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Lessons from Ebola: Toward a Post-2015 Strategy for Pandemic Response

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This event has concluded. View the replay above. - Date: January 27th 2015 - Location: Georgetown University & Online Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET (21:00 - 22:00 GMT)

Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, will deliver Georgetown’s inaugural Global Futures lecture.

The lecture, “Lessons from Ebola: A post-2015 strategy for pandemic response,” will kick off a semester-long conversation about the “Global Future of Development” at Georgetown as part of the university’s new Global Futures Initiative.

His talk on Jan. 27 will connect ongoing efforts to stop the spread of infection in West Africa with longer-term efforts to improve public health systems that support economic and social development in countries vulnerable to future pandemics.

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Studies detail Ebola spread, response steps

Four new studies shed new light on Ebola transmission and countermeasures.

CENTER FOR EFFECTIVE FOR RESEARCH AND POLICY  by Lisa Schnirring                                        Jan. 23, 2015

French and Guinean researchers  noted how chains of transmission helped Ebola spread in Conakry, Guinea, the first of the region's capital cities to be hit by the virus, and US officials released three detailed reports on outbreak response.

The Conakry team looked at seven transmission chains that occurred in the area from March to August 2014. They reported their findings in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

In the first of three reports Friday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), extra flight contact tracing measures undertaken after a Texas nurse took two flights shortly before getting sick with Ebola in October identified 268 people from nine states, none of whom got sick with the virus

In the second report, CDC estimates on the impact of Ebola treatment units (ETUs) and community care centers (CCCs) in Liberia predict that the interventions prevented thousands of new infections and that the interventions when used together were likely had a bigger impact than either alone.

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USAID broadens effort to correct Ebola misinformation in Liberia

DEVEX   by Molly Anders                                                                                   Jan. 26, 2015

In the scramble to reach the most remote residents of Ebola-hit Liberia, the U.S. Agency for International Development has signed on Mercy Corps, Finnish Church Aid and many other organizations to spread information about the disease to the country’s farthest-flung areas, and to correct misinformation along the way.


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Report by the Director-General to the Special Session of the Executive Board on Ebola


Statement by Dr. Margaret, Director-General of the World Health Organization to a Special Session of the Executive Board on Ebola

WHO PRESS OFFICE, Geneva                                                                                       Jan. 25, 2015


"The Ebola outbreak points to the need for urgent change in three main areas: to rebuild and strengthen national and international emergency preparedness and response, to address the way new medical products are brought to market, and to strengthen the way WHO operates during emergencies."

Read complete statement.

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WHO Board Agrees on Reforms to Fix Ebola Response Mistakes

GENEVA-- The World Health Organization’s board agreed to create a special fund to respond to such outbreaks as Ebola and to set up a global health emergency workforce after the organization acknowledged mis-steps in its response to the epidemic.

 The WHO’s executive board agreed “in principle” at a meeting in Geneva Sunday to a contingency fund, and asked Director General Margaret Chan to develop by May options on its size and sources. Chan should also take immediate steps to establish a public-health reserve workforce that can be promptly deployed in response to health emergencies, according to the resolution adopted by senior health officials from 34 countries.

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Flu & Drug Resistance Are Next Pandemic Threats After Ebola

REUTERS    By Ben Hirschler                                   Jan. 23, 2015

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 23 (Reuters) - The worst-ever Ebola epidemic is waning, but after ravaging three West African nations and spreading fear from Dallas to Madrid, it has hammered home the message that the world needs a better detective system for emerging diseases.

Risks posed by pandemic threats such as deadly strains of flu and drug-resistant superbugs have shot up the agenda of global security issues at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos as politicians and scientists grapple with the lessons from an Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 8,600 people.

One thing is certain: more epidemics are coming and dense urban living, coupled with modern travel, will accelerate future infectious disease outbreaks.
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As Ebola Outbreak Recedes, Global Health Care Leaders Focus On Prevention, Coordinated Action

THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES   by Amy Nordrum                                                                      Jan. 23, 2015

The recent Ebola outbreak, for which the number of new cases reported each week in the three most severely affected countries is finally beginning to fall, underscores the need to prepare for the next disease outbreak. Global health leaders are asking what it will take to prevent the next disease outbreak from spiraling out of control as the global population approaches 7.5 billion people and grows more connected.


     A research assistant works on a vaccine for Ebola at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England. Eddie Keogh/Reuters

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Fast Track on Drug for Ebola Has Faltered

NEW YORK TIMES by Andrew Pollack                               Jan. 23, 2015

As Ebola raged through West Africa last summer, an experimental drug was tried for the first time on two American aid workers in Liberia who were gravely ill with the virus. Both recovered, one of them rapidly.


Medicago, in North Carolina, is gearing up for possible production of the Ebola drug ZMapp using its plant-based technology. Credit Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Though it could not be said for sure that the drug, ZMapp, was responsible, patients and doctors began clamoring for it. But there was enough to treat only a handful of patients. Federal officials vowed to produce more.

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Ebola ebbing in West Africa but vigilance needed: WHO

REUTERS by Stephanie Nebehay                                                                        Jan. 22, 2015

GENEVA (Reuters) - The Ebola epidemic in West Africa appears to be ebbing, with fewer than 150 cases reported in the past week, but efforts must be pursued to stamp out the deadly disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

Sierra Leone remains hardest-hit, accounting for 117 of the 145 new confirmed cases, against 184 there the previous week and 248 the week before that, the WHO said in its latest update.

"Case incidence continues to fall in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone," the United Nations agency said, adding that disease surveillance was being stepped up in border districts of Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal....

The WHO's Emergency Committee on Ebola said on Wednesday that passengers should still be screened on leaving Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for temperature or other signs of infection.

The independent experts said in a statement that "more than 40 countries have implemented additional measures, such as quarantine of returning travellers and refusal of entry. Such measures are impeding the recruitment and return of international responders.

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Ebola mutations could make some drugs ineffective

BALTIMORE SUN     by Scott Dance                                                   Jan. 20, 2015

In the year since Ebola began spreading across West Africa, the virus has mutated in more than 600 ways that change it slightly from versions studied in labs and used to develop treatments, according to researchers at Fort Detrick. And 10 of the mutations could make some drugs used to treat the virus ineffective, they wrote in research published Tuesday.

The "genomic drift," as the scientists called it, could make agents similar to the experimental drug ZMapp unable to bind to the virus anymore.

While the changes affect only a tiny fraction of Ebola's genome, they offer new lessons about the virus that might not have been learned because of the wide scope of the outbreak, larger than all others combined
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