l. WHO reports today how the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) stopped their recent EBOV outbreak in its tracks. The DRC has experienced 7 prior EBOV outbreaks and knew exactly what to do: seize the moment. Officials and health ministry went directly to the infected villages and told villagers what to do and what not to do. Five humanitarian organizations got into the outbreak immediately. Contacts were traced very quickly. See the WHO report at: http://who.int/features/2014/drc-beats-ebola/en/
2. BBC reports that the NewLink vaccine Phase 1 trial has been suspended because 4 of 52 volunteers developed joint pains. If the joint pains are benign, then the trial will restart on January 5th with only 15 volunteers. The NewLink vaccine is a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus. See The Guardian article at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/11/ebola-vaccine-trial-suspended-joint-pains
3. The Hill reports that the omnibus spending bill in Congress includes $5.4 Billion for U.S. and infected EBOV countries for prevention and treatment of EBOV. The bill gives $2.5 Billion to HHS; $2.0 Billion to USAID; $100 Million to Defense Department; $100 Million to State Department; $1.1 Billion for a ‘contingency fund’. In my opinion, the $2.5 Billion to HHS is excessive; there are only 35 designated EBOV hospitals in the U.S. and PPEs don’t cost Billions. See: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/226605-ebola-funding-in-cromnibus-falls-just-short-of-obama-request
4. Scientific American has an update on testing for EBOV in West African countries. WHO has held a follow-up meeting to see how much further vendors are in producing a rapid, accurate, easy to teach blood test for EBOV. See: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ebola-experts-seek-to-expand-testing/ for details. The graphic in this article is most important. See how the current labs to interpret EBOV tests in Sierra Leone are far from the largest outbreaks in Sierra Leone so hours or days elapse before a positive diagnosis is confirmed. This is not the case in Liberia or Guinea.
5. NIH has announced the Clinical Center has received a nurse from Sierra Leone exposed to EBOV and transferred to the U.S. See: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/dec2014/od-11.htm. NIH must release her serum samples to EBOV genome researchers now to determine if EBOV in Sierra Leone has mutated from the genome present in other U.S. treated EBOV patients; that’s my opinion.
I’d like to add more to tonight’s blog but WordPress is revising their platform for blogs as I am preparing this blog. Their IT people are 6 hours ahead of St. Louis time and working the Midnight shift. Each time I make a blog entry I need to guess what IT has done since the prior entry.