The two Americans who contracted the Ebola virus may have been saved by an experimental serum previously tested only on monkeys. The two, who most likely contracted the disease from a health care worker in Liberia, signed consent forms explaining that the drug had never been tested on a human being, but proved very effective with monkeys.
These monkeys, however, were given the serum 48 hours after infection whereas Brantley had been sick for nine days and Writebol for six.
ZMapp is made from the antibodies of mice exposed to the virus and works by preventing Ebola from infecting new cells.
Three vials of the drug stored at subzero temperatures were flown to a hospital in Liberia Thursday morning. Brantly asked that Writebol be given the first dose because, being the younger patient, he thought he had a better chance at fighting it. At Bidness, we are developing the most comprehensive and easy to use institutional financial data platform for investment management and investment banking. The trademarks, logos and service marks displayed on the website, including but not limited to the Bidness Etc logo, are marks or registered marks of Bidness Etc and others. Mali Health Minister Ousmane Kone confirmed the country’s first ever Ebola case Thursday on state television. The first Ebola case in Mali is that of a two-year-old girl, who had come from a Guinea town of Kissidougou after one of her parents died from the Ebola disease.
The girl was taken to the Fousseyni Daou hospital in the town of Kayes on Wednesday, when she appeared to have Ebola-like symptoms. In the wake of the girl’s diagnosis, the government tracked down all possible individuals who had contact with her.
The Ebola outbreak has killed as many as 4,900 people, with the majority of deaths occurring in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
GSK initiated the first ever human trials of an Ebola vaccine in Mali, which shares borders with Guinea – the epicenter of the Ebola virus. Canada-based Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (TKMR) is also testing a new drug, another addition to its Ebola program. Chimerix Inc (CMRX) is also up to the task of evaluating its antiviral drug, brincidofovir, against the Ebola virus. Tekmira's Ebola drug, TKM-Ebola, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada for emergency use in Ebola-affected African countries. In fatal cases, death comes fairly quickly — within a few days or a couple of weeks of getting sick. To get Ebola, you need to have direct contact with the bodily fluids — such as vomit, urine, or blood — of someone who is already sick and has symptoms. But what, exactly, does that mean? 1) You can get the virus if you have "direct contact" with a range of bodily fluids from a sick person, including blood, saliva, breast milk, stool, sweat, semen, tears, vomit, and urine. A burial team from the Liberian Ministry of Health unloads the bodies of Ebola victims onto a funeral pyre in Marshall, Liberia. 7) You could also get the virus by working in a biosafety-level-four lab that studies Ebola, touching lab specimens, and then putting your contaminated hands to your mouth or eyes or on a cut. 8) You can get Ebola by being pricked with a needle or syringe that has been contaminated with the virus. THE CURRENT EBOLA EPIDEMIC IS OUTRUNNING OUR ABILITY TO STOP ITEbola first appeared in 1976 during twin outbreaks in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and South Sudan, likely spread by bats from nearby jungles. This year has, in many ways, changed people's notions of how Ebola can move through populations.
The usual methods for containing Ebola, like tracing patients' contacts, haven't scaled to outbreaks of this sizeBy October 2014, Senegal and Nigeria were declared virus-free, having stopped their small outbreaks. On May 9, 2015, Liberia was finally declared virus-free, but there are still cases in Guinea and Sierra Leone, "creating a high risk that infected people may cross into Liberia over the region's exceptionally porous borders," the WHO warned.The epidemic has dragged on in West Africa, in part because the usual methods for containing Ebola — like tracing patients' contacts — don't scaled to outbreaks of the size that Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone had to battle. But an epidemic is much harder to contain when suddenly many countries are dealing with hundreds or thousands of cases. On September 30, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that Thomas Eric Duncan, a patient in Dallas, had Ebola — the first time the disease was diagnosed in the US. While official estimates suggest there are already more than 25,000 cases of Ebola during 2014 and 2015, the real number is likely much, much higher.
Health workers sterilize a house and prepare a body for burial in Lango village, Kenema, Sierra Leone. To understand how an Ebola case could be missed, you need to understand what it takes to actually find and count a case.Oftentimes, potential cases are communicated through dedicated hotlines, which citizens can call to report themselves or their neighbors.
