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Managing epidemics - Key facts about major deadly diseases

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)
2018

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The manual is structured in three parts.

  • Part One “Epidemics of the 21st century” provides vital insights on the main features of the 21st century upsurge and the indispensable elements to manage them.
  • Part Two “Be in the know. 10 key facts about 15 deadly diseases” contains key information about 15 diseases (Ebola Virus Disease, Lassa Fever, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, Yellow Fever, Zika, Chikungunya, Avian and Other Zoonotic Influenza, Seasonal Influenza, Pandemic Influenza, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Cholera, Monkeypox, Plague, Leptospirosis and Meningococcal Meningitis). This section provides tips on the interventions required to respond to epidemics of all these diseases.
  • Part Three “Tool boxes” gives an overview and summarized guidance on some other important topics, including: the role of WHO, the International Coordinating Group, laboratory diagnosis and shipment of infectious diseases substances, and vector control.

 

The handbook enables the three levels of WHO – its Headquarters, Regional Offices and Country Offices to work efficiently together by building the foundations of a shared conceptual and thinking framework, which includes common terminology. 

Forecasting Zika Incidence in the 2016 Latin America Outbreak Combining Traditional Disease Surveillance with Search, Social Media, and News Report Data

MCGOUGH, Sarah F.
BROWNSTEIN, John S.
HAWKINS, Jared B.
et al
January 2017

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"Over 400,000 people across the Americas are thought to have been infected with Zika virus as a consequence of the 2015–2016 Latin American outbreak. Official government-led case count data in Latin America are typically delayed by several weeks, making it difficult to track the disease in a timely manner. Thus, timely disease tracking systems are needed to design and assess interventions to mitigate disease transmission."

Estimation of Zika virus prevalence by appearance of microcephaly

SAAD-ROY, C M
van den DRIESSCHE, P
MA, J L
December 2016

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There currently is a severe Zika Virus (ZIKV) epidemic in Brazil and other South American countries. Due to international travel, this poses severe public health risk of ZIKV importation to other countries. We estimate the prevalence of ZIKV in an import region by the time a microcephaly case is detected, since microcephaly is presently the most significant indication of ZIKV presence. A mathematical model to describe ZIKV spread from a source region to an import region was established. This model incorporates both vector transmission (between humans and mosquitoes) and sexual transmission (from males to females). Account was taken of population structure through a contact network for sexually active individuals. Parameter values of the model are either taken from the literature or estimated from travel data

BMC Infectious Diseases (2016) 16:754 DOI 10.1186/s12879-016-2076-z

Zika: the origin and spread of a mosquito-borne virus

KINDHAUSER, Mary Kay
ALLEN Tomas
FRANK Veronika
SANTHANAA Ravi Shankar
DYE Christopher
September 2016

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The temporal and geographical distribution of Zika virus infection and associated neurological disorders, from 1947 to 1 February 2016, when Zika became a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) are described following an extensive literature search. During this period a total of 74 countries and territories had reported human Zika virus infections. The timeline in this paper charts the discovery of the virus (1947), its isolation from mosquitos (1948), the first human infection (1952), the initial spread of infection from Asia to a Pacific island (2007), the first known instance of sexual transmission (2008), reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome (2014) and microcephaly (2015) linked to Zika infections and the first appearance of Zika in the Americas (from 2015). The paper concludes that the Zika virus infection in humans appears to have changed in character as its geographical range has expanded from equatorial Africa and Asia. The change is from an endemic, mosquito-borne infection causing mild illness to one that can cause large outbreaks linked with neurological sequelae and congenital abnormalities

 

Detecting Guillain-Barré syndrome caused by Zika virus using systems developed for polio surveillance

KANDEL, Nirmal
LAMICHHANE Jaya
TANGERMANN Rudolf
RODIEA Guenael
September 2016

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With increasing evidence of linkages between Guillain-Barré syndrome and Zika virus infection, the importance of enhancing Guillain-Barré syndrome surveillance is highlighted and use of existing surveillance systems like the one for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) used by polio eradication programmes is proposed. A process for using the AFP surveillance system for Zika virus surveillance is outlined. Worldwide distribution maps of  Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are presented and control measures following Zika infection testing are listed.

Health Canada unveils new health threat alert system

January 2005

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This brief article reports on a new global system to detect public health and bioterrorism threats, developed in Canada. The system will be used to track high-profile threats, as well as lesser problems such as contamination to food and water sources, natural disasters, and unsafe medical products, drugs and medical devices. WHO is a key recipient of the alerts, and is using the information to develop plans of action to control outbreaks

Virtual information on health emergencies and disasters for South America

January 2005

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This brief article reports on Peru's Virtual Disaster Library, which focuses on disasters in South America. The library is powered by two databases: DESAS and INFOR. DESAS provides access to full-text documents, bibliographic references for in-person consultations, courses and events related to natural, manmade and social disasters. The INFOR database keeps up-to-date information on events throughout Peru using a simple spreadsheet on the web to consolidate reports and provide a quick preliminary analysis. The virtual library is available to the entire disaster community at www.minsa.gob.pe/ogdn

5050 : 50 years : historical review. 50 months : countdown to a TB-free future

MACH, Adrea
2001

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This document presents a comprehensive historical review of TB control, focusing in particular on the progress since Amsterdam, on global initiatives and international funding, and success stories. It also looks at the challenges for the near future, arguing for an expansion of DOTS coverage, better education, effective public-private partnership and greater involvement of NGOs and calling for a scaling up of realistic programmes designed to control, rather than eliminate as yet, the disease. This publication will be useful to programme managers, NGOs and policy makers working in the area of TB control. Including a range of case studies and success stories, it shows what works best and what priorities should be set in the short and medium term

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