22 Aug 2014

#UN vows to radically #scaleup #Ebola #fight as ‘invisible’ caseloads are escaping detection (UN, August 22 2014)

[Source: United Nations, full page: (LINK). Edited.]

UN vows to radically scale up Ebola fight as ‘invisible’ caseloads are escaping detection [      ]

22 August 2014

Dr. David Nabarro, Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola who was appointed by the Secretary-General to establish how best the UN can support affected communities, was wrapping up the first leg of a visit to all Ebola-effected countries in West Africa.

In the Liberian capital, Monrovia, this afternoon, he told reporters at the end of his two-day visit that more health workers will be brought to the country to deal with the outbreak, saying “The United Nations is looking at ways to radically scale up support to fight Ebola.”

Dr. Keiji Fukuda, UN World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director-General for Health Security, who is travelling with Dr. Nabarro, said at the press conference: “This is not a hopeless situation.”

Also at the same press conference, Karin Landgren, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of UN Operations in Liberia, said that UN peacekeepers were not involved in quarantining people due to Ebola.

Meanwhile, the Geneva-based WHO said in its latest update that the magnitude of the Ebola outbreak, especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone, has been underestimated for a number of reasons.

In parts of Liberia, WHO said, a phenomenon is occurring that has never before been seen in an Ebola outbreak. As soon as a new treatment facility is opened, it is immediately filled with patients, many of whom were not previously identified.

For example in Monrovia, it said, an Ebola treatment centre with 20 beds, which opened last week, was immediately overwhelmed with more than 70 patients.

“This phenomenon strongly suggests the existence of an invisible caseload of patients who are not being detected by the surveillance system,” the UN health agency said.

WHO said: “Many families hide infected loved ones in their homes. As Ebola has no cure, some believe infected loved ones will be more comfortable dying at home. Others deny that a patient has Ebola and believe that care in an isolation ward – viewed as an incubator of the disease – will lead to infection and certain death.”

The health agency went on to say that in rural villages, corpses are buried without notifying health officials and with no investigation of the cause of death. In some areas, most notably Monrovia, virtually all health services have shut down.

Meanwhile, WHO reiterated that it does not recommend any ban on international travel or trade. It stresses that closing borders doesn’t work and is detrimental, as affected countries will be pushed towards a humanitarian crisis and the international community’s ability to fight and reverse the Ebola outbreak will be hampered.

WHO and the rest of the UN system also continue to highlight that the virus is not airborne and that becoming infected requires direct physical contact with body fluids of people who have been infected or died from Ebola.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue: Humane world cannot let West Africa suffer ‘on such extraordinary scale’ – UN health chief



Aíslan a un #paciente en el #Hospital Clinic de #Barcelona para comprobar si tiene #ébola (rtve.es, August 22 2014)

[Source: RTVE, full page: (LINK).]

Aíslan a un paciente en el Hospital Clinic de Barcelona para comprobar si tiene ébola [      ]

Se trata de un ciudadano senegalés que estuvo en Guinea recientemente - La Generalitat ha puesto en marcha el protocolo de aislamiento  - previsto  - Creen que las posibilidades de que esté infectado "son muy bajas"




#Ebola : l'insoutenable #siège d'un #bidonville en #quarantaine au #Liberia (@LeNouvelObs, August 22 2014)

[Source: Le Nouvel Observateur, full page: (LINK).]

Ebola : l'insoutenable siège d'un bidonville en quarantaine au Liberia [      ]

Coupé du reste de la capitale, West Point est entouré de barbelés, et encerclé par les militaires qui veillent à ce que nul n'en sorte, de peur d'une propagation de l'épidémie.




United #response in #Guangzhou to the deadly threat of #Ebola virus (SCMP, August 22 2014)

[Source: South China Morning Post, full page: (LINK).]

United response in Guangzhou to the deadly threat of Ebola virus [      ]

Authorities in Guangzhou, home to Asia's largest African community, are doing all they can to minimise the risks of an Ebola outbreak after the deadly virus claimed more than 1,300 lives in West Africa since February.




#Ebola virus #disease #update–west #Africa (@WHO, August 22 2014, edited)

[Source: World Health Organization, full page: (LINK). Edited.]

