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The burial man with a big smile

With the Ebola outbreak over in Sierra Leone, Alpha Sesay has returned to school. The Red Cross volunteer is taking part in a joint project with UNDP to help reintegrate burial team members back into their communities.

Photo: Katherine Mueller - 1 April 2016

“Ebola, that was the name they gave us. Alpha Ebola,” says the 23-year-old. “Wherever you go, they will call you Ebola. Those Ebola boys are coming. That boy is part of a burial team. It was not really easy with us.

Recognizing the risk involved, members of the safe and dignified burial teams, all of them volunteers, received an additional financial incentive from the Red Cross. But that incentive, although appealing, came with its own set of challenges. “At first, I was saving some of the money,” explains Alpha. “Paying house rent. Feeding myself. I bought clothes. When my family realized that I had saved, they embraced me again.”

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Three Best Friends Fought and Survived Ebola in Sierra Leone

Sorie and Sewa are from the same village, Kebala, in Sierra Leone, they and Yokie are best friends. The three young men came to Freetown together to study as student nurses. When the Ebola epidemic began, they were given the option to work in the “red zone”—the Ebola isolation unit at Connaught Hospital—and agreed, despite the danger. Their family and friends disowned them and they were thrown out of their lodgings but were able to share a small room at the hospital.

 

Trained to wear the full PPE protection suit, they set to work treating very sick and infectious Ebola patients. They worked the night shift and often lost 5 or 6 patients a night. Sorie describes many patients gripping him tightly until the moment they died.

see more at: https://www.linktv.org/shows/trust-docs/three-best-friends-fought-and-survived-ebola-in-sierra-leone

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Can Great Apes Be Vaccinated Against Ebola and Other Diseases?

pic by (Darrell Gulin/Corbis)

Vaccinations could be the best defense against devastating population drops

Over the last 20 years, the wild populations of many of the world’s great apes have drastically declined. Recent surveys have suggested that several species of large primates, including chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas, have experienced severe losses in population numbers. Now, some conservationists say that vaccinating great apes against diseases like the Ebola virus might be the quickest and most effective short-term step towards saving them from extinction.

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New data from studies evaluating diagnostic tools, therapies for infectious diseases released at ECCMID 2016

New data from ten late-breaking abstracts is released at ECCMID 2016 – the annual meeting of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ESCMID). At the congress, a dedicated session will examine recently released research across the full spectrum of infectious diseases both from a clinical and laboratory perspective.

Researchers presented recent data on a number of diagnostic tools to rapidly identify pathogens and therapies promising to treat challenging infections. The abstracts presented dealt with topics including meningitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, Zika and human papilloma virus.

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Pregnant women counselled about Zika virus

A doctor checks on a pregnant woman at Buôn Mê Thuột General Hospital. Hospitals in HCM City have been providing counselling on the Zika virus.

VNA/VNS Photo Dương Ngọc - April, 13/2016

HCM CITY —  A pregnant woman visiting the Hùng Vương Obstetrics Hospital in HCM City picked up a leaflet about the Zika virus off a shelf in the examination room.

The woman, 41, was especially concerned about the virus after hearing that HCM City had recorded its first Zika case, that of a 33-year-old pregnant woman from District 2.

 

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ZIKA VIRUS 'SCARIER THAN WE FIRST THOUGHT,' WARN U.S. HEALTH OFFICIALS

Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, and Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director for Centers of Disease Control Prevention, speak about the Zika virus at the White House, Washington, April 11, 2016.KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS

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Climate Change An Imminent Health Risk, White House Reports

A new report released by the White House warns that climate change is an imminent and growing threat to public health, and that extreme heat will kill around 27,000 US residents per year by 2100.

A science advisor to the Obama administration by the name of John Holdren commented on the report at a recent press conference, noting that extreme heat waves will make outdoor work periodically “impossible:”

“People who work outdoors will be unable to control their body temperature and will die. This is a really, really big deal.”

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EPA Targets Ebola, Pathogen Disinfectant Claims

April 8 — The Environmental Protection Agency has issued aguidance document clarifying the claims disinfectant makers can and can't make during outbreaks of emerging pathogens.

The guidance is meant to prevent some of the confusion that occurred during the recent Ebola outbreak, when some cleaning industry companies were unsure if they could legally market their products as being effective at killing the virus.

It also creates a way around the EPA's rule preventing companies from making claims that their product can kill a specific microbe without lab studies on that specific microbe. In the case of many new or emerging pathogens, such as Ebola or avian influenza, efficacy tests in a lab could be infeasible or even dangerous.

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