Evening Ebola Update, 2/23: Both orphans & non-orphans in same boat in West Africa/Cholera vaccine recommended for EBOV countries/See Cave Paintings to cheer up   Leave a comment

2/23/15

Dear Colleagues:

l.  The Lancet 22 February has Correspondence by Evan, et. al. of the World Bank in Washington, D.C. re: the fate of orphans produced by the EBOV epidemic in West Africa.  The authors computed that 9600 orphans now are present in the three EBOV affected countries in West Africa; 600 of these orphans have lost both parents.  This EBOV epidemic has infected the 15-44 year old age group almost 3x as frequently as the under 15 year old age group.  The authors have found that the extended families of West Africa are caring for these orphans.  The real problem is not housing the orphans but providing food for orphans and non-orphans alike in West Africa.  The economies of these countries has been hit hard by the epidemic.  See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(15)60179-9/fulltext

2. The Lancet 19 February has Correspondence by Azman, et. al. from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health re: prevention of a cholera epidemic in the same West African countries affected by the EBOV epidemic.  Cholera epidemics occur every 3-5 years in these countries.  The symptoms of cholera mimic the symptoms of EBOV.  These countries are not likely to be able to repel a cholera epidemic because ‘EBOV kills health care systems’ (from WHO year end report on EBOV).  The authors recommend that the scarce oral cholera vaccine (OCV) be given first to those persons in the areas of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone which had the greatest number of EBOV cases, then to others, including neighboring countries.  See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(15)60178-7/fulltext

3.  If you are in need of an uplifting story after watching the news of TV or social media (as I am), I recommend the short essay in The Week, February 27, on France’s Niaux Caves on page 36,37.  The essay is titled ‘13,000-year-old Masterpieces’.  The author makes the case that these cave painting match the quality of paintings in the Louvre.  Perspective was invented 13,000 years ago.  The author notes no war subjects are present among the cave paintings.  See: http://www.magastack.com/issue/view?id=6014&page=36.  Click on page 37 to see the other half of the essay.

RGL, MD

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Posted February 23, 2015 by levittrg in Ebola

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