Vol. V, No. 03~ EINet News Briefs ~ Feb. 8 , 2002
The EINet listserv was created to foster discussion, networking, and collaboration in the area of emerging infectious diseases (EID's) among academicians, scientists, and policy makers in the AsiaPacific region. We strongly encourage you to share their perspectives and experiences, as your participation directly contributes to the richness of the "electronic discussions" that occur. To respond to the listserv, use the reply function.
In this edition:
1. OVERVIEW OF INFECTIOUSDISEASE INFORMATION
Below is a semimonthly summary of AsiaPacific emerging infectious diseases.
China (Hong Kong)Avian Influenza
United States (Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska)Chronic Wasting
Four fawns in Sioux County, Nebraska ranging in age from six to eight months old tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to reports on 26 Jan 2002. The fawns, which did not show any physical symptoms of the disease, were part of a highly infected captive herd in the northwestern part of Nebraska. Officials are not certain how the fawns in Nebraska became infected, but it is believed that the illness was not passed on in the womb. It is thought that close physical contact between an infected doe and her fawn after birth is the vehicle. CWD first appeared in Nebraska in 1997, when an infected animal was found in a captive herd.
News that the disease has turned up in freeroaming deer in Nebraska
prompted a review of Colorado's efforts to contain CWD. Colorado State
agricultural officials are considering a quarantine of all wild deer
and elk killed in northeastern Colorado in an attempt to bring the
spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) to an end. Under the proposed
quarantine deer and elk killed by hunters, game wardens, or ranchers
or deer and elk found dead in endemic areas would not be removed from
the area without being checked for CWD. If any test positive, they
would be disposed of in hightemperature furnaces.
United States (Washington)New Mosquito Species
A mosquito species previously not found in the western United States,
Ochlerotatus japonicus japonicus, was recently discovered in
Washington State by the Washington WNV surveillance project. The newly
discovered Asian mosquito, formerly known as Aedes japonicus,
is difficult to control because it deposits eggs in areas where water
may collect and is harder to avoid because it bites during the day.
The surveillance program has also identified other potential mosquito
carriers of WNV, western equine encephalitis (WEE) and St. Louis encephalitis
(SLE) in other areas of Washington. In 2002 officials will concentrate
on ascertaining the geographic distribution of this new species of
mosquito in Washington State. The collection and analysis of dead
birds that are susceptible to WNV has begun, but no birds have tested
positive for WNV in Washington. A project report can be found at http://www.doh.wa.gov/Publicat/2002_news/WestNileVirusSurv.pdf.
VenezuelaHemorrhagic Fever Outbreak
Republic of the Congo and GabonEbola Hemorrhagic Fever
Vietnam Plans to Produce AIDS Drugs
Currently, Vietnam can only afford a small quantity of AIDS drugs although
it is reported that, as of 30 Nov 2001, 42,365 people in Vietnam had tested
positive for HIV and 6,343 have developed AIDS. Experts estimate that
the actual HIV infection figure for Vietnam could be as much as 130,000
to 135,000 people. Vietnam, which spends approximately US$3.3 million
a year to combat HIV/AIDS through education and prevention, is capable
of producing AIDS drugs for about $200 to $400 per patient per year. In
contrast, the cost charged by international pharmaceutical companies is
approximately $8,000 to $12,000 per year. Settlement of drug company intellectual
property rights has yet to occur.
Launch of "Access to Research" Internet Initiative
Previously, subscriptions to electronic and print versions of these journals have been priced uniformly for institutions, irrespective of geographical location. The average subscription costs several hundred dollars per year, many costing more than US$1,500 per year. Beginning 31 Jan 2002, the journals were made available for no charge or at significantly reduced charges to institutions in specified developing countries through the Health InterNetwork website at http://www.healthinternetwork.net/.
The Health InterNetwork was launched by Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, in September 2000 and is led by the World Health Organization. It has brought together public and private partners in order to provide equitable access to health information. In the future WHO and the publishers will work with the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundations Network and other public and private partners to extend the initiative. The "Access to Research" initiative will be monitored for progress and is expected to last for at least three years.
Global Business Council Awards for Business Excellence 2002
The Council will receive entries from businesses that have contributed to problem of HIV and AIDS in any of the following ways: raising HIV/AIDS awareness; supporting people with HIV/AIDS at work as well as challenging stigma and discrimination in the wider community; making resources available for HIV/AIDS initiatives; recognizing the importance of children and young people; and involvement with local, national or international efforts to counter HIV/AIDS. Details and entry forms can be found at http://www.businessfightsaids.org/.
Genome Sequence of Ralstonia Solanacearum
Bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum is one of the most important bacterial plant diseases worldwide. The complete genome sequence of this soilborne pathogen that infects plant roots is published in the 31 Jan 2002 issue of Nature. The article describes an analysis of predicted functions encoded in the 5.8 megabase genome of R. solanacearum strain GMI1000, a strain isolated from tomato. In their report, the French scientists emphasize the pathogenicity of the gramnegative bacteria.
[M Salanoubat, S Genin, F Artiguenave, et al. Genome sequence of the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum Nature 415; 497𤯦.]
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© 2002, The University of Washington