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There's an Ebola Vaccine in Africa. Now What?

A scanning electron micrograph of the Ebola virus. The first large-scale trials of an Ebola vaccine are underway in Africa.(NIAID / Flickr)

Unprecedented: In four months, the Ebola vaccine has gone from concept to field trial. Success is not assured.

 THE NATIONAL JOURNAL  by Brian Resnick                      Jan. 28, 2015

Detailed description of the problems issues and procedures for fieldingand testing Ebola vaccines in West Africa.


..."Without the (Ebola) virus circulating, there's no way to prove the vaccine is effective. At current infection rates, trial researchers would need to see 100 cases of Ebola over a four-month period to achieve statistical significance. That time frame may stretch, or fall apart altogether.

"It's a real dilemma," says Margaret Harris, an MD and spokeswoman for the World Health Organization. "It's extremely good news that the cases are coming down, but it does mean we may not have clear phase III data."

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An experimental Ebola vaccine looks promising in a human trial

Vaccine  was made by introducing an Ebola gene in a chimpanzee cold virus

THE VERGE    by Arielle Duhaime-Ross                                                             Jan. 28, 2015

An Ebola vaccine produced using a chimpanzee common cold virus appears to be safe to use on humans, according to a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Three different doses of vaccine were tested on healthy humans in the UK, and it was well-tolerated; it triggered high levels of antibody formation without also triggering serious side effects. But until the vaccine is tested in an area where an Ebola risk actually exists, it’s efficacy against the disease will remain a mystery.

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A Monovalent Chimpanzee Adenovirus Ebola Vaccine — Preliminary Report

 New England Journal of Medicine

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Ebola is creating a new epidemic of untreated illness and injury

PUBLC RADIO INTERNATIONAL   Producer Leo Hornak                                                         Jan. 28, 2015

MONROVIA --Sharon McDonnell is seeing a new public health crisis unfold in West Africa: droves of patients without Ebola who are turned away from medical facilities.

The Maine-based epidemiologist, who is in Liberia with the International Rescue Committee, says things are much better now than they were two months ago when she first visited Liberia. The hospital where she is based, Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, Liberia, has recently reopened after shutting down in October....

A taxi bringing a pregnant women with obstructed labor arrives at Redemption Hospital's "other" entrance for ambulance and inpatients. The Redemption hospital staff member came out in PPE (personal protective equipment) to talk with her and the family to make sure she could be seen in the hospital. Credit: Sharon McDonnell

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WHO - Resolution - Executive Board Special Session on Ebola


CLICK HERE - WHO - Resolution - Ebola: Ending the current outbreak, strengthening global preparedness and ensuring WHO capacity to prepare for and respond to future large-scale outbreaks and emergencies with health consequences (11 page .PDF report)

CLICK HERE - Executive Board Special Session on Ebola - Additional supporting documentation - by Dr. Charles Clift - January 27, 2015

The executive board of the World Health Organization (WHO) agreed a comprehensive resolution on its response to the Ebola crisis in a special session on 25 January. After the WHO was widely criticized for its perceived inadequacies in dealing with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the resolution asks for a transformation in the way the organization works in health emergencies. The WHO admits there is substance in these criticisms – with Margaret Chan, WHO’s director-general (DG), acknowledging shortcomings in WHO’s ‘administrative, managerial and technical infrastructures’.


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How Ebola Found Fertile Ground in ​Sierra Leone's Chaotic Capital


Kroo Bay in Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital, became an Ebola hot spot in December. In one of the city's most densely populated areas, residents had a difficult time avoiding contact with people potentially infected with Ebola.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC    by Amy Maxman    Photos by Pete Muller                                                       Jan. 27, 2015
....A close examination of what made Freetown so vulnerable to the outbreak offers critical lessons for the future in fighting Ebola or another major calamity. 

