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Alabama - State Public Health Emergency: Influenza

governor.alabama.gov - January 11, 2018

WHEREAS the State Health Officer has reported that an outbreak of the influenza virus has occurred in the State of Alabama; and

WHEREAS this outbreak poses a high probability of widespread exposure to an infectious agent that poses significant risk of substantial harm to a large number of people in the affected population; and

WHEREAS the health care facilities and personnel of the State are overwhelmed by the number of ill patients and taxed to such an extent that care of patients may now no longer be provided in the traditional, normal, and customary manner nor is the utilization of traditional, normal, and customary standards of care possible.

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It's Early in the Flu Season, but It's Shaping Up to Be a Nasty One

           

cbsnews.com - by Jonathan Lapook - December 26, 2017

As the holiday season continues, the U.S. is also entering peak flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 650,000 people worldwide could die from complications of the flu . . .

 . . . It's very early in the flu season but it's shaping up to be a nasty one. Texas is one of 23 states already seeing high flu activity, more than double the number from the week before.

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CLICK HERE - Texas Department of State Health Services - 2017 - 2018 Texas Influenza Surveillance Activity Report

CLICK HERE - CDC - FluView - Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

CLICK HERE - TEXASFLU.org

 

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Why the Government is Creating Lethal Viruses

CLICK HERE - Department of Health and Human Services Framework for Guiding Funding Decisions about Proposed Research Involving Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens (HHS PC30) - (7 page .PDF document)

cnn.com - by Wayne Drash - December 19, 2017

The US government on Tuesday lifted a ban on making lethal viruses, saying the research is necessary to "develop strategies and effective countermeasures against rapidly evolving pathogens that pose a threat to public health."

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, made the announcement, in which he outlined a new framework for the controversial research. The work with three viruses can now go forward, but only if a scientific review panel determines that the benefits outweigh the risks.

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Is It Possible to Predict the Next Pandemic?

submitted by Carrie La Jeunesse

           

A livestock market in India - Omar Sobhani / Reuters

Large initiatives are underway to pinpoint the next big viral threats—but some virologists believe the task is too hard.

theatlantic.com - by Ed Yong - October 25, 2017

It’s been two years since an epidemic of Zika began in Brazil, three since the largest Ebola outbreak in history erupted in West Africa, eight since a pandemic of H1N1 flu swept the world, and almost a hundred since a different H1N1 flu pandemic killed 50 million people worldwide. Those viruses were all known, but no one knew when or where they’d trigger epidemics. Other diseases, like SARS, MERS, and HIV, emerged out of the blue.

Sick of being perpetually caught off guard, some scientists want to fully catalogue all viral threats, and predict which are likely to cause tomorrow’s outbreaks.

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Ebola May Linger in Men's Semen for More Than 2 Years

Particles of Ebola virus (Zaire) obtained from cell culture fluid.  Credit: Elena Ryabchikova, Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Ebola Virus RNA Detection in Semen More than Two Years After Resolution of Acute Ebola Virus Infection

livescience.com - by Tia Ghose - August 1, 2017

Ebola may linger in men's semen for more than two years, a new study suggests.

What's more, at least one man who survived Ebola and then tested negative for the presence of the virus in his semen later tested positive, the new study found.

The findings raise questions about how long Ebola can linger in special immune hideouts in the body.

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Tiny Genetic Change Lets Bird Flu Leap to Humans

           

At least six provinces have reported human cases of H7N9 influenza this year, according to Chinese state media - Getty Images

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Nature Communications - An NS-segment exonic splicing enhancer regulates influenza A virus replication in mammalian cells

bbc.com - March 21, 2017

A change in just a single genetic "letter" of the flu virus allows bird flu to pass to humans, according to scientists.

Monitoring birds for viruses that carry the change could provide early warning of risk to people, they say . . .

 . . . The change in a single nucleotide (a building block of RNA) allows the H7N9 virus to infect human cells as well as birds, say Prof Honglin Chen and colleagues.

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CDC Reports Pneumonia, Influenza Mortality Rate Hits Epidemic Threshold

CLICK HERE - CDC - FLUVIEW - Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

CLICK HERE - CDC - Weekly US Map: Influenza Summary Update

CLICK HERE - CDC - Situation Update: Summary of Weekly FluView Report

CLICK HERE - CDC - Past Weekly Surveillance Reports

healio.com - February 10, 2017

The mortality rate for pneumonia and influenza in the United States was slightly above the epidemic threshold during the week ending Jan. 7, according to CDC’s FluView.

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The Mission to Stop Ebola: Lessons for UN Crisis Response

CLICK HERE - International Peace Institute - The Mission to Stop Ebola: Lessons for UN Crisis Response (28 page .PDF report)

reliefweb.int - February 15, 2017
ADAM LUPEL AND MICHAEL SNYDER

Executive Summary

The Ebola epidemic of 2014–2016 was a fastmoving, multidimensional emergency that pre - sented unprecedented challenges for the multi - lateral system. In response to the outbreak, which was spreading exponentially in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established the UN’s first-ever emergency health mission, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). UNMEER was mandated by the UN General Assembly in September 2014 to scale up and coordinate the activities of the UN presence on the ground working to stop the outbreak, which eventually claimed over 11,000 lives.

This report asks: Was UNMEER needed? Was it properly structured? Did it deliver? And what broader lessons can be learned from the experience of UNMEER for UN crisis response?

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How Likely Are You To Deal With A Zika Outbreak? Check This Map

huffingtonpost.com - August 15th 2016 - Anna Almendrala

Now that Zika virus is spreading locally in Florida, U.S. residents, and especially pregnant women, are growing alarmed at the risk that they may face in their own communities. 

A new map estimating the risk of local Zika spread around the globe shows a relatively small likelihood that most of North America and Northern Asia will be affected. By contrast, all the variables are in place for local spread in most of Africa, South and Southeast Asia. 

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Report of the Independent Panel on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Ebola Response

                    

disasterlit.nlm.nih.gov - June 30, 2016

This 57-page report summarizes a request to capture critical lessons from the Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016 and review the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)'s international and domestic responses. It summarizes an Independent Panel's assessment of HHS's challenges, and, where appropriate, challenges facing the broader U.S. government. It describes notable opportunities for improvement in leadership and organization, communication, management, and logistics, as well as in development and use of vaccines and treatments. It also presents recommendations for addressing future urgent public health threats.

CLICK HERE - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND ACCESS TO THE REPORT - Report of the Independent Panel on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Ebola Response

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CLICK HERE - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND ACCESS TO THE REPORT - Report of the Review Committee on the Role of the International Health Regulations (2005) in the Ebola Outbreak and Response

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