You are here

United States

Troops get malaria during Ebola deployment

MILITARY TIMES by Patrice Kimm                                                                    April 23, 2015

The unprecedented deployment of U.S. troops to West Africa last year as part of the international response to the Ebola crisis saw no American service members contracting the deadly virus.

But five soldiers did fall prey to another disease. They contracted malaria, a concern that underscores the need for continued vaccine research, according to Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho.

Army officials say three troops contracted malaria in Liberia between October and November and two more were suspected of having a malaria infection.

All responded to treatment, Horoho said.

Read complete story.
http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/benefits/health-care/2015/04/23/us-military-ebola-deployment-malaria/26236769/

Country / Region Tags: 
General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

What Did the U.S. Learn from Ebola? How to Prepare for Bioterrorist Attacks

FOREIGN POLICY  by Siobhán O'Grady                        April 13, 2015
When the Ebola virus spread from Guinea to Sierra Leone and Liberia last spring, the initial international response was labeled a failure. By the time President Barack Obama ordered troops to the affected countries in September, more than 2,400 people were dead.

But in the United States, where major hospitals prepared for an outbreak, there were only four in-country diagnoses, one of which resulted in a death. And some see the urgency of that response as a lesson in how the government can prepare for another public health hazard: a bioterrorist attack.

Arizona Rep. Martha McSally chairs a House subcommittee that will examine over the next few months the threat of bioterrorist attacks and U.S. preparedness to respond to them. She told Foreign Policy that even if a disease outbreak and the use of a biological agent in a coordinated attack are not completely analogous, the response strains similar systems.

“We can learn lessons from other outbreaks that are naturally occurring,” she said. “We can identify weaknesses in our response and even if it wasn’t terrorism, it presses the system at the same level....”

Country / Region Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

US regulators recall 10-minute Ebola test

AFP                                                                                April  23, 2015
Miami  - US regulators have issued an international recall for a 10-minute Ebola blood test made by a California-based company, saying it has not been proven to work and could put lives at risk.

"A recall has been issued for the LuSys Laboratories, Inc., Ebola Virus One-Step Test Kits because the FDA has not cleared or approved the kits for use or sale," said the Food and Drug Administration in a statement emailed to reporters on Thursday.

"The results obtained from these test kits have not demonstrated to be accurate and should not be used as in vitro diagnostic tests for Ebola infection."

Contacted by AFP, a company representative in San Diego said early trials have shown the test to be 86 percent accurate. The problem with the FDA came down to a labeling error, he said. The equipment had not been properly labeled "for research purposes only."

Read complete story.
http://news.yahoo.com/us-regulators-recall-10-minute-ebola-test-193530081.html;_ylt=AwrC1CmnSjlVNDsAZTDQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByaWg0YW05BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwM4BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg--

General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Tekmira Ebola drug succeeds in small monkey study

REUTERS by Aharon Begley                                                                    Aug. 22, 2015
NEW YORK --An experimental Ebola drug from Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp cured all three monkeys intentionally infected with the virus, scientists reported on Wednesday, the first such success against the strain of Ebola in West Africa's 2014-2015 outbreak.

Although other experimental treatments appeared to help Ebola patients last year, especially in the United States, those one-time uses cannot prove efficacy against the "Makona" strain, since patients' recovery might be due to other causes. Similarly, drugs, including Mapp Biopharmaceutical's ZMapp, cured monkeys in lab experiments, but in a strain of Ebola different from that responsible for the current outbreak, the worst ever recorded.

"We can't say for certain that an experimental drug that works against one strain will work in another, even if they're almost identical genetically," said Thomas Geisbert of the University of Texas Medical Branch, senior author of the study published in the journal Nature.

General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Looking Into the Mirror of EBOLA: A Reminder of the Importance of Nutrition As We Age

HUFFINGTON POST by Dr. Simin Nikbin Meydan                                                               April 21, 2015
When the world was devastated by the deadly outbreak of Ebola in West Africa last year, we were given a warning call on many levels. While I was mulling over the whys and hows of the epidemic, my mind automatically went to the role that nutrition can play in helping to stem the spread, and mortality rates, of diseases and perhaps deter future outbreaks.

 The next step my mind took, (admittedly, I research nutrition, immunology and infection in older adults), was to the role nutrition plays in maintaining a robust immune response and fighting against infections particularly in older adults. Remember the SARS outbreak in 2003? SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is a viral respiratory disease caused by the SARS coronavirus. The outbreak began in southern China and caused an eventual 8,096 cases with 774 deaths reported in multiple countries. The overall mortality rate in aged populations exceeded 50%. Age matters in fighting infections. As we age, our immune systems gray and we need to factor this into our response to outbreaks.

