Ebola Returns: 2nd Case of Relapse Raises Questions

A microscopic view of the Ebola virus. Credit: CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith/Public Health Image LibraryImage: A microscopic view of the Ebola virus. Credit: CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith/Public Health Image Library

livescience.com - October 20th, 2015 - Ashley P. Taylor

Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey — who became sick with Ebola about a year ago and recovered, but then became very ill again last week with what may be a relapse of the deadly virus — is now improving.

"Pauline Cafferkey's condition has improved to serious but stable," representatives from London's Royal Free Hospital said in a statement Monday (Oct. 19).

Hospital representatives said on Oct. 9 that the nurse had developed an "unusual late complication" of the virus, and reported last week that she was "critically ill."

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Puerto Vallarta Spared by Hurricane Patricia

Hurricane Patricia was forecasted to bring catastrophic damage to Mexico’s coast and put the popular tourist destination of Puerto Vallarta on high alert.

Friday afternoon forecasters said that Hurricane Patricia was the strongest hurricane ever recorded packing winds of over 200 MPH, many referring to the storm as a Category 6 storm on a scale 1-5.

For two days Hurricane Patricia was expected to bring 3-5 meter storm surges, 10 inches of rain, and hurricane force winds to Puerto Vallarta when it made landfall between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta late Friday afternoon.

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Hurricane Patricia 'Potentially Catastrophic' as it Heads to Mexico

            

Hurricane Patricia packed maximum sustained winds of 160 mph late Saturday, a Category 5 hurricane

cnn.com - by Catherine E. Shoichet and Ben Brumfield - October 22, 2015 - 11:37 PM ET

(CNN) Hurricane Patricia, churning toward southwestern Mexico, is a "potentially catastrophic hurricane," forecasters said after the storm increased in strength to Category 5.

"Satellite images indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 160 mph (260 kph) with higher gusts," the National Hurricane Center said Thursday night.

Though it is expected to weaken Friday, it should make landfall on the Pacific coast near Punta San Telmo late in the day as an extremely dangerous storm.

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Mystery Deaths in Sierra Leone Spread Fear of Ebola Relapses

submitted by George Hurlburt

      

Sierra Leonean doctors practice wearing protective clothing in the Ebola Training Academy in Freetown, Sierra Leone, December 16, 2014. Reuters

uk.reuters.com - by Kemo Cham and Emma Farge - October 21, 2015

. . . the case of Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey – the first known Ebola survivor to have an apparently life-threatening relapse – has revived concerns about the health of some 17,000 survivors in Sierra Leone, neighbouring Guinea and Liberia.

Doctors and health officials in Sierra Leone told Reuters that a handful of mystery deaths among discharged patients may also be types of Ebola relapses, stirring fear that the deadly virus may last far longer than previously thought in the body, causing other potentially lethal complications.

Diagnoses have not been made, partly because of a lack of relevant medical training and insufficient equipment for detecting a virus that can hide in inaccessible corners of the body - such as the spinal fluid or eyeball. In Cafferkey's case, the virus in her brain caused meningitis.

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Ebola outbreak in West Africa 22 months on: Key issues for recovery and preparedness, October 2015

                                                                     

acaps.org

Ebola Project, Thematic Report: Key issues for recovery and preparedness, Oct 2015 (3 page .PDF file)
http://acaps.org/img/documents/e-acaps-ebola-project-thematic-report-key-issues-for-recovery-and-preparedness-oct-2015.pdf

ACAPS - Thematic Reports
http://acaps.org/en/pages/ebola-project-sep-dec-2015-thematic-reports

 

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Combining Indigenous Knowledge with Scientific Expertise Can help Mitigate Disaster Risks

submitted by Carrie La Jeunesse

      

PAHO/WHO calls for more collaboration between governments and indigenous communities in preparing for emergencies and disasters

Washington, D.C., 6 October 2015 (PAHO/WHO) -- Involving indigenous communities in disaster risk reduction activities can save lives during catastrophes, experts with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) said on the eve of the International Day for Disaster Reduction 2015.

Building on a growing recognition that mainstream methods of disaster preparedness and mitigation have left indigenous people and their deep knowledge on the sidelines, PAHO/WHO is calling for new disaster risk reduction models based on close collaboration with the communities often most affected by catastrophes, both natural and man-made.

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Ebola RNA Persistence in Semen of Ebola Virus Disease Survivors - Preliminary Report

submitted by Carrie La Jeunesse

                             

nejm.org - October 14, 2015 - DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe1512928

The number of new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in western Africa has declined from a peak of 1063 cases in the week of October 9, 2014, to fewer than 10 confirmed cases per week for 11 consecutive weeks as of October 7, 2015. The main mode of transmission is direct contact with the blood or body fluids of a person with EVD or from the body of a person who died from EVD. However, Ebola virus can persist in the body fluids of survivors during convalescence, which may result in transmission of the virus. The potential for the persistence of Ebola virus in the semen of male survivors raises concern regarding the possible transmission of the virus to sexual partners.

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Dire Glimpses of What Pollution Is Doing in Bangladesh

Two women go back to their village after collecting garbage to sell to traders, Gazipur. PROBAL RASHID

Image: Two women go back to their village after collecting garbage to sell to traders, Gazipur. PROBAL RASHID

wired.com - October 14th 2015 - Laura Mallonee

Bangladesh is dominated by a vast river delta of rich, fertile and flat land no more than 40 feet above sea level. That makes it especially susceptible to climate change. Scientists estimate that rising sea levels will claim as much as 17 percent of the country by 2050, displacing as many as 18 million people.

