Zoonatalie

a blog about global health and emerging infectious disease by natalie price

WHO Convenes Emergency Committee to Address MERS-CoV.  MERS-CoV has killed 42 of the 79 confirmed cases, has spread to 9 countries, and has some capability of being transmitted person to person.  Yet a recent study from Institut Pasteur indicates that on average a person infected with MERS-CoV will only infect about one other person.  This number, called the basic reproduction number, is different for every pathogen, and also greatly depends on the population in which it is introduced.  A number around one is not likely to develop into a large epidemic, like SARS, a similar Coronavirus, which had a reproduction number of about three.  However, the situation is still new, and, as is the case for any emerging infectious disease, constantly changing. 
The WHO has convened an emergency committee to address growing concerns and to determine the global response to the current challenge of MERS-CoV.  The second half of the meeting will be held tomorrow, followed by the announcement of whether or not they have declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.  If this is declared governments will be put on high alert, and efforts in early detection, diagnosis, and containment will be strengthened.  This decision comes at an important time, as this week many people will be taking pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, the country currently most affected by MERS-CoV.  An increase in population, people in close quarters, and travelers returning to their homes around the world are all cause for concern.  Read more here, here, and here

WHO Convenes Emergency Committee to Address MERS-CoV.  MERS-CoV has killed 42 of the 79 confirmed cases, has spread to 9 countries, and has some capability of being transmitted person to person.  Yet a recent study from Institut Pasteur indicates that on average a person infected with MERS-CoV will only infect about one other person.  This number, called the basic reproduction number, is different for every pathogen, and also greatly depends on the population in which it is introduced.  A number around one is not likely to develop into a large epidemic, like SARS, a similar Coronavirus, which had a reproduction number of about three.  However, the situation is still new, and, as is the case for any emerging infectious disease, constantly changing. 

The WHO has convened an emergency committee to address growing concerns and to determine the global response to the current challenge of MERS-CoV.  The second half of the meeting will be held tomorrow, followed by the announcement of whether or not they have declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.  If this is declared governments will be put on high alert, and efforts in early detection, diagnosis, and containment will be strengthened.  This decision comes at an important time, as this week many people will be taking pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, the country currently most affected by MERS-CoV.  An increase in population, people in close quarters, and travelers returning to their homes around the world are all cause for concern.  Read more herehere, and here

Genetic analysis has revealed the H7N9 virus is made up of four different bird flu strains, one from ducks, two from chickens and one from migratory birds. Zoonoses are becoming more common due to agricultural intensification, involving not only the disruption of wildlife habitat, but also the placement of densely packed livestock animals at the cleared site.  As livestock comes into contact with wildlife, and humans come in contact with livestock, it becomes more and more likely that a pathogen will “spillover” from animals to humans.  Studying the effects of H7N9 in all of its animal hosts can shed light on how it might affect humans, and may help us find effective treatments and vaccines.  Read more here.

Genetic analysis has revealed the H7N9 virus is made up of four different bird flu strains, one from ducks, two from chickens and one from migratory birds. Zoonoses are becoming more common due to agricultural intensification, involving not only the disruption of wildlife habitat, but also the placement of densely packed livestock animals at the cleared site.  As livestock comes into contact with wildlife, and humans come in contact with livestock, it becomes more and more likely that a pathogen will “spillover” from animals to humans.  Studying the effects of H7N9 in all of its animal hosts can shed light on how it might affect humans, and may help us find effective treatments and vaccines.  Read more here.

Hello World.

Hi, I’m Natalie Price, a recent graduate from Yale School of Public Health.  I’m interested in global health, and zoonotic and emerging infectious diseases, economic development, and health policy.  I’m hoping to exercise a little creativity in this blog, while talking about public health.

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