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Fighting Polio In Syrian Child Refugees

Science Magazine: A War Within a War Syrian refugee children “have witnessed horrors in the course of the war, which has killed an estimated 140,000 people and displaced 8 million or 9 million. … And now they face the threat of polio, which erupted in Syria last October after a…

Scientists To Use Climate Factors To Forecast Disease Outbreaks In Sahel

Reuters: Wind and dust can predict Sahel meningitis outbreaks — scientists “Scientists may soon be able to forecast disease outbreaks in sub-Saharan African’s ‘meningitis belt’ using weather data — and use that to plan early vaccination drives to prevent or limit casualties…” (Mintz, 3/20).

Guinea Confirms Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreak Is Ebola; More Than 50 Dead

News outlets report on an Ebola outbreak in Guinea. Associated Press: Ebola detected in Guinea victims, 50 dead “Samples from victims of a viral hemorrhagic fever that has killed more than 50 people in Guinea have tested positive for the Ebola virus, government officials said Sunday, marking the first time…

WHO Announces 5 New MERS Cases Reported In 3 Countries

CIDRAP: Five new MERS cases reported in 3 countries “Five new Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections, two fatal, were reported today in three countries, including the first one in Kuwait since November and another illness with links to camels…” (3/20).

Ebola Outbreak In Guinea Threatens To Spread To Nearby Nations

News outlets report on the response to an Ebola outbreak in Guinea. Agence France-Presse: African health workers battle Ebola; suspected Canada case “Health officials in Guinea battled to contain west Africa’s first outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus as neighboring Liberia reported its first suspected victims and a traveler returning…

Disease Outbreaks In Syria ‘Inevitable,’ WHO Warns

“Outbreaks of hepatitis, typhoid, cholera or dysentery are ‘inevitable’ in Syria and its neighbors this summer, while cases of measles and other infections are already growing because of the country’s broken health system and increasing numbers of displaced people, the [WHO] has warned,” The Guardian reports (Meikle, 6/4). “Almost 4.25…

Bird Flu Mutations Remain A Threat, Researchers Say

Writing in a New England Journal of Medicine perspective piece published on Wednesday, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and colleagues “look at the genetic sequences of past flu pandemics to learn how a virus goes from infecting only chickens or pigeons to sickening…

Fourteen H7N9 Patients Remain Hospitalized In China; 132 Cases Confirmed

“A total of 131 H7N9 avian flu cases have been reported on the Chinese mainland, including 39 that have ended in death, according to an update released Sunday by health authorities,” Xinhua reports (6/9). “Only 14 patients from China’s H7N9 bird flu outbreak are still in hospital, national health authorities…

Saudi Arabia Confirms Another MERS-Related Death, Bringing Global Total To 31

“The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has notified the [WHO] of another death from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), bringing the death toll caused by the new coronavirus up to 31, the WHO said Friday,” Xinhua reports. “Globally, WHO has been informed of a total of 55 laboratory-confirmed…

WHO Publishes New Plan On How To Alert The World About Possible Flu Pandemics

“The [WHO] on Monday published a new plan on how to alert the world to possible flu pandemics, following harsh criticism of its handling of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009,” Agence France-Presse/GlobalPost reports (6/10). “Following recommendations by a review committee on Pandemic (H1N1) 2009, the new influenza guidance…