Monday, June 27, 2016

Growing Fears That A Yellow Fever Epidemic In Angola Could Turn Into A Global Crisis

Stars and Stripes/Washington Post: A yellow fever epidemic in Angola could turn into a global crisis

LUANDA, Angola — Almost 80 years after the yellow fever vaccine was created in a New York laboratory, a massive outbreak of the disease has killed hundreds of people in this country, where most were never immunized.

Now, the virus is jumping across borders into other nations whose populations are also largely unvaccinated. More than 3,000 suspected cases are in Angola and 1,000 in neighboring Congo, making this the biggest urban epidemic in decades. More than 400 people have died. There are growing concerns that Chinese workers - of whom there are thousands in Angola - will carry the virus to Asia, where nearly all of the rural poor are also unvaccinated.

The explosion of yellow fever has put severe strain on stockpiles of the vaccine. And the four major manufacturers that produce the vaccine cannot make enough to conduct the kind of campaign that would quickly halt the spread of the disease in other parts of the region.

Read more ....

Update: WHO Launches Emergency Yellow Fever Vaccination (MSNBC).

WNU Editor: A nasty disease that is easily preventable .... but with stockpiles of the vaccine now running out, nothing can stop its spread.


Anonymous said...

I put myself through my Ph.D. program doing viral encephalitis control (mosquito control). I was lucky. One of the best medical entomologists in the country trained me and tought me to think like a mosquito. It worked. We were able to find the breeding sites of the mosquitos and control a major outbreak through his training and our efforts.

The military has some excellent people doing vector control. In the civilian world it is a different story. There are not many medical entomologists in the country and most municipalities likely have no such talent on staff. Commerical vector control operations have people who likely have no advanced training in mosquito control but can follow a cook book. Their staff have less or no advanced training in mosquito control. In other words, there is a shortage of talent in this field.

Mosquito control takes a lot of work. Controlling and eliminating breeding sites and using physical or chemical controls when necessary is the key to mosquito population management. Capacity to do this work does not emerge overnight. Folks in the field know this but it is not known by the general population. We have a thin blue line of talent who are usually underfunded and understaffed. Not a good condition to be in when mosquito borne diseases are becoming a major threat to the U.S.

My home town might have the yellow fever carrying mosquito and does have the mosquitoes that carries Zika. Their mosquito control program is somewhere between non-existent and a joke. I am sure that we are in the same boat as many parts of the country.

Emerging diseases are scary. They generally do not just appear. They emerge in a given location and spread via human activity or natural factors. CDC usually waits for a crisis, demonstrates lack of capability, and gets lots of bucks from Congress to start work. By the time some control work is started the effort is deep in the hole.

This is a dangerous practice.

Convincing a population, that does not believe in science or public health efforts, to staff up now and get serious about these emerging diseases is a hard sell.

We are in deep kimchee as described by the Editor.

Jay Farquharson said...

Zika's just a flu.

pyriproxyfen, sold by Sumitomo Chemical and dumped into the drinking water in Brazil to kill mosquito larvae by introducing microcephaly into the larvae, ( brain malformations) is the problem.

War News Updates Editor said...

Anon .... my brother works in the biotech field .... he is always talking to me about emerging diseases, the lack of money to address it, and how the next big pandemic is just around the corner. His other big worry are diseases that are becoming resistant to antibiotics.

Anonymous said...

CDC usually has a yearly emerging diseases conference. Proceedings used to be uploaded to their website. Now CDC has a journal on the net on emerging diseases...

Here you can find discussions of emerging diseases in depth way before the press discovers them and they suddenly become an emergency out of nowhere.

Volume 22, Number 7—July 2016
A Literature Review of Zika Virus

Anna R. PlourdeComments to Author and Evan M. Bloch
Author affiliations: University of California, San Francisco, California, USA (A.R. Plourde); The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA (E.M. Bloch); Blood Systems Research Institute, San Francisco (E.M. Bloch)

Enzootic Transmission of Yellow Fever Virus, Venezuela

War News Updates Editor said...

Thankyou for the links Anon. I have bookmarked them. I always eat this stuff up.