Evening Ebola Update, Fri, 1/9: Vaccines will have sufficient EBOV pts for clin. trials/Using social media to stop EBOV/New funding paradigm for WHO   Leave a comment

1/9/15

Dear Colleagues:

l.  NY Times has an article today about how declining new cases of EBOV in West Africa may present a problem for the next set of clinical trials of vaccines in West Africa.  Large numbers of EBOV patients are needed for theseclinical trials.  See the article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/10/health/ebbing-of-ebola-complicates-testing-of-vaccines.html?ref=health 

2.  Fortunately, WHO has reported today that two vaccines, the GSK and the Merck/NewLink vaccines, will start their large clinical trials in West Africa at the end of January and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be ready for large clinical trials in West Africa by April.  With the latest weekly count of new EBOV cases from Sierra Leone being 78 patients, sufficient EBOV patients will be available for all clinical vaccine trials in West Africa.  See more details at: http://www.dw.de/who-announces-good-news-for-ebola-vaccine/a-18182088

3.  The Lancet Global Health latest issue has Correspondence by O’Donovan, et. al. from Newcastle University and Harvard University explaining how useful mobile phones can be in limiting the EBOV epidemic in West Africa.  Mobile phones are used by 44-63% of the population in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.  Mobile phone companies have let calls/texts to governmental health agencies be ‘free calls’ so that the location of EBOV cases may be traced; public health messages have been used by these same governmental health agencies to teach personal hygiene and infection; health agencies have also taught HCW how to care for EBOV patients safely using mobile phones.  See the article at: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(14)70357-2/fulltext

4.  The Lancet Global Health latest issue also has correspondence by Milinovich, et. al. from University of Queensland, Australia, re: how the authors used Goggle Trends to track locations of Google searches using the word ‘Ebola’ in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.  The authors found that the locations of highest number of searches matched the locations of most EBOV cases.  See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(14)70356-0/fulltext

5.  Horton of The Lancet has a Comment in the latest issue re: WHO’s weaknesses and the funding of WHO by voluntary contributions.  WHO’s weaknesses are directly related to this voluntary funding policy.  Without the donations of Bill and Melinda Gates and other private individuals and foundations, WHO would have to severely cut back its mission.  In my opinion, WHO ought to adopt the policy of ‘pay to play’; i.e., countries which fail to meet their contribution amount as determined by the World Bank would not get WHO services.  See Horton’s Comment (Part 1) at: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)62485-5/fulltext

RGL, MD

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Posted January 10, 2015 by levittrg in Ebola

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