Ebola virus disease update - west Africa [      ]

Disease outbreak news - 22 August 2014


Epidemiology and surveillance

Between 19 and 20 August 2014, a total of 142 new cases of Ebola virus disease (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) as well as 77 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.


Health sector response

Questions have been received in WHO Headquarters about the original proposed budget for the response and the new draft budget, which is being reviewed by partners.

The increase in needed resources is based on improved data and understanding of the situation on the ground in the affected countries.

The new estimation of costs is derived using a unit-cost model, built for the most intense transmission areas and reflects the average operational costs based on the current situation in the affected countries.

The major assumptions for the cost estimates will be announced towards the end of next week.

WHO continues to receive reports of rumoured or suspected cases from countries around the world and systematic verification of these cases is ongoing.

Countries are encouraged to continue engaging in active surveillance and preparedness activities.

As of today, no new cases have been confirmed outside of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, or Sierra Leone.

WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions be applied except in cases where individuals have been confirmed or are suspected of being infected with EVD or where individuals have had contact with cases of EVD. (Contacts do not include properly-protected health-care workers and laboratory staff.)

Temporary recommendations from the Emergency Committee with regard to actions to be taken by countries can be found at: IHR Emergency Committee on Ebola outbreak in west Africa


Disease update

Confirmed, probable, and suspect cases and deaths from Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, as of 20 August 2014

[New (1)  - Confirmed – Probable – Suspect – Totals]

  • Guinea
    • Cases – 28 – 443 – 139 – 25 – 607
    • Deaths – 10 – 264 – 139 – 3 – 406
  • Liberia
    • Cases – 110 – 269 – 554 – 259 - 1 082
    • Deaths – 48 – 222 – 267 – 135 – 624
  • Nigeria
    • Cases – 1 – 12 – 0 – 4 – 16
    • Deaths – 1 – 5 – 0 – 0 – 5
  • Sierra Leone
    • Cases – 3 – 804 – 40 – 66 – 910
    • Deaths – 18 – 353 – 34 – 5 – 392
  • Totals
    • Cases – 142 - 1 528 – 733 – 354 - 2 615
    • Deaths – 77 – 844 – 440 – 143 - 1 427


1. New cases were reported between 19 and 20 August 2014.

The total number of cases is subject to change due to ongoing reclassification, retrospective investigation, and availability of laboratory results. Data reported in the Disease Outbreak News are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health.



#Saudi Arabia reported no new #MERS-CoV cases but the death of an earlier case in the last 24 hours (@SaudiMOH, August 22 2014, edited)

[Source: Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health, full page: (LINK). Edited.]

#Saudi Arabia reported no new #MERS-CoV cases but the death of an earlier case in the last 24 hours [      ][      ]



New Cases:

  • No reports

Eearlier reported cases discharged from hospital:

  • No reports

Deaths in previously announced cases:

  1. man, 65 years old, foreign citizen, resident in Riyadh, without pre-existing medical condition.





#Marburg virus infection in #nonhuman #primates: Therapeutic #treatment by lipid-encapsulated siRNA (Sci Transl Med., abstract, edited)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Sci Transl Med. 2014 Aug 20;6(250):250ra116. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009706.

Marburg virus infection in nonhuman primates: Therapeutic treatment by lipid-encapsulated siRNA. [      ]

Thi EP1, Mire CE2, Ursic-Bedoya R1, Geisbert JB2, H Lee AC1, Agans KN2, Robbins M1, Deer DJ2, Fenton KA2, MacLachlan I3, Geisbert TW4.

Author information: 1Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, Burnaby, British Columbia V5J 5J8, Canada. 2Galveston National Laboratory, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77550, USA. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77550, USA. 3Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, Burnaby, British Columbia V5J 5J8, Canada. twgeisbe@utmb.edu IMacLachlan@tekmirapharm.com. 4Galveston National Laboratory, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77550, USA. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77550, USA. twgeisbe@utmb.edu IMacLachlan@tekmirapharm.com.



