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Great interest for HU paper

on Mon, 09/01/2014 - 22:23

TELL ME paper regarding health care workers ambivalent risk perception, published in American Journal of Infection Control, has gained a lot of interest all over the world.
The study made by the staff of the Faculty of Public Health of the University of Haifa coordinated by Manfred Green was cited by The Jerusalem Post, San Diego Jewish World, Times of Israel, Science Daily, Be In today, Infection Control Today, International Biosecurity Intelligence system.

Merits and flaws of using social media to fight Ebola

on Thu, 08/07/2014 - 10:36

Can social media be used as a way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases? Such a question is certainly on the agenda right now, with the Ebola outbreak currently raging in West Africa and having already claimed the life of 887 people out of 1,603 casessince this March.

This epidemic is caused by a lethal but not highly contagious virus, which does not transmit just by breathing. The only way to get it is to come in contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, usually through person's mucous membranes or broken skin.

The role of children in the spatial spread of 2009 Pandemic Influenza in the US

on Mon, 08/04/2014 - 16:41

School-age children had a critical role in facilitating the geographic spread of 2009 pandemic influenza in the United States. This is one of the main findings that emerged from a paper published on PLoS Biology by a group of British and American scientists. The authors of the study used statistical and mathematical models to run an analysis on the weekly number of office visits with diagnosed influenza-like illness in 2009. Such data were obtained from a private sector electronic health database of insurance claims.

The approach used by the researchers allowed them to describe spatial and

Ebola outbreak reached Nigeria

on Wed, 07/30/2014 - 22:39

The first probable case of Ebola virus disease (EBV) has been reported in Nigeria: it is a 40-year-old male from Liberia who spotted symptoms during his travel to Lagos, on July 20th. He was immediately admitted to a private hospital but died five days later.

Nigeria is the fourth African country – the others being Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – to be hit by the violent outbreak that so far has claimed the life of 672 people out of 1201 confirmed cases.


The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is still raging

on Thu, 06/19/2014 - 16:42

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) is continuing to claim victims in West Africa: 31 new cases and 4 new deaths were reported between 15 and 17 June in Sierra Leona, 7 with 5 deaths in Guinea between 14 and 16 June, and 9 – 5 of which lethal – between 11 and 16 June in Liberia. This brings the cumulative number of cases and deaths reported from the three countries to 528 cases and 337 deaths, Guinea being the country with the highest death toll (264).

The World Health Organization (WHO) is collaborating with the Ministries of Health of African countries in several ways: by assessing the overall

Call for papers: new deadline

on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 09:30

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness is publishing a special issue in 2014 on the role of communication in public health preparedness measures and response to pandemics, with particular reference to infectious disease outbreaks.

A call for papers was launched and its deadline, which was June 30 has been postponed to August 22. Aim of this issue is to bring together the most relevant research about the factors that impact on communication strategies and their relative effectiveness during a pandemic.

WHO: MERS is a serious threat but not an emergency yet

on Sun, 05/18/2014 - 23:11

The panel that was established one years ago to advise the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) stated that the situation is concerning but is not an emergency yet. The members of the panel has met four times since last July and had to decide if it was necessary to declare the MERS outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). By claiming a PHEIC, the panel would have given WHO all the powers necessary to apply the International Health Regulations (IHR) in order to tackle the emergency.

MERS threat outside the Middle East: will transparency help?

on Thu, 05/08/2014 - 19:38

The first known cases occurred in Jordan in April 2012. Two years later, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) reached the United States. The first American case, confirmed on May 1 2014 by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is a traveler landed in Chicago from Saudi Arabia and now recovered in a hospital in Indiana. Just a week before, the Ministry of Health of Egypt reported the first laboratory-confirmed case of MERS-CoV infection in the country.
On April 30 2014, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported 424

An overview on the global response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic

on Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:12

In a review on the New England Journal of Medicine, Harvey Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine and chair of an international committee requested by the World Health Organization (WHO), analyzed the global response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, giving particular attention to the function of the 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR) and the performance of the WHO.

IHR are a set of provisions – activated in 2005 and gone into effect in 2007 – that delineated the responsibilities of individual countries when dealing with public health emergencies and established a leading role for

Tamiflu and Relenza effectiveness questioned by Cochrane Collaboration and BMJ

on Thu, 04/10/2014 - 08:00

There is no good evidence about the effectiveness of Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir) for influenza prevention and treatment. This is the tough claim made by Cochrane Collaboration and the British Medical Journal (BMJ), based on the extended systematic review they just published about the use of neuraminidase inhibitors against influenza.

Their study is entirely based on complete clinical study reports, trial registries, electronic databases, regulatory archives and correspondence with manufacturers, which correspond to more than 150,000 pages of documents; more specifically, the