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Ebola Watch!

For every step forward, there's a setback.

'Congolese authorities have confirmed a new case of Ebola in the remote, militia-controlled town of Walikale, hundreds of kilometres away from where previous cases near the border with Uganda and Rwanda occurred, the Health Ministry said overnight. Walikale lies about 200 km (125 miles) west of Goma, one of the towns affected by the Ebola epidemic, and much further away from the epicentre of the epidemic in Butembo and Beni.

'The ministry also confirmed a third case in South Kivu region, more than 700 km (430 miles) south of where the first case was detected.'


 
The unfortunate consequences of dealing with people with an "ostrich head in the sand" mentality.

Or that as someone in apparently regular employment, he might have been worth the trouble of burgling. Another murdered journo to add to the toll.
 
Some good news on the ebola front for a change, if it can be distributed without astronomical costs.

'This week the European Commission gave approval to a Ebola vaccine — an act that the World Health Organization calls landmark moment for global health and a likely game-changer in the battle against this deadly disease. This is the first time an Ebola vaccine has been licensed anywhere in the world. The next step, prequalification by the World Health Organization, is expected within days. Prequalification means WHO is satisfied with the vaccine’s quality, safety and effectiveness.'

 
As it has well and truly been relegated to the back pages, a timely reminder that Ebola hasn't gone away.

'WHO said although signs are now “extremely positive” in Congo that the ebola outbreak is winding down, the epidemic remains a global health emergency. WHO defines a global emergency as an “extraordinary event” that constitutes a risk to other countries and requires a co-ordinated international response. Last July, the global health body declared it a “public health emergency of international concern” – a designation which gave WHO greater powers to restrict travel and boost funding.

'To date, ebola has killed more than 2200 people in the DRC, making it the second-deadliest epidemic in history. The decision to maintain WHO’s global emergency declaration for ebola came after a meeting on Wednesday of WHO’s ebola expert committee. “As long as there is a single case of ebola in an area as insecure and unstable as eastern (Congo), the potential remains for a much larger epidemic,” said Dr Tedros. “It’s not over. Any single case could reignite the epidemic.” For the epidemic to be declared over, there have to be no new cases reported for 42 days — double the incubation period.

“Although the world is now focused on coronavirus, we cannot and must not forget ebola,” Dr Tedros said, adding that he would travel to the DRC on Thursday to meet President Felix Tshisekedi and senior government officials to discuss ways to strengthen the country’s health care system.'


 
A coronabola mix would be quite the cheeky messenger of death

A measles/COV mix would be better (well, worse really) killer as measles has a very high reproduction rate (Ro approx 20). Ebola has a much lower one (Ro approx 1-2) but does have a much higher case fatality.

The reproduction rate is probably more important than the mortality rate. This is shown by “normal” flu which kills thousands of times more people than Ebola. And does it year in, year out.

For an ambitious young virus, keen to do well in the world, its much better to kill a lower percentage of a much greater pool of infected than to instantly kill everything it touches (although such a thing might make a good weapon, as long as it’s not persistent).

In the absence of a vaccination or cure (which respectively reduce susceptibility/duration of infection) all you can really do is reduce the opportunity for infection (quarantine) and reduce the likelihood of transmission (masks, hand washing etc).

Conversely, if you want to spread a virus (an online viral marketing campaign for example) you want to maximise all these variables. One man’s meat is another man’s poison - literally in the case of COVID.
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
A measles/COV mix would be better (well, worse really) killer as measles has a very high reproduction rate (Ro approx 20). Ebola has a much lower one (Ro approx 1-2) but does have a much higher case fatality.

The reproduction rate is probably more important than the mortality rate. This is shown by “normal” flu which kills thousands of times more people than Ebola. And does it year in, year out.

For an ambitious young virus, keen to do well in the world, its much better to kill a lower percentage of a much greater pool of infected than to instantly kill everything it touches (although such a thing might make a good weapon, as long as it’s not persistent).

In the absence of a vaccination or cure (which respectively reduce susceptibility/duration of infection) all you can really do is reduce the opportunity for infection (quarantine) and reduce the likelihood of transmission (masks, hand washing etc).

Conversely, if you want to spread a virus (an online viral marketing campaign for example) you want to maximise all these variables. One man’s meat is another man’s poison - literally in the case of COVID.

I will point out that recent research into measles has suggested that it wipes out your immune system's memory (mechanism of action not yet known), and leaves your innate immune system weakened for months to years. As such a highly infectious but middlingly lethal virus would go through areas with poor vaccination rates for measles like a Soviet Motor Rifle division through the East German Virgins association 1944.
 
Forgotten, but not gone.

'Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during Friday’s briefing in Geneva that a new case of Ebola fever had been documented in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

"Today I convened a meeting of the Emergency Committee on Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After 52 days without a case, surveillance and response teams on the ground have confirmed a new case of Ebola in DRC. We have been preparing for and expecting more cases," he said.

"Unfortunately, this means the government of DRC will not be able to declare an end to the Ebola outbreak on Monday, as hoped. But WHO remains on the ground and committed as ever to working with the government, affected communities and our partners to end the outbreak," he added.'


 
Forgotten, but not gone.

'Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during Friday’s briefing in Geneva that a new case of Ebola fever had been documented in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

"Today I convened a meeting of the Emergency Committee on Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After 52 days without a case, surveillance and response teams on the ground have confirmed a new case of Ebola in DRC. We have been preparing for and expecting more cases," he said.

"Unfortunately, this means the government of DRC will not be able to declare an end to the Ebola outