HPS Weekly Report
05 Feb 2019
Volume 53 No. 05
World Cancer Day 4 February 2019
This year marks the launch of the three-year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign. The campaign is a call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future.
The multi-year campaign hopes to create a long-lasting impact by increasing public awareness and engagement, building global awareness, and focusing on impact-driven action.
£10 million to develop vaccines against global infectious diseases
The UK government has announced it will give £10 million of funding to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), in order to help develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases, prioritising help to low- and middle-income countries.
CEPI is a global coalition that was formed in response to the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa, which killed more than 11,000 people.
The funding is in addition to the UK’s investment of £120 million for the UK Vaccine Network (UKVN), which helps to develop vaccines and vaccine technology for epidemic diseases.
The UKVN funds 78 research projects that are developing vaccines against diseases that can cause epidemics. The UKVN is prioritising vaccine development for 12 pathogens, five of which are also prioritised by CEPI.
Source: UK Government, 22 January 2019
New Europe-wide survey of healthcare workers’ perceptions about antibiotic use and resistance
On 28 January 2019, Public Health England (PHE) launched a new multilingual survey, funded by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which aims to gain an understanding of European healthcare workers’ knowledge and perceptions about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. Previous studies have primarily focused on the general public and medical students.
ECDC and PHE are aiming for a return of at least 10,000 responses from healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and hospital managers, as well as clinical scientists, physiotherapists, nursing assistants, dental/pharmacy technicians, public health teams and health students.
The survey is available in all EU/EEA languages and closes on 14 February 2019.
Source: ECDC, 29 January 2019
Levels of AMR Campylobacter in retail chickens remain steady
The Year 3 results of a survey to identify the proportion of Campylobacter isolated from the UK retail chicken survey that were resistant to a range of antimicrobial agents (AMR), have been published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The survey tested a subset of the Campylobacter isolates (Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli strains) from Year 3 of the UK retail chicken survey for AMR. Analysis was carried out between August 2016 and July 2017, during which 585 Campylobacter isolates from samples of whole, UK-produced, fresh chickens were tested.
Source: FSA, 31 January 2019
Environment and climate impacts of aviation continue growing
The European Aviation Environmental Report 2019, published jointly by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Environment Agency (EEA) and EUROCONTROL, provides an updated assessment of the environmental performance of the aviation sector in Europe.
The report states that, while aviation has produced economic benefits, stimulated innovation and improved connectivity within Europe, the sector's growth has also increased its negative impacts on climate change, noise and air quality.
Key findings of the report show that the number of flights from European Commission (EU28) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries increased by 8% between 2014 and 2017, and are expected to grow by 42% from 2017 to 2040. There has been an increase in overall noise and emissions since 2014, despite technological improvements and fleet renewal.
In 2016, domestic aviation and international aviation were together accountable for 3.6% of the total EU28 greenhouse gas emissions and for 13.4% of the emissions from transport. By 2040, CO2 and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions from aviation are expected to increase by at least 21% and 16%, respectively.
Source: EEA, 24 January 2019
Falsified rabies vaccines circulating in the Philippines
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a medical product alert relating to falsified Verorab® vaccines that have been identified in the Philippines. This vaccine is used for the prevention of rabies in children and adults, and can be used to protect those who are at risk of exposure to rabies as a pre-exposure vaccination.
The vaccine is also used to prevent the development of rabies after exposure has occurred, usually following the bite of an animal suspected of having rabies (post-exposure prophylaxis). The genuine version is manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur.
Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that is almost always fatal following the onset of clinical symptoms. Rabies is present on all continents, with over 95% of human deaths occurring in the Asia and Africa regions.
Source: WHO, January 2019