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  • richardmitnick 12:13 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Ebola outbreak, , , , You can Help Stamp Out EBOLA   

    From Nature: “Ebola vaccine could get first real-world test in emerging outbreak” 

    Nature Mag

    12 May 2017
    Amy Maxmen

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo has reported nine suspected cases of infection in recent weeks.

    The most recent Ebola epidemic, in West Africa from 2014 to 2016, killed more than 11,000 people. Jane Hahn/Washington Post

    An outbreak of the Ebola virus has emerged in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the World Health Organization (WHO) said on 12 May.

    Ebola virus virion. Created by GC microbiologist Cynthia Goldsmith, this colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion.
    Source Public Health Image Library, #10816

    Congolese authorities have reported nine suspected cases of Ebola infection in the past three weeks; the WHO has confirmed one, and tests are pending on others. Now health officials are considering whether to deploy an experimental Ebola vaccine against the outbreak, for the first time since the WHO gave it preliminary approval in April.

    The aid group Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders) is discussing a potential vaccination campaign with the Congolese government, an MSF spokesperson says.


    That would require the approval of the WHO, which has not decided whether to call on the approved experimental vaccine or others in development, says WHO spokesperson Tarik Jašarević. Still, he says, “we are taking this [outbreak] seriously because Ebola is always serious”. The most recent outbreak of the virus, in West Africa from 2014 to 2016, killed 11,325 people; there have been several known outbreaks in the DRC, but none has been as severe as the West African one.

    There are now 12 candidate Ebola vaccines in development. None is yet approved for sale, in part because the candidates were not ready for testing until the West African Ebola crisis was on the wane. But on 27 April, the WHO’s advisory group on immunization recommended that an experimental vaccine called rVSV-SEBOV be deployed promptly should an Ebola outbreak arise.

    Developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and licensed by the drug companies NewLink Genetics of Ames, Iowa, and Merck of Kenilworth, New Jersey, rVSV-ZEBOV showed promise in a study published in The Lancet last December1. The trial included 11,841 people in Guinea in 2015, near the end of the Ebola outbreak there. None of the 5,837 people who received the vaccine had developed the disease ten days after vaccination. But there were 23 cases among the thousands of other people included in the trial.

    A look ahead

    The deployment of rVSV-ZEBOV may be warranted in the DRC, because the vaccine is based on the Zaire strain of Ebola — the same strain that is driving the current outbreak, says Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. If public-health authorities decide to proceed, there is a supply of rVSV-ZEBPV at the ready: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, signed an agreement with Merck in 2016 to purchase 300,000 doses of vaccine for use in future outbreaks.

    Historically, outbreaks in the DRC have never approached the unprecedented severity of the West Africa epidemic. The most recent Ebola outbreak in the DRC occurred in the Bas-Uele province — the site of the current episode — and killed 49 people over 3 months. The gap in severity is due in part to the DRC’s infrastructure and geography. Whereas people, and the viruses they carry, travel fluidly between Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, rough roads impede movement in many parts of the DRC. This means that outbreaks there kill people, but fizzle out without spreading very far.

    The DRC also benefits from Ebola expertise that its doctors and researchers have built up over the years. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum, director-general of the National Institute for Biomedical Research in Kinshasa, is well known among Ebola experts for curbing the DRC’s first outbreak, in 1976, and many thereafter. He works to engage affected communities immediately, to build their trust in medical teams and to help them understand the importance of not touching others in checking the spread of the virus.

    Muyembe-Tamfum “is probably out there already”, says David Heymann, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He recalls how Muyembe-Tamfum — who could not be reached for comment — helped to contain past outbreaks by telling village chiefs that Ebola was an evil spirit, which passes to people when they touch the infected. “Muyembe talks with people in a way that they will understand quickly,” Heymann says. “He does whatever he believes is effective, and it is.”

    See the full article for references with links.

    See the full article here .

    You can Help Stamp Out EBOLA.

