires an urgent and concerted effort to manage the disease and prevent onward transmission with sustained research to develop and assess new tools,” the authors write.

Source: Report warns of rise in drug-resistant tuberculosis | CIDRAP

ECDC reports spike in yellow fever from South America travel | CIDRAP

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) released a risk assessment on yellow fever yesterday, noting a new case of travel-associated disease in a person from the Netherlands. This is the fourth case reported in Europeans who had recently traveled to South America in the past 8 months.The traveler had recently returned from Suriname, a former Dutch colony on the northwestern coast of South America. The patient had traveled to Suriname in February and March, and the case was reported to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands on Mar 9.The three other recent yellow fever cases in Europeans with a history of travel to South America include two French nationals who visited several endemic areas of Peru and a Danish citizen got sick in Bolivia after visiting yellow fever endemic areas in the Amazon basin.

Source: ECDC reports spike in yellow fever from South America travel | CIDRAP

CDC expands Zika travel advisory as WHO updates risk levels | CIDRAP

CDC adds 4 nations to Zika travel guidanceThe CDC announcement adds Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives, and Solomon Island to a long list of countries on its travel advisory. For all four, public health officials are reporting that mosquitoes infected with Zika virus are spreading the disease to people.The CDC’s Angola and Maldives advisories includes maps showing parts of the country that are above 6,500 feet elevation, thought to be a lower risk, because mosquitos that spread Zika don’t usually live at higher elevations.

Source: CDC expands Zika travel advisory as WHO updates risk levels | CIDRAP