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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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ProMED - African Swine Fever - Ukraine (03): Europe, Threat

thepigsite.com - August 8, 2012

ANALYSIS - The spread of African Swine Fever from the Caucasus to the east coast of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine presents an alarming and concerning situation, writes Chris Harris.

The latest outbreak, discovered at the end of July and confirmed through PCR tests on samples taken from back yard pigs in the Zaporozhye region, is worrying because it represents not so much a gradual spread of the disease, but a dramatic jump.

The outbreak has occurred 170 kilometres from the Russian border.

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African Swine Fever in Ukraine

[DEFRA's International Disease Monitoring Preliminary Outbreak
Assessment "ASF in Ukraine" (Reference: VITT/1200 ASF) of 2 Aug 3012 ,
including a map and references, is available at
<http://www.defra.gov.uk/animal-diseases/files/poa-asf-ukraine-20120802.pdf>. - (3 page .PDF file)

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When contagion strikes, it's Honolulu you should avoid

submitted by Cody Shearer

Image: Christos Nicolaides/Juanes Research Group

www.guardian.co.uk - July 24, 2012 - Posted by Nadja Popovich

 

When the next outbreak of Sars or Swine flu hits, New York's John F Kennedy airport and Los Angeles's airports will likely be the key spreaders of disease, according to a new study. But while the influence of these super-hubs may not come as much of a surprise, the third most outbreak-friendly airport in the states is far smaller, and far less obvious – Honolulu International.

In a paper published Monday in the journal PLoS One, a team of researchers from MIT outlined a new computer model that predicts how the 40 largest American airports may contribute to the diffusion of contagious disease within the first few days of a potential epidemic.

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Avian Flu Makes Jump to Seals, May Pose Threat to Humans

submitted by Susan Steinhauser

AMA - BulletinHEALTHCARE.com

mBio - Emergence of Fatal Avian Influenza in New England Harbor Seals

Many outlets reported on new research, published online July 31 in the journal mBio, which documents a mutated form of avian flu in seals. The sources all discussed the significance of the development, focusing on the risk the transmission of bird flu to mammals poses to humans.

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mBio - Emergence of Fatal Avian Influenza in New England Harbor Seals

Abstract

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Health Team Fights Ebola Outbreak That Has Killed 14 in Uganda

The New York Times - by Josh Kron - July 28, 2012

KAMPALA, Uganda — An outbreak of the rare and deadly Ebola virus has killed 14 people in midwestern Uganda, many in the past week, the Ugandan government said Saturday.

A team of health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the Ugandan government has been sent to the area, roughly three hours from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, to begin emergency response measures, according to a government statement.

The strain of the virus, which in recent years has killed at a rate often above 70 percent of those infected, has been identified as Ebola Sudan, one of the virus’s more common strains.

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How Doctors Without Borders is mapping the world’s epidemics

Cholera cases in MSF facilitiesImage: Cholera cases in MSF facilities

dailydot.com - David Holmes - March 9th, 2012

Five years ago, Ivan Gayton would spend months at a time in the African bush with no connection to the outside world except for a satellite phone or a high-frequency radio.

But today, the head of Doctors Without Borders in Nigeria spends 75 percent of his time on a computer or a cell phone, even when working in rural Africa. And while the sense of adventure may be diminished, Gayton says the new technologies have had an “astonishing” effect on his organization’s effectiveness.

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H1N1 Discovery Paves Way for Universal Flu Vaccine

submitted by Luis Kun

Homeland Security News Wire - May 9, 2012

Each year, seasonal influenza causes serious illnesses in three to five million people and 200,000 to 500,000 deaths; university of British Columbia researchers have found a potential way to develop universal flu vaccines and eliminate the need for seasonal flu vaccinations

Each year, seasonal influenza causes serious illnesses in three to five million people and 200,000 to 500,000 deaths. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic killed more than 14,000 people worldwide. Meanwhile, public health and bioterrorism concerns are heightened by new mutations of the H5N1 bird flu virus, published last week by the journal Nature, that could facilitate infection among mammals and humans.

Led by Professor John Schrader, Canada Research Chair in Immunology and director of the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Biomedical Research Center, the research team found that the 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine triggers antibodies that protect against many influenza viruses, including the lethal avian H5N1 bird flu strain.

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