Nine dead in cholera outbreak in South Sudan capital - WHO

Cholera has broken out in the capital of South Sudan where five months of civil war has left thousands homeless and disrupted food supplies and health services, according to the World Health Organization.
WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said on Monday nine people were believed to have died of cholera, which can kill in days if not treated. An estimated 138 had been registered so far in and around Juba.
A WHO spokeswoman in Juba told Reuters by phone:

Shantha’s Pentavalent Pediatric Vaccine prequalified by World Health Organization

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, announced today that its pediatric pentavalent vaccine Shan5(TM), developed and manufactured by its affiliate Shantha Biotechnics in Hyderabad, India, has received prequalification status from the World Health Organization (WHO). This status is based on a review of a comprehensive set of data related to the process and the product characteristics, as well as on a positive recommendation of WHO’s auditors following a site inspection of Shantha’s manufacturing facilities.

Vaccinating Children Beyond the ‘Cold Chain’: Extending the Heat Stability of Vaccines

Shipping and storing vaccines in a ‘cold chain’ in the tropical heat of many resource-limited countries – whereby the vaccine is kept at temperatures between 2°C to 8°C from the point of manufacture until reaching the recipient – is a tremendous challenge and a major cause of poor immunisation coverage rates.

As dry season ends in Haiti, significant gains seen in fight against cholera, UN official says

Significant gains in the fight against the cholera epidemic in Haiti have been recorded as the dry season ends and the United Nations continues to support the Government's comprehensive strategy of monitoring, rapid response and planning for long-term solutions, a top UN official in the impoverished country says.


Why Cholera Persists In Haiti Despite An Abundance Of Aid

It's been more than three years since cholera struck Haiti. And the epidemic continues today. The deadly bacteria have killed more than 8,500 people and infected hundreds of thousands. Why has the outbreak been so hard to stop, even with more than $9 million in foreign aid pledged to Haiti? Lack of sanitation, says journalist Jonathan Katz, who has been covering the cholera epidemic since it began.

Haiti doesn't have sewers. Instead, the country relies on what's known as the bayakou: independent, and somewhat secretive, laborers who clean the cesspools under people's latrines.


Fighting Cholera With Mass Vaccination

When studying bacteria it is quite easy to get fascinated with them as a laboratory specimen while forgetting the huge impact they can have in real life societies. I find the PLoS journal of Neglected Tropical diseases redresses that as it covers work with bacteria and parasites from the front line. My previous post from this journal was about how bacteria were stored and cultured in non-laboratory conditions, including in remote areas where bacterial infections can have the most impact.


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Scientific Day

Once a year, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) holds MSF Scientific Day – a conference to present scientific research carried out in our programmes around the world.

The next MSF Scientific Day will be streamed live on 23rd May 2014 from the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) in London.


Epidemiological Update Cholera

Situation summary of cholera in the Americas 
In Cuba, the International Health Regulations National Focal Point (IHR NFP) reported that 23 
additional confirmed cholera cases were registered through the investigation of suspected 
cases between epidemiological week (EW) 35 of 2013 and EW 8 of 2014. In total, 701 cholera 
cases, including three deaths, have been registered since the beginning of the outbreak in EW 
27 of 2012 through EW 8 of 2014. 

140 000 personnes vaccinées contre le choléra au Soudan du Sud

L’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS) travaille avec les autorités sud-soudanaises et les partenaires pour fournir des vaccins destinés à protéger contre le choléra près de 140 000 personnes vivant dans des camps provisoires au Soudan du Sud.
Les vaccins proviennent d’un stock d’urgence géré par l’OMS, la Fédération internationale des Sociétés de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge (FICR), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) et l’UNICEF. C’est la première fois que cette réserve, créée en 2013 par l’OMS, est activée.

No more needles: Startups design better vaccines

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation reports that immunization has led to the eradication of smallpox, a 74 percent reduction in childhood deaths from measles over the past decade, and the near-eradication of polio. But children in developing countries are still in dire need of vaccines, which are not only expensive but require refrigeration, making them difficult to preserve in the poorest parts of the world.