Monthly Archives: April 2014

NEW YORK – April 17, 2014 – EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that focuses on conservation and global public health issues, published a comprehensive review today examining the current state of knowledge of the deadly Ebola and Marburg virus. The review calls for improved global surveillance strategies to combat the emergence of infectious diseases such as the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa that has claimed the lives of 122 people… Read More

  Washington, DC, April 28, 2014 – Efforts to reduce and stop the spread of infections caused by a highly resistant organism, carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, at a large Florida hospital proved ineffective until they added another weapon – weekly emails from the medical director of Infection Control to hospital leadership, according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association… Read More

  With more new cases of measles being confirmed, Alberta health officials have declared an outbreak in Calgary, Edmonton and in central areas between the province’s two major cities. Alberta Health Services issued a warning Tuesday that the highly contagious disease had taken a foothold and that people showing signs of measles – runny nose, fever, cough, a red rash – should stay indoors. On Monday, the AHS announced another case of… Read More

Camels are almost certainly the source of the MERS virus that is on the upswing again across the Middle East, researchers reported on Tuesday. A countrywide survey of camels shows many, if not most, are infected with a strain genetically almost identical to the strain that’s infecting people, a team at Columbia University, King Saud University, and the EcoHealth Alliance reported. The World Health Organization has expressed alarm about the increase in… Read More

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported a total of 21 more MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases today, while the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) predicted that more exported cases are likely to crop up in Europe. In addition, in the first word of any genetic sequencing results for recent MERS-CoV isolates, a news report in Science said that preliminary findings from analysis of one… Read More

The WHO European Region aims to eliminate malaria from the region by 2015, the agency said in a World Malaria Day press release. The agency called the goal “realistic and attainable,” given recent progress. Cases of locally acquired malaria have declined dramatically in recent years, the agency said, from 90,712 in 1995 to only 37 in 2013. The 2013 cases were reported in Greece, Tajikistan, and Turkey. Imported cases continue to pose… Read More

  The overall epidemiologic status of Guinea’s Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak is improving, with 4 of the 6 locations that have reported cases passing the 21-day incubation period with no new cases, according to an update from the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa. Two incubation periods need to pass before the outbreak can be declared over in a particular location. Ten more cases and five more deaths have… Read More

Police investigating the deaths of birds and prey in Ross-shire and the Black Isle have said another two dead red kites have been found. This brings the total of dead raptors discovered since March to 22 – 16 red kites and six buzzards. Tests have so far confirmed that 12 of the birds were poisoned. A reward for information leading to a prosecution has been added to by donations from RSPB Scotland,… Read More

Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified natural human antibodies against the virus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a step toward developing treatments for the newly emerging and often-fatal disease. Currently there is no vaccine or antiviral treatment for MERS, a severe respiratory disease with a mortality rate of more than 40 percent that was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. In laboratory studies reported in the Proceedings of… Read More

Researchers have discovered a new class of proteins capable of blocking the HIV virus from penetrating T-cells, raising hope that the proteins could be adapted for use in gels or sexual lubricants to provide a potent barrier against HIV infection. The proteins, called cnidarins, were found in a feathery coral collected in waters off Australia’s northern coast. Researchers zeroed in on the proteins after screening thousands of natural product extracts in a… Read More

The 1918 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus may have originated from reassortment between a human flu virus lineage and an avian flu virus, researchers speculate today after conducting a phylogenetic evolutionary analysis. The findings run contrary to previous estimates of the virus’s evolution. US and UK researchers analyzed full-length gene sequences from human, bird, and swine viruses over the years involving H1, H2, H5, and N1 subtypes, according to their study in Proceedings… Read More

  Three new Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases, along with five deaths in previously announced infections, have been reported in Guinea, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa reported today. The new cases raise the country’s overall number of cases to 208 and number of deaths to 136; 112 illnesses have been lab confirmed. So far 25 EVD infections, 16 of them fatal, have been reported in Guinea’s healthcare workers…. Read More