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Tag search: "Ebola"

WHO elections

World Health Organisation chief Margaret Chan leaves big shoes to fill

The former Hong Kong director of health is retiring as director-general of the World Health Organisation after serving more than 10 years in the role. On the front line she will be remembered for rising to the challenges of severe acute respiratory syndrome and Ebola in particular and the hard lessons learned. But her most valuable legacy, if the world takes up her initiative seriously, may yet turn out to be a global action plan on bacterial resistance to antibiotics, which if not curbed could make common infections life threatening once again

May 29, 2017
South China Morning Post

70th World Health Assembly begins today in Geneva

The Guardian Nigeria tells its readers about the start of the World Health Assembly in Geneva and suggests which issues may top its agenda: the Ebola outbreak in the DRC, the Cerebro Spinal Meningitis epidemic in Nigeria, not excluding the important election of a new director general to succeed Margaret Chan

May 22, 2017
Guardian Nigeria

The World Health Assembly in times of Ebola and the election of a new Director General

The News Minute discusses the forthcoming World Health Assembly, the outbreak of Ebola coming just as they are about to meet and the election for the new Director General to lead the WHO. It discusses how the world approached the Ebola crisis last time around and the lessons learnt and Dr David Nabarro’s involvement in helping to find a solution to the Ebola crisis 

May 16, 2017
The News Minute

Who is David Nabarro, the UK candidate to lead the World Health Organisation?

International Business Times talks to Dr David Nabarro about the last Ebola crisis, canvassing his view on what occurred last time and how lessons learnt then can be put to good use now. He also discusses the threat of antimicrobial resistance, the risk to health systems posed by the startling rise in non-communicable diseases across the world and the balance of donor funding and the outcomes it buys inside WHO

May 16, 2017
International Business Times

A race to restore confidence in the World Health Organization

Health Affairs describes the election of a new Director General for the World Health Organization as a race to restore confidence in the organization 

April 6, 2017
Health Affairs

Promoting health through the life course

Struggling after Ebola, Liberian girls miss school to work, sell sex

After Ebola, more girls in Liberia are missing out on school to help their families, while those in education are pressurised to have sex or pay bribes for grades or simply to be allowed to sit exams, a charity said. Street Child said the need to boost family income is making many drop out of school or preventing them from getting an education

May 15, 2017

Liberia investigates death of celebrated Ebola fighter amid stigma fears

The death from childbirth of a woman named Time Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ in 2014, for her work in fighting Ebola in Liberia, is being investigated, after reports that ‘health workers were afraid to treat her,’ the country’s health ministry said

March 1, 2017
February 28, 2017
UPI, Scientific American
March 1, 2017
February 27, 2017

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Ebola outbreak in DRC is over, WHO says

The World Health Organization declared an end to the most recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, marking the latest key milestone in the fight against the deadly disease. The announcement comes 42 days, or the equivalent of two 21-day incubation cycles of the virus, after the last confirmed patient in the affected Bas-Uele province tested negative for Ebola

July 2, 2017
July 7, 2017
Contagion Live

Robust Emergency Fund Needed to Respond to Future Disease Outbreaks

Creating a similar “rainy day” fund—and providing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with permission to use it in advance—could save lives and money, both at home and overseas. There have been some moves in this direction. President Donald Trump`s general budget proposal for 2018 includes such a fund. But it does not give any dollar figures, and the health care bill passed by the House of Representatives in May cuts at least $1 billion from annual public health funding

June 20, 2017
Scientific American

Researchers find possible explanation for unparalleled spread of Ebola virus

The world may be closer to knowing why Ebola spreads so easily thanks to a team of researchers from Tulane University and other leading institutions who discovered a new biological activity in a small protein from the deadly virus, the team`s findings were recently published in the Journal of Virology. A compound known as the "delta peptide" is produced in large amounts in Ebola virus-infected patients, but its function isn`t yet known. The investigators tested the effects of purified delta peptide on cells from humans and other mammals and found that it could be a viroporin, a type of viral protein that damages host cells by making the membranes become permeable

June 6, 2017
Medical Express

Ebola epidemic in Congo 'under control': health minister

The DRC has not recorded a new case of Ebola in the last 21 days, the maximum incubation period for the disease, but it is now in a state of heightened surveillance, the health minister told the media. He said the authorities have confirmed four cases, up from two previously, and three other cases are considered probable

June 2, 2017

Congo approves use of Ebola vaccination to fight outbreak

DRC’s health ministry has approved the use of a new Ebola vaccine to counter an outbreak in its northeast that has killed four people, a spokesman said. The vaccine, known as rVSV-ZEBOV and developed by Merck, is not yet licensed but was shown to be highly protective against Ebola in clinical trials published at the end of last year. A WHO spokesperson said that the vaccination would be deployed ‘should an EVD laboratory confirmed case be identified outside the already defined chains of transmission’

