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expert-perspectives

Expert Perspective: CDC decides on permissive recommendation for strain B meningococcal vaccination

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) chose not to mandate a newly-developed vaccine for a meningitis substrain Neisseria meningitidis, but to leave the decision to vaccinate up to parents and children with physician recommendations. Meningococcal meningitis is a serious condition which can be incredibly dangerous if not treated quickly. Vaccines for the strains A, C, Y and W-135 have been a part of vaccination requirements for over 10 years, while the vaccine for the serogroup B strain, Neisseria meningitidis, was developed last year. Questions about the vaccination requirements were raised amidst growing concerns linked to recent B-strain outbreaks.

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research-and-clinical-trials

UMN scientists identify two mutations critical for MERS transmission from bats to humans

Researchers have identified two critical mutations allowing the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus to transmit from bats to humans. The findings were published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Virology.

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beyond-minnesota

Tuning into Social Networks to Prevent and Contain Disease

As the College of Veterinary Medicine’s first and only disease ecologist, Meggan Craft, Ph.D., is a pioneer in the study of how disease spreads through animal populations. She has used mathematical models to track the spread of distemper in African lions and is currently working on a five-year collaborative project to discover what types of mountain lion contacts lead to the transmission of infectious disease.

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in-the-news

In the News: Ebola vaccine needs fast track

According to a recent Star Tribune article, “More than 23,000 people suffered suspected infections and more than 14,000 died in the current Ebola outbreak, but the number of new cases has slowed in recent weeks.” Although Ebola may be slowing down in the headlines, the epidemic is far from over. Experts suggest health officials shouldn’t be drawing back on testing and creating vaccines for this highly deadly virus.

Michael Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H., an infectious disease expert and director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), told the Star Tribune that “waiting for another global scare to ramp up vaccine efforts won’t work.” Osterholm, joined by 25 other international leaders in infectious disease, also known as “Team B,” are advocating for a pace of vaccine development that would be considered the fastest in human history.

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in-the-news

California measles outbreak reiterates importance of vaccines

As of this morning, there are 59 confirmed cases of measles tied to the Disneyland outbreak according to NPR.

The issue does not reside in the park itself, or any other public place for that matter. Measles is one of the deadliest of all childhood rash/fever illnesses, and the disease spreads very easily. However, measles is extremely preventable with vaccination. The CDC even declared that measles was eradicated in the United States back in 2000, attributed to a “highly effective vaccination program and a strong public health system for detecting and responding to measles cases and outbreaks.”

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research-and-clinical-trials

Enterovirus D68 confirmed in MN by MDH, UMN

Enterovirus D68 is hospitalizing children around the Midwest due to its severe asthma attack-like symptoms. Today, it is confirmed that the virus has reached Minnesota.

According to a statement from the Minnesota Department of Health, its lab tests confirmed one case of having Enterovirus 68 (EV-D68). Labs at the University of Minnesota have also confirmed EV D68 in 11 samples from the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital.

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