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Ebola Again

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Printed Date: August 17 2018 at 11:59pm


Topic: Ebola Again
Posted By: Technophobe
Subject: Ebola Again
Date Posted: May 08 2018 at 10:15am

New Ebola outbreak kills 17 people in Congo just two years after disease wiped out 11,000 in west Africa

The revelation has sparked fears the deadly virus could ravage the country once again after it swept across west Africa between 2014 and 2016, killing at least 11,000



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.



Replies:
Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 09 2018 at 12:15am
.....  'And already the hype begins.

Here are two reports published within hours of each other.  One reports 10 suspected cases and the other tells us that there have already been 17 deaths.  Decide for yourselves, here are the links:

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/ebola-outbreak-drc-10-cases-suspected-health-ministry/story?id=55014623" rel="nofollow - https://abcnews.go.com/Health/ebola-outbreak-drc-10-cases-suspected-health-ministry/story?id=55014623

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/new-outbreak-of-ebola-kills-17-in-dr-congo" rel="nofollow - https://www.sbs.com.au/news/new-outbreak-of-ebola-kills-17-in-dr-congo




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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: FluMom
Date Posted: May 09 2018 at 7:07pm
Hey Ebola is really really nasty. I hope it never gets past Africa. If the people in Africa will just learn how to avoid spreading this disease it would be great but they are not educated or are too stuck to their traditions of cleaning the bodies of the dead. It spreads. Ebola just a bad actor.

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Always Be Prepared


Posted By: CRS, DrPH
Date Posted: May 09 2018 at 9:16pm
Of course, we can always count on Pres. Trump to do the wrong thing:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tim-ziemer-global-health-security-leaves_us_5af37dfbe4b0859d11d02290" rel="nofollow - https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tim-ziemer-global-health-security-leaves_us_5af37dfbe4b0859d11d02290

Rear Adm. Tim Ziemer, the head of global health security on the White House’s National Security Council, left the https://www.huffingtonpost.com/topic/trump-administration/" rel="nofollow - Trump administration on Tuesday. The news was announced one day after an https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/who-ebola-outbreak-democratic-republic-of-congo_us_5af1d563e4b0ab5c3d6a9285" rel="nofollow - Ebola outbreak was declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The departure comes amid a reshuffling of the NSC under newly named national security adviser John Bolton, which includes a change in organizational structure that eliminates the office Ziemer led. Ziemer’s staff has been placed under other NSC departments.



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CRS, DrPH


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 10 2018 at 7:55am
[Well, against all expectations, he seems to be doing ok with north Korea.
But as far as Iran and global health security go, he seems to be failing draamatically.]


Ebola Returns Just as Trump Asks to Rescind Ebola Funds

Fortunately, the new outbreak is happening in the DRC, a country well versed in fighting the dreaded virus.

Ebola is back.

The infamous viral disease first made itself known to the world in 1976, in https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/12/forty-years-later-some-survivors-of-the-first-ebola-outbreak-are-still-immune/548339/" rel="nofollow - a small village called Yambuku in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Now, 42 years later, Ebola is causing another outbreak in the DRC—the ninth in the country’s history.

The new outbreak has hit the town of Bikoro in the northwestern part of the country. The nearby iIkoko Iponge health facility—picture a small building with no electricity and limited supplies—reported 21 suspected cases over the past 5 weeks. Seventeen have died, but it’s not clear how many of these people actually had Ebola. So far, just two cases were actually positive for the virus in laboratory tests, out of five samples that were sent to the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) in Kinshasa.

Some might wonder why lab tests are necessary. Isn’t Ebola so horrific that a case would be obvious? Actually: no. Ebola’s symptoms have been grossly exaggerated by The Hot Zone and other popular accounts. In reality, it is often indistinguishable from more common illnesses like malaria or typhoid. Only a minority of patients hemorrhage, and most do so lightly. The virus doesn’t liquefy its victims’ organs, nor cause blood to gush from every orifice. When Ebola kills, it’s usually through extreme dehydration.

For now, there is no reason for alarm. Despite the unprecedentedly large Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which infected 28,000 people and killed 11,000 between 2014 and 2016, most Ebola outbreaks have been small and contained affairs. Several have involved handfuls of cases. Already, experts from the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, and local Congolese health institutes have traveled to Bikoro. The CDC is supporting local public health partners, and the http://www.who.int/news-room/detail/08-05-2018-new-ebola-outbreak-declared-in-democratic-republic-of-the-congo" rel="nofollow - WHO is planning to deploy more personnel and protective equipment, and has released $1 million from a contingency fund to help stop the outbreak.

A sense of geography is helpful. Look at the back of your right hand. Stick your thumb out and begin curling your fingertips in, stopping short of making a fist. That’s the DRC—a country one-quarter the size of the United States. The capital city, Kinshasa, sits on the knuckle of your thumb. Bikoro, the site of the new outbreak, is on the base of your index finger. Yambuku, the site of the first 1976 outbreak, is on your middle finger. Kikwit, where the next major one happened in 1995, is at the base of your thumb. That was the outbreak, documented by camera crews and chronicled by https://www.vanityfair.com/news/1995/08/ebola-africa-outbreak" rel="nofollow - Laurie Garrett in Vanity Fair , which helped catapult Ebola to global infamy.

It could be more challenging. Unlike Likati, Bikoro lies close to the Congo River—a major trade route—and close to the border with the neighboring Republic of the Congo. These connections increase the risk that the outbreak will spread. Then again, it also makes it easier to mount a response.

The DRC has become very good at controlling Ebola. The INRB in Kinshasa is more than capable of doing diagnostic tests without having to ship samples out to the United States. Its director, Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum, was the first scientist to encounter Ebola at a time when he was the DRC’s only virologist, and has been involved in every outbreak response since. He and his colleagues have also trained a crack-team of researchers and disease detectives. “We’re advanced in public health,” said Gisèle Mvumbi, a CDC-trained Congolese epidemiologist at the INRB, whom I met when I visited the DRC earlier this year. “If you compare us with Europe or the United States, eh, but here in Africa, we are high. We have experience.”

The country excels at spotting diseases early. In the wake of the Kikwit outbreak, scientists like Muyembe and Emile Okitolonda, who leads the Kinshasa School of Public Health, trained medical staff in all of the country’s 500-plus health zones to report potential symptoms. Now, even traditional healers and pastors know to do this. “Here, we have a surveillance system that works,” Okitolonda told me when I met him in the DRC. “Here, nurses know that if they see a suspected case, they report it.”

They might increasingly have cause to do so. “The last outbreak occurred approximately at the same time of year, and it appears that these outbreaks are occurring with greater frequency,” says http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/faculty/rimoin/rimoin.html" rel="nofollow - Anne Rimoin from UCLA, who has worked in the Congo for 16 years. That could be because the Congolese are getting better at detecting the disease, “but there is some evidence that this outbreak appears to have been smoldering for a few months,” Rimoin adds. “Perhaps the ecology is changing, and it has something to do with the reservoir species.” She means the animals that harbor the Ebola virus—bats are likely candidates, but the exact species is still a mystery.

“More information is needed on the potential introduction of disease into the human population or whether animal die-offs have been reported,” says Rebecca Martin, Director of CDC’s Center for Global Health. Her team and others are working to support studies of the disease’s ecology as a priority.

The DRC’s main challenge is its lack of resources. Sure, they can detect Ebola cases quickly, but someone then has to investigate, usually without suits, masks, or even gloves. Such equipment was distributed after the Kikwit epidemic, but Okitolonda told me that within five years, they had all been used up. “It’ll be the same story in West Africa,” he lamented, now that the catastrophic outbreak of 2014 is over. “Resources will disappear and people will forget.”

The United States is already forgetting. Just as news of the Ebola outbreak broke, Donald Trump asked Congress to https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-protecting-american-taxpayer-dollars/" rel="nofollow - rescind $252 million that had been put aside to deal with Ebola, as part of a broader move to cut down on “excessive spending.” That pot of money is the leftover from a $5.4 billion sum that Congress appropriated for dealing with the West African Ebola epidemic in 2015.

That epidemic ended two years ago, but “having some money left over was intentional,” says Ron Klain, the former Ebola czar. It allows USAID to quickly deploy responders to the site of a future outbreak, to prevent it from metastasizing into an international disaster. It is not, as the Trump administration suggests, an example of “irresponsible federal spending.” Quite the opposite: It’s a savvy investment, since epidemics are always more expensive to deal with once they rage out of control.

Congress has https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/5/8/17316126/rescission-request-omb-trump-fiscal-budget" rel="nofollow - 45 days from the time of Trump’s request to act, during which time the $252 million is frozen. If they vote it down, or simply ignore it, the funds will be spent as intended. But “if Congress accepts Trump’s proposal, USAID will have no funding for a response when the next crisis comes,” says Klain, “and it will have to wait until Congress passes new funding, or diverts funds from some other, then-existing disaster response.”

“It is crazily short-sighted to do this,” he adds.



Source:   https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/05/ebola-returns-to-the-congo-just-as-trump-decides-to-rescind-ebola-funds/560012/" rel="nofollow - https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/05/ebola-returns-to-the-congo-just-as-trump-decides-to-rescind-ebola-funds/560012/


[Well, one out of three aint all that bad.]



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 11 2018 at 12:14am

11 additional cases of hemorrhagic fever in Congo including 1 death

By Susan Scutti, CNN


Updated 0402 GMT (1202 HKT) May 11, 201


(CNN)Eleven new cases of hemorrhagic fever, including one death, have been reported since Tuesday in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Minister of Health Dr. Oly Ilunga said Thursday in Kinshasa. Two of those cases are confirmed to be Ebola. Lab results are pending on the other nine cases which are suspected to be Ebola.

Ebola virus disease, which most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates such as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees, is caused by one of five Ebola viruses. On average, about 50% of people who become ill with Ebola die.

The new outbreak was announced Tuesday. Sickness is occurring in the Bikoro health zone, 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) from Mbandaka, the capital of Equator province.

The World Health Organization http://www.who.int/emergencies/crises/cod/drc-donor-alert-ebola-10may2018.pdf?ua=1" rel="nofollow - reported Thursday that 27 total cases of fever with hemorrhagic symptoms were recorded in the Bikoro region between April 4 and May 5, including 17 deaths. Of these total cases, two tested positive for Ebola virus disease, according to the WHO.
The risk to public health is assessed as high at the local level, moderate at the regional level and low at the global level, according to the WHO.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. The affected area in Bikoro is remote, with limited communication and poor transportation infrastructure, the WHO said. Bikoro has a population of about 163,000 spread over an area of approximately 1,075 square kilometers (415 square miles).

On Tuesday, Ilunga requested support to strengthen the response to this outbreak. The ministry and the WHO have developed a plan to respond to the outbreak over the next three months. The full extent of the outbreak is not known, according to the WHO, and the location poses significant logistical challenges.

Three health care professionals are among the confirmed cases, Ilunga said: "As health professionals are the first actors in the government's response to Ebola, this situation is of concern to us and requires a response that is all the more immediate and energetic."

Ebola is endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and this is the nation's ninth outbreak of Ebola virus disease since the discovery of the virus in the country in 1976. The last outbreak occurred there in 2017 in the northern Bas Uele province. That outbreak was quickly contained due to joint efforts by the government, the WHO and other partners.
West Africa experienced the http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en/" rel="nofollow - largest recorded outbreak of Ebola over a two-year period beginning in March 2014; a total of 28,616 confirmed, probable and suspected cases were reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 11,310 deaths, according to the WHO.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the new cases and death as confirmed rather than suspected.

Journalist Steve Wembi contributed to this report.


Source, video and annoying accompanying ads:   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/10/health/drc-confirms-first-ebola-death/index.html" rel="nofollow - https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/10/health/drc-confirms-first-ebola-death/index.html



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 11 2018 at 1:16pm
Update
https://www.reuters.com/news/archive/worldNews" rel="nofollow - World News
May 10, 2018 / 10:18 AM / Updated an hour ago

Congo says another suspected death in latest Ebola outbreak

Source and article:   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola-congo/congo-says-another-suspected-death-in-latest-ebola-outbreak-idUSKBN1IB13D" rel="nofollow - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola-congo/congo-says-another-suspected-death-in-latest-ebola-outbreak-idUSKBN1IB13D



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 11 2018 at 3:08pm
[This is amazing timing!]

Top White House official in charge of pandemic response exits abruptly

The top White House official responsible for leading the U.S. response in the event of a deadly pandemic has left the administration, and the global health security team he oversaw has been disbanded under a reorganization by national security adviser John Bolton.

The abrupt departure of Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer from the National Security Council means no senior administration official is now focused solely on global health security. Ziemer’s departure, along with the breakup of his team, comes at a time when many experts say the country is https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/04/27/bill-gates-calls-on-u-s-to-lead-fight-against-a-pandemic-that-could-kill-millions/?utm_term=.e861b54cdaeb" rel="nofollow - already underprepared for the increasing risks of a https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-trump-administration-is-ill-prepared-for-a-global-pandemic/2017/04/08/59605bc6-1a49-11e7-9887-1a5314b56a08_story.html?utm_term=.6b7fb71a6b57" rel="nofollow - pandemic  or bioterrorism attack.

Ziemer’s last day was Tuesday, the same day a https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/congo-health-ministry-confirms-2-cases-of-ebola/2018/05/08/41429d30-52db-11e8-a6d4-ca1d035642ce_story.html?utm_term=.cf7c1f804be3" rel="nofollow - new Ebola outbreak was declared in Congo. He is not being replaced.

Pandemic preparedness and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/02/01/cdc-to-cut-by-80-percent-efforts-to-prevent-global-disease-outbreak/?utm_term=.99e90744bb7c" rel="nofollow - global health security  are issues that require government-wide responses, experts say, as well as the leadership of a high-ranking official within the White House who is assigned only this role.

“Health security is very fragmented, with many different agencies,” said J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It means coordination and direction from the White House is terribly important. ”

The personnel changes, which Morrison and others characterize as a downgrading of global health security, are part of Bolton’s previously announced plans to streamline the NSC. Two members of Ziemer's team have been merged into a unit in charge of weapons of mass destruction, and another official's position is now part of a unit responsible for international organizations. White House homeland security adviser https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-homeland-security-adviser-resigns-amid-continued-turnover-in-trump-administration/2018/04/10/15db518a-3ccb-11e8-a7d1-e4efec6389f0_story.html?utm_term=.2d2315c28d3a" rel="nofollow - Tom Bossert , who had called for a comprehensive biodefense strategy against pandemics and biological attacks, is out completely. He left the day after Bolton took over last month.

NSC spokesman Robert Palladino said Wednesday the administration “remains committed to global health, global health security and biodefense, and will continue to address these issues with the same resolve under the new structure.”

Another administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly, acknowledged it was only one of many administration priorities. “In a world of limited resources, you have to pick and choose,” he said. “We lost a little bit of the leadership, but the expertise remains.”

Ziemer is a well-respected public health leader who was considered highly effective leading the President’s Malaria Initiative under George W. Bush and Barack Obama before joining the NSC last year. While Palladino said he left “on the warmest terms,” an individual familiar with the specifics behind the reorganization said “he was basically pushed out. He struggled to preserve himself and the integrity of his team, and he failed.”

His exit comes against the backdrop of other administration actions critics say have weakened health security preparedness, including dwindling financing for early preventive action against infectious disease threats abroad.

The new Ebola outbreak is in northwest Congo. Only two cases have been confirmed, but the World Health Organization reported Thursday another 30 probable and suspected cases of the deadly hemorrhagic fever. Of those, 18 already have died.

Congolese and international health officials say they hope to control the outbreak quickly, but some health officials worry about its potential to become more serious and spread because of its location in a town upriver from the densely populated capital of Kinshasa.

This week, the administration released a https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-calls-on-congress-to-pull-back-15-billion-in-spending-including-on-childrens-health-insurance-program/2018/05/07/9427de18-5216-11e8-a551-5b648abe29ef_story.html?utm_term=.d3d190c66a9e" rel="nofollow - list of $15 billion in spending cuts  it wants Congress to approve. Among the targets is $252 million in unused funds remaining from the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people, far exceeding the combined total cases reported in about 20 previous outbreaks since the 1970s.

The White House proposal “is threatening to claw back funding whose precise purpose is to help the United States be able to respond quickly in the event of a crisis,” said Carolyn Reynolds, a vice president at PATH, a global health technology nonprofit.

Collectively, warns Jeremy Konyndyk, who led foreign disaster assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development during the Obama administration, “What this all adds up to is a potentially really concerning rollback of progress on U.S. health security preparedness.”

“It seems to actively unlearn the lessons we learned through very hard experience over the last 15 years,” said Konyndyk, now a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development. “These moves make us materially less safe. It’s inexplicable.”

The day before news of Ziemer’s exit became public, one of the officials on his team, Luciana Borio, director of medical and biodefense preparedness at the NSC, spoke at a symposium at Emory University to mark the 100th anniversary of the https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/01/27/the-flu-can-kill-tens-of-millions-of-people-in-1918-thats-exactly-what-it-did/?utm_term=.2cf86c8371cb" rel="nofollow - 1918 influenza pandemic . That event killed an estimated 50 million to 100 million people worldwide.

“The threat of pandemic flu is the number one health security concern,” she told the audience. “Are we ready to respond? I fear the answer is no.”

Karen DeYoung contributed to this report.

Source:   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/05/10/top-white-house-official-in-charge-of-pandemic-response-exits-abruptly/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e75bec5b67b3" rel="nofollow - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/05/10/top-white-house-official-in-charge-of-pandemic-response-exits-abruptly/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e75bec5b67b3



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 12 2018 at 12:30pm
Saturday, May 12th 2018 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/weather/index.html" rel="nofollow -  

Health officials are preparing for the 'worst' Ebola outbreak yet: Warning comes days after the first death was confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Published: 12:58, 11 May 2018 | Updated: 13:03, 11 May 2018


Health officials are preparing for the 'worst' http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ebola/index.html" rel="nofollow - Ebola outbreak yet. 

Peter Salama, head of emergency response at the World Health Organziation (WHO), said: 'We are very concerned, and we are planning for all scenarios, including the worst-case scenario.'

This comes days after the first confirmed death in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which also has 11 known sufferers.

Seventeen recent fatalities are thought to be linked to the Ebola outbreak, while 32 people are suspected to be infected with the virus in the northwestern area of Bikoro.

The outbreak, which was confirmed by the DRC's health minister last Tuesday, is the country's ninth epidemic since the virus was identified in 1976.

Scientists fear it may be a 'public-health emergency' after an Ebola pandemic killed at least 11,000 when it decimated West Africa between 2014 and 2016.

All nine countries that neighbour DRC have been put of high alert over the possible spread of Ebola and international aid teams have flown in to help.

Health officials are preparing for the worst Ebola outbreak yet (pictured, Red Cross workers carrying a corpse out of a house in Sierra Leone during the Ebola pandemic of 2014-16)

Three health professionals have died 

The Congo Health Ministry said last Tuesday: 'Our country is facing another epidemic of the Ebola virus, which constitutes an international public health emergency.' 

Three of the confirmed or suspected sufferers are healthcare workers, of which one has died.

Health Minister Oly Ilunga said: 'One of the defining features of this epidemic is the fact that three health professionals have been affected. 

'This situation worries us and requires an immediate and energetic response.'

What is being done to prevent more cases?

The affected region of Bikoro is very remote and difficult for emergency teams to reach.

Mr Salama said: 'Access is extremely difficult... It is basically 15 hours by motorbike from the closest town.'

In addition, to the health team that is already there, the WHO is preparing to send up to 40 specialists in the next week or so.

Mr Salama also stated the UN health organisation hopes to have a mobile lab up and running on site this weekend.

The WHO and World Food Programme are also working to set up an 'air-bridge' to help bring in supplies, however, only helicopters can be used until an airfield is cleared to allow larger planes to land, Mr Salama added.

The health body has released £738,000 ($1m) from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies to support response activities for the next three months. 

Where could the outbreak spread to? 

The WHO is thought to be particularly concerned about the spread of Ebola to Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur province, which has around one million residents and is just a few hours away from Bikoro.

Mr Salama said: 'If we see a town of that size infected with Ebola, then we are going to have a major urban outbreak.'

Nigeria’s immigration service has increased screening tests at airports and other entry points as a precautionary measure. 

Similar measures helped the region contain the virus during the West African epidemic that began in 2013.

Officials in Guinea and Gambia both said they have heightened screening measures along their borders.      

This comes days after the first confirmed death in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which also has 11 known sufferers (a health worker is pictured spraying a colleague with disinfectant during a training session for Congolese health workers to deal with Ebola four years ago)
This comes days after the first confirmed death in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which also has 11 known sufferers (a health worker is pictured spraying a colleague with disinfectant during a training session for Congolese health workers to deal with Ebola four years ago)

How bad have previous outbreaks been?

DRC escaped the brutal Ebola pandemic, which was finally declared over in January 2016, but was struck by a smaller outbreak last year.

Four DRC residents died from the virus in 2017. The outbreak lasted just 42 days and international aid teams were praised for their prompt responses. 

Health experts credit an awareness of the disease among the DRC population and local medical staff's experience treating for past successes containing its spread.

The country's vast, remote geography also gives it an advantage, as outbreaks are often localised and relatively easy to isolate.

Bikoro, however, lies not far from the banks of the Congo River, which is considered to be an essential waterway for transport and commerce.

Further downstream, the river flows past Kinshasa and Brazzaville, the capital of Congo Republic. The two cities have a combined population of more than 12 million people. 

Neighbouring countries alerted

Angola, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Burundi and the Republic of Congo - which border the DRC - have all been alerted.

While Kenya, which does not border the country, has issued warnings over the possible spread of Ebola.

Thermal guns to detect anyone with a fever have been put in place along its border with Uganda and at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. 

Concerned health officials in Nigeria, which also does not border the DRC, have put similar measures in place to keep its population safe. 

Mass vaccination will not curb epidemics  

This comes after research released earlier this month suggested mass vaccinations will not stop  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ebola/index.html" rel="nofollow - Ebola outbreaks.   

Professor Martin Michaelis and colleagues examined the prospects of a major Ebola campaign to dole out jabs to at-risk patients by looking at 35 old studies. 

Writing in the Frontiers in Immunology, they revealed that controlling an outbreak of the virus depends entirely on surveillance and the isolation of cases.

At least 80 per cent of the population would have to receive the vaccine to establish herd immunity, as the average infected patient passes it onto four other people.

Yet, Professor Michaelis pointed to a trial during the Ebola pandemic, which showed less than half of patients were given a experimental jab.

Currently, there are no vaccines to protect patients against Ebola and scientists are unsure if any of the ones under investigation will work in the long term.

Doling out vaccines to populations would also be 'costly and impractical', Professor Michaelis claimed, due to many people at risk living in remote, rural areas.

WHAT IS EBOLA AND HOW DEADLY WAS IT?

Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever, killed at least 11,000 across the world after it decimated West Africa and spread rapidly over the space of two years.

The pandemic was officially declared over back in January 2016, when Liberia was announced to be Ebola-free by the WHO.

The country, rocked by back-to-back civil wars that ended in 2003, was hit the hardest by the fever, with 40 per cent of the deaths having occurred there.

