NEWS SCAN: H5N1 in Vietnam, journal dual-use review, Ebola in Uganda

Aug 8, 2012

H5N1 outbreaks hit three Vietnamese provinces
Several villages in three Vietnamese locations have reported H5N1 avian flu outbreaks since the middle of July, according to reports yesterday and today to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The report yesterday detailed five outbreaks in Ha Tinh province and one in Hai Phong province. The outbreaks, reported between Jul 16 and Aug 2, sickened 5,446 birds and led to the culling of 29,753 more. Today's report described outbreaks in two Ninh Binh province villages that struck poultry in late July, killing 577 birds with 903 more culled to curb the spread of the virus. Ha Tinh is on Vietnam's north central coast, Hai Phong is the country's northeast region, and Ninh Binh is south of there in the Red River delta area.
Aug 7 OIE report
Aug 8 OIE report

Survey: Few journal editors have experience with biosecurity review
Less than 10% of editors of life science journals have experience with biosecurity review of submitted studies, even though three-fourths agree that editors have a role in assessing biosecurity risks during the review process, according to the results of a survey published yesterday in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. US and UK researchers conducted an online survey of 127 chief editors of life science journals in 27 countries. Of those, 11 (8.7%) had experience with biosecurity review, and no editor had ever rejected a study on biosecurity grounds. Ninety-five respondents (74.8%) agreed that editors have a responsibility to consider biosecurity risks during review, the authors reported, adding that "little consensus existed among editors on how to handle specific issues in the review and publication of research with potential dual-use implications," referring to research that could be used for both good and bad ends, such as two recent studies dealing with mutated H5N1 avian flu viruses. The authors called for standards on reviewing dual-use research of concern in life science journals.
Aug 7 Biosecur Bioterror abstract

Pace of suspected cases slows in Uganda Ebola outbreak
As of yesterday, Uganda health officials have identified 60 suspected Ebola infections, and no new deaths have been reported, holding fatalities to 16, according to background information today from the World Health Organization (WHO). The numbers represent seven additional cases since the WHO's last update, on Aug 3. So far the Uganda Virus Research Institute has confirmed 10 of the cases. Uganda's health ministry, the WHO, and international partners have contained the outbreak and prevented it from spreading beyond Kibaale district, the report said. However, more support is needed to recruit more health workers and supplies to care for patients and underscore prevention efforts.
WHO information on Uganda's Ebola outbreak

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