Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ebola Setback In Sierra Leone -- One New Fatality; Restarts The Clock

An international team of doctors and epidemiologists, with experts from The University of Bern, the University of Florida, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Public Health England, the European Mobile Laboratories (among others) has arrived in Guinea. This is the same team that just finished a ring-vaccination in Guinea -- vaccinating people against the latest re-appearance of a node of Ebola cases/contacts. The team drove overnight Sunday -- to Kambia District, Sierra Leone, to meet and confer with local health officials and WHO officers.

Later today, in all probability, a new ring vaccination -- once again, deploying Merck/NewLink's single course vaccine candidate will get underway, covering all known/traceable contacts of the 60 year old woman who just passed away. Here's a bit from the local news outlets:

. . . .Detection of a new case of Ebola Virus Disease in Kambia, Sierra Leone after the country had marked almost three weeks of zero cases has set in motion the first ‘ring vaccination’ use of the experimental Ebola vaccine in Sierra Leone.

A team of experts in ring vaccination has travelled from Conakry, Guinea to join a large WHO and Ministry of Health team already in Kambia District. The source of the Ebola virus transmission is being investigated and all the people who may have been in contact with the infected person are being traced.

"Although no one wanted to see more cases of Ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone, we kept all our teams on alert and ready to respond and close down any new transmission" said Dr Anders Nordstrom, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone.

Heightened surveillance for Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone includes swabbing all people who have died at home and testing those swabs for Ebola virus. On Saturday 29th August 2015, a swab taken from a woman who died aged around 60, in the village of Sella, Tonko Limba, Kambia District, tested positive for Ebola virus.

Members of the team currently conducting the ring vaccination trial in Guinea drove from Conakry in Guinea to Kambia on Sunday to begin work. . . .

So it is with all of life, it would seem -- two steps ahead; one back. Ebola has the same Darwinian proclivities as we see in all other life on the planet -- it will mutate, adapt and attempt to survive. Even so -- Onward -- and keep your chin up. . . we (i.e., the collective human race "we") are beating it, bit by bit -- no doubt, now.

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