Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for November, 2015

CHIKV is a significant cause of CNS disease


**  Between September 2005 and June 2006, 57 patients were diagnosed with CHIKV-associated CNS disease, including 24 with CHIKV-associated encephalitis, the latter corresponding to a CIR (cumulative incidence rate ) of 8.6 per 100,000 persons.

**  Patients with encephalitis were observed at both extremes of age categories.

**  187/100 000 (cumulative incidence rate ) in patients under 1 year of age

**  37/100 000 (cumulative incidence rate ) in patients over 65 years of age

**  The case-fatality rate of CHIKV-associated encephalitis was 16.6%

**  The proportion of children discharged with persistent disabilities estimated between 30% and 45%.

**  Beyond the neonatal period, the clinical presentation and outcomes were less severe in infants than in adults.

Tropical Storm Sandra: November 24, 2015

Tropical Storm Sandra

Deluge in the Amargosa and Death Valleys, November 4, 2015

Deluge in the Amargosa and Death Valleys

The animation above shows satellite-based estimates of rainfall from a particularly large storm that passed over the area on October 18. The rainfall data are from the Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG), a product of the Global Precipitation Measurement mission. Green-white colors represent the largest rainfall totals, which in some areas reached upward of 70 millimeters (3 inches) during the 24-hour period displayed in the animation. These regional, remotely-sensed estimates may differ from the totals measured by ground-based weather stations.

Global Tree Cover

Is That a Forest? That Depends on How You Define It

30% Tree Cover

Color bar for Is That a Forest? That Depends on How You Define It


Is That a Forest? That Depends on How You Define It

10% Tree Cover



UNICEF: The number of adolescent deaths from AIDS has tripled over the last 15 years


The data reveal that currently among adolescents (15-19):

  • 26 new infections occur every hour; and
  • About half of those living with HIV are in just six countries:
    • South Africa
    • Nigeria
    • Kenya
    • India
    • Mozambique
    • Tanzania.

UNICEF’s Statistical Update on Children, Adolescents and AIDS report can be downloaded here:



2015 Statistical Update

New Chikungunya Research: Encephalitis had been diagnosed in 8.6 per 100,000 people in Reunion (2005-6)

NBC News

**  PAHO:  In the western hemisphere, more than 600,000 cases have been reported so far this year, with 76 deaths

**  In 2013 and 2014 more than 1.1 million cases were reported and it killed 194 people. 


FEMA Daily Operations Briefing for Friday, November 27, 2015


Significant Events: None

Tropical Activity:
Atlantic: Tropical cyclone activity is not expected during the next 48 hours
Eastern Pacific: Hurricane Sandra (Cat 2)
Central Pacific: Tropical cyclone activity not expected through Saturday evening
Western Pacific: Tropical Storm 03F

Significant Weather:
Snow – the Cascades, Central Plains, Central Rockies & Upper Mississippi Valley
Freezing rain – Central/Southern Plains
Flash Flooding – Southern/Central Plains
Rain – Southern Plains to the Middle Mississippi Valley and into the Great Lakes
Red Flag Warnings: None
Critical/Elevated Fire Weather Areas: NM & TX
Space weather: Past 24 hours – none, Next 24 hours – none

Declaration Activity:
Amendment No. 1 for American Samoa (FEMA-4192-DR)
Major Disaster Declaration (FEMA-4245-DR) for Texas

  • FEMA Daily Ops Briefing 11-27-2015:

An experimental vaccine to protect against the mosquito-borne illness chikungunya is being tested in a Phase 2 trial


 This digitally-colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicts numerous chikungunya virus particles, which are composed of a central dense core that is surrounded by a viral envelope.
Credit: CDC

NIH-Sponsored Clinical Trial of Chikungunya Vaccine Opens

​An experimental vaccine to protect against the mosquito-borne illness chikungunya is being tested in a Phase 2 trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Results from an initial trial of the vaccine, which was developed by scientists at the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), were reported in 2014. In that study, all 25 vaccine recipients developed robust immune responses and no safety concerns were noted. The new trial is designed to enroll 400 healthy adult volunteers aged 18 to 60 years old at six sites in the Caribbean. It will continue to gather data on the candidate vaccine’s safety and ability to elicit immune responses, including antibodies.

The hallmark symptoms of chikungunya are severe joint pain accompanied by fever and headache. The pain typically eases after about a week but can persist for months or years in some cases. There are no specific treatments for chikungunya infection and no vaccine to prevent it.
Since its appearance in the Western Hemisphere in late 2013, cases of chikungunya have skyrocketed. So far in 2015, more than 621,000 suspected and confirmed cases have been reported throughout the Americas.
“The recent re-emergence of chikungunya virus in this hemisphere has rapidly become a significant health burden,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.  “Our chikungunya vaccine development efforts are part of a broader research effort to prevent, diagnose, treat and ultimately control this painful illness, which can strike anyone unlucky enough to be bitten by an infected mosquito.”
The experimental vaccine, developed by investigators at NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center, uses virus-like particles (VLPs) instead of either inactivated or weakened whole virus. VLP vaccines can stimulate immune responses comparable to those resulting from naturally acquired immunity following infection and, because virus is not needed to produce VLP vaccines, they do not need to be prepared in high-level biocontainment facilities.
Eligible volunteers will be randomly assigned to enroll into one of two groups of 200 people each. Study participants will receive either two doses of the candidate vaccine spaced 28 days apart or two doses of an inactive placebo. Blood samples will be drawn at multiple time points following the injections to assess whether the candidate vaccine prompted the production of antibodies to chikungunya virus.
Additional details about the trial can be found at  using the identifier NCT02562482.



​L-J Chang et al. Chikungunya virus-like particle vaccine elicits neutralizing antibodies in healthy adults in a phase I dose escalation clinical trial. The Lancet DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61185-5 (2014).

Record First Snowfall in the U.S. Midwest, November, 2015

Record First Snowfall in the U.S. Midwest


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