News Pouch 3 July 2019

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

News Pouch: 3 July 2019

Highlights some of the latest news and literature relevant to health emergencies preparedness and response research and policy, tagged by thematic area.
We welcome receiving your reports, articles and studies to share widely within our network. Please contactChadia Wannous via email at

  • Spotlight: Ebola Outbreak Situation
  • Spotlight: HeatWave
  • Updates and News on Main Outbreaks
    • Priority Infectious Diseases
      • Influenza
      •  VBD, and more
  • One Health
    • Biodiversity and ecosystem
    • Food Security and Safety
    • AMR
    • Health in Emergencies and Disasters
    • Health and Climate Change
    • Urban Health
    • Migration Health
    • Global Health
    • Contact us


    Ebola Outbreak Situation

    External Situation Report 48: 02 July 2019
    New EVD cases continue to occur in North Kivu and Ituriprovinces, with continued fluctuating transmission intensity, reducing in previous hotspots, but increasing in areas with previously relatively low transmission rates. The continuation of this trend is of concern and it requires strong outbreak control interventions to be sustained in all the affected areas
    click here to download the complete situation report (PDF)
    Ebola Case Identified Near South Sudan Border
    An Ebola case-patient has been identified just 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo's border with South Sudan, the Associate Press reported today. The story cited South Sudan's health ministry as the source of information.

    US looks to 'reset leadership and coordination' as Ebola outbreak worsensFour major donors to the Ebola outbreak response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have “jump-started a new strategic plan” that aims to revamp leadership and coordination, community engagement, and financial management, according to a U.S. aid official.
    The current “burn rate” for Ebola response funding is roughly $1 million a day, Ziemer said, and projecting that out for another 10 or 12 months suggests a response somewhere in the range of $350 to $400 million, he estimated.

    The United States is Providing $98 Million in Assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Response to the Ebola Outbreak

    UN food agency triples aid in strife-hit Ituri province
    Food aid is being tripled for troubled Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to respond to what the World Food Programme (WFP) has described as the world’s second largest hunger crisis in the world, after Yemen.

    Pregnant women in DRC finally receive Ebola vaccine
    Earlier this month, pregnant women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo finally started receiving a life-saving Ebola vaccine, but the months-long delay has put hundreds of women at risk.

    Why the Democratic Republic of Congo's Ebola Outbreak Could Continue to Spread
    Ongoing civil conflict and the resulting displacement of local people is creating an ideal environment for the devastating disease.

    Behind the scenes in the Ebola response : The call centre manager

    Ebola in Uganda, and the dynamics of a new and different outbreak

    Social Science and Behavioural Data Compilation (No. 3), Ebola Outbreak Eastern DRC February-May 2019
    The ‘special status’given to Ebolain comparison to other epidemic diseases like malaria and cholera, and the lack of haemorrhagic symptoms seen in patients and by the community,is a continued themethatcontributes to the notion“Ebola is not real”

    Special report: 'Ebola in DR Congo: An Epidemic of Rumours
    This special edition, presented by the France 24 Observers, takes a deeper look at the locals who believe Ebola is a hoax and introduces viewers to the medical teams combating the virus.

    Ebola fight ongoing, amid evidence of ‘several massacres’ in DR Congo
    The vital work of tracing people infected with deadly Ebola virus disease in north-east Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is progressing, despite evidence of “several” massacres in the affected area earlier this month, the UN said on Friday.
    In an update on the situation in Ituri and North Kivu provinces, nearly 11 months after the outbreak began, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 2,284 cases of infection so far, and 1,540 deaths. At the same time, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, announced that a “robust” probe found that 117 people had been killed in “several massacres” involving multiple villages in gold-rich Ituri, between 10 and 13 June.
    Full update on the situation in DRC here.

    As Ebola Outbreak Rages, the World Just Watches. Some Call It 'Malignant Neglect'
    The Ebola outbreak raging through Congo has sickened thousands of people and killed more than 1,500 — even as the number of new victims continues to climb. The situation is dire, but it's hardly unprecedented. Less than five years ago, an epidemic in West Africa killed more than 11,000 people, shattering communities, destroying economies and leaving a generation of orphans behind.

