l. NPR reports that Dr. Nabarro, UN Special Envoy on Ebola, says it will take $1.5 Billion to reduce EBOV cases to ‘zero’ in West Africa. As the EBOV cases get closer to ‘zero’, the cost to eliminate each case increases. NPR article has a graph showing how the $1.5 Billion will be spent. Note that the cost of restoring non-EBOV health care to West Africa is similar to the cost of caring for EBOV cases until EBOV cases go to ‘zero’. See the NPR article at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/02/07/384317223/to-get-to-zero-ebola-cases-itll-cost-a-lot-roughly-1-5-billion?utm_source=npr_email_a_friend&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20150207&utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_term=
2. IBNlive from India reports that Columbia University has adapted a Smart Phone with an application that can perform an ELISA immunoassay for HIV in 15 minutes. I believe the app will be the future for diagnosis of zoonotic infections. See the IBNlive report at: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/a-smartphone-device-that-can-diagnose-hiv-in-15-minutes/526911-11.html. The original report can be found in Science Translational Medicine by Sia, et. al.
3. Science 30 January delivered today says on page 468 that the U.K. has pledged $10 Million toward the ‘rapid response teams’ that the WHO Executive Board recently approved for immediate response to a global emergency in the future. WHO will not be slow in responding again. The Executive Board’s action must be approved by the World Health Assembly in May.
4. NY TImes reports tonight that President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria has postponed elections scheduled in a few weeks due to the Boko Haram terrorist activity in Nigeria. Boko Haram controls territory north and east of the Niger River. Boko Haram terrorism has left 1.5 million Nigerians homeless; 10,000 Nigerians were killed by Boko Haram last year. I fear that Boko Haram will be the ‘agent’ for another terrorist organization seizing control of the country. Nigeria is now listed as a Severe Humanitarian Crisis country by ACAPS. Nigeria is midway between West Africa and DRC, where EBOV was first discovered.