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

  1. #41
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    National Public Radio (US thing) is galvanizing a citizen militia to track this season's flu.

    https://www.sciencefriday.com/segmen...and-in-health/
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  2. #42
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    “Influenza pandemics are like earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis: they occur, and some are much worse than others,” says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “The idea that we would not have another 1918-like event is foolish.”

    But when that will happen, he continues, is impossible to predict: “For all we know, it could be starting as we speak.” It’s also impossible to predict exactly how things will play out when a Spanish flu-like strain does reemerge – but we can make some educated guesses.
    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2018...roke-out-today
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  3. #43
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Adam G is the main contributor to both threads.
    Obscure joke is obscure.

    Meanwhile, back at the topic...
    Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China / Disease outbreak news 5 September 2017
    On 4 August 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) notified WHO of one additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China.
    http://www.who.int/csr/don/5-septemb...h7n9-china/en/
    Last edited by AdamG; 11-22-2018 at 02:32 PM.
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  4. #44
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Attacks by armed groups happen on a daily basis across Congo's North Kivu province, where the Ebola virus has been spreading since August, infecting almost 500 people and killing more than 270. It is now the second-biggest outbreak ever, after the vast epidemic that swept through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia between 2014 and 2016.

    The constant insecurity in North Kivu has proved an enormous obstacle, thwarting attempts to the contain the virus. By WHO's estimate, the outbreak will go on for at least another six months.

    This is the first Ebola outbreak during which health workers have had to regularly don bulletproof helmets and vests. To reach at least 20 percent of Ebola-affected areas, health workers need armed police or U.N. escorts, said Michel Yao, WHO's response coordinator in Beni.

    The U.S. government withdrew its only personnel in the region in late August and has no plans to redeploy them. The WHO has 300 specialists from around the world in North Kivu. Those on the ground describe a chaotic effort to either negotiate with or simply avoid the region's various militias.

    "It turns into a cat-and-mouse game - we are the mouse trying to evade the armed groups," said Anoko, who is from Cameroon. But Anoko, whose job entails conducting extensive interviews with locals, cautioned against the assumption that health workers are being targeted for their work. "There's been decades of war, it cannot be so simply understood," she said.
    https://www.lmtonline.com/news/artic...n-13449195.php
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  5. #45
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  6. #46
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    Default A new disease is testing us for the next global epidemic

    LAST SPRING, AS it does every year, the World Health Organization released a list of infectious diseases that its experts think are especially high-risk—ones that could blow up into epidemics and for which there are no treatments or vaccines.

    The list has been created every year since 2014, when the Ebola epidemic in West Africa took the world by surprise. This year’s specimen included the pathogens that public health people consider the usual deadly suspects: Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers, MERS and SARS, and mosquito-borne Zika and Rift Valley Fever. But there was also a novel entry: Disease X.
    “Disease X” doesn’t actually exist. The WHO wasn’t warning against a specific pathogen; it was reminding public health and medicine how important it is to be ready for any new illness—especially since existing tests and might not be precise enough to detect a new disease that has epidemic potential, and treatments may not be potent enough to stop it.

    In the four years that the list has been published, no emerging infection has been serious enough to rise to the level of Disease X: a pathogen that could sweep the world before science catches up. But a new syndrome, acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, is providing the first proof of the need for that warning. As perplexing to diagnose as it is to treat, AFM is demonstrating how difficult it can be to understand and predict any new disease. And the challenge of tracking an uncommon illness is giving us a glimpse of how our surveillance systems will struggle to counter the world-spanning epidemic that Disease X may turn out to be.
    https://www.wired.com/story/new-dise...obal-epidemic/
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  7. #47
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    Century After the 1918 Flu Pandemic: Why Are We Still Concerned Today?
    Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division (HMD)
    Date Published: 11/26/2018
    Format: Video or Multimedia
    Annotation: A century after the 1918 flu pandemic wiped out more than 50 million people worldwide, this event from the National Academy of Medicine and the Forum on Microbial Threats discusses how to prepare for the next flu pandemic and prevent a global catastrophe. Speakers highlight progress in science, public health, global governance, and cross-sectoral alliances for pandemic flu preparedness. [less]
    URL: https://nam.edu/event/a-century-afte...ncerned-today/
    Authors: Dzau, Victor; Fukada, Keiji; Garrett, Laurie; Fauci, Anthony S.; Fidler, David P.; et al.
    Type: Conference/Meeting Material
    Access Notes: Link to nine videos from the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeF-...2d8-lq&index=1
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  8. #48
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Presented as an illustration.