It is telling that infectious epidemics usually originate in areas of the world that suffer from poor nutrition.

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Scientists to share real-time genetic data on deadly MERS, Ebola

REUTERS by Kate Kelland                     April 21, 2015

LONDON, April 21 - Genetic sequence data on two of the deadliest yet most poorly understood viruses are to be made available to researchers worldwide in real time as scientists seek to speed up understanding of Ebola and MERS infections.

The project, led by British scientists with West African and Saudi Arabian collaboration, hopes to encourage laboratories around the world to use the live data -- updated as new cases emerge -- to find new ways to diagnose and treat the killer diseases, and ideally, ultimately, prevent them.

"The collective expertise of the world's infectious disease experts is more powerful than any single lab, and the best way of tapping into this...is to make data freely available as soon as possible," said Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity which is funding the work.

The gene sequences, already available for MERS cases and soon to come in the case of Ebola, will be posted on the website virological.org for anyone to see, access and use.

Read complete story.

http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKBN0NC19W20150421?sp=true

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Intercessory Prayer Service and Community Dialogue on Ebola

Prince George's County Health Department to be Presenting

CAPITOL HEIGHTS, MARYLAND, April 20 - Restoration Chapel International, in its disaster relief mission, is collaborating with the US-Africa Ebola Working Group, under the sponsorship of Miss Africa Foundation, to hold an Intercessory Prayer Service and Community Dialogue on Ebola on April 26, 2015 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 9113 Hampton Overlook; Capitol Heights, Maryland 20743. The objective is to provide a spiritual platform for those with ties to the affected countries and African ambassadors to come together and mourn their loss, share stories and mobilize relief efforts for Ebola survivors in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The event is co-chaired by Prophet Frank Sarpong and Dr. Rodney Sadler, with Prince George's County providing tactical support.

U.S. citizens, the African Diplomatic Corps, local officials, community leaders and nationals from at least 30 African countries will attend. Survivors of the deadly virus will participate via skype. Other speakers include:

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Rebuilding after Ebola will require the world’s help

WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL                             Aug. 18, 2015

THE RAVAGING of populations in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea by the Ebola virus over the past year has been devastating. The virus killed 10,702 people and left behind vast economic and emotional tolls. The rest of the world responded slowly to the outbreak but eventually rallied. Now it is time to do the same with the aftermath and extend a hand for rebuilding...

The outbreak has receded, but weak local health-care systems proved inadequate when the virus began to spread last year, and improvements are vital in all three countries, especially a much-strengthened system of surveillance to spot any resurgence. Trained health-care workers are in short supply. A small but important step was taken recently in the announcement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help set up an African CDC that could keep the continent one step ahead of another scourge. But the rest of the world also has a stake in making sure that the region builds a better firewall against infectious disease....

General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Paper and Phones Could Soon Diagnose Ebola and HIV for $1

NEWSWEEK  by Conner Gaffey                               April 16, 2015
Diseases such as HIV and Ebola are on the verge of being diagnosed almost instantly using paper-based technology costing less than $1.

                                       Diseases may soon be tested for via paper and smartphones Getty

The devices, known as biosensing platforms, are made from cheap materials including plastic film and cellulose paper. Results are captured using a smartphone camera and sent back to hospitals or clinics for immediate diagnosis.

Current HIV diagnosis can cost up $48 (45) for a negative test and $64 (60) for a positive test. Checks for Ebola cost some $100 (95), take up to six hours to produce a result and require sophisticated diagnostic equipment, the type of which is often unavailable in western Africa where the disease is especially prevalent.

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

CDC announces smartphone coaching app for Ebola workers

CGN                                                    April 17, 2015

(Scroll down for underlying press release.)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a free smartphone application that provides intuitive coaching on CDC's guidelines for proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent transmission of Ebola.

Powered by 22otters, a mobile patient engagement platform, CDC's PPE app is an animated, speech-enabled, step-by-step mobile coaching tool to help healthcare workers access easy-to-follow directions for putting on and removing PPE and respirators in accordance with CDC guidelines to prevent transmission of Ebola. Following the initial Ebola app release, 22otters will release a variant of the app allowing training progress tracking and content modules customized for providers.

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Pages

Subscribe to United States
howdy folks