Like many developing world cities, Freetown—population 941,000, the largest city in Sierra Leone—lacks the infrastructure to support its impoverished populace, making it prone to tragedy, whether through pestilence, violence, or natural disaster. Despite its congestion, Freetown continues to attract people who come in search of work, school, and the mere promise of electricity. It's no coincidence that typhoid and cholera regularly plague Freetown and that Sierra Leone's civil war climaxed in the city with horrific bloodshed.

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Lessons from Ebola: Toward a Post-2015 Strategy for Pandemic Response

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

This event has concluded. View the replay above. - Date: January 27th 2015 - Location: Georgetown University & Online Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET (21:00 - 22:00 GMT)

Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, will deliver Georgetown’s inaugural Global Futures lecture.

The lecture, “Lessons from Ebola: A post-2015 strategy for pandemic response,” will kick off a semester-long conversation about the “Global Future of Development” at Georgetown as part of the university’s new Global Futures Initiative.

His talk on Jan. 27 will connect ongoing efforts to stop the spread of infection in West Africa with longer-term efforts to improve public health systems that support economic and social development in countries vulnerable to future pandemics.

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Guinea's Ebola Numbers May Be Higher Than Reported

VOICE OF AMERICA by Kim Lewis                                                                                     Jan. 27, 2015

...Emmanuel d’Harcourt, the senior health director for the International Rescue Committee, warned that the story behind declining numbers of new Ebola cases is different for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

..In Guinea, he highlighted, there are questions about the actual numbers."

The whole epidemic in the three countries really flared up because the international community and WHO, and Doctors Without Borders declared the epidemic over because there were no infections for 21 days. And in fact what was happening was not that there weren’t cases, but that they were being hidden, and the same dynamic that caused that epidemic to burn underground without being reported is still in place,” said d’Harcourt.Read complese story.

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Liberia closes Ebola centre at epicentre of outbreak

AFP                                                                                                         Jan. 27, 2015

Monrovia  - Liberia's president on Monday announced the closure of an Ebola treatment facility which lay at the epicentre of the virus's worst outbreak in history, as the disease's spread has slowed in the country.


Red cross workers, wearing masks, carry the body of a person who died from Ebola during a burial with relatives of the victims of the virus, in Monrovia, on January 5, 2015 (AFP Photo/Zoom Dosso)

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf warned Liberians that while they could not yet afford to relax, the country had made significant progress in the fight against Ebola, and thanked states who helped Monrovia combat the virus.

"Lofa, the epicentre of the virus, has had no new cases for over 70 days," she said in the speech at the national parliament.

"The Ebola Treatment Unit in Foya is closed," she said, referring to an area in the north of the country near its border with Guinea, where the virus hit Liberia for the first time.

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Post-Ebola plan needed to avert 'double disaster' in West Africa: Oxfam

REUTERS   by Magdalena Mis                                                                             Jan. 26, 2015

LONDON -- The three West African countries worst hit by Ebola risk a "double disaster" unless a multi-million dollar plan is put in place to help their economies recover, Oxfam said on Tuesday.

In Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone people were struggling to make ends meet having seen their incomes plummet, the aid agency said.

"The world was late in waking up to the Ebola crisis, there can be no excuses for not helping to put these economies and lives back together," Mark Goldring, Oxfam's chief executive, said during a visit to Liberia.

He said a post-Ebola "Marshall Plan" should address three areas of urgent need: cash for families affected by the crisis, investment in jobs and support for basic services.

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Senegal reopens land border with Ebola-hit Guinea

REUTERS                                                                                                        Jan. 26, 2015

DAKAR --Senegal reopened on Monday its land border with Guinea, the Interior Ministry said, five months after closing transport links in August to prevent the spread of the worst outbreak on record of the deadly Ebola virus.

A billboard with a message about Ebola is seen on a street in Conakry, Guinea October 26, 2014.Credit: Reuters/Michelle Nichols

Senegal had already lifted in November a ban on air and maritime traffic with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - the three countries worst-affected by the epidemic of the deadly hemorrhagic fever....

"The decision to open the border follows meetings between Senegalese and Guinean authorities, in the course of which the important efforts made by the sister republic of Guinea to fight the Ebola virus were noted," said a ministry statement.

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