• Kids 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.

  • The Challenges Facing Fisheries Climate Risk Insurance

    The world’s first “Fisheries Index Insurance” scheme, launched by an international consortium in July, is a sovereign-level instrument designed to protect Caribbean fishing communities from extreme weather events which may become more frequent and intense due to climate change. But insurance schemes with the potential to improve the resilience of global fisheries face a host of future challenges, researchers say.

  • Global Measles Deaths Rise to 140,000; Young Kids Hit Hard

    Last year 140,000 people worldwide died from complications of measles infections, compared to 110,000 measles deaths in 2017. Most of measles-related deaths are in children under the age of 5. Growing measles outbreaks worldwide in 2018 and 2019 paint a picture of vaccination stagnation, the WHO and CDC said. Because measles is so contagious, 95 percent of the population must be immunized to prevent outbreaks. In 2018, the WHO said 86 percent of children globally received the first dose of measles vaccine through their country’s routine vaccination services, and fewer than 70 percent received the second recommended dose.

  • U.S. Army Infectious Diseases Research Institute Resumes Operations

    The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) ten days ago said it would resume limited research, following a successful recent inspection by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. In July 2019, the CDC suspended USAMRIID’s registration to work with Biological Select Agents and Toxins, citing issues with its biosafety program. The Institute notes that there was no risk to employee health, public health, or the environment, and no infectious agents were detected outside of containment areas.

  • What 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?

  • New World Map Rates Food Sustainability for Countries Across the Globe

    Increased awareness of how human diets exacerbate climate change – while failing to properly nourish more than 800 million people – makes a better understanding of food systems a global priority. Global initiatives now call for us to transform our diets – for our health and the health of the planet – to help make food systems “sustainable.”

  • Disease Outbreaks Are on the Rise, So Legislators Are Taking Action

    Vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) outbreaks are increasing in frequency in the United States, but this trend is also met with an uptick in legislation aimed at increasing childhood vaccination in places where those epidemics occurred, according to a new study.

  • Switching to Renewable Energy May Save Thousands of Lives in Africa

    With economies and populations surging, an industrial revolution is inevitable on the African continent. The question is, what’s going to power it? With renewable energy cheaper and more efficient than ever, countries in Africa have the unique opportunity to harness abundant renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal to leapfrog the dependence on fossil fuels that has poisoned the air and environment in Europe, the U.S., India and China. But will they?

  • The Real Reason to Panic About China’s Plague Outbreak

    The Chinese government’s response to this month’s outbreak of plague has been marked by misguided emphasis on the wrong things. Laurie Garrett writes that rather than focusing on the germs and their spread, the Chinese government appeared to be more concerned with public relations and the management of public reaction to the disease.

  • Phylogeography of the Second Plague Pandemic Revealed Through Analysis of Historical Yersinia Pestis Genomes

    The second plague pandemic (14th-18th centuries) began with the Black Death in the mid-14th century and continued with lethal outbreaks in and around Europe until the 18th century. The pandemic devastated the European continent, killing up to 60 percent of the population. Where did this strain of Yersinia pestis, the plague-causing bacterium, come from? How did it evolve and expand once it arrived?

  • Firehosing: The Systemic Strategy that Anti-Vaxxers Are Using to Spread Misinformation

    “Firehosing” relies on pushing out as many lies as possible as frequently as possible. Firehosing is effective because its goal isn’t to persuade. It’s to rob facts of their power. “The strategy is effective for those trying to hold on to political power, and it’s the same for those who gain power from engaging in science denial,” Lucky Tran writes.

  • Typhoid: Neglect Outside Rich Countries Threatens New Global Health Emergency

    The emergence of untreatable strains of typhoid threatens a new global health emergency that requires urgent collective action, experts argue. Typhoid still affects at least 11 million people every year, with the real figure potentially as high as 18 million. The authors of a new study are calling for global health institutions to dedicate new resources to tackling typhoid, which they say has become a neglected disease of poorer countries following its elimination in many high-income countries.

  • Salad Bars and Water Systems Are Easy Targets for Bioterrorists – and America’s Monitoring System Is Woefully Inadequate

    I teach food and drug law at Saint Louis University’s Center for Health Law Studies. While monitoring pathogens likely to pose severe threats to public health, my colleagues and I spend a lot of time studying viruses and bacteria that are very hard to obtain, like anthrax or the plague. One less-known facet of bioterrorism, however, is that simpler pathogens like salmonella, a bacterium found in many types of food, can also be used to deliberately harm people. In fact, the largest bioterrorism attack in American history started at the salad bars of a handful of restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Drug-Resistant Infections Climbing in England

    A new report from Public Health England (PHE) shows an increase in antibiotic-resistant infections in England, despite a decline in antibiotic consumption. There were an estimated 60,788 antibiotic-resistant infections in England in 2018, a 9 percent increase from 2017, when 55,812 drug-resistant infections were reported. That’s the equivalent of 165 new antibiotic-resistant infections every day.

  • New Smallpox Vaccine Tested by USAMRIID Receives FDA Approval

    Army scientists played a key role in testing a new smallpox vaccine approved last week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Marketed under the brand name JYNNEOS, the product, developed by Bavarian Nordic, is a live, non-replicating vaccine for the prevention of both smallpox and monkeypox disease in adults.