    This WCG project runs at Scripps Institute


    Outsmart Ebola Together

    Visit World Community Grid (WCG). Download and install the BOINC software on which it runs. Attach to the Outsmart Ebola Together project. This will allow WCG to use your computer’s free CPU cycles to process computational data for the project.

    While you are at WCG and BOINC, check out the other very worthwhile projects running on this software. All project results are “open source”, free for the use of scientists world while to advance health and other issues of mankind.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Nature is a weekly international journal publishing the finest peer-reviewed research in all fields of science and technology on the basis of its originality, importance, interdisciplinary interest, timeliness, accessibility, elegance and surprising conclusions. Nature also provides rapid, authoritative, insightful and arresting news and interpretation of topical and coming trends affecting science, scientists and the wider public.

  • richardmitnick 1:52 pm on May 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Ebola outbreak, ,   

    From WCG: Ebola outbreak 

    New WCG Logo


    World Community Grid (WCG)

    The World Health Organization just announced three recent deaths from Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which may grown into a new outbreak of the disease. Please support the Outsmart Ebola Together project and help scientists find better treatments for this deadly virus.

    Outsmart Ebola Together

    You can help researchers at The Scripps Research Institute find a cure for Ebola by donating your computing power to this project and encouraging others to join.

    You can also support the research team by contributing to The Scripps Research Institute’s crowdfunding campaign. The team will use these funds to analyze the enormous volume of data generated by Outsmart Ebola Together and study the most promising drug candidates.

    The Ebola virus is a significant global health threat and is a growing humanitarian crisis in Africa, killing thousands of victims in 2014.


    If not handled properly, an Ebola outbreak can turn into an epidemic, overwhelming regional health services and disrupting trade and the delivery of social services, causing the welfare and economy of a region to deteriorate. The ongoing viral load in the human population increases the likelihood of further mutation. Additionally, the virus’s long incubation period and our highly connected modern world could allow the virus to spread to new geographies and across oceans.

    Currently, there are no approved treatments or vaccines for this deadly disease, and the search for an effective antiviral drug to treat the disease is a high priority. While previous outbreaks have ended when the disease disappeared from the human population, the scope of the 2014 outbreak raises the possibility that the virus, rather than disappearing again, could become endemic – permanently persisting in human populations in one or more areas.

    Outsmart Ebola Together on World Community Grid aims to help researchers at The Scripps Research Institute develop a treatment for Ebola virus. The computational power donated by World Community Grid volunteers is being used to screen millions of candidate drug molecules to identify ones that can disable the Ebola virus.

    See the full article here.

    Ways to access the blog:

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    World Community Grid (WCG) brings people together from across the globe to create the largest non-profit computing grid benefiting humanity. It does this by pooling surplus computer processing power. We believe that innovation combined with visionary scientific research and large-scale volunteerism can help make the planet smarter. Our success depends on like-minded individuals – like you.”
    WCG projects run on BOINC software from UC Berkeley.

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing.

    BOINC WallPaper


    My BOINC
    “Download and install secure, free software that captures your computer’s spare power when it is on, but idle. You will then be a World Community Grid volunteer. It’s that simple!” You can download the software at either WCG or BOINC.

    Please visit the project pages-

    FightAIDS@home Phase II

    FAAH Phase II

    Rutgers Open Zika

    Help Stop TB
    WCG Help Stop TB
    Outsmart Ebola together

    Outsmart Ebola Together

    Mapping Cancer Markers

    Uncovering Genome Mysteries
    Uncovering Genome Mysteries

    Say No to Schistosoma

    GO Fight Against Malaria

    Drug Search for Leishmaniasis

    Computing for Clean Water

    The Clean Energy Project

    Discovering Dengue Drugs – Together

    Help Cure Muscular Dystrophy

    Help Fight Childhood Cancer

    Help Conquer Cancer

    Human Proteome Folding




    World Community Grid is a social initiative of IBM Corporation
    IBM Corporation

    IBM – Smarter Planet

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