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Guinea Extends Ebola Ring Vaccine Trial to Sierra Leone

allafrica.com - August 24, 2015

Freetown — The Guinean Ebola Ring Vaccine Trial has been extended to Sierra Leone as a move to stop the transmission across the region.

Addressing participants in the opening ceremony of the training session at the Brookfields Hotel Conference Hall in Freetown, the WHO Ebola Technical Coordinator Sierra Leone, Dr. Margaret Lamumu said prior to the extension of the vaccine to Sierra Leone the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and WHO Joint Team visited five sites to make available the vaccine study, adding that expert trainers from the UK were targeted to do the training. . . .

. . . The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo said the use of the vaccine would help break the chain of transmission, stressing the need to work collectively as a team to control the spread of the disease.

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CDC Updates Ebola PPE Guidance for U.S. Health Care Facilities

CDC - American Hospital Association - August 27, 2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today issued updated guidance regarding personal protective equipment for health care personnel caring for suspected and confirmed Ebola patients in U.S. health care facilities. The changes clarify the use of fluid-resistant and impermeable gowns and coveralls, and provide specifications to assist facilities in selecting and ordering the recommended garments. The updates also provide additional explanation related to PPE for confirmed Ebola patients. For more information, see the updated PPE Frequently Asked Questions.

http://news.aha.org/article/150827-cdc-updates-ebola-ppe-guidance-for-us-health-care-facilities

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Antiviral Drug May Prevent Ebola, Small Study Suggests

Health care workers deemed at high risk for infection didn't get sick after treatment with anti-flu regimen

CLICK HERE - The Lancet - Post-exposure prophylaxis against Ebola virus disease with experimental antiviral agents: a case-series of health-care workers

nlm.nih.gov - by Robert Preidt - August 25, 2015

Antiviral drugs may help protect people from developing Ebola after exposure to the deadly virus, a new case study suggests.

"We are excited to publish the first report of an antiviral-based post-exposure treatment against Ebola-virus infection in humans. We believe this work justifies further study of this postexposure treatment to protect health care workers accidentally exposed to Ebola virus in the field," lead author Dr. Michael Jacobs, of the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust, London, said in a news release from The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

"What is more, a similar approach to treat household contacts of Ebola cases may work to prevent a major route of spread during an epidemic," he added.

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Assessing the Evidence Supporting Fruit Bats as the Primary Reservoirs for Ebola Viruses

link.springer.com - EcoHealth - August 13, 2015 
Siv Aina J. Leendertz, Jan F. Gogarten, Ariane Düx, Sebastien Calvignac-Spencer, Fabian H. Leendertz

CLICK HERE - Assessing the Evidence Supporting Fruit Bats as the Primary Reservoirs for Ebola Viruses

Introduction

Since their discovery 40 years ago, Ebola viruses (in the following: EBOV; family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus) continue to emerge unpredictably and cause Ebola virus disease (EVD) in humans and susceptible animals in tropical Africa (Leroy et al. 2004; Feldmann and Geisbert 2011). The scale of the current epidemic in West Africa demonstrates the impact that a single spillover event can have (Baize et al. 2014; Gire et al. 2014). Meanwhile, the reservoir(s) and ecology of EBOV remain largely unknown (Groseth et al. 2007; Feldmann and Geisbert 2011), hampering prediction of future outbreaks.

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WHO Ebola IHR Review Committee Outlines Next Steps

Mattia Panciroli / Flickr cc

CLICK HERE - WHO - First meeting of the Review Committee on the role of International Health Regulations in the Ebola response and WHO’s work in emergencies

cidrap.umn.edu - by Lisa Schnirring - August 25, 2015

A World Health Organization (WHO) committee tasked with reviewing how well the International Health Regulations (IHRs) worked during the Ebola outbreak wrapped up their first meeting today, with plans to dig into three main topics in the months ahead.

The group's newly elected chairman, Didier Houssin, MD, addressed reporters today during a telebriefing at the end of the 2-day meeting in Geneva. He is a surgeon who now heads the Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education in Paris. Houssin has served on WHO advisory groups before and has led some of its pandemic preparedness and IHR review groups in recent years.

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Pitt, Drexel, and NIH team up to study persistence of Ebola virus in wastewater

EUREKEALERT                                                                                                               Aug. 25, 2015
PITTSBURGH--The historic outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa that began in March 2014 and has killed more than 11,000 people since, has raised new questions about the resilience of the virus and tested scientists' understanding of how to contain it. The latest discovery by a group of microbial risk-assessment and virology researchers suggests that the procedures for disposal of Ebola-contaminated liquid waste might underestimate the virus' ability to survive in wastewater.

Current epidemic response procedures from both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that after a period of days, Ebola-contaminated liquid can be disposed of directly into a sewage system without additional treatment.

However, new data recently published by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, Drexel University, and the National Institutes of Health indicate that Ebola can survive in detectable concentrations in wastewater for at least a week or longer.

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http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-08/uop-pda082515.php

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WHO Director-General addresses the Review Committee of the International Health Regulations focused on the Ebola response

Opening remarks at the Review Committee on the role of the International Health Regulations in the Ebola outbreak and response Geneva, Switzerland by Dr. Margaret Chen Director-General of the World Health Organization
24 August 2015

....Since Ebola first emerged in 1976, WHO and its partners have responded to 22 previous outbreaks of this disease. Even the largest were contained within four to six months....

In West Africa, WHO, and many others, were late in recognizing the potential of the outbreak to grow so explosively. Some warning signals were missed. Why?

Our challenge now is to look for improvements that leave the world better prepared for the next inevitable outbreak.

Managing the global regime for controlling the international spread of disease is a central and historical responsibility of the World Health Organization. We need to pinpoint the reasons why the response fell short,. We need to learn the lessons. We need to put in place corrective strategies just as quickly as possible....

Read complete speech.

http://www.who.int/dg/speeches/2015/review-committee-ihr-ebola/en/

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Sierra Leone releases its last Ebola patient, to start countdown to WHO Ebola-free declaration

ASSOCIATED PRESS by CLARENCE ROY-MACAULAY    Aug. 24, 2015

MATENEH, Sierra Leone  — Health authorities in Sierra Leone released the country's last known Ebola patient from a hospital on Monday, a milestone that allows the nation to begin a 42-day countdown to being declared free of the virus that has killed nearly 4,000 people here.

Adama Sankoh, 40, centre, who contracted Ebola after her son died from the disease late last month stands with health officials the moment after she was discharge from Mateneh Ebola treatment center outskirt of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, Health authorities in Sierra Leone released the country's last known Ebola patient from the hospital on Monday, a milestone that allows the nation to begin a 42-day countdown to being declared free of the virus that has killed nearly 4,000 people here. (AP Photo/Alie Turay)

President Ernest Bai Koroma presented a certificate of discharge to Adama Sankoh, 40, who contracted Ebola after her son died from the disease late last month.

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The velocity of Ebola spread in parts of west Africa

THE LANCET by Kate Zinszer and others.                   Aug. 24,2015

In a speed outpacing control efforts, the Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in parts of west Africa spread across Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone infecting an estimated 26 800 individuals and claiming more than 11 000 lives as of May 15, 2015.1 Mobile populations coupled with porous borders1,2 and commercial air travel patterns3 affected the frequency and breadth of Ebola virus transmission.

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