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Thread: Public Health: Disease, Epidemic & Pandemic Threat (merged thread)

  1. #21
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    (CNN)Experts say we are "due" for one. When it happens, they tell us,#it will probably have a greater impact on humanity than anything else currently happening in the world.

    And yet, like with most people, it is probably something you haven't spent much time thinking about. After all, it is human nature to avoid being consumed by hypotheticals until they are staring us squarely in the face.
    Such is the case with a highly lethal flu pandemic. And when it comes, it will affect every human alive today.

    Pandemic flu is apolitical and does not discriminate between rich and poor. Geographical boundaries are meaningless, and it can circle the globe within hours. In terms of potential impact on mankind, the only thing that comes close is climate change. And, like climate change, pandemic flu is so vast, it can be challenging to wrap your head around it.
    - Dr Sanjay Gupta
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/07/health...-sanjay-gupta/
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  2. #22
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Moderator at work

    Five threads have been merged today, following a review before posting the next article. The thread title has been amended to add Epidemic.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-14-2017 at 08:07 AM. Reason: 27,978v
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  3. #23
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    Default Africa’s missing Ebola outbreaks

    Via The Conversation, an academic site, I found this article; which starts with:
    During the fallout from the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which killed more than 11,000 people, one of the questions asked of the World Health Organisation (WHO) was why it hadn’t reacted more quickly. The four-month delay in pinning down the cause of the disease that erupted in Guinea’s remote Guéckédou province in December 2013 allowed what might have been a localised event in a single village to turn into the biggest infectious disease crisis of recent times....Ebola was not a West African disease. So why would anybody suspect it had broken out there?
    Link:https://theconversation.com/africas-...tbreaks-80301?
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  4. #24
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    In the past few years, there have been so many "superbugs" appearing in hospitals around the world that we here at Goats and Soda haven't had the time or resources to report on all of them.
    But a new type of pneumonia emerging in China seems so important that we dropped what we were doing to write about it.
    Doctors in Hangzhou in southeastern China have detected a a type of pneumonia that is both highly drug-resistant and very deadly. It also spreads easily.
    The bacterium — a type of Klebsiella pneumoniae — killed five people in an intensive care unit in Hangzhou in 2016, researchers reported Tuesday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.
    http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsand...and-contagious

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    While Canadian health officials have extensive plans to ensure people survive a future influenza pandemic, they’ve also made macabre recommendations for the nation’s funeral homes for those who don’t.

    “In a pandemic, each individual funeral home could expect to handle about six months work within a six- to eight-week period,” the Public Health Agency of Canada warns on a web page about the management of mass fatalities during a pandemic flu.
    https://globalnews.ca/news/3652652/c...-funeral-home/
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    (CNN)The age-old killer scarlet fever is on the rise in England and East Asia, according to research published Monday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, and investigators don't know why.
    "Whilst current rates (in England) are nowhere near those seen in the early 1900s, the magnitude of the recent upsurge is greater than any documented in the last century," said study author Theresa Lamagni of Public Health England, the agency that funded the analysis. "Whilst notifications so far for 2017 suggest a slight decrease in numbers, we continue to monitor the situation carefully ... and research continues to further investigate the rise."
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/27/health...udy/index.html
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  7. #27
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default 'Disease X' & the World Health Organization

    Might as well just call it 'Captain Tripps'.

    Two mainstream media takes -

    Unknown 'Disease X' flagged by World Health Organization, could cause 'serious international epidemic'

    Scientists warn that an unknown "Disease X" poses a major health risk and could cause a "serious international epidemic" in the future.
    Disease X was listed by the World Health Organization as one of eight priority diseases. Others on the list include Ebola, Zika and Lassa fever.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/worl...icle-1.3866762

