Current alerts for from PAHO/WHO/CDC

Don’t forget when traveling to take preventive measures:

  • drink only safe water
  • use repellent
  • wear long sleeves & pants

For more info go to CDC travelers information


Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. It can cause high fever, joint and muscle pain, and headache. Chikungunya does not often result in death, but the joint pain may last for months or years and may become a cause of chronic pain and disability. There is no specific treatment for Chikungunya infection, nor any vaccine to prevent it. Pending the development of a new vaccine, the only effective means of prevention is to protect individuals against mosquito bites.Chikung

Cases confirmed in various countries reported by WHO for the week 12 of 2015

  • Bolivia 341 locally acquired / 5 imported
  • Nicaragua 4153 locally acquired / 40 imported
  • Peru 34 imported
  • USA 469 locally acquired / 2,900 imported



Dengue remains a public health problem in the Americas despite the efforts of the member states to stop and mitigate the impact of epidemics. It is a dynamic systemic infectious disease. The infection can be asymptomatic or show with a broad clinical spectrum that includes serious and non-serious ways of expression. After incubation, the disease begins abruptly and goes through three phases: The febrile, critical, and recovery stage. Dengue needs to be addressed as a single disease with different clinical presentations ranging from benign conditions to severe clinical courses and outcomes that may lead to death.

Cases reported by week 10

  • El Salvador 262 confirmed by laboratory test /10 severe Dengue
  • Guatemala 20 confirmed by laboratory test /2 severe Dengue
  • Honduras 0 confirmed by laboratory test /293 severe Dengue
  • Mexico 1,669 confirmed by laboratory test / 0 severe Dengue
  • Nicaragua 91 confirmed by laboratory test /0 severe Dengue
  • Peru 2,143 confirmed by laboratory test / 17 severe Dengue

Information from CDC, WHO and PAHO


Ebola: Two Ebola vaccines clear safety tests in Liberia

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that two experimental Ebola vaccines, from two different pharmaceuticals, “appear to be safe,” as per the initial data review of mid-stage clinical trials currently underway in Liberia. The trial subjects were randomly injected with the #1 vaccine, the #2 vaccine, and a saline shot. The trial volunteers and researchers remained completely unaware of which subject had received which injection. The results were then evaluated on the basis of the
subjects’ immune system response to the injection in the form of anti-Ebola antibody production. Blood samples will be collected and tested after 6 and 12 weeks of vaccination.

Information from [Byline: Hannah Ishmael]. Communicated by:ProMED-mail & Roger Feldman>


Resistance to antibiotics is a growing public health threat

antibiotics-america_1611The discovery of the first antibiotic, started a new era in medicine and has proven to save many lives. We are now facing a great public health crisis that may become a post antibiotic era. The misuse and overuse has increased the number of drug resistant germs. Even the Obama administration has decided it is the first white house plan to address antibiotic resistance which causes more than 2 million illnesses a year and 23,000 deaths only in United States.

A bacteria becomes resistant to a drug when it has changed or adapted in some way and either neutralize the drug effect or protects from the action of the drug. Any bacteria that survives antibiotic treatment can then multiply and pass on its resistance properties, thus the next person infected by it will not respond to the drug or antibiotic and even more, some bacterias can pass their resistance to other bacterias.

The fact that a bacteria can develop resistance to a drug is normal and expected, however the way drugs are used by professionals affects how quickly and in what extend the drug resistance occurs.

Antibiotics are meant to be use for bacterial infections, with correct doses according to the age and weight, adequate for the type of bacteria and short expectrum and necessary time to kill the bacterias.

Overuse of antibiotics occurs when a viral infection is treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic still works against the bacterias you have in your body and change the normal flora but it doesn’t do anything for your current infection, thus it does more harm than benefit.

Overuse occurs for a number of reasons:

  • Doctors may prescribe antibiotics before receiving test results that identify the actual cause of infection.
  • People who want quick relief from symptoms, regardless of the cause of illness, may pressure doctors for antibiotic prescriptions.
  • People may take antibiotics purchased abroad or via the internet for self-diagnosed illnesses.
  • People may take antibiotics that are leftovers from a previous prescription

The increasing number of drug-resistant infections results in:

  • More-serious illness or disability
  • More deaths from previously treatable illnesses
  • Prolonged recovery
  • More-frequent or longer hospitalization
  • More doctor visits
  • Less effective or more-invasive treatments
  • More-expensive treatments

Source: Mayo clinic, CDC, Kaiser Foundation

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