January 2014

Update on Human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses

From 2003 through 31 December 2013, 648 laboratory-confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) virus infection have been officially reported to WHO from 15 countries. Of these cases, 384 died.

H5N1 viruses are considered endemic in poultry in at least six countries (alphabetically: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Vietnam) with sporadic detection in wild birds and poultry outbreaks occurring in other countries. The virus also is circulating widely in other countries in those regions. 

TASW Newsletter Editorial - January 2014

Dear Colleagues,

Members of the Towards A Safer World (TASW) network are committed to improving their expertise and increasing their effectiveness.  They do this by exchanging, testing, refining and promoting their approaches, drawing on lessons of experience, and building a compendium of best practice.  They offer examples to each other, they identify techniques they have found to be useful, and they ensure that all have a chance to see research outputs, project reports and case studies that might be useful.   They do this through exchanging information  either face to face or via the TASW network newsletter.  This is the fifth issue of the newsletter.  Each issue isavailable on TASW website at http://www.towardsasaferworld.org . Feedback from network members suggests that they are appreciated by members of the network and by wide range of other stakeholders.

Innovative One Health-Disaster Resilience Higher Education in the Republic of the Philippines: Thinking Out of the Box

By Noel L.J. Miranda, DVM, MSc, FellPCVPH The coming together of One Health and Disaster Resilience is premised on the principles described above- that from a broader view of the interconnectedness of the determinants of human health and wellbeing, “One Health” must broadly interrelate within “One Resilience”- where the independent resilience of all elements that impact on human health and wellbeing converge to achieving societal resilience.

UNICEF - Rehearsing the emergency response

Each year, the 133 UNICEF country offices around the globe respond to an average of 250 emergencies, including such diverse crises as floods, droughts, earthquakes, epidemics and conflicts, among others. Nevertheless, the bulk of UNICEF’s time, energy and human resources are devoted to long-term development issues. This poses an interesting challenge for the organisation: how to maintain the humanitarian knowledge, skills and decision-making ability of all staff members during the long, non-crisis periods?

Christian Aid’s Approach To Resilience: Thriving Resilient Livelihoods

Christian Aid, the fourth largest British development/humanitarian NGO, has developed an approach to supporting resilience which it calls the ‘thriving resilient livelihoods’ approach. Christian Aid wants to enable poor people to move beyond survival, to enjoy thriving lives. This means making a living in ways that provide adequate food, safe conditions and the resources to take new opportunities.

Update on Avian influenza A (H7N9) situation in China (FAO)

As of 10th January 2014, 163 human cases of influenza A(H7N9) virus infection were reported to WHO. Of these cases, 50 died.  Fifteen cases have been reported since the first of the year by China and its close neighbours.

Most human A(H7N9) cases have reported contact with poultry or live bird markets. Knowledge about the main virus reservoirs, and the extent and distribution of the virus in animals remains limited.

WHO MERS-CoV Guidance to Countries - December 2013

Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns. Health care providers are advised to maintain vigilance. Recent travellers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV as advised in the current surveillance recommendations. Patients diagnosed and reported to date have had respiratory disease as their primary illness.