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CDC - Mapping for Ebola: A Collaborative Effort

                

cdc.gov - January 14, 2015

One of the difficulties faced by teams responding to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is identifying individuals and communities residing in remote areas. Existing maps of these regions either do not exist or are inadequate or outdated. This means that basic data like location of houses, buildings, villages, and roads are not easily accessible, and case finding and contact tracing can be extremely difficult.

To help aid the outbreak response effort, volunteers from around the world are using an open-source online mapping platform called OpenStreetMap (OSM) to create detailed maps and map data of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and parts of Mali.

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International Experts, Led By UN, Kick Off Ebola Recovery Assessment in Sierra Leone

          

Daily life in Freetown, Sierra Leone, one of three West African countries most affected by the outbreak of the Ebola virus.
Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez

un.org

15 January 2015 – Spearheaded by the United Nations, a team of international experts has begun an Ebola Recovery Assessment (ERA) mission in Sierra Leone as part of an effort to partner with Governments to address the impact of the virus on affected countries. 

The ERA mission is made up of experts from the European Union, World Bank and the African Development Bank. They are expected to finish their work this weekend in Accra, Ghana after a one-day stop in Guinea tomorrow. 

The mission’s aim is to work with the Governments of the countries hardest hit by the virus –Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea – to assess critical areas that will spearhead economic and social recovery in the post-Ebola era.

According to a statement released by the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, David McLachlan-Karr, the ERA is anchored in national ownership.

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Common Generic Drug May Cure Ebola

PHARMACY TIMES   by Monica V. Mahoney, Pharms D, -BCPS-AQ ID                                            Jan. 15, 2015
Monica V. Mahoney, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID
Monica V. Mahoney, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID
Monica V. Mahoney, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID
Several antibody-mediated, antiviral-focused, and vaccine-derived approaches are currently being investigated, but a major setback to many of these modalities is the time it takes to produce the interventions.
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Ebola Cases Drop as Food Crisis is Sparked

         

Many agricultural fields have been abandoned as people retreat from Ebola. Image via World Bank.

zmescience.com - by Livia Rusu - January 15, 2015

The World Health Organization reports a drop in the Ebola cases in the three Western African countries hit most by the disease. However, as farmers abandon their fields in the infected areas, a new problem seems to emerge: a food crisis. . .

. . . The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), a UN body that finances agriculture in poor countries has warned that if quick action isn’t taken soon, a food crisis is set to take place in the area.

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How Doctors Without Borders Is Fighting Malaria and Ebola at the Same Time

Treating malaria makes Ebola care easier

TIME MAGAZINE   by                                                                   Jan. 16, 2015
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is launching its second mass distribution of treatments for malaria in Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone, a move that may have the positive side effect of helping ease the burden of Ebola cases.

Malaria... causes many of the same symptoms as Ebola. It’s common for people to come to Ebola treatment centers believing they have Ebola, when in fact they have malaria—which crowds the clinics and causes enormous stress for patients and their families. Treating malaria and preventing infection are ways MSF can ensure that they reduce the number of patients at Ebola treatment centers in addition to saving lives, since more people fall ill and die from malaria than Ebola.

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http://time.com/3671597/doctors-without-borders-malaria-ebola/

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‘We Are Fighting an Enemy, and the Enemy Is Ebola’

Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky's 2,500 soldiers have spent months battling a rampant killer in Liberia. Is the fight over, or has the front line shifted?

FOREIGN POLICY   by Brian Castner                                                        Jan,. 14, 2014

When Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky arrived in Liberia in late October to assume command of the U.S. military effort to help beat back the Ebola epidemic there, he was handed a to-do list by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Liberian government: build 17 temporary treatment facilities across the country, train a mix of international and local Liberian health-care workers to staff them, and use the Pentagon’s high-end medical equipment to test patients’ blood for the deadly virus.

Nearly every item is now checked off, leaving three options: go home, stay and wait in case the outbreak worsens, or move to start on a similar list in Sierra Leone and Guinea, where the number of Ebola cases has eclipsed that of Liberia.

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Ebola in West Africa: 12 months on

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION MEDIA CENTRE                   Jan, 15, 2015

One year after the first Ebola cases started to surface in Guinea, WHO is publishing this series of 14 papers that take an in-depth look at West Africa’s first epidemic of Ebola virus disease.

The papers explore reasons why the disease evaded detection for several months and the factors, many specific to West Africa, that fuelled its subsequent spread.

The most extensive papers trace events in each of the 3 most severely affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone...

Key events are set out chronologically, starting with the child who is believed to be the index case of this epidemic through to the Director-General’s commitment to steadfastly support affected countries until they reach zero cases.

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http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2015/ebola-one-year-on/en/
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Schools in Guinea Closed Amid Ebola to Reopen Monday

ASSOCIATED PRESS  by  FRANCIS KOKUTSE                   Jan. 16, 2015

ACCRA- Ghana--All schools in Guinea will reopen on Monday after being closed amid the deadly Ebola outbreak, Guinea's health minister said Friday.

Health minister Remy Lamah told The Associated Press in Accra, Ghana during a summit by the Economic Community of West African States that the action is being taken "because the situation has improved." In Liberia, the schools are reopening "next month," said the Liberian Embassy's Charges d'Affaires in Ghana, Musu Ruhle.

Schools will remain closed in Sierra Leone, that country's health minister said.

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http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/health-minister-schools-guinea-closed-amid-ebola-reopen-28266812

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UN: At Least 50 Ebola Hotspots Remain, but New Cases Falling

ASSOCIATED PRESS   By EDITH M. LEDERER                                                         Jan. 15, 2015

UNITED NATIONS --At least 50 Ebola hotspots remain in the three hardest-hit West African countries but new cases are declining and the deadly disease will be defeated, the U.N.'s Ebola chief said Thursday.

The latest report from the World Health Organization showing reductions in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone "is very good news," Dr. David Nabarro said in an interview with The Associated Press.

In the week ending Jan. 11, WHO said Guinea reported its lowest weekly total of new Ebola cases since mid-August. Liberia had its lowest total since the first week of June and no confirmed new cases for the final two days of the week. And new cases in Sierra Leone declined for a second week to the lowest level since the end of August.

But Nabarro cautioned that "there are still numbers of new cases that are alarming, and there are hotspots that are emerging in new places that make me believe there is still quite a lot of the disease that we're not seeing."

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Fast track development of Ebola Vaccines

Principles and target product criteria

THE CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DESEASE AND POLICY                                              Jan 12, 2015

The unprecedented morbidity and mortality from the 2013- 2015 Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in West Africa has challenged every aspect of our global ability to effectively detect, respond to, and control such a rapidly emerging infectious disease crisis.

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