    Developing a Personal Protective Equipment Selection Matrix for Preventing Occupational Exposure to Ebola Virus

    Impact of the West African Ebola epidemic on agricultural production and rural welfare: Evidence from Liberia
    The 2014–15 Ebola epidemic took a devastating human and economic toll on three West African countries, of which Liberia was perhaps the hardest hit. The pathways through which the crisis affected economic activity in these largely agrarian societies remain poorly understood. To study these mechanisms in the context of rural Liberia, this paper links a geographically disaggregated indicator of Ebola disease mortality to nationally representative..


    "Worst is still to come": Sizzling Europe battles wildfires, health risks
    Temperatures climbed towards 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of northern Spain and southern France, driving many people to seek relief in the sea, rivers, lakes and fountains

    Hotter but less deadly? Preparedness may cut toll of Europe's heatwave
    Deaths from the health impacts of June's extreme heat are likely to have been reduced after governments learned lessons from a 2003 heatwave. Governments were spurred into action by a European heatwave that year that caused the deaths of more than 35,000 people, and are now better prepared to keep their citizens safe, according to climate scientists at the World Weather Attribution group.

    Climate change made European heatwave at least five times likelier
    Searing heat shows crisis is ‘here and now’, say scientists, and worse than predicted

    Working on a warmer planet: The impact of heat stress on labour productivity and decent work
    Climate projections point towards an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, and one result of this trend is the loss of jobs and productivity. The rise in global temperatures caused by climate change will also make the phenomenon of “heat stress” more common. Heat stress refers to heat received in excess of that which the body can tolerate without suffering physiological impairment.

    Heat stress spike predicted to cost global economy $2.4 trillion a year

    What is a heatwave?
    And why do definitions vary around the globe?

    Priority Diseases

    The Disease Outbreak-Human Trafficking Connection: A Missed Opportunity
    Read Now

    Judicial Opinions Arising from Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Activities

    Establishment of a National Inventory of Dangerous Pathogens in the Republic of Uganda
    Read Now

    Indo-Pacific health security threat data gathered in DFAT report
    An investment of more than $250,000 Australian dollars ($175,000) to bring together the risks and capacities of countries in the region helped produce “The State of Health Security in the Indo-Pacific Region” report. The identification of high-risk diseases in the region were not a surprise. The list of health challenges in the region include chikungunya, the Nipah virus, SARS, avian flu, and Zika.

    Communicable Disease Threats to Public Health in the European Union- Annual Epidemiological Report for 2018
    This report covers the events and threats detected by the ECDC epidemic intelligence team in 2018 and the actions taken related to these findings. The object of EI at ECDC is to rapidly detect and assess public health events of any origin to ensure EU health security has defined by ECDC’s mandate. This report is based on EI screening and data from 2018 retrieved from Epidemic Intelligence Information System, the Early Warning and Response System, and the ECDC threat tracking tool.
    Influenza at the human-animal interface monthly risk assessment

    The biweekly global influenza update

    The latest FluNet summary of lab-confirmed data from GISRS

    Flu Vaccine No Match Against Bug That Popped up Near End
    The flu vaccine turned out to be a big disappointment again. The vaccine didn’t work against a flu bug that popped up halfway through the past flu season, dragging down overall effectiveness to 29%, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

    New H7N9 Disease Situation Update from FAO/EMPRES – Animal Health 

    • No new outbreaks in birds reported;
    • No new human cases reported;
    • 4 new relevant publications;

    Study: Viruses cause most global pediatric pneumonia
    Viruses account for 61.4% of cases in young kids, with RSV the most common viral cause and the leading cause of severe pneumonia.
    More »
    ASF Asia Update for 27 June from FAO/EMPRES - Animal Health.
    * China reported five outbreaks in one week, in Guizhou and Qinghai Provinces.
    * In Viet Nam, ASF was reported in two more provinces for the first time.      

    Millions of small pig farmers in Asia threatened by swine fever outbreak
    17DD Yellow Fever Revaccination and Heightened Long-Term Immunity in Populations of Disease-Endemic Areas, Brazil
    We evaluated the duration of neutralizing antibodies and the status of 17DD vaccine–specific T- and B-cell memory following primary and revaccination regimens for yellow fever in Brazil.

