News Scan for Oct 30, 2019

News brief

Minnesota officials scramble for deer carcass plan amid CWD worries

Ten days before Minnesota's deer hunting firearms season opens, state officials are scrambling to create a disposal plan for animal carcasses among growing concern over chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurologic prion disease that affects cervids like deer and elk.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Waste Management, a private waste disposal company, told the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) it would not be hauling deer carcasses from two areas of the state where CWD has been detected in deer.

Officials from the DNR said they fear Waste Management's decision will stoke the public's fear over CWD, which is still relatively rare in Minnesota. They also note the decision will limit the DNR's "Adopt-a-Dumpster" program, which sought to collect deer skulls and spines, the most contaminated parts of CWD-infected deer.

CWD has been found in two areas of Minnesota, Crow Wing County, in the north-central part of the state, and in the southeastern corner of the state. Only 52 wild deer in the state have tested positive for CWD, far fewer than in neighboring Wisconsin.

The firearm deer hunting season is likely the largest hunting event each year in Minnesota. The Pioneer Press estimates half a million hunters will kill up to 200,000 deer when the season starts on Nov 9.

Though no human cases of CWD have been detected, some experts predict the disease could jump from animals to humans, as was seen with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or "mad cow" disease.
Oct 30 St. Paul Pioneer Press story


MERS infects 1 more in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia today reported another MERS-CoV case, part of a small but steady stream of activity over the past few weeks.

The latest confirmed patient is a 94-year-old man from Khamis Mushait in Asir region, located in the southwestern part of the country, the country's Ministry of Health (MOH) said. The man's exposure to the virus is listed as primary, meaning he likely didn't contract the infection from another known patient. An investigation found that he had contact with camels—a known risk factor—before he got sick.

The latest case brings Saudi Arabia's MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) total for October so far to 12, up sharply from 4 cases reported in September.

As of the end of September, the World Health Organization (WHO) said since 2012 it has received reported of 2,468 cases, at least 851 of them fatal.
Oct 30 Saudi MOH report


GARDP launches '5 by 25' antibiotic delivery plan

The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) unveiled a new strategy to deliver five new treatments by 2025 to address the burden of antibiotic-resistant infections in populations disproportionally affected by drug-resistance.

The plan, released at the World Health Summit earlier this week, lays out GARDP's commitment to developing new and improved antibiotics for serious and potentially life-threatening infections in hospitalized adults, neonatal sepsis and pediatric infections, sexually transmitted infections, and infections caused by World Health Organization (WHO) priority pathogens. The nonprofit organization says it will achieve this goal by working with public and private sector partners and focusing on treatments in late-stage clinical development. The plan also ensures responsible and sustainable access to these treatments.

GARDP, which to date has formed more than 50 partnerships in 20 countries, is asking governments, philanthropic groups, and other global organizations to contribute €500 million ($557 million US) to the effort.

"WHO is one of the co-founders supporting GARDP in building a pipeline of innovative treatments to address antibiotic resistant infections and make these treatments available to all," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said in a GARDP press release. "I call on governments, foundations and other donors to engage and help GARDP in achieving its aim to develop five new treatments by 2025."
Oct 28 GARDP press release
Oct 28 GARDP 5x25 strategy


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