Zika prevention measures in Puerto Rico validate, inform responses to other diseases

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How do you change other people’s habits — from what they wear, to whether they use condoms —  in the interests of their health and public health? In Puerto Rico, during the height of the Zika epidemic there, the stakes were high, as the devastating neurological impacts of the mosquito-born virus on children born to […]

As cases of polio-like illness triple from previous year, public health officials increase surveillance, follow-up

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Two years after launching surveillance of acute flaccid myelitis, and amid climbing cases, CDC continues to seek cause, and notes gaps in knowledge of long term outcomes With three times the number of cases of a paralyzing illness, mostly affecting children, from the start of 2018 to the beginning of November than during that period […]

State Department objects to Tanzania LGBT persecution without noting health impacts; IAS delineates damage to HIV responses

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The U.S. Department of State today issued an expression of concern over Tanzanian government actions targeting its LGBT population, noting that the violence, oppression and intimidation recently unleashed “inhibits development, economic prosperity, peace and security.” Missing from those cited global goals is health, although health is a driver of all of them, while discrimination, bias, […]

Start of Ebola vaccinations in Uganda tells more of setbacks, continued hurdles, than progress

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The announcement Wednesday that vaccinations against Ebola have begun for Uganda health workers in districts bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo “even before Uganda detects a single case,” as the World Health Organization put it, can be seen, as the agency’s release said, as evidence that “health authorities are being cautious, having learnt bitter lessons […]

What we’re reading: Do forbidden words, restrictive policies compromise leadership of infectious disease responses?

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Trumps State Department eyes ban on terms like “sexual health” – Whether this could or will actually happen, leaving programs for “sexual and reproductive health services,” as just “reproductive health services” remains unclear. This Politico report notes, however, that one of the current administration’s first moves in 2017  was to reinstate, expand, and rename the global gag rule, […]

49th Union World Conference on Lung Health: 90 percent of participants in short-course XDR-TB regimen cured after six months

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands – New results from the ongoing Nix-TB trial continue to confirm a short-course treatment regimen of bedaquiline – one of the two newest drugs to treat TB in half a century – linezolid and pretomanid offers a significantly improved treatment option for people infected with drug resistant forms of tuberculosis, researchers said […]

49th Union World Conference on Lung Health: Integrating HIV treatment and TB preventative therapy greatly improves IPT adherence

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands – When tuberculosis preventive therapy is delivered with HIV treatment services and patients get a choice in where they access treatment, completion of tuberculosis preventive therapy rises, helping to ensure people living with HIV stay healthy, researchers said here. This model of prevention should be scaled up in TB-HIV high burden settings, researchers […]

49th Union World Conference on Lung Health: Activists call for price drop on MDR-TB drug

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Attendees here observed a minute of silence on Thursday in remembrance of an 18-year-old girl in India who died two weeks ago from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. She died, treatment advocates explained, because she couldn’t access bedaquiline, a drug that received regulatory approval five years before she needed it. Among attendees here joining the […]

49th Union World Conference on Lung Health: Private provider engagement led to 10-fold increase in Mumbai TB case detection

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands – In Mumbai, the largest city in the world’s highest TB burden country, more than half of people living with active tuberculosis disease go undetected and undiagnosed every year. Much of the failure to adequately detect TB cases stems from a dependence on the private sector for health care – more than […]

49th Union World Conference on Lung Health: GeneXpert can test stool samples to accurately diagnose TB in children

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Tuberculosis in children — disease that responds to first line treatment, as well as drug-resistant strains — can be accurately diagnosed by using existing GeneXpert machines and cartridges to test stool samples for TB bacteria, researchers announced here. Not only can GeneXpert accurately diagnose TB and drug resistance in a fraction of […]