Sierra Leone reported the highest number of Ebola cases, with nearly of all those infected having been residents of the nation.

WHERE DID IT BEGIN? 

An analysis, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found the outbreak began in Guinea - which neighbours Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A team of international researchers were able to trace the pandemic back to a two-year-old boy in Meliandou - about 400 miles (650km) from the capital, Conakry.

Emile Ouamouno, known more commonly as Patient Zero, may have contracted the deadly virus by playing with bats in a hollow tree, a study suggested.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE STRUCK DOWN? 

WHICH COUNTRIES WERE STRUCK DOWN BY EBOLA DURING THE 2014-16 PANDEMIC? (CDC figures)
COUNTRY                                               CASES  DEATHSDEATH RATE (%) 
GUINEA3,814 2,54466.7%
SIERRA LEONE 14,124 3,956 28.0% 
LIBERIA 10,678 4,810 45.0% 
NIGERIA 20 40.0% 
SENEGAL N/A 
SPAIN N/A 
US 25.0% 
MALI 75.0%
UK N/A
ITALY N/A 

Figures show nearly 29,000 people were infected from Ebola - meaning the virus killed around 40 per cent of those it struck.

Cases and deaths were also reported in Nigeria, Mali and the US - but on a much smaller scale, with 15 fatalities between the three nations.

Health officials in Guinea reported a mysterious bug in the south-eastern regions of the country before the WHO confirmed it was Ebola. 

Ebola was first identified by scientists in 1976, but the most recent outbreak dwarfed all other ones recorded in history, figures show.

HOW DID HUMANS CONTRACT THE VIRUS? 

Scientists believe Ebola is most often passed to humans by fruit bats, but antelope, porcupines, gorillas and chimpanzees could also be to blame.

It can be transmitted between humans through blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of people - and surfaces - that have been infected.

IS THERE A TREATMENT? 

The WHO warns that there is 'no proven treatment' for Ebola - but dozens of drugs and jabs are being tested in case of a similarly devastating outbreak.

Hope exists though, after an experimental vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, protected nearly 6,000 people. The results were published in The Lancet journal.

Source and video:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5717795/Health-officials-preparing-worst-Ebola-outbreak-yet.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5717795/Health-officials-preparing-worst-Ebola-outbreak-yet.html




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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 13 2018 at 8:24am

RML releases latest findings on Ebola in same week new outbreak reported in Congo

3 Hours ago

A study by scientists at Rocky Mountain Laboratories has quieted concerns the Ebola virus had become even deadlier to humans due to a mutation during an outbreak that claimed more than 10,000 lives in western Africa. 

Last week's release of the National Institutes of Health study coincided with news of a new Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo that reportedly has killed 18.

The Ebola virus causes a serious illness that is often fatal if not treated. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and then spreads through the human population when people come in contact with bodily fluids like saliva, vomit or urine.

First identified in 1976, the Ebola virus’s impact was limited to a few thousand people in central Africa before the disease swept through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone between 2013 to 2016 in an outbreak that sickened more than 30,000 people and eventually killed more than 10,000.

Early on during that epidemic, scientists speculated the genetic diversity in the circulating Mokona strain of the virus would result in more severe disease and higher rates of transmissibility between humans than prior strains.

RML staff scientist Andrea Marzi was one of 16 National Institutes of Health researchers who traveled to Africa during the outbreak to help facilitate the treatment of people affected by the disease.

Marzi worked with NIAID’s Laboratory of Virology chief Dr. Heinz Feldmann  in a subsequent study to determine if mutations during the epidemic had made the disease more deadly to humans.

“At the end of 2016, there were some publications coming out hypothesizing that the Ebola virus Makona — which was the causative agent of the epidemic that devastated West Africa from 2013 to 2016 — might have over time adapted to humans and therefore spread so widely and caused this big epidemic,” Marzi said.

Since RML researchers were involved early on in the response to the outbreak, they had samples of the virus from the beginning in Guinea. They also had samples from Liberia and Mali that included the mutations that were associated with human adaptation of the virus.

The researchers in Hamilton wanted to test the theory that mutation made the disease more deadly to humans by using animal models that were often used in this type of research.

Specially bred mice that are very susceptible to all types of diseases and rhesus macaque monkeys were infected with the various virus isolates to both assess the disease progression and see how the virus would shed.

“We were unable to find any significant differences between early and late isolates lacking or carrying those mutations, suggesting that these mutations did not lead to alterations in the disease-causing ability in animal models,” the researchers’ study said.

While the test subjects weren’t human, they were as close as researchers can come in analyzing these types of research questions, Marzi said.

“Having said that, we were very surprised to see basically no difference,” she said. “The mutation does not seem to contribute to more severe disease of pathogenesis.

“Even though the virus might have adapted to humans by acquiring this mutation … it did not make the disease worse in humans,” Marzi said. “Also we do not think it made it spread more. The study did not show the virus is more easily transmitted via saliva, urine or feces or so (on). We didn’t see a difference between early isolates and later ones carrying the mutation.”

The take away message was that different reasons, other than changes in the virus, likely caused the outbreak to be so widespread and severe.

“Other factors, including socio-economic ones, may have contributed,” Marzi said. “Unlike other outbreaks that occurred in central Africa in small villages where there wasn’t a lot of traffic, western Africa is highly populated and people travel a lot between countries. There is a lot of trade.

“The cities that were infected were not small villages,” she said. “They were like the capitals of those countries with a million people living there. Once the virus gets there, it spreads faster. This may have contributed, too, not just that the virus mutated and adapted to humans. … Our data doesn’t support that hypothesis. Mutations in viruses are normal. It may have moved wider because there were a lot more targets.”

People in West Africa were also slow to react because the disease had not appeared there before.

“In central Africa, people are very aware that Ebola is around,” Marzi said. “If someone presents with symptoms, village elders isolate them. (They) know that it could spread and be devastating. In West Africa in the beginning, nobody believed Ebola was there. They had to raise awareness that something bad was going on.”

Marzi spent two months working in Africa during the outbreak in what she calls an opportunity of a lifetime.

“For me, as a researcher, for the first time I personally could contribute something on the ground level,” she said. “Even though my skills as a scientist are so abstract to many people, those skills actually helped people directly.

“I could determine which people were really sick from blood that was drawn,” Marzi said. “Health care workers could limit the contact from the people who were infected to those people who were not infected and hopefully ensure they didn’t get the virus.”

There was some fear that went along with going into a place where so many were sick and dying.

“I washed my hands in bleach so many times that I could smell it for months afterwards,” she said. “It was quite something, but it was also one of the best things that I did in my life.”

Source:   https://ravallirepublic.com/news/local/article_c8baec9f-b8ae-530f-a751-f033e9776c67.html" rel="nofollow - https://ravallirepublic.com/news/local/article_c8baec9f-b8ae-530f-a751-f033e9776c67.html



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: carbon20
Date Posted: May 13 2018 at 2:39pm
some nutty terroist  group could could send a few people to somewhere they hate ,with a few vials of blood ,have a "friend" in the health industry and ....................

opps a Major out break in................

pick a country or three.................

then there's the Airbourne version fo Ebola.......NOT Fatal YET................

mind not a good virus ,

people have a tendency to avoid ,others bleeding out.....................


-------------
12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 14 2018 at 3:23pm
Update:   https://reliefweb.int/disaster/ep-2018-000049-cod" rel="nofollow - https://reliefweb.int/disaster/ep-2018-000049-cod


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 15 2018 at 8:49am
Update: 

19 dead 
39 others sick.
393 known contacts



Ebola virus outbreak RAVAGES Congo as death toll rises to 19

EBOLA has claimed the lives of 19 people and left 39 fighting for survival in the latest outbreak of the killer virus in the Congo.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed the killer disease has reared its ugly head again in Africa between April 4 and May 13 in devastating figures released today.

They also said a staggering 393 people who had come into contact with the epidemic were being followed up after an outbreak in Bikoro, Iboko and Wangata was confirmed.

Though additional information on the outbreak is limited, the event did not trigger a public health warning, the organisation said.

News of the outbreak brings to mind the terror of the epidemic that killed 11,000 people and infected 28,000 in West Africa between 2014 and 2016.

The West African epidemic began in a small village in Guinea, with a two-year-old boy thought to be the first victim.

It became a plague when it spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The last outbreak also took place in the Congo and killed four people last year.

The illness spreads frighteningly quickly with symptoms including fever, severe headache, muscle pain weakness, fatigue, diarrhea and vomiting to name a few.

Ebola has been traced all the way back to 1976 when 151 people died in Nzura in South Sudan and 280 in Yambuku, near the Ebola river which is where the disease gets its name.

The disease is believed to be hosted by bats but the blood and bodily fluids of animals is how the disease is thought to have transmitted to humans.

As it is impossible to eradicate the animals infected with Ebola, it is also impossible to wipe the virus out entirely.

This means it it inevitable that it will return.

A quick response when the disease takes hold betters the chances of survival.

In 2014, Pauline Cafferkey, a British aid worker was diagnosed with Ebola at Glasgow’s Gartnaval General Hospital.

She had just returned to Scotland from Sierra Leonne and is thought to have caught the toxic bug wearing a visor instead of goggles while in Africa.

It took 11 months for Ms Cafferkey to be declared free of infection.


Source and photos:   https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/959733/ebola-virus-outbreak-2018-congo-africa-Bikoro-Iboko-Wangata" rel="nofollow - https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/959733/ebola-virus-outbreak-2018-congo-africa-Bikoro-Iboko-Wangata



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 16 2018 at 12:05am

1. Situation update:   15.05.2018

Grade 2
Cases 41
Deaths 20
CFR 48.8%

On 8 May 2018, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province. This is the ninth outbreak of Ebola virus disease over the last four decades in the country, with the most recent one occurring in May 2017.

Context

On 3 May 2018, the Provincial Health Division of Equateur reported 21 cases of fever with haemorrhagic signs including 17 community deaths in the Ikoko-Impenge Health Area in this region. A team from the Ministry of Health, supported by WHO and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) visited the Ikoko-Impenge Health Area on 5 May 2018 and detected five (5) active cases, two of whom were admitted to Bikoro General Hospital and three who were admitted in the health centre in Ikoko-Impenge. Samples were taken from each of the five active cases and sent for analysis at the Institute National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB), Kinshasa on 6 May 2018. Of these, two tested positive for Ebola virus, Zaire ebolavirus species, by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 7 May 2018 and the outbreak was officially declared on 8 May 2018.

The index case has not yet been identified and investigations are underway.

Update

Since the last situation report, an additional Health Zone in Equateur Province reported EVD cases – Wangata Health Zone in the city of Mbandaka – with a total of three (3) affected Health Zones as of 14 May 2018.

Waganta Health Zone reported two probable cases on 11 May 2018 with both cases testing positive by Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDT) – both their samples are awaiting PCR confirmation from INRB in Kinshasa. As of 13 May, there is a cumulative total of 41 cases, including 20 deaths (case fatality rate = 48.8%) and three healthcare workers from Bikoro (n=2) and Iboko (n=1). Of the 41 cases reported, two cases are confirmed, 17 are suspected and 22 are probable . A total of 432 contacts are being monitored in the health zones of Bikoro (n=274), Iboko (n=115) and Mbandaka (n=43) as of 14 May 2018.
With regards to case distribution, Bikoro Health Zone reported the highest number of cases (n=31), followed by Iboko (n=8) and Mbandaka (n=2) Health Zones. In the Bikoro Health Zone, 50% of the cases were reported from the Ikoko-Impenge health area, followed by Bikoro health area (35.3%), the health facility (14%) and the Moleti health area (7%). In the Iboko Health Zone, most cases were reported from the Mpangi health area (80%) with the remaining one case being reported from Itipo health area. In the Waganta Health Zone in Mbandaka city, the two cases were both from the Bongozo health area. They are the previously mentioned probable cases (RDT positive and awaiting PCR confirmation) and are brothers who had recently stayed in Bikoro for funerals.

Source:   http:///reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/democratic-republic-congo-ebola-virus-disease-external-situation-0" rel="nofollow - http:///reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/democratic-republic-congo-ebola-virus-disease-external-situation-0


I can't help but notice the dates.  I did not manage to report this to you until the 8th, when the government first announced the outbreak, but the disease emerged in the human potulation on the 3rd, that is a whole week apart.  This is easily explainable by the remoteness of the outbreak.  But, what if it was another zoonosis, even more deadly, contagious and slightly slower to kill?  That kind of delay would be lethal on a massive scale.  I rather doubt that ebola will be the slate wiper, but it is interesting as a case study to prepare for the disease that is.



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 16 2018 at 6:32am
May 16, 2018 / 12:03 PM / Updated 37 minutes ago

Congo receives first doses of Ebola vaccine amid outbreak

KINSHASA (Reuters) - The first batch of 4,000 experimental Ebola vaccines to combat an outbreak suspected to have killed 20 people arrived in Congo’s capital Kinshasa on Wednesday, said a Reuters witness at the airport.

The Health Ministry said vaccinations would start on the weekend, the first time the vaccine would come into use since it was developed two years ago.

The vaccine, developed by Merck and sent from Europe by the World Health Organization, is still not licensed but proved effective during limited trials in West Africa in the biggest ever outbreak of Ebola, which killed 11,300 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from 2014-2016.

Health officials hope they can use it to contain the latest outbreak in northwest Democratic Republic of Congo which the WHO believes has so far killed 20 people since April.

Health workers have recorded two confirmed cases, 22 probable cases and 17 suspected cases of Ebola in three health zones of Congo’s Equateur province, and identified 432 people who may have had contact with the disease.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said the vaccine will be reserved for people suspected of coming into contact with the disease, and that a second batch of 4,000 doses would be sent in the coming days.

“In our experience, for each confirmed case of Ebola there are about 100-150 contacts and contacts of contacts eligible for vaccination,” Jasarevic said. “So it means this first shipment would be probably enough for around 25-26 rings - each around one confirmed case.”

The WHO said it had sent 300 body bags for safe burials in affected communities.

The outbreak was first spotted in the Bikoro zone, which has 31 of the cases and 274 contacts. There have also been eight cases and 115 contacts in Iboko health zone.

The WHO is worried about the disease reaching the city of Mbandaka with a population of about 1 million people, which would make the outbreak far harder to tackle. Two brothers in Mbandaka who recently stayed in Bikoro for funerals are probable cases, with samples awaiting laboratory confirmation.

The WHO report said 1,500 sets of personal protective equipment and an emergency sanitary kit sufficient for 10,000 people for three months were being put in place.

Source: Reuters    http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola/congo-receives-first-doses-of-ebola-vaccine-amid-outbreak-idUKKCN1IH1AV" rel="nofollow - http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola/congo-receives-first-doses-of-ebola-vaccine-amid-outbreak-idUKKCN1IH1AV

To add to my previous point,  It has taken two weeks to decide to use the vaccine and get it to the appropriate area.  Impressive, but probably not fast enough in the case of disease X.



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: tiger_deF
Date Posted: May 16 2018 at 11:54am
While this outbreak is happening in a pretty rural area of Africa the lack of media coverage is almost as suprising as the total lack of updates. The only source of info we have is who updates every couple of days


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 16 2018 at 1:01pm
I expect they just want to show off their new vaccine..............  Big smile


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: carbon20
Date Posted: May 16 2018 at 2:43pm
in parts of Africa ,it is a custom ,when young woman are going to get married,the sleep with a man ,i think known as a leopard,he has sex with them to teach them how to please their new husband,(this might be at puberty not sure of the age yet will research it ),

a few years ago there was a case that the "Leopard"didnt use a condom and infected many young woman with HIV,
Ebola has been found in semen...............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

may be not zoonosis,just a dirty old man ,


-------------
12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 17 2018 at 1:12am
Update

23 deaths
42 known cases
The disease has spread to Mbandaka (a city of over a million people)

It transpires that the vaccine the WHO has been relying on to contain the virus by ring-vaccination has to be stored at between -60C to -80C which is almost impossible in the remote areas where emerging zoonosises like ebola appear.

As usual with ebola, there is some arguement about how bad things are so here are several links each with their own take on affairs.  The Telegraph, Reuters and the BBC all have great reputations for accuracy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-44150762" rel="nofollow - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-44150762

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola-congo/congo-health-minister-says-ebola-outbreak-in-new-phase-after-urban-case-idUSKCN1IH38O" rel="nofollow - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola-congo/congo-health-minister-says-ebola-outbreak-in-new-phase-after-urban-case-idUSKCN1IH38O

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/16/fear-ebola-spreads-city-12m-people/" rel="nofollow - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/16/fear-ebola-spreads-city-12m-people/

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/960891/ebola-deadly-virus-Africa-democratic-republic-of-congo-Mbandaka-disease-death" rel="nofollow - https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/960891/ebola-deadly-virus-Africa-democratic-republic-of-congo-Mbandaka-disease-death




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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 17 2018 at 1:17am
The following are links published yesterday:

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/05/fresh-ebola-outbreak-ncaa-issues-guidelines-airlines-urges-vigilance/" rel="nofollow - https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/05/fresh-ebola-outbreak-ncaa-issues-guidelines-airlines-urges-vigilance/  gives the instructions to the local airlines and http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/05/15/611267872/can-the-new-ebola-vaccine-stop-the-latest-outbreak" rel="nofollow - http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/05/15/611267872/can-the-new-ebola-vaccine-stop-the-latest-outbreak   gives details of the vaccine used and its effectiveness in the last outbreak.


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 17 2018 at 2:45am

Ethiopia Declares Maximum Alert for New Outbreak of Ebola in DRC

Addis Ababa, May 13 (Prensa Latina) The Ethiopian government declared a maximum alert to counteract the Ebola virus disease after an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) this week.

According to the Ethiopian Health Ministry, inspections are carried out at the main international airports and in the border areas to prevent the entry of the deadly disease.

The organization specified that clinics and hospitals throughout the country received the necessary equipment to treat suspected cases of Ebola, and training is being given to strengthen response capabilities.

A new outbreak was declared on Tuesday by the government of the DRC, after two samples tested positive in Bikoro, province of Equateur.

The African Union (AU) announced that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC of Africa) activated an emergency operation to support the fight against the epidemic.

Thus, the CDC mobilized combat resources for an imminent deployment; The team includes experts with experience in the treatment of the condition, who in turn participated in the 2014 pandemic that affected West Africa.

At that time, Ethiopia also previously sent a medical team, made up of about 200 health workers.

Source:   http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=28155&SEO=ethiopia-declares-maximum-alert-for-new-outbreak-of-ebola-in-drc" rel="nofollow - http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=28155&SEO=ethiopia-declares-maximum-alert-for-new-outbreak-of-ebola-in-drc

[Technophobe:  The  CDC may be relying on the vaccine, but at least someone is taking care in case it does not work.]



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 17 2018 at 2:52am
[Technophobe: Reports seem to be quite varied on the scope of the spread to Mbandaka.  I have come across reports that three people there had the disease, which I find unlikely this early.  This is the most up-to-the-minute report I can find and that says one person in the city has the diseae.]

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s efforts to head off an Ebola epidemic is running into obstacles, with the announcement of the first registered urban case.

Health officials have https://af.reuters.com/article/drcNews/idAFL5N1SN409" rel="nofollow - confirmed a case in the northwest city of Mbandaka, a busy river port located at the intersection of the Congo and Ruki rivers and with trade routes to the capital Kinshasa. The spread of the deadly virus from the countryside and into a city that is home to about a million people pushes the current outbreak into a “new phase,” essentially making the efforts to contain the outbreak far harder.

Authorities said they were tracing all air, river, and road routes in and out of the city to find the source of the virus. Two brothers in Mbandaka who recently visited the outbreak’s starting point in Bikoro town are probable cases, with samples awaiting laboratory confirmation. So far, 23 people are known to have died while 42 others have been infected since the https://qz.com/1273712/drc-congo-ebola-outbreak-kills-17/" rel="nofollow - outbreak started earlier this month.

The announcement came just as thousands of doses of the experimental Ebola vaccine arrived in the country, with vaccinations expected to commence this coming weekend. Sent by the World Health Organization, the vaccine is still not licensed but proved effective in the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. WHO says it will use the https://www.cbsnews.com/news/congo-ebola-outbreak-experimental-vaccine-arrives/" rel="nofollow - “ring vaccination” method by administering the treatment to voluntary contacts, and contacts of those contacts, besides health workers. The health body also sent 300 body bags for safe burials in affected communities.

The swift response to quickly tackle the outbreak is in contrast to the response to the 2014 outbreak, when international agencies and governments were criticized for their slow response. More than 11,300 people http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28755033" rel="nofollow - were confirmed dead between March 2014 and Jan. 2016 in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the US, and Mali.

In the DR Congo, a quick response is also crucial given https://qz.com/1276165/ebola-in-drc-congo-kills-17-in-a-race-against-time-nigeria-to-help/" rel="nofollow - the recurring nature of the virus in the nation: since 1976, there have been https://www.nation.co.ke/news/africa/Ebola-kills-17-in--DR-Congo/1066-4551576-bx7k8y/index.html" rel="nofollow - nine major outbreaks of the deadly virus in the central African nation.

Source:   https://qz.com/1280450/dr-congo-ebola-outbreak-spreads-to-mbandaka-city/" rel="nofollow - https://qz.com/1280450/dr-congo-ebola-outbreak-spreads-to-mbandaka-city/




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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 17 2018 at 3:10am
..... 'And here is the ECDC report PDF on the risks posed to Europe/Europeans:

https://ecdc.europa.eu/sites/portal/files/documents/15-05-2018-RRA-Ebola-Dem-Rep-Congo.pdf" rel="nofollow - https://ecdc.europa.eu/sites/portal/files/documents/15-05-2018-RRA-Ebola-Dem-Rep-Congo.pdf


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 17 2018 at 5:34am

WHO calls emergency meeting on Congo's Ebola outbreak

The U.N. World Health Organization will convene an Emergency Committee on Friday to consider the international risks of an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said on Thursday.


GENEVA: The U.N. World Health Organization will convene an Emergency Committee on Friday to consider the international risks of an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said on Thursday.

The expert committee will decide whether to declare a "public health emergency of international concern", which would trigger more international involvement, mobilising research and resources, Lindmeier said

Source:   https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/who-calls-emergency-meeting-on-congo-s-ebola-outbreak-10243926" rel="nofollow - https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/who-calls-emergency-meeting-on-congo-s-ebola-outbreak-10243926



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 18 2018 at 1:29am
[Technophobe: There is not much information available this morning, but this up-to-the-minute report is both detailed and from a well respected source.  It also gives rather clearer figures than most of the others who do not divide up the figures so precicely.]

DR Congo Ebola outbreak: WHO in emergency talks as cases spread

7 hours ago

The World Health Organization (WHO) is to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the risk of Ebola spreading from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

http://www.who.int/csr/don/17-may-2018-ebola-drc/en/" rel="nofollow - A panel will decide on Friday whether to declare a "public health emergency of international concern" , which would trigger a larger response.

At least 44 people are believed to have been infected in the current outbreak and 23 deaths are being investigated.

Cases emerged in a rural area with one now confirmed in the city of Mbandaka.