May 29, 2017
Reuters, BFMTV

WHO deploys new technology for Ebola fight

WHO said it has deployed new technology that allows for rapid diagnosis of the Ebola virus in the DRC. One of the technologies being used to detect Ebola is GeneXpert, which was primarily developed to detect cases of TB, but has been adapted to enable rapid testing of many pathogens. At the INRB lab in Kinshasa technicians can use it to test for the Zaire strain of Ebola in just one hour. Other tests deployed include OraQuick which can test blood or saliva samples for Ebola in just half an hour

May 29, 2017
News Agency of Nigeria, ReliefWeb

Congo's Ebola outbreak threatens CAR after violence forces thousands across border

An Ebola outbreak in the DRC could spread to the neighbouring CAR, where militia violence has forced thousands of people to flee across the border, the World Health Organization said, this is because recent attacks by militias in the CAR border town of Bangassou have driven about 2,750 people into Bas-Uele, raising the risk that the Ebola outbreak could spread across the border. WHO is worried as these refugees are now close to the epicentre of the ebola outbreak

May 25, 2017

Fourth person in probable Ebola death in Congo: WHO

A fourth person has likely died from Ebola in remote north eastern DRC, the WHO said, as the overall number of cases rose to 37 from 29. Of the 37 cases of haemorrhagic fever discovered since early May, two have been confirmed as Ebola, three including the latest death are considered probable and 32 are suspected. Health authorities are monitoring 416 people who came into contact with sufferers and have dispatched mobile laboratories to the zone to test people more quickly

May 21, 2017
May 22, 2017
The Citizen

WHO Optimistic on Controlling DRC Ebola Outbreak

WHO’s regional chief for Africa reported that the prospects of controlling the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in the DRC are good. While not underestimating the difficulties that lie ahead in bringing this latest outbreak of Ebola to an end, Matshidiso Moeti told VOA she is “very encouraged by the speed with which the government and its national and international partners have responded to the crisis”

May 21, 2017
Voice of America

Residents flee as suspected cases of Ebola outbreak in Congo grow

USA Today reports on the examples of residents aware of the Ebola outbreak in Bas-Uele province, 51 hours away from Kinshasa, fleeing to the capital. They told reporters there are no hospitals or medical facilities in this region, people are not aware of the virus and they do not know what precautions to take so many may die. There is also fear residents from the outbreak area could bring the disease to the capital

May 19, 2017
USA Today

Congo has 29 suspected cases of deadly Ebola virus, says World Health Organisation

The World Health Organization says Congo now faces 29 suspected cases of the deadly Ebola virus. WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier today said the number includes two laboratory-confirmed deaths. Officials announced the outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever a week ago in a remote area of northern Congo. Lindmeier says Congo authorities and its health partners are monitoring another 416 people who could have come into contact with the suspected cases. The Ebola outbreak is the eighth in Congo since 1976.

May 19, 2017
First Post
May 18, 2017
KCRA3, NBC News, New York Times
May 19, 2017
Outbreak News Today, Africa News
May 18, 2017
Relief Web
May 19, 2017
CIDRAP, WSBT 22, Africa Times, The Nation, Reuters, Bloomberg

Tackling Ebola outbreak in remote Congo presents huge challenge: WHO

WHO said its assessment of the outbreak was that risk of spread is high at a national level, medium at an African level and low at a global level. WHO said logistical challenges of the outbreak are immense in this very remote and insecure part of the country. Additionally, WHO said as it deploys teams over the next few weeks it will begin to fully understand the scale of the problem it is dealing with

May 18, 2017

As Ebola outbreak grows, question of using vaccine becomes more urgent

As health officials and aid workers head to a remote corner of the DRC to respond to an outbreak of Ebola a key question remains: will the government authorize the use of a promising experimental vaccine? The vaccine had stunning results in a clinical trial in Guinea in 2015, but it has yet to be licensed for broader use. Science Insider spoke to Marie-Paul Kieny, a WHO assistant director who oversaw the agency’s response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa 2014-16 and asked her about whether the vaccine will be used

May 18, 2017

No vaccine roll out in DRC yet despite new Ebola infections

WHO said it is working with specialists to conduct an epidemiological investigation to better understand the extent of the current outbreak and to establish who is at risk of becoming infected with Ebola. Therefore its experts have not yet decided whether to use newly developed vaccines to try to contain the outbreak in the DRC, but officials are making preparations just in case 