Marburg virus (MARV) and the closely related filovirus Ebola virus cause severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fever (HF) in humans and nonhuman primates with mortality rates up to 90%. There are no vaccines or drugs approved for human use, and no postexposure treatment has completely protected nonhuman primates against MARV-Angola, the strain associated with the highest rate of mortality in naturally occurring human outbreaks. Studies performed with other MARV strains assessed candidate treatments at times shortly after virus exposure, before signs of disease are detectable. We assessed the efficacy of lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery of anti-MARV nucleoprotein (NP)-targeting small interfering RNA (siRNA) at several time points after virus exposure, including after the onset of detectable disease in a uniformly lethal nonhuman primate model of MARV-Angola HF. Twenty-one rhesus monkeys were challenged with a lethal dose of MARV-Angola. Sixteen of these animals were treated with LNP containing anti-MARV NP siRNA beginning at 30 to 45 min, 1 day, 2 days, or 3 days after virus challenge. All 16 macaques that received LNP-encapsulated anti-MARV NP siRNA survived infection, whereas the untreated or mock-treated control subjects succumbed to disease between days 7 and 9 after infection. These results represent the successful demonstration of therapeutic anti-MARV-Angola efficacy in nonhuman primates and highlight the substantial impact of an LNP-delivered siRNA therapeutic as a countermeasure against this highly lethal human disease.

Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

PMID: 25143366 [PubMed - in process]



High Content Image-Based Screening of a #Protease #Inhibitor #Library Reveals Compounds Broadly Active vs RVF Virus & Other HP RNA Viruses (PLoS Negl Trop Dis., abstract, edited)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014 Aug 21;8(8):e3095. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003095. eCollection 2014.

High Content Image-Based Screening of a Protease Inhibitor Library Reveals Compounds Broadly Active against Rift Valley Fever Virus and Other Highly Pathogenic RNA Viruses. [      ]

Mudhasani R, Kota KP, Retterer C, Tran JP, Whitehouse CA, Bavari S.

Author information: Molecular and Translational Sciences Division, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Frederick, Maryland, United States of America.



High content image-based screening was developed as an approach to test a protease inhibitor small molecule library for antiviral activity against Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) and to determine their mechanism of action. RVFV is the causative agent of severe disease of humans and animals throughout Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Of the 849 compounds screened, 34 compounds exhibited ≥50% inhibition against RVFV. All of the hit compounds could be classified into 4 distinct groups based on their unique chemical backbone. Some of the compounds also showed broad antiviral activity against several highly pathogenic RNA viruses including Ebola, Marburg, Venezuela equine encephalitis, and Lassa viruses. Four hit compounds (C795-0925, D011-2120, F694-1532 and G202-0362), which were most active against RVFV and showed broad-spectrum antiviral activity, were selected for further evaluation for their cytotoxicity, dose response profile, and mode of action using classical virological methods and high-content imaging analysis. Time-of-addition assays in RVFV infections suggested that D011-2120 and G202-0362 targeted virus egress, while C795-0925 and F694-1532 inhibited virus replication. We showed that D011-2120 exhibited its antiviral effects by blocking microtubule polymerization, thereby disrupting the Golgi complex and inhibiting viral trafficking to the plasma membrane during virus egress. While G202-0362 also affected virus egress, it appears to do so by a different mechanism, namely by blocking virus budding from the trans Golgi. F694-1532 inhibited viral replication, but also appeared to inhibit overall cellular gene expression. However, G202-0362 and C795-0925 did not alter any of the morphological features that we examined and thus may prove to be good candidates for antiviral drug development. Overall this work demonstrates that high-content image analysis can be used to screen chemical libraries for new antivirals and to determine their mechanism of action and any possible deleterious effects on host cellular biology.

PMID: 25144302 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



#Nigerian who died in #UAE tests negative for #Ebola (Yahoo!, August 22 2014)

[Source: Yahoo!, full page: (LINK).]

Nigerian who died in UAE tests negative for Ebola [      ]

A Nigerian woman with cancer who died in the Emirati capital this week has tested negative for Ebola, the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi said. The 35-year-old woman with advanced cancer had been travelling via Abu Dhabi airport when her health deteriorated.




Dos #casos de #ébola en #Nigeria por #contacto secundario con infectados (@el_pais, August 22 2014)

[Source: El Pais, full page: (LINK).]

Dos casos de ébola en Nigeria por contacto secundario con infectados [      ]

El ébola se expande lentamente y de forma muy controlada en Nigeria. El Ministerio de Salud ha anunciado este viernes de que dos nuevos casos han sido registrados y que se trata de los primeros infectados por contacto secundario con enfermos.