l. Ebola Deeply reports that the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) will take over paying HCW in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for these governments. These HCW are due back pay and current pay; we can’t afford to lose these HCW now. The UNDP will work with governments to bring the pay situation back to normalcy. See the Politico article at: http://politicosl.com/2014/12/un-to-take-over-ebola-payment-in-sierra-leone/
2. Ebola Deeply reports that Sierra Leone had 537 new EBOV cases for the week of November 30, but Sierra Leone has only 517 beds for EBOV patients.
3. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases has a Speaking of Medicine editorial today by Nwaka, et. al., who are associated with the African Network of Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation. The editorial states that African countries and Big Pharma and universities in developed countries (‘the North’) are partnering to develop plans and procedures for Africa (‘the South’) to be the mainstay of any future outbreak of EBOV or other epidemic in African countries. Meetings were held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last September. The next meeting will be in Addis Ababa in mid-January. The list of authors for this editorial is impressive. Read the editorial at: http://blogs.plos.org/speakingofmedicine/2014/12/05/ebola-virus-disease-platform-north-south-collaboration-urgently-needed/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+plos%2FMedicineBlog+%28Blogs+-+Speaking+of+Medicine%29
4. BioMed Central, an open-source on-line journal has a Virology Journal 3 December review by Rybicki, et. al. from the Microbiology Department at the University of Capetown, South Africa on ‘Plant Based Vaccines Against Viruses’. I was familiar with ZMapp and tobacco plants, but I had no idea how many plants can serve as producers of viral antigens and monoclonal antibodies. The authors devote the last section of their review to EBOV. Table 1 lists all of the plants that can be useful to vaccine development against viruses; references are given for the plants useful in treating EBOV in Table 1. The authors are high on plant vaccines because these vaccines are cheaper and safer than egg-based vaccines. See the review at: http://www.virologyj.com/content/pdf/s12985-014-0205-0.pdf
5. CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report issued today contains a summary of the telephone calls made to the CDC about suspected EBOV patients between July and mid-November, 2014. There were 650+ calls to the CDC; most calls came from clinicians not state officials. Sixty-one patients had histories that led to testing for EBOV. Four of these patients had positive EBOV tests. The take-home message from this MMWR in my opinion is: if you encounter a patient you suspect of having EBOV, place the patient in isolation, then call the CDC. The CDC will do the rest. See the MMWR at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm63e1205.pdf