A sudden, sharp increase in babies with “no foreheads and very strange heads” was baffling doctors in Brazil. That set off a search for answers Read More
Neglected Tropical Diseases
Part 3 of Global Health Now’s “Untold Global Health Story of 2015.” An excerpt: “By May, Wourgaft and a Sudanese surgeon, Ahmed Fahal, hope to Read More
by Vianney Tricou, Julie Bouscaillou, Emmanuel Kamba Mebourou, Fidèle Dieudonné Koyanongo, Emmanuel Nakouné, Mirdad Kazanji Background Although rabies represents an important public health threat, it is still a neglected disease in Asia and Africa where it causes tens of thousands of deaths annually despite available human and animal vaccines. In the Central African Republic (CAR), an endemic country for rabies, this disease remains poorly investigated. Methods To evaluate the extent of the threat that rabies poses in the CAR, we analyzed data for 2012 from the National Reference Laboratory for Rabies, where laboratory confirmation was performed by immunofluorescence and PCR for both animal and human suspected cases, and data from the only anti-rabies dispensary of the country and only place where post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is available
by Jeffrey M. Grabowski, Rushika Perera, Ali M.
CIDRAP News: WHO lists Zika R&D priorities; groups probe microcephaly, GBS “The World Health Organization (WHO) said today it is mapping research and development (R&D) projects under way for Zika virus and will be prioritizing some for fast-track development, similar to the role it played when Ebola vaccines and therapeutics were first discussed. In other…More
As the Zika virus spreads across the Americas, it’s shedding light on the systemic shortcomings some countries face in providing family planning and reproductive health services.Last week, the World Health Organization declared the virus a global public health emergency. It has been linked (although not yet conclusively, we are cautioned) to severe birth defects in babies whose mothers contract the virus during pregnancy. More than 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly—a birth defect marked by an unusually small head and an underdeveloped brain—have been reported in Brazil since October. For families already living in poverty, providing ongoing medical care for their disabled children will be especially challenging.So when the vice minister of health in El Salvador recommended that women postpone getting pregnant for up to two years, it begged the question of how exactly they should do that. Meanwhile, as the virus continues to spread wildly, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant are in a tough spot.In many of the Latin American countries most affected, abortion is illegal and while modern contraception is lawful, using it goes against church teachings for the millions in these countries who identify as Roman Catholic. And, in many areas, health services and commodities like contraceptives are in short supply.So when the vice minister of health in El Salvador recommended that women postpone getting pregnant for up to two years, it begged the question of how exactly they should do that
News outlets report on the Obama administration’s announcement of a request for $1.8 billion in emergency funding to respond to the Zika virus, as well as the CDC’s activation of the agency’s highest emergency operations level. ABC News: Zika Virus Outbreak Prompts CDC to Activate Highest Emergency Ops Level “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control…More
Devex: World Bank ramps up discussions on Zika response “Zika-affected countries have requested assistance from the World Bank to respond to the outbreak, and the global financial institution is in close communication with the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, and affected countries to determine what its response will look like. … While…More
Categories: What we’re readingWith confirmation that the Zika virus was transmitted sexually in Dallas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday updated its guidelines to protect pregnant women from infection to include recommendations that men who have traveled to areas where the virus has surfaced use condoms or abstain from sex with pregnant partners. At […](Read more…)
Reuters: WHO seeks $25 million for six-month fight against Zika, official says “The World Health Organization will seek $25 million for a six-month program to fight the Zika virus linked to birth defects, including studies on whether it is spread by sex or by blood transfusion, a senior WHO official told Reuters on Friday…” (Nebehay,…More
Agence France-Presse: Zika detected in urine, saliva: top Brazilian researchers “Brazil’s top research institute said Friday that Zika has been detected in urine and saliva, but added that there is no proof the virus can be transmitted through those fluids…” (2/5). New York Times: Brazil Finds Zika Virus in Human Urine and Saliva, but Risk…More
News outlets report on the CDC’s Interim Guidelines for Prevention of Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus — United States, 2016. Associated Press: CDC: Men who were in Zika areas should use condoms “U.S. health officials issued guidelines Friday to prevent the sexual transmission of the Zika virus, telling men who have been to outbreak areas…More
GlobalPost: There’s a chance Venezuela’s Zika outbreak is worse than Brazil’s (Tegel, 2/5). Reuters: Puerto Rico declares public health emergency over Zika virus (Davies/Cohen, 2/5). Reuters: Doctors puzzle over severity of defects in some Brazilian babies (Berkrot/Boadle, 2/8). USA TODAY: More than 3,100 pregnant women infected with Zika in Colombia (Stanglin, 2/6).
The Hill: Dems press Obama on plan for Zika “…All 44 [Senate] Democrats, as well as Independent Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Angus King (Maine), sent a letter to Obama, saying the administration needs to come up with a ‘coordinated interagency response plan’…” (Carney, 2/5). The Hill: Abortion-rights group pushes GOP candidates on Zika virus…More
The Economist: Going, going… “…[Former U.S. President Jimmy] Carter says he hopes to outlive the last Guinea worm. Though he is now 91, that is a plausible ambition. All 22 of the worms that were recorded last year have now emerged, and are dead.
U.N. News Centre: U.N. agencies mobilize to support government response after Benin confirms cases of Lassa fever “After the identification of four cases of Lassa fever in Benin, the government, backed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has immediately launched a response against the epidemic, the agencies announced…More