    What is Disease X?
    Disease X is not a newly identified pathogen but what military planners call a “known unknown”. It’s a disease sparked by a biological mutation, or perhaps an accident or terror attack, that catches the world by surprise and spreads fast.
    By including it on the list, the WHO is acknowledging that infectious diseases and the epidemics they spawn are inherently unpredictable. Like the Spanish flu which killed 50m to 100m people between 1918 and 1920, Disease X is the catastrophe nobody saw coming until it was too late.
    Where might it come from?
    One source of Disease X could be the deliberate utilisation of infectious disease as a weapon.
    While bio-weapons have been used since the middle ages (the Tartars catapulted the cadavers of plague victims into the besieged seaport of Caffa in 1346, for example), new scientific developments including gene editing and an exponential increase in computing power make it easier than ever to develop lethal biological agents.
    The US and USSR explored bio-weapon development during the Cold War and both continue to hold live cultures of deadly pathogens, including the smallpox virus, in secretive and (hopefully) secure labs. More recently, the Iraqi military toyed with botulinum toxins under Saddam Hussein, Al Qaeda operatives experimented with anthrax and, in 2014, a laptop captured from Islamic State (IS) was found to contain instructions on how to weaponise the plague virus.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/b...s-awake-night/

    From WHO -

    World Health Organization 2018 annual review of the Blueprint list of priority diseases
    http://www.who.int/blueprint/priority-diseases/en/
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  8. #28
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    Virologists will attempt to identify every virus in the world that has the potential to jump from animals to humans, in the hope that collecting such information with give health workers a head start in dealing with a future outbreak.

    Scientists believe the ambitious 'virus hunter' project will not only find and - hopefully neutralise - 'disease X' before it strikes but also unearth viruses 'Y' and 'Z' . Others, however, remain unconvinced the approach is a good use of funds.

    Most of the big disease outbreaks of the last 100 years have originated in animals – from Ebola which came from bats to HIV that came from chimps to the 1918 Spanish Flu which jumped from birds to humans.

    Now scientists have set up the Global Virome Project, with backing from USAID, which has the ambitious target of identifying all the viruses in the world that could one day jump from animals to humans.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...iseases-x-y-z/
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  9. #29
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    A PATHOGEN THAT resists almost all of the drugs developed to treat or kill it is moving rapidly across the world, and public health experts are stymied how to stop it.

    By now, that’s a familiar scenario, the central narrative in the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But this particular pathogen isn’t a bacterium. It’s a yeast, a new variety of an organism so common that it’s used as one of the basic tools of lab science, transformed into an infection so disturbing that one lead researcher called it “more infectious than Ebola” at an international conference last week.

    The name of the yeast is Candida auris. It’s been on the radar of epidemiologists only since 2009, but it’s grown into a potent microbial threat, found in 27 countries thus far. Science can’t yet say where it came from or how to control its spread, and hospitals are being forced back into old hygiene practices—putting patients into isolation, swabbing rooms with bleach—to try to control it.
    https://www.wired.com/story/the-stra...uperbug-yeast/
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  10. #30
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    CDC Main Page for Candida auris
    https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/candida-auris/index.html
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    For over a year, the Chinese government has withheld lab samples of a rapidly evolving influenza virus from the United States — specimens needed to develop vaccines and treatments, according to federal health officials. Despite persistent requests from government officials and research institutions, China has not provided samples of the dangerous virus, a type of bird flu called H7N9. In the past, such exchanges have been mostly routine under rules established by the World Health Organization. Now, as the United States and China spar over trade, some scientists worry that the vital exchange of medical supplies and information could slow, hampering preparedness for the next biological threat.
    https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world...rus/ar-BBMwyrr
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  12. #32
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  13. #33
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    This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 1918 influenza (flu) pandemic that swept the globe in what is still one of the deadliest disease outbreaks in recorded history.

    In September 1918, the second wave of pandemic flu emerged at Camp Devens, a U.S. Army training camp just outside of Boston, and at a naval facility in Boston. This wave was brutal and peaked in the U.S. from September through November. More than 100,000 Americans died during October alone. The third and final wave began in early 1919 and ran through spring, causing yet more illness and death. While serious, this wave was not as lethal as the second wave. The flu pandemic in the U.S. finally subsided in the summer of 1919, leaving decimated families and communities to pick up the pieces. Scientists now know this pandemic was caused by an H1N1 virus, which continued to circulate as a seasonal virus worldwide for the next 38 years.
    https://www.cdc.gov/features/1918-fl...mic/index.html
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  14. #34
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    In the summer of 1918, as the Great War raged and American doughboys fell on Europe’s killing fields, the City of Brotherly Love organized a grand spectacle. To bolster morale and support the war effort, a procession for the ages brought together marching bands, Boy Scouts, women’s auxiliaries, and uniformed troops to promote Liberty Loans –government bonds issued to pay for the war. The day would be capped off with a concert led by the “March King” himself –John Philip Sousa.

