Category Archives: pandemic

Study: Pest control method for dengue mosquitoes 96 percent effective | Vaccine News Daily

Scientists from Oxitec partnered with Moscamed and the University of Sao Paulo to carry out field studies of Oxitec’s sterile genetically engineered OX513A mosquitoes against dengue mosquitoes. In 6 months a 96 percent reduction in the wild mosquito population was seen and the decrease was sustained for an additional 7 months thereafter.

via Study: Pest control method for dengue mosquitoes 96 percent effective | Vaccine News Daily.

Would love to believe this could be effective in long run but it cannot. Dengue and mosquitoes are not just “pests” or accidents of nature. They serve a purpose. When humans disrupt the environment or move into territory that favors the growth of mosquitoes that carry dengue, humans get sick. We need to understand its role and how to keep us in balance and them as well.

World Health Organization Annual Meeting: New Flu, Coronavirus Urgent Priorities | Wired Science | Wired.com

We are dealing with two new diseases right now.

Human infections with a novel coronavirus, from the same family as SARS, were first detected last year in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. To date, 41 cases, including 20 deaths, have been reported.

Though the number of cases remains small, limited human-to-human transmission has occurred and health care workers have been infected.

At the end of March this year, China reported the first-ever human infections with the H7N9 avian influenza virus. Within three weeks, more than 100 additional cases were confirmed. Although the source of human infection with the virus is not yet fully understood, the number of new cases dropped dramatically following the closing of live bird markets.

I thank China for collecting and communicating such a wealth of information, and for collaborating so closely with WHO. Chinese officials have promptly traced, monitored, and tested thousands of patient contacts, including hundreds of health care workers.

At present, human-to-human transmission of the virus is negligible. However, influenza viruses constantly reinvent themselves. No one can predict the future course of this outbreak.

These two new diseases remind us that the threat from emerging and epidemic-prone diseases is ever-present. Constant mutation and adaptation are the survival mechanisms of the microbial world. It will always deliver surprises.

Going forward, we must maintain a high level of vigilance. I cannot overemphasize the importance of immediate and fully transparent reporting to WHO, and of strict adherence to your obligations set out in the International Health Regulations.

As was the case ten years ago, the current situation demands collaboration and cooperation from the entire world. A threat in one region can quickly become a threat to all.

via World Health Organization Annual Meeting: New Flu, Coronavirus Urgent Priorities | Wired Science | Wired.com.

Tunisia Reports Coronavirus Fatality – Ex Gulf States

News this morning trickling out of Tunisia (h/t @HelenBranswell) and already blogged by Crof (see Tunisia: MERS death confirmed (confusingly)) on the first confirmed MERS-CoV case to be reported on the African continent – this time in a traveler who recently visited Qatar and the Gulf States.

via Tunisia Reports Coronavirus Fatality – Ex Gulf States.

AFP: Flu infections rising among Chinese pigs: study

Scientists said Wednesday that flu infections were rising among pigs raised for slaughter on farms in south and southeastern China, also plagued by bird flu.

And the risk of spillover to humans was “constant or growing”, according to one of the authors of a study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Pigs are an important source of new human strains of influenza A, such as the 2009-10 H1N1 pandemic that emerged in Mexico and infected an estimated fifth of the world’s population.

Pigs can act as a “mixing vessel” in a process known as reassortment, brewing new flu strains from swine, poultry and human viruses in areas where they live in close proximity.

Such new hybrids can be deadly — tens of millions of people died in flu pandemics in 1918, 1957 and 1968.

via AFP: Flu infections rising among Chinese pigs: study.

Basic disinfectant could halt bird flu spread — Study – BorneoPost Online | Borneo , Malaysia, Sarawak Daily News | Largest English Daily In Borneo

“Instead, disconnecting the market network should be achieved through the daily disinfection of live bird markets and of the vehicles leaving them,” said the study.

“Implementing this intervention in only a few hubs would be effective in fragmenting the entire network.”

Daily disinfection was shown to reduce the median epidemic size, or the fraction of contaminated markets, by 80 to 89 per cent, said the study.

Disinfection every two days was less effective, reducing the media epidemic size by about 30 per cent.

The benefits of such a system include low costs and easily collected data about traders’ movements, said the study led by Guillaume Fournie of the University of London.

via Basic disinfectant could halt bird flu spread — Study – BorneoPost Online | Borneo , Malaysia, Sarawak Daily News | Largest English Daily In Borneo.

Saudi Arabia reports 7 (more) cases of novel coronavirus, 5 dead | Vaccine News Daily

Saudi Arabia’s health ministry recently reported five deaths due to novel coronavirus infection, with two more infected persons in intensive care in the hospital.

Of 24 novel coronavirus cases reported globally, 17 occurred in Saudi Arabia, and 16 of the 24 cases resulted in death. The virus is thought to be spread from animal-to-human, although it is unknown from which animal the virus is sourced; not much is known about the virus’s ability to spread from person-to-person.

via Saudi Arabia reports 7 cases of novel coronavirus, 5 dead | Vaccine News Daily.

Chinese Silkies seized at Dulles Airport | WJLA.com

Customs and Border Protection authorities seized 20 small, raw chickens, known as Chinese Siklies, from the man on April 22 after a flight from Vietnam to Washington.

Officials say that the chickens, which seems to still be fully intact, ran the risk of spreading infectious disease, including avian flu.

“Highly pathogenic avian influenza and Exotic Newcastle diseases are serious threats, which, if introduced into the U.S., could adversely affect our nation’s poultry industry and hurt our international trade,” according to Christopher Hess, the port director for CBP in Washington.

The Chinese Silkies were taken from the man and burned.

via Chinese Silkies seized at Dulles Airport | WJLA.com.

Saudi Press Release On Novel Coronavirus (nCoV-EMC) Cases

Saudi Press Release On Novel Coronavirus (nCoV-EMC) Cases.

Announced the Ministry of Health Monitoring (7) cases of infection Corona new during the past few days in the province of Al-Ahsa, died, including five people, two in intensive care.

The ministry said in a statement released by the evening that The Ministry of Health is doing all the precautionary measures for Mkhaltin for people by routers scientific local and global sampling of them to see if there are cases among them, indicating that it recorded so far 17 confirmed cases of the disease worldwide.