#Global #Disease #Detection—#Achievements in Applied Public Health Research, Capacity Building, and Public Health #Diplomacy, 2001–2016 (Emerg Infect Dis., abstract)

[Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Volume 23, Supplement—December 2017 / Research

Global Disease Detection—Achievements in Applied Public Health Research, Capacity Building, and Public Health Diplomacy, 2001–2016

Carol Y. Rao  , Grace W. Goryoka, Olga L. Henao, Kevin R. Clarke, Stephanie J. Salyer, and Joel M. Montgomery

Author affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (C.Y. Rao, G.W. Goryoka, O.L. Henao, K.R. Clarke, S.J. Salyer, J.M. Montgomery); Emory University, Atlanta (G.W. Goryoka)



The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established 10 Global Disease Detection (GDD) Program regional centers around the world that serve as centers of excellence for public health research on emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. The core activities of the GDD Program focus on applied public health research, surveillance, laboratory, public health informatics, and technical capacity building. During 2015–2016, program staff conducted 205 discrete projects on a range of topics, including acute respiratory illnesses, health systems strengthening, infectious diseases at the human–animal interface, and emerging infectious diseases. Projects incorporated multiple core activities, with technical capacity building being most prevalent. Collaborating with host countries to implement such projects promotes public health diplomacy. The GDD Program continues to work with countries to strengthen core capacities so that emerging diseases can be detected and stopped faster and closer to the source, thereby enhancing global health security.

Keywords: Emerging Diseases; Infectious Diseases; Global Health; Public Health; International Cooperation.


The #View from #PuertoRico — #Hurricane Maria and Its #Aftermath (N Engl J Med., summary)

[Source: The New England Journal of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Summary, edited.]

The View from Puerto Rico — Hurricane Maria and Its Aftermath

Carmen D. Zorrilla, M.D.

October 11, 2017 / DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1713196


Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20 and caused unprecedented damage affecting the island’s 3.4 million inhabitants (see Figure 1Figure 1 Streets in Puerto Rico Blocked by Debris from Hurricane Maria.Lourdes De Jesus. ). Though no one in Puerto Rico was spared at least some impact, the poor and vulnerable were disproportionately affected. Loss of communication and electricity, scarcity of water, isolation of some residents, slow coordination of the aid that has been sent, and the magnitude and scope of the necessary repairs all merit a call for help from and the engagement of the global community. Indeed, Puerto Ricans and U.S. Virgin Islanders are U.S. citizens and expect the same federal aid and support during natural disasters as the rest of the United States.



Disclosure forms provided by the author are available at NEJM.org.

This article was published on October 11, 2017, at NEJM.org.

Source Information: From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Maternal-Infant Studies Center, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan.

Keywords: Extreme Weather; Hurricanes; Puerto Rico; USA; Public Health.


#Global #reaction to the recent #outbreaks of #Zika virus: Insights from a #BigData analysis (PLoS One, abstract)

[Source: PLoS One, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]


Global reaction to the recent outbreaks of Zika virus: Insights from a Big Data analysis

Nicola Luigi Bragazzi , Cristiano Alicino  , Cecilia Trucchi, Chiara Paganino, Ilaria Barberis, Mariano Martini, Laura Sticchi, Eugen Trinka, Francesco Brigo, Filippo Ansaldi, Giancarlo Icardi, Andrea Orsi

Published: September 21, 2017 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185263




The recent spreading of Zika virus represents an emerging global health threat. As such, it is attracting public interest worldwide, generating a great amount of related Internet searches and social media interactions. The aim of this research was to understand Zika-related digital behavior throughout the epidemic spreading and to assess its consistence with real-world epidemiological data, using a behavioral informatics and analytics approach.


In this study, the global web-interest and reaction to the recently occurred outbreaks of the Zika Virus were analyzed in terms of tweets and Google Trends (GT), Google News, YouTube, and Wikipedia search queries. These data streams were mined from 1st January 2004 to 31stOctober 2016, with a focus on the period November 2015—October 2016. This analysis was complemented with the use of epidemiological data. Spearman’s correlation was performed to correlate all Zika-related data. Moreover, a multivariate regression was performed using Zika-related search queries as a dependent variable, and epidemiological data, number of inhabitants in 2015 and Human Development Index as predictor variables.


Overall 3,864,395 tweets, 284,903 accesses to Wikipedia pages dedicated to the Zika virus were analyzed during the study period. All web-data sources showed that the main spike of researches and interactions occurred in February 2016 with a second peak in August 2016. All novel data streams-related activities increased markedly during the epidemic period with respect to pre-epidemic period when no web activity was detected. Correlations between data from all these web platforms resulted very high and statistically significant. The countries in which web searches were particularly concentrated are mainly from Central and South Americas. The majority of queries concerned the symptoms of the Zika virus, its vector of transmission, and its possible effect to babies, including microcephaly. No statistically significant correlation was found between novel data streams and global real-world epidemiological data. At country level, a correlation between the digital interest towards the Zika virus and Zika incidence rate or microcephaly cases has been detected.