    Within 72 hours of the parade, every bed in Philadelphia’s 31 hospitals was filled. In the week ending October 5, some 2,600 people in Philadelphia had died from the flu or its complications. A week later, that number rose to more than 4,500. With many of the city’s health professionals pressed into military service, Philadelphia was unprepared for this deluge of death.
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/histo...flu-180970372/
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    LOS ANGELES — Health officials on Friday reported a typhus outbreak in Los Angeles County and say it has reached "epidemic levels" in the city of Pasadena. Twenty cases have been reported in Pasadena, most in the last two months, health officials told NBC News, noting that a normal year there would typically only see five infections. The city of Long Beach, Calif., has 12 cases so far in 2018 — double the normal annual number, said Emily Holman, the city's infectious disease response coordinator.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...s-area-n917271
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  16. #36
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    More possible cases of a rare, polio-like virus have been reported, health officials say. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been investigating more than 360 possible cases of acute flaccid myelitis dating back to 2014. The disorder, which mainly affects children, can paralyze a child's arms and legs. The average age of AFM patients is 4 years old, Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said Tuesday.

    Brittany Fowler of the Maryland Department of Health told USA TODAY that there have been five possible cases of AFM in the state, all in children under 18. The Minnesota Department of Health announced six cases were reported in children under 10. The CDC has confirmed 62 cases in 22 states. The CDC said the cause of most AFM cases is unknown, but a few cases have been linked to other viruses. Symptoms are similar to poliovirus, West Nile virus and adenoviruses, which makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...nt/1656548002/
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  17. #37
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    The picture we have of the 1918 flu pandemic is vastly more detailed today than it was 20 years ago, let alone 50 or 100 years ago. But it’s nowhere near complete. Pathologist Jeffery Taubenberger of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – the man who in 2005, with his colleague Ann Reid, published the genetic sequence of the virus responsible for the pandemic – said at a recent conference there were still many unanswered outstanding questions.

    Researchers all over the world are working hard to answer them. But what they have already uncovered might surprise you.
    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2018...e-20th-century
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  18. #38
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    Default Wild Card still in play

    Cases of measles in Europe have hit a record high, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 41,000 people have been infected in the first six months of 2018, leading to 37 deaths. Last year there were 23,927 cases and the year before 5,273. Experts blame this surge in infections on a drop in the number of people being vaccinated.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-45246049
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  19. #39
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    Health officials reported 17 new cases and 10 deaths in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, making this the nation's third largest outbreak of the virus, according to an update from University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease and Research and Policy in Minneapolis.

    Eleven of the new Ebola cases occurred in the city of Beni. The remaining six occurred in the nearby city of Butembo. As of Oct. 28, the World Health Organization confirmed 274 total Ebola cases and 174 deaths linked to the outbreak.

    The Congo has experienced ten Ebola outbreaks, including the current one. This outbreak has now surpassed the 2007 Ebola outbreak in the Congo's Luebo region, which caused265 cases and 187 deaths.

    On Oct. 28, health workers conducted Ebola response training with 8,000 young people in Butembo and Benito "increase the awareness actions for young people who are often at the root of resistance because of a lack of knowledge of the disease and its danger," Congo officials said, according to CIDRAP.

    As of Oct. 29, 24,142 Congolese people have received an Ebola vaccine, including 12,464 people in Beni and 1,295 people in Butembo.
    https://www.beckershospitalreview.co...270-cases.html
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-31-2018 at 08:46 AM. Reason: 7,385v today before merging
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  20. #40
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    Default Moderator at work

    This stand alone thread started in 2008 and has today 64,182 views. The theme of public health and the threat from disease, epidemics and more also features in another thread - so I have merged them.

    Adam G is the main contributor to both threads.
    davidbfpo

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