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Liberia: 'Blood Transfusion' - Responsible For New Ebola Outbreak

allafrica.com - November 27, 2015

Investigation conducted by this paper has established that unsafe blood transfusion is probably responsible for the new Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

A 15-year-old-boy was last weekend tested positive for Ebola and later pronounced dead on Tuesday. Dr. Francis Kateh, Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, said the boy's parents have also been tested positive for the virus and were undergoing observation.

The Ministry of Health and its partners are yet to disclose the source of the new outbreak, but a weeklong investigation conducted by this paper has established that blood recently transfused into the boy's mother at the Benson Hospital in Paynesville is the probable cause of the new Ebola infection.

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Study Blocks Ebola Virus Budding By Regulating Calcium Signalling

submitted by George Hurlburt

                                                  

scicasts.com - November 2, 2015

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Calcium Regulation of Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Budding: Mechanistic Implications for Host-Oriented Therapeutic Intervention - Ziying Han, Jonathan J. Madara et al. PLOS Pathogens (2015)

Philadelphia, PA (Scicasts) — The Ebola virus acts fast. The course of infection, from exposure to recovery, or death, can take as little as two weeks. That may not leave enough time for the immune system to mount an effective response.

The goal of some anti-viral therapies, therefore, is to buy more and give the immune system a leg up on the virus. A new study led by Bruce Freedman and Ronald Harty in the Department of Pathobiology of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine demonstrates a way to do that, by reducing the ability of the virus to exit a host cell and spread. Their work showed that blocking a calcium-signalling pathway could inhibit not only the Ebola virus, but also Marburg, Lassa and Junin viruses, all sources of deadly infections.

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Another American Ebola Survivor Had Eye Problems

Ebola survivor Dr. Richard Sacra experienced eye problems, including vision loss, pain and redness, shortly after he recovered from the disease.

Credit: Chancellor JR, Padmanabhan SP, Greenough TC, Sacra R, Ellison RT III, Madoff LC, et al. Uveitis and systemic inflammatory markers in convalescent phase of Ebola virusdisease. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016 Feb

CLICK HERE - STUDY - CDC - Uveitis and Systemic Inflammatory Markers in Convalescent Phase of Ebola Virus Disease

livescience.com - by Rachael Rettner - November 25, 2015

Ebola survivor Dr. Ian Crozier wasn't the only American to experience eye problems following the disease — a new report describes eye problems in another American doctor who lived through the disease.

Dr. Richard Sacra, who works for the Christian mission organization SIM USA, contracted Ebola last year while caring for pregnant women in Liberia during the rise of the Ebola outbreak there. He was evacuated to the United States for treatment in early September 2014, and was declared Ebola-free after spending about a month in the hospital.

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Panels Advise Bolstering W.H.O. for Crises Like Ebola

nytimes.com - by Sheri Fink - November 22, 2015

In recent months, numerous groups of health experts have gathered to debate how to prevent another crisis like the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which jumped borders, spread fear across the globe, and directly killed more than 11,000 people. Many more died as hospitals and clinics closed for months.

Now two of those groups — one independent and the other convened by the World Health Organization — have released specific recommendations and called for urgent action. Both concluded that the W.H.O.’s outbreak and emergency response capacities should be strengthened and consolidated, protected from political meddling and independently overseen. The health organization is a United Nations agency.

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CLICK HERE - WHO - Advisory Group on Reform of WHO’s Work in Outbreaks and Emergencies with Health and Humanitarian Consequences

CLICK HERE - WHO - First report of the Advisory Group on Reform of WHO’s work in outbreaks and emergencies (20 page .PDF report)

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Interferon-γ Inhibits Ebola Virus Infection

submitted by George Hurlburt

                                                         

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Interferon-γ Inhibits Ebola Virus Infection

scicasts.com - 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

cdc.gov

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2202.151395

DOI: 10.3201/eid2202.151395

Abstract

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).

Read complete article.

http://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1005221

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Guinea Releases Last 68 People from Ebola Quarantine

reuters.com - 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  

                                             

foreignpolicy.com - 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)

cnn.com - 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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