Category Archives: Virology

INCLUDES Measles; Smallpox; Virus genotyping; Hepatitis – all; Waterborne virus (Norovirus, Rotavirus), population health, communicable diseases, gastrointestinal disease outbreaks.
EXCLUDES Lyssavirus, Hendra, Influenza or Vectorborne diseases

Thousands of Sydney dental patients may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis

ABC News 2 July 2015

More than 10,000 Sydney dental patients may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis because of an infection control breach at four clinics across the city.

It is believed the disease risk was caused by poor cleaning and sterilisation techniques at four dental practices.

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Research matters

EurekAlert 25 June 2015

A new PLOS Pathogens forum explains how basic research is necessary, exciting, and makes a difference.

“We seek this new Research Matters format for individual scientists to tell the public how diverse fundamental research into pathogens assures real and compelling impact on public health, human knowledge and life”, state Kasturi Haldar and Grant McFadden, the journal’s Editors-in-Chief in their introductory editorial, which, alongside the first two first contributions to the new series, will be published on June 25th in PLOS Pathogens.

Editorial: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1005014
Haldar: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1005002
McFadden: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal. ppat.1004997

Virus-carrying mosquitoes are more widespread than ever, and spreading

EurekAlert 30 June 2015

Scientists behind the first global distribution maps of two species of dengue and chikungunya-carrying mosquitoes warn they are spreading to new areas where they could cause disease.

The population of the tiger mosquito, which is known to carry dengue and chikungunya, has rapidly expanded in parts of the US, Southern Europe and China over the past 10-15 years. A new study by scientists at Oxford University reports the growth and identifies areas not yet populated by the insects that are suitable for their survival, for example in Europe. The findings are published in the journal eLife.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-06/e-vma062915.php

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Rapid Ebola diagnostic successful in field trial

(Harvard Medical School 25 June 2015) A new test can accurately diagnose Ebola virus disease within minutes at the point of care.

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First-ever possible treatments for MERS

(University of Maryland School of Medicine 29 June 2015) As the South Korean MERS epidemic continues, researchers have discovered and validated two therapeutics that show early promise in preventing and treating the disease, which can cause severe respiratory symptoms, and has a death rate of 40 percent.

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Ebola crisis: Rapid blood test as accurate as laboratory test, scientists say after patient trial

ABC News AFP 26 June 2015

A 15-minute, on-the-spot blood test for Ebola is as accurate as the most widely-used laboratory-based test, scientists say after a patient trial.
An affordable, rapid diagnostic test would be an invaluable tool for health workers on the ground, allowing them to quickly identify and isolate infected individuals and curtail the spread of the deadly haemorrhagic virus.
Dubbed ReEBOV, the kit works with a drop of blood from a finger prick and a test strip that changes colour in five to 15 minutes.
It requires very little training to use, but one potential drawback is that it needs refrigeration.
The standard test in use today, RealStar RT-PCR, requires analysis of much larger blood samples at a laboratory with a high biosafety level and trained staff — facilities often not within easy reach of outbreak zones.

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South Korea imposes jail sentences for people who defy MERS quarantine measures

ABC News AFP Reuters 27 June 2015

South Korea has introduced a new law designed to curb a MERS outbreak, tightening quarantine restrictions and imposing jail sentences on those who defy anti-infection measures in a crisis that has now left 31 dead.

The number of state health workers in charge of preventing outbreaks and tracing them will also be doubled to more than 60.

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