Actually tracking these people down isn't straightforward, especially in areas where the roads and communication infrastructure are poor. When they finally locate an Ebola victim, he or she may not always be lucid enough to talk or even still alive. Of this epidemic, the World Bank said Ebola may deal a "potentially catastrophic blow" to the West African countries reeling from the virus. GDP growth estimates for 2014 have been revised sharply downward since pre-crisis estimates. People are going to suffer and die more from other diseases as the already scarce health resources in the region go to Ebola. One disturbing feature of the current epidemic is that so many health workers have lost their lives while caring for the sick or trying to spread public health messages about Ebola.This is partly because Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids, and no one has more contact with the bodily fluids of an Ebola patient than his or her doctor and nurse. A hospital guard waits to greet patients, some suspected of suffering from the Ebola virus, in Monrovia.
Even if they have protective gear, doctors and nurses may want to use their scarce supplies only when absolutely necessary, which brings us to another reason for the alarming loss of health workers: many doctors caring for Ebola patients in West Africa, particularly in the early days of the outbreak, had no idea they were seeing Ebola patients. Finally, the scale of this outbreak requires medical personnel that just weren't at the ready in West Africa. Poor literacy made it much harder for aid workers to mount a public health information campaign and explain to people how they can stop the spread of Ebola. A Liberian health worker interviews family members of a woman suspected of dying of the Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia.
Sadly, the world only seemed to wake up to Ebola after two American missionaries got infected. In other desperate and unprecedented measures, the UN Security Council characterized the virus as a threat to international peace and security, holding its second disease-focused meeting ever and setting up a special UN mission to deal with the epidemic. Even though people have known about Ebola for almost 40 years, vaccine and drug development for the disease has been slow at best. THE USUAL DRUG APPROVAL PROCESSES ARE BEING CONDENSED OR SKIPPEDThe news of vaccine development followed a decision by the World Health Organization to allow unproven and experimental treatments on people in this public health emergency — which means the usual drug approvals process will be condensed or phases of clinical testing potentially skipped, and that trials could be done amid the outbreak in Africa.One promising experimental Ebola drug is ZMapp, an antibody therapy that was used for the two American medical missionaries infected in Liberia. Kent Brantly, one of the American medical missionaries infected with Ebola, who received the experimental drug ZMapp. Another experimental therapy now being tried in humans is TKM-Ebola, developed by the Canadian pharmaceutical company Tekmira with the help of funding from the US Department of Defense. The race is on to find ways to prevent and cure the Ebola virus - a disease that has killed more than 10,000 people in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Three potential immunisations are frontrunners, having been rushed from promising animal studies into human trials. The Merck vaccine used in the Liberian trial is based on a livestock virus, carrying a single Ebola gene. US presidential hopeful Donald Trump sparks outrage by mocking a dead Muslim soldier's mother who stood silently while her husband attacked him in a speech. Kent Brantly and hygienist Nancy Writebol’s conditions improved dramatically last week after taking ZMapp, a drug developed by San Diego-based biotech firm Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. Our mission is to be the worlda€™s most trusted financial data search and discovery platform. The confirmation by the minister has made Mali the sixth African country to fall on the list of nations that have so far reported cases of the deadly Ebola virus.
A few cases were also reported in Senegal and Nigeria but were contained, according to the World Health Organization.


At that time, there were no reported Ebola cases in Mali; however, the country and its residents were identified to be at high risk given the proximity of the country to Guinea. The firm has developed an Ebola drug called TKM-Ebola, which has received the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval for emergency use. The drug is currently in Phase III stage and was administered to Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the US.
Survivors return to a normal life after a monthslong recovery that can include periods of hair loss, hearing loss and other sensory changes, weakness, extreme fatigue, headaches, and eye and liver inflammation. Until last year, the total impact of these outbreaks included 2,357 cases and 1,548 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And because Ebola is a rare disease, there are still many scientific avenues that need exploring. But go into a rainforest environment — ecologists haven't even given names to a lot of the insects there, and when it comes to mites and ticks, forget it. They don't know why some folks with Ebola never show symptoms and can't spread the disease to anyone, while others are "super-shedders" with very high viral loads — and are therefore very contagious.
Health officials didn't worry about it reaching epidemic proportions.And then Ebola went global.
Since then, there have been 20 other outbreaks, but they have usually occurred in isolated rural areas and died out quickly.
