CDC head says Sierra Leone in strong place with Ebola

ASSOCIATED PRESS by Clarence Roy-Macaulay                                                  Aug. 3, 2015

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone  — Sierra Leone is in a stronger place than it was six months ago to fight Ebola, but the new challenge is to get to zero cases, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday during a visit, as new cases emerged in the city and in an area that had not seen the deadly virus for months.

Two new cases of Ebola surfaced in Sierra Leone's Northern Tonkolili District after a man died last week. The district had not had a single case of Ebola in five months. The victim contracted the disease in the capital, traveled to his home village, and was treated for a fever at the local hospital but authorities didn't call the Ebola emergency number. He didn't have a burial that followed special procedures required for Ebola victims....

Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director, said it was important that the case was identified and not missed, and he was impressed with the speed of the response.

"The challenge now is to get to zero cases and that is not going to be easy," he said. "Authorities must not let down their guard. The country should keep its guard up."

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What ‘100 Percent Effective’ Means for That Ebola Vaccine

Analysis
WIRED.COM by Katie M. Palmer                                                            Aug. 4, 2015

Last week, the medical journal the Lancet published preliminary results on the efficacy of an Ebola vaccine in Guinea, and everybody got really excited—especially about one particular figure. The vaccine, the results suggested, was 100 percent effective at protecting against Ebola, a thrilling prospect in the face of an epidemic that has killed more than 11,000 people. ...

But that number probably means less than you think it does. It’s based on incomplete data, so it doesn’t have the statistical clout it should. And it never will. Based on the vaccine’s early success, the trial’s runners decided that all participants in the study should get it immediately after exposure. That’s a perfectly reasonable, humane reaction, but it also means that the researchers will never be able to collect better data on the vaccine’s efficacy, which is what regulators look for when they’re deciding to approve a drug. In other words, the vaccine’s early success could make it harder for people to get it down the line.

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Disastrous Sea Level Rise Is an Issue for Today's Public - Not Next Millennium's

             

huffingtonpost.com - by Dr. James Hansen - July 27, 2015

. . . 2°C global warming, rather than being a safe "guardrail," is highly dangerous. . . .

. . . My conclusion, based on the total information available, is that continued high emissions would result in multi-meter sea level rise this century and lock in continued ice sheet disintegration such that building cities or rebuilding cities on coast lines would become foolish. . . .

. . . A startling conclusion of our paper is that effects of freshwater release onto the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic are already underway and 1-2 decades sooner in the real world than in the model (Fig. 2). 

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

CLICK HERE - Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics - Earth's energy imbalance and implications

CLICK HERE - Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: Evidence from Paleoclimate Data, Climate Modeling, and Modern Observations that 2°C Global Warming is Highly Dangerous

OR

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Global Health Risk Framework - Meeting 1

nam.edu - July 29, 2015

The first meeting of the Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future took place on July 28-29, 2015 at the National Academy of Sciences building, located at 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC. The meeting was closed on July 28, but open to the public on July 29 from 9 am to 1 pm.

The objectives of the open session on July 29 included the following:

The International Oversight Group will present the Statement of Task to the Commission and make clarifications, if needed.

An expert panel will address issues of governance, finance, resilient health systems, and medical products research and development when responding to infectious disease outbreaks of international concern at the global, regional, national, and local levels. The Commission will consider the different perspectives presented, as they develop the approach for this study.

(CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

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Arktek Passive Vaccine Storage Device - P6

      

From watching the video in the link below, the Arktek vaccine cold storage device is also known as the P6 . . .
http://www.intellectualventures.com/inventions-patents/our-inventions/vaccine-cold-chain-device/

The P6 is not just a container, but an innovative high-tech device.  It is designed to keep vaccines at the appropriate temperatures for a month or more with repeat vaccine retrievals and no need for electricity (using just one initial batch of ice).  The device also has built-in communications and monitoring capability.  The P6 units are able to send live updates, including the units’ GPS positions viewable on interactive maps, the number of days since fresh ice had been added, temperature, and more.  Here are the details . . .
http://www.intellectualventureslab.com/invent/a-story-of-invention-the-passive-vaccine-storage-device

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More than 70,000 children born during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia at risk of exclusion if not registered, warns UNICEF

UNICEF PRESS OFFICE                                                 July 31, 2015

MONROVIA, Liberia -- UNICEF is supporting a drive by the Liberian Government to register more than 70,000 children whose births were not recorded during the Ebola crisis, leaving them vulnerable to marginalization and exclusion.