An increasing public interest and reaction to the current Zika virus outbreak was documented by all web-data sources and a similar pattern of web reactions has been detected. The public opinion seems to be particularly worried by the alert of teratogenicity of the Zika virus. Stakeholders and health authorities could usefully exploited these internet tools for collecting the concerns of public opinion and reply to them, disseminating key information.


Citation: Bragazzi NL, Alicino C, Trucchi C, Paganino C, Barberis I, Martini M, et al. (2017) Global reaction to the recent outbreaks of Zika virus: Insights from a Big Data analysis. PLoS ONE 12(9): e0185263. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185263

Editor: Donald R. Olson, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, UNITED STATES

Received: January 26, 2017; Accepted: September 8, 2017; Published: September 21, 2017

Copyright: © 2017 Bragazzi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.

Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Keywords: Zika Virus; Society; Public Health.


#Vaccine #rejection and #hesitancy: a #review and call to action (Open Forum Infect Dis., abstract)

[Source: Open Forum Infectious Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Vaccine rejection and hesitancy: a review and call to action

Tara C. Smith, PhD

Open Forum Infect Dis ofx146. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofx146

Published: 18 July 2017



Vaccine refusal has been a recurring story in the media for well over a decade. Though there is scant evidence that refusal is genuinely increasing in the population, multiple studies have demonstrated concerning patterns of decline of confidence in vaccines, the medical professionals who administer vaccines, and the scientists who study and develop vaccines. As specialists in microbiology, immunology, and infectious diseases, scientists are content experts but often lack the direct contact with individuals considering vaccination for themselves or their children that healthcare professionals have daily. This review examines the arguments and players in the United States anti-vaccination scene, and discusses ways that experts in infectious diseases can become more active in promoting vaccination to friends, family, and the public at large.

vaccine hesitancy, vaccine denial, anti-vaccination, misinformation, internet

Topic: child – communicable diseases – rejection (psychology) – vaccination – vaccines – microbiology – immunology – anti-vaccination movement – vaccination refusal

Issue Section: Review Article


Author notes

Correspondence: Tara C. Smith, PhD College of Public Health Kent State University Kent, OH 44242 Tsmit176@kent.edu 330-672-3946

© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial reproduction and distribution of the work, in any medium, provided the original work is not altered or transformed in any way, and that the work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com

Keywords: Vaccines; Society; Public Health.


#Yellowfever in the #Americas: the growing #concern about new #epidemics (F1000Res., abstract)

[Source: F1000 Research, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Yellow fever in the Americas: the growing concern about new epidemics [version 2; referees: 2 approved]

Yeimer Ortiz-Martínez1, Andrés Mauricio Patiño-Barbosa2, Alfonso J. Rodriguez-Morales2,3

Author affiliations: 1 Universidad de Sucre, Sincelejo, Sucre, Colombia; 2 Public Health and Infection Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia; 3 Colombian Collaborative Network on Zika and other Arboviruses (RECOLZIKA), Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia

Grant information: The author(s) declared that no grants were involved in supporting this work.

This article is included in the Zika & Arbovirus Outbreaks channel.



Yellow fever (YF) is a haemorrhagic viral disease with a high case fatality rate. It is considered a reemerging infectious disease of remarkable importance. During the last outbreaks in Brazil (2016-2017), many cases of YF emerged despite high YF vaccination coverage in some areas. However, there are many areas and populations worldwide where vaccination coverage has been low for years (e.g. Nigeria), which increases the risk of major epidemics in such areas, as would be the case in many of the American territories. Several factors, including the vast border and migratory status of Brazil, the widespread distribution of Aedes mosquitoes and the lack of efficient health policies and surveillance systems, favor this complex epidemiological scenario of reemergence. Therefore, mass vaccination of the population at risk, public health awareness and preparedness are urgently needed in this region. This opinion article describes the current global epidemiological situation of YF, focusing especially on the Americas, as well the risk and vulnerabilities in the region that would be of concern for major expansion to other countries apart from Brazil. Also, imported risk from endemic area outside of Americas (i.e. Africa) are of current concern.


