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Ebola outbreak in West Africa – rising number of calls to International SOS

July 15, 2014 11:13 am | Product Releases | Comments

Internaitional SOS reported a huge increase in requests for information about Ebola Virus after the outbreak, but said the risk is low for business travelers to become infected is low if they follow proper procedures and exercise caution  

After Safety Breaches, CDC to Close Two Labs

July 14, 2014 2:23 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Citing an anthrax scare and other safety problems, the Centers for Disease Control and...

Fewer MERS Cases as Scientists Try to Stop the Spread

July 7, 2014 4:21 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Infection rates for the Middle East respiratory syndrome are slowing and scientists are working...

Ebola Outbreak Continues in Africa

June 30, 2014 2:00 pm | News | Comments

 The World Health Organization said that the latest figures show 567 cases with 350 deaths...

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Upcoming Pilgrimage Season Raises MERS Concerns

June 23, 2014 8:59 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Efforts to prevent the spread of a dangerous virus need to be stepped up ahead of the start of the Muslim pilgrimage season, when millions of people from all over the world will travel to Saudi Arabia, the World Health Organization said last week.  The U.N. health agency has recorded 701 confirmed cases and 249 deaths worldwide from the Middle East respiratory syndrome, the vast majority of them in Saudi Arabia.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention Workers May Have Been Exposed to Anthrax

June 23, 2014 8:54 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says some of its staff in Atlanta may have been accidentally exposed to dangerous anthrax bacteria because of a safety problem at one of its labs. Agency officials say the risk of infection is low, but that about 75 staff members were being monitored or given antibiotics as a precaution.

Dr. Tomas Aragon's Presentation on Health Threats Now Available

June 17, 2014 11:13 am | Articles | Comments

Due to popular demand, Continuity Insights is releasign the slides from Dr. Tomas Aragon's Presentation "Preparing for Microbial Threats to Health:What Every Professional Should Know."  Aragon gave the presentation as a plenary speaker at Continuity Insights’ Continuity West conference on Monday, June 9 at the South San Francisco Convention Center.

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Dr. Tomas Aragon Discusses Outbreaks, Infectious Diseases in a Business Setting

June 10, 2014 10:42 am | by Joe Shust | Articles | Comments

Dr. Tomas Aragon, Health Officer for the city of San Francisco and San Francisco County, gives a presentation, “Preparing for Public Health Disasters: What Every Business Should Know,” at CI West conference at South San Francisco Convention Center.

Saudi Review Finds Over 100 More MERS Infections

June 3, 2014 1:27 pm | by Adam Schreck, Associated Press | News | Comments

The surprise disclosure followed the unexpected firing of the kingdom's deputy health minister, heightening concerns about the country's ability to halt the spread of the Middle Eastern respiratory virus. He was the second senior Saudi health official to lose his job in less than two months.

MERS in America: Is spread of Virus a Worry?

May 19, 2014 8:37 pm | by Mike Stobbe, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, has mostly spread before to health care workers or family members caring for a sick patient. The two men in the U.S. were together only in two business meetings. But health officials say they don't find it alarming and that the risk of MERS to the general public remains low.

Officials: 2nd US Case of MERS reported

May 13, 2014 10:18 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Overall, 538 people have been reported to have the respiratory illness, including 145 people who have died. So far, all had ties to the Middle East region or to people who traveled there. As many as one-fifth of cases have been in health-care workers, Schuchat said. 

UN: Spread of Polio Now a World Health Emergency

May 6, 2014 10:33 am | by Maria Cheng, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

For the first time ever, the World Health Organization on Monday declared the spread of polio an international public health emergency that could grow in the next few months and unravel the nearly three-decade effort to eradicate the crippling disease.

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Saudi Health Minister Sacked Amid MERS Deaths

April 21, 2014 12:43 pm | News | Comments

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has fired the country's health minister amid a spike in infections of the potentially fatal Middle East respiratory syndrome. The official Saudi Press Agency reported Monday that Abdullah al-Rabiah was relieved of his post as Health Minister by a royal order.

Death Toll in Ebola Outbreak Rises to 121

April 15, 2014 11:09 am | by Sarah DiLorenzo, Associated Press | News | Comments

An outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has been linked to the deaths of more than 120 people, according to the latest World Health Organization count. There is no vaccine and no cure for the deadly virus, and its appearance in West Africa, far from its usual sites in Central and East Africa, has caused some panic.

U.S. Health Secretary: Nations Cannot Ignore Disease

April 8, 2014 10:49 am | by COLLEEN SLEVIN, Associated Press | News | Comments

Kathleen Sebelius, who became secretary in the midst of the 2009 swine flu pandemic, praised the work of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in helping prevent disease outbreaks from turning into pandemics in two countries recently — Uganda and Vietnam. 

