IHP news 474: infectious diseases & NTDs

By on June 15, 2018

Nipah virus contained in Kerala


The deadly Nipah virus that struck Kozhikode district in Kerala last month and claimed 16 lives in the state has been finally contained and the last of the two positive cases have fully recovered, said Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja on Sunday….”

Foreign Policy – India Is Panicking About a Virus Passed by Bat Poop

Laurie Garrett ; https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/06/08/india-is-panicking-about-a-virus-passed-by-bat-poop/

Garrett’s take on Nipah in India, more than a week ago. Including the following advice:

“…Take heed, hospital administrators and those who control government purse strings: Preventing serious outbreaks means putting time and money every day into training and equipment that limit the risk of nosocomial spread. Waiting to take steps in an atmosphere of fear and hysteria — or, worse, feeding those fears — risks needless anxiety and grievous mistakes….”

Venezuela may be suffering its first outbreak of polio in 30 years


See also NewsweekPolio returns to Venezuela 30 years after economic crisis cripples health system.

The deadly polio virus has returned to Venezuela 30 years after being eradicated, as the country’s health care system struggles under a nationwide economic crash. The case—the first since 1989—was reported in the eastern state of Delta Amacuro and comes alongside additional spikes in diphtheria, tuberculosis, measles and malaria infections, the Daily Telegraph reported….”

WHO Afro – Ghana eliminates trachoma, freeing millions from suffering and blindness


Ghana is the first country in WHO’s African Region to achieve this milestone.

Huffington Post – We Need To Science The Shit Out Of Tuberculosis

M Pai; Huffington Post;

Was widely retweeted. Guess the title also helped a bit : )

Madhukar Pai spoke on a panel on June 4, 2018, at an interactive civil society hearing organized by the UN, in preparation of the UNGA high-level meeting on TB. Here you find the gist of what he said.

Plos Med – Estimating the real-world effects of expanding antiretroviral treatment eligibility: Evidence from a regression discontinuity analysis in Zambia


Aaloke Mody & colleagues assess implications for treatment initiation & retention of expanded eligibility for ART in Zambia. “

Lancet (Letter) – Accelerating the evidence for new classes of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets


The comment by Gerry F Killeen and Hilary Ranson (April 21, p 1551), on our trial of long-lasting synergist piperonyl butoxide and pyrethroid-treated nets and indoor residual spraying for control of insecticide-resistant malaria mosquitoes (April 21, p 1577), although summarising accurately the trial’s findings, was less a commentary on its implications for future malaria control than a critique on the slow rate of progress in getting piperonyl butoxide synergist and other new long-lasting insecticidal nets implemented to scale….”

NEJM (Perspective) – Trolleyology and the Dengue Vaccine Dilemma

Lisa Rosenbaum; https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1804094?query=featured_home

« Trolleyology” refers to a series of moral dilemmas that reveal the tensions between utilitarianism — the idea that a behavior is moral if its consequences maximize public good — and our individual intuitions about right and wrong….”

“…But consider a vaccine for a common and sometimes deadly virus. Assume that the vaccine’s public health benefit is clear: if given to 1 million children over 9 years of age, it can probably prevent some 11,000 hospitalizations and 2500 severe cases of disease. But what if, in achieving this population benefit, the vaccine also caused 1000 hospitalizations and 500 severe cases of disease in children who would not otherwise have fallen ill? Would you initiate a widespread vaccination program in a disease-endemic region? If you hesitate, why do these scenarios — both resulting in public health benefits — seem morally different? These are some of the questions facing governments in regions of South Asia and Latin America where dengue virus is endemic and where, as described by Sridhar et al., a dengue vaccine with roughly these characteristics exists….”

Read also the new study in NEJM (by Sridhar et al) –   Effect of Dengue Serostatus on Dengue Vaccine Safety and Efficacy.  “Concerns have been raised about the risk of severe dengue in children who were seronegative before receipt of a recently deployed dengue vaccine. In this study, data from field trials were analysed to assess the effect of baseline serostatus on subsequent severe illness.”

And coverage of the new study (Reuters) – Study confirms higher risk of dengue in kids who got Sanofi vaccine

An analysis of data on Sanofi’s dengue vaccine, which has been given to more than 800,000 school children in the Philippines, confirms it increases the risk of hospitalization and severe dengue in those who had never previously been infected with the mosquito-borne virus. The findings, published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, offer fresh support for the World Health Organization recommendation in April that Sanofi’s vaccine should not be used without testing for prior dengue exposure. Currently, there are no widely available rapid tests for prior dengue infection….”

And a quick link:

Science – Russia’s HIV/AIDS epidemic is getting worse, not better.

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