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Study announces a durable vaccine for Ebola

MEDICAL EXPRESS                                                                                             March 25, 2015

A new study shows the durability of a novel 'disseminating' cytomegalovirus (CMV)-based Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus; EBOV) strategy that may eventually have the potential to reduce ebolavirus infection in wild African ape species.

These are western lowland gorillas, one of the great ape species threatened by Ebola. Credit: Copyright 2012 Chris Whittier

A cytomegalovirus (CMV)-based vaccine provides long-lasting protective immunity against Ebola virus, and has potential for development as a disseminating vaccine strategy to prevent ebolavirus infection of wild African ape populations.

The multi-institutional study is led by Dr Michael Jarvis at Plymouth University, and is published today, 25th March 2015, in Vaccine.

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A Chemical Within a Traditional Chinese Medicine Has been Found to Be Effective Against Ebola

      

Health workers in protective clothing speak with new arrivals in the outpatient waiting room of Redemption Hospital, formerly an Ebola holding centre, in Liberia.  John Moore/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - SCIENCE - REPORT - Two-pore channels control Ebola virus host cell entry and are drug targets for disease treatment

businessinsider.com.au - by Chris Pash - February 27, 2015

A chemical found in the Chinese herb known as Han Fang ji switches off the channels which the Ebola virus uses to enter and infect cells, according to research by US and German scientists.

The scientists found that using a small dose of the chemical tetrandrine, but not the herb itself, stopped the virus from replicating and protected mice from the disease without obvious side effects.

The discovery of the promising drug therapy against Ebola is announced in the journal Science.

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Sex the Hidden Culprit: A New Dimension in Ebola Infections in Liberia

africansuntimes.com - by Mardia Stone, M.D. - March 23, 2015

On March 20th, a newly confirmed Ebola case was reported [in Liberia] . . . This time, sexual contact is presumed to be the hidden culprit in this new Ebola virus transmission, according to a statement from the Ministry of Information and case reports from the National Ebola Response Team.

The story goes like this. . . .

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The Ebola detectives

The BBC   by Hans Rosling                                                                    March 23, 2015
Interview with Swedish statistician and global health professor Hans Rosling who spent three months working as an epidemiologist in the Liberian Health Ministry helping to tackle the Ebola crisis.

 

                  Hans Rosling flanked by Maj Morris Hunh (China), to his right, and Gen Gary Volesky(U.S.) to his left

Excerpt from BBC interview:

The curve turned around because enough Ebola treatment units were built. Medecins Sans Frontieres ran the biggest. When that was not enough, Liberian doctors and nurses added the next treatment unit. But the race against time in September to provide treatment and isolation for all patients, when the epidemic curve climbed to 30, 40 and 50 patients per day, was won by the WHO.

 By the end of September, Dr Atai from Uganda opened the so-called Island Clinic which meant beds could be offered to all Ebola patients.The curve was curbed for four reasons:

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Ebola Diaries: Hitting the Ground Running

INFECTION CONTROL TODAY                                      March 24, 2015
The World Health Organization (WHO) is publishing a series, "Ebola Diaries," with first-person accounts of WHO staff and others deployed to the field for Ebola response since the first cases were reported in West Africa on March 23, 2014.
 
Dr. Stéphane Hugonnet, team lead for gobal capacities, alert and responses for the World Health Organization (WHO), was one of the first WHO experts sent to Guinea to investigate cases of Ebola reported in late March 2014. A medical doctor who has spent the past 20 years working for WHO, MSF and others, managing outbreaks ranging from cholera, measles and yellow fever, to Lassa, Ebola and meningitis, Hugonnet found a very different sort of outbreak when he arrived in Guinea.

"We were following this rumor of a small cluster of unexplained deaths in Guinea," he says. "Some thought it could be Lassa    phane fever, but the transmission pattern was very compatible with Ebola. When the lab results came back, we learned that there was Ebola Zaire in West Africa.            

