41,032 research outputs found

    Ebola and War in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Avoiding Failure and Thinking Ahead

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    The Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is exceptionally dangerous, occurring within active armed conflict and geopolitical volatility, including a million displaced persons. With 421 cases, 240 deaths, and the numbers increasing, this Ebola outbreak is the second deadliest in history. Recent spread to Butembo, home to 1.2 million people, raised concerns. The DRC, World Health Organization (WHO), and partners are leading a vigorous international response, yet despite deploying an experimental vaccine, cases doubled in October 2018 and many cases had unknown origin. Uncontrolled Ebola outbreaks can expand quickly, as occurred in West Africa in 2014. Averting that outcome in the DRC requires rapid action including a strengthened public health response, security, and community outreach. If violence escalates, it could compromise a fragile response. Yet resources are insufficient. The United States and other countries are not permitting personnel deployment to the epicenter, including from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Agency for International Development (USAID). In this Viewpoint, we review recommendations of experts convened by Georgetown University and listed at the end of this article. The United States and international community should launch high-level political mobilization, with diplomatic, human, and economic resources. It is critical to recognize that future health crises will occur in fragile, insecure settings. To prepare, the international community needs long-term planning and enhanced capacities to improve the safety and effectiveness of epidemic response operations

    A Meticulous Food Safety Plan Today Avoids Handcuffs Tomorrow

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    In August 2010, thousands of people across the United States were poisoned by eating eggs unknowingly tainted with Salmonella enteritidis bacteria. Following a lengthy investigation, the owners of the facility where the outbreak began were sentenced to three months in prison. This is not a one-off case; poor food safety practices are responsible for several outbreaks and often end in incarceration. Filthy hen houses, diseased fruit storage, and negligent food processing may be the last thing we want to imagine, but these practices have much to teach today\u27s food producers. This article first examines how poor food production practices can lead to an environment ripe for spread of disease and an unacceptable level of contamination. Then, it explores what companies can do to prevent such unacceptable conditions, decrease the likelihood and severity of an outbreak and, of course, avoid incarceration

    Application of Species Distribution Modeling for Avian Influenza surveillance in the United States considering the North America Migratory Flyways.

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    Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has recently (2014-2015) re-emerged in the United States (US) causing the largest outbreak in US history with 232 outbreaks and an estimated economic impact of $950 million. This study proposes to use suitability maps for Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI) to identify areas at high risk for HPAI outbreaks. LPAI suitability maps were based on wild bird demographics, LPAI surveillance, and poultry density in combination with environmental, climatic, and socio-economic risk factors. Species distribution modeling was used to produce high-resolution (cell size: 500m x 500m) maps for Avian Influenza (AI) suitability in each of the four North American migratory flyways (NAMF). Results reveal that AI suitability is heterogeneously distributed throughout the US with higher suitability in specific zones of the Midwest and coastal areas. The resultant suitability maps adequately predicted most of the HPAI outbreak areas during the 2014-2015 epidemic in the US (i.e. 89% of HPAI outbreaks were located in areas identified as highly suitable for LPAI). Results are potentially useful for poultry producers and stakeholders in designing risk-based surveillance, outreach and intervention strategies to better prevent and control future HPAI outbreaks in the US
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