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Liberia Quarantines an Area Where New Ebola Case Appeared

July 1, 2015 10:27 am | by Jonathan Paye-Layleh, Associated Press | News | Comments

 Liberian authorities quarantined two households after the corpse of a 17-year-old boy was found with Ebola, sparking fears the West African country could face another outbreak of the disease nearly two months after being declared Ebola-free.

South Korea Cuts Growth Forecast as MERS Saps Spending

June 25, 2015 10:51 am | by Youkyoung Lee, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

South Korea's finance ministry said Thursday that economic growth will slow this year as the...

Infrastructure, Education Key to Fighting Outbreaks

June 23, 2015 11:51 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Whether serious or not, infectious disease outbreaks always seem to grab headlines.  Even if the...

With Low Numbers of New Cases, Ebola Vaccine Trials Fight Odds of Success

June 23, 2015 11:34 am | by Helen Branswell, Associated Press | News | Comments

 New Ebola infections in Guinea and Sierra Leone are down to a trickle. That means while there...

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North Korea Claims it has Cure for MERS, Ebola and AIDS

June 23, 2015 11:32 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

North Korea says it has succeeded where the greatest minds in science have failed.  The authoritarian, impoverished nation better known for pursuing a nuclear program despite global criticism announced it has a drug can prevent and cure MERS, Ebola, SARS and AIDS.

Egg Shortage Cutting into Restaurant Profits, Menu Items

June 23, 2015 11:26 am | by Margery Beck, Associated Press | News | Comments

Those who like to indulge in a good omelet or quiche at the local cafe should prepare to pay a little more — if it's even on the menu.  Restaurants are struggling to deal with higher egg prices and an inability to get enough eggs and egg products in the midst of a shortage brought about by a bird flu virus that wiped out millions of chickens on commercial farms this spring.

Preparing for Pandemics, Epidemics and Outbreaks

June 17, 2015 4:07 pm | by Joe Shust, Editor | Videos | Comments

Suzanne Bernier, President of SB Crisis Consulting, discusses the ongoing potential for pandemics, epidemics and outbreaks.  She talks about why planning for these things is important and relevant to business continuity professionals everywhere.

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WHO: MERS not Spreading Outside South Korea Hospitals

June 15, 2015 3:36 pm | by Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press | News | Comments

The MERS virus in South Korea, which has killed 14 people and infected nearly 140 in the largest outbreak outside the Middle East, hasn't spread outside hospitals among the wider community or become easier to transmit between humans, the World Health Organization said.

South Korea Says its Deadly MERS Outbreak May Have Peaked

June 10, 2015 3:55 pm | by Hyung-Jin Kim and Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press | News | Comments

South Korea believes its MERS virus outbreak may have peaked, and experts say the next several days will be critical to determining whether the government's belated efforts have successfully stymied a disease that has killed nine people and infected more than 100 in the country.

Staying Vigilant Critical for Infectious Disease Control

June 4, 2015 11:19 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, better known as MERS, has found itself back in the news as the first two deaths from the virus have been reported in South Korea.  These MERS cases in South Korea demonstrate why it is important to continue to stay vigilant when it comes to dangerous infectious diseases.

South Korea Reports its First Two Deaths from MERS Virus

June 3, 2015 2:55 pm | by Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press | News | Comments

South Korea confirmed the country's first two deaths from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome as it fights to contain the spread of a virus that has killed hundreds of people in the Middle East. South Korea has reported 24 cases of the disease since diagnosing the country's first MERS illness last month in a man who had traveled to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries.

UN Chief Urges All Nations to Help End Ebola in West Africa

June 3, 2015 2:27 pm | by Edith Lederer, Associated Press | News | Comments

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that as long as there is one Ebola case in West Africa "all countries are at risk" and urged all nations to support the final battles to wipe out the deadly disease in Sierra Leone and Guinea.  Liberia, once the worst affected country, is now Ebola free, but Ban warned that in Sierra Leone and Guinea "the battle has not yet been won" and "any lapse in vigilance could allow the virus to spread."

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CDC: 150 Possibly had Contact with Lassa Fever Victim

June 1, 2015 3:53 pm | by Mike Stobbe, Associated Press | News | Comments

 Federal and state health officials have identified more than 150 people who possibly had contact with a patient who died of Lassa fever, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.  So far, most of those people face no danger, but six are at a high risk of having been exposed, CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes said in a statement. Thirty-three are at low risk. All are being monitored, Haynes said.

Despite Low Death Rate, Lassa Fever Worth Watching

May 28, 2015 11:33 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

A New Jersey man died Monday from Lassa Fever, a rare infectious disease that originates in West Africa, after returning from Liberia.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, the disease is endemic to West Africa and is named after the town in Nigeria where it was first discovered in 1969.  While the disease is uncommon in the United States, that is not the case in West Africa.

Man Diagnosed with Lassa Fever Dies in US After Liberia Trip

May 26, 2015 10:29 am | by Mike Stobbe, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

A New Jersey man died after been diagnosed with Lassa fever — a frightening infectious disease from West Africa that is rarely seen in the United States, a federal health official said.  The man recently returned from Liberia, arriving at New York City's JFK International Airport.

Speakers Discuss Emerging Issues at Full-Day CPE Meeting

May 21, 2015 9:54 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

The New York City Chapter of the Contingency Planning Exchange (CPE) hosted its third annual full-day conference, which featured presentations about relevant and emerging business continuity issues. The organization aims to help business continuity professionals continue to educate themselves while also getting the opportunity to network with others in the  the field.