    Natural Vertical Transmission of Zika Virus in Larval Aedes aegypti Populations, Morelos, Mexico

    The Zika Virus Is Still a Threat. Here’s What Experts Know.
    Measles in Zhejiang, China, 2004-2017: Population Density and Proportion of Floating Populations Effects on Measles Epidemic
    Read Now

    DRC reports more polio outbreaks; positive tests in 4 other countries
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has reported two more outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2), according to the latest update from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). The GPEI today detailed 10 new polio cases in four countries, as well as cVDPV2 in a healthy case contact.
    One of the new DRC emergences of the virus is in Sankuru province in south central DRC, and the other is in neighboring Kasai province. Four cases have been reported in the two provinces involving patients with acute flaccid paralysis onsets from Apr 3 to May 6. So far this year the DRC, which is now experiencing six separate ongoing outbreaks, has reported five cVDPV2 cases.
    Jun 28 GPEI update

    Afghanistan Records 10th Polio Case in 2019 as Security Worsens-Officials
    Afghanistan, one of the last countries in the world where polio is still endemic, has registered its 10th case this year, with most coming in southern regions where Taliban militants have wide control, a senior health official said on Wednesday.
    Go to article

    One Health  

    Who's Who in One Health in Latin America - Webinar
    This webinar will be presented in Spanish and/or Portuguese. Please sign up for one spokes-person to present about your group by submitting/copying 2-3 slides (5 minutes total per group)here.
    This webinar is free but everyone must Register to receive a unique login link.
    Webinar Attendance Registration:
    Biodiversity and Ecosystem

    The Trondheim Conferences on Biodiversity

    Making biodiversity matter. Knowledge and know-how for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
    Building upon multiple sources of information, including the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the Conference will facilitate a shared understanding of key knowledge areas, and help to ensure that the process for developing the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is knowledge-based, just and inclusive.

    IPBES report on the future of ocean biodiversity
    The draft text of an agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction BBNJ under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS was just released!

    What Technology Reveals About Wildlife Migration

    GPS tracking of mule deer, other big game can help improve public lands policy
    Food Safety and Security
    G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Declaration 2019
    (15) We reiterate the importance of our continuous efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through balanced and multi-sectoral approaches.We underline the value of tackling this issue through “One Health” national action plans, including terrestrial and aquatic animals and agriculture throughout the food chain, and we reaffirm the commitments G20 made in 2017 and 2018in that regard. We note on-going discussionsin inter-sectorial or interdisciplinary for a such as Tripartite Plus (WHO, FAO, OIE and UNEP),Codex, IPPC, and other United Nations related bodies including the General Assembly. We acknowledgethe role of the agro-food sectorin ensuring the “One Health” approach is effective on a global basis

    Livestock Under Climate Change: A Systematic Review of Impacts and Adaptation

    Transformative Adaptation in Livestock Production Systems

    Ensuring food safety 'from farm to fork'  
    To minimise risks of food contamination, action is needed at all stages of the food chain from production at the farm through to human consumption. Veterinarians carry out a wide range of activities in animal production systems that contribute to ensuring the production of safe food.
    OIE's new Food Safety Portal:

    Webinar Introduction to The Investing In Sustainable Livestock Guide & Tool
    Registration Ends: Jul 09th, 2019


    Low-income African countries 'pay 30 times more' for drugs.

    Use of the WHO Access, Watch and Reserve classification to define patterns of hospital use (AWaRe): an analysis of paediatric survey data from 56 countries.
    The authors found substantial global variation in the proportion of AWaRe antibiotics used in hospitalised neonates and children. The AWaRe classification could potentially be used as a simple traffic light metric of appropriate antibiotic use. Future efforts should focus on developing and evaluating paediatric antibiotic stewardship programmes on the basis of the AWaRe index.

    Government policy interventions to reduce human antimicrobial use: A systematic review and evidence map.
    This study identified 17 unique policy options for governments to reduce the human use of antimicrobials.

    Report: Tackling the Triple Transition in Global Health Procurement.
    Despite its importance, procurement is an underappreciated health system function. Today’s procurement systems are hobbled by inefficiencies that leave some of the poorest countries paying some of the highest drug prices in the world.
    Resources and Opportunities
    The Proof-of-Principle AMR routine diagnostics (PoP) project: successes and challenges
    The complete list of recorded webinars can be found here:
    FAO. Use of biocides and AMR - Promoting Behaviour Change in Food Safety. (Sanja Ilic)

    FREE online course on antimicrobial stewardship for wound management.

