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Ebola: World Bank and Liberia to Work with Japan to Launch a Psychological Support Project

Some 18,000 Beneficiaries to Receive Mental Health and Psychosocial Support to Alleviate Consequences of Epidemic

worldbank.org

MONROVIA, February 25, 2015 – The Liberian Government and the World Bank Group in partnership with the Government of Japan, today launched a new $3 million project to address the psychological effects of Liberia’s Ebola crisis and to promote psychosocial health in the country. The ceremony was held at the World Bank Liberia Office.

The project, Supporting Psychosocial Health and Resilience in Liberia, is funded by Japan through the Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF), a trust fund administered by the World Bank. The Carter Center will implement this three-year project, which is expected to reach approximately 18,000 beneficiaries in Montserrado (hosting Monrovia) and Margibi counties.

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FDA approves Corgenix's Ebola test for emergency use

REUTERS                                                           Feb. 26, 2015

Diagnostics company Corgenix Medical Corp said on Thursday U.S. health regulators had approved its rapid Ebola test for emergency use, in response to the world's worst outbreak of the virus that killed more than 10,000 so far.

The company's ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test, which involves putting a drop of blood on a paper strip and waiting for at least 15 minutes for a reaction, was cleared by the World Health Organization last week.

The test is less accurate than the standard test, which has a turnaround time of 12-24 hours, but is easy to perform and does not require electricity. It is able to correctly identify about 92 percent of Ebola-infected patients and 85 percent of those not infected with the virus, the WHO said.

The WHO is still assessing four or five other rapid test candidates.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/26/us-health-ebola-testing-idUSKBN0LU1OO20150226

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It Kills Germs For Up To 6 Hours. Can It Wipe Out Ebola?

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO  by Emily Sohn                                                              Feb. 27, 2015

Clean hands go a long way toward preventing the spread of many illnesses, including Ebola. But finding the right hand-wash to impede deadly germs is tricky.

           A health worker in Liberia washes up after leaving a clinic's Ebola isolation area. Tommy Trenchard for NPR

A squirt of alcohol-based sanitizer like Purell kills or denatures many microbes on contact. In the case of bacteria, essentially poking holes in their cell membranes, causing them to shrivel up like water balloons. For viruses, the mechanism is not well-understood. But alcohol evaporates after 15 seconds, allowing for rapid recontamination...

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Quick Test for Ebola - MIT

submitted by George Hurlburt

      

A new paper diagnostic device can detect Ebola as well as other viral hemorrhagic fevers in about 10 minutes. The device (pictured here) has silver nanoparticles of different colors that indicate different diseases. On the left is the unused device, opened to reveal the contents inside. On the right, the device has been used for diagnosis; the colored bands show positive tests.  Photo - Jose Gomez-Marquez, Helena de Puig, and Chun-Wan Yen

Simple paper strip can diagnose Ebola and other fevers within 10 minutes

CLICK HERE - Lab on a Chip - Multicolored silver nanoparticles for multiplexed disease diagnostics: distinguishing dengue, yellow fever, and Ebola viruses

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - eurekalert.org - February 24, 2015

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- When diagnosing a case of Ebola, time is of the essence. . .

. . . A new test from MIT researchers . . . The device, a simple paper strip similar to a pregnancy test, can rapidly diagnose Ebola, as well as other viral hemorrhagic fevers such as yellow fever and dengue fever. . .

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Link Removal for the Control of Stochastically Evolving Epidemics Over Networks: A Comparison of Approaches

submitted by George Hurlburt

CLICK HERE - Link Removal for the Control of Stochastically Evolving Epidemics Over Networks: A Comparison of Approaches

sciencedirect.com - Elsevier - February 16, 2015 - doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2015.02.005

Highlights

• Disease control efforts are often constrained by limited resources.
• Limited resources can be used more effectively by leveraging network information.
• We compare four link removal algorithms to prevent disease spread under a budget.
• Optimal quarantining performs best for large budgets and structured networks.
• Knowing where an outbreak begins is most valuable at moderate budget levels.