Merkel: Global Catastrophe Plan Needed After Ebola Crisis

May 19, 2015 9:13 am | by Kitsten Grieshaber, Associated Press | News | Comments

Looking forward, the chancellor said Germany would give 200 million euros ($228 million) to help developing countries build up better-functioning health care systems — which she said was essential to deal with future epidemic outbreaks. She said 70 million euros of this would go specifically to the Ebola-ridden countries in western Africa.

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Liberia is Ebola Free, but Virus Still Looms in Guinea, Sierra Leone

May 12, 2015 12:06 pm | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

After more than 4,700 deaths, the Ebola outbreak has come to an end in Liberia.  According to reports, there have been no cases of the virus that has ravaged West Africa since last year for 42 days, twice the incubation period for the disease.  The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the last confirmed case in Liberia was buried on March 28.  This means the outbreak is over in one of the nations hardest hit by it.

Jennie-O Lays Off 233 Workers Due to Bird Flu

May 6, 2015 1:46 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Jennie-O Turkey Store said it will lay off 233 employees at its processing plant in the southern Minnesota city of Faribault because of bird flu outbreaks that have cut its turkey supply.  In a statement, the country's second-largest turkey processor said the Faribault plant will switch to a single shift for the foreseeable future.

Report: Five Months After Infection, Man Spreads Ebola Via Sex

May 5, 2015 10:41 am | by Mike Stobbe, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Health officials now think Ebola survivors can spread the disease through unprotected sex nearly twice as long as previously believed.  Scientists thought the Ebola virus could remain in semen for about three months. But a recent case in West Africa suggests infection through sex can happen more than five months later.

UN Says it will Try to Identify All Ebola Cases by June

April 29, 2015 4:05 pm | by Maria Cheng, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

 The World Health Organization says it aims to identify and isolate all new Ebola cases in West Africa by the end of May to stop the spread of the lethal virus before the rainy season.  The U.N. health agency said it hopes to limit transmission of the virus to the coastal areas of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone before the rainy season begins, normally in April or May.

Bird Flu Found in Five More Northwest Iowa Poultry Farms

April 29, 2015 4:02 pm | by David Pitt, Associated Press | News | Comments

 The deadly bird flu virus was found in an egg-laying flock with 3.7 million chickens in northwest Iowa in addition to four more poultry farms, state agriculture officials said.  The virus will now cost Iowa egg producers about a sixth of the state's 60 million hens, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said, or nearly 9.8 million chickens that have either been or will be euthanized.

UN Chief Names New Head of Ebola Mission as Outbreak Calms

April 27, 2015 11:22 am | by Jonathan Paye-Layleh, Associated Press | News | Comments

 The U.N. chief appointed a new head of the emergency mission responding to West Africa's Ebola crisis amid hopes that the world's deadliest outbreak of the virus will soon come to an end.  Peter Jan Graaff of the Netherlands will work closely with David Nabarro, the U.N.'s special Ebola envoy, in addressing an epidemic that has claimed more than 10,000 lives in the three hardest-hit countries: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

California Measles Outbreak Over

April 21, 2015 12:21 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

California health authorities declared an end to a large measles outbreak in the U.S. that started at Disneyland and triggered a broader debate about vaccinations.  Disease detectives for months raced to contain the highly contagious disease, which surfaced at Disney theme parks in December and spread to a half-dozen U.S. states, Mexico and Canada.

Talking Turkey: How Bird Flu Outbreaks are Playing Out

April 9, 2015 11:22 am | by Steve Karnowski, Associated Press | News | Comments

A deadly strain of bird flu has reached the Midwest, killing or requiring hundreds of thousands of turkeys to be euthanized. H5N2 is a highly contagious virus that kills commercial poultry quickly once it gets into a barn, but risk to the public is considered low.

Dallas hospital seeks dismissal of nurse's suit over Ebola

April 7, 2015 10:17 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A hospital operator denied allegations of poor training and improper preparation in seeking dismissal of a lawsuit by a nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for the first U.S. patient to succumb to the deadly disease.  Texas Health Resources filed a response to the March 2 lawsuit by nurse Nina Pham,

Sierra Leone Asks Residents to Stay Home for Three Days

March 30, 2015 1:51 pm | by Clarence Roy-Macaulay, Associated Press | News | Comments

Sierra Leone's 6 million people were told to stay home for three days beginning Friday, except for religious services, as the West African nation attempted a final push to rid itself of Ebola.  Thousands of teams were out reminding people how Ebola is spread and how to prevent it. Teams were also going to search for Ebola cases, particularly in regions around the capital and in the north, where flare-ups persist.

Government Announces Five-Year Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

March 30, 2015 1:26 pm | by Nedra Pickler, Associated Press | News | Comments

The World Health Organization said last year that bacteria resistant to antibiotics have spread to every part of the world and might lead to a future where minor infections like strep throat could kill. Antibiotic resistance also threatens animal health, agriculture, and the economy.  In an interview with WebMD, President Barack Obama said over-prescribing antibiotics is a serious problem.

Ebola Victim May Have Caught Virus from Survivor

March 25, 2015 2:38 pm | by Jonathan Paye-Layleh, Associated Press | News | Comments

A woman who tested positive for Ebola in Liberia last week is dating a survivor of the disease, a health official said, offering a possible explanation for how she became the country's first confirmed case in weeks.  The patient is now being treated at the Monrovia Medical Unit, a U.S.-built field hospital.

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