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G7 states vow to wipe out Ebola but offer little concrete action

REUTERS                                                      June 8, 2015

KRUEN, Germany - Leaders of the Group of Seven industrial nations pledged on Monday to wipe out Ebola but offered little in terms of concrete action, disappointing non-governmental organisations.

G7 leaders said in a communique at the end of a two-day summit in the Bavarian Alps that they would offer help to at least 60 nations, including in West Africa, over the next five years to help prevent outbreaks from turning into epidemics.

More than 11,000 people have died in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa since the first reported case in March 2014. The G7 said the crisis showed it was necessary to enhance the world's ability to prevent, detect and respond to such emergencies.

The G7 nations said they would work together to combat future epidemics and boost or establish strategies to quickly deploy teams of experts with a variety of skills via a common platform, but their communique was thin on detail.

Florian Westphal, General Director of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Germany, said the leaders had done little to ensure epidemics would not spiral out of control in future....

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Transmission Models of Historical Ebola Outbreaks

CDC,  by John Drake and others Volume 21, Number 8—August 2015

 To guide the collection of data under emergent epidemic conditions, we reviewed compartmental models of historical Ebola outbreaks to determine their implications and limitations. We identified future modeling directions and propose that the minimal epidemiologic dataset for Ebola model construction comprises duration of incubation period and symptomatic period, distribution of secondary cases by infection setting, and compliance with intervention recommendations....

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How Mobile Technology Is Bringing Trauma Relief After Ebola

SINGULARITY HUB   by Nathan and Elie Calhoun                                                   June , 2015

....the promise of mobile technology is that we can connect the farthest, most remote corners of the globe to the Internet—where a treasure trove of information and applications can be had nearly for free.

 For aid workers, this technology is proving a powerful, even revolutionary tool.

We hope our new community mental health app will demonstrate a new depth of potential impact.

When we started designing our psychosocial services app for Liberian communities recently ravaged by Ebola, we thought we’d first need to justify the very idea of focusing on mental health in a country facing so many pressing concerns.

The health system in Liberia confronts massive challenges. When hospitals are non-existent or seriously under-staffed, when malaria is endemic and young mothers die during childbirth—it can be tempting to ask people suffering from trauma to simply “toughen up.”

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Stopping the next pandemic today


By Ron Klain, the  White House Ebola response coordinator from October 2014 to February.

....To the extent there is discussion of improving the international response to epidemics, the focus has been on the need to reform the World Health Organization. Such reforms are badly needed, but even a fully effective WHO will not close the most gaping holes in the world’s epidemic response system. Even if the WHO did a better job of recognizing outbreaks that pose a risk of epidemic and alerting the world that action is needed, it does not have the substantial response function needed to combat such an epidemic. Recent discussions about creating a WHO response function — assuming that the agency could be trusted to manage it — rely largely on overburdened and underfunded nongovernmental organizations to staff a response. Thus, any new WHO response capacity will lack military-style mobile hospitals ready to be deployed; battalions of medical personnel with accompanying security support to isolate and treat the infectious and the ill; or a medical airlift capacity to move patients to places where they can get help...

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Ebola Response Reveals the Need for New Models for Collaboration Between the Private and Public Sectors

A Report by the World Economic Forum and BCG Analyzes the Private Sector's Response to the Ebola Outbreak and Distills Lessons for Public-Private Partnerships in Future Health Crises

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA-- The private sector played an important role in the global response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa not only by providing financial and in-kind donations but also by acting as a partner to support response activities.

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Science Publishes New NOAA Analysis: Data Show No Recent Slowdown in Global Warming

A new NOAA study published online today in the journal Science finds that the rate of #globalwarming during the last 15...

Posted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday, June 4, 2015
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Don't Fall Behind as More Climate Legislation Rules the World


London School of Economics - by Michael Mathres - June 4, 2015

CLICK HERE - REPORT - 2015 Global Climate legislation Study

A lot of times businesses look to or blame,  governments for a lack of a national strategic economical direction for tackling climate change. This often leads to climate inertia where each party looks to the other for leadership and action.

However, according to a new report from the London School of Economics, this is no longer the case, and business have plenty of climate laws and policies from which to be inspired or adapt.

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After Ebola, world still unprepared for global pandemic: MSF

REUTERS by Maria Caspani                                                                                                June 4, 2015                     

NEW YORK -- The global health system is unable to handle another mass epidemic like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Médecins Sans Frontières said, urging wealthy nations to develop coordinated response plans and drugs to fight neglected diseases.

Late and slow international response, the absence of solid leadership as well as the lack of treatments and vaccines are a recurrent scenario in many of today's health emergencies and are not unique to the Ebola epidemic, the medical charity said.

"If a global pandemic were to strike tomorrow, there is still no well-resourced, coordinated international response in place to kick in," Joanne Liu, the international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Chikungunya is On the Move

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GETTING AROUND  The chikungunya virus spreads via mosquitoes in tropical regions. Now it has found a way to hijack a second mosquito, posing a threat to people in Europe, North America and China. - by Nathan Seppa - June 2, 2015

A crippling virus has slipped its bonds in Africa and Asia and is invading whole new continents faster than people canlearn to pronounce its name. In one decade, chikungunya (chihk-uhn-GUHN-yuh) fever has gone from an obscure tropical ailment to an international threat, causing more than 3 million infections worldwide. The virus has established itself in Latin America and may now have the wherewithal to inflict its particular brand of misery in cooler climates.


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Scientists Release Ebola Sequencing Data to Global Research Community Online

BUSINESS WIRE                                                                       June 3, 2015
CARLSBAD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A team of scientists that is part of an international, multi-organizational effort to curb further spread of deadly Ebola in Sierra Leone has released their first dataset of the virus’ genetic structure online.

The genetic analysis is now on virological.organd available for the global scientific community to monitor the pathogen’s evolution in real-time and conduct research that can lead to more effective strategies against further outbreaks.

The team of British scientists, funded by the Wellcome Trust, is using semi-conductor next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to generate data in a lab facilitated by Public Health England and International Medical Corps.

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