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We’ve Learnt Many Lessons from This Outbreak and From the Response – Dr. David Nabarro, Special Envoy on Ebola

          

Dr. David Nabarro, Special Envoy on Ebola, at a press conference in New York in November 2015. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

un.org

10 December 2015 – In August 2014, amid a rapidly growing outbreak of Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro was tasked with providing strategic guidance for an enhanced international response, and galvanizing essential support for affected communities and countries. As the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Ebola, Dr. Nabarro played a key role in responding to the outbreak, which mainly affected Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and claimed more than 11,300 lives to date.

While the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has declined significantly in recent months, it is not completely over, making it all the more vital for everyone involved in the response to remain vigilant and focused on stopping the outbreak, staying at zero cases and preventing re-emergence. The Office of the Special Envoy will end its mandate on 31 December 2015, but the UN system will continue to remain fully engaged with the affected countries. 

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Liberia’s Ebola Outbreak Largely Traced to One Source

            

BRANCHING OUT  In Liberia, a single lineage of Ebola virus (middle dot) split into subgroups as it passed from person to person and mutated. Each dot is a slightly different version of the virus within the subgroups. Dot size indicates how many people carried that version. Researchers tracked the virus as it spread from Liberia (blue) into Guinea (red) and Mali (yellow).  J.T. Ladner et al/Cell Host & Microbe 2015

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Evolution and Spread of Ebola Virus in Liberia, 2014–2015

Genetic analysis of third hard-hit country fills in gaps in virus’ spread and evolution

sciencenews.org - by Tina Hesman Saey - December 9, 2015

A single introduction of the Ebola virus led to most cases of the deadly disease in Liberia, a new genetic study suggests.

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Stopping Ebola in its Tracks: a Community-Led Response

reliefweb.int - globalcommunities.org - December 1, 2015

The public view of the Ebola response was dominated by images and stories of medical workers and Ebola treatment units. But there is also the less-known story of the many thousands of Liberian health workers, government staff, traditional leaders and volunteers who played the most significant role in building resilience to Ebola and reducing transmission and infection. It is these groups, working in the frontlines and at significant risk, which Global Communities partnered with throughout the Ebola response.

Global Communities’ approach to countering the Ebola outbreak has been highlighted by President Obama, Dr. Rajiv Shah, former Administrator of USAID, and many others as having been a key component in the successful fight against Ebola in Liberia in the 2014-15 outbreak. This new publication “Stopping Ebola in its Tracks,” has two strands:

It describes Global Communities’ community-driven response to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia

It derives from this experience lessons learned and recommendations for preventing and dealing with future disasters

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Disease Specialists Identify Post-Ebola Threats

             

The West Africa Ebola outbreak has led experts to consider what diseases might spark the next major infectious disease crisis. Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Scientists to assemble a rogues’ gallery of viruses likely to spark the next international public-health crisis

nature.com - by Erika Check Hayden - December 7, 2015 - doi:10.1038/nature.2015.18952

As West Africans try to bring the calamitous Ebola outbreak to an end, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called scientists and doctors to Geneva, Switzerland, on 8 and 9 December to discuss which infectious disease is likely spark the next pandemic. . . 

. . . Nature canvassed infectious-disease specialists to find out which pathogens they thought would trigger the next global crisis, and which treatments and vaccines might be readied to combat them.

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Mathematical Modeling of the West Africa Ebola Epidemic

eLife 2015;10.7554/eLife.09186 - December 8, 2015
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09186

Abstract

As of November 2015, the Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic that began in West Africa in late 2013 is waning. The human toll includes more than 28,000 Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases and 11,000 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the most heavily-affected countries. We reviewed 66 mathematical modeling studies of the EVD epidemic published in the peer-reviewed literature to assess the key uncertainties models addressed, data used for modeling, public sharing of data and results, and model performance. Based on the review, we suggest steps to improve the use of modeling in future public health emergencies.

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Identification of NPC1 as the Target of U18666A, an Inhibitor of Lysosomal Cholesterol Export and Ebola Infection

eLife 2015;10.7554/eLife.12177 - DECEMBER 8, 2015
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12177

Abstract

Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) is a lysosomal membrane protein that exports cholesterol derived from receptor-mediated uptake of LDL, and it also mediates cellular entry of Ebola virus. Cholesterol export is inhibited by nanomolar concentrations of U18666A, a cationic sterol. To identify the target of U18666A, we synthesized U-X, a U18666A derivative with a benzophenone that permits ultraviolet-induced crosslinking. When added to CHO cells, U-X crosslinked to NPC1. Crosslinking was blocked by U18666A derivatives that block cholesterol export, but not derivatives lacking blocking activity. Crosslinking was prevented by point mutation in the sterol-sensing domain (SSD) of NPC1, but not by point mutation in the N-terminal domain (NTD). These data suggest that the SSD contains a U18666A-inhibitable site required for cholesterol export distinct from the cholesterol-binding site in the NTD. Inasmuch as inhibition of Ebola requires 100-fold higher concentrations of U18666A, the high affinity U16888A-binding site is likely not required for virus entry. 

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WHO Urges Ukraine to Declare State of Emergency Amid Polio Outbreak

                                        

CLICK HERE - UNICEF - Ukraine

The Associated Press - December 1, 2015

KIEV, Ukraine - The World Health Organization is urging Ukraine's health ministry to declare a state of emergency due to a polio outbreak, a move meant to prompt more action from the government in Kyiv.

In September, Ukraine announced two polio cases -- the first in Europe since 2010.

The UN health agency recommended that Ukraine declare a state of emergency and "respond to the polio outbreak as quickly and effectively as possible," Dorit Nitzan, head of the WHO's office in Ukraine, told journalists.

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ALSO SEE SAME ARTICLE IN THE LINKS BELOW:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/12/01/world/europe/ap-eu-ukraine-polio-.html?_r=0

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Liberia: 'Blood Transfusion' - Responsible For New Ebola Outbreak

allafrica.com - November 27, 2015

Investigation conducted by this paper has established that unsafe blood transfusion is probably responsible for the new Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

A 15-year-old-boy was last weekend tested positive for Ebola and later pronounced dead on Tuesday. Dr. Francis Kateh, Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, said the boy's parents have also been tested positive for the virus and were undergoing observation.

The Ministry of Health and its partners are yet to disclose the source of the new outbreak, but a weeklong investigation conducted by this paper has established that blood recently transfused into the boy's mother at the Benson Hospital in Paynesville is the probable cause of the new Ebola infection.

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Study Blocks Ebola Virus Budding By Regulating Calcium Signalling

submitted by George Hurlburt

                                                  

scicasts.com - November 2, 2015

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Calcium Regulation of Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Budding: Mechanistic Implications for Host-Oriented Therapeutic Intervention - Ziying Han, Jonathan J. Madara et al. PLOS Pathogens (2015)

Philadelphia, PA (Scicasts) — The Ebola virus acts fast. The course of infection, from exposure to recovery, or death, can take as little as two weeks. That may not leave enough time for the immune system to mount an effective response.

The goal of some anti-viral therapies, therefore, is to buy more and give the immune system a leg up on the virus. A new study led by Bruce Freedman and Ronald Harty in the Department of Pathobiology of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine demonstrates a way to do that, by reducing the ability of the virus to exit a host cell and spread. Their work showed that blocking a calcium-signalling pathway could inhibit not only the Ebola virus, but also Marburg, Lassa and Junin viruses, all sources of deadly infections.

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