Corresponding author: Alfonso J. Rodriguez-Morales

How to cite: Ortiz-Martínez Y, Patiño-Barbosa AM and Rodriguez-Morales AJ. Yellow fever in the Americas: the growing concern about new epidemics [version 2; referees: 2 approved]. F1000Research 2017, 6:398 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11280.2)

Copyright: © 2017 Ortiz-Martínez Y et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The author(s) is/are employees of the US Government and therefore domestic copyright protection in USA does not apply to this work. The work may be protected under the copyright laws of other jurisdictions when used in those jurisdictions. Data associated with the article are available under the terms of the Creative Commons Zero “No rights reserved” data waiver (CC0 1.0 Public domain dedication).

Competing interests: No competing interests were disclosed.

First published: 30 mar 2017, 6:398 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11280.1)

Latest published: 25 apr 2017, 6:398 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11280.2)

Keywords: Yellow Fever; American Region; Public Health.


#Health #workers and the #weaponisation of #healthcare in #Syria: … (Lancet, abstract)

[Source: The Lancet, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Health Policy

Health workers and the weaponisation of health care in Syria: a preliminary inquiry for The Lancet–American University of Beirut Commission on Syria

Fouad M Fouad, MD†, Annie Sparrow, MBBS†, Ahmad Tarakji, MD, Mohamad Alameddine, PhD, Prof Fadi El-Jardali, PhD, Adam P Coutts, PhD, Nour El Arnaout, MPH, Lama Bou Karroum, MPH, Mohammed Jawad, MBBS, Sophie Roborgh, MSc, Aula Abbara, MBBS, Fadi Alhalabi, MD, Ibrahim AlMasri, MD, Dr Samer Jabbour, MD

†These authors contributed equally

Published: 14 March 2017 / Article has an altmetric score of 16 / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30741-9

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



The conflict in Syria presents new and unprecedented challenges that undermine the principles and practice of medical neutrality in armed conflict. With direct and repeated targeting of health workers, health facilities, and ambulances, Syria has become the most dangerous place on earth for health-care providers. The weaponisation of health care—a strategy of using people’s need for health care as a weapon against them by violently depriving them of it—has translated into hundreds of health workers killed, hundreds more incarcerated or tortured, and hundreds of health facilities deliberately and systematically attacked. Evidence shows use of this strategy on an unprecedented scale by the Syrian Government and allied forces, in what human rights organisations described as a war-crime strategy, although all parties seem to have committed violations. Attacks on health care have sparked a large-scale exodus of experienced health workers. Formidable challenges face health workers who have stayed behind, and with no health care a major factor in the flight of refugees, the effect extends well beyond Syria. The international community has left these violations of international humanitarian and human rights law largely unanswered, despite their enormous consequences. There have been repudiated denunciations, but little action on bringing the perpetrators to justice. This inadequate response challenges the foundation of medical neutrality needed to sustain the operations of global health and humanitarian agencies in situations of armed conflict. In this Health Policy, we analyse the situation of health workers facing such systematic and serious violations of international humanitarian law. We describe the tremendous pressures that health workers have been under and continue to endure, and the remarkable resilience and resourcefulness they have displayed in response to this crisis. We propose policy imperatives to protect and support health workers working in armed conflict zones.

Keywords: Wars; Syria; Public Health; Society.


#Epidemic #arboviral #diseases: #priorities for #research and #publichealth (Lancet Infect Dis., summary)

[Source: The Lancet Infectious Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Personal View

Epidemic arboviral diseases: priorities for research and public health

Prof Annelies Wilder-Smith, MD, Prof Duane J Gubler, ScD, Prof Scott C Weaver, PhD, Prof Thomas P Monath, MD, Prof David L Heymann, MD, Prof Thomas W Scott, PhD

Published: 20 December 2016 / Article has an altmetric score of 5 / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30518-7

© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



For decades, arboviral diseases were considered to be only minor contributors to global mortality and disability. As a result, low priority was given to arbovirus research investment and related public health infrastructure. The past five decades, however, have seen an unprecedented emergence of epidemic arboviral diseases (notably dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika virus disease) resulting from the triad of the modern world: urbanisation, globalisation, and international mobility. The public health emergency of Zika virus, and the threat of global spread of yellow fever, combined with the resurgence of dengue and chikungunya, constitute a wake-up call for governments, academia, funders, and WHO to strengthen programmes and enhance research in aedes-transmitted diseases. The common features of these diseases should stimulate similar research themes for diagnostics, vaccines, biological targets and immune responses, environmental determinants, and vector control measures. Combining interventions known to be effective against multiple arboviral diseases will offer the most cost-effective and sustainable strategy for disease reduction. New global alliances are needed to enable the combination of efforts and resources for more effective and timely solutions.

Keywords: Arbovirus; Emerging Diseases; Yellow Fever; Dengue; Chikungunya; Zika Virus; Public Health.