Ebola Outbreak 'Unprecedented'

April 1, 2014 10:13 am | by CNN | Videos | Comments

Doctors Without Borders' Anja Wolz talks to CNN about the effort to contain a deadly Ebola outbreak in Guinea. So far, 78 people have died, mostly in Guinea. Can the outbreak be contained before it spreads?            

64 Deaths From Virus Related To SARS

March 25, 2014 9:58 am | by the Associated Press | News | Comments

Saudi Arabia says a man has died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing the death toll to 64 in the kingdom at the center of the outbreak. The statement also says that five new cases of the virus have tested positive.                 

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Saudi Arabia Reports One More Death From New Virus

March 7, 2014 10:44 am | by the Associated Press | News | Comments

The new virus is related to SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which killed some 800 people in a global outbreak in 2003. It belongs to a family of viruses that most often causes the common cold.                              

One More Death From New Virus

February 18, 2014 10:26 am | by the Associated Press | News | Comments

Saudi Arabia says a Saudi man has died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to 60 the number of deaths in the kingdom at the center of the outbreak. The Health Ministry said that the man died in a Riyadh hospital on Sunday.    

City Closes Poultry Markets To Stop Bird Flu

February 18, 2014 10:24 am | News | Comments

The major city of Guangzhou in southern China closed its live poultry markets on Saturday for two weeks to halt the spread of the H7N9 strain of bird flu. The closure lasts through Feb. 28 "to strengthen work to control the spread of the H7N9 flu." 

U.S., 26 Countries Launch Effort To Fight Outbreaks

February 13, 2014 3:27 pm | by LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Germs "do not recognize or stop at national borders," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said as representatives from participating countries, the World Health Organization and other groups met to discuss plans. "A threat anywhere is indeed a threat everywhere."

SIFMA Statement On Pandemic Accord Tabletop Exercise

February 4, 2014 10:11 am | by SIFMA | News | Comments

SIFMA issued the following statement in response to the Summary of Key Findings of the 2013 Pandemic Accord tabletop exercise that was sponsored by FEMA Region II, DHHS Region II, Federal Executive Board New York City, Federal Executive Board Northern New Jersey, Clearing House Association and SIFMA. Read the Pandemic Accord 2013: Continuity of Operations Pandemic Tabletop Exercise — Summary of Findings: 

Want To Get The Flu? Volunteers Sneeze For Science

January 27, 2014 9:06 am | by LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Forget being sneezed on: Government scientists are deliberately giving dozens of volunteers the flu by squirting the live virus straight up their noses. It may sound bizarre, but the rare type of research is a step in the quest for better flu vaccines. 

Bird Flu Spikes In China Ahead Of Lunar New Year

January 22, 2014 12:49 pm | by MARGIE MASON, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

China has reported more than 50 H7N9 infections in 2014 after the strain jumped from birds to people for the first time last year. The virus remains hard to catch and most cases have been linked to contact with poultry, but scientists worry that could change if it mutates into a form that allows it to spread easily among people.

Fatal Case Of H5N1 Bird Flu Reported In Canada

January 9, 2014 1:36 pm | by ROB GILLIES, Associated Press | News | Comments

Canadian health officials said Wednesday a fatal case of H5N1 bird flu has been reported in Canada, the first such case in North America. The victim was travelling from China when symptoms first appeared. Officials said the person began to feel ill on a flight to Canada from Beijing on Dec. 27.

Woman Dies From Bird Flu New To Humans

December 18, 2013 10:36 am | by GILLIAN WONG, Associated Press | News | Comments

A 73-year-old woman died after being infected with a bird flu strain that had sickened a human for the first time, a development that the World Health Organization called "worrisome."                                                                           

Hong Kong Reports 2nd H7N9 Bird Flu Case

December 10, 2013 10:18 am | by the Associated Press | News | Comments

Hong Kong reported its second human case of H7N9 bird flu just days after the first, raising fears that the virus is spreading beyond mainland China. The Health Department said that an 80-year-old man being treated for a chronic illness in the hospital was found to have the bird flu strain.

Hong Kong Reports First Case Of H7N9 Bird Flu

December 3, 2013 9:49 am | by the Associated Press | News | Comments

A 36-year-old Indonesian maid is in the hospital in critical condition, the southern Chinese financial hub's Health Secretary Ko Wing-man said. Ko said the semiautonomous Chinese city's government would step up its flu pandemic preparedness plan. 

FDA Approves Quebec-Made Bird Flu Vaccine For Stockpile Use

December 2, 2013 12:48 pm | by Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press | News | Comments

The U.S. government has for the first time approved an adjuvanted vaccine to protect against H5N1 bird flu. The vaccine was made by Quebec City-based ID Biomedical, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. The vaccine will be placed in the U.S. government's emergency stockpile.

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