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Obama puts money on the table for Ebola vaccine developers

THE CANADIAN PRESS  by Helen Branswell                                                                     Dec. 19, 2014

TORONTO -- Earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law a little piece of legislation that may significantly change the economics of making drugs or vaccines to protect against Ebola and other viruses in its deadly family.

And it might at some point provide a tidy windfall for Merck, the company now developing an Ebola vaccine designed at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

A World Health Organization scientist unpacks the Canadian-made Ebola vaccine after receiving them in Geneva on Oct. 22, 2014. Swiss researchers temporarily halted a clinical trial of a Canadian-made Ebola vaccine after seeing an unexpected side-effect in a few people who received the serum. (Mathilde Missioneiro/THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - WHO)

The bill -- S.2917, also known as "Adding Ebola to the FDA Priority Review Voucher Program Act" -- dangles a sizable carrot meant to entice pharmaceutical companies into developing vaccines and therapies to prevent or cure infection with the virus and other related pathogens in the filovirus family.

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Contest Seeks Novel Tools for the Fight Against Ebola

NEW YORK TIMES  by Donald G. McNeil, Jr.                                                                              Dec. 13, 2014

NEW YORK --The well-prepared Ebola fighter in West Africa may soon have some new options: protective gear that zips off like a wet suit, ice-cold underwear to make life inside the sweltering suits more bearable, or lotions that go on like bug spray and kill or repel the lethal virus.

A prototype for one of the protective suits in contention for the U.S.A.I.D. "Grand Challenges" award. Credit John Hopkins University/Jhpiego

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Sierra Leone Area to Hold 2-Week Ebola 'Lockdown'

ASSOCIATED PRESS by CLARENCE ROY-MACAULAY                                                    Dec. 10, 2014

FREETOWN--Authorities in an eastern district of Sierra Leone launched a two-week "lockdown" on Wednesday, hoping to halt the spread of Ebola after the area recorded seven confirmed cases in a day.

The lockdown will last until Dec. 23 in the diamond-rich Kono district in eastern Sierra Leone, said Emmanuel Lebbie, a local official.

The action is being taken after the district recorded seven confirmed cases on Tuesday. The decision was made by traditional rulers in the area including Paramount Chief Paul Jabbie Saquee of Tankoro Chiefdom, Lebbie said.

While people can move within the district, no one will be allowed to enter or leave, said Lebbie, who is the area's monitor for the Independent Media Commission.

Read complete story.
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/sierra-leone-area-hold-week-ebola-lockdown-27497818

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Response to Typhoon in Philippines Shows Lessons Learned From a Year Ago

NEW YORK TIMES  by Austin Ramzy                                                                 Dec. 7, 2014

LEGAZPI, the Philippines — As Typhoon Hagupit churned across the Philippines on Sunday, residents of the eastern part of the island nation expressed relief that they had joined the hundreds of thousands who had evacuated to safer ground.

Residents waded through floodwaters on Sunday in Borongan City, the Philippines. Typhoon Hagupit is expected to churn over the country until Wednesday. Credit Francis R. Malasig/European Pressphoto Agency

By late Sunday, what had been classified as a super typhoon was far weaker than Haiyan was when it hit, and was continuing to weaken. The storm, which is expected to push its way across the country until Wednesday, was generating strong winds and rain, but the overall effect was not as devastating as worst-case scenarios had anticipated.

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What Ebola Is Teaching Us About Hard Trends

WIRED     Essay by David Burris                                                                                        Dec. 14, 2014

...Deadly and infectious viruses such as Ebola are an inevitable and unavoidable fact of nature. In other words, they are examples of a Hard Trend. And they demand new innovations in order to combat them.

...the deadly force of Ebola is the kind of imminent threat that inspires human minds to new heights. It teaches us that Hard Trends come at us fast and provide the catalyst to overcome inertia and bring about technological innovations.

NIAID/Flickr

Communication is key to mobilizing populations in countries affected by Ebola. In order to treat the sick and prevent the spread of the disease, healthcare workers need to be able to coordinate with people on the frontline and know where to send supplies. At the moment, telecommunications technologies are not keeping pace with the intense demands that Ebola creates.

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Beating Ebola Means Drinking, Last Thing Patient Wants to Do

BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK                                Nov. 17, 2014
by Jason Gale

The best medical advice for surviving Ebola right now might fit in one word: drink.

Dr. Fadipe Akinniyi Emmanuel, Ebola survivor, shows the daily dose of oral rehydration salts, or ORS, he and other survivors took to survive in Nigeria. Photographer: Andrew Esiebo/World Health Organization via Bloomberg

With targeted drugs and vaccines at least months away, doctors and public health experts are learning from Ebola survivors what simple steps helped them beat the infection. Turns out drinking 4 liters (1 gallon) or more of rehydration solution a day -- a challenge for anyone and especially those wracked by relentless bouts of vomiting -- is crucial. “When people are infected, they get dry as a crisp really quickly,” said Simon Mardel, an emergency room doctor advising the World Health Organization on Ebola in Sierra Leone. “Then the tragedy is that they don’t want to drink.”

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Ebola: Democratic Republic of Congo says its outbreak is over

BBC                                                                                                              Nov. 15, 2014

A three-month Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has ended after claiming at least 49 lives, the country's health minister says.

Health workers are trained in managing Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Felix Kabange said no new cases had been registered since 4 October, though he warned against complacency.

The country's outbreak is unrelated to the one in West Africa which has claimed more than 5,000 lives.

Ebola was first detected in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30068324

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U.S. hospitals to be supplied Ebola protective equipment

BIOPREPWATCH                                                           Nov. 14, 2014

By Danial Daw

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday that $2.7 million worth of personal protection equipment will be sent to hospitals to assist in the care of Ebola patients.

Altogether, 50 kits have been prepared and can be rapidly sent to hospitals. The kits include five days worth of protective equipment for clinical teams to treat one Ebola patient.

The kits follow the most up-to-date guidelines issued by the CDC. While the numbers of kits are limited at the moment, the CDC said it should be sufficient to treat cases in the short-term.

Read complete story
http://bioprepwatch.com/countermeasures/medical/u-s-hospitals-to-be-supplied-ebola-protective-equipment/339963/

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Battling Ebola: The African responses that 'will win this war'

People walk past a billboard with a message about Ebola in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, on November 7. Public awareness campaigns are proving vital in the fight against the virus.

Description of African efforts to improve communications to counter the spread of Ebola

CCN                                                                                                                                Nov. 17, 2014

By Alex Court (CNN)-- "When the Ebola outbreak started, it was very terrifying for everybody," recalls Michael Chu'no Ike from Nsukka in Nigeria's Enugu State. "People were afraid it could be transmitted by air and started believing all sorts of rumors about how to boost their immunity."

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UN releases manual for safe Ebola burials

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS                                     NOV. 17, 2014

BERLIN  The World Health Organization has released a 17-page manual detailing how to safely bury people who have died from Ebola.

The U.N. agency said Friday the guidelines are part of an effort to reduce the likelihood of people contracting Ebola from corpses.

WHO Ebola expert Pierre Formenty says at least one in five infections occur during burials.

The guidelines give step-by-step advice to health workers for both Christian and Muslim burials.

See complete article
http://news.yahoo.com/un-releases-manual-safe-ebola-burials-154352654.html

See WHO manual

http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/137379/1/WHO_EVD_GUIDANCE_Burials_14.2_eng.pdf?ua=1

http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/ebola/safe-burial-protocol/en/

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