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G7 Health Ministers Propose Incentives For New Antibiotics, Commit Help On Ebola

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY WATCH by Catherine Saez, Oct, 12, 2015

(Scroll down for Ministers' Statement.)

The health ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) most developed countries have issued a declaration on antimicrobial resistance and Ebola. The governments said they would explore innovative economic incentives to promote research and development of new antibiotics, such as a global antibiotic research fund and a market entry reward mechanism.

The G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States) met from 8-9 October in Berlin and agreed to the Berlin Declaration [pdf] on Antimicrobial Resistance – Global Union for Antibiotics Research and Development (GUARD), aimed at supporting developing countries to develop national antimicrobial resistance action plans.

The G7 health ministers also issued a commitment on lessons learned from Ebola, and supported the 2005 World Health Organization International Health Regulations (IHR), insisting on the need to comply with them.

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Ebola Nurse Pauline Cafferkey 'In Serious Condition'


Pauline Cafferkey previously spent a month in the specialist isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London - October 9, 2015

A Scottish nurse who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone last year is in a "serious condition" after being readmitted to an isolation unit in London.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed that the virus is still present in Pauline Cafferkey's body after being left over from the original infection.

She is not thought to be contagious.


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Ebola countries record first week with no new cases

BBC   Oct. 8, 2015  
(Scroll down for WHO Report.)                     

The three West African countries at the heart of the Ebola epidemic recorded their first week with no new cases since the outbreak began in March 2014.

                               The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 11,000 people

The outbreak has so far killed more than 11,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

New cases have fallen sharply in 2015, but the WHO has warned that the disease could break out again.

Read complete story.


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Why We Must Act Now to Prevent Global Pandemics

submitted by George Hurlburt - by Sania Nishtar - October 7, 2015

The recent, devastating Ebola crisis reminded the world of a hard truth:  Pandemics are not just a threat to human health, they are a threat to societies and economies. That there will be another pandemic is not a question of “if,” but a question of “when.”  A catastrophe on the scale of the 1918 flu epidemic could conceivably wipe out all development gains of the last century.  We recognize this, but, still we are unprepared.


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UN Ebola response now planned to continue into 2016 after initial hopes it would end by 2015

ASSOCIATED PRESS                               Sept. 23, 2015

(Scroll down for links to WHO reports.)

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The United Nations says it's now planning for Ebola response activities to last into 2016, suggesting the battle against the virus won't be over by year-end after all.

In a report released Wednesday by the World Health Organization and its humanitarian partners, health officials said that there are plans for the Ebola response to continue until midyear 2016.

Those so-called Phase 3 efforts include stopping transmission, indicating cases are still anticipated.

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WHO SITUATION REPORT                      Sept. 23, 2015

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Ebola Virus Mutations May Help It Evade Drug Treatment

CLICK HERE - Ebola Virus Mutations May Help It Evade Drug Treatment (2 page .PDF file)

CLICK HERE - Cell Reports - Emergence of Ebola Virus Escape Variants in Infected Nonhuman Primates Treated with the MB-003 Antibody Cocktail

CLICK HERE - Emergence of Ebola Virus Escape Variants in Infected Nonhuman Primates Treated with the MB-003 Antibody Cocktail (11 page .PDF file) - September 11, 2015

Genetic mutations called “escape variants” in the deadly Ebola virus appear to block the ability of antibody-based treatments to ward off infection, according to a team of U.S. Army scientists and collaborators. Their findings, published online this week in the journal Cell Reports, have implications for the continued development of therapeutics to treat Ebola virus disease, which has claimed the lives of over 11,000 people in West Africa since last year.

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Ebola Assay Card | Elisa-Based Diagnostic - Google Science Fair

submitted by Gavin Macgregor-Skinner

Temperature-Independent, Portable, and Rapid Field Detection of Ebola via a Silk-Derived Lateral-Flow System - 2015

I developed a “stable and stored at room temperature” Ebola Assay Card, applicable as an ELISA-based diagnostic for diseases such as HIV, Lyme and certain cancers, that will allow for water-activated, timed-release detection of Ebola antigens, with detection limits that are analogous to current sandwich ELISA techniques. Reagents become chemically “stabilized” when mixed into silk, which enables them to remain “chemically active” without refrigeration. This Ebola Assay Card will allow for shipment and storage without refrigeration, and provide detection of the Ebola viral antigens based on color change in as little as 30 minutes.



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Feds to end Ebola screening for air travelers from Liberia

USA TODAY by Bart Jansen                           Sept. 19, 2015

WASHINGTON – Federal authorities will end mandatory Ebola screening Monday for travelers from Liberia to five U.S. airports, but will continue to scrutinize travelers from Sierra Leone and Guinea, federal officials announced Friday.

The Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection had provided extra screening for more than 30,000 travelers during the past year, after an outbreak of the often fatal disease in West Africa.....

Customs and Border Protection and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agreed to remove Liberia from the list of countries subject to enhanced visa and port-of-entry screening, effective Monday....

The U.S. will maintain extra screening for travelers from Sierra Leone and Guinea, which still see a handful of new cases each week, and for people who traveled through those countries during the previous three weeks.

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Quarantines return as Ebola makes comeback in Sierra Leone

REUTERS    Sept.14, 2015
FREETOWN — Health authorities quarantined hundreds of people in northern Sierra Leone on Monday after a 16-year-old girl died of Ebola in an apparent case of sexual transmission, the first confirmed death from the virus in the district for nearly six months.

Sierra Leone celebrated last month when it discharged the last remaining Ebola patient from its treatment centers. But since then a new spate of cases has erupted, leaving two dead and five people in treatment.

The teenage girl, Kadiatu Thullah, died on Sunday at the International Medical Corps Ebola treatment unit, authorities said.

Emmanuel Conteh, head of the Ebola Response Centre for the district of Bombali in northern Sierra Leone, said that some 690 people in the village of Robuya where Kadiatu lived would be isolated for three

Conteh said health workers were investigating how the teenager got infected, since she had not traveled outside the village in years. Initial suspicions are that she had sex with an Ebola survivor.

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Offline: A pervasive failure to learn the lessons of Ebola

THE LANCET by Richard Horton                         Sept. 12, 2015

LONDON-- Post-Ebola reverie has given birth to a plethora of expert panels to consider what went wrong. The latest parade of global health specialists appointed to learn lessons gathered at the Wellcome Trust in London last week.
 Under the auspices of the US Institute of Medicine (IOM), a Commission to “deliberate and evaluate options to strengthen global, regional, and local systems to better prepare, detect, and respond to epidemic diseases” spent 2 days amassing evidence.

 There was no shortage of experience brought to bear on these important matters. Here were Margaret Chan, Jeremy Farrar, Ilona Kickbusch, David Heymann, Larry Gostin, Joy Phumaphi, Joanne Liu, and Peter Piot all wrestling with a seemingly intractable challenge. The statements offered to the Commission were arresting. But  the purpose of the meeting was not to talk. It was to identify the best system for an epidemic response....
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