Birth registrations in 2014 and 2015 dropped sharply from pre-Ebola levels, according to Ministry of Health data. In 2013, before the onset of the virus, the births of 79,000 children were registered. In 2014, when many health facilities had closed or had reduced services due to the Ebola response, the number of registrations fell to 48,000 – a 39 per cent decrease over the previous year.

Just 700 children are reported to have had their births registered between January and May 2015. 

 

                                                                               © UNICEF/UNI190366/Grile Three month old Success Sumois,     strapped to her mother’s back, waits to be registered through the mobile birth registration team at the Totota Clinic in Liberia.

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WHO: Trials Show New Ebola Vaccine is 'Highly Effective'

            

On March 23, 2015, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) together with the World Health Organization started a clinical trial in Guinea to test the safety, efficacy and capacity substance to provoke an immune response of the anti-Ebola vaccine rVSV-EBOV.

cnn.com - by Laura Smith-Spark - July 31, 2015

(CNN) A newly developed vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus is "highly effective" and could help prevent its spread in the current and future outbreaks, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Trials of the single-dose VSV-EBOV vaccine began in March in Guinea -- one of three West African nations at the center of the outbreak -- and have shown such promise that this week it was decided to extend immediate vaccination to "all people at risk" after close contact with an infected person, a WHO news release said.

"This is an extremely promising development," said Dr. Margaret Chan, the body's director general.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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UN Ebola mission winds down, WHO takes reins in West Africa

ASSOCIATED PRESS by MARIA CHENG and RAPHAEL SATTER   July 31, 2015

LONDON — The United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response is officially winding down Friday, handing its leadership role and senior staff to the Geneva-based World Health Organization as efforts to contain the deadly virus continue.

"We have reached an important milestone in the global Ebola response," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement Friday, while noting that that crisis "is not yet over."

The Ebola mission, also called UNMEER, was established last year as WHO struggled to get a handle on an outbreak that has killed more than 11,000 people, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. WHO had been strongly criticized for fumbling its response to the epidemic, and the creation of UNMEER was widely seen as a rebuke to its leadership.

Speaking to reporters Friday, UNMEER chief David Nabarro said he had seen signs that WHO had already absorbed some of the lessons of the Ebola disaster, recovering its coordination role in West Africa and deploying more 1,000 staffers to the field.

Read complete story.
http://www.seattlepi.com/news/medical/article/WHO-works-to-reform-itself-after-fumbling-Ebola-6416880.php

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WHITE HOUSE FACT SHEET: The Global Health Security Agenda

The U.S. Government announces it intends to invest more than $1 billion in resources to expand the Global Health Security Agenda to prevent, detect, and respond to future infectious disease outbreaks overseas.

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE                       July 28, 2015

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa continues to galvanize global attention and resources as the international community strives to eliminate active cases and help the affected countries recover.  African leaders and African Union officials have shown extraordinary leadership in addressing the outbreak. The epidemic highlighted the urgent need to establish global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats – to prevent future outbreaks from becoming epidemics. 

Beginning with the release of the National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats in 2009, and outlined in his 2011 speech at the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama has called upon all countries to come together to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental or deliberately spread.  Today, the President underscored the unwavering U.S. commitment to partnering with Africans, their governments, and all who will join the effort to improve health security across the continent and for all people.

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Ebola death in Sierra Leone leads to mass quarantine

DEUTSCHE WELLE    by Susan Houlton                         July 31, 2015
 
A village in northern Sierra Leone has been placed under quarantine after a post-mortem test revealed a man had died from Ebola. Several hospitals failed to recognize him as a potential victim of the disease.


