• 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.

  • EbolaEbola cases spike as WHO warns of possible reintroduction

    The other day the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) recorded 13 new Ebola cases in its daily update. Six of the new cases are in Butembo, three in Oicha, and two each in Beni and Katwa. The outbreak totals now stand at 471 cases, of which 423 are confirmed and 48 are probable; 273 people have died. And the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that it is concerned about reintroduction of the virus into the outbreak region.

  • EbolaDRC Ebola total climbs to 444 with cases in several areas

    Over the weekend and through today, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported 16 new Ebola cases in several locations in and around the main hot spots. The latest developments lift the overall outbreak total to 444 cases, including 396 confirmed and 48 probable cases. The fatality count has reached 260 deaths.

  • EbolaCongo Ebola case count rises as Uganda health workers vaccinated

    In the latest weekly situation report on the ongoing Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the World Health Organization (WHO) said half of all recent deaths are taking place in the community—a worrisome sign. Community deaths, which occur outside of a hospital or Ebola treatment center, threaten to extend the transmission chain of a given case and further accelerate the mounting case count.

  • EbolaAs Ebola spreads in Congo, WHO weighs emergency declaration

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) recorded six more cases of Ebola over the weekend, including three community deaths, which raise more concern about the spread of the disease in the region. The new cases lift the outbreak total to 211, including 135 deaths. Twenty-four suspected cases are still under investigation.

  • EbolaDRC Ebola cases mount, with in-school infection a new worry

    As the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reaches 194 cases and deaths hit 122, a humanitarian group yesterday added a new concern—the virus has now spread within a school. The group also said response efforts were again interrupted by regional violence. A World Health Organization (WHO) official says the epidemic will likely carry well into 2019.

  • PandemicsThis is not a drill: 5 reasons why the experts are worried about the next pandemic

    By Ali Moore

    Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a global alert for a disease that doesn’t exist yet. A potentially savage pathogen called Disease X.  “History tells us that it is likely the next big outbreak will be something we have not seen before,” says WHO. Warnings tell us the next global pandemic is a case of not ‘if’, but ‘when’. So, hypothetically, how is the world preparing itself?

  • PandemicsMathematical model predicts viral outbreaks two years in advance

    Scientists have identified the cause of outbreaks of enterovirus, one of the most prevalent types of virus in the world. The findings may help the public and healthcare workers prepare for an outbreak up to two years before it occurs.

  • PandemicsThree reasons the U.S. is not ready for the next pandemic

    By Christine Crudo Blackburn, Andrew Natsios, and Gerald W. Parker

    In the midst of a pandemic, decisions must be made quickly. Quick decision-making can often be hindered by the absence of high-level leadership. The need for high-level leadership, coordination and a new strategy are essential to mitigate the threat of pandemics, but these fundamental pandemic preparedness gaps persist. The next great pandemic is coming. The true question is: Will we be ready when it does? Right now, that answer is no, because the country lacks the sufficient safeguards we have outlined. But if the United States chooses to elevate the issue of pandemic preparedness and biosecurity as a national security priority, we could be. Outbreaks are inevitable, but pandemics are not if we take action now.

  • EbolaEbola cases mounting in Congo as region prepares for more

    The Ebola outbreak on the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) grew by nine more confirmed cases Thursday, and one death. Six of the new cases (including the death) are from Mandima health zone in Ituri province. Ituri borders North Kivu province, the outbreak’s epicenter. The cases expand the number of cases in neighboring Ituri province. Outbreak total now stands at 66, which includes 39 confirmed and 27 probable cases. Lab testing results have brought the suspected number of cases down to 36 from 58.

  • EbolaCongo Ebola total grows to 52 as security concerns hamper epidemic containment efforts

    The World Health Organization (WHO), following a visit by top WHO officials to the latest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), called for free and secure access for responders working in the affected conflict-affected area. A range of armed groups are active in the North Kivu province, creating challenging security issued for health teams who need to go deep into communities to identify and monitor possible cases, the WHO said. Conflict settings can also discourage community members from coming forward for treatment.