The city of about one million people is a transport hub on the Congo River, prompting fears that the virus could now spread further, threatening the capital Kinshasa and surrounding countries.

Ebola is an infectious illness that causes internal bleeding and often proves fatal. It can spread rapidly through contact with small amounts of bodily fluid, and its early flu-like symptoms are not always obvious.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30974649" rel="nofollow - WHO has previously admitted that it was too slow to respond to a deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa from 2014-2016 that killed more than 11,000 people.

Why is the case in Mbandaka a concern?

Senior WHO official Peter Salama said the spread to Mbandaka meant there was the potential for an "explosive increase" in cases.

"This is a major development in the outbreak," he told the BBC. "We have urban Ebola, which is a very different animal from rural Ebola. The potential for an explosive increase in cases is now there."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

44 people believed infected

3 confirmed cases

20 probable cases

21 suspected cases

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mr Salama, the WHO's deputy director-general for emergency response, said Mbandaka's location on the Congo river raised the prospect of Ebola spreading to Congo-Brazzaville and the Central African Republic, as well as downstream to Kinshasa, which has a population of 10 million.

"This puts a whole different lens on this outbreak and gives us increased urgency to move very quickly into Mbandaka to stop this new first sign of transmission," he said.

The 2014-16 West Africa outbreak became particularly deadly when it spread to the capitals of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

What is being done to contain the outbreak?

WHO says that of the 44 Ebola cases reported, three are confirmed, 20 are probable, and 21 are suspected.

They were recorded in Congo's Equateur province. Mbandaka is the provincial capital.

Mr Salama said that isolation and rudimentary management facilities had been set up in Mbandaka.

He said the disease could have been taken there by people who attended the funeral of an Ebola victim in Bikoro, the south of Mbandaka, before travelling to the city.

On Wednesday more than 4,000 doses of an experimental vaccine sent by the WHO arrived in Kinshasa with another batch expected soon.

These would be given as a priority to people in Mbandaka who had been in contact with those suspected of carrying the Ebola virus before people in any other affected area, Mr Salama said.

The vaccine, from pharmaceutical firm Merck, is unlicensed but was effective in limited trials during the West Africa outbreak. It needs to be stored at a temperature of between -60 and -80 C. Electricity supplies in Congo are unreliable.

WHO said health workers had identified 430 people who may have had contact with the disease and were working to trace more than 4,000 contacts of Ebola patients who had spread across north-west DR Congo.

Many of these people were in remote areas, Mr Salama said.

Why does Ebola keep returning?

There have been three outbreaks in DR Congo since the 2014-16 epidemic. Ebola is thought to be spread over long distances by fruit bats and is often transmitted to humans via contaminated bushmeat.

It can also be introduced into the human population through contact with the blood, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. These can include chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, antelope and porcupines.

It is not possible to eradicate all the animals who might be a host for Ebola. As long as humans come in contact with them, there is always a possibility that Ebola could return.

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29604204" rel="nofollow - Was bushmeat behind the 2014 Ebola outbreak?
  • Source:   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-44164027" rel="nofollow - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-44164027


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 18 2018 at 4:29am
[Technophobe:  Now the WHO says the risk has risen to 'very high'.  Well, no sh:it, Sherlock‽  Here are their conclusions:]

WHO says Congo faces 'very high' risk from Ebola outbreak

https://www.reuters.com/journalists/tom-miles" rel="nofollow - Tom Miles
GENEVA (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo faces a “very high” public health risk from Ebola because the disease has been confirmed in a patient in a big city, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, raising its assessment from “high” previously.

The risk to countries in the region was now “high”, raised from “moderate”, but the global risk remained “low”, the WHO said.

The reassessment came after the first confirmed case in Mbandaka, a city of around 1.5 million in the northwest. Previous reports of the disease had all been in remote areas where Ebola might spread be more easily contained.

“The confirmed case in Mbandaka, a large urban center located on major national and international river, road and domestic air routes, increases the risk of spread within the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to neighboring countries,” the WHO said.

WHO Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salama had told reporters on Thursday that the risk assessment was being reviewed.

“We’re certainly not trying to cause any panic in the national or international community,” he said.

“What we’re saying though is that urban Ebola is very different phenomenon to rural Ebola because we know that people in urban areas can have far more contacts so that means that urban Ebola can result in an exponential increase in cases in a way that rural Ebola struggles to do."

Later on Friday, the WHO will convene an Emergency Committee of experts to advise on the international response to the outbreak, and decide whether it constitutes a “public health emergency of international concern”.

The nightmare scenario is an outbreak in Kinshasa, a crowded city where millions live in unsanitary slums not connected to a sewer system.

Jeremy Farrar, an infectious disease expert and director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity, said the outbreak had “all the features of something that could turn really nasty”.

“As more evidence comes in of the separation of cases in space and time, and healthcare workers getting infected, and people attending funerals and then traveling quite big distances - it’s got everything we would worry about,” he told Reuters.

The WHO statement said there had been 21 suspected, 20 probable and 3 confirmed cases of Ebola between April 4 and May 15, a total of 44 cases, including 15 deaths. Mbandaka had three suspected cases in addition to the confirmed case.

The WHO is sending 7,540 doses of an experimental vaccine to try to stop the outbreak in its tracks, and 4,300 doses have already arrived in Kinshasa. It will be used to protect healthworkers and “rings” of contacts around each case.

The vaccine supplies will be enough to vaccinate 50 rings of 150 people, the WHO said. As of 15 May, 527 contacts had been identified and were being followed up and monitored.

Source:   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola/who-says-congo-faces-very-high-risk-from-ebola-outbreak-idUSKCN1IJ0CM" rel="nofollow - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola/who-says-congo-faces-very-high-risk-from-ebola-outbreak-idUSKCN1IJ0CM


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: FluMom
Date Posted: May 18 2018 at 5:17am
Hey just learned that there is a vaccine for Ebola and it works. Is Ebola something we can put down now that there is a vaccine?

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Always Be Prepared


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 18 2018 at 7:40am
I don't think it was ever much of a risk, as it kills too fast, so its spread is self-limiting.  The vaccine  reduces the risk even further, FluMom, but does not erase it completely. 

The vaccine appears to work very well, but requires some very specific and difficult storage conditions.  That causes big distribution problems.  Also, we do not yet know how easy it is to make (production line of millions of doses, or handmade hundreds?).  On top of that, how good is ebola at mutating; will the vaccine continue to work or does it need changing like the flu?

Personally, I expect this is the end of all things ebola, but we will have to wait to find out if I am right.


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 18 2018 at 11:05am

Ebola: two more cases confirmed in Mbandaka in DRC

Total of three cases confirmed in city of 1 million people, raising fears of wider outbreak

Two more cases of Ebola have been confirmed in the north-western city of Mbandaka in the https://www.theguardian.com/world/congo" rel="nofollow - Democratic Republic of the Congo , health officials have said.

The report brings to three the number of confirmed cases in the city of 1 million people, raising the https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/may/18/congo-enters-uncharted-territory-as-it-faces-gravest-ebola-challenge-to-date" rel="nofollow - prospect of a wider outbreak than feared.

The DRC is one of Africa’s most fragile states, with millions threatened by hunger, disease and low-level conflict. Political instability has intensified since the refusal of Joseph Kabila to https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/23/congo-steps-up-deadly-crackdown-after-more-protests-against-kabila" rel="nofollow - step down as president when his second term ended in 2016.

International aid is pouring in to reinforce health services, with a campaign of vaccinations due to begin on Sunday. The health ministry declared it had activated an action plan in Mbandaka.

After visiting the city, which is 360 miles (580km) from the capital, Kinshasa, the health minister, Oly Ilunga, announced on television that all healthcare would be free. “Financial hurdles should not in any way be a brake to having access to healthcare, especially at a time of epidemic,” he said.

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/advisory-groups/bio-muyembe/en/" rel="nofollow - Prof Jean-Jacques Muyembe , the director general of the DRC’s National Institute for Biomedical Research, told the Guardian on Friday that “the situation had evolved overnight with the confirmation of two new cases” in the Wangata neighbourhood of Mbandaka.

“It is very concerning. It’s a big city. We are all doing everything we can, but nonetheless with https://www.theguardian.com/world/ebola" rel="nofollow - Ebola there are always surprises,” said Muyembe.

The discovery of the first case in Mbandaka this week was described as a “major gamechanger” by the https://www.theguardian.com/world/world-health-organization" rel="nofollow - World Health Organization . An emergency meeting of experts was held on Friday to consider the danger of the disease spreading to other countries. “At the global level, the risk is currently low,” the WHO said.

Late on Thursday, the DRC health ministry confirmed 11 previously suspected cases of https://www.theguardian.com/world/ebola" rel="nofollow - Ebola and two more deaths, taking the total number of cases, including 25 deaths, to 45.

All the deaths so far have occurred in Bikoro, a rural area about 75 miles from Mbandaka. The presence of the disease in more isolated areas has given authorities a better chance of preventing its spread.

Muyembe said laboratory results released late on Thursday had confirmed the two new cases. He was unable to give any further details about whether the individuals knew each other. The aid agency Médecins san Frontières, however, said it was aware of only one new laboratory-based confirmation from Mbandaka.

Mbandaka is located on the banks of the Congo river, a key trade and transport route into Kinshasa, though experts said water transport between the cities could take weeks, slowing any potential spread of the disease. Air transport is limited and expensive.

Ebola has twice made it to DRC’s capital in the past and was rapidly stopped.

Ilunga said epidemiologists were working to identify people who had been in contact with suspected cases, and authorities would intensify population tracing on routes out of Mbandaka.

This is a big task even for medical services in developed countries, but the DRC is one of the world’s poorest.

Four times the size of France, the DRC has been chronically unstable and https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/feb/02/democratic-republic-of-the-congo-gripped-by-fear-as-thousands-flee-bone-chilling-violence" rel="nofollow - episodically racked by violence since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960. Hospitals, roads and electricity have problems, especially in remote areas.

In Mbandaka, medical staff have been issued with infrared pistol thermometers to check travellers for high temperatures, as well as soap and basins of water, and logbooks for writing down visitors’ names and addresses.

In the privately run port of Menge, health ministry workers were systematically checking people’s temperatures with thermometers. But Joseph Dangbele, a port official, said: “We don’t have enough of the thermometers, so people are crowding up and getting annoyed.”

On Thursday, a doctor at Mbandaka general hospital, who requested anonymity, said more than 300 people in the city had either direct or indirect contact with Ebola.

Despite police being deployed in key areas, residents showed little confidence in authorities’ response.

Gaston Bongonga said: “Delegations come here and then go, but on the ground, you don’t see any change. They were all unable to hold back Ebola in Bikoro because they don’t do anything effective.”

Residents of Bikoro said there were only two checkpoints on a 60-mile stretch of road. One said: “This isn’t effective because many people travelling by motorbike or on foot evade inspection.”

Ebola has been recorded nine times in the DRC since the disease first appeared near the northern Ebola river in the 1970s. It can cause internal and external bleeding.

More than 4,000 shots of a newly developed vaccine were sent by the WHO to Kinshasa on Wednesday.

Source and map:   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/18/more-ebola-cases-confirmed-in-congolese-city-of-mbandaka" rel="nofollow - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/18/more-ebola-cases-confirmed-in-congolese-city-of-mbandaka




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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: pcusick
Date Posted: May 18 2018 at 1:59pm
WHO Update link for Ebola, recent case confirmed in metropolitan center.

http://www.who.int/csr/don/17-may-2018-ebola-drc/en/ " rel="nofollow - http://www.who.int/csr/don/17-may-2018-ebola-drc/en/  ;


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Accept responsibility for your choices and actions. Failure to choose is in itself a choice for non-action.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 18 2018 at 2:30pm
The Guardian says two more confirmed in the city raising the number to three there, pcusick. 

Admitedly, no one else has claimed this yet, but the Guardian is not some rag.  It is a serious (albeit rather left-wing) newspaper with a great reputation for accuracy.  I know, the WHO is the bottom line, but they do not have a reputation for being forthcoming with information.  They prefer to avoid panic, sometimes even at the expense of the truth. 

Most of us AFTers learned not to trust them during the last ebola outbreak.  Thankfully, Margaret Chan is now gone, so perhaps they will have improved.  Who knows?


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 19 2018 at 12:38am

Statement on the 1st meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding the Ebola outbreak in 2018

18 May 2018
Statement

The 1st meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) regarding the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo took place on Friday 18 May 2018, from 11:00 to 14:00 Geneva time (CET).

Emergency Committee conclusion

It was the view of the Committee that the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) have not currently been met.

Meeting

http://www.who.int/docs/default-source/documents/list-2018-international-health-regulations-emergency-committee-for-ebola-viral-disease.pdf" rel="nofollow - Members and advisors of the Emergency Committee met by teleconference. Presentations were made by representatives of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on recent developments, including measures taken to implement rapid control strategies, and existing gaps and challenges in the outbreak response. During the informational session, the WHO Secretariat provided an update on and assessment of the Ebola outbreak.

The Committee’s role was to provide to the Director-General their views and perspectives on:

  • Whether the event constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
  • If the event constitutes a PHEIC, what Temporary Recommendations should be made

Current situation

On 8 May, WHO was notified by the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo of two lab-confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease occurring in Bikoro health zone, Equateur province. Cases have now also been found in nearby Iboko and Mbandaka. From 4 April to 17 May 2018, 45 EVD cases have been reported, including in three health care workers, and 25 deaths have been reported. Of these 45 cases, 14 have been confirmed. Most of these cases have been in the remote Bikoro health zone, although one confirmed case is in Mbandaka, a city of 1.2 million, which has implications for its spread.

Nine neighbouring countries, including Congo-Brazzaville and Central African Republic, have been advised that they are at high risk of spread and have been supported with equipment and personnel.

Key Challenges

After discussion and deliberation on the information provided, the Committee concluded these key challenges:

  • The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has several characteristics that are of particular concern: the risk of more rapid spread given that Ebola has now spread to an urban area; that there are several outbreaks in remote and hard to reach areas; that health care staff have been infected, which may be a risk for further amplification.
  • The risk of international spread is particularly high since the city of Mbandaka is in proximity to the Congo river, which has significant regional traffic across porous borders.
  • There are huge logistical challenges given the poor infrastructure and remote location of most cases currently reported; these factors affect surveillance, case detection and confirmation, contact tracing, and access to vaccines and therapeutics.

However, the Committee also noted the following:

  • The response by the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, WHO and partners has been rapid and comprehensive.
  • Interventions underway provide strong reason to believe that the outbreak can be brought under control, including: enhanced surveillance, establishment of case management facilities, deployment of mobile laboratories, expanded engagement of community leaders, establishment of an airbridge, and other planned interventions.
  • In addition, the advanced preparations for use of the investigational vaccine provide further cause for optimism for control

In conclusion, the Emergency Committee, while noting that the conditions for a PHEIC are not currently met, issued Public Health Advice as follows:

  • Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, WHO, and partners remain engaged in a vigorous response – without this, the situation is likely to deteriorate significantly. This response should be supported by the entire international community.
  • Global solidarity among the scientific community is critical and international data should be shared freely and regularly.
  • It is particularly important there should be no international travel or trade restrictions.
  • Neighbouring countries should strengthen preparedness and surveillance.
  • During the response, safety and security of staff should be ensured, and protection of responders and national and international staff should prioritised.
  • Exit screening, including at airports and ports on the Congo river, is considered to be of great importance; however entry screening, particularly in distant airports, is not considered to be of any public health or cost-benefit value.
  • Robust risk communication (with real-time data), social mobilisation, and community engagement are needed for a well-coordinated response and so that those affected understand what protection measures are being recommended;  
  • If the outbreak expands significantly, or if there is international spread,  the Emergency Committee will be reconvened.  

The Committee emphasized the importance of continued support by WHO and other national and international partners towards the effective implementation and monitoring of this advice.

Based on this advice, the reports made by the affected States Parties, and the currently available information, the Director-General accepted the Committee’s assessment and on 18 May 2018 did not declare the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). In light of the advice of the Emergency Committee, WHO advises against the application of any travel or trade restrictions. The Director-General thanked the Committee Members and Advisors for their advice.

Source:   http://www.who.int/news-room/detail/18-05-2018-statement-on-the-1st-meeting-of-the-ihr-emergency-committee-regarding-the-ebola-outbreak-in-2018" rel="nofollow - http://www.who.int/news-room/detail/18-05-2018-statement-on-the-1st-meeting-of-the-ihr-emergency-committee-regarding-the-ebola-outbreak-in-2018


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 19 2018 at 12:39am
NEWS
  • Update https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05205-x#correction-0" rel="nofollow - 18 May 2018

Experimental drugs poised for use in Ebola outbreak

International health organizations are in discussions with the Democratic Republic of Congo about how and whether to deploy treatments in addition to a vaccine.

Aid workers responding to the Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are seeking approval to treat patients with experimental drugs. These include three potential treatments — ZMapp, favipiravir and GS-5734 — that were given to patients during the 2014–16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The three drugs are being considered in addition to an existing plan https://www.nature.com/news/successful-ebola-vaccine-provides-100-protection-in-trial-1.18107" rel="nofollow - to deploy an experimental vaccine ; none of the treatments has been definitively proved to lower the risk of death from Ebola.

The move to test experimental drugs and vaccines early in the outbreak, which was confirmed on 8 May, is part of a push to start research as soon as possible after Ebola cases are detected in order to save lives. That’s a change from the past, when doing research during an outbreak was seen as a distraction.

“In the past our major objective was containment," said Peter Salama, the World Health Organization (WHO) director-general for emergencies, at an 18 May press conference. "One of the paradigm shifts we’re seeing in this response is to offer communities a lot more."

The switch has been driven by the availability of new vaccines and drugs — and by memories of the 2014–16 epidemic. Officials were so https://www.nature.com/news/how-to-beat-the-next-ebola-1.18114" rel="nofollow - slow to deploy potential vaccines and drugs that the epidemic had waned before clinical trials could start. “What’s changed is that there’s an acceptance that research during an outbreak is something we need to do. It’s an opportunity and an obligation, not a luxury item,” says Daniel Bausch, director of the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team in London.

Although it took weeks or months to greenlight the use of experimental treatments in previous Ebola outbreaks, public-health officials say that it could happen more quickly now. The DRC https://www.nature.com/news/ebola-vaccine-approved-for-use-in-ongoing-outbreak-1.22024" rel="nofollow - allowed the use of an experimental Ebola vaccine during its last outbreak , in May 2017, although the outbreak ended before the vaccine was shipped. Earlier this month the government approved the shipment of 4,000 doses of the vaccine. They arrived in the DRC on 16 May and could be administered next week to outbreak responders, patients and their contacts, says Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum, director-general of the National Institute for Biomedical Research in Kinshasa. “The Congolese went through this a year ago and they recognize vaccines and therapeutics as a potential solution to the problem,” says Bausch.

Emergency measures

Public-health experts hope that the experimental vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, will help to control the outbreak. Forty-five people have been infected and 25 have died, the WHO said on 18 May. The virus has spread over a wide geographical area and infected at least one person in a major city, Mbandaka, which has a population of 1.2 million.

The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, manufactured by Merck, was shown to be highly protective against Ebola in a trial run during the West African outbreak. None of the 5,837 volunteers who took the vaccine in that trial became infected with the virus.

Officials in the DRC have quashed eight previous outbreaks through conventional public-health measures, such as tracking down people with Ebola and their contacts to understand the disease’s path. But they are concerned about how far the virus has already travelled in the current outbreak — including its entry into a major city — and by the possibility that it could spread even farther, as did the West African epidemic, which took root in three countries and claimed more than 11,000 lives.

“We think the outbreak could become complicated, as it did in West Africa, so we must do everything to stop it as soon as possible,” says Muyembe-Tamfum.

Practical and ethical questions

Whether that will include deploying experimental drugs in addition to the vaccine is now under discussion. The WHO is consulting experts to consider the evidence for such treatments, and the medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is talking to DRC officials about the possibility of using experimental Ebola medicines, says Annick Antierens, who coordinates Ebola clinical trials for MSF.

Although the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine could help to prevent people from becoming infected, Antierens says, experimental treatments might still be needed because officials lack a thorough understanding of where Ebola first emerged during this outbreak or how it is spreading. So there are likely to be very many people who have already been infected.

“It we’re lucky and the disease doesn’t spread, the outbreak will be quickly resolved and we will have to use few experimental products,” Antierens says. “But if we’re unlucky we’ll need to use them.”

Administering experimental vaccines and drugs in an outbreak raises ethical and logistical complexities, such as delivering them to remote settings by aeroplane or motorbike and https://www.nature.com/news/ethical-dilemma-for-ebola-drug-trials-1.16317" rel="nofollow - designing humane and rigorous clinical trials . The 2014–16 Ebola outbreak saw intense controversy over whether potential drugs and vaccines should be tested in randomized controlled trials, in which patients are assigned by chance to receive either the experimental treatment or standard care. MSF and officials at the WHO argued that withholding experimental medicines from patients who had few other options would be unethical.

The treatments MSF is now considering include the antibody treatment ZMapp, and two antiviral drugs, favipiravir and GS-5734, which were given to varying numbers of patients in the 2014–16 epidemic.

Zmapp, made by Mapp Biopharmaceutical in San Diego, California, was tested in a trial involving 72 patients; 22% of the 36 people who received the drug died, compared with 37% of the 35 who did not receive ZMapp. But the Ebola outbreak ended before the study was able to enrol the 200 people needed to obtain a statistically significant result.

ZMapp is also impractical for use in remote settings, such as parts of Bikoro and Iboko, the two health zones in Équateur province that have seen the most Ebola cases in this outbreak so far. There is an extremely limited supply of the drug, several doses must be administered by intravenous infusion under constant supervision, each infusion takes many hours, and the drug must be refrigerated.

Sparse data

Favipiravir, an antiviral drug made by the Japanese company Toyama Chemical, was given to 126 patients in the West African outbreak, and a few dozen patients in other trials. GS-5734 was given to three people, including an infant and a Scottish nurse who developed meningitis months after apparently recovering from an acute Ebola infection. Both the nurse and the infant survived; the infant was the first documented case of a baby surviving Ebola.

Favipiravir and GS-5734 would be easier than ZMapp to administer to patients during the outbreak, as neither needs to be refrigerated. But the drugs have not been proved to improve the chance that people will survive an Ebola infection, because the favipiravir trial was not designed to test efficacy, and GS-5734 has been tested in so few patients.

The Congolese Ministry of Health and a national ethics review board would need to greenlight trials of these treatments. Observers say that the trials, if approved, must proceed more equitably than they did in the 2014–16 outbreak, when experimental treatments were given first to international doctors and aid workers.

“We were pretty tone deaf. The interventions were used first and primarily on Westerners, including medevacing them out of the country and treating them,” says Lawrence Gostin, director of the WHO Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights at Georgetown University in Washington DC. “We need to do that completely differently this time.”

Source:   https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05205-x" rel="nofollow - https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05205-x



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 19 2018 at 5:31am
WHO calls for extra funds to contain ebola outbreak.

The World Health Organisation has urged the international community to provide $26m to contain a growing outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo or risk a much larger bill if the epidemic spreads.

