l. PLoS Currents Outbreaks published on-line yesterday an article by Volz and Pond entitled ‘Phylodynamic Analysis of the Ebola Virus in the 2014 Sierra Leone Epidemic’. See: http://currents.plos.org/outbreaks/article/phylodynamic-analysis-of-ebola-virus-in-the-2014-sierra-leone-epidemic/ for the article. I asked a colleague in Ebola research to explain the article to me. This researcher responded with the following explanation: “Erik Volz and Sergei Pond present new findings in PLoS Current Outbreaks based on published virus sequence data from 78 Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. They show evidence of adaptive evolution affecting the L and GP protein of the virus, and show evidence of superspreading and extreme variance in the number of transmissions per infected individual during the early epidemic in Sierra Leone. They also revisit R0 based on sequence data, but note it it sensitive to the unknown latent infectious period.”
2. Dr. Racaniello on his Virology Blog this week discusses whether the Reston virus could be used to generate a vaccine against Ebola Zaire; how Firestone in Liberia controlled an outbreak of EBOV within its rubber plantation; and how our skin covering protects us against EVOV. See: https://col128.mail.live.com/?tid=cm3Njp-lNb5BGMrQAiZMJJ9g2&fid=flinbox for detailed answers to these questions.
3. Medscape Radiology has produced a CME Activity for clinicians on how to prevent EBOV spread in hospitals and clinics. See: https://col128.mail.live.com/?tid=cmnuxckpVb5BGPY9idZ181Xg2&fid=flinbox for the CME Activity.
4. Reuters reports that Illinois, New Jersey, and New York have declared a mandatory 21 day quarantine for HCW and others returning to U.S. from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone if they have had contact with EBOV patients. The quarantine was disorganized for the first HCW.
5. The Lancet on 25 October contains an article entitled ‘Ebola control: effect of asymptomatic infection and acquired immunity’ by authors from University of Texas and University of Florida. The authors recommend a study in country which EBOV patients receive transfusions from asymptomatic seropositive individuals in country to see whether such individuals have protective immunity. See: DOI: 10.1016/50140-6736(14)61839-0 for this article.
6. THE WEEK October 31, 2014, contains as its ‘The last word’ an article about physicians of International Medical Corps fighting EBOV in Liberia. A break in protocol is noted in the article when a physician’s googles moved so that skin was exposed between the goggles and his facemask. This is the third instance of this type of skin exposure I have read about; one of the instances occurred in one of the two nurses from Dallas who contracted EBOV. The article is on pages 40-41 of the issue. IMC and MSF need to make a guideline change so that disposable hoods and PAPRs are substituted for the current guidelines.