Evening Ebola Update, Sat, 11/15: Dr. Salia critical/CDC’s Texas investig. results/Dr. Hatfill’s essay   Leave a comment

11/15/14

Dear Colleagues;

l.  Science 7 November issue reports on Page 684-685 that EBOV researchers in the U.S. have not been able to obtain EBOV serum samples from West Africa or Europe.  In part, this is due to ‘red tape’.  Yet EBOV serum samples at the CDC have also not been released to proven U.S. researchers including Gire, et. al. who first sequenced the EBOV in SIerra Leone and open-sourced their results.  I believe the CDC should release some of their Dallas serum samples to proven researchers so that they can determine if any new reservoir is now transmitting the EBOV to humans, and if synchronous mutations (amino acid changes) have occurred in the glycoprotein of the EBOV.  Such mutations could have a direct effect on the efficacy of EBOV vaccines now being testing.  If CDC is unwilling to release these serum samples, then I believe CDC  should open-source the genomic sequencing of these samples.

2.  NY Times reports that Dr. Salia has been airlifted to Nebraska Medical Center.  His condition is critical.

3.  CDC has ‘early released’ on November 14 their investigation into the nurse who traveled to Ohio after caring for Mr. Duncan in Texas as well as their investigation into the 3 patients with EBOV treated at Texas Presbyterian Hospital (Mr. Duncan and two of his nurses).  The CDC Texas report notes that the two nurses ‘had used PPE during their care of Patient 1 without reported exposures…’  As a result, ‘… all HCWs with any contact with any of the three Ebola patients, their laboratory specimens, or potentially contaminated environmental surfaces were interviewed beginning on the morning of October 12th.’  The nurse who traveled to Ohio had a total of 164 monitored contacts.  See: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm63e1114a5.htm?s_cid=mm63e1114a5_e for the Texas report and http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm63e1114a6.htm?s_cid=mm63e1114a6_e for the Ohio report.

4.  Doctors for Disaster Preparedness has posted an article entitled ‘Ebola Virus Disease: The Scientific Data That is Not Being Discussed’ by Dr. S.J. Hatfill.  The author is a controversial figure, so his article is annotated and complete.  His facts are referenced to cited recent journal articles.  For me, the notable facts include: 12% of EBOV patients do not present with fever; aerosol transmission of EBOV has been identified/developed in animals; 4% of humans have EBOV incubation periods longer than 21 days.  What I cannot confirm is Dr. Hatfill’s statement that the CDC considers EBOV a BSL 3 virus; my reading of CDC guidelines for EBOV specimen handling says the virus is BSL 4.  See: http://www.ddponline.org/ for Dr. Hatfill’s article and http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/safe-specimen-management.html for CDC specimen guidelines for EBOV.

RGL, MD

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Posted November 16, 2014 by levittrg in Ebola

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