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1.  Capacity Building in Response to Pandemic Influenza Threats: Lao PDR Case Study 
The Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) committed to pandemic detection and response preparations when faced with the threat of avian influenza. Since 2006, the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology of Lao PDR has developed credible laboratory, surveillance, and epidemiological (human) capacity and as a result was designated a World Health Organization National Influenza Center in 2010. The Lao PDR experience in building influenza capacities provides a case study of the considerable crossover effect of such investments to augment the capacity to combat emerging and re-emerging diseases other than influenza.
PMCID: PMC3516098  PMID: 23222137
2.  The Great East Japan Earthquake: a need to plan for post-disaster surveillance in developed countries 
After a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck north-eastern Japan in March 2011, the public health system, including the infectious disease surveillance system, was severely compromised. While models for post-disaster surveillance exist, they focus predominantly on developing countries during the early recovery phase. Such models do not necessarily apply to developed countries, which differ considerably in their baseline surveillance systems. Furthermore, there is a need to consider the process by which a surveillance system recovers post-disaster. The event in Japan has highlighted a need to address these concerns surrounding post-disaster surveillance in developed countries.
In May 2011, the World Health Organization convened a meeting where post-disaster surveillance was discussed by experts and public health practitioners. In this paper, we describe a post-disaster surveillance approach that was discussed at the meeting, based on what had actually occurred and what may have been, or would be, ideal. Briefly, we describe the evolution of a surveillance system as it returns to the pre-existing system, starting from an event-based approach during the emergency relief phase, a syndromic approach during the early recovery phase, an enhanced sentinel approach during the late recovery phase and a return to baseline during the development phase. Our aim is not to recommend a specific model but to encourage other developed countries to initiate their own discussions on post-disaster surveillance and develop plans according to their needs and capacities. As natural disasters will continue to occur, we hope that developing such plans during the “inter-disaster” period will help mitigate the surveillance challenges that will arise post-disaster.
PMCID: PMC3729064  PMID: 23908893
5.  A Patient with Splenic Artery Aneurysm Rupture and the Importance of Rapid Sonography in the ED 
We report a case of a splenic artery aneurysm rupture presenting with shock which required timely embolization therapy. This case demonstrates how the rapid use of bedside ultrasound by emergency department (ED) physicians can help identify the cause of shock and, therefore, initiate appropriate treatment quickly even if the cause is rare, as in this case.
PMCID: PMC3195329  PMID: 22046535
6.  Influenza activity in Cambodia during 2006-2008 
There is little information about influenza disease among the Cambodian population. To better understand the dynamics of influenza in Cambodia, the Cambodian National Influenza Center (NIC) was established in August 2006. To continuously monitor influenza activity, a hospital based sentinel surveillance system for ILI (influenza like illness) with a weekly reporting and sampling scheme was established in five sites in 2006. In addition, hospital based surveillance of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) cases was established in 2 sites.
The sentinel sites collect weekly epidemiological data on ILI patients fulfilling the case definition, and take naso-pharyngeal specimens from a defined number of cases per week. The samples are tested in the Virology Unit at the Institut Pasteur in Phnom Penh. From each sample viral RNA was extracted and amplified by a multiplex RT-PCR detecting simultaneously influenza A and influenza B virus. Influenza A viruses were then subtyped and analyzed by hemagglutination inhibition assay. Samples collected by the ALRI system were tested with the same approach.
From 2006 to 2008, influenza circulation was observed mainly from June to December, with a clear seasonal peak in October shown in the data from 2008.
Influenza activity in Cambodia occurred during the rainy season, from June to December, and ended before the cool season (extending usually from December to February). Although Cambodia is a tropical country geographically located in the northern hemisphere, influenza activity has a southern hemisphere transmission pattern. Together with the antigenic analysis of the circulating strains, it is now possible to give better influenza vaccination recommendation for Cambodia.
PMCID: PMC2768732  PMID: 19828051
7.  Leptospirosis in the Asia Pacific region 
Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonotic infection that has been recognized for decades, but the problem of the disease has not been fully addressed, particularly in resource-poor, developing countries, where the major burden of the disease occurs. This paper presents an overview of the current situation of leptospirosis in the region. It describes the current trends in the epidemiology of leptospirosis, the existing surveillance systems, and presents the existing prevention and control programs in the Asia Pacific region.
Data on leptospirosis in each member country were sought from official national organizations, international public health organizations, online articles and the scientific literature. Papers were reviewed and relevant data were extracted.
Leptospirosis is highly prevalent in the Asia Pacific region. Infections in developed countries arise mainly from occupational exposure, travel to endemic areas, recreational activities, or importation of domestic and wild animals, whereas outbreaks in developing countries are most frequently related to normal daily activities, over-crowding, poor sanitation and climatic conditions.
In the Asia Pacific region, predominantly in developing countries, leptospirosis is largely a water-borne disease. Unless interventions to minimize exposure are aggressively implemented, the current global climate change will further aggravate the extent of the disease problem. Although trends indicate successful control of leptospirosis in some areas, there is no clear evidence that the disease has decreased in the last decade. The efficiency of surveillance systems and data collection varies significantly among the countries and areas within the region, leading to incomplete information in some instances. Thus, an accurate reflection of the true burden of the disease remains unknown.
PMCID: PMC2749047  PMID: 19732423

Results 1-7 (7)