- The World Health Organization (WHO) recently fleshed out more details about Tanzania's Marburg virus outbreaks, with the total remaining at eight confirmed cases, five of them fatal. A second health worker is among the cases, and one of them died. The WHO said the first identified patient got sick after returning from a trip to Goziba Island in Lake Victoria. Four of his or her family members also contracted the virus. Marburg virus has been isolated from fruit bats in Tanzania, along with countries that border Kagera region, where the sick patients are from. The WHO said so far there is no epidemiologic link between the Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea outbreaks, the first for both countries.
- The US State Department recently announced that it is temporarily barring US Embassy employees traveling to Equatorial Guinea unless critically important, such as supporting the country's Marburg virus outbreak response. It noted confirmed cases, which remain at 9 confirmed and 20 probable and include 27 deaths, have been reported across a 100-mile area. Four confirmed cases have been reported from Bata, a port city with a population of about 173,000, the state department said. Cases have also been reported from Evinayong, which is the capital of Centro Sur province and has a population of about 9,200.
Quick takes: Details on Tanzania's index Marburg case, Marburg in 2 cities in Equatorial Guinea
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H3N8 avian flu sickens another person in China
Health officials in China have reported a human H3N8 avian influenza infection, the third case since 2022.
The provincial government in Guangdong province yesterday reported an infection in a 56-year-old woman from Zhongshan City, which has a population of about 4.4 million people, according to a statement translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary (AFD), an infectious disease news blog. The woman had contact with live poultry before she got sick, along with a history of activity with wild birds around her home. So far, no similar infections have been reported in her contacts.
Today, the Macao health bureau reported the case, based on information from the mainland, according to an official statement translated and posted by AFD.
In 2022, China reported two H3N8 cases, which involved a 4-year-old boy from Zhumadian City in Henan province who was sick in April and a 5-year-old boy from Changsha City in Hunan province whose illness was reported in May.
Four groups call for enhanced action against One Health threats
After their first face-to-face meeting, four global health agencies today issued an urgent call for more intensified action on a host of health issues that fall under the One Health umbrella, including zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), food safety, and the impacts from climate change.
The groups include the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Environment Program (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH).
The groups urged countries to prioritize actions and collaboration in seven key policy areas, which include emphasizing international and national One Health initiatives. Officials also pushed for strengthened One Health workforces, strengthening programs to decrease the risk of zoonotic spillovers, fostering research and technology exchange, and increasing financial investments in One Health strategies and plans.
In October, the groups released an 86-page action plan that includes specific activities, deliverables, and timelines. There are six action tracks, which, for example, include reducing the risk of emerging and re-emerging zoonotic epidemics and pandemics and controlling and eliminating endemic zoonotic, neglected tropical, and vector-borne diseases. Another is curbing the silent pandemic of AMR.