Evening Ebola Update, Thurs, 1/22: Using Wikipedia to forecast infections/Bad news from Davos/EBOV strikes females unfairly/Involve communities   Leave a comment


Dear Colleagues:

l.  PLoS Computational Biology has published an article on how analysis of Wikipedia page views can be used to forecast infectious disease outbreaks.  See: http://blogs.plos.org/biologue/2014/12/30/media-response-forecasting-diseases-using-wikipedia/ for a review of the article by Generous, et. al. from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S.A.  The Generous, et. al. article is at: http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003892

2.  World Bank Report from Davos 20 January has important information on the economic impact of EBOV epidemic in West Africa now and in the future.  The World Bank summary is posted below along with the URL for the entire report:

”Output forgone due to Ebola in 2015 alone in the three countries is estimated to be more than $1.6 billion, over 12 percent of their combined GDP.

Updated general equilibrium analysis suggests that further spread of the epidemic to other African economies, if the epidemic is not contained and instances of infection continue to occur in other countries, could potentially exact an economic toll of the order of $6 billion.

The entire report is at: https://col128.mail.live.com/mail/ViewOfficePreview.aspx?messageid=mgaRZXHUKi5BGPWRBgS7F0lA2&folderid=flsent&attindex=0&cp=-1&attdepth=0&n=32194118

3.  The Lancet has two Correspondence articles re: the fate of the EBOV infected countries in West Africa.  Menendez, et. al. from the University of Barcelona writes about the increased risk for females for EBOV infection despite the fact there is no biological predilection for females by EBOV.  The reasons for  the increased risk of EBOV infection include: females are the caregivers for EBOV patients in the home; increased miscarriage rate and 100% fetal death due to EBOV infection; females prepare the deceased EBOV patients for burials; sexual transmission of EBOV to females from male EBOV survivors.  See this article at: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(15)70009-4/fulltext
4.  The other Lancet Correspondence article is by Kutalek, et. al. from WHO in Liberia and the University of Vienna who write about involving the communities in Liberia to decide how to increase successful contract tracing.  Financial incentives were unacceptable to the communities because of the bad feelings the money would engender.  The incentives endorsed by the communities included: food for quarantined families so they did not need to break quarantine to obtain food; restoration of basic health services; emotional support for families who lost members to EBOV infection; placing EBOV survivors on contact tracing teams.  See this article at: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(15)70010-0/fulltext
5.  Journal of Coastal Life Medicine has an overview on EBOV infection by Amdioouni, et. al. (European Institute of Health Sciences in Morocco) which includes an excellent discussion of the research on how fruit bats become seropositive to EBOV but do not become infected on pages 19 and 20.  See the overview at: https://col128.mail.live.com/mail/ViewOfficePreview.aspx?messageid=mgrZOWz-Oh5BGXYgAhWtf-rA2&folderid=flinbox&attindex=0&cp=-1&attdepth=0&n=68167720
6.  Note that NIH Director’s Blog today issued a ‘cool’ video on HIV at: http://directorsblog.nih.gov/2015/01/22/cool-videos-hiv-in-action/

Posted January 22, 2015 by levittrg in Ebola

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