Medical authorities have identified 45 Ebola cases since the DRC government informed the WHO of the outbreak on May 8, of which 25 have been fatal. The vast majority of these are in the remote Bikoro area, 400km north-east of the capital Kinshasa.

But on Thursday the first case was identified in a city, Mbandaka, 150km from the other cases. Late on Friday, two more were found. This prompted the WHO to raise the risk awareness to “very high” for the country and “high” for the region.

Peter Selama, WHO deputy director-general, said the amount requested, which is expected to cover the next three months, was “relatively small”.

“If we can stamp out this outbreak now [it will be] a major gain in terms of lives saved, most importantly, but also in terms of dollars saved,” he told a press conference in Geneva. “That may sound like a considerable sum of money, but let us remember that the Ebola west Africa outbreak two years [ago] cost the international community between three and four billion dollars.”

The 2014-2016 outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea infected 28,000 people, of whom 11,600 died.

Dr Selama said the WHO had already received pledges for almost $9m of the funds requested.

Robert Steffen, chairman of a WHO emergency committee that met on Friday to assess the threat, said the “poor infrastructure and remote location” presented huge challenges in containing the outbreak. “These factors affect surveillance, case detection and confirmation, and also contact tracing and access to therapeutics.”

He also warned that the “risk of international spread is particularly great”. Mbandaka is a major transport hub on the Congo River with routes into the DRC capital. “You can travel on it to Kinshasa and Brazzaville [the capital of the Republic of Congo],” he said. There is significant regional traffic across porous borders.”

However the committee said it was premature to declare a public health emergency of international concern. “The immediate response of the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the WHO and other partners…. provides strong reason to believe this situation can be brought under control,” Mr Steffen said.

More than 8,000 trial vaccine doses, developed by Merck, have arrived in DRC and the WHO said these would be distributed in the next few days.

Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome, a biomedical research charity, said that this outbreak of Ebola was “really serious” compared to the last one in DRC, which killed four people last year, because it has been going on for several months and so is geographically dispersed over an area that is close to cities. The strain of the virus is also similar to the one in west Africa in 2014-16.

“The next two or three weeks will be crucial,” he said. “If the numbers stabilise and we don’t have multiple transmission then it should be containable. But if the numbers are going up, there are multiple transmissions in cities, cross-border infections and health workers getting infected then all bets are off.”

Source and map:   https:///www.ft.com/content/caea181a-5ab5-11e8-bdb7-f6677d2e1ce8" rel="nofollow - https:///www.ft.com/content/caea181a-5ab5-11e8-bdb7-f6677d2e1ce8


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 23 2018 at 4:25am

Congo announces six new confirmed cases of Ebola virus


Congo's health ministry announced six new confirmed Ebola cases and two new suspected cases on Tuesday as vaccinations entered a second day in an effort to contain the deadly virus in a city of more than 1 million.

Dozens of health workers in the northwestern provincial capital, Mbandaka, have received vaccinations amid expectations that some will be deployed to the rural epicenter of the epidemic.

Front-line workers are especially at risk of contracting the virus, which spreads in contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, including the dead.

"In the next five days 100 people must be vaccinated, including 70 health professionals," Health Minister Oly Ilunga said. "The priority of the government is to ensure that all these brave health professionals can do their job safely."

READ MORE:
* https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/104046998/as-ebola-outbreak-threatens-african-countries-experimental-vaccine-is-main-hope?rm=m" rel="nofollow - Experimental vaccine main hope against Ebola
https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/103745237/congo-confirms-ebola-outbreak?rm=m" rel="nofollow - Congo confirms Ebola outbreak
https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/103814725/five-new-suspected-ebola-cases-reported-in-congos-northwest?rm=m" rel="nofollow - Five new suspected Ebola cases reported in Congo's northwest

Congo's health ministry said there are now 28 confirmed Ebola cases, 21 probable ones and two suspected. The six new confirmed cases were in the rural Iboko health zone, it said. Of the confirmed Ebola cases, 14 are in Iboko, 10 are in Bikoro where the outbreak began and four are in the Wangata area of Mbandaka.

The death toll from hemorrhagic fever stands at 27, with three of them confirmed as Ebola. Two of the Ebola victims were nurses, one in Iboko and the other in Bikoro.

Allowing Congolese to watch health officials receive vaccinations is crucial, health worker Ezela Elange told The Associated Press.

"Our hope is that ... the sick will heal, the whole province will be healed," Elange said.

Two dozen vaccinators, including Congolese and Guineans who administered the vaccine in their country during the ...
JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES

Two dozen vaccinators, including Congolese and Guineans who administered the vaccine in their country during the 2014-2016 outbreak, are in Mbandaka to start injecting the 540 doses that have arrived. (File photo)

The World Health Organization said 33 people received the first vaccinations on Monday, including a few people in two communities of Mbandaka. More than 7500 doses are available in Congo, WHO said on Monday, and another 8000 doses will be available in the coming days.

http://stuff.co.nz/about-stuff/advertising-feedback/?pos=storybody&adsize=300x250&area=onl.stuff.world/africa" rel="nofollow - Ad Feedback

The vaccination campaign eventually will move to cover the two other health zones where confirmed cases have been reported.

The vaccine, provided by US company Merck, is still in the test stages but it was effective toward the end of the Ebola epidemic that killed more than 11,300 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia from 2014 to 2016.

A major challenge will be keeping the vaccines cold in this vast, impoverished, tropical country where infrastructure is poor.

Those who are vaccinated in outbreak areas still will have to strictly follow infection-control measures, especially since the vaccine doesn't protect immediately. It takes a week to 10 days, said Dr Pierre Rollin, an epidemiologist with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a veteran of more than a dozen Ebola outbreaks.

Rollin warned that the large geographic area between Mbandaka and the remote towns where the outbreak's first cases were reported must be scoured for the infected and the people who have come into contact with them.

"Travel from Mbandaka to Bikoro can take four hours to four days" depending on transportation and if it's raining, he said. "Before making any assumption we're going to have to look along this road and all the villages."

Members of a Red Cross team don protective clothing before heading out to look for suspected victims of Ebola, in ...
KARSTEN VOIGT/AP

Members of a Red Cross team don protective clothing before heading out to look for suspected victims of Ebola, in Mbandaka, Congo.

The US Agency for International Development on Tuesday said it was contributing another up to US$7 million (NZ$10.1 million) to combat the outbreak on top of the US$1 million (NZ$1.4 million) it committed last week.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Congo warned that the outbreak is far from over. It said it will expand operations for community-based surveillance and safe burials.

"The risk of spreading within the country and to neighbouring nations remains real," said Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, IFRC's regional director for Africa.

This is Congo's ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976, when the disease was first identified. While all of the outbreaks were based in remote rural areas the virus has twice made it to Kinshasa, the capital of 10 million people, but was effectively contained.

Mbandaka is an hour's flight from Kinshasa and several days' travel by barge.

There is no specific treatment for Ebola. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding. The virus can be fatal in up to 90 per cent of cases, depending on the strain.

There is no specific treatment for Ebola. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pain and at times internal ...
NIAID/NIH

There is no specific treatment for Ebola. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding. The virus can be fatal in up to 90 per cent of cases, depending on the strain.


Source:  https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/104097920/congo-announces-six-new-confirmed-cases-of-ebola-virus" rel="nofollow - https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/104097920/congo-announces-six-new-confirmed-cases-of-ebola-virus



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 23 2018 at 12:50pm
May 23, 2018 / 11:16 AM / Updated 2 hours ago

Ebola patients slip out of Congo hospital as medics try to control outbreak


BANDAKA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Three patients infected with the Ebola virus slipped out of an isolation ward at a hospital in the Congolese city of Mbandaka, health officials said, as medics raced to stop the deadly disease from spreading in the busy river port.

The cases represent a setback to costly efforts to contain the virus, including the use of an experimental vaccine, and show efforts to stem its spread can be hampered by age-old customs or scepticism about the threat it poses.

Two patients left the hospital on Monday night with the help of family members, then headed to a church, the World Health Organization’s spokesman in Congo, Eugene Kabambi, told Reuters.

One died at home the next day and was buried with the help of medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). The other was sent back to hospital and died that night, Kabambi said.

Health Ministry sources, who asked not to be named, said two police officers had been deployed to help track them down.

Another patient who was close to being discharged left on Sunday evening but was later found, Kabambi said.

The WHO and MSF said they could not force patients to stay in hospital but hoped that growing awareness of the disease and its risks would convince people to follow medical advice.

“This is a hospital. It’s not a prison. We can’t lock everything,” Henry Gray, the head of the MSF mission in Mbandaka, told Reuters.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said health workers had redoubled efforts to trace contacts with the patients. Health workers have drawn up a list of 628 people who have had contact with known cases who will need to be vaccinated.

“It is unfortunate but not unexpected,” he said. “It is normal for people to want the loved ones to be at home during what could be the last moments of life.”

The report came as another WHO official warned that the fight to stop Democratic Republic of Congo’s ninth confirmed outbreak of Ebola had reached a critical point.

“The next few weeks will really tell if this outbreak is going to expand to urban areas or if we’re going to be able to keep it under control,” WHO’s emergency response chief, Peter Salama, said at the U.N. body’s annual assembly. “We’re on the epidemiological knife edge of this response.”

KINSHASA FEARS

Health officials are particularly concerned by the disease’s presence in Mbandaka, a crowded trading hub upstream from Kinshasa, a city of 10 million people. The river runs along the border with the Republic of Congo.

The WHO said health officials received an alert on Wednesday from Kinshasa’s main hospital, but the health ministry said later that it was a false alarm.

The outbreak, first spotted near the town of Bikoro, about 100 km (60 miles) south of the city, is believed to have killed at least 27 people so far.

The WHO said health workers were following up on three separate transmission chains for cases in Mbandaka’s Wangata neighborhood - one linked to a funeral, one to a church and another to a rural health facility.

“It’s really the detective work of epidemiology that will make or break the response to this outbreak,” Salama said.

The disease was first discovered in Congo in the 1970s. It is spread through direct contact with body fluids from an infected person, who suffers severe bouts of vomiting and diarrhea.

More than 11,300 people died in an Ebola outbreak in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2013 and 2016.

Source:    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola-congo/ebola-patients-slip-out-of-congo-hospital-as-medics-try-to-control-outbreak-idUSKCN1IO1AW" rel="nofollow - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola-congo/ebola-patients-slip-out-of-congo-hospital-as-medics-try-to-control-outbreak-idUSKCN1IO1AW




-------------
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 23 2018 at 12:55pm
[Technophobe:  with the death toll rising and quarrantine patients escaping, here is a plea not to cut funding]

US and global community has to keep the Ebola outbreak from spreading — don't cut funds

By Peter Yeo, opinion contributor — 05/22/18 01:00 PM EDT http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/388818-us-and-global-community-has-to-keep-the-ebola-outbreak-from-spreading-dont#bottom-story-socials" rel="nofollow - 28
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

Source and full article:   http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/388818-us-and-global-community-has-to-keep-the-ebola-outbreak-from-spreading-dont" rel="nofollow - http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/388818-us-and-global-community-has-to-keep-the-ebola-outbreak-from-spreading-dont


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 23 2018 at 4:16pm

WHO: DRC Ebola outbreak on a 'knife's edge' as urban cases rise

Efforts under way in Democratic Republic of Congo in bid to prevent Ebola outbreak spreading across borders.

An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in https://www.aljazeera.com/topics/country/posting_under_country.html" rel="nofollow - Democratic Republic of Congo has the clear "potential to expand" as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, the World Health Organization warned.

Health workers' response is on an "epidemiological knife's edge" after the number of people stricken with https://www.aljazeera.com/topics/subjects/ebola.html" rel="nofollow - Ebola in the DRC rose to 28 since an outbreak was https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/05/cases-ebola-confirmed-democratic-republic-congo-180508142327264.html" rel="nofollow - detected earlier this month, said WHO Deputy Director Peter Salama, in comments made on Wednesday at a conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Seven of the confirmed cases were https://mailchi.mp/aa52b8ea3d73/ebola_rdc_22mai" rel="nofollow - in urban settings .

"The next few weeks will really tell if this outbreak is going to expand to urban areas or if we're going to be able to keep it under control," Salama said.

Following the meeting, Salama told AFP news agency the outbreak "could go either way" in coming weeks.

"We are working around the clock to make sure it [goes] in the right direction," he said.


WATCH https://youtu.be/D55zw4Nwm6w" rel="nofollow - Ebola in DRC: Aid workers racing to spread awareness (1:55)

The average fatality rate among those infected with Ebola, which has no proven cure, is about 50 percent,  http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ebola-virus-disease" rel="nofollow - according to  WHO.

DRC's most recent Ebola outbreak - its ninth since the disease was first identified in 1976 - initially appeared to be confined in a rural setting near the town of Bikoro, in the central African nation's northwestern Equateur Province.

But a https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/05/drc-ebola-outbreak-enters-phase-urban-case-confirmed-180517153845054.html" rel="nofollow - confirmed instance of the virus last week in the city of Mbandaka, home to 1.2 million people and about 150km away from Bikoro, plunged the ongoing crisis into a "new phase", the DRC's Health Minister Oly Ilunga https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/05/drc-ebola-outbreak-enters-phase-urban-case-confirmed-180517153845054.html" rel="nofollow - said last week.

Twenty-seven people have died and at least 58 others in DRC's northwest have shown Ebola symptoms since it was identified on May 8, https://mailchi.mp/aa52b8ea3d73/ebola_rdc_22mai" rel="nofollow - according to the health ministry.

Health ministry spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga said the figures amounted to "the normal evolution of an outbreak".

"As soon as you have a few confirmed cases, the persons who have been in contact with them are at risk. We knew there was a risk of more cases coming in," Ilunga told Al Jazeera.

"What we are trying to do first is contain the outbreak so that it doesn't spread towards other urban centres in the DRC."

Regional response

On Wednesday, https://www.aljazeera.com/topics/organisations/world-health-organisation.html" rel="nofollow - WHO said it would work with nine countries neighbouring DRC in a bid to prevent the virus spreading across borders.


WATCH: https://youtu.be/IyM45c4i7ow" rel="nofollow - Experimental Ebola vaccinations begin in DR Congo after outbreak (1:56)

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO director for Africa, told the conference Central African Republic and Republic of Congo were the organisation's top priority countries because of their proximity.

Efforts to detect and stem a possible cross-border spread would also be rolled out in Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda, Moeti said.

The WHO has http://www.who.int/csr/don/23-may-2018-ebola-drc/en/" rel="nofollow - sent  7,540 experimental vaccines to DRC so farIt will send another 8,000 doses, made by pharmaceutical firm Merck, over the next few days.

Though unlicensed, the experimental vaccine proved effective when used in trials in West Africa between 2013-2016 during an Ebola outbreak, which killed about 11,300 people as it surged through Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

'Break the transmission chain'

Ilunga said the vaccinations were a vital part of the DRC's strategy to combat the latest emergence of the disease.

"Ebola has a 21-day incubation period, so as soon as you have confirmed cases you know that in the following three weeks more cases might appear," she told Al Jazeera.

"That's why vaccination is really important in this Ebola response, simply because it will allow us to vaccinate and protect the circles of people who were in contact with those who were, or are, infected and break the disease's transmission chain."

Ebola, which can cause multiple organ failure, is passed from human to human by contact through the mouth, nose, or broken skin with blood or other bodily fluids of those infected.


Source, statistics, photos and more:   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/05/drc-ebola-outbreak-knife-edge-urban-cases-rise-180523134122470.html" rel="nofollow - https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/05/drc-ebola-outbreak-knife-edge-urban-cases-rise-180523134122470.html



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 23 2018 at 4:32pm
[Less than 48 hours ago I was commenting that faith can sustain you in survival situations.  Apparently it can make you dangerously stupid too...........]

Ebola outbreak in DR Congo: Patients 'taken to church'

Three Ebola patients left a treatment centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo after their families demanded to take them to church, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Two of the patients later died, while the third returned to the centre in the city of Mbandaka.

This presents a new challenge for health workers battling to stop the spread of the contagious disease, says the BBC's Anne Soy in DR Congo.

Ebola has no known cure.

Health officials fear it could spread rapidly in Mbandaka, a densely populated city of one million.

Isolation is the main way to keep the disease under control.

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-44070470" rel="nofollow - Why Ebola keeps coming back
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26835233" rel="nofollow - Why Ebola is so dangerous
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29518703" rel="nofollow - How not to catch Ebola

The WHO says 58 cases of Ebola have been recorded since the outbreak was declared on 8 May. There have been 27 deaths so far, with three deaths confirmed as Ebola.

How did the patients leave?

The patients' relatives came to the centre, which is run by medical aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), and demanded to take them for prayers, WHO officer Eugéne Kabambi told the BBC.

They were reportedly taken away on motorbikes and a search was ordered by the police.

One patient was found dead at home and his body was returned to the hospital for a safe burial. The other was sent back to hospital on 22 May and died that evening, according to MSF.

Efforts were made by staff to convince the patients not to leave and continue treatment, MSF says.

"However, forced hospitalisation is not the solution to this epidemic. Patient adherence is paramount," it said in a statement.

The families of the three patients are now being monitored and some of them have been vaccinated against the disease.

Is the situation under control?

The disease's spread from rural areas to Mbandaka, located on the Congo River, has sparked fears of it spreading downstream to the capital, Kinshasa, and to neighbouring countries.

The WHO says the outbreak has the potential to expand.

"We are on the epidemiological knife-edge," Peter Salama, head of emergency responses at the WHO, said at a special meeting to discuss the crisis in Geneva.

"The next few weeks will really tell if this outbreak is going to expand to urban areas or if we are going to be able to keep it under control," he added.

Health workers began an immunisation campaign to halt the spread of the Ebola virus on 21 May.

Limited trials of the experimental vaccine was rolled out during the epidemic in West Africa in 2014-16, which killed more than 11,300 people.

This is the ninth outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo.


Source:   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-44229346" rel="nofollow - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-44229346



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 25 2018 at 6:57am

Congo Faces Obstacles to Fighting Ebola Outbreak

By
https://www.bloomberg.com/authors/ATTnI1unX8M/william-clowes" rel="nofollow - William Clowes


Nine new suspected cases of Ebola were reported in the northwestern https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/45441Z:US" rel="nofollow - Democratic Republic of Congo as authorities tackling the outbreak face challenges including resistance by local communities and multiple chains of transmission.

Fifty-eight cases, including 30 confirmed and 14 probable, have been registered since the outbreak was declared on May 8, Congo’s Health Ministry said in a statement Thursday. Of the nine new suspected cases, three are in Mbandaka, a provincial capital of 1.2 million habitants where four cases have so far been confirmed. Twenty-seven people have died, according to the https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/0751538D:SW" rel="nofollow - World Health Organization .

A motocycle drives past the entrance of the Wangata Reference Hospital in Mbandaka May 20, 2018.

Photographer: JUNIOR KANNAH/AFP

Congo’s latest Ebola outbreak was first identified around the remote town of Bikoro, 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Mbandaka. The detection of the virus in an urban center connected by busy river routes to Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, home to about 12 million people, as well as cities in the Republic of Congo and https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/3742943Z:ZC" rel="nofollow - Central African Republic , has fueled concerns the disease could spread more widely.

On Monday, the Health Ministry and WHO launched a “ring vaccination” campaign in Mbandaka and Bikoro with the still-unlicensed rVSV-ZEBOV treatment, whose manufacturer, Merck & Co., has donated 7,540 doses that arrived in Congo last week. Another 8,000 doses will be made available, the WHO said.

Vaccination Plans

Health professionals who’ve been exposed to confirmed cases, as well the patients’ direct and indirect contacts, will be offered the vaccination. Over 600 people have been traced, the WHO said Wednesday.

This week, three people confirmed to be carrying Ebola were removed by their families from an isolation ward in Mbandaka, the Health Ministry said. Two have died while one has returned to hospital and is under observation.

“All efforts were made by staff to convince the patients, as well as their families, to not leave the center,” but “Ebola treatment centers are not prisons,” the ministry said. “Even in an epidemic period, health professionals have the duty to respect the will and dignity of patients.”

Medical teams have to tread carefully, Henry Gray, https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/1430760D:US" rel="nofollow - Doctors Without Borders ’ emergency coordinator in Mbandaka, said by phone on Thursday

“We don’t want to criminalize patients because if we criminalize people, they hide,” he said. At the same time, medical organizations are working to ensure that “the families and the patients understand what’s going on, that they understand the best chance of a full recovery is in a center where they can be looked after.”

Community Resistance

Health workers were unable to take samples from a dead person in Bikoro “because of the resistance of the community,” the Health Ministry said. The fatality was accordingly classified as a probable case of Ebola.

There was a “lot of fear and confusion” about Ebola in the affected communities, the ministry said.

Medical teams in Mbandaka are investigating three separate transmission chains -- one associated with a funeral in Bikoro, another linked to a health center near Bikoro and the third related to a church service.

“Each one has the potential to expand if not controlled,” WHO Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salama said Wednesday at a briefing in Geneva. “It’s the detective work of epidemiology which will make or break the response to this outbreak.”

Source:   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-24/ebola-fight-in-congo-faces-obstacles-amid-more-suspected-cases" rel="nofollow - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-24/ebola-fight-in-congo-faces-obstacles-amid-more-suspected-cases



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 25 2018 at 7:02am
[...........'And more on 6hose who fled the centre:]

Infection alert after dying Ebola patients taken to Congo prayer meeting

GENEVA/KINSHASA (Reuters) - Two dying Ebola patients were spirited out of a Congo hospital by their relatives on motor-bikes, then taken to a prayer meeting with 50 other people, potentially exposing them all to the deadly virus, a senior aid worker said on Thursday.

Both patients were vomiting and infectious and died hours after the prayer session in the river port city of Mbandaka, Dr. Jean-Clement Cabrol, emergency medical coordinator for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), said.

Democratic Republic of Congo is racing to contain an outbreak of the disease which spreads through contact with infected bodily fluids including vomit and sweat.

The Health Ministry said late on Thursday that a new case had been confirmed in the town of Bikoro and another in the nearby village of Iboko, where the epidemic is thought to have started.

This brought the total number of confirmed cases to 31, it said in a statement, out of 52 suspected cases.

Congo’s ninth recorded outbreak of the disease is thought to have killed at least 22 people so far, according to government figures released on Wednesday - lower than the last estimate of 27, after some of those deaths turned out not to be Ebola.

“The escape was organized by the families, with six motorcycles as the patients were very ill and couldn’t walk,” Cabrol told a news briefing in Geneva after returning from the affected region.

“They were taken to a prayer room with 50 people to pray. They were found at two in the morning, one of them dead and one was dying. So that’s 50-60 contacts right there. The patients were in the active phase of the disease, vomiting.”

The patients got out of the isolation ward on Monday. Earlier reports did not give details of the escape or where they went afterwards. A third patient who left the ward survived.

Health officials started trying to trace the motorcycle drivers and other people who came into contact with the patients as soon as the escape was reported, Dr. Peter Salama, head of emergency response at the World Health Organization (WHO), told Reuters on Thursday.

“From the moment that they escaped, the (health) ministry, WHO and partners have been following very closely every contact,” he said.