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This is How Rising Seas Will Reshape the Face of the United States

             

Buildings near the ocean in North Miami, Fla., a state with a high risk of flooding as sea levels rise, according to a recent report. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Carbon choices determine US cities committed to futures below sea level

CLICK HERE - INTERACTIVE MAP - Surging Seas

washingtonpost.com - by Chris Mooney - October 12, 2015

In a new study, a team of scientists who specialize in studying rising seas bring the implications of their research right to the U.S.’s doorstep — calculating just how many American cities and municipalities are at risk of being flooded in the future, as well as how many may already be committed to that fate.

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Ebola Toll in Sierra Leone 'Could Have Been Halved If UK Had Acted Earlier'

             

Sierra Leone health officials check people transiting at the border crossing with Liberia in Jendema in March 2015.
Photograph: Zoom Dosso/AFP/Getty Images

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine finds that if Britain had set up beds one month earlier, about 7,500 people would not have become ill

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Measuring the impact of Ebola control measures in Sierra Leone

theguardian.com - by Sarah Boseley - October 12, 2015

The number of Ebola cases in Sierra Leone could have been halved if treatment beds had been set up by the UK government and charities just one month earlier, a report claims.

The slow response of the World Health Organisation and others to the increasingly desperate pleas for help from people on the ground, especially Médecins sans Frontières, has attracted widespread criticism. Now researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have revealed how many could have been spared the disease if action had been taken sooner.

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G7 Health Ministers Propose Incentives For New Antibiotics, Commit Help On Ebola

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY WATCH by Catherine Saez, Oct, 12, 2015

(Scroll down for Ministers' Statement.)

The health ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) most developed countries have issued a declaration on antimicrobial resistance and Ebola. The governments said they would explore innovative economic incentives to promote research and development of new antibiotics, such as a global antibiotic research fund and a market entry reward mechanism.

The G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States) met from 8-9 October in Berlin and agreed to the Berlin Declaration [pdf] on Antimicrobial Resistance – Global Union for Antibiotics Research and Development (GUARD), aimed at supporting developing countries to develop national antimicrobial resistance action plans.

The G7 health ministers also issued a commitment on lessons learned from Ebola, and supported the 2005 World Health Organization International Health Regulations (IHR), insisting on the need to comply with them.

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The Chains of Mental Illness in West Africa

submitted by George Hurlburt

         

Yaovi Gaffa, 20, chained in a room at a prayer camp near Lomé, Togo, in April. Chaining is a last resort for families in West Africa where psychiatry is virtually unknown. Credit Joao Silva/The New York Times

nytimes.com - by Benedict Carey - October 11, 2015

KPOVÉ, Togo — The church grounds here sprawled through a strange, dreamlike forest. More than 150 men and women were chained by the ankle to a tree or concrete block, a short walk from the central place of worship. Most were experiencing the fearsome delusions of schizophrenia.

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WHO Director-General Addresses G7 Health Ministers on Ebola

                                         

who.int - October 9, 2015

Dr Margaret Chan
Director-General of the World Health Organization

Remarks at the G7 Health Ministers Meeting. Session on Ebola: lessons learned and the International Health Regulations. Berlin, Germany

Honourable ministers, ladies and gentlemen,

I will focus my remarks on lessons learned and the IHR.

Managing the global regime for controlling the international spread of disease is a central and historical responsibility of WHO. In a given year, WHO manages around 100 outbreaks of familiar diseases, like cholera, dengue, meningitis, and many others. This Ebola outbreak was different. It was complex in size and context, present in three countries which were unfamiliar with the disease and ill-prepared.

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Resilience in the SDGs: Developing an Indicator for Target 1.5 that is Fit for Purpose

                            

odi.org - Aditya Bahadur, Emma Lovell, Emily Wilkinson, Thomas Tanner - August 2015

CLICK HERE - Resilience in the SDGs - Developing an indicator for Target 1.5 that is fit for purpose (7 page .PDF file)

We outline a comprehensive approach for developing a cross-sectoral, multi-dimensional and dynamic understanding of resilience. This underpins the core message of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that development is multi-faceted and the achievement of many of the individual development goals is dependent on the accomplishment of other goals. It also acknowledges that shocks and stresses can reverse years of development gains and efforts to eradicate poverty by 2030. Crucially, this approach to understanding resilience draws on data that countries will collect for the SDGs anyway and entails only a small additional burden in this regard.

(CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

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Humanitarian UAV (“Drone”) Experts Meet at MIT

submitted by Andrew Schroeder

         

directrelief.org - by Andrew Schroeder - October 14, 2015

Early Fall mornings in Cambridge, MA have the feeling practically of American myth. The sun rises over the mist that hangs like a blanket on the Charles River, lighting the water with a pale glow that filters through multi-colored leaves and glints off the steel and glass fronts of the buildings which line the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). I’m hurrying down Massachusetts Ave towards Technology Square, wind in my face and coffee in hand, to arrive for the start of the second annual Humanitarian UAV (drone) Experts Meeting happening at MIT Lincoln Labs’ Beaver Works. The meeting is hosted by UAViators (Humanitarian UAV Network), a brainchild of my friend and colleague Patrick Meier.

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