    February 21st -
    The measles outbreak in Madagascar has grown to a total of 68,912 cases since October, including 926 deaths, the World Health Organization in Madagascar reports (computer translated).
    http://outbreaknewstoday.com/measles...s-climb-69000/


    February 22nd -
    In a follow-up on the measles epidemic in the Philippines, health officials are now reporting 11,459 measles cases, including 189 fatalities since the beginning of the year though Feb. 20 , an increase of 3,000 cases and 50 deaths in four days.
    http://outbreaknewstoday.com/philipp...alamity-95635/

    February 23rd -
    The measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest now has 70 confirmed cases, The Oregonian reported Saturday, with 65 of those cases coming from Clark County, Oregon, where the outbreak began on Jan. 1. Four more instances of the disease, which had been all-but eradicated in the U.S., have been reported in nearby Multnomah County, and one has been reported in Seattle, Washington.
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/pacifi...onfirmed-cases
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  9. #49
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Just as we can find applicable insights from combantants' historical accounts, so too can we find from outbreak survivors.

    Laura Spinney, author of Pale Rider, wrote: “When asked what was the biggest disaster of the twentieth century, almost nobody answers the Spanish flu…The Spanish flu is remembered personally, not collectively. Not as a historical disaster, but as millions of discrete, private tragedies.”
    https://1918flustories.com/?fbclid=I...u31gjFlXzknqAI
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  10. #50
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Let's consider the unintended consequences.
    (CNN)Militants attacked an Ebola treatment center in the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing a police officer as the nation battles a growing epidemic that has killed hundreds. The World Health Organization said a staff member was injured in the Saturday attack by armed groups that targeted the center again last week. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was in the nation on a three-day visit and spoke to officials and staff at the center after the attack.
    *
    Two attacks on Ebola treatment centers in North Kivu last month forced Doctors Without Borders (also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres or MSF) to put some humanitarian efforts on hold.
    Doctors Without Borders was targeted in an attack in Katwa on February 24 and another one three days later in Butembo, the medical aid organization reported last month.
    MSF suspended its activities in Butembo and Katwa but said it would continue Ebola-related activities in other towns in North Kivu and neighboring Ituri province.
    The two provinces are among the most populous in the nation and border Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/10/healt...ath/index.html
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  11. #51
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    Default The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?

    Last year, with the centennial of the 1918 flu looming, I started looking into whether America is prepared for the next pandemic. I fully expected that the answer would be no. What I found, after talking with dozens of experts, was more complicated—reassuring in some ways, but even more worrying than I’d imagined in others. Certainly, medicine has advanced considerably during the past century. The United States has nationwide vaccination programs, advanced hospitals, the latest diagnostic tests. In the National Institutes of Health, it has the world’s largest biomedical research establishment, and in the CDC, arguably the world’s strongest public-health agency. America is as ready to face down new diseases as any country in the world.

    Yet even the U.S. is disturbingly vulnerable—and in some respects is becoming quickly more so. It depends on a just-in-time medical economy, in which stockpiles are limited and even key items are made to order. Most of the intravenous bags used in the country are manufactured in Puerto Rico, so when Hurricane Maria devastated the island last September, the bags fell in short supply. Some hospitals were forced to inject saline with syringes—and so syringe supplies started running low too. The most common lifesaving drugs all depend on long supply chains that include India and China—chains that would likely break in a severe pandemic. “Each year, the system gets leaner and leaner,” says Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “It doesn’t take much of a hiccup anymore to challenge it.”

    Perhaps most important, the U.S. is prone to the same forgetfulness and shortsightedness that befall all nations, rich and poor—and the myopia has worsened considerably in recent years. Public-health programs are low on money; hospitals are stretched perilously thin; crucial funding is being slashed. And while we tend to think of science when we think of pandemic response, the worse the situation, the more the defense depends on political leadership.

    When Ebola flared in 2014, the science-minded President Barack Obama calmly and quickly took the reins. The White House is now home to a president who is neither calm nor science-minded. We should not underestimate what that may mean if risk becomes reality.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...e-hits/561734/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-11-2019 at 09:40 AM. Reason: 78,762v today
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  12. #52
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    Infectious diseases—some that ravaged populations in the Middle Ages—are resurging in California and around the country, and are hitting homeless populations especially hard.

