The vaccine being developed by GlaxoKlineSmith in conjunction with the NIH this week posted positive results in the New England Journal of Medicine. An increase in Ebola fighting anti-bodies was observed after treatment. Larger trials will begin in Liberia in January. Here is a round-up of the news:
- The Head of an Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia has urged for more education and awareness regarding the lifespan of Ebola in semen. He claims that many Ebola survivors are practicing unsafe sex which places other individuals at risk. It is currently advised that unprotected sex should be avoided for three months to ensure the Ebola virus is no longer present in reproductive fluids.
- The Daily Mail UK reports that two children who had been vacationing in Africa are currently being tested for Ebola in a hospital in Newcastle. Officials say that it is unlikely that either of the children has the virus but every precaution must be taken.
- The Standard Times Press of Sierra Leone reports that President Koroma on Sunday cut the tape to open a US $300 000 Ebola Treatment Center in Makeni. The Center was funded by Addax Bioenergy as part of their Makeni Project development which aims to modernize the sugar cane industry in a sustainable way to help fuel green energy initiatives.
- Germany has received a new specialized jet to transport Ebola patients. The Airbus A340-300 is equipped with full isolation equipment and all other necessary safeguards. A press release called it “the world’s only evacuation facility…” Germany has contributed more than €100million to fighting the virus.
- After Morocco decided not to host the African Cup of Nations, Equatorial Guinea, who co-hosted the event in 2012, has stepped in. The nation’s officials have asked for calm surrounding Ebola concerns and said that every precaution will be taken to ensure health and safety.
Yesterday the Nurse, Kaci Hickox, who fought against a ‘mandatory’ Ebola quarantine, ended her incubation period which is currently believed to be a maximum of 21 days. Here is a round-up of the day’s news:
- The Associated Press reports that a Nurse has died from Ebola in Mali. She caught the disease after treating another man who had come from Guinea. The man passed away on Monday and tests later confirmed that he had the virus. The two cases are unrelated to the first case which was confirmed when a young two year old from Guinea tested positive after contracting the virus from her late father. The young girl passed shortly after diagnosis. The contacts of the girl are outside of the incubation period as of yesterday.
- Dr. Craig Spencer said at a press conference yesterday that he was proud to have volunteered in West Africa and that the children in the region who battled against the virus were the true heroes. Spencer was greeted with applause at the conference organized outside Bellevue Hospital to celebrate his Ebola-free status.
- The family of the Liberian National who became the index patient for Ebola in the United States has reached a settlement with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital after arguing that the facility failed to treat Thomas Eric Duncan to the best of their ability.
- A second team of Doctors, Nurses and other experts have been dispatched to Liberia by the African Union. This is expected to bring the number of AU personnel in the nation to 70.
- A delegation of European Union Officials have arrived in Sierra Leone for a two day meeting on how to continue and better support the fight against the Ebola virus. The multidisciplinary delegation is expected to conclude in favor of increased cooperation on all fronts.
- An estimated 18000 Nurses yesterday protested in Northern California about the lack of training regarding the treatment of Ebola. The protest has been described as necessary by some and a convenient excuse by others.
A UN Worker has been transported from Sierra Leone to France for treatment of Ebola. This is the second French national flown home for treatment. Here is a summary of the day’s news:
- A woman in the United Kingdom with a travel history that includes West Africa was hospitalized at St. George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London upon suspicion of Ebola. The Accidents and Emergency section was cordoned off and she was moved to the Clinical Infections Unit to be isolated. The woman later tested negative.
- Sierra Express Media reports that angry youths chased and threw rocks at an ambulance carrying an Ebola patient causing the driver to lose control and flip over into a ditch. This is not the first incident of its kind in Sierra Leone. The patient is unharmed. Officials in the nation have also said that while they are grateful for the support to fight the disease, they want to make sure that money is being spent appropriately and are considering an audit of Ebola donors.
- The New Dawn Liberia reports that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has campaigned for the nation’s Central Bank, private financial institutions and other stakeholders to play an active role in the nation’s post-Ebola financial recovery. Johnson-Sirleaf said that the country was making good progress against the virus and it was now time to build a stronger economy.