“HARD TO PREDICT”

WHO’s three-month budget for the crisis has been doubled to $57 million to carry out a complex operation in a remote, forested area, Salama said.

“All it takes is one sick person to travel down the Congo River and we can have outbreaks seeded in many different locations ... that can happen at any moment. It’s very hard to predict,” he said, referring to the river linking the trading hub of Mbandaka to the capital Kinshasa, whose population is 10 million.

“It is going to be at least weeks and more likely months before we get this outbreak fully under control,” Salama said.

There have been major advances in medical treatment of the virus since it ravaged West Africa in 2014-2016, including the use of an experimental vaccine to protect medical staff.

But local skepticism about the dangers and the need to isolate infected patients continue to complicate efforts to contain it.

In past outbreaks, mourning relatives have caught the hemorrhagic disease by touching the highly contagious bodies of dead loved ones, sometimes by laying hands on them to say goodbye.


Source:   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola-congo/infection-alert-after-dying-ebola-patients-taken-to-congo-prayer-meeting-idUSKCN1IP1PT" rel="nofollow - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-ebola-congo/infection-alert-after-dying-ebola-patients-taken-to-congo-prayer-meeting-idUSKCN1IP1PT



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 26 2018 at 4:32am
Here is an article detailing potential spread.  It is long and compl;icated, so probably best viewed in situ.:

http://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/25/ebola-outbreak-could-spread-through-these-flight-patterns-group-says.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/25/ebola-outbreak-could-spread-through-these-flight-patterns-group-says.html


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 26 2018 at 10:39am

Children must be at heart of response to Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo – UNICEF

25 May 2018


KINSHASA/DAKAR/GENEVA/NEW YORK, 25 May 2018 – Children continue to be at risk and are affected by the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), making it essential that their health and wellbeing are prioritized in the response.

“Schools are crucial for engaging children and their communities in the fight against Ebola,” said Dr. Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF Representative in the DRC, traveling back from the affected region. “That’s why UNICEF is putting in place measures to minimize the risk of transmission in schools, including temperature taking and handwashing.”

UNICEF is scaling up prevention efforts in schools across all three affected health zones. This includes on-going efforts to install hand washing units in 277 schools and supporting awareness raising activities reaching more than 13,000 children in Mbandaka, Bikoro and Iboko.

UNICEF is also concerned about the wellbeing of children with family members who have contracted the disease. “Children whose parents or caregivers die of Ebola or who live in isolation because they had contact with an infected person, need psychosocial support to help them cope,” said Dr. Rotigliano.

Previous Ebola outbreaks have demonstrated the need for social workers to identify and assist vulnerable children. Twenty-two psychosocial agents trained by UNICEF and its partners are providing assistance to families that are affected by the Ebola outbreak, while UNICEF is also supporting 23 families and their children who have relatives infected with Ebola by supplying household kits and food rations.

UNICEF continues to work closely with communities to promote behaviors that help stop transmission, such as safe burials and hand-washing. The children’s agency is engaging in dialogue with community leaders, conducting outreach campaigns and supporting door-to-door awareness raising campaigns. In Mdandaka, 706 community actors were identified and are being deployed for Ebola prevention communication and community social engagement.

Source:   https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/children-must-be-heart-response-ebola-outbreak-democratic-republic-congo-–-unicef" rel="nofollow - https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/children-must-be-heart-response-ebola-outbreak-democratic-republic-congo-–-unicef


-------------
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 27 2018 at 4:04am
It is now three weeks since the ebola outbreak was announced publically ( http://www.avianflutalk.com/ebola-again_topic37320_page1.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.avianflutalk.com/ebola-again_topic37320_page1.html ) and four weeks since it started.  Vaccinatins are only scheduled to strt tomorrow (  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/ebola-outbreak-congo-latest-vaccination-mbandaka-bikoro-iboko-who-a8370921.html" rel="nofollow - https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/ebola-outbreak-congo-latest-vaccination-mbandaka-bikoro-iboko-who-a8370921.html ). 

There are two possible ways to look at this:  Should one be amazed that it all happened so quickly?  Or should one mourn those for whom it came too late and slate the WHO for procrastination?

Ebola among semi-tribal people spreads like a fire and I know the vaccine arrived in the DRC a week ago, so I favour the former.



-------------
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 27 2018 at 5:14am

Ebola virus: US begins first human trials of VRC 608 antibody to examine safety, tolerability

May 27, 2018 16:53:24 IST


Washington: US researchers have started the first-in-human trial evaluating an experimental treatment for Ebola virus disease, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical centre said in a statement


The Phase 1 clinical trial, named as VRC 608, is examining the safety and tolerability of a single monoclonal antibody called MAb114, developed from an Ebola survivor.

Investigators aim to enroll between 18 and 30 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 60. The trial will not expose participants to Ebola virus.

"We hope this trial will establish the safety of this experimental treatment for Ebola virus disease—an important first step in a larger evaluation process," said Anthony S Fauci, director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Maryland, US

"Ebola is highly lethal, and reports of another outbreak in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) remind us that we urgently need Ebola treatments.

"This study adds to NIAID efforts in conducting scientifically and ethically sound biomedical research to develop countermeasures against Ebola virus disease," Fauci added.

MAb114 is a monoclonal antibody—a protein that binds to a single target on a pathogen, isolated from a human survivor of the 1995 Ebola outbreak in a city in the DRC.

Researchers from the NIAID discovered that survivor retained antibodies against Ebola 11 years after infection.

They isolated the antibodies and tested the most favourable ones in the laboratory and non-human primate studies, and selected MAb114 as the most promising.

The researchers illustrated that MAb114 binds to the hard-to-reach core of the Ebola virus surface protein and blocks the protein's interaction with its receptor on human cells.

A single dose of MAb114 protected non-human primates days after lethal Ebola virus infection.

In the trial, which would be fully enrolled by July 2018, the first three participants will receive a 5 milligram per kilogram intravenous infusion of MAb114 for 30 minutes.

The team will evaluate safety data to determine if the remaining participants can receive higher doses (25 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg).

Participants will have blood taken before and after the infusion and will bring a diary card home to record their temperature and any symptoms for three days.

Participants will visit the clinic approximately 14 times over six months to have their blood drawn to see if MAb114 is detectable and to be checked for any health changes, the report said.

Ebola virus disease is a serious and often fatal illness that can cause fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and haemorrhage (severe bleeding).

First discovered in humans in 1976 in the DRC, the largest outbreak, occurred in West Africa from 2014 to 2016. It caused more than 28,600 infections and more than 11,300 deaths, according to the World Health Organization(WHO).

In May 2018, the DRC reported new Ebola outbreak. While there are no licensed treatments available for Ebola virus disease yet, multiple experimental therapies are being developed.


Updated Date: May 27, 2018 16:53 PM



Source:   https://www.firstpost.com/world/ebola-virus-us-begins-first-human-trials-of-vrc-608-antibody-to-examine-safety-tolerability-4484507.html" rel="nofollow - https://www.firstpost.com/world/ebola-virus-us-begins-first-human-trials-of-vrc-608-antibody-to-examine-safety-tolerability-4484507.html


-------------
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 27 2018 at 3:24pm
There have been rumours of the disease spreading to Mubende.  This is publically refuted by The Ugandan government.   Source and Full article:   https://reliefweb.int/report/uganda/press-statement-rumoured-ebola-outbreak-mubende-district" rel="nofollow - https://reliefweb.int/report/uganda/press-statement-rumoured-ebola-outbreak-mubende-district


-------------
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 28 2018 at 3:46am
The Daily Express (we call it the distress) is claiming the outbreak is out of control.

It is a bank holiday here, so all the kids are out of school; consequently my internet connection is horrendous!  As a result, I can't post the article. GRRRR!!!  Anyway, here is the link:  https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/965899/ebola-crisis-outbreak-out-of-control-virus-kills-dozens-democratic-republic-of-congo" rel="nofollow - https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/965899/ebola-crisis-outbreak-out-of-control-virus-kills-dozens-democratic-republic-of-congo


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Satori
Date Posted: May 29 2018 at 2:12am

Ebola outbreak 2018: What's different this time?


https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/29/health/ebola-outbreak-2018-response-explainer/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_latest+%28RSS%3A+CNN+-+Most+Recent%29" rel="nofollow - https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/29/health/ebola-outbreak-2018-response-explainer/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_latest+%28RSS%3A+CNN+-+Most+Recent%29


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“The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.” Gary Kasparov


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 30 2018 at 5:32am

More regions to be vaccinated, experimental drugs to be tried in Congo Ebola outbreak

By Meera Senthilingam, CNN


Updated 1448 GMT (2248 HKT) May 29, 2018


(CNN)More than 400 people have been vaccinated and more than 800 contacts traced in the city of Mbandaka in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Use of the experimental vaccine, known as rVSV-ZEBOV, will now spread to the more rural regions of Iboko and Bikoro where the majority of cases have occurred.

Vaccination began in the urban setting of Mbandaka to "prevent an urban outbreak" as well as further spread along the nearby Congo river, to reduce "risk through the interior of DRC and surrounding countries," Dr. Peter Salama, the deputy director-general of the World Health Organization's Health Emergencies Program said Tuesday.
He confirmed the outbreak spread to Mbandaka after two brothers visited Bikoro to attend a funeral and traveled back to the city.

"Mbandaka is relatively safeguarded at the moment," he said, adding that officials "haven't seen an explosive increase in cases" and the teams have reason to "cautiously optimistic."
There have been 54 cases of Ebola reported in Congo, including 25 deaths. Thirty-five of those case have been confirmed with laboratory tests.
Salama said 47 of the cases were in the more rural regions of Bikoro and Iboko where control efforts will now be focused. "That's where the next phase of vaccination must go."
The vaccine is proving to be a very acceptable intervention to the community in Mbandaka, Salama said. "There are no reports of refusal of the vaccination."
"Over 90% of eligible people are getting vaccinated," said Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO assistant director-general for Emergency Preparedness and Response, highlighting that this is a strong coverage rate for any vaccine.
health worker prepares an Ebola vaccine to administer to health workers during a vaccination campaign in Mbandaka, Congo.
More than 900 contacts are being followed in Congo, and the number is likely to increase.
The Ebola vaccine being provided has been shown to be safe in humans and highly effective against the Ebola virus, according to the WHO. A https://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/22/health/ebola-vaccine-study/index.html" rel="nofollow - 2016 study found it to be 100% effective in trials in Guinea in coordination with the country's Ministry of Health after the 2014-15 outbreak.

Therapeutics to be tried

Five experimental drugs to treat Ebola virus disease, including ZMapp and Remdesivir, have now arrived in the country and will be trialed under strict experimental research protocols, Salama said.
This means they will have to be used as part of a clinical trial, with ethical review and informed patient consent.
Officials expect to get formal approval for delivery in the coming days.
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/25/health/ebola-101/index.html" rel="nofollow">Ebola 101: Answers to your questions about causes, symptoms, transmission and treatments
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/25/health/ebola-101/index.html" rel="nofollow - Ebola 101: Answers to your questions about causes, symptoms, transmission and treatments
W
HO officials hope to introduce the life-saving therapies to patients, but their use will require sophisticated monitoring. Some of the treatments require IV infusion, while others require daily assessment of liver and kidney function, according to Ryan.
In 2014, ZMapp became known when it was used to treat two American missionary workers, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who contracted Ebola in Liberia. Prior to that, the experimental drug had been tested only in monkeys.
This is "not a simple effort to do this kind of trial in this kind of environment," said Salama. But "if we don't learn now we'll never know which drugs to use in this situation."
Vaccination, therapeutic and control efforts have and will be carried out through partnerships between WHO, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) and many other NGOs on the ground in Congo.
Control efforts will expand to four more provinces considered to be at risk, the IFRC confirmed.
Follow CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter

See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on https://www.facebook.com/CNNHealth" rel="nofollow - Facebook and https://twitter.com/cnnhealth" rel="nofollow - Twitter .

Ebola virus disease, which most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates such as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees, is caused by one of five Ebola viruses. On average, about 50% of people who become ill with Ebola die.
The first human outbreaks of Ebola occurred in 1976, one in the north of what is now Congo and in the region that is now South Sudan.
Humans can be infected by other humans if they come in contact with bodily fluids from an infected person or contaminated objects from infected persons. Humans can also be exposed to the virus, for example, by butchering infected animals.
West Africa experienced the largest recorded outbreak of Ebola over a two-year period beginning in March 2014; a total of 28,616 confirmed, probable and suspected cases were reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 11,310 deaths, according to the WHO.

Source and video:   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/29/health/ebola-experimental-vaccine-treatment-congo-intl/index.html" rel="nofollow - https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/29/health/ebola-experimental-vaccine-treatment-congo-intl/index.html



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 30 2018 at 2:09pm

WHO 'Cautiously Optimistic' on Ebola Outbreak

May 30, 2018 -- The United Nations' World Health Organization on Tuesday said it was "cautiously optimistic" that efforts to slow the spread of https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ebola-fever-virus-infection" rel="nofollow - Ebola in a Congolese city were working.

There are still cases occurring in more remote areas, however, the WHO said, with a total of 35 confirmed cases, 12 of which have been fatal.

So far, more than 400 people have received an experimental https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/video/reece-vaccine-development" rel="nofollow - Ebola vaccine that's never before been used in an emerging outbreak, the Associated Press reported.


Source and option for more:  https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20180530/who-cautiously-optimistic-on-ebola-outbreak" rel="nofollow - https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20180530/who-cautiously-optimistic-on-ebola-outbreak



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 30 2018 at 3:45pm

Ebola outbreak response shifts to remote DRC hot spots

May 29, 2018

Officials from World Health Organization (WHO) today said they're cautiously optimistic about curbing the spread of Ebola in the city Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), adding that the next phase of the outbreak response will focus on two remote hot spots in Bikoro and Iboko, where most of the cases have been reported.

At a briefing in Geneva today live-streamed on the WHO's Twitter feed, health officials also said DRC's health ministry is finalizing protocols for testing five therapeutic treatments and that a trial of a second experimental Ebola vaccine—a prime-boost regimen developed by Johnson & Johnson—may take place in the outbreak setting.

Peter Salama, MD, the WHO's deputy director-general of emergency response, said that, as of May 27, 54 Ebola cases have been reported. The number includes 35 confirmed, 13 probable, and 6 suspected cases. So far 25 deaths have been reported.

Salama said the updated numbers add one suspected case in Wangata health zone, which is in Mbandaka. Tests have ruled out Ebola in three suspected cases, one from Ntondo health zone. Response teams are monitoring more than 900 contacts in the DRC's three hot spots.

Response in remote epicenters

Of the outbreak's 54 cases, 47 are from Bikoro and Iboko, Salama said. "That's where our priorities must be going forward." He said on Twitter yesterday that the WHO surged more staff over the weekend to respond to reports of increasing cases in Iboko.

More than 400 people have been immunized in a ring vaccination campaign in Mbandaka involving Merck's experimental VSV-EBOV vaccine that began on May 21, targeting contacts of Ebola cases, plus contacts of contacts. He said besides the city's large size, the initial response centered on the area because of the risk of spread to other parts of the DRC as well as two neighboring countries, the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

Vaccination in the city went very smoothly, and so far there haven't been any reports of vaccine refusal, Salama said, adding that vaccinators have reached about 90% of the contacts targeted for immunization.

Though there is a 10-day window after vaccination before immunity kicks in, he said there hasn't been an explosion of cases in the city, a positive development that's part of what's fueling cautious optimism. Salama said there are three transmission chains in Mbandaka: one involving brothers who attended a funeral in Bikoro, one linked to a patient who visited a health center in Bikoro, and one who attended a community church gathering.

Now, it's time to battle the outbreak at its source, in Bikoro and Iboko, he said.

Michael Ryan, MD, the WHO's assistant director-general for emergency response, who just returned from the outbreak region, spoke of the huge logistical challenging in laying the groundwork for the response in the remote settings where most of the illnesses are occurring, but he said he is encouraged by the response he saw to the vaccination campaign in Mbandaka. "It's the first time in my experience where walking into villages with the vaccine teams you see hope and not terror," he said.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said today that it started vaccinating healthcare workers yesterday in Bikoro and that immunization will be offered to contacts of patients as part of the ring vaccination approach.

The group said the vaccine is one element of a larger strategy to control the spread of Ebola.

Micaela Serafini, MD, MPH, MSF's medical director in Geneva, said the group will be closely monitoring people who are voluntarily vaccinated and that, based on results in Guinea's outbreak, officials are confident about its use in the current outbreak. "The results of the trial suggest that the vaccine will present a real benefit to people at high risk of contracting Ebola, protecting them against the infection," she said.

Salama said vaccination is slated to begin this week in Iboko.

Opportunity to test treatments

The DRC government is eager to begin using experimental treatments in Ebola treatment units, and Salama said the programs and their companion clinical trials will likely begin in the coming days. They include ZMapp (a monoclonal antibody cocktail), Remdesivir (an antiviral), Regeneron (a monoclonal antibody treatment), favipiravir (a small-molecule antiviral), and a monoclonal antibody known as 114.

He said that doing clinical trials, especially in the remote settings, will be a challenge, given that some of the drugs involved intravenous administration over 6 to 12 hours and daily assessment of kidney and liver function.

Salama said the trials, done under the auspices of the health ministry, will, it is hoped, test the efficacy of all five drugs and assess how they compare to each other.

"If we don't use the opportunity to learn in this situation, we'll never be able to know which is better," he said.

Research on a second vaccine?

Salama said one of the critical questions researchers hope to answer with current trials under way as part of ring vaccination with VSV-EBOV is duration of protection. He said data from the trial in Guinea suggest the vaccine's protection lasts well over a year, and health officials suspect it might last much longer than that.

He said officials are exploring, along with the DRC government, if there's an opportunity to test whether another vaccine that works in a different way has the potential to protect for an even longer period.

The second vaccine approach, part of a prime-boost strategy, involves a dose of the adenovirus vectored Ad26.ZEBOV developed by Johnson & Johnson and a dose of MVA-BN-Filo from Bavarian Nordic.

Source:   http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2018/05/ebola-outbreak-response-shifts-remote-drc-hot-spots" rel="nofollow - http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2018/05/ebola-outbreak-response-shifts-remote-drc-hot-spots



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: May 30 2018 at 3:47pm
Published
New research suggests that we might be able to foresee when and where the next Ebola outbreak will occur if we take a close look at the migratory patterns of bats.

You are all probably aware of this theory, but if you want the rest it is at:   https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321909.php?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly" rel="nofollow - https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321909.php?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 01 2018 at 3:12pm
As Aid Workers Move to the Heart of Congo’s Ebola Outbreak, ‘Everything Gets More Complicated’

Medical investigators will need to overcome the rural region’s extreme logistical hurdles to reconstruct transmission chains, vaccinate contacts and halt the spread.


Aiming to squelch an Ebola outbreak that has infected 54 people, killing almost half of them, aid workers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have begun giving an experimental vaccine to people in the rural region at the epicenter of the outbreak.

Epidemiologists working in the remote forests have not yet identified the first case, nor many of the villagers who may have been exposed. Investigators will need to overcome extreme logistical hurdles to reconstruct how the virus was transmitted, vaccinate contacts and halt the spread.

“For an epidemic to be under control, you need a clear epidemiological picture,” said Dr. Henry Gray, the emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders.

“If you don’t know the stories of the people involved — who their families were, what their jobs were, where they went to weddings and funerals — then you don’t know the epidemic.”

Almost 500 people received the experimental vaccine, VSV-EBOV, last week around Mbandaka, a riverfront city of more than 1.5 million people where four Ebola cases have been confirmed.

Mbandaka is a priority because it is a traffic hub. The Republic of the Congo lies just across the Congo River, and Kinshasa, Congo’s capital of 10 million, is less than 500 miles downstream.

Aid workers are using the ring method: The vaccine is given to groups of people in contact with each Ebola case, such as family caregivers, as well as the contacts of those contacts.

About 7,500 doses are available to vaccinate 50 rings of 150 people each, according to Dr. Peter Salama, the deputy director-general for emergency response at the World Health Organization. An additional 8,000 doses will follow.

The W.H.O. is monitoring more than 900 contacts throughout Équateur province. As the vaccination program expands to the Bikoro and Iboko communities, where most cases have been reported, teams are relying on contact tracing to identify the most urgent recipients.

“This is where everything gets more complicated,” said Chiran Livera, the operation leader in Congo for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The villages surrounding Bikoro and Iboko are among the most isolated and densely wooded pockets of Congo. Aid workers must use motorbikes to navigate cratered dirt roads that flood during the rainy season. Maps of some regions are incomplete, and vast gaps in cellular service thwart efforts to report data to central operations.

“Following the virus’s narrative may sounds easy to do on a suburban street outside Chicago,” said Dr. Salama. “But when you’re traveling hundreds of kilometers in a forest by motorbike to find each person, that’s very different epidemiological work.”

If the outbreak worsens, a second vaccination may be offered to health workers. That vaccine, developed by Johnson and Johnson, requires two doses and would take longer than VSV-EBOV’s seven to 10 days to become effective — but may protect health workers for several years.

The Congolese Ministry of Health is planning to deploy up to five experimental treatments, though the two most highly recommended by the W.H.O. may prove impractical in a remote setting.

ZMapp, a cocktail of three antibodies used in West Africa, must be given in multiple doses and must be refrigerated. Remdesivir, a drug developed by Gilead Sciences, requires intensive monitoring of liver and kidney function — nearly impossible for treatment centers without electricity, running water or standard equipment.

Another option, called MAb114, began safety trials earlier this month. Made from the antibodies of an Ebola survivor, it can be crystallized and reconstituted with saline-like fluids in the field.

“These are all investigative products,” Dr. Salama said. Vaccine makers have struggled to show efficacy without live Ebola cases in which to test their drugs. “Many consider this outbreak their chance to prove themselves,” he said.

Drug companies are not alone in that mission.

The W.H.O.’s emergency committee gathered 10 days after the Congolese government notified the organization of an Ebola case, a stark contrast to the West African epidemic in 2014, when the group did not convene until almost 1,000 people had died.

Since May 8, the W.H.O. has sent 156 technical experts to the region. A mobile laboratory has been set up to expedite case confirmations in Bikoro; another is planned for Mbandaka. A cellular tower has been erected in Mbandaka to help workers trace people who may have been infected throughout the region.

The W.H.O. has more than doubled its budget request to $56 million from $26 million to account for the possibility of the virus may reach an urban setting.

“The biggest problem of 2014 was that there had never been an Ebola epidemic before,” said Ron Klain, the White House’s Ebola response coordinator for West Africa. “This time, there is an intensity, a focus, a pace. No one is underestimating the risk, and that alone is a big advantage.”

Another advantage is context: Unlike West Africa, Congo has experienced eight previous Ebola outbreaks since the virus was identified in 1976. Aid workers who arrived in Kinshasa this month found pre-established surveillance protocols, according to Mr. Livera.

The W.H.O.’s strategy assumes the virus will ultimately infect 100 to 300 people. Each rural case may infect 10 contacts, and each urban case may infect 30. Response activities may continue into July, according to a http://www.who.int/emergencies/crises/cod/DRC-ebola-disease-outbreak-response-plan-28May2018-ENfinal.pdf?ua=1&ua=1" rel="nofollow - revised plan released May 27.

