Oct 13, 2010

Epidemiological Brief WHOi 8: polio outbreak in the European Region and country responses


WHO Epidemiological Brief 8: polio outbreak in the European Region and country responses

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As of 30 September, Tajikistan had reported 458 laboratory-confirmed cases of wild poliovirus type 1, including 26 deaths. The last confirmed case had a date of onset of 4 July. Since the beginning of the year, the Russian Federation had reported 12 poliomyelitis (polio) cases and Turkmenistan, 3 cases.
Four rounds of supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) have taken place in Tajikistan and three rounds in Uzbekistan. Kyrgyzstan held its second round of national immunization days (NIDs) on 23–27 August. Turkmenistan’s third round of NIDs took place on 20–29 September. Coverage was extremely high in all rounds in all countries. 


Fighting polio in Tajikistan

In April 2010, the Government of Tajikistan reported a sharp increase in cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) in the country. AFP – a sudden weakness, paralysis and loss of muscle tone, with no obvious cause (such as trauma) – is the most common sign of poliomyelitis (polio).
Polio is a highly infectious and sometimes fatal disease, which invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. The disease usually affects children under 5 years of age. It can be prevented by immunizing children with a relatively low-cost, easy-to-administer vaccine.
Laboratory analysis of the AFP cases reported in Tajikistan confirmed an outbreak of wild poliovirus type 1. In response, the Ministry of Health and international partners began a comprehensive national immunization campaign consisting of four rounds. The first two rounds focused on immunizing children aged under 5 years of age, and the last two, on children under 15, in health centres and house to house nationwide.
In addition, WHO and its partners have deployed international experts to provide technical support to governments on surveillance and the planning and implementation of immunization campaigns and advocacy initiatives.
More broadly, WHO/Europe supports Member States by monitoring polio immunization coverage and AFP surveillance performance, conducting risk assessments for importation, providing guidance and helping to ensure political commitment. European Immunization Week, held in April each year, is one of the main advocacy initiatives in the WHO European Region to increase the success of immunization programmes.
WHO is keeping all European Member States informed about the situation, and seeking funding for additional immunization initiatives in central Asia. http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/diseases-and-conditions/poliomyelitis/publications/2010/who-epidemiological-brief-8-polio-outbreak-in-the-european-region-and-country-responses
Global Outbreak Alert & Response Network
The Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) is a technical collaboration of existing institutions and networks who pool human and technical resources for the rapid identification, confirmation and response to outbreaks of international importance. The Network provides an operational framework to link this expertise and skill to keep the international community constantly alert to the threat of outbreaks and ready to respond.
GOARN partners working in the field. (wmv, 3:15 min)
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The Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) (wmv, 1 min)
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The Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network contributes towards global health security by:
  • combating the international spread of outbreaks
  • ensuring that appropriate technical assistance reaches affected states rapidly
  • contributing to long-term epidemic preparedness and capacity building.
Newspaper Examines Gene That Enables Drug Resistance In Bacteria

The Washington Post looks atthe gene NDM-1, which makes bacteria "resistant to many medications [and] marks a worrying development in the fight against infectious diseases, which can mutate to defeat humans' antibiotic arsenal." The article examines the presumed origin of the gene in India and notes that it "has not jumped into bugs spread by coughing or sneezing, and the three U.S. patients [who have so far been identified with the gene] did not transmit their infections to anyone else. But the microbes can spread readily through other common ways, including contaminated sewage, water and medical equipment and lax personal hygiene such as inadequate hand-washing. Many patients eventually recover, but it remains unclear how many people have died and what the mortality rate is" (Stein, 10/11).

Work Needed To Maintain Fight Against Polio In Nigeria Read more http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/204406.php

México a la vanguardia en Polio y  Síndrome de Post Polio

Oct 7, 2010


ew NIAID Program with Universal Utility


by Jason Bardi
Signaling Network [for chemosensing] generated by mathematical modeling software that carries out spatially resolved simulations of the behavior of a given network when it is stimulated or perturbed. [See additional figures below.]

About  five years ago, NIAID scientist Ronald Germain wrote an article for Science magazine with an unlikely title—"The Art of the Probable."(1) He argued in favor of a new, broader way of looking at the immune system—more through the eyes of an engineer or a mathematician than those of a biologist.
 five years ago, NIAID scientist Ronald Germain wrote an article for Science magazine with an unlikely title—"The Art of the Probable."(1) He argued in favor of a new, broader way of looking at the immune system—more through the eyes of an engineer or a mathematician than those of a biologist.
Advocating such an approach was perhaps unusual for a classically trained immunologist like Germain, who is deputy chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunology and chief of the Lymphocyte Biology Section.
But perhaps it was his not being a physical scientist that allowed Germain to appreciate what mathematics might bring to his field—especially then, he recalls. In 2001, the draft of the complete human genome had just been published, and biology was awash with genomic and related data. The field of immunology was going through a golden era of discovery, and many of the molecular and cellular players of the immune system were known. But the connections between the parts that had been catalogued—and deep insights into how this machinery produced immune phenomena—remained elusive. Germain observes today, "We are still far from really understanding the operation of the immune system, by which I mean being able to predict and finely manipulate its behavior."
A broader understanding of immune physiology, he says, might come from embracing a more comprehensive and quantitative approach—an approach broadly encompassed by the otherwise overused term "systems biology." This is a way of studying biology that involves obtaining detailed information on enough components of a system (or even the entire system for simple organisms) to allow quantitative modeling of complex in vivo molecular and cellular events, such as pathogen-induced disease or immune system responses in mice or humans.
To that end, Germain will be leading a new intramural program that will combine systems level analysis with mathematical modeling to better understand host defenses and immune pathology—the Program in Systems Immunology and Infectious Disease Modeling (PSIIM).
Systems Biology Basics
Systems biology is a way of asking how large systems of molecules, cells, and tissues interact with each other. In the past few years, numerous studies have revealed the presence, actions, and interactions of many of the genes, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and other molecules in healthy and diseased tissues.
Leer más http://www.nih.gov/catalyst/2006/06.09.01/page1.html

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