In December, the virus is believed to have first turned up in the body of a 2-year-old boy in Gueckedou, a rainforest region in southeastern Guinea.
Since West Africa had never seen Ebola, the virus had a three-month head start before health officials in the countries involved even realized they were harboring an outbreak. He died nine days later.After that, two health workers who cared for him got sick, spreading fear and panic among the health-care community and the general population.
But its medical setting did.It is true that the average West African has a lower life expectancy than the average American.
Investigators can spend days chasing a rumor.These health teams also work under constant stress and uncertainty.
So the investigators need to interview friends, family, or community members to determine whether it's Ebola that struck — always keeping a distance.If this chase appears to have led to an Ebola patient, the health team notifies a dispatcher to have that person transported by ambulance to a nearby clinic or Ebola treatment center for testing and isolation. David Fisman, an infectious-disease modeler working on Ebola, summed up: "A person needs to have recognized symptoms, seek care, be correctly diagnosed, get lab testing — if they're going to be a confirmed case — and have the clerical and bureaucratic apparatus actually transmit that information to the people doing surveillance. The disease had never appeared in that part of Africa, and it can be difficult to diagnose, sometimes masquerading as malaria or the flu until symptoms worsen. The director of the WHO called this Ebola epidemic the "greatest peacetime challenge" the world has ever faced. Notably, most of the investment in Ebola cures has come from government agencies (such as the US Department of Defense) interested in researching potential biological terrorism weapons — not in helping patients.But the Ebola epidemic burning in West Africa has sparked unprecedented focus on finding an Ebola cure and speeding up the drug testing and approval process for current therapies being developed. The Ebola drug was developed by several stakeholders — Mapp Biopharmaceutical and LeafBio in San Diego, Defyrus from Toronto, the US government, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. There are no proven treatments for Ebola or vaccines to prevent individuals becoming infected. One is produced by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the National Institutes of Health in the US, another is being developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada in collaboration with Merck. Instead of preventing infection like vaccines, these are designed to boost the recovery of those who have been infected.
Studies on the 1995 outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo showed seven out of eight people survived after being given the therapy.This approach is being trialled in Guinea, led by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine. The epidemic has pushed pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (GSK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to accelerate the pace of research and development of their respective preventive vaccine candidates, which could be used to protect individuals from contracting the disease. NewLink Genetics Corp (NLNK), which is also developing a potential Ebola vaccine, started human trials in the US last week. Another person with Ebola, Ashoka Mukpo, an American cameraman, was also treated with brincidofovir and recovered. In a phenomenon now dubbed "post-Ebola syndrome," Ebola, scientists have learned, can continue to live in other parts of the body or bodily fluids, including the eyeballs or semen of survivors, for months after the blood is declared virus-free. The sick person also has to be far enough along in the illness — with enough virus in the bloodstream — to transmit the disease. But unless you're an Ebola health worker or sharing needles with Ebola victims, this isn't likely. This is an infection that requires very close contact."YOU CAN'T GET EBOLA FROM MOSQUITOES3) You can't get Ebola from mosquitoes.
Compare this situation with West Africa, which had to deal with more than 25,000 cases in a completely broken and underfunded health system. They are still learning about the long-term side effects of Ebola, and whether survivors have lifelong immunity to the virus (meaning they can't get it more than once).
The countries involved — DRC, Gabon, Sudan — have experience in stamping out the virus before it spreads.
Because the disease isn't very contagious and spreads slowly, they just needed to find all those infected, quarantine them, and identify everyone they'd been in contact with.
It didn't help that the international community was very slow to bring aid to the region, only declaring a public health emergency in August, five months after the first international spread.
First, on October 12, Nina Pham — one of Duncan's nurses — tested positive for the disease. And a much smaller number of Americans have so far contracted — and been treated for — Ebola. These reports are forwarded to local surveillance-response teams.All these cases need to be followed up on and verified to be counted.
If the person is already dead, they notify a burial team, which arrives in full personal-protective gear.
In that county alone, nearly 170 farmers and their family members have died from Ebola," the World Health Organization director warned.
