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Ebola - Confirmed in Liberia


Liberia has first Ebola death since being deemed free of the disease in September

A Liberian boy died of Ebola on Monday, the first death from the disease since the country was declared Ebola-free in September.

The 15-year-old died Monday night in a hospital near the capital after testing positive for the disease last week, the Associated Press reported from Monrovia. His father and brother are being treated for Ebola, too.

The September declaration was the second time it received such a designation this year. Liberia was also deemed free of the disease in May, but new cases surfaced a month later.

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Interferon-γ Inhibits Ebola Virus Infection

submitted by George Hurlburt


CLICK HERE - STUDY - Interferon-γ Inhibits Ebola Virus Infection - November 19, 2015

The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed more than 11,300 lives and starkly revealed the lack of effective options for treating or preventing the disease. Progress has been made on developing vaccines, but there is still a need for antiviral therapies to protect health care workers and local populations in the event of future outbreaks.

A new study led by University of Iowa virologist Dr. Wendy Maury, suggests that gamma interferon, which is an FDA-approved drug, may have potential as an antiviral therapy to prevent Ebola infection when given either before or after exposure to the virus.

The study, published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, found that gamma interferon, given up to 24 hours after exposure, can inhibit Ebola infection in mice and completely protect the animals from death.

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CDC - Ebola Virus RNA Stability in Human Blood and Urine in West Africa’s Environmental Conditions

Janvier F, Delaune D, Poyot T, Valade E, Mérens A, Rollin PE, et al.

CLICK HERE - Ebola virus RNA stability in human blood and urine in West Africa’s environmental conditions
Emerg Infect Dis. 2016 Feb.

DOI: 10.3201/eid2202.151395


We evaluated RNA stability of Ebola virus in EDTA blood and urine samples collected from infected patients and stored in West Africa’s environmental conditions. In blood, RNA was stable for at least 18 days when initial cycle threshold values were <30, but in urine, RNA degradation occurred more quickly.



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Ebolavirus Evolution: Past and Present

PLOS PATHOGENS  by Marc-Antoine de La Vega,  Derek Stein, and GaryKopinger, University of Manitoba, Canada , Nov. 12, 2015    

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada The past year has marked the most devastating Ebola outbreak the world has ever witnessed, with over 28,000 cases and over 11,000 deaths. Ebola virus (EBOV) has now been around for almost 50 years. In this review, we discuss past and present outbreaks of EBOV and how those variants evolved over time. We explore and discuss selective pressures that drive the evolution of different Ebola variants, and how they may modify the efficacy of therapeutic treatments and vaccines currently being developed. Finally, given the unprecedented size and spread of the outbreak, as well as the extended period of replication in human hosts, specific attention is given to the 2014–2015 West African outbreak variant (Makona).

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Guinea Releases Last 68 People from Ebola Quarantine - Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Digby Lidstone - November 14, 2015

The final 68 people who had been in contact with an Ebola patient were released from quarantine on Saturday, said a senior health official, raising hopes of an end to the disease in the last West African country with confirmed cases.

The world's worst Ebola epidemic, which hopped borders to kill more than 11,300 people and devastate already fragile West African economies, has already been declared over in Liberia and Sierra Leone. But Guinea, where the outbreak began, has had a more difficult time eradicating the disease.

Dr. Abdourahmane Bathily, head of the Ebola center in Forecariah in western Guinea, said the 68 contacts had emerged from quarantine at midnight on Saturday morning.

"There are no longer any people who had contact with a person infected by the Ebola virus," said Bathily.

He added that the last confirmed Ebola case was a baby in isolation, who should be released from a treatment center next week, allowing for the West African nation to begin its own countdown clock.


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Podcast - Epidemics on the Move

submitted by Carrie La Jeunesse  

                                      - by Amanda Silverman - November 10, 2015

2013 Global Thinker Caroline Buckee and FP Voice Laurie Garrett discuss how human migration — and the refugee crisis — poses an immense problem to treating disease.

CLICK HERE - Podcast - Epidemics on the Move


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How Much Did Ebola Cost Sierra Leone?

submitted by George Hurlburt


(Francisco Leong / Getty News Images) - by Peter Guest - November 12, 2015

. . . Before the outbreak, Sierra Leone was already heavily dependent on aid money. Around 50% of public expenditure programmes were financed by donors, according to UN figures. . . .

. . . Without growth and investment, the country will struggle to create jobs for its young population -- many of whom lack stable employment -- and rebuild public services.

The government's recovery strategy, which is supported by the international community, is about "building back better," says Sudipto Mukerjee, the United Nations Development Program's country director for Sierra Leone. This is particularly relevant to the health sector, which was seriously under-developed before the crisis began, and its weakness undoubtedly contributed to the speed with which the outbreak got out of control.

"When you're talking about the health sector, you're not talking about bringing it back to where you were at the beginning of the outbreak," he says. "That's not good enough. It's also about making sure that you not only build on the investments made so far, but you invest to make it much more resilient in the future."

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How Ebola Spread: Map Could Aid Outbreak Responses

submitted by George Hurlburt


CLICK HERE - STUDY - Transmission network of the 2014–2015 Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone - by Agata Blaszczak-Boxe - November 10, 2015

A new map reveals the path that the Ebola virus took during the outbreak in Sierra Leone, giving a detailed picture of how and where the disease spread, a new study said.

The researchers made the map using a new statistical model, and they say it could be used in the future to improve the way help is delivered to outbreak regions.

"For a future outbreak, this is something that can be readily applied to help identify the regions that need intervention most critically," said study author Jeffrey Shaman, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The model could help authorities figure out where to best deploy people to respond to the outbreak, he said.


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One Year Later, Where Does the U.S. Response to Ebola Stand?


United States
31° 43' 41.4012" N, 148° 32' 6.5616" W - November 9, 2015

On Nov. 23 at 9:30 a.m. ET, the Kaiser Family Foundation will hold a policy briefing to take stock of the U.S. response with a panel that includes representatives from the U.S. government, highly affected countries in West Africa, and non-governmental organizations working in the region. In addition, the Foundation will release a new analysis of U.S. government funding for Ebola.

Each 1-Day Delay in Hospitalization Ups Risk of Ebola Death


Ebola patients are more likely to survive if they are hospitalized soon after being infected, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 1,000 cases of Ebola virus that occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo over 38 years. They found that each day of delay in hospital admission was associated with an 11 percent higher risk of death during epidemics.

Delays in hospitalization were caused by factors such as geography, infrastructure and cultural influences, the researchers said.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has had more Ebola outbreaks than any other country since the deadly virus was discovered in 1976, they noted.

The researchers also found that rapidly progressing Ebola outbreaks are swiftly brought under control, while national and international responses to slower-progressing outbreaks tend to be less intense. As a result, those outbreaks last longer, the study authors said.

The study was published Nov. 3 in the journal eLife.

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