Until investigators identify the index case, it is impossible to discern whether the first patient detected in April was truly the first human case or the hundredth, according to Dr. Gianfranco Rotigliano, the regional director of Unicef. Until then, it is impossible to quantify the crisis.

“These are the early days of the outbreak,” Dr. Salama said. “There can be lulls. We’ve seen that before. But there only needs to be one event — a super-spreader, like a funeral — to cause an explosion.”


Source:   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/health/ebola-congo-outbreak.html" rel="nofollow - https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/health/ebola-congo-outbreak.html



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 03 2018 at 4:12am

Ebola vaccinations rise in Congo as outbreak takes hold

More than 680 people have received Ebola vaccinations in the three areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where dozens of cases of the deadly virus have been confirmed, the country's health ministry has said.

Health experts are pushing to find contacts of those infected, having already located more than 1,000.

As of Friday evening (GMT), there have been 37 confirmed Ebola cases in the DRC, including 12 deaths.

There are another 13 probable cases, according to the country's health ministry.

Advertisement

Officials from the ministry could be seen on Friday in Mbandaka.

The city of 1.2 million people is the provincial capital of northwest Equateur province.

The officials were registering a young girl, whose parents died from the virus. She is now under UNICEF's care.

Further away, a young boy is sitting in a chair with a high fever. He is suspected of having been infected with the virus and has been placed in quarantine as a precaution.

While nearly 500 people have been vaccinated in Mbandaka since 21 May, ignorance about the virus' existence is still a threat.

"Most people here in Mbandaka and maybe in Bikoro and elsewhere are still ignorant. They have not yet understood that Ebola really exists," Dr. Hiller Manzimbo, a hospital director, told The Associated Press.

Manzimbo was referring, among others, to Irene Mbwo, the widow of an Ebola victim, who does not recognise that her husband died from the virus and has refused the vaccine herself.

"They just told me that he died of Ebola, but they did not publish his blood results," she told The Associated Press. "But how can they claim that he died of Ebola, when they say that those who came in contact with him will see symptoms of infection within three days, and I told them at the hospital today that I have been clean for 21 days?" she insisted.

In an Ebola plan released this week by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN's health agency predicted there could be up to 300 cases in the coming months, noting there could be three times as many contacts to chase if the virus spreads in urban, as opposed to rural, areas.

Although WHO officials said "more than half" of newly confirmed Ebola cases had been previously identified, a substantial portion of cases are showing up that were not being monitored, meaning the disease is in some cases spreading unnoticed.

The WHO also said officials would likely need more triage, isolation and treatment centres, possibly including one in the capital, Kinshasa. It said additional aircraft, helicopters and boats were needed to manage the challenging logistics of the outbreak and that it might ultimately cost 56 million US dollars to contain Ebola.

The UN health agency said that based on an initial assessment of Bikoro, "there is an approximate movement of over 1,000 people per day by river, road and air at major points of entry."It recommended that neighbouring countries strengthen their capacity to identify imported cases of Ebola, including by implementing exit screening.

The WHO said the risk of spread to elsewhere in Africa was high but that the risk of global transmission was low. It added that even though experts had concluded the outbreak conditions do not currently merit being declared a global emergency, the situation would be re-evaluated if the epidemic spikes significantly or if there is international spread.


Source:   https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/world/ebola-vaccinations-rise-in-congo-outbreak-takes-hold" rel="nofollow - https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/world/ebola-vaccinations-rise-in-congo-outbreak-takes-hold



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 04 2018 at 12:09am

Ebola outbreak: Case counts, Africa CDC Deploys Teams


June 3, 2018

In an update on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in Equateur Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the case counts as of June 1 are as follows:

37 confirmed cases, 13 probable and seven suspected for a total of 57 cases, including 25 deaths since early April 2018.

The outbreak remains localized to the three health zones initially affected: Iboko, Bikoro and Wangata.

Since the launch of the vaccination exercise on 21 May 2018, a total of 682 people have been vaccinated. The targets for vaccination are front-line health professionals, people who have been exposed to confirmed EVD cases and contacts of these contacts.

After recruiting and training 18 Congolese volunteers, Africa CDC has just deployed them to Equateur province to support the response to Ebola Virus Disease in DR Congo.

The responders, who are former volunteers of the African Union Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA) in the 2014-16 outbreak, they also participated in the post-Ebola enhanced surveillance in the Democratic Republic of Congo in July 2017 in the province of Bas-Uélé.


Source   http://outbreaknewstoday.com/ebola-outbreak-case-counts-africa-cdc-deploys-teams-66543/" rel="nofollow - http://outbreaknewstoday.com/ebola-outbreak-case-counts-africa-cdc-deploys-teams-66543/



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 05 2018 at 2:16pm

Disease outbreak news : Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo: Points of Entry, 5 June 2018

Report
from https://reliefweb.int/organization/who" rel="nofollow - World Health Organization
Published on 05 Jun 2018 http://www.reachresourcecentre.info/south-sudan/ssdfactsheetrenk-town-road-monitoringmay-2018" rel="nofollow - View Original

In response to the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, WHO in collaboration with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and other partners, has developed a comprehensive strategic response plan for points of entry. The aim of the plan is to avoid the spread of the disease to other provinces or at the international level. The plan includes mapping strategic points of entry and the locations of areas where travellers congregate and interact with the local population, and therefore are at risk of Ebola virus disease transmission based on population movement. The plan also includes implementing health measures at the identified points of entry/traveller congregation points, such as risk communication and community engagement, temperature checks, provision of hand hygiene and sanitation materials, and the development of alert, investigation and referral procedures.

As of 18 May 2018, a total of 115 points of entry/traveller congregation points have been listed and mapped along cordon sanitaires in Mbandaka, Bikoro, Iboko, larger Equateur Province, and Kinshasa. Of these, some 30 points of entry have been prioritized for in-depth assessments and for implementing relevant prevention, detection and control measures. These include major ports and congregation points along the Congo river, as well as the two airports and the international port in Kinshasa. Areas of large gatherings such as markets are also being assessed. Along the Congo river there are many private smaller ports and points of congregation with a low volume of traffic. Proper screening cannot be conducted at all 115 points, and the efforts currently focus on the 30 prioritized points of entries/ traveller congregation points, as well as on risk communications activities and community engagement.

Entry and exit screening measures have been implemented at the Mbandaka airport, as well as in some terminals of the Kinshasa international airport. These include travel health declaration, visual observation for symptoms, temperature check and travel health promotion measures, as well as procedures for referral of suspect cases.

The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee, was convened by the WHO Director-General on 18 May 2018, and advised against the application of any travel or trade restrictions to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in relation to the current Ebola outbreak, as flight cancellations and other travel restrictions may hinder the international public health response and may cause significant economic damage to the affected country (see link below). The Emergency Committee also advised that exit screening, including at airports and ports on the Congo river, is considered to be of great importance; however entry screening, particularly in distant airports, is not considered to be of any public health or cost-benefit value.

http://www.who.int/news-room/detail/18-05-2018-statement-on-the-1st-meeting-of-the-ihr-emergency-committee-regarding-the-ebola-outbreak-in-2018" rel="nofollow - Statement of the 1st meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee

WHO is monitoring travel and trade measures in relation to the current outbreak. As of 28 May, 23 countries have implemented entry screening for international travellers coming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but there are currently no restrictions of international traffic in place.

WHO advice

The Emergency Committee convened by the Director-General on 18 May 2018 noted that the Ebola outbreak does not currently meet the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The Committee issued comprehensive Public Health Advice , in particular with regards to the fact that there should be no international travel or trade restrictions, that neighbouring countries should strengthen preparedness and surveillance, and that during the response, safety and security of staff should be ensured, and protection of responders of national and international staff should prioritised.

WHO has also issued travel advice for international travellers in relation to the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (see link below).

http://www.who.int/ith/evd-travel-advice-final-29-05-2018-final.pdf?ua=1&ua=1" rel="nofollow - WHO recommendations for international travellers related to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Travellers going through the exit screening from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Effective exit screening helps prevent the exportation and spread of disease to other areas. During exit screening at international airports and points of entry, travellers will be assessed for signs and symptoms of an illness consistent with Ebola virus disease, or identified as contacts potentially exposed to Ebola virus disease.

  • Travellers with a possible exposure to Ebola virus and who are sick should postpone international travel and seek immediate medical assistance if there is a possible exposure to Ebola virus disease;

  • Any person with an illness consistent with Ebola virus disease will not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation (see link below);

  • Travellers should plan to arrive early at the travel facility and expect delays related to public health screening;

  • Travellers will be required to complete a Traveller Public Health Declaration, and these will be reviewed prior to clearance to board;

  • Temperature measurement will be required, in addition to normal security provisions;

  • Boarding may be denied based on public health criteria.

http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/ebola/exit-screening-guidance/en/" rel="nofollow - Exit screening at airports, ports and land crossings: Interim guidance for Ebola virus disease Travellers with symptoms on board a conveyance

There is a possibility that a person who has been exposed to Ebola virus and developed symptoms may board a commercial flight or other mode of transport, without informing the transport company of his/her status. Such travellers should seek immediate medical attention upon arrival, mention their recent travel history, and then be isolated to prevent further transmission. Information of close contacts of this person on board the aircraft (e.g. passengers one seat away from the ill traveller on the same flight, including across an aisle, and crew who report direct body contact with the ill traveller) should be obtained through collaboration with various stakeholders at points of entry (e.g. airline reservation system) in order to undergo contact tracing.

Returning travellers

The risk of a traveller becoming infected with Ebola virus during a visit to the affected areas and developing disease after returning is extremely low, even if the visit included travel to areas where primary cases have been reported. Transmission requires direct contact with blood or fluids of infected persons or animals (alive or dead), all unlikely exposures for the average traveller (see link below).

http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/ebola/travel-guidance/en/" rel="nofollow - Travel and transport risk assessment: Ebola Interim guidance for public health authorities and the transport sector

There is, however, a risk for health care workers and volunteers, especially if involved in caring for Ebola virus disease patients. The risk can be considered low, unless adequate infection prevention and control measures (such as use of clean water and soap or alcohol-based hand rubs, personal protective equipment, safe injection practices and proper waste management) are not followed, including at points of medical care at ports, airports and ground crossings.

As the incubation period for Ebola is between 2 to 21 days, travellers involved in caring for Ebola virus disease patients or who suspect possible exposure to Ebola virus in the affected areas, should take the following precautions for 21 days after returning:

  1. Stay within reach of a good quality health care facility;
  2. Be aware of the symptoms of infection; and,
  3. Seek immediate medical attention (e.g. through hotline telephone numbers) and mention their recent travel history if they develop Ebola virus disease like symptoms.

Source:   http://rliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/disease-outbreak-news-ebola-virus-disease-democratic-republic-congo" rel="nofollow - https://reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/disease-outbreak-news-ebola-virus-disease-democratic-republic-congo


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 05 2018 at 9:13pm

Church suspends sacraments as deadly Ebola outbreak spreads

Source and full article:   https://religionnews.com/2018/06/05/church-suspends-sacraments-as-deadly-ebola-outbreak-spreads/" rel="nofollow - https://religionnews.com/2018/06/05/church-suspends-sacraments-as-deadly-ebola-outbreak-spreads/


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 06 2018 at 3:22am

Doctors Without Borders Southern Africa appeals for funds to tackle Ebola outbreak

Doctors Without Borders or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Southern Africa has launched an appeal to raise funds to fight the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

EbolaEbola has caused thousands of deaths since the first outbreak in 2013. (Image source: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations/Flickr)

MSF said in a statement that 25 people had died since the outbreak was declared on 8 May, with 35 confirmed cases of Ebola recorded so far.

MSF said it would use funds collected towards care for diagnosed patients and isolation, outreach activities, follow-up with patients, activities to inform people about the risks of Ebola and safe burials.

Most of the Ebola cases are in the country's remote Bikoro health zone, which lacks the healthcare infrastructure to tackle the spread of Ebola.

The WHO last month reported one confirmed case of Ebola in Mbandaka, a city of 1.2mn.

This is a cause for worry because Mbandaka, which is close to the Congo River, which sees significant regional traffic.

The Ebola virus, which has caused several thousand deaths, is a communicable viral disease which causes severe bleeding, organ failure and could lead to death.

The first outbreak of the disease was recorded in Guinea in 2013 and later spread to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, with minor outbreaks in other regions.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), last month, called for aid to the tune of about US$15.1mn to support its operations in tackling the Ebola outbreak in the DRC.

Source:   http://www.africanreview.com/finance/business/doctors-without-borders-southern-africa-appeals-for-funds-to-tackle-ebola-outbreak" rel="nofollow - http://www.africanreview.com/finance/business/doctors-without-borders-southern-africa-appeals-for-funds-to-tackle-ebola-outbreak


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 06 2018 at 3:48am

Democratic Republic of Congo: Ebola Virus Disease - External Situation Report 8

Report
from https://reliefweb.int/organization/who" rel="nofollow - World Health Organization
Published on 05 Jun 2018
https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/SITREP-EVD-DRC-20180605-eng.pdf" rel="nofollow">preview
application/pdf https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/SITREP-EVD-DRC-20180605-eng.pdf" rel="nofollow - Download PDF (1.61 MB)

1. Situation update

The outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains active. On 3 June 2018, six new suspected EVD cases have been reported in Bikoro (5) and Wangata (1) Health Zones. Three laboratory specimens (from suspected cases reported on 2 June 2018) tested negative. No new confirmed EVD cases and no new deaths have been reported since our last situation update on 1 June 2018.

Since the beginning of the outbreak (on 4 April 2018), a total of 56 EVD cases and 25 deaths (case fatality rate 44.6%) have been reported, as of 3 June 2018. Of the 56 cases, 37 have been laboratory confirmed, 13 are probable (deaths for which it was not possible to collect laboratory specimens for testing) and six are suspected. Of the confirmed and probable cases, 25 (50%) are from Iboko, followed by 21 (42%) from Bikoro and four (8%) from Wangata health zones. A total of five healthcare workers have been affected, with four confirmed cases and two deaths.

Context

On 8 May 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo notified WHO of an EVD outbreak in Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province. The event was initially reported on 3 May 2018 by the Provincial Health Division of Equateur when a cluster of 21 cases of an undiagnosed illness, involving 17 community deaths, occurred in Ikoko-Impenge health area. A team from the Ministry of Health, supported by WHO and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), visited Ikoko-Impenge health area on 5 May 2018 and found five case-patients, two of whom were admitted in Bikoro General Hospital and three were in the health centre in Ikoko-Impenge. Samples were taken from each of the five cases and sent for analysis at the Institute National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB), Kinshasa on 6 May 2018. Of these, two tested positive for Ebola virus, Zaire ebolavirus species, by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 7 May 2018, and the outbreak was officially declared on 8 May 2018. The index case in this outbreak has not yet been identified and epidemiologic investigations are ongoing, including laboratory testing.

This is the ninth EVD outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo over the last four decades, with the most recent one occurring in May 2017. The outbreak has remained localised to the three health zones initially affected: Iboko (23 confirmed cases, 2 probable, 5 deaths), Bikoro (10 confirmed cases, 11 probable, 5 suspected, 17 deaths) and Wangata (4 confirmed cases, 1 suspected, 3 deaths). As of 31 May 2018, a total of 880 contacts remain under active follow-up.


Source:   https://reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/democratic-republic-congo-ebola-virus-disease-external-situation-6" rel="nofollow - https://reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/democratic-republic-congo-ebola-virus-disease-external-situation-6



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 07 2018 at 2:55pm

Angola shuts its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo to contain Ebola outbreak that is feared to have killed 25

The Ebola virus has hit three parts of the DRC, near the border with Gabon

Angola has not been hit but officials have closed a segment of the border

It is the segment where Angolans and Congolese most often interact 

While the current outbreak looks possible to contain, experts say measures like border closures may be key to controlling the virus

Source and full article:   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5813617/Angola-shuts-border-Congo-contain-Ebola-outbreak-feared-killed-25.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5813617/Angola-shuts-border-Congo-contain-Ebola-outbreak-feared-killed-25.html


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 08 2018 at 2:51am
Not a lot of real information seems to be coming out of the DRC at the moment.  But, at least, the health messages seem to be getting through.]

Church in Congo suspends sacraments during Ebola outbreak

Jun 7, 2018

CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE


Source and full article:   https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2018/06/07/church-in-congo-suspends-sacraments-during-ebola-outbreak/" rel="nofollow - https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2018/06/07/church-in-congo-suspends-sacraments-during-ebola-outbreak/


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 08 2018 at 3:49pm

'Strong progress' in calming Congo Ebola outbreak: WHO

9 Jun, 2018 4:45am

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — "Strong progress" has been made in calming Congo's deadly Ebola outbreak in a city of 1.2 million and in the rural outpost where the epidemic was declared one month ago, the World Health Organization said Friday, but now the focus turns to "some of the most remote territory on Earth."

Health officials expressed cautious optimism as the pace of new cases has slowed. Congo's health ministry late Thursday announced a new confirmed Ebola case, bringing the total to 38, including 13 deaths.

The new case is in the remote Iboko health zone in Congo's northwest. Health workers also have been chasing contacts of those infected in Mbandaka city, a provincial capital on the heavily traveled Congo River, and in Bikoro town where the outbreak was declared.

While Ebola's spread to a major city has complicated efforts to track all contacts of those infected, the presence of the virus in Iboko poses another world of problems.

The forested terrain is so rough that even four-wheel-drive vehicles can't reach the area, which has no electricity, WHO's emergency response chief Peter Salama told reporters in Geneva. Motorcycles are only now arriving and health workers are sleeping 15 to 20 people to a tent.

"This is a major logistical and boots-on-the-ground epidemiological endeavor now," Salama said, adding that work there will go on for weeks.

WHO has vaccinated more than 1,000 people over the past two weeks in all areas of the outbreak, including health workers who are at high risk. The virus spreads via bodily fluids of infected people, including the dead.

"There's been very strong progress in the outbreak response, particularly in relation to two of three sites," Salama said. "Phase one, to protect urban centers and towns, has gone well and we can be cautiously optimistic."

He warned, however, that experts are not in a position to document all chains of transmission of the virus, so "there may still yet be unknown chains out there and there may still be surprises in this outbreak."

This is Congo's ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976, when the hemorrhagic fever was first identified.

WHO said it is supporting emergency response and preparedness efforts by nine neighboring countries. Republic of Congo and Central African Republic are closest to the outbreak and are highest priority, but Congo is also bordered by Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

WHO says the Ebola response will cost more than $15.5 million over nine months.

Source:   https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12067268" rel="nofollow - https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12067268



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 09 2018 at 2:37am

Congo Ebola outbreak: WHO records 62 cases, 27 deaths



NEW YORK - https://enca.com/africa/who-waiting-for-drc-approval-to-send-unlicensed-ebola-medication" rel="nofollow - World Health Organisation (WHO) experts said they have recorded https://enca.com/africa/fresh-ebola-cases-in-dr-congo-authorities" rel="nofollow - 62 Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during this latest outbreak, with 38 confirmations and 27 deaths.

Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response of WHO, Dr Peter Salama reported in Geneva that “very strong progress” in response to the Ebola outbreak in the DRC, one month after the start of the diseases.

He said that the first phase – protecting urban centres and towns – “has gone well, and we can be cautiously optimistic.”

“There have been 62 Ebola cases in the DRC during this latest outbreak, with 38 confirmations and https://enca.com/africa/ebola-deaths-continues-in-drc" rel="nofollow - 27 deaths .

“The latest case, confirmed on Thursday, was in the remote Iboko health zone in the northwest, an indication that the outbreak is ongoing, he said.

Salama, who just returned from a two-day visit to the DRC said: “There’s been very strong progress in the outbreak response, particularly in relation to two of the initial three sites: Mbandaka and Bikoro”.

Mbandaka, in northwest DRC, has a population of around one million,and it is the capital of Equateur province, where the small town of Bikoro also is located.

“We’re cautiously optimistic but there’s a lot of very tough work to do in phase two before we say that we’re on the top of this outbreak and we’ve learned the hard way in the past never to underestimate Ebola,” Salama said.

He said the focus now was on rural isolated communities in the Iboko health zone which would present logistical and other challenges.

Salama described it as among the most remote territory on Earth, mainly inhabited by indigenous populations, while WHO currently has 80 staff in the area.

“We’re talking about an enormous logistical effort required to reach every alert of a case. And then if there is a confirmation of a case, every contact of those cases,” he explained. (NAN)


Source:  https://www.enca.com/africa/congo-ebola-outbreak-who-records-62-cases-27-deaths" rel="nofollow - https://www.enca.com/africa/congo-ebola-outbreak-who-records-62-cases-27-deaths



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 11 2018 at 11:48am
In tracking filovirus reservoirs, fruit bats have been implicated for ebola, though apparently no virus has yet been isolated. Since VSV-EBOV is based on VSV, and VSV-Indiana was originally isolated from a cow in July of 1925, the Salmonella connection to Mbandaka links US and UK. Salmonella has been isolated from fruit bats in India: Pteropus.

Salmonella mbandaka
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29608757" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29608757
' A single isolate of S. mbandaka exhibted multidrug resistance to tetracycline, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and ampicillin....'

UK / Cattle / Animal Feed
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26846255" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26846255
'....We show that UK isolates of S. mbandaka is comprised of one of clonal lineage which is adapted to proficient utilisation of metabolites from soya beans under ambient conditions.'

This links to Australia, for the progenitor plant which is ancestor to the soybean:

Novel RNA Viruses Within Plant Parasitic Cyst Nematodes
journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0193881
'....SCN (soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines) NLV and BLV are negative-sense RNA viruses....An additional viral genome was identified from Globodera pallida (potato cyst nematode). The virus is a picorna-like virus, a positive-sense virus.'

This links to polio (picornavirus) vaccinations at Mbandaka (formerly Coquilhatville). 


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 12 2018 at 1:59pm
If ebola is vectored by fruit bats, though no virus has yet to be found infecting them, then bat flies are suspect. Nipah virus infects Eidolon dupreanum, though E. helvum is infected by Lagos bat virus, which is the link to HIV-2.

'No. 73  Lagos Bat Virus

Isolated by L.R. Boulger, Lagos, Nigeria.

Time of Collection: Feb 1956

Susceptibility to Experimental Infection:  Monkey (Cercocebus torquatus torquatus), 5th passage, no evidence of infection.'
(Catalogue of Arboviruses of the World)

Just as HIV-2 does not affect sooty mangabeys, Lagos bat virus (Rhabdoviridae) does not seem to affect other mangabeys such as C. torquatus.




Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 13 2018 at 9:36am

Democratic Republic of Congo: Ebola Virus Disease - External Situation Report 10

Report
from https://reliefweb.int/organization/who" rel="nofollow - World Health Organization
Published on 12 Jun 2018 

1. Situation Update

The outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains active. One month into the response, there is cautious optimism about the situation in Bikoro and Wangata (especially Mbandaka) health zones where the last confirmed EVD case was reported on 16 May 2018. The primary focus of the response has moved from the urban areas of Equateur Province to the most remote and hard-to-reach places in Itipo and the greater Iboko Health Zone.

