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Smartphone attachment detects viruses and bacteria

theengineer.co.uk - The Engineer - September 18, 2013

Researchers at UCLA have developed a portable smartphone attachment that can be used to perform field testing to detect viruses and bacteria.

This cellphone-based imaging platform could be used for specific and sensitive detection of sub-wavelength objects, including bacteria and viruses and therefore could enable the practice of nanotechnology and biomedical testing in field settings and even in remote and resource-limited environments,’ Aydogan Ozcan, professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, said in a statement.

Using this device, which attaches directly to the camera module on a smartphone, Ozcan’s team was able to detect single human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) particles.

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H7N9 Bird Flu in China Likely Spread Between People, Researchers Find

 

submitted by Luis Kun

bmj.com - nbcnews.com - reuters - by Kate Kelland
August 6, 2013

CLICK HERE - BMJ - Research - Probable person to person transmission of novel avian influenza A (H7N9) virus in Eastern China, 2013: epidemiological investigation

LONDON - The first scientific analysis of probable human-to-human transmission of a deadly new strain of bird flu that emerged in China this year gives the strongest evidence yet that the H7N9 virus can pass between people, scientists said on Wednesday.

Research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) analyzing a family cluster of cases of H7N9 infection in eastern China found it was very likely the virus "transmitted directly from the index patient (a 60-year-old man) to his daughter."

Experts commenting on the research said while it did not necessarily mean H7N9 is any closer to becoming the next flu pandemic, "it does provide a timely reminder of the need to remain extremely vigilant."

(NBC - READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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H7N9 Map


View H7N9 map in a larger map

Click on each balloon for more information on individual patients infected with the avian flu virus: blue, patients infected with the H7N9 virus under treatment; red, those infected with H7N9 who have died; and pink, those infect with the H1N1 avian flu virus.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1208847/hong-kong-standby-new-bird-flu-cases-revealed-shanghai
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Is This a Pandemic Being Born?

      

foreignpolicy.com - by Laurie Garrett - April 1, 2013

China's mysterious pig, duck, and people deaths could be connected. And that should worry us.

Here's how it would happen. Children playing along an urban river bank would spot hundreds of grotesque, bloated pig carcasses bobbing downstream. Hundreds of miles away, angry citizens would protest the rising stench from piles of dead ducks and swans, their rotting bodies collecting by the thousands along river banks. And three unrelated individuals would stagger into three different hospitals, gasping for air. . .

. . . the facts delineated are all true, and have transpired over the last six weeks in China.

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Whooping Cough Vaccine Loses Effectiveness Faster Than Thought, Study Finds

huffingtonpost.com - by Mike Stobbe - September 12, 2012

NEW YORK — As the U.S. wrestles with its biggest whooping cough outbreak in decades, researchers appear to have zeroed in on the main cause: The safer vaccine that was introduced in the 1990s loses effectiveness much faster than previously thought.

A study published in Wednesday's New England Journal of Medicine found that the protective effect weakens dramatically soon after a youngster gets the last of the five recommended shots around age 6.

The protection rate falls from about 95 percent to 71 percent within five years, said researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Research Center in Oakland, Calif.

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Study - NEJM - Waning Protection after Fifth Dose of Acellular Pertussis Vaccine in Children
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1200850?query=featured_home

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Analysis of Warning Process: Swine-Origin Triple Reassortant Influenza A(H3N2) Virus In USA

by James Wilson, M.D. - Biosurveillance - December 21, 2011

We have been monitoring the situation with swine-origin triple reassortant influenza A(H3N2) virus (S-OtrH3N2) inside the United State for some time now.  Recent reports of likely human-human transmission sparked debate, discussed here in this post.

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Electronic Sensors Assess Contact Between Healthcare Workers

                                            

submitted by Luis Kun

Infection Control Today - September 6, 2011

Transmission of hospital acquired infections (HAI) is mainly based on contacts between patients, patients and healthcare workers (HCWs) and between HCWs only. Description and quantification of contacts at hospitals are key pieces of information for epidemiology and implementing control measures for HAIs.

Researchers in France and Italy describe the SocioPatterns project that has developed an technology based on RFID badges that provides a reliable infrastructure to detect face-to-face proximity of individuals. The system was tested at a scientific conference, in a primary school and in a hospital unit.

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Is 'Contagion' Fact or Fiction?

by Kim Carollo - ABC News - September 7, 2011

      

Jennifer Ehle stars as Dr. Ally Hextall in the film "Contagion." (Courtesy Warner Bros.)

There may not be any zombies, vampires or mutant monsters wreaking bloody havoc on innocent people, but the fact that "Contagion" has a premise that experts say is all too possible may make it the scariest movie of the season.

In the film, a star-studded cast battles a lethal species-jumping virus rapidly spreading sickness and death around the world. Director Steven Soderbergh said in interviews that he aimed for scientific and medical realism in the film. Producers and writers consulted with a number of leading virologists and shot some scenes at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.

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H5N1 - Possible Bird Flu Resurgence

crofsblogs.typepad.com - August 29, 2011

More on the mutant H5N1 strain

Thanks to Sari Setiogi for tweeting the link to this article in Kompas.com: Indonesia Facing Biggest Problems of Possible Bird Flu Resurgence. First an excerpt, then a comment:

The United Nations warned of a possible major resurgence of bird flu and said a mutant strain of the H5N1 virus was spreading in Asia and elsewhere. 

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