- A US $500million lawsuit has been filed against Kimberly-Clark Corp. alleging that its Breathable High Performance Surgical Gowns, which they claim gives maximum protection against infectious diseases including Ebola, failed industry tests which found blood and other particles were able to pass through the material. Despite the test results, the company allegedly continued to market the product as before.
- The Spanish nursing assistant, Maria Romero, has been moved out of isolation into a general ward. Maria was given the all clear last week but still needs to recover from the effects of the viral disease. Meanwhile, American Doctor Craig Spencer is now said to be in a stable condition.
Scientists at Washington University have concluded by a study of mice that genetics could play a role in how you respond to the Ebola Virus Disease. Scientists noticed that mice which survived showed higher genetic activity at the alleles responsible for the manufacture of antibodies. Here is a round-up of the day’s news:
- Kaci Hickox, the nurse who fought against isolation, has been temporarily ordered by the state of Maine to maintain a 3-feet distance from people when she goes out. She has also been ordered to submit herself to active monitoring and has to coordinate all travel with health authorities, ABC News reported. Furthermore she may not be present in public places. Kaci said earlier this week that she would go to court if the state of Maine tried enforcing isolation in the same way as the state of New Jersey.
- Russia and Guinea have signed memoranda to establish a legal framework to benefit the Guinean health system to better fight Ebola but also improve care in the future according to Guinéenews. Guinea’s Health Minister also announced further expansion of treatment facilities and protocols as well as the buying of new equipment and widespread distribution of essentials to help fight the virus.
- The Liberian Observer reports that Japan has contributed 7 ambulances worth more than US $ 400 000 to the Government of Liberia to aid the fight against the virus. International and local stakeholders have made progress as noted by the World Health Organization Assistant Director-General, Bruce Aylward, who earlier this week said that the outbreak in Liberia appears to be slowing.
- In Sierra Leone the virus continues to spread as two villages near Freetown-Lungi International Airport have had twenty bodies buried over two days. One of the villages saw a major rise in cases after burial clearance was allegedly given to an untrained person based on misinformation. All Ebola victims must be buried by Officials. How this misinformation occurred is unclear but a dispute has arisen regarding the details. Officials in the nation also called for a change in attitude to help fight the virus. Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister has also said that no citizen from his country has been diagnosed outside its borders.
- A US couple has pranked their son by taking his temperature and declaring that he has Ebola. In two days the video on Youtube has garnered more than 2 million views with mixed reaction to its appropriateness.
While facilities are struggling to cope with the number of affected individuals in West Africa, the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy has contributed by sending Argus, a hospital ship, to help manage the virus. The ship has one hundred beds aboard and will aim lighten the load on treatment facilities in Sierra Leone as well as deliver crucial supplies. Here is a summary of the day’s stories:
- The American Nurse, Kaci Hickox, who questioned the implication on human rights of a mandatory isolation period in New Jersey, and was later let go under conditions of the policy, threatened to go to court if the State of Maine attempted to do the same. It was noted by an official that health care workers who fight the disease in other countries, should be willing to take necessary steps to prevent spreading the virus. Hickox defied all arguments she claims are not founded in science and took a bike ride. Police were unable to detain her because there wasn’t a valid court order. Her 21-day incubation period is scheduled to end on the 10th of November 2014.
- Over one hundred thousand people have signed a petition requesting the Spanish Health Minister to resign. The demand comes after the poor handling of Maria Romero’s Ebola infection which led to a court order for her dog, Excalibur, to be euthanized. The Nurse, upon making a full recovery, said she was disappointed with the decision but would get a new puppy. All contacts have been cleared of the virus.
- The Czech Republic is currently on the hunt for a group of people who threatened to spread Ebola if they are not paid the equivalent of €1 million in Bitcoin (±3700BTC). The first payment was meant to be made on Monday. The Czech government has said that while the individuals cover their tracks and are difficult to find, the citizens have nothing to worry about. The perpetrators could face up to 12 years in prison if caught and convicted.