    FREE online course on "The Role of Vaccines in Preventing Infectious Diseases andAntimicrobial Resistance,"

    Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Jun 26, 2019

    • Procalcitonin meta-analysis
    • Overprescribing for pediatric UTIs
    • Fast-track for pneumonia antibiotic

    More »

    Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Jun 28, 2019

    • Dental overprescribing in Japan
    • Rapid tests and unneeded antibiotics

    More »

    Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Jul 01, 2019

    • Stewardship intervention in Portugal
    • Susceptibility in urinary bacteria

    More »

    Emergencies and Disasters

    Months after the Geneva conference, the U.N. is still waiting for the pledged $1 billion for Yemen to be disbursed.
    [Annie Slemrod and Ben Parker, The New Humanitarian]

    More than 1 million people in southern Japan have been ordered to evacuate as the island of Kyushu braces for a month's worth of rain in a single day

    WHO’s work in emergencies: prepare, prevent, detect and respond - Annual Report 2018

    Towards resilient health systems: Opportunities to align surgical and disaster planning
    Natural disasters significantly contribute to human death and suffering. Moreover, they exacerbate pre-existing health inequalities by imposing an additional burden on the most vulnerable populations. Robust local health systems can greatly mitigate this burden by absorbing the extraordinary patient volume and case complexity immediately after a disaster.

    Doing research amid a humanitarian crisis
    Scientists whose work takes place in an evolving humanitarian emergency must cope with enormous responsibility and pressure. Nature speaks to three researchers about how their work has had a direct effect on saving people’s lives, and how science is done during a crisis.
    Nature | 10 min read

    Human error in high-biocontainment labs: a likely pandemic threat

    Latin American countries build expertise in advanced medical response to radiation emergencies with IAEA support

    Climate Change

    UN report on 1.5C blocked from climate talks after Saudi Arabia disputes science
    Discussions came to a deadlock at the talks in Bonn after a small group of countries refused to engage in substantive discussions over how the report’s findings could be used to inform policies on increasing the pace and scale of decarbonisation. The agreed text expressed “appreciation and gratitude” to the scientific community for the report, which it said “reflects the best available science” and notes “the views expressed on how to strengthen scientific knowledge on global warming of 1.5C”. It offers no way forward for the report to be considered further in formal negotiations. Saudi Arabia, the US, Kuwait and Russia also refused to endorse the report’s findings at the last round of talks in Katowice, Poland, last year, despite support from almost the entire community of nations.

    The impact of climate change on labor productivity could lead to 80 million jobs lost by 2030, according to projections by ILO.
    [Lin Taylor, Reuters]

    Urban Health

    What Happens When a CBRN Agent is Released in an Urban Area? Ask HASP.
    The Hazard Assessment Simulation and Prediction Suite (HASP), software which models how Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threats will disperse if released in urban or open areas, will now be available to first responders this month.
    (Global Biodefense, 6/26/19)

    What is the Global Program for Resilient Housing?

    Making housing safe and resilient to disasters can help protect lives and livelihoods from disasters and build sustainable communities. So how do we reach this goal for all? 
    Blog | Report

    Migration Health

    At least 40 dead and 80 wounded after an airstrike hit a migrant detention center in Libya.

    One migrant child reported dead or missing every day, UN calls for more protection
    Over the period covered by the report (2014 to 2018), IOM reported that, of the total of 32,000 migrant deaths, over half – some 17,900 – died or went missing in the Mediterranean Sea. The remains of almost two-thirds of these victims, have not been recovered.

    Cholera Prevention and Control in Refugee Settings: Successes and Continued Challenges
    Cholera has long been viewed as a serious threat for refugee populations. In the 1980s and 90s, refugee camps proliferated in Africa and Asia as a result of large civil wars and environmental disasters.
    Go to article

    Refugee health is a crisis of our own making

    Global Health

    How much does the world trust vaccines?

    New 2021-2025 high level strategy to leave no-one behind with immunisation approved by Gavi Board

    High-Performance Health-Financing for Universal Health Coverage: Driving Sustainable, Inclusive Growth in the 21st Century
    Download Full report and Executive summary 

    Without 'concrete' directives, new UHC agreement could fall flat
    Funding will be a critical, but not guaranteed, element in the forthcoming universal health coverage agreement governments will sign in September during the opening of the U.N. General Assembly session.

    Researchers warn of donor agencies exaggerating the impact of their global health projectsand call for better safeguards to prevent influencing evaluation results.
    [Rebecca Ratcliffe, The Guardian]




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    We welcome receiving your reports, articles and studies to share widely within our network.
    Please contact Chadia Wannous via email at 

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