Evening Ebola Update, Sun, 1/11: Evidence fruit bats hold ‘cure’/Details of specimen handling by Gire,et.al./How lessons/needs in EBOV fight match up to lesson/needs in fight against terrorism   Leave a comment


Dear Colleagues:

l.  Bloomberg News today has an article on the presence of antibodies to EBOV in 10% of the fruit bats which migrate en masse from DRC to Zambia during the early Winter months.  Ten million fruit bats are involved in this annual migration.  Researchers believe that these bats hold a key to the cure of EBOV.  No EBOV virus has been found in any of the fruit bats tagged and tested for EBOV virus.  See this descriptive article at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-11/ebola-clue-may-lurk-in-10-million-bats-in-zambian-fig-trees.html

2.  Boston Globe Metro Section today has a detailed report of the danger and poor conditions for researchers and specimens when the Pardis Sabeti lab at The Broad Institute traveled to SIerra Leone twice last year to obtain EBOV specimens for genomic sequencing.  This Boston Globe article gives more detail about the EBOV specimens than does the previous Atlantic Monthly and NY Times articles.  See this article at: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/01/11/scientists-time-ebola/ivKkwDZk4hBwK6mtGjSJHN/story.html  Dr. Sabeti and some of her lab are currently in West Africa again to obtain more specimens for genomic sequencing.

3.  Last evening I posted the Ebola Deeply interviews with West African HCW, academics, government officials, NGO’s on what they all learned in 2014 about EBOV and what they needed in 2015 to combat EBOV.  The interviews are posted at: http://www.eboladeeply.org/articles/2015/01/7081/ebola-2015-road/. 

4.  Tonight I wish to list specifically what these on-ground workers learned last year and what they say they need this year:

What They Learned in 2014:                                        What They Need in 2015:

“West African health systems are rotten”                       Better health systems

Courage is needed to care for EBOV patients               Support organizations for females and children who survive EBOV

“EBOV kills health care systems”                                   Integrated health care systems

“Ebola is real”                                                                 Pro-active health systems

Lacked strategy for combating EBOV                            Cooperation between citizens and governments

“Don’t politicize every issue in EBOV epidemic”            Apolitical cooperation between tribes and government

Fear of EBOV                                                                 Accept EBOV as a disease that can be fought successfully

“Religious leaders ‘cut out’ of EBOV response”             Engage religious leaders to help citizens fight EBOV

No cooperation between gov’t and NGOs                      Cooperation between gov’t and NGOs and internat. agencies

“How it feels to be rejected”                                            Support programs for orphans and reintegration for survivors

Schools were shut closed                                               Reopen schools so this generation reaches its potential

In my opinion, the needs in 2015 to fight EBOV ‘match’ what is needed to combat terrorism.  Just substitute the word ‘terrorism’ for ‘EBOV’ and ‘support systems’ for ‘health care system’.



Posted January 12, 2015 by levittrg in Ebola

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