Monthly Archives: January 2014

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released details about efforts to enhance disease detection in Uganda and Vietnam that could provide a model for helping other countries protect their citizens and the wider global community from health threats. In both instances, the CDC and its partners undertook 6-month missions that focused on, for example, modernizing diagnostic testing and speeding up outbreak response. Health officials reported their experiences with… Read More

With the Chinese New Year and the Olympics on the horizon, health officials can only watch and wait for a potential pandemic. As the first human cases of H7N9 bird flu infection outside of China begin to emerge—in Taiwan and Hong Kong—health officials around the world are preparing for a potentially perfect storm for a massive flu outbreak. On Thursday, billions of Chinese will be on the move to celebrate the Lunar… Read More

A family cluster of H7N9 [avian influenza] cases has been reported in Zhejiang where both parents and their daughter contracted the disease, bringing Mainland China’s total number of the confirmed cases this month [January 2014] to 110, according to the Xinhua News Agency. An official with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention told Legal Evening News on Tuesday [27 Jan 2014] that the parents, who live in Xiaoshan, had worked… Read More

WASHINGTON, DC – January 23, 2014 – Researchers from Germany have identified the mechanism by which Salmonella infections can reduce the incidence of asthma in mice.  The research,which appears ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity, opens up new avenues of research that could lead to treatments. Incidence of allergies has climbed dramatically in recent years. A leading theory, the “hygiene hypothesis,” posits that this surge results from the modern… Read More

Researchers from Duke University have developed a nasal vaccine formulation that provides protective immunity against West Nile virus (WNV) infection in mice after only 2 doses. They present their findings at the 2014 American Society for Microbiology Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting. “Our results demonstrate that a needle-free WNV vaccine using only 2 vaccine doses is able to induce protective anti-WNV immunity,” says Herman Staats, a researcher on the study. “A… Read More

SEJONG, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) — New suspected cases of bird flu and increasing frequency of suspected outbreaks Wednesday were suggesting a nationwide pandemic of the animal disease ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays when tens of thousands of people travel southward to visit their hometowns. Four new suspected cases of avian influenza (AI) have been reported since Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed and suspected cases to 56, according to… Read More

Hamilton, ON (Jan. 21, 2014) — Contrary to popular belief, fever-reducing medication may inadvertently cause more harm than good. New research from McMaster University has discovered that the widespread use of medications that contain fever-reducing drugs may lead to tens of thousands more influenza cases, and more than a thousand deaths attributable to influenza, each year across North America. These drugs include ibuprofen, acetaminophen and acetylsalicylic acid. “When they have flu, people… Read More

From a zebra carcass on the plains of Namibia in Southern Africa, an international team of researchers has discovered a new, unusually large virus (or bacteriophage) that infects the bacterium that causes anthrax. The novel bacteriophage could eventually open up new ways to detect, treat or decontaminate the anthrax bacillus and its relatives that cause food poisoning. The work is published Jan. 27 in the journal PLOS One. The virus was isolated… Read More

Handwashing, zinc may be best prevention: How do you prevent and treat the common cold? Handwashing and zinc may be best for prevention whereas acetaminophen, ibuprofen and perhaps antihistamine–decongestant combinations are the recommended treatments, according to a review in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The common cold is well, common, affecting adults approximately 2-3 times a year and children under age 2 approximately 6 times a year. Symptoms such as sore throat,… Read More

After discovering that silver nanoparticles are capable of blocking the entry of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) into the organism, a group of researchers from the University of Texas, in collaboration with Humberto Lara Villegas, specialist in nanoparticles and virology from the University of Monterrey, Mexico (UDEM), create a vaginal cream to control the transmission of the virus. Lara Villegas explained that HIV makes its entry to immune cells (CD4) of the organism… Read More

H7N9 avian flu replicates well in finches, sparrows, and parakeets experimentally inoculated with the pathogen, and the birds shed the virus in high numbers and show few signs of disease, scientists reported today in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Researchers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and from China and Hong Kong inoculated groups of zebra finches, society finches, parakeets, and house sparrows with the H7N9 virus either intranasally, intraocularly, or… Read More

Researchers at Cornell University have used classic epidemiological models to predict the future utility and popularity of social media applications.  Treating Facebook like an infectious disease shows dire consequences for these popular social networking giant based on boom-and-crash data collected from MySpace. The researchers comment that: “Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models… Ideas are spread… Read More