THE OUTBREAK

Monthly Archives: December 2013

MANILA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) — The Philippine government has alerted airport authorities to ensure that the deadly bird flu H7N9 could not enter the country following the recent discovery of first case in Hong Kong, the Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday. DOH spokesman Dr. Eric Tayag said the Philippines is still bird flu free at present, but Philippine “airports screen inbound travelers for fever so that early isolation can be… Read More

Researchers at the Oak Crest Institute of Science in Pasadena, CA are making history by proving that it’s possible to develop a drug delivery system that has the potential to protect women from sexually transmitted HIV and herpes simplex virus (HSV), while at the same time preventing unintended pregnancy. Their groundbreaking findings were recently published in the prestigious journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. The report describes in vivo results from a novel,… Read More

Researchers have used radioimmunotherapy (RIT) to destroy remaining human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected cells in the blood samples of patients treated with antiretroviral therapy, offering the promise of a strategy for curing HIV infection. Results of the study were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has transformed the outlook for patients infected with HIV by suppressing the replication of the… Read More

Take a first look at the TV adaptation of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s popular vampire trilogy “The Strain.” The series is set to premiere July 2014.

BEIJING, Dec 2 (Xinhuanet) — Shanghai will suspend live poultry trading from January 31, the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, until April 30 to prevent a recurrence of the H7N9 bird flu. The suspension will be an annual feature for the next five years, dependent on the evaluation and warning of the bird flu and the seasonal onset, according to a joint statement issued by the Shanghai Agricultural Commission… Read More

A new paper from members of the HEAL (Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages) consortium delineates a new branch of environmental health that focuses on the public health risks of human-caused changes to Earth’s natural systems. Looking comprehensively at available research to date, the paper’s authors highlight repeated correlations between changes in natural systems and existing and potential human health outcomes, including: Forest fires used to clear land in Indonesia generate airborne… Read More

Scientists are warning the public that ‘unpredictable pandemics’ are possible as viruses spread from animals to humans. The warning comes after a woman was diagnosed with the common strain of bird flu, H6N1 and after an article in The Lancet that talked about a need for “intensive” monitoring of bird flu. Are we monitoring for these potential pandemics? An article published in The Lancet entitled, “Human infection with avian influenza A H6N1… Read More

Over the past weekend, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been informed of four additional laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The new cases may actually come as no surprise to an international group of experts who reported last week that the disease may become a “slowly growing epidemic.” Publishing a paper in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the researchers have estimated that at least 62 percent of… Read More

Human alterations of the land — from deforestation to erosion caused by modern agriculture — can speed climate change by releasing stores of carbon. They can also prevent the landscape from providing incidental benefits to humans, such as filtering water, thwarting the spread of infectious disease and buffering against storm surges, flooding and landslides. Experts also warn that a changing climate may be making the consequences of these losses all the worse…. Read More

The Cuban physician Carlos J Finlay has been honoured with a Google Doodle on the 180th anniversary of his birth, December 3rd, 1833. Finlay is credited with discovering that yellow fever is transmitted via infected mosquitos, though his ideas were ignored for 20 years after first being published in 1886. Ironically, on December 3rd, 2013, the World Health Organization released a press statement of a Yellow fever outbreak in Sudan. The Federal… Read More