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The hunters breaking an Ebola ban on bushmeat

BBC News by Mark Doyle                                                            March 23, 2015

Kabala, Sierra Leone- Scientists believe bushmeat is the origin of the current Ebola outbreak. A year ago, Sierra Leone put a ban on bushmeat - but is it working?
                         Bats are known carriers of the Ebola virus - this hunter was pictured last year

I linked up with a group of traditional hunters who were demonstrating how the Ebola-inspired ban on bushmeat hunting in Sierra Leone isn't working.

The ban came into force last year.

The Minister for Agriculture, Joseph Sam Sesay, confirmed to me that the ban was still in place and said it was broadly working.

But in the Wara Wara mountain range, the bushmeat hunters I met were obviously active.

Read complete story.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31985826

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Deconstructing “Malaria”: West Africa as the Next Front for Dengue Fever Surveillance and Control

sciencedirect.com - June 2014
Justin Stoler, Rawan al Dashti, Francis Anto, Julius N. Fobil, Gordon A. Awandare
doi:10.1016/j.actatropica.2014.02.017

CLICK HERE - Deconstructing “Malaria”: West Africa as the Next Front for Dengue Fever Surveillance and Control

Highlights

• Febrile illnesses are vastly overdiagnosed as malaria in many African settings.
• West Africa is emerging as a new front for dengue fever surveillance and control.
• Efficient health care utilization depends upon proper diagnosis of febrile illness.

Abstract

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Mistakes That Fueled Ebola Spread Are Preventing Its Containment One Year Later

REUTERS by Emma Farge                                             March 23, 2015

DAKAR, March 23 -- Lapses that fueled the Ebola outbreak after it was first discovered a year ago are dogging the final stages of the fight against the virus as fatigue and complacency set in, delaying the end of the deadly epidemic.

A man is sprayed with disinfectant after he celebrated the memory of a loved one who died due to the Ebola virus at a newly build grave yard for Ebola virus victims in Monrovia, Liberia, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. Liberians held a church service Wednesday for families who lost members to Ebola to mark the country’s 99th celebration National Decoration Day, a holiday normally set aside for people to clean up and re-decorate the graves of their lost relatives. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Three doctors were discovered to be infected with Ebola at a hospital in Guinea's capital Conakry last week in what health reports and government officials blamed on a failure to implement basic measures for infection control.

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As Ebola Crisis Ebbs, Aid Agencies Turn To Building Up Health Systems

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO by Nurith Aizenman                March 23, 2015

Recruiting and training new health workers is key, because experts warn that unless the health systems in West Africa are brought up to scratch, an epidemic on the scale of this one will happen again.

A nurse walks near the empty children's ward at Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, Monrovia, Liberia. David Gilkey/NPR

Unfortunately, building national health systems doesn't tend to attract a lot of love from international donors, says Erin Hohlfelder, who's been pushing for this kind of funding on behalf of the ONE Campaign, a global health advocacy group.

"It's certainly not as 'sexy' — quote unquote — as things like treatment for HIV or bed nets for malaria, which are very tangible and easy to understand."

She says at least for now, the international community does seem to get the importance of building up West Africa's health systems. The governments of the affected countries are preparing national plans to present at a meeting of the World Bank next month

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Guinea Trial Begins for Suspected Killers of Ebola Workers

ASSOCIATED PRESS by Boubacar Diallo                    March 23, 2015

The trial highlights the challenges health workers faced in this Ebola outbreak that has claimed more than 10,000 lives, mostly in the impoverished West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Around 78 suspects are being tried in the town of N'Nzerekore, 900 kilometers (560 miles) from the capital Conakry, Ministry of Justice spokesman Ibrahima Beavogui said.

The killings happened when a delegation of health care workers, including top health officials from the nearby town, visited Womey last September to raise awareness about how to combat Ebola. They were attacked by a mob armed with knives and stones.

Read complete story.

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