Earlier this week the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the fewest weekly Ebola infections for over a year in West Africa. However the WHO also said it was bracing for a significant new outbreak in Sierra Leone, which alongside Guinea and Liberia, is one of the worst affected countries.

In the week up to Sunday 26 July, there were four confirmed cases in Guinea and three in Sierra Leone. Those three included a patient who died after travelling from the capital Freetown to the northern district of Tonkolili. He was described by the WHO as posing "a substantial risk of further transmission." The patient had only been confirmed Ebola-positive after post-mortem testing....

According to Hassan Abdul Sesay, a member of parliament from the region where the patient died, the man had traveled to his home village to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Read full story.

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We Are Literally Farming Ourselves Out of Food

                

NICOLAS ASFOURI via Getty Images

huffingtonpost.com - by Joel K. Bourne, Jr. - July 29, 2015

. . . an article in London's Independent newspaper headlined, "Society will collapse by 2040 due to catastrophic food shortages, says study." The study, based on a model created at Anglia Ruskin University's Global Sustainability Institute, forecasts that if global emissions continue unabated, plausible climate trends will lead to catastrophic crop failures and food riots around the globe. "In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption," Aled Jones, director of the Institute, told reporters. The study echoes a similar, peer-reviewed report from Lloyds of London, which found the probability of a major food crisis "significantly higher" than the insurance industry's benchmark return period of 1:200 years.

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The Individualised versus the Public Health Approach to Treating Ebola

PLOS/Medicine   by  Tom H. Boyles                            July 28, 2015

The mortality rate for patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa is approximately 65% [1]. There are no published figures for high-resource settings, but media sources and individual case reports suggest it is much lower and approaches 0% for those who receive this level of care from the beginning of their illness.

In their article “Ebola Viral Disease: Experience and Decision Making for the First Cases outside of Africa,” David Stephens and colleagues give insight into the care that can be provided when available resources are not the limiting factor [2]. They describe the decision to open the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit (SCDU) of Emory University Hospital (EUH) when two United States patients contracted EVD while working in West Africa. Using a large specialist team, they provided high-quality care in a safe working environment and disseminated their knowledge and experience widely.....

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How West Africa is ramping up food security after Ebola outbreak

Countries in West Africa and the international community are teaming up to fight Ebola's  lingering effects on food security and agriculture.

Volunteers distribute food at a World Food Programme storage center in Monrovia October 16, 2014. Almost a year after the Ebola outbreak garnered strength in West Africa, countries in that region and the international community are teaming up to fight the disease's lingering effects on food security and agriculture. James Giahyue/Reuters/File

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR by Clare Algozin                                    July 29, 2015

As the death toll of EVD rose, West African countries began to experience labor shortages, and many fields of crops went unharvested, according to U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). As part of the measures to prevent the spread of EVD, many West African governments established quarantine zones and restricted the movements of people.

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Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien Remarks to the Press, Juba, South Sudan, 25 July 2015

                                                                      

reliefweb.int - UN OCHA - REMARKS TO THE PRESS - [as delivered]

Juba, South Sudan, 25 July 2015

Today I conclude my four-day visit to South Sudan where I had the opportunity to see for myself the impact of the devastating crisis. This is my first visit to South Sudan since I began my role as the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator that was almost two months ago. But I have been here few times before. My last visit to South Sudan was in April 2012 to assess the humanitarian situation then, in my capacity as an Under-Secretary of State for International Development in the United Kingdom.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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CDC - Estimating Ebola Treatment Needs, United States

cdc.gov - Volume 21, Number 7—July 2015

Rainisch G, Asher J, George D, Clay M, Smith TL, Cosmos K, et al. Estimating Ebola treatment needs, United States [letter]. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Jul - DOI: 10.3201/eid2107.150286

http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2107.150286

To the Editor: By December 31, 2014, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa had resulted in treatment of 10 Ebola case-patients in the United States; a maximum of 4 patients received treatment at any one time (1). Four of these 10 persons became clinically ill in the United States (2 infected outside the United States and 2 infected in the United States), and 6 were clinically ill persons medically evacuated from West Africa (Technical Appendix 1[PDF - 228 KB - 8 pages] Table 6).

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