Public health | Homeland Security Newswire

  • Ebola vaccine drive launched in DRC as number of cases rise to 49

    In a development that global health officials say is a turning point in how the world fights Ebola, vaccinators today began immunizing health workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the first stage of a ring vaccination strategy. In other developments, four more illnesses were reported, along with another healthcare worker death, and more countries signaled financial support to help with the international response to the outbreak.

  • WHO: Response to Congo Ebola outbreak so far working

    An Ebola outbreak has gripped parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the latest figures from the World Health Organization there have been 45 reported cases, 14 of which have been confirmed as Ebola. Of these 45 cases, 25 have resulted in fatalities. Most concerning, the outbreak has spread from a rural precinct to the city of Mbandaka which has a population of 1.2 million and sits on the Congo river, a major thoroughfare.

  • A quarter of migrants to Europe infected with drug-resistant bacteria

    A new review of research on migrant populations in Europe has found that more than a quarter are infected or colonized with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, with evidence suggesting that the pathogens are being acquired along the migration route or in host countries. The findings come amid a recent wave of immigration that has brought more than two million migrants to Europe since 2015, an influx that’s been driven in part by conflicts and instability in the Middle East and Africa.

  • Ebola hits urban centers in Congo

    Signaling what one World Health Organization (WHO) official calls a “game changer” in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola outbreak, tests have confirmed an infection in a patient from Mbandaka, a metropolitan area that’s home to nearly 1.2 million people.

  • Global warming of 2°C doubles the population exposed to climate risks compared to 1.5°C rise

    New research identifying climate vulnerability hotspots has found that the number of people affected by multiple climate change risks could double if the global temperature rises by 2°C, compared to a rise of 1.5°C. The researchers investigated the overlap between multiple climate change risks and socioeconomic development to identify the vulnerability hotspots if the global mean temperature should rise by 1.5°C, 2°C and 3°C by 2050, compared to the pre-industrial baseline.

  • Active shooters caused nearly 750 casualties in 2017

    More Americans were killed or wounded by active shooters in 2017 than in any year since the Federal Bureau of Investigation began keeping track. All told, nearly 750 people were shot in 30 incidents, according to a newly released FBI report. The shooters were of different ages, from different places, and motivated by different grievances. But all were men, and all acted alone.

  • New Ebola cases reported in Congo

    Over the weekend, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported 7 more suspected cases of Ebola, raising the totals from 4 April through 13 May to 39 confirmed, suspected, and probable cases, including 19 deaths, for a case-fatality rate of 49 percent.

  • White House disbands NSC’s global health security unit

    Just as Ebola hits the DRC, the National Security Council team responsible for global health security has been disbanded. “Global health security threats, whether it be outbreaks, bioterrorism, or laboratory incidents, are only growing in complexity, which makes this particular shake-up deeply concerning for many in the biodefense world,” biosecurity expert comments.

  • DRC confirms Ebola infections, probes suspected cases

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Tuesday declared a new Ebola virus outbreak in a northwestern province, with two confirmed cases so far, coming almost a year since the country’s last outbreak began in a different remote location.

  • On the 100th anniversary of the 1918 pandemic, experts warn flu is global threat

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered with Emory University to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu with a symposium about influenza pandemics: when and if they will strike, how ready the United States is to confront a pandemic, and how to do so. “I don’t know what the virus will do,” said one expert. “But history tells us that influenza comes back and comes back and comes back.”

  • Superbugs: are we returning to an era where bacteria are a major killer without a cure?

    Every time bacteria come into contact with antibiotics there is the possibility that through a process of natural selection, they may evolve to evade the drugs, creating what is referred to as “superbugs.” These superbugs can often not be killed by antibiotics. In the early years of antibiotic development researchers were able to come up with enough new antibiotics to replace the ones that we had lost to resistance, but this is no longer the case.

  • Keeping Big Data safe

    NIST has announced the Unlinkable Data Challenge, created to help the public safety community conduct research using data gathered with personal digital devices and taken from large databases such as driver’s license and health care records. Much of this data includes personal information that can be used to identify its source. Exposing this data risks those individuals’ privacy, but the inability to share it impedes research in many fields, including thwarting crime, fighting fires and slowing the spread of epidemics.

  • The role of health in climate lawsuits

    A new analysis investigates the role of health concerns in climate litigation since 1990 and finds that although health is cited in a minority of cases, it may have critical potential for protecting communities from the effects of climate change and coal fired power plants.

  • Ambulance drones a reality in five years

    Would you hop into a driverless drone and let it fly off with you? In a few years you may have the chance to do just that. Autonomous drones with room for passengers could become a reality within five years. They have many potential uses. Taxi drones are now being tested in Dubai. In Norway, researchers are working on developing ambulance drones.

  • Stricter gun control could prevent violent men from killing their partners and themselves

    Researchers draw on ten years of data on intimate partner homicide to determine the role guns play in murder-suicides. The researchers say that men who use guns to kill their partner are also likely to commit suicide. Those planning to commit suicide are not deterred by severe penalties, and therefore the most successful way of preventing such homicides is to restrict gun access to batterers.