    Los Angeles recently experienced an outbreak of typhus—a disease spread by infected fleas on rats and other animals—in downtown streets. Officials briefly closed part of City Hall after reporting that rodents had invaded the building.

    People in Washington State have been infected with the diarrheal disease shigella, spread through feces, as well as Bartonella quintana, or trench fever, which spreads through body lice.

    Hepatitis A, also spread primarily through feces, infected more than 1,000 people in Southern California in the past two years. The disease also has erupted in New Mexico, Ohio, and Kentucky, primarily among people who are homeless or use drugs.

    Public-health officials and politicians are using terms like disaster and public-health crisis to describe the outbreaks, and they are warning that these diseases can easily jump beyond the homeless population.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/a...meless/584380/
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  13. #53
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    Default Next flu pandemic is matter of when, not if

    A global flu pandemic is a realistic threat that the world must prepare for, the World Health Organization said March 11.

    The organization revealed its global flu strategy for 2019-30, which focuses on addressing both seasonal flu outbreaks and global pandemics.

    The WHO's flu strategy outlines two main initiatives:

    Ensure every country has a strong flu surveillance and response program
    Develop tools to better prevent, detect or treat the flu that are accessible to all countries
    "The threat of pandemic influenza is ever-present," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said in a press release. "The question is not if we will have another pandemic, but when. We must be vigilant and prepared — the cost of a major influenza outbreak will far outweigh the price of prevention."
    https://www.beckershospitalreview.co...en-not-if.html


    8 Things to know about pandemic influenza
    11 March 2019
    The threat of pandemic influenza is ever-present. A pandemic can arise when a new influenza virus that hasn't affected humans before emerges, spreads and causes illness in humans.

    Influenza viruses are unpredictable – we can never be certain of when or from where the next pandemic will arise. However, another influenza pandemic is inevitable. In this interconnected world, the question is not if we will have another pandemic, but when.

    To protect people across the globe from this threat, the WHO has released a Global Influenza Strategy for 2019-2030. The new strategy is the most comprehensive and far reaching influenza strategy that WHO has developed. The strategy outlines a framework for WHO, countries and partners to work together to prepare for, prevent, and control the influenza.
    https://www.who.int/news-room/featur...emic-influenza
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  14. #54
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    Socialism at work.

    Infectious Diseases Spike amid Venezuela’s Political Turmoil
    Scientists say the rise in illnesses is due to a combination of government suppression of research, a lack of disease data and climate change

    Venezuela was once a leader in vector-borne disease prevention and control. In 1961 the World Health Organization certified the South American nation as the first in the world to eliminate malaria from the majority of its territory; in fact the WHO used the malaria-eradication program Venezuela developed in the 1950s as a public health model. That and other efforts reduced the prevalence of many vector-borne diseases to manageable levels through the 1990s. But in recent years a confluence of events—some political and economic, others environmental—has reversed these gains.
    Here's the take-away.

    The review co-authors warn the crisis could spark an epidemic in neighboring countries, as Venezuelans are emigrating by the millions. The authors say Venezuelan migrants suffered 45 and 86 percent of malaria cases in the bordering northern Brazilian municipalities of Pacaraima and Boa Vista, respectively. But it is difficult to ascertain how many migrants may have brought disease with them, and how many were infected after they reached host countries. Co-author Martin Llewellyn, an epidemiologist at the University of Glasgow, acknowledges this uncertainty, and adds his team plans to conduct molecular epidemiology studies to determine the origins of infection.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...tical-turmoil/
    Last edited by AdamG; 03-17-2019 at 10:02 AM.
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  15. #55
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    Germs and warfare go together like peanut butter and jelly.

    For the past three months, the crew of the dock landing ship Fort McHenry has been stuck at sea, avoiding port because of an outbreak of disease. But Navy officials bristle at the mention of a “quarantine.”

    They point out that only 25 of more than 700 sailors and Marines have been diagnosed with viral parotitis, an infection that triggers symptoms similar to mumps, with fever, dehydration and chills reported in about 3.5 percent of the service members on board the Florida-based warship.

    Instead, they say that “Fort McHenry’s operational schedule has been modified while the ship’s medical team monitors crew health,” according to a prepared statement by the 5th Fleet that was recirculated by the Navy’s Chief of Information Office at the Pentagon.
    https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-...ime-and-germs/
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