[Click here] for all of Probaway’s EBOLA posts arranged by date. The recent posts will be at the top, and there is good information covered earlier and not repeated.
According to the WHO – Ebola Situation Report – 5 August 2015 – “There were 2 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in the week to 2 August.” Almost 2000 contacts remain under observation, and one of those carriers traveled to several different cities, and many new cases could occur along her route. There are other high-risk transmission events that have occurred in the previous weeks among the two hundred and fifty million people living in West Africa. Traditional burials where friends and relatives touch the dead body in a goodbye pat are extremely dangerous. All of these contacts must be monitored and quickly dealt with if they get sick.
The great efforts using traditional medical techniques of identification, isolation and treatment of this disease succeeded in bringing it under control. It was done at enormous cost of effort and money, and there were over five hundred deaths of medical personnel. The public must praise all of these wonderful people who fought against this deadly disease! It saddens me when the news media, which always reports the hurtful instead of the helpful news, are now condemning the very people who are saving the world from disasters.
The creation of an effective EVD vaccine is one of the good things to come out the disaster in West Africa. There are ten different drugs in development at this time, but it takes time to verify each one’s safety and effectiveness. The rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine appears to protect people exposed to EVD, and there is now enough of it available to give all of those potentially exposed a vaccination. The vaccine must be given before the disease manifests symptoms as it takes a few weeks to reach full protection. Having received a vaccination a few days before any symptoms appear would lessen the severity of the disease, and improve the likelihood of survival.
The research and drug communities were given a real-world challenge to develop new techniques for coping with an outbreak, and the newly available CRISPR technique was used for developing new vaccines and drugs. A new problem arose in that the EVD virus has been found in eyes of survivors. It is a location where the virus may survive for a long time after it has been cleared from the blood. Every person who ever had EVD may remain a carrier for a long time, so research needs to be done to totally eliminate the disease. Perhaps the existing new vaccine will be able to clear the virus out of the eye. That isn’t a standard use of a vaccine, but some real-world experiments would give a definitive answer. Some of the other new drugs used for treating the existing disease might enter the eye, or even be injected into the eye.
Another potentially very good thing would be the incentive to create unique digital preparation plans, by WHO and the CDC, for every potential outbreak disease. Those plans would detail specific things to do, and not to do, that could be broadcast to appropriate people the instant there was a single confirmed case. This information packet would include easily update-able contact lists, which even if the exact emails and contact numbers were out of date would at least be a reminder of what to do and who to contact. Those responsible for creating these packets could be informed by testing labs the instant there is a strange disease being tested in the lab, and the appropriate packet could be upgraded for the new disease. That day of analysis in a lab could be used to rediscover those contacts needed, determine what languages would be needed for the information, and locate translators. Most epidemic control procedures would be very similar, but specific information would include how to identify the unique qualities of a disease. The hospitals, bus drivers, taxi drivers, and people who deal with the public should be given information sheets immediately on what they should watch for and whom they should contact.
Although specific situations are still bad, humanity as a whole is healthier than ever before.