• EpidemicsMore Outbreak Details Emerge as COVID-19 Cases Top 70,000

    As cases passed the 70,000 mark today, China published a detailed picture of its COVID-19 outbreak, which now shows signs of declining; however, officials warned cases could rebound as people return to work and school after the extended Lunar New Year break.

  • EpidemicsChina nCoV Cases Top 40,000, with More Tied to French Cluster

    China’s daily total of 3,062 cases is up from 2,656 reported Sunday, boosting the country’s overall total to 40,171. Also, health officials reported 97 more deaths and 296 more serious cases, raising those totals to 908 and 6,484, respectively. More cases surface in more countries.

  • Truth decayBioweapons, Secret Labs, and the CIA: Pro-Kremlin Actors Blame the U.S. for Coronavirus Outbreak

    By Eto Buziashvili

    The Russia (earlier: Soviet) practice of spreading disinformation about public health threats is nothing new. During the Cold War, for example, a Soviet disinformation campaign blamed the United States for the AIDS virus. While epidemiologists work to identify the exact source of the Wuhan2019-nCov outbreak, pro-Kremlin actors are already blaming the United States for supposedly using bioweapons to disseminate the virus.

  • EpidemicsMainland China Reports New Coronanvirus Deaths, Cases

    The number of new cases and related deaths from the new coronavirus rose Wednesday in mainland China, Chinese health officials said, while the discovery of new cases outside the mainland indicated the increasing spread of the outbreak. However, despite its increasing detection in numerous countries, the World Health Organization said the outbreak of the new coronavirus has not yet reached the level of a pandemic.

  • EpidemicsAt Least Ten Chinese Cities on Lockdown; 830 Confirmed Coronavirus Cases

    The Chinese National Health Commission said Friday that there are 830 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus countrywide, while at least 25 people have died. At least 10 cities, and at least 33 million people, have been put on lockdown. Airports around the world have begun screening travelers for the coronavirus.

  • SuperbugsNew Agents to Fight Multidrug-Resistant Germs

    Resistance to antibiotics is on the rise worldwide. Fraunhofer scientists have joined forces with partners in the Phage4Cure project to explore alternatives to antibiotics. One objective is to vanquish multidrug-resistant pathogens with viruses called bacteriophages. Another is to see these phages approved to treat the dreaded hospital germ Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the most frequent bacterial cause of pneumonia.

  • SuperbugsAntibiotic-Resistant E coli Found in U.S. Veterinary Hospital

    Animals treated in Philadelphia veterinary hospital were found to be infected with a antibiotic-resistant strain of E coli. In the United States, the gene has been detected in only a few human bacterial infections, and never in companion animals. Only a handful of cases in dogs have been reported worldwide.

  • SuperbugsNovel Coronavirus in China's Outbreak

    As suspected, a novel coronavirus has been identified in some patients who are part of a cluster of unexplained pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. Experts say that the identification of what now appears to be a third novel coronavirus that can cause serious human disease in the last 20 years signals a paradigm shift for coronaviruses.

  • SuperbugsTackling the Problem of Antimicrobial Resistance

    The CDC recently announced in its latest report that each year 2.8 million Americans are infected with a drug-resistant organism, and that 35,000 of them would later die. The antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is not new, though, and the problem has been growing for decades, but now it seems that we’re starting to truly take it seriously.

  • SmallpoxSmallpox Was Declared Eradicated 40 Years Ago This Month, but Worries Remain

    Forty years ago – more precisely, on 9 December 1979 – the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that smallpox had been confirmed as eradicated. A few months later, the World Health Assembly (WHA) officially declared that “the world and all its peoples have won freedom from smallpox.” Yet, four decades later, two nations — the United States and the Russian Federation — keep stockpiles of the variola virus which causes smallpox. Some scientists and security experts say that the risks of retaining the stockpiles outweigh the benefits.

  • SuperbugsAntibiotic Over-Prescribing for Kids in Poorer Nations

    A new study has found that children in eight low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) receive a remarkably high number of antibiotics by the time they reach the age of 5. The study, which looked at data on sick children who attended healthcare facilities in Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, Namibia, Nepal, Tanzania, and Uganda over a 10-year period, found that the average number of antibiotic prescriptions written for children between birth and the age of 5 in these countries was 25.

  • Public healthThe Spread and Mutation of Zika Virus

    Researchers have found that outbreaks of human disease, such as the 2015 Zika virus epidemic, may be due to genetic mutation, and viruses may undergo further changes as they expand their geographic range.

  • Preventable diseasesSamoa Extends Measles Emergency

    Samoa’s government has extended a state of emergency related to its measles outbreak as illnesses and deaths continue to climb, and health groups released status reports on measles activity in two other parts of the world—the Americas and Europe.

  • Preventable diseasesKids Traveling Abroad Often Forgo Measles Vaccine, Study Finds

    Though most U.S. babies and preschool-age children are eligible to receive the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine before traveling abroad, nearly 60 percentage weren’t vaccinated before departing, revealing missed opportunities by doctors, a new research finds.

  • Perspective: BiothreatsWhat Happened after an Explosion at a Russian Disease Research Lab Called VECTOR?

    In September, a mysterious, powerful explosion shook-up a vast Soviet-era virology campus in Siberia called VECTOR. Filippa Lentzos writes that around the world, people in the know sat up and took notice, and for a good reason. Was the explosion the result of a deliberate attack by terrorists who were trying to gain a hold of deadly cultures to be used in bioterror attacks? Or was it an accident which, as was the case with an explosion at a similar facility forty years ago, would expose illicit bioweapons activities by Russia?