Joanne Liu, international president of Doctors Without Borders, said, "Mounting numbers are dying of other diseases, like malaria, because health systems have collapsed."In a 2015 study in the journal Science, researchers focused on measles — the most contagious virus recorded — and applied statistical models to quantify the likelihood of an epidemic in the three countries worst hit by the virus. So doctors and nurses weren't always protecting themselves as they would from a deadly virus.A third reason for the outsize health-worker death toll is that the total number of people infected with the virus this year is so much greater.
President Barack Obama said Ebola is "not just a threat to regional security … [but] a potential threat to global security." For this reason, the US sent thousands of troops to fight Ebola, funding the largest international response in the history of the CDC. It's made up of a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies, which are essentially lab-produced molecules manufactured in plants that mimic the body's immune response to theoretically help it attack the Ebola virus. However, progress is now being made on an unprecedented scale.Trials, which would normally take years and decades, are being fast-tracked on a timescale of weeks and months. And the third to enter human testing is made by Johnson and Johnson together with the company Bavarian Nordic. Here it is being given to anyone who has recently come into contacted with an infected person. The company expects to begin trials in the African region early next year.Another company, Mapp Biopharmaceuticals, is developing its experimental drug ZMapp, a monoclonal antibody designed to cure Ebola. There are five species of Ebola, four of which have caused the disease in humans: Zaire, Sudan, Tai Forest, and Bundibugyo. 2) This means you can get Ebola by kissing or sharing food with someone who is infectious. 3) Mothers with Ebola can give the disease to their babies. The CDC says, "Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys and apes) have shown the ability to spread and become infected with Ebola virus."4) It's pretty difficult to get Ebola through coughing or sneezing. The guy who wrote the textbook on Ebola explained it to me: there is a gold standard proof that the Marburg virus (an Ebola cousin) lives in a particular species of bat. All of a sudden, you have to test thousands of creatures for Ebola and you still might not have found Ebola because it might be in that insect you didn't test. The WHO has continually said that even its current dire numbers don't reflect the full reality.


The team puts the body in a body bag, decontaminates the house, swabs the corpse for Ebola testing, and transports the body to the morgue.But confirming the cause of death doesn't always happen.
Others suggest that faith healing, hot chocolate, coffee, and raw onions might stamp out the virus.
In October 2014, the Obama administration appointed Ron Klain its first "Ebola czar" to coordinate the response. Tekmira’s new drug, similar to its predecessor, uses RNA therapy that targets the malicious gene of the virus, called the Ebola guinea gene. That is more than seven times the death toll of all previous outbreaks combined, making this epidemic one of the worst public health crises of the last century. On October 15, officials announced that a second nurse, Amber Vinson, had gotten the virus while caring for Duncan, too. As you can see in the map below, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone (circled in green) have some of the lowest literacy rates in the world.
Consider that in June, Doctors Without Borders — which had been on the ground since the beginning — had already declared the epidemic "out of control."Part of the reason for the slow response can be attributed to budget cuts and managerial confusion at the WHO that have left the agency understaffed and short on resources.
This uses a different approach still - two separate jabs will be given in the hope the second one boosts the effectiveness of the first. The research is being led by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm).Early results suggest it might help people who are in the early stages of the illness, but is less likely to be useful in severe cases.
Supplies for the drug, however, have been exhausted, presenting a major roadblock in the efforts to fight the virus. The animal host of Ebola is widely believed to be the fruit bat, although scientists haven't been able to confirm this. As one study put it, "It seems prudent to advise breastfeeding mothers who survive [Ebola] to avoid breastfeeding for at least some weeks after recovery and to provide them with alternative means of feeding their infants."THE EBOLA VIRUS HAS BEEN ABLE TO LIVE IN SEMEN FOR UP TO 199 DAYS4) You can get Ebola through sex with an Ebola victim. So, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained, "If a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person's eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease." This happens rarely and usually only affects health workers or those caring for the sick. Both were later discharged from the hospital, virus-free.In addition to Pham and Vinson, several other Americans have been infected with Ebola.
With limited resources, too, saving people who are alive tends to take precedent over managing and testing dead bodies.Reported cases are then communicated to the ministry of health in the country.
