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Archive for December 12th, 2015

Most Dangerous Pathogens

Posted by feww on December 12, 2015

Top Emerging Diseases Likely to Cause Major Epidemics: WHO

The current list of disease priorities needing urgent R&D attention comprises: Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, Ebola virus disease and Marburg, Lassa fever, MERS and SARS coronavirus diseases, Nipah and Rift Valley fever, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

Scientists and public health experts met in Geneva this week to prioritize the top emerging pathogens that are “likely to cause severe outbreaks in the near future, and for which few or no medical countermeasures exist.”

Experts who prepared the list represented a range of disciplines, including “virology, microbiology, immunology, public health, clinical medicine, mathematical and computational modelling, product development, and respiratory and severe emerging infections,” according to the report.

Photo Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
This highly-magnified, digitally-colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) reveals ultrastructural details at the site of interaction of numerous yellow-colored Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) viral particles that were on the surface of a Vero E6 cell, which had been colorized blue.

MERS-CoV spreads between people who are in close contact including transmission from infected patients to healthcare personnel. Clusters of cases in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UK, France, Tunisia, and Italy are being investigated. [NAIAID – 2014]

In addition to the top eight pathogens listed above, three other diseases have been designated as “serious,” requiring R&D as soon as possible. These arechikungunya, severe fever with thrombocytopaenia syndrome, and Zika.

“Other diseases with epidemic potential – such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Avian influenza and Dengue – were not included in the list because there are major disease control and research networks for these infections, and an existing pipeline for improved interventions,” said WHO.

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Kunduz Update: “42 people killed in the US airstrikes on Kunduz hospital”

Posted by feww on December 12, 2015

The following statement was released by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Kunduz: Updated death toll – 42 people killed in the US airstrikes on Kunduz hospital

After two months of in-depth investigations following the US airstrikes that destroyed the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) trauma centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on 3 October, MSF today announces with great sadness that the death toll has been confirmed to be at least 42 people.

The revised figures include the 14 MSF staff members confirmed to have been killed, as well as 24 patients and four caretakers (relatives that provided additional nursing care for the patients in the hospital). Previously MSF had reported an approximate death toll of at least 30 people, but the organisation confirms today the death toll has risen to 42, after methodical review of MSF records and family claims, as well as patient, staff and family testimonies.

Although determining the death toll has been extremely difficult in the chaos of the facility’s wreckage following the attack, extensive efforts have been undertaken to identify those who have died. Part of the medical archives, patient files, and admission sheets were destroyed, as they were located in the main hospital building that burned down in the attack. As well, additional human remains had been found in the hospital rubble over the course of the past two months. Detailed investigations have been carried out, including interviews with MSF staff, patients and family members, as well as cross-checking with other hospitals in Afghanistan where MSF patients were referred post-attack, bringing the death toll to at least 42 people.

For more information on the Kunduz attack:

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