Abstract

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6 Challenges to Stamping Out Ebola

Despite a recent sharp drop in the overall number of Ebola cases, the situation remains precarious in West Africa

NATURE MAGAZINE  by Declan Butler                                                                    Feb. 24, 2015
More than a year since the start of one of the worst public health crises in recent history, Ebola cases have been tumbling in West Africa. But the epidemic is far from over: the risk of flare ups and further geographical spread will remain until there are no new cases.

The ease in case numbers means that public-health countermeasures and resources can be shifted in many places, from curbing runaway outbreaks to aggressively targeting the remaining, often smaller outbreaks....

At the same time, there is a danger of complacency. Reducing the number of cases to zero demands identifying and breaking all new chains of transmission, a task that still faces major obstacles—not least the fast approaching rainy season.

Highlighting the precariousness of the current situation, on February 20, the officials leading the United Nations' Ebola response efforts warned that the gains of the past few months risked unravelling.

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Ebola in Liberia: Keeping communities safe from contaminated waste

 WHO PRESS RELEASE                                                                                              Feb. 23, 2015

Every day, every bed in an Ebola treatment unit creates approximately 300 litres of liquid waste. Managing this waste has been a challenge in the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. WHO is working with partners to ensure this waste is effectively decontaminated and no longer poses a threat to health.

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New funding announced for US Ebola preparedness

THE HILL                        by Peter Sullivan                                                                 Feb. 20, 2015

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration on Friday announced around $200 million in new funding to increase Ebola preparedness in the United States. 

The Department of Health and Human Services is giving grants to states to help set up 10 regional Ebola treatment centers, as well as hospitals in every state that can safely care for an Ebola patient until he or she is transferred. Combined with other funds, the move brings the total for local Ebola preparedness to around $340 million.

"Important lessons were also learned during the response effort," HHS said in a statement Friday. "Safety of health care workers must be foremost in health care system preparedness and response activities."

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http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/233385-hhs-announces-new-funding-for-us-ebola-preparedness

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Life After Ebola: What It Takes For A Village To Be Resilient

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO INTERVIEW by Laura Starecheski                                     Feb. 20, 2015
BARKEDU,  LIBERIA --If you'd like to get an idea of what resilience is all about, take a lesson from Mamuedeh Kanneh.

She lost her husband to Ebola. But she's stayed strong. She's caring for 13 children, her own and orphans whose parents died of the virus.

Mamuedeh Kanneh was married to Laiye Barwor, the man who brought Ebola to Barkedu, Liberia. He died of the virus. She now cares for her children as well as children who lost their parents to the disease. John W. Poole/NPR

Kanneh lives in Barkedu, a village of about 6,000 in northern Liberia. Ebola took more than 150 lives. In her neighborhood there were many deaths, so people in other parts of Barkedu are scared of the orphans.

Kanneh has a strategy to help these children — and the village overall — get back to normal life. She sends the youngsters on errands so people can get used to seeing them and get over their fear. And the children can start to feel they're part of the community again....

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Finishing Off Ebola

NEW YORK TIMES  OP-ED BY Ron Klain, the former White House Ebola response coordinaor                                    FEB. 20, 2015

...The world needs to do a better job of quickly detecting and responding to future outbreaks in unlikely places. The President’s Global Health Security Agenda, the government’s strategy to combat infection disease around the world, will help. But vulnerable countries, including those in Africa, need their own version of our Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so that they are not so dependent on ours.

For the hardest task of front-line epidemic fighting, our planet is too reliant on courageous and talented — but underfunded, under-equipped and volunteer-dependent — nongovernmental organizations. The world needs a permanent standing force — or a ready reserve that can be quickly organized — of public health emergency responders who have the training, gear and resources to race into a region in the early phases of epidemic control. The United States military cannot do that job every time; future outbreaks might occur in countries where our troops will not be welcomed as they were in West Africa.

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