On 10 June 2018, two new suspected EVD cases were reported in Iboko Health Zone. Thirteen laboratory specimens (from suspected cases reported previously) tested negative. No new confirmed EVD cases and no new deaths have been reported on the reporting date. Since 17 May 2018, no new confirmed EVD cases have been reported in Bikoro and Wangata health zones, while the last confirmed case was reported in Iboko Health Zone on 2 June 2018.

Since the beginning of the outbreak (on 4 April 2018), a total of 55 EVD cases and 28 deaths (case fatality rate 50.9%) have been reported, as of 10 June 2018. Of the 55 cases, 38 have been laboratory confirmed, 14 are probable (deaths for which it was not possible to collect laboratory specimens for testing) and three are suspected. Of the confirmed and probable cases, 27 (52%) are from Iboko, followed by 21 (40%) from Bikoro and four (8%) from Wangata health zones. A total of five healthcare workers have been affected, with four confirmed cases and two deaths.

The outbreak has remained localised to the three health zones initially affected: Iboko (24 confirmed cases, 3 probable, 2 suspected, 7 deaths), Bikoro (10 confirmed cases, 11 probable, 1 suspected, 18 deaths) and Wangata (4 confirmed cases, 3 deaths).

The number of contacts requiring follow-up is progressively decreasing with many completing the required follow-up period. As of 10 June 2018, a total of 634 contacts were under follow up, of which 633 (99.8%) were reached on the reporting date.

Context

On 8 May 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo notified WHO of an EVD outbreak in Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province. The event was initially reported on 3 May 2018 by the Provincial Health Division of Equateur when a cluster of 21 cases of an undiagnosed illness, involving 17 community deaths, occurred in Ikoko-Impenge health area. A team from the Ministry of Health, supported by WHO and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), visited Ikoko-Impenge health area on 5 May 2018 and found five case-patients, two of whom were admitted in Bikoro General Hospital and three were in the health centre in Ikoko-Impenge. Samples were taken from each of the five cases and sent for analysis at the Institute National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB), Kinshasa on 6 May 2018. Of these, two tested positive for Ebola virus, Zaire ebolavirus species, by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 7 May 2018, and theoutbreak was officially declared on 8 May 2018. The index case in this outbreak has not yet been identified and epidemiologic investigations are ongoing, including laboratory testing.

This is the ninth EVD outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo over the last four decades, with the most recent one occurring in May 2017.

Source:   https:///reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/democratic-republic-congo-ebola-virus-disease-external-situation-8" rel="nofollow - https://reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/democratic-republic-congo-ebola-virus-disease-external-situation-8

-------------
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 13 2018 at 1:30pm
There seems no published reports of fruit-bat eating habits in the areas of interest for this latest outbreak. Feline immunodeficiency virus links to big cats and jungle cats such as leopards, linking "cat scratch fever" (Bartonella) to Nipah virus (Paramyxoviridae) and fruit bats:

Exposure to Bat-Associated Bartonella
https://wwwnc.cdc.org/eid/article/22/5/15-1908_article" rel="nofollow - https://wwwnc.cdc.org/eid/article/22/5/15-1908_article
'....128,000 bats on average, are hunted for food yearly in southern Ghana alone. Serologic evidence of human infections with novel paramyxoviruses from Eidolon helvum supports concerns regarding this contact.'

During rubber-exploiting years in the Congo, the workers slept in wooden cages constructed from available materials, which were not always effective against leopards. Thomas Duncan's ebola med, brincidofovir, is the ether lipid analogue of cidofovir. Cidofovir potently inhibits cytomegalovirus. Congo chevrotain (Tragulus) mothers teach their young to eat the twigs of Pycnanthus, which anti-cytomegalovirus compounds include dihydroguaiaretic acid.

(Hungary, 2010) Dihydroguaiaretic Acid / CMV
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20332453" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20332453




Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 13 2018 at 2:32pm
CMV-Based Ebola Vaccine
(Hamilton, Montana; Devon, UK; Braunschwieg, Germany; Riverside, California; Portland, Oregon)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25820063" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25820063

The chevrotainian "ghost sequence" from Pycnanthus (Myristaceae) is the signal for myristoylation, Gly-Ala-Gly-X-Ser, linking poliovirus and rhinovirus inhibitors:

(May 2018) Poliovirus/Rhinovirus Inhibitors
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29760414" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29760414

(1988) Anti-HIV-1 / Myristoylation
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3194424" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3194424
'....inhibited the myristoylation of the proteolytic cleavage of the gag-coded polyprotein Pr53gag to p24 but did not affect the processing of gp160.'

'p. 728:  At some time in late 1959 or early 1960, a (polio vaccination) campaign was staged at the large town of Coquilhatville ("Coq," now Mbandaka) in Equateur Province.

p. 738:  Equally, we know that one of the last campaigns in the Congo, that at Coquilhatville (Mbandaka), the one that Courtois later hoped to have monitored by the CDC, does not correlate with the early spread of HIV-1, for a retrospective test of 250 sera taken from Mbandaka in 1969 revealed no HIV positives.' 
(Hooper, The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV/AIDS)


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 14 2018 at 10:22am
VSV-EBOV, a Diptera-based vaccine compares with CMV-based vaccines, because some bat fly parasites are blind. Thus, Iboko, for example, links to CMV retinitis:

Iboko / CMV Retinitis
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9479820" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9479820
'....CMV retinitis (6%)....cataract and glaucoma constituted a public health problem in this rural area of Zaire.'

One reason Tragulus mothers teach their young to eat Pycnanthus twigs is here:

(May 2018 India)  Newborn Glaucoma / CMV
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29847359" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29847359

Nigeria / CMV Retinitis / HIV-AIDS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18408779" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18408779

Having mentioned the "ghost sequence" for myristoylation, one link to poliovirus and rhinovirus is here:

Anti-Poliovirus N-Myristoylation
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29760414" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29760414

Ebola and Marburg are Mononegavirales. Mononegavirales sequences found in the soybean cyst nematode, link the Tragulus-Pycnanthus assemblage:

(2014 Mississippi State University)  Heterodera glycines Myristoylation
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24452833" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24452833

Thus, the progenitor of the soybean in Australia may have reacted against a Mononegavirales vector sometime during evolution.



Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 18 2018 at 9:47am
To help verify that major viruses are involved in the region of the latest ebola outbreak, this report has a map:

WHO Officials Fear Latest Ebola Outbreak in Congo Could Spread to Big Cities
https://www.statnews.com/new-ebola-outbreak-congo-raises-who-concerns/" rel="nofollow - https://www.statnews.com/new-ebola-outbreak-congo-raises-who-concerns/
'....or Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, to the north.'

Institute Pasteur, Bangui
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10580275" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10580275

Edward Hooper (The River) shows Yaounde, Cameroon on the map but does not mention polio at Quesso, and the WHO does not seem to mention it either, or on the internet. Unfortunately, we no longer have the citation for the polio cases at Quesso. Quesso is on the Sangha River at the southernmost tip of Cameroon, which river borders the area that was the origin of the HIV-O subtype. The Sangha connects the Congo below Mbandaka. Yaounde includes the region for the origin of HIV-1. Many animals from southern and southeastern Cameroon end up at the market in Yaounde.

Congo's Ebola Outbreak Poses Challenges for Bush Meat
https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/congos-ebola-outbreakposes-concerns-bush-meat-55955018" rel="nofollow - https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/congos-ebola-outbreakposes-concerns-bush-meat-55955018
'....four years ago....it was widely suspected that the epidemic began when a 2-year-old boy in Guinea was infected by a bat.'


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 18 2018 at 2:24pm

[Although 'contained' is not the same as over, the signs are good it is under control.]


How DRC’s Ebola Outbreak Has Been Contained

The Ebola outbreak in Congo has been closely tracked and, so far, well-contained, in stark contrast to the 2014 West Africa outbreak that killed thousands of people.
By https://www.voanews.com/author/25229.html" rel="nofollow - SALEM SOLOMON | June 18, 2018

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo appears to be in its waning days. Despite http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272825/SITREP_EVD_DRC_20180612-eng.pdf?ua=1" rel="nofollow - 28 deaths as of early June , health officials are cautiously optimistic that they are bringing the outbreak under control. So far, it’s a striking turnaround from the 2014 West Africa outbreak, which killed more than 11,000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and traveled as far as Glasgow, Scotland, and Dallas, Texas.

Despite difficult-to-traverse terrain and local communities’ skepticism of health care workers, from the start of the outbreak, officials got in front of the disease and kept it in check. Several factors made the DRC response markedly different than previous outbreaks, saving countless lives.


1. Long distances between villages and an underdeveloped infrastructure slowed the spread of the disease.

The DRC’s remoteness made it difficult for health care workers to access affected communities, but it also impeded the spread of the disease. For the most part, infected individuals did not leave their communities, and outsiders didn’t come in, greatly limiting the number of infections. In contrast, in 2014, at the height of the West Africa epidemic, Ebola spread quickly through densely populated cities.

Source:   https://projects.voanews.com/drc-ebola-outbreak/" rel="nofollow - https://projects.voanews.com/drc-ebola-outbreak/



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 19 2018 at 9:55am
The paradox in this containment story is that whereas in 2014 the human was vector, in 2018 the ebola reservoir remains at large despite a vaccine, just as it did in 2014. 

Because ebola sequences have been detected in small mammals at Bangui, both polio and HIV coalesce three theories in southeastern Cameroon: SIV-contaminated polio vaccine, SIV-contaminated bush meat, and contaminated reused hypodermic needles for general use).

There is no doubt that polio cases at Quesso are documented, though we cannot retrieve a citation at this time. Quesso is also spelled Ouesso, and a Pubmed search retrieves only one reference:

Ouesso / HIV Subtype Diversity
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16473564" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16473564
'....p24 gag....'

Thomas Duncan's ebola med, brincidofovir, is an ether-lipid analogue that reveals clues to its synthesis: myristoylation is also documented for HIV-1. Therefore, whereas myristoylation is a lipidation modification (compared with brincidofovir), sumoylation is a post-translational modification.

Ebola VP40 Sumoylation
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27849047" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27849047

Ebola Zaire Sumoylation
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19557165" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19557165




Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 19 2018 at 1:31pm
Thomas Duncan's ebola meds are based on anti-CMV compounds such as cidofovir, which links to anti-CMV compounds of the Tragulus food, Pycnanthus. Thus chevrotains were eating anti-CMV compounds throughout their evolution.

(2017) CMV Sumoylation-Dependent Post-Translational Modification
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28528440" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28528440

Foot-and-mouth disease virus is a Picornavirus, and the chevrotainian "ghost sequence" reveals an antiviral strategy of the Myristaceae:

In summary, FMDV Lpro has evolved to recognize two specific substrates at two different cleavage sites by providing a deep hydrophobic pocket to interact specifically with residues such as leucine at the P2 site, and subsequently modulating the interaction through subtle requirements at the P1 or P1' sites. Would it not have been easier for the FMDV Lpro to have evolved to recognize a unique cleavage site? This would mean cleaving between L and VP4 at a site containing a P1 Gly and a P1' Arg, as found in the cleavage site of of eIF4GI, or cleaving the eIF4GI between a P1 lysine and a P1' Gly, as found in the polyprotein cleavage site.

The first possibility cannot be an option as the N-terminal region of VP4 contains the recognition signal for myristoylation (GlyAlaGlyXSer); any attempt of the virus to introduce basic residues would lead to an inability to myristoylate VP4 and hence a defect in viral replication. The second option does not seem possible either, as the sequence LeuLys*Gly cannot be found in a position that would allow proteolysis to separate the eIF4GI binding domains for eIF4E and eIF4A.'
(Skern T, et al, Structure and Function of Picornavirus Proteinases, in Molecular Biology of Picornaviruses [2002] p. 209)


Posted By: carbon20
Date Posted: June 20 2018 at 3:18pm
The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story
Book by Richard Preston

https://g.co/kgs/Yg5Kwt" rel="nofollow - https://g.co/kgs/Yg5Kwt


-------------
12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 22 2018 at 10:43am
Ltest: 

Health officials cautiously optimistic dangerous Ebola outbreak is over

June 21, 2018

There is cautious optimism that a dangerous https://www.statnews.com/2018/05/26/341517/" rel="nofollow - Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is over, the head of the World Health Organization’s emergency response operations said Thursday.

Transmission of the deadly virus appears to have stopped — though it is not yet time to pull back on the response operation, Dr. Peter Salama, deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response, told STAT.

“Overall I’d be very confident that we’ve broken the back of this outbreak,” Salama said, noting that the WHO will discuss with the DRC government in coming days how long to maintain response operations and when to think about declaring the outbreak over.

While there have been 28 fatalities due to Ebola, there hasn’t been a newly confirmed diagnosis since early June. And while surveillance teams keep finding and testing people who are sick, time and again tests have shown that what ails them is not Ebola.

Typically infectious disease outbreaks are declared over when there hasn’t been a new case for two full incubation periods of the particular disease. Ebola’s incubation period is two to 21 days, so 42 days is the bare minimum. As of Thursday, 19 days had passed without a new case.

But the WHO is likely to be cautious, particularly in light of the West African Ebola outbreak that ran from late 2013 to 2016.

That epidemic appeared to be coming under control in 2015 and 2016, and on several occasions the WHO declared the outbreak over in one of the affected countries. Then a cluster of new cases would be spotted.

Investigation of the new cases brought to light that a phenomenon previously thought to be mainly a theoretical risk: The Ebola virus persisted in some survivors for weeks and in some cases even months — notably in https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1500306?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3dwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov" rel="nofollow - eyeballs and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5091350/" rel="nofollow - testicles — often reigniting spread of the disease.

Investigations found most of the new cases were linked to sexual contact with a survivor; mother-to-infant transmission via breast milk was seen in one case.

The same kind of risks “mustn’t be underestimated” in the latest outbreak, said Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of Britain’s Wellcome Trust, one of the first entities to step up to help fund this outbreak response.

“You would hate to declare it over prematurely,” he said, noting that having to unwind operations and rebuild them later would be difficult and would undermine morale.

The use of an https://www.statnews.com/2018/05/13/ebola-vaccination-program-could-begin-this-week-in-the-drc/" rel="nofollow - experimental Ebola vaccine in the outbreak may diminish the risk of straggler cases, or even sexually transmitted infections from survivors, however.

The vaccine, being developed by Merck, was offered to health care workers as well as the contacts of cases — and their contacts — in what’s called a ring vaccination approach. The idea is to stop spread of the virus by protecting anyone who might be at risk of contracting it.

Acceptance of the vaccine was astonishingly high — almost everyone offered a chance to be vaccinated took it. Salama said in nine of 11 vaccination rings, all the people offered the vaccine agreed to be vaccinated. In the other two rings, 98 percent agreed. “It was really heartening,” he said.

It is too early to say for sure, but Salama believes the vaccination effort helped to contain the outbreak, which involved spread in three locations — the city of Mbandaka, on the Congo River, the town of Bikoro, and the village of Iboko.

“Just eyeballing the data, the fact that these outbreaks really stopped in their tracks … to me is suggestive that the vaccination had some impact,” he said. Salama noted infections dried up despite the fact that contact tracing — finding people who had been exposed to cases to monitor them for signs of Ebola — only really got to high levels late in May. That is about a week after vaccination began in Mbandaka and around the time it started in Bikoro and Iboko.

The outbreak post-mortems will include an effort to explore the question more fully, Salama said. Scientists will look at when contacts of cases were exposed to sick people and then when they were vaccinated to try to discern if the vaccine may have prevented infections.

“We’ll know more on that when we do more modeling post-outbreak with the full data set,” Salama said. “But for the regular transmission, certainly that’s extremely likely. And even [to prevent] sexual transmission, it’s possible.”

None of the experimental Ebola therapies shipped to DRC ended up being used in this outbreak. By the time the country’s scientific and ethics advisory committees had studied the drugs and agreed they would be administered, there were https://www.statnews.com/2018/06/11/testing-ebola-treatments-outbreak/" rel="nofollow - no patients left to treat .

“It is a lost opportunity,” Salama acknowledged.

But he noted that in a small 2017 outbreak in DRC, the same thing happened with a proposal to use the experimental vaccine. The groundwork laid then led to quicker approval of the vaccine this time, he said, and the review of the experimental drugs in this outbreak could speed approvals the next time DRC — on its ninth Ebola outbreak — has to fight this disease. “For next time, I think it will happen much more quickly,” Salama said.





Source:   https://www.statnews.com/2018/06/21/ebola-outbreak-optimism/" rel="nofollow - https://www.statnews.com/2018/06/21/ebola-outbreak-optimism/

-------------
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 22 2018 at 12:25pm
We (this writer and many quoted authors) are developing a Japanese alphabet (rather than a syllabary). This alphabet will serve to communicate more efficiently in various languages. An example of translational blunders for ebola reporting is here:

www. for Ebola in America and Other Fake Problems Our Leaders Love to Fight
'In 1972, an American doctor, Thomas Cairns doing missionary work in the Congo, cut himself with a scalpel during an autopsy on a patient who had died of ebola -- a disease yet unknown to medical science. He survived because his wife, even under those conditions, treated him with a basic drip.'

This translation is dubious, because it does not mention bananas. The original Russian written by Yulia Latynina of Novaya Gazeta, states:

'On vyshil.
He survived.

Znaete kak?
Know how?

Pravil'no, ego zhena v krytoi bananovimi list'iami khizine stavila emu samodel'nye kapel'nitsy
Correctly, his wife covered it with banana leaves from the hut (roof) placed into a homemade dropper.'

Similarly, Japanese ebola experts assisted the WHO on 20 separate occasions during the Liberia and Sierra Leone ebola outbreak. This is what one usually sees when visiting the Yomiuri news site:

Yomirui Online
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp" rel="nofollow - www.yomiuri.co.jp

This page is in English:
kyoiku.yomiuri.co.jp/2017.3.15eigo_mondai.pdf
'....ebola....The Tokyo-based center will use drones capable of long distances at high speeds in Zambia....Toyama Chemical Co. Ltd. will provide T-705 or Favipiravir, a medicine which is not yet approved for ebola virus disease treatment.'

Drones should be applicable for vector-reservoir studies as well, and an efficient alphabet (rather than the now-existing Japanese syllabary), will assist in speed and efficiency of communication.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 23 2018 at 1:14am
[Not quite over - but in retreat]

Democratic Republic of Congo: Ebola Virus Disease - External Situation Report 12

Report
from https://reliefweb.int/organization/who" rel="nofollow - World Health Organization
Published on 22 Jun 2018 http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272890/SITREP_EVD_DRC_20180622-eng.pdf?utm_source=Newsweaver&utm_medium=email&utm_term=click+here+to+download+the+complete+situation+report&utm_content=Tag%3AAFRO%2FWHE%2FHIM+Outbreaks+Weekly&utm_campaign=WHO+AFRO+-+Situation+Report+-+Ebola+Virus+Disease+Outbreak+in+DRC+-+Sitrep+11+%282018%29" rel="nofollow - View Original
application/pdf https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/SITREP_EVD_DRC_20180622-eng.pdf" rel="nofollow - Download PDF (1.59 MB)

1. Situation Update

The Ministry of Health and WHO continue to closely monitor the outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Over one month into the response, further spread of EVD has largely been contained. However, in spite of the progress made, there should be no room for laxity and complacency until the outbreak is controlled. The focus of the response remains on intensive surveillance, including active case finding, investigation of suspected cases and alerts and contact tracing.

On 20 June 2018, four new suspected EVD cases were reported in Iboko (2) and Bikoro (2) health zones. Four laboratory specimens (from suspected cases reported previously) tested negative. Since 17 May 2018, no new confirmed EVD cases have been reported in Bikoro and Wangata health zones, while the last confirmed case- patient in Iboko Health Zone developed symptoms on 2 June 2018, was confirmed on 6 June 2018 and died on 9 June 2018.

Since the beginning of the outbreak (on 4 April 2018), a total of 61 EVD cases and 28 deaths have been reported, as of 20 June 2018. Of the 61 cases, 38 have been laboratory confirmed, 14 were probable cases (deaths for which it was not possible to collect laboratory specimens for testing) and nine were suspected cases. Of the 52 confirmed and probable cases, 28 died – giving a case fatality rate of 54%. Twenty-seven (52%) confirmed and probable cases were from Iboko, followed by 21 (40%) from Bikoro and four (8%) from Wangata health zones. Five healthcare workers have been affected, with four confirmed cases and two deaths.

The number of contacts requiring follow-up is progressively decreasing, with a total of 1 527 contacts having completed the mandatory 21-day follow-up period. As of 20 June 2018, 179 contacts were under follow up and all (100%) were reached on the reporting date.



-------------
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 25 2018 at 9:15am
The ridiculously complex URL for the following report, even when transcribed correctly, still does not work, exemplifying the dangers when communicating during an epidemic. The reader must scroll down to retrieve it:
Healio ITJ in the journals
https://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/news/in-the-journals/" rel="nofollow - https://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/news/in-the-journals/
'....22 Jun 2018 Ebola Flare-Ups in West Africa Linked to 'Persistently' Infected Survivors'

What this means for the DRC is that two species of Marburg virus were circulating there in 2000 and the total deaths form them have never been published. Thus, the first-ever report of filoviruses being sequestered in the sexual glands was from the Marburg case in Kenya in 1980.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 25 2018 at 9:24am
The ebola report for West Africa, above, is not the originally-shown URL.  According to Promedmail, 843 have been vaccinated at Mbandaka (Coquilhatville), 779 at Bikoro, 1518 at Iboko, 107 at Ingende, and 21 at Kinshasa. There are polio and HIV/AIDS links to Mbandaka and Kinshasa.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 26 2018 at 10:36am
For polio and ebola vaccination histories at Mbandaka, the link is to Niemann-Pick which is also the link to Koprowski's oral polio vaccine and Poland, as well as cerebral spinal fluid taken from chimpanzees at Lindi Camp. Both polio and Niemann-Pick are mentioned in this report:

(1973) Poland / Polio / Niemann-Pick
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4347879" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4347879

Niemann-Pick Type C1 is Critical for Ebola Virus Entry
https://www.jak.org/news-and-insights/2011/september/endo-lysosomes-are-achilles-heel-to-ebola-virus" rel="nofollow - https://www.jak.org/news-and-insights/2011/september/endo-lysosomes-are-achilles-heel-to-ebola-virus


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: June 26 2018 at 11:03am
Lysosomal is a keyword for Niemann-Pick.

Polio-Influenza Vaccines / Lysosomal
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28383105

VSV-EBOV was the vaccine used at Mbandaka (843 vacinees), recalling that anti-ebola brincidofovir is an ether lipid analogue of cidofovir. Indeed, in Nieman-Pick disease patients have either a zero or low esterification profile, and in alcoholism, ester bonds are changed to ether bonds in cell walls.

At a certain point, the mechanisms involved become less clear, and names of compounds will change to number names, as in this report from Harvard:

(Ap 2016) VSV / Lysosomal / ZCL278
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26912630
'....VSV....lysosomal....'


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 27 2018 at 12:59am
["Contained" is old news but there have been no new cases sonce the 6th of June.]