To put that into context, in the second biggest outbreak in history — in Zaire in 1976 — 11 medical personnel died. According to a New York Times investigation, the WHO and the Guinean health ministry had "documented in March [2014] that a handful of people had recently died or been sick with Ebola-like symptoms across the border in Sierra Leone." But information about the potential cases never made it to senior health authorities in Sierra Leone. Vaccine company Novavax has recently announced the start of an Australian trial designed to investigate another potential immunization on healthy human volunteers. MSF says the trial so far suggests the most vulnerable patients who are most likely to die from the disease don't benefit from favipiravir. The virus only seldom makes the leap into humans.The current outbreak involves the Zaire strain, which was discovered in 1976 — the year Ebola was first identified in what was then Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).
The virus has been able to live in semen up to 199 days after a patient started showing symptoms — well into recovery and long after the virus has disappeared from the blood. Mali confirmed an Ebola case last October: a 2-year-old girl who had recently returned from neighboring Guinea who has since died, leading to the discovery of several other cases and deaths. So far, almost all of them got the virus while working in Africa, received treatment in the United States, and survived.In October 2014, a doctor in New York City tested positive for the virus. Before the Ebola outbreak, West African nations were seeing promising signs of economic growth. The vaccine cannot trigger either disease but the hope is it will prompt the production of protective antibodies against Ebola. The charity says more research is needed and it is to use the drug outside a trial environment.
The company, meanwhile, is looking to accelerate production of the drug by collaborating with Ibio Inc (IBIO) and Caliber Biotherapeutics.
That same year, the virus was also discovered in South Sudan.The Ebola virus is extremely rare. 5) You can get the virus by eating wild animals infected with Ebola or coming into contact with their bodily fluids. In December 2014, a health worker returning from Sierra Leone to Glasgow, Scotland, was diagnosed with the virus. The WHO classifies a suspected case as any person, dead or alive, who had Ebola-like symptoms. Compared with the leading causes of death in Africa, Ebola only accounts for a tiny fraction of deaths.
It's believed that the fruit bat is the animal reservoir for Ebola and that when it's prepared for a meal or eaten raw, people get sick. A probable case is any person who had symptoms and contact with a confirmed or probable case.The ministry of health compiles and crunches this information and sends it to the WHO country office. So this Ebola epidemic has served as a reminder of just how slow and poorly coordinated our global responses to outbreaks are, and this is a problem because any infectious diseases expert will tell you that the best way to stop an outbreak is to contain it early.
This trial was recently stopped as Ebola cases fell.Other drugs such as ZMapp have attracted attention during the outbreak. People are much more likely to die from AIDS, respiratory infections, or diarrhea, as you can see.
That office reports that to the WHO's regional Africa office in Brazzaville, Congo, and that message is passed along to Geneva, home to WHO's headquarters. Scientists hope to recruit 10,000 people to be given the GSK vaccine, 10,000 to receive the Merck jab and a further 10,000 to get a dummy, placebo vaccine.
And researchers will have rely on thousands of volunteers to test these as yet experimental jabs. However, if you cook a bat infected with Ebola and then eat it, you won't get sick because the virus dies during cooking.6) You can get Ebola through contact with a contaminated surface.
He recovered and was released from Bellevue Hospital in New York in November.That month, Sierra Leonean surgeon and permanent resident of the US Dr. Martin Salia was flown to Nebraska Medical Center after catching Ebola while working in a Freetown hospital.
Further testing is underway to see whether the immunizations actually offer protection against the disease. There are also practical issues to take into account - some of the immunisations need to be kept at minus 80C in hot countries with limited access to electricity.But if all these obstacles are overcome and a vaccine is found to work, there is hope a jab could be more widely available towards the end of 2015. But if it isn't caught, it can live outside the body on, say, a doorknob or countertop for several hours.
So maybe it could be in a tiny little tick or insect that lives on the body of a bat, and then it's infecting the bat and the bat infects a human.
He was already in critical condition when he arrived, and he died two days later.Nebraska Medical Center also took in Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance cameraman who was infected with Ebola while working in Liberia with NBC News. So you'd need to touch an infected surface and then put your hands into your mouth or eyes to get Ebola.This is why the funerals of Ebola victims are problematic. Since the virus can live in bodily fluids on their body, if you participate in the ritual washing of an Ebola victim and then touch your hands to your face, you could get the virus. Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian American, got Ebola in Liberia, where he worked at the Ministry of Finance. He died in Lagos, Nigeria, in July.Another health worker was flown back from Sierra Leone for treatment at NIH in March 2015, and discharged, virus-free, a month later.



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