Gold Coast Bulletin Stephanie Bedo 29 July 2014
PEOPLE with the flu are taking up so many desperately needed beds at Gold Coast hospitals that elective surgery has been put on hold.
Gold Coast Health, which runs Gold Coast University and Robina hospitals, has brought in the ban after the number of flu cases rose early.
Flu case numbers usually spike in August.
The New York Times Denise Grady 19 July 2014
The recently documented mistakes at federal laboratories involving anthrax, flu and smallpox have incited public outrage at the government’s handling of dangerous pathogens. But the episodes were just a tiny fraction of the hundreds that have occurred in recent years across a sprawling web of academic, commercial and government labs that operate without clear national standards or oversight, federal reports show.
Despite a significant increase in “high-level containment” labs set up to work with risky microbes, there has never been a national plan for how many of them are needed, or how they should be built and operated. The more of these labs there are, the G.A.O. warned Congress last week, the greater the chances of dangerous blunders or sabotage, especially in a field where oversight is “fragmented and largely self-policing.”
The Courier Mail Laura Chalmers July 18, 2014
QUEENSLAND is battling a horror flu season with thousands falling ill and more than double the number of cases this winter than last year.
More than 3200 Queenslanders have been diagnosed with the highly infectious virus in 2014, pushing some of the state’s biggest hospitals to breaking point.
Of those who have fallen ill this year, 361 – many of them children under 9 and adults in their 50s – have been hospitalised, with 54 in intensive care.
USA Today Alison Young J
The director of one of the world’s most prestigious public health agencies went before Congress on Wednesday to try to explain laboratory blunders that included his scientists mishandling live anthrax and unknowingly contaminating other specimens with a dangerous strain of bird flu.
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., chairman of an oversight committee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said lab safety issues appear to be systemic at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Murphy, citing numerous reports issued by government watchdogs over the years, called the most recent incident “sloppy” and “inexcusable.”
Energy & Commerce Committee US House of Representatives July 16, 2014
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), today held a hearing to review recent incidents at the Centers for Disease Control involving anthrax and other dangerous pathogens. The CDC announced in June that more than 80 workers at a CDC lab in Atlanta may have been exposed to live anthrax, prompting an investigation from this committee. Over the past month, additional reports have emerged, adding urgency to this investigation.
July 16, 2014
July 16, 2014
July 16, 2014
Posted in Biological and chemical weapons, Influenza, Leadership / Management, Microbiology, Occupational health & safety
Tagged Anthrax, Bird flu, CDC, Laboratory safety, Pathogens, Smallpox, United States
Scientific American Dina Fine Maron 11 July 2014
The third recent mistake in handling of pathogens is a “wake-up call,” says Centers for Disease Control head. Recent incidents have occurred with H5N1, Anthrax samples, and smallpox.
CDC closes two labs after safety breaches
Inquiry into US government labs finds flu virus cross-contamination
EurekAlert July 1, 2014 Sarah Collins
The most detailed analysis to date of the spread of the H1N1 2009 pandemic influenza virus, known informally as ‘swine flu’, has found that short-range travel was likely the primary driver for the 2009 pandemic in the United States, in contrast with popularly accepted views on the way diseases spread.
The study, based on data gathered from health insurance claims made throughout 2009, found that international air travel, which was previously thought to be important in the pandemic, played only a minor role in its spread within the US.
The paper “Spatial transmission of 2009 pandemic influenza in the US” is published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology: Full text
(University of Florida 24 June 2014) University of Florida researchers have found evidence that an influenza A virus can jump from horses to camels — and humans could be next.
Read EurekAlert Summary
The Townsville Bulletin June 25, 2014
DOCTORS are bracing for an outbreak of influenza and gastro-related illnesses as Townsville residents enjoy one of the biggest events of the year.
The Townsville showgrounds will be abuzz this long weekend as thousands of visitors pour through the gates for the annual Townsville Show. But while the popular event will once again leave plenty of smiling faces, the event could turn sour for some.
Townsville Public Health Unit physician Dr Steven Donohue said the event generally sparked a big increase in flu, and gastro cases — some which could be avoided if precautions were taken. Continue reading…