Ebola Outbreak in Democratic Republic Congo is ‘largely contained’: WHO

26 June 2018

Almost two months after the start of the latest http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ebola-virus-disease" rel="nofollow - Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), United Nations health experts announced on Tuesday that the deadly disease has “largely been contained”. 

A total of 55 cases of Ebola have been recorded during the current outbreak of the often-deadly viral infection and 28 people have died, according to the http://www.who.int/en/" rel="nofollow - World Health Organization ( http://www.who.int/" rel="nofollow - WHO ).

Ebola is endemic in DRC and has been identified there nine times, since 1976. Before the current outbreak in Equateur Province, the most recent episode of the disease was in 2017, in northern Likati province. Four people died and four survived, according to WHO.

Spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said that the development was an “important step” but “it is not the end”.

Experience has shown us that it only takes one case to set off a fast-moving outbreak - Tarik Jasarevic (WHO)

“We are cautiously confident regarding the situation and know that a continued aggressive response is required,” he said, adding that “experience has shown us that it only takes one case to set off a fast-moving outbreak.”

Ahead of the WHO announcement, there were fears that the disease might continue its spread from rural north-western DRC, along the key Congo River transport route, to the capital Kinshasa, which is home to 10 million people; and also spread to neighbouring countries.

Those concerns were based on the grim toll and progress of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa between 2013 and 2016, which killed more than 11,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

To counter the threat from the current outbreak – and making use of a new vaccine - the UN agency and Doctors Without Frontiers (MSF) quickly coordinated over an inoculation programme that began in the DRC city of Mbandaka, where around one million people live.

This was followed by another round of preventive vaccination in and around the town of Bikoro to the south, where the initial Ebola victims were identified.

According to WHO, the last confirmed case of Ebola in DRC was on 6 June.

Since then, all probable and suspect cases have been declared negative.

A key tactic used to counter the spread of the haemorrhagic disease has been contact-tracing.

During this current episode, WHO and MSF have traced contacts of those who are suspected of having the disease, administering more than 3,200 vaccinations.

The last 161 people to have come into contact with suspected Ebola virus carriers will finish their mandatory follow-up period on 27 June, at which point they will be declared virus-free, WHO says. 

Meanwhile, on the ground in DRC, health teams are following as many as 20 suspect cases a day, said Mr Jasarevic: “We need to keep the work going in DRC to make sure that all suspect cases are being looked for and make sure that there are no new cases.”

https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/06/1013122" rel="nofollow - https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/06/1013122



-------------
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 27 2018 at 7:06am
Filoviruses were discovered in 1967, and yet no proof is extant that bats are infected with the virus. If such a report exists, we'd like to see it displayed on this thread because Africans believing that bats have something to do with the epidemic are as yet a fairy tale. What is the precise reservoir and vector? Nature is not opposed to invention, invention being part of nature itself. Nature is opposed to myth.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 27 2018 at 9:01am
Because Mononegavirales sequences have been found in the genome of the soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera), the trajectory links to Australia and by default, a possible explanation for the origins of the Reston ebola virus (Phillipines):

Progenitor of the Soybean, Australia
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.3732/ajb.1400121" rel="nofollow - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.3732/ajb.1400121
'....Table 2. Soybean Pathogens....Glycine microphylla: Soybean Cyst Nematode....'

Because VSV-EBOV vaccine is Diptera-based, the investigative trajectory includes bat-flies as ectoparasites of fruit bats.

'Family Hippoboscidae....Wings either normally developed with 6 or 7 longitudinal veins and alula, or reduced and nonfunctional in Hippoboscinae; wings and halter absent in Melophagus.... Obligate blood-sucking ectoparasites of birds and mammals. Reproduction by adenotropic viviparity. The mature larvae (third instar) are usually deposited away from the host and very soon transform into puparia; though in Melophagus they are laid and pupate in the host's hair.
....
Hippoboscinae, Tribe Ornithomyini.

Ornithoica Rondani, 1878 Ornithoeca emend. O. bistativa Maa, 1966. Pacif. Insects Monogr. 10: 52 (Ornithoica) Type Locality: Borneo Tenom. Sabah -- Distr. Asia: Iran; Oriental Region

O. podicipis von Roeder, 1892: Mitt. naturh. Mus. Hamb. 10(2), Dipteren: 4 (Ornithoica). Type Locality: Sansibar -- Distr. North Africa: Egypt, East Africa.

O. stipituri (Schiner, 1868): Reise Novara, Zool. 2(1)B, 374. Type Locality: Sudney -- Distr.: Asia, Japan, Indoustralia Region.

O. unicolor Speiser, 1900: Annali Mus. cov. Stor. nat Giacomo Doria (2) (20) 40: 556 (Ornithoica) Type Locality: "Sumatra am Singalang-Berge" -- Distr. USSR: KZ, FE; Asia: Japan; Oriental Region.'
(Catalogue of Palearctic Diptera, V. 11 Scathophagidae -- Hypodermatidae, pp. 215 -17)  


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 27 2018 at 9:12am
Note ebola virus antibodies discovered in orangutans on Sumatra and Borneo.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 27 2018 at 9:28am
The 1980 Kenya case of Marburg was a Frenchman who trekked to Mt. Elgon, but also fed birds that came into his house. He was an electrician for the irrigation pumps at the Nzoia sugar factory.

Nzoia Ebola and Marburg Antibodies
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6419422" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6419422



Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 27 2018 at 10:35am
Originally posted by MikeL MikeL wrote:

Note ebola virus antibodies discovered in orangutans on Sumatra and Borneo.
Good!  That could mean a bit of real justice for poachers and illegal loggers.


-------------
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 27 2018 at 11:50am
Linking the Hippoboscidae to orangutans also means Pongids co-existing with hominids in Ethiopia, which has been documented. Following the Marburg virus evidence links to Edward Hooper's mention of chimpanzee skulls being sent to the museum in Turvuren(see The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS).

'Subgenus Ardmoeca Maa, 1969. 

A. schoutedeni (Bequaert, 1945) Psyche 52: 93 (Lynchia) Type Locality: "Mongende, Belgian Congo" -- Distr. USSR: Kazhakstan; Oriental Region.'
(Catalogue of Palaearctic Diptera, V. 11, p. 221)

One must dig deeper to find the chimpanzee connection:

J. Bequaert, Notes on Hippoboscidae.19.
psyche.entclub.org/52/52-088.html
'Specimens Examined: Belgian Congo: Holotype, male, Mongende, off cormorant, Halietor africanus (Gmelin) (H. Schouteden, Congo Museum, Turvuren); Kenya Colony: Allotype, female, Naivasha, off Phalacorcorax carbo lucidus (Lichtenstein) (A. Meinertzhagen, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge).'

The Marburg-infected electrician (1980) worked at Nzoia, so here is the trajectory of the journey to the hospital in Nairobi, which passes through Naivasha:

Trans-Nzoia County
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Nzoia_County" rel="nofollow - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Nzoia_County

Lake Naivasha
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Naivasha" rel="nofollow - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Naivasha

Naivasha
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naivasha" rel="nofollow - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naivasha

If not mistaken, cormorants on Lake Naivasha would link to the Marburg-infected electrician who fed crows and other birds at his home. Hippoboscidae links to crows and bats:

'Family Nycteribiidae....Blood-sucking ectoparasites of Chiroptera with adenotropic vivparity. Females bear third instar larvae away from the host, in the neighbourhood of the roosting place; larva is pressed to the substrate, pupation follows immediately. Female larviparous, returning to the host. Emerged imago without ptilinum, puparial operculum opened by the action of the first pair of legs. After hardening the insect searches for its host.
(Çatalogue of Palaerctic Diptera, p. 227)




Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 27 2018 at 12:13pm
There is a link to Kashmir, West Sumatra, and the Rothschild collection:

'Subfamily Nycteribiinae, Nycteribia Latreille

Subgenus Nycteribia Latreille, 1796

N. allotopa (Speiser, 1901) Arch. Naturgesch. 67(1): 47 (Nycteribia (Lystropodia)) Type Locality: Liang si Paghe (West-Sumatra) -- Distr. Asia: Afghanistan, China; Oriental Region.

N. allotopa mikado Maa, 1967, Pacif. Insects, 9(4):748 (Nycteribia). Type Locality: Syozyodo Cave, Wiigata-ken, Honshu (Japan) -- Distr. Japan (Honshu); Ryukyu Islands

N. dentata Theodor, 1967: Illustr. Cat. Rothschild Coll. Nycteribiidae (Brit. Mus. Nat. Hist., Publ. 655), London 61: (Nycteribia). Type Locality: "Kashmir (Bumbroo Cave, Matan, Palhgam Road") -- Distr. Asia: Afghanistan; India.'
(Catalogue, op cit, pp.227-8)

Both N. allotopa mikado and N. dentata were discovered the year of the Marburg virus outbreak in Germany, though the Germans would find out that the Marburg agent was circulating in Uganda as early as 1961.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 27 2018 at 12:49pm
Following the watercourse from Mbandaka (formerly Coquilhatville), the Ruki River flows into the Busira arriving at Bandaka and Boende. Though yet to find it on a map, Mongende is apparently close to Boende.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 27 2018 at 1:55pm
We entered 'syozyodo' as a search term at Pubmed. It retrieved a few refs, with Abe,Y as an author both in 1948 and in 2018. Since Abe is a presidential family name, we further pursue this trajectory. A Yahoo search 'syozyodo' retrieves only one reference:

A Synopsis of Diptera pupipara of Japan -- Hawaii Biological
hbs.bishopmuseum.org/pi/pdf/9(4)-727.pdf

(1948) Abe, Y / Syozyodo / Japanese Encephalitis
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18102571" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18102571

(Ap 2018) Abe, Y / Sumoylation in Alzheimer's
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29862363" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29862363

Ebola Hijacks Cellular Sumoylation System
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27849047" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27849047

There are two other links to sumoylation:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19694547" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19694547

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19557165" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19557165

'Ardmoeca ardeae (Macquart, 1835) Hist. Nat. Ins. Dipt. 2: 640 (Olfersia) Type Locality: "En Sicilie" (Italy) -- Distr. in Old World, widely spread.'
(Catalogue, op cit, p.221)

This Ardmoeca species links to A. schoutedeni at Mogende, Belgian Congo. Further, it may parasitize herons, so heron hepatitis would link the evolution of the retroviruses because hepatitis B virus, HIV-1 and HIV-2 have a common ancestor (reverse transcriptase). Tracking the anti-ebola ether-lipid analogue, brincidofovir, and recalling that in Niemann-Pick a cholesterol transporter is critical for filovirus infection, we link a heron virus (first discovered in 1956) in a heron rookery in Japan, reported in the year of the Marburg virus outbreak in Germany:

(1967) Nodamura Virus / Diethyl Ether and Chloroform Resistance
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4383437" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4383437



Posted By: carbon20
Date Posted: June 27 2018 at 3:11pm
the link i posted to "hot zone " the book is all about the 1980 french man and a lot more on Ebola ,Marburg even an airbourne subtype

the "hot zone" refers to an island in africa where the monkeys/ apes who were not wanted by the Scientists the old infirm diseased were dumped ,(this was back in the 60's when animals were captured by the thousands and  used for experiments) created a "Hot Zone "of viruses

well worth a read 


-------------
12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: June 28 2018 at 5:31am

We Have Some Great News About The Ebola Outbreak in Congo

Humans are amazing.

MAX BEARAK, THE WASHINGTON POST

28 JUN 2018
Source and full article:   https://www.sciencealert.com/congo-ebola-outbreak-may-be-finally-contained" rel="nofollow - https://www.sciencealert.com/congo-ebola-outbreak-may-be-finally-contained


-------------
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 28 2018 at 7:11am
One approach is to have a companion text to the Hot Zone such as Marburg Virus Disease (Martini and Siegert, eds.), because it shows photos such as the "6-shaped" virus morphology, and devotes an entire chapter on Marburg virus hepatitis. As far as is known, Hot Zone does not mention Naivasha, because the Frenchman, being an outdoorsman, was  not documented as having visited the lake there, which is an important clue to possible vectors/reservoirs such as cormorants via Hippoboscidae.

Hot Zone has no index, and most assuredly Hooper's The River should be consulted due to especially the map Preston places at the front of the book.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 28 2018 at 10:32am
Preston (Hot Zone) p. 265, 'Highway' : 'The road to Mount Elgon heads northwest from Nairobi into the Kenya highlands, climbing through green hills that bump against African skies. It goes through small farms and patches of cedar forest, and then it breaks over a crest of land and seems to leap out into space, into a bowl of yellow haze, which is the Rift Valley. The road descends into the Rift, cutting across wrinkled knees of bluffs, until it hits bottom and unravels on a savanna dotted with acacia trees. It skirts the lakes at the bottom of the Rift and passes through groves of fever trees, yellow-green and glowing in the sun. It is detained in cities that dwell by the lakes, and then it turns westward toward a line of blue hills. a straight, narrow, paved two-lane highway, crowded with smoky overlander trucks gasping up the grade, bound for Uganda and Zaire. The road to Mount Elgon is a segment of the AIDS highway, the Kinshasa Highway, the road that cuts Africa in half, along which the AIDS virus traveled during its breakout from somewhere in the African rain forest to every place on earth.'

Consulting The Atlas of Africa, 1973, Editions Jeune Afrique, we find that the agricultural map between Nairobi and Mt. Elgon shows large plantings of pyrethrum just west of Lake Naivasha, and above that Tobacco plantings encircling Nakuru. The pyrethrum was most likely used as insecticide on the tobacco, so at the time of the Marburg outbreak in Germany in 1967, mutations in viruses were occurring in the Lake Naivasha region, prompting the question of migrating cormorants and African Corax between Nzoia area and Naivasha.

Intriguingly, a more rigorous scrutiny of the trajectory did yield the Japanese encephalitis connection to Syozyodo Cave yesterday, whereas today pyrethrum links to encephalitis and by default, Lake Naivasha:

India / Pyrethrum / Japanese Encephalitis
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11247195" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11247195
'....fogging with 2% pyrethrum....'


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 29 2018 at 11:04am
Ebola and Marburg virus divergence twixt one another critically depended on their hosts during evolution. Preston's passages on crab-eating monkeys:

'The monkey tree usually hangs out over a river, so that they can relieve themselves without littering the ground....and the troops moves out, leaping through trees, searching for fruit.'
(Preston, Hot Zone p.112 Reston)

We are interested in ebola (not Marburg) antibodies in orangutans on Borneo and Sumatra, a close link to Reston ebola virus. Kaeng Khoi District, Thailand, with Kaeng Khoi being spelled Kaeng Khlo on Macmillan's Book of the World map. It is situated on the Sa Pak River at the edge of a lake.

Kaeng Khoi District
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaeng_Khoi_District" rel="nofollow - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaeng_Khoi_District
'...."vulture waiting"....Pa Sak River....'

We next verify that Marburg virus has been fou nd in Egyptian fruit bats, Rousettus aegyptiacus:

Genomic Analysis of Filoviruses Associated with Four Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreaks in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2012, Virology (2013) 442:87-100: '....Indeed, MARV and RAVN viruses have been repeatedly isolated from common African fruit bats, Rousettus aegyptiacus.'


Evolutionary History of Indian Ocean Nycteribiid Bat Flies Mirroring the Ecology of Their Hosts
journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0075215
'....Species of Eucampsipoda were limiited to Rousettus....E. madagascariensis....Rousettus madagascariensis....E. theodori....Rousettus obliviosus....'

Marburg-infected Rousettus aegyptiacus is also infected with other viruses, and it would be patently absurd to suggest that no blood-sucking bat flies never ingested Marburg virus, the corresponding mechanism would mirror Yersinia pestis plague which is endemic on Madagascar.

May 2017  Egyptian Fruit Bats in South Africa
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28488954" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28488954
'....Rousettus aegyptiacus....Wolkberg virus....Kaeng Khoi virus....'




Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 29 2018 at 11:26am
'Nycteribiidae. Subfamily Cyclopdiinae

Genus Eucampsipoda Kolenati, 1857 Kolenati, Wein. Ent. Mschr. 1:62. Type species: Nycteribia hyrtlii Kolenati, 1856: Parasiten der Chiropt., Bruenn: 42 (des. Theodor, 1955: Parasitology 45: 196) (junior synonym of Brachitarsina aegyptia Macquaer, 1851 (Maa, 1965, J. Med. Entomology 1(4):379).

aegyptia (Macquart, 1851): Mem/ Soc. Sci. Agric. Lille, 1850: 282 (Brachitarsina). Type Locality: Egypt -- Distr. Asia: S. Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iran, North Africa Saudi Arabia, Yemen....hyrtlii....fitzingeri.

Genus Cyclopodia Kolenati, 1863, Kolenati, 1863: Horae Soc. ent. ross., 2:82 Type species: nycteribia sykesii Westwood, 1835, Trqans. Zool. Soc. London, 1:275 (des Musgrave, 1925; Rec. Aust. Mus. 14:299); not Palaearctic.

[greeffi Karsch in Greeff, 1884: Sber. Ges. Befoerd. ges Naturw. Marburg, 1884: 77 (Cyclopodia) Type localities: Sao Tome and Roles. Distr. Afrotropical Region].'
(Catalogue of Palaerctic Diptera V. 11, pp. 233-4)

Sao Tome links ebola vectors and reservoirs in West Africa.


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: June 29 2018 at 11:47am
Eidolon dupreanum
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29284533" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29284533
'....Two different host preference patterns occurred in nycteribiids infecting insectivorus bats....'

Pteropus / Eidolon
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17370536" rel="nofollow - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17370536
'....antibodies against Nipah....' 


Posted By: MikeL
Date Posted: July 01 2018 at 1:54pm
In developing a Japanese alphabet for use in science and medicine, especially epidemiology, an introductory music video for the alphabet seems worth considering. For example, saxophonist John Coltrane, who died of hepatitis B-caused hepatocellular carcinoma at 41 years of age in 1967, the year of the Marburg virus outbreak in Germany. Ideally, we would ask if Grace Kelly would be interested in being featured in the video. Grace's work appears on the new Manhattan Transfer's album, The Junction, since the passing of founding member, Tim Hauser. Some great musicians are linked to the loss of 461 years of talent due to disease:

The Lost Years: The Impact of Cirrhosis on the History of Jazz (Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology)
europe.pmc.org/articles/PMC2721805
'....Hepatitis B vaccination could improve longevity, but alcoholism and Hepatitis C remain major health issues among jazz musicians.....Hepatocellular carcinoma also claimed major saxophone stylists Stan Getz....and Steve Lacy....It is interesting to speculate where jazz may have gone had John Coltrane and Charlie Parker lived into their 80s rather than succumb to the ravages of liver disease in their 30s. If we assume an average life span 75 years for an adult man, the jazz musicians depicted in Figure 1 have lost a combined 461 years of jazz productivity as a consequence of cirrhosis.'

At the onset of the ebola crisis of 2014, we saw ebola rap emerge from Africa: Ebola in Town "Dont Touch Your Friend."

Stan Getz, who once described himself as "a pale Lester Young," also had this to say:

"There wasn't much choice, I wanted to be a doctor, actually. I think I would have made a good research doctor, with my curiosity."

MikeL recalls attempts to mimick Getz's horn by listening to the Hi-Fi record, which machine was cranking out the music off-key, introducing strange new worlds such as concert C#, F#, B, A flat, etc. Needless to say, the new Japanese alphabet will also be used to score music, at least in MikeL's studio.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: July 04 2018 at 3:21pm

Democratic Republic of Congo: Ebola Virus Disease - External Situation Report 14

Report
from https://reliefweb.int/organization/who" rel="nofollow - World Health Organization
Published on 03 Jul 2018 http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272997/SITREP_EVD_DRC_20180701-eng.pdf?utm_source=Newsweaver&utm_medium=email&utm_term=click+here+to+download+the+complete+situation+report&utm_content=Tag%3AAFRO%2FWHE%2FHIM+Outbreaks+Weekly&utm_campaign=WHO+AFRO+-+Situation+Report+-+Ebola+Virus+Disease+Outbreak+in+DRC+-+Sitrep+14+%282018%29" rel="nofollow - View Original
application/pdf https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/SITREP_EVD_DRC_20180701-eng.pdf" rel="nofollow - Download PDF (1.62 MB)

1. Situation update

The Ministry of Health and WHO continue to closely monitor the outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On 27 June 2018, all the people who were exposed to the last confirmed EVD case-patient completed their mandatory 21-day follow up without developing symptoms. This is an important milestone. The last confirmed EVD case in Equateur Province was cured and discharged from the Ebola treatment centre (ETC), following two negative tests on serial laboratory specimens, on 12 June 2018. The response is now focused on intensive surveillance, including active case finding and investigation of suspected cases and alerts.

Since our last report on 26 June 2018 (External Situation report 13), 13 suspected EVD cases were reported in Bikoro (10), Iboko (2) and Wangata (1) health zones. Of the 13 suspected cases, 11 tested negative, while two suspected cases reported on 30 June 2018 are awaiting collection of the second specimens for a repeat test after the first specimens tested negative.

Since the beginning of the outbreak (on 4 April 2018), a total of 55 EVD cases and 29 deaths have been reported, as of 1 July 2018. Of the 55 cases, 38 have been laboratory confirmed, 15 were probable cases (deaths for which it was not possible to collect laboratory specimens for testing) and two were suspected cases. One community death that occurred on 20 May 2018 in Iboko Health Zone was retrospectively identified and reclassified as a probable case, increasing the number of probable cases from 14 to 15. Of the 53 confirmed and probable cases, 29 died, giving a case fatality rate of 54.7%. Twenty-eight (53%) confirmed and probable cases were from Iboko, followed by 21 (40%) from Bikoro and four (8%) from Wangata health zones. Five healthcare workers have been affected, with four confirmed cases and two deaths. A total 24 casepatients with confirmed EVD have been cured since the onset of the outbreak.

Context

On 8 May 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo notified WHO of an EVD outbreak in Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province. The event was initially reported on 3 May 2018 by the Provincial Health Division of Equateur when a cluster of 21 cases of an undiagnosed illness, involving 17 community deaths, occurred in Ikoko-Impenge health area. A team from the Ministry of Health, supported by WHO and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), visited Ikoko-Impenge health area on 5 May 2018 and found five case-patients, two of whom were admitted in Bikoro General Hospital and three were in the health centre in Ikoko-Impenge. Samples were taken from each of the five cases and sent for analysis at the Institute National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB), Kinshasa on 6 May 2018. Of these, two tested positive for Ebola virus, Zaire ebolavirus species, by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 7 May 2018, and the outbreak was officially declared on 8 May 2018. The index case in this outbreak has not yet been identified and epidemiologic investigations are ongoing, including laboratory testing. This is the ninth EVD outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo over the last four decades, with the most recent one occurring in May 2017. Further information on past outbreaks is available at: http://www.who.int/ebola/historical-outbreaksdrc/en/" rel="nofollow - http://www.who.int/ebola/historical-outbreaksdrc/en/ .

Source:   https://reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/democratic-republic-congo-ebola-virus-disease-external-situation-12" rel="nofollow - https://reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/democratic-republic-congo-ebola-virus-disease-external-situation-12


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.



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