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Heightened Surveillance: Liberia and Guinea Discharge Ebola Patients

Monrovia – Liberia’s and Guinea’s last known Ebola patients in a latest flare-up of the disease that hit both countries have now been discharged. All remaining contacts of confirmed cases that were placed under a 3-week period of medical monitoring have been cleared.

Liberia’s Ministry of Health, WHO and partners involved in the response held a ceremony at the Ebola treatment facility in Monrovia to celebrate the recovery and discharge of a 2-year-old boy, the final patient in the flare-up in Liberia. 

His 5-year-old brother recovered a week earlier. On 29 April, the country also began a 42-day period of increased surveillance – amounting to two 21-day incubation cycles of the virus.

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National View: Climate change affects migration of infectious disease

By William B. Miller Jr., M.D.

Posted Apr. 19, 2016 at 2:01 AM 

Zika is all over the news. Zika is surely dangerous, but it has its limitations and is likely to be well contained. However, its greater significance extends beyond any current spread. Instead, it exemplifies the crucial emerging trend of a novel infectious agent that has swiftly become a global threat.

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Clinical trial for experimental Ebola drug publishes results

April 19, 2016

Results of the Wellcome Trust funded trial of the experimental anti-Ebola drug TKM-130803 have been published today (April 19) in PLOS Medicine. Using a novel approach designed to get rapid indications of a drug's effectiveness, the trial showed that at the dose given the drug did not improve survival compared to historic controls.

TKM-130803 interferes with the production of two essential Ebola virus proteins and has been shown to improve survival when given to monkeys experimentally infected with Ebola virus. Scientists from the University of Oxford and Sierra Leone worked with the humanitarian organisation GOAL Global, the World Health Organisation, and collaborators from a number of other institutions to test whether TKM-130803 could improve survival in adults with Ebola infection.

The researchers used a new approach to generate early evidence of effectiveness or ineffectiveness. This method can be used as a tool to screen potential therapies and determine the need for further studies (including randomised controlled trials) during an epidemic. The approach meant that the study was quickly able to reach a pre-defined point to stop the trial.

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Dr. Campbell: Zika virus much worse than initially feared

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a Zika emergency. From 2007 to 2016 there are cases in 62 countries and the numbers are only increasing.

Published: April 18, 2016, 5:00 am

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Zika situation report

A map of the combined global status of Zika virus.

Image: A map of the combined global status of Zika virus. - April 14th 2016

Zika virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome

From 1 January 2007 to 13 April 2016, Zika virus transmission was documented in a total of 64 countries and territories.

Mosquito-borne transmission:

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Zika Mutates Extremely Quickly, Which Is Why It’s So Scary

A photograph of a mosquito on human skin.

Image: A photograph of a mosquito on human skin. - April 15th 2016 -  Alexandra Sifferlin

One thing that’s especially confounding about Zika is that as soon as something about the virus is understood, it comes under question.

Until recently, experts believed Zika was a relatively benign virus spread by mosquitoes. But now that it’s been linked to more than 1,000 microcephaly cases, scientists have taken a closer look, recently declaring it “scarier than we initially thought,” as one U.S. health official put it this week.


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Looking, hopefully, towards an Ebola-free future

Ebola vaccine trial team follows-up with a vaccine trial participant, Katongourou, Guinea
WHO/S. Hawkey -April 15, 2016


WHO, partners and affected countries are stepping up planning for how to use an Ebola vaccine in response to an outbreak.

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The struggle for Water Is Sickening!

By Beny Sam
Thursday April 14, 2016

With all the efforts made by our ministry of water resources, the bulk of our compatriots are still thirsting for water. In Africa, many communities go without electricity for ages, but they cannot afford to go without water. If the United Nations perhaps knew March month is the driest month in most West African countries, may be they would have shifted the World Water commemoration from a day in March.  Why I see the date disturbing is that when our Ministry each year mobilizes resources to mark the World Water Day, I see it as a biting irony since that is the time Sierra Leoneans forage all over the place to have a drop of water to utilize for various purposes.

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