May 15, 2017
Business Day

Study: Most Effective Measures Identified for Containing Ebola

A new timely report culled 37 studies looking for the most effective containment strategies. Funeral containment topped their lists and public information campaigns for the sort of care in the community. Avoiding washing the bodies of the deceased before burial was critical. The importance of handwashing, personal hygiene and self-quarantine in high-transmission areas too. People suspected of being infected with Ebola should not hesitate to seek medical support but building more hospitals in response to the epidemic was seen to be the least effective way to prevent the spread of Ebola across communities

May 15, 2017
Voice of America

Ebola Returns, and Central Africa’s Virus Hunters Are Ready

MSF is sending 14 people to meet a 10-person team from the DRC’s Health Ministry. A cargo plane carrying 16 tons of medical and logistical supplies is on the way from Kinshasa to meet them. On the ground the MSF team will start administering care, potentially building a clinic. They may work with locals to do triage and surveillance, along with representatives from the World Health Organization. Bas-Uele is rural and poorly mapped so MSF want to crowdsource a mapping project. That way they won’t miss a lot of villages some people just don’t know about 

May 12, 2017

An outbreak of Ebola has been confirmed in Bas-Uele province of the DRC

The DRC Minister of Health, Dr Oly Illunga Kalenga, told the World Health Organization about an outbreak of the Ebola Virus in Likati health district more than 1300KMs from Kinshasa in the northern DRC, following confirmation of the disease by the National Biomedical Research Institute. Since April 22 there have been 9 suspected EVD cases reported including 3 deaths in the Likati health district, a 33.3% death rate according to a WHO official assessment 

May 12, 2017
World Health Organization
May 14, 2017
May 13, 2017
New Straits Times, Information Nigeria
May 12, 2017
The Guardian, Time

Mystery illness in Liberia appears to be meningitis -minister

Four of the 13 patients who died from a mysterious illness in Liberia since April 23 have tested positive for Neisseria meningitides serogroup C, a bacterial form of meningitis, according to the U.S. CDC. Additional testing is ongoing to determine if the other deaths and 30 other illnesses are also due to this type of infection

May 9, 2017
May 8, 2017
Huffington Post, GNN Liberia, Science Mag

Two more die of strange disease in Liberia’s capital

The death toll from a strange disease that originated from Liberia’s south eastern county of Sinoe has risen to 13, following two more deaths in the country’s capital Monrovia, authorities have said. So far, 21 people are known to have contracted the disease. The health ministry said it has launched a search for all of the 60 people who attended a funeral in Greenville, as it is suspects the disease originated from there

May 2, 2017
News Ghana, Nigeria Today, Daily Observer
May 1, 2017
kplr11.com, GNN Liberia
May 2, 2017
Le Parisien, Boursarama, La Prensa
May 1, 2017
May 3, 2017
South China Morning Post

WHO says Liberia taking precautions after mystery deaths

Liberian health authorities are taking rapid precautionary steps after eight people died of a mystery illness, the World Health Organization said, 10-months after the end of the two year Ebola virus outbreak. Liberian authorities said initial scientific investigations rule out Ebola as the cause but specimens from the seven bodies have been sent to the national laboratory for testing with results later this week

April 26, 2017

WHO says Liberia taking precautions after mystery deaths

Nine infected people are undergoing treatment and there are fears the numbers may rise. The disease in Sinoe County has already killed 11 people and numbers are predicted to rise. Initial tests ruled out Ebola but the health ministry is considering sending blood samples abroad for testing. Those infected with the unknown disease show symptoms of severe stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and headaches. A link between these deaths appears to be that they all attended the funeral of a religious leader, so bodily contact, or infection by ingestion, might be the method by which the virus spreads

April 26, 2017
April 29, 2017
Front Page Africa
April 28, 2017
Guardian Nigeria
April 30, 2017
Geo TV
April 28, 2017
AllAfrica.com, Channel News Asia, Reuters, Pulse Nigeria, Guardian

Search for Zika and Ebola in Kenya finds deadly germs

A four year countrywide search for the deadly Ebola, Zika and Marburg virus in bats has identified germs that are potentially dangerous to Kenyans. A collaboration between Kenya and China found local bats host viruses closely related to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)  

April 13, 2017
Standard Media

Health systems

World Bank program will speed response to pandemics

The bank has announced the issuance of $500 million in specialized bonds and derivatives that will help poor countries cope with a pandemic such as Ebola. The effort will create a trust fund, the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, that can be quickly deployed for pandemic response. Investors who buy the bonds and provide the trust-fund financing upfront will reap premiums but will also be taking a risk. If there is a major outbreak, the investors will lose some or all of their cash. One big advantage is that instead of waiting around for slow-moving national governments to fund a disease response, the resources necessary for saving lives will be available quickly

July 10, 2017
Omaha World-Herald

Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts Trouble Bioterrorism Experts

One aspect of the nation’s defence under Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts which would put the US at risk is the slashing of the budgets of government bodies which protect the nation from deadly pathogens, man-made or natural. Agencies tasked with biosecurity would be severely hit: The Office for Public Health Preparedness and Response, which tracks the outbreaks of disease (cut by 9.7%), the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, a branch that fights threats like anthrax and Ebola (cut by 11%), the CDC’s Center for Global Health (cut by 18%) – experts in biological threats are reacting with alarm

May 28, 2017
New York Times

CNN To Debut Jeffrey Wright-Narrated Pandemic Documentary ‘Unseen Enemy’ On World Health Da...

