Evening Ebola Update, Thurs, 11/6: NewLink CEO interview/Virginia Tech model predicts 117,000 cases by 12/31   Leave a comment

11/6/14

Dear Colleagues:

1.  Science, 31 October issue, has an interview with Dr. Charles Link, the CEO of NewLink Genetics, which is producing the weakened vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) vaccine.  Dr. Link believes he may be able to produce 12 million doses of the VSV vaccine by April, 2015, depending on the dose of the vaccine to achieve an immune response in adults.  One unique risk of the VSV vaccine is that it is a livestock pathogen so that livestock may become infected; NewLink is working on that problem.  See: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/346/6209/534.full for the complete interview.

2.  PLoS Currents Outbreaks posted a second edition of the October 16th article by Rivers, et. al. which modeled the impact of interventions on the EBOV outbreak in SIerra Leone and Liberia.  This second edition presumes the contact tracing rate increases to 100%, that hospital-transmitted EBOV decreases by 75%, that funeral/burial-transmitted EBOV decreases by 75%, and that experimental drugs reduce the case fatality rate from 50% to 13%.  According to the authors’ model, despite all these interventions, the exponential increase in EBOV cases does not stop by December 31st.  The R0 is reduced, but only to 2.0.  Approximately 117,000 EBOV cases will be found in Liberia and 30,000 EBOV cases will be found in SIerra Leone by the end of 2014.  If the authors are correct in their modeling, then a vaccine is desperately needed ASAP.  See: http://currents.plos.org/outbreaks/article/obk-14-0043-modeling-the-impact-of-interventions-on-an-epidemic-of-ebola-in-sierra-leone-and-Liberia/ for the complete Rivers, et. al. article.

RGL, MD

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Posted November 7, 2014 by levittrg in Ebola

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