• Public healthWHO Declares Ebola Outbreak in Congo an Emergency of “International Concern”

    The UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo a “public health emergency of international concern.” “It is a measure that recognizes the possible increased national and regional risks and the need for intensified and coordinated action to manage them,” said the WHO in a statement.

  • Considered opinion: Pandemics & disinformationWe must prepare for the next pandemic

    By Bruce Schneier

    When the next pandemic strikes, it will likely be accompanied by a deluge of rumors, misinformation and flat-out lies that will appear on the internet. Bruce Schneier writes that “Pandemics are inevitable. Bioterror is already possible, and will only get easier as the requisite technologies become cheaper and more common. We’re experiencing the largest measles outbreak in twenty-five years thanks to the anti-vaccination movement, which has hijacked social media to amplify its messages; we seem unable to beat back the disinformation and pseudoscience surrounding the vaccine. Those same forces will dramatically increase death and social upheaval in the event of a pandemic.”

  • EbolaEbola outbreak spreads to Uganda – it should never have happened

    By Sterghios Moschos

    The DRC is where the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. And the country is no stranger to this menace – this is the ninth time it has had to contain the disease. Still, this outbreak is the second largest on record – and the second to have crossed into another country.

  • 1918 flu pandemicPossible European origin of the Spanish Influenza

    What happens when a military historian and a virologist get together to discuss the 1918 pandemic? What you get is a fascinating insight into a possible European origin and all sorts of things we may have overlooked.

  • Public healthStatistical model helps predict future disease outbreaks

    Researchers have created a statistical method that may allow public health and infectious disease forecasters to better predict disease reemergence, especially for preventable childhood infections such as measles and pertussis.

     

  • Ebola DRC Ebola cases exceed 1,800 amid burial team attacks

    Blowing past the 1,800 case mark, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported 39 cases over the weekend as well as a pair of assaults on burial teams, along with 10 new infections today, according to the latest official reports, raising the outbreak’s total to 1,826.

  • EbolaCongo Ebola outbreak reaches 1,600 cases, as armed clashes impede health work

    The Ebola outbreak total in Congo reached the 1,600 mark, as clashes between military forces and armed militia groups flared in the city of Butembo, at the heart of the Ebola-affected region.

  • EbolaInoculating against misinformation

    By Alvin Powell

    In the lawless eastern provinces of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country, an Ebola outbreak that has quietly become history’s second-largest epidemic may wind up turning not on drugs or quarantine, but on a third, often underappreciated factor: trust.

  • MeaslesMeasles spreading in U.S., mostly among unvaccinated children

    Measles is spreading in the U.S. As of 5 February, there were 50 cases in Washington state and five in Houston. New cases are being added daily. Health officials, including the U.S. surgeon general, are urging parents to get their children vaccinated.

  • EpidemicsPandemics will cause average annual economic losses similar to losses from climate change

    Economists estimate that, in the coming decades, pandemics will cause average annual economic losses of 0.7 percent of global GDP – a threat similar in scale to that estimated for climate change. Experts say that this is a level of risk that businesses can no longer afford to ignore.

  • Flu vaccineFlu vaccine supply gaps may intensify flu seasons, make pandemics deadlier

    More than 50 million people died in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19. Its 100th anniversary this flu season serves as a reminder to close flu vaccine supply gaps that may be costing hundred to thousands of lives now and could cost many more when the next “big one” strikes, researchers say.

  • EbolaDRC Ebola total tops 600; vaccination team attacked

    With 10 new Ebola infections reported on New Year’s Day and today, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Ebola outbreak passed the 600-case mark, as a fresh round of violence—this time in Komanda—injured a member of a health ministry vaccination team.

  • EbolaU.S. health worker monitored as DRC Ebola nears 600 cases

    A U.S. healthcare worker has been flown to the United States for observation after potential Ebola exposure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where the Ebola outbreak has now grown to 598 cases amid violent protests.

  • EbolaEbola count in DRC hits 500 in growing outbreak

    The world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak hit another milestone today, as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) recorded 2 new cases, raising outbreak totals to 500, including 289 deaths. According to the latest weekly update from the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) African regional office, among the 500 cases are 3 healthcare workers who have been infected since 1 December. Since August, when the outbreak began, 49 healthcare workers have been infected, and 15 of those have died.

  • EpidemicsNew vaccines center to protect U.K. from pandemic threats

    The U.K.’s first dedicated Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC represents a major commercial opportunity and also a new front line in the nation’s defense against global pandemic threats. To be up and running by 2022, the VMIC addresses the U.K.’s structural gap in late-stage vaccine manufacturing process development. It will allow development and manufacture of vaccines for clinical trials and at moderate scale for emergency preparedness for epidemic threats to the U.K. population.