CNN will show a documentary, on April 7th, to coincide with World Health Day, which features some of the world’s top pathogen hunters and medical professionals who have been involved in tracking outbreaks of Zika, Ebola and influenza worldwide. The film called ‘Unseen Enemy’ makes the case that successful containment can be achieved with coordinated efforts of medical professionals, researchers, governments, communicators and the public 

March 17, 2017

Communicable diseases

An outbreak of Ebola in the DRC has been contained. What went right this time?

The World Health Organisation recently declared the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Conversation explains how a multi-disciplinary team of health workers and administrative officers was dispatched and they put lessons learnt and best practice into action to contain the disease

July 12, 2017
The Conversation
July 13, 2017

Ebola virus burial teams may have 'saved thousands of lives'

New research suggests Red Cross volunteers who helped bury most of the bodies of Ebola victims in West Africa could have prevented more than 10,000 cases of the deadly disease. A major part of the response was ensuring the safe burials of people who had died of Ebola. The bodies of victims were particularly toxic. Community funerals, where people helped wash the bodies of their loved ones, contributed to so many people becoming infected in the earlier stages of the outbreak. The study used statistical modelling to measure the impact of the Red Cross safe and dignified burial programme

June 22, 2017
BBC, Medical Xpress

Researchers discover first human antibodies that work against all ebolaviruses

After analysing the blood of a survivor of the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak, a team of scientists from academia, industry and the government has discovered the first natural human antibodies that can neutralize and protect animals against all three major disease causing ebolaviruses. The findings, published online today in the journal Cell, could lead to the first broadly effective ebolavirus therapies and vaccines

May 18, 2017

Ebola vaccine could get first real-world test in emerging outbreak

An outbreak of Ebola in the DRC was confirmed by the World Health Organization on 12th May. Now health officials are considering whether to deploy an experimental Ebola vaccine against the outbreak, for the first time since the WHO gave its preliminary approval in April. The aid group MSF is discussing a potential vaccination campaign with the Congolese government, an MSF spokesperson says. This would require the approval of the WHO, which has not yet decided whether to call on the approved experimental vaccine or others in development

May 12, 2017

West Africa Ebola vaccine trial aims to strengthen local health systems

Health experts say they are confident that West African countries whose health systems were crippled by the 2014 Ebola crisis are able to conduct meaningful research in the phase two critical trial of Ebola vaccine candidates, now underway. The trials in Guinea, Liberia and later Sierra Leone, are testing three vaccination strategies and two vaccines to identify which holds the most promise

May 12, 2017

India vulnerable to infectious diseases like Zika and Ebola

A new report says that South Asian nations, including India, are vulnerable to emerging infectious diseases like Zika and Ebola and their level of preparedness is adequate to protect public health. Inadequate surveillance and uneven health system capacity may accelerate the spread of emerging infectious diseases in the region, which is already burdened by diseases like tuberculosis, HIV and malaria. This was an analysis published as part of twelve analyses on health in South Asia published in the BMJ

April 12, 2017
Business Standard

Era of self medication for fever is gone

Era of self medication for fever is gone given all the state is now currently facing

March 28, 2017
Vanguard Nigeria, Economic Times

Opinion: My vision for the WHO

One of the three candidates to become Director General of the World Health Organization talks to devex.com about his vision for the future of the World Health Organization should his campaign turn out successful

March 27, 2017

A Look At Latest Figures On R&D For Neglected Diseases

In a new report from Policy Cures, it concluded that financing for R&D into so-called neglected diseases rose, mainly due to the Ebola outbreak and private sector contributions representing a bigger share

March 1, 2017
Intellectual Property Watch

The Mistakes We Made Responding to Ebola

Fortune Magazine reviewed how WHO mishandled the Ebola outbreak, interviewing Dr David Nabarro, who went on to be the UN secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Ebola, and who candidly explained where things had gone astray with WHO’s response and what needed to change going forward

February 28, 2017

Why Europe should lead on fight against disease

Renate Baehr, executive director of the Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevolkerung, wrote an Op Ed for Politico Europe, in which she argued that ‘the rise of Donald Trump and Brexit have made European action on disease control more important than ever and that the Bloc needs to fill the U.S. power vacuum as it steadily withdraws’

February 23, 2017