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.
A woman who collapsed and died in a New York City salon has tested negative for Ebola. She had originally traveled from Guinea three weeks ago and was being monitored for symptoms of the virus. Eyewitness’s said she was bleeding from her mouth while others said it appeared to be a heart attack. Tests were run as an exercise of caution. Here is a summary of the news:
- The Queen of England earlier this week spoke about the danger of the media focusing too much on the fight against Ebola. She raised concerns that excessive attention focused on the hemorrhagic fever would detract from other, more widespread diseases. Malaria leads to the death of more people in one week than the entire known death toll of Ebola during 2014.
- The Daily Mail reports that groups traveling to Liberia wanting to test homeopathic remedies have accused the World Health Organization of not allowing Ebola to be cured with their treatments, which includes Rattlesnake venom, after they were denied access to patients. Critics of their treatments have been described as ‘armchair intellectuals’. The online publication also lists Prince Charles as a supporter of homeopathy but does not indicate his opinion of the effectiveness of the practice regarding the Ebola virus.
- The Liberian Observer reports that Turkey has donated 136 boxes of medical and hygiene supplies to the nation for the fight against Ebola. Most Ebola Treatment Units in and around the capital Monrovia have seen a decline in the amount of patients seeking treatment indicating that progress has been made.
- Japan Today reports that Fujifilm Holdings Corp’s pharmaceutical division Toyama Chemical Co. has announced their expectation that Avigan 200mg tablets will be approved for the treatment of Ebola by the end of the year if current clinical trials in Guinea are successful. The tablet has been administered to patients in France, Germany, Spain and Norway with all patients recovering. It is unclear which concomitant treatments the patients received.
President of the United States, Barack Obama, will meet today with advisors for an update on the response to the Ebola outbreak. Here is an update of the day’s news:
- Reuters reports that a teacher at a Catholic School in Louisville, Kentucky (USA) has resigned after parents expressed concern about Ebola. The teacher, Susan Sherman, who is also a registered nurse, had recently traveled to Kenya. Upon her return parents and the school board asked that she take paid leave for 21 days to be safe. She instead resigned. Kenya, which is in East Africa, has not yet been affected by the West African Outbreak.
- Director-general of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan says that pharmaceutical companies have turned their back on people who are unable to pay. She elaborated that the expectation of profit was one of the main reasons that a vaccine for Ebola had not yet been developed and also said that the World Health Organization has been raising this issue for over two decades. Two vaccines are currently being trialed and human trials are expected to start in 2015 pending the outcomes.
- French Minister of Social Affairs and Health Marisol Touraine says that the United Nations worker who was repatriated to the nation is stable and receiving treatment and Begin military hospital in Paris. The Minister also said that it would be possible to administer experimental drugs if necessary but did not elaborate.
- In a press conference in Seoul the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim called on Korea to send more health care workers to West Africa to aid in the fight against Ebola. Kim extended the call for all Asian countries with capacity to contribute.
- The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has said that the African Cup of Nations 2015 in Morocco will continue despite calls for the tournament to be postponed. A further meeting will be held in Cairo on the 11th of November 2014 to discuss logistics.
- Xinhua News reports that Chinese manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE) are experiencing a massive spike in demand. China currently holds a 50% market share in the production of medical protective gear.
- On the heels of President of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s call for all stakeholders to play a more central role in the country’s economic recovery, the Central Bank has reported growth in the nation’s public debt to US $658million. Economists are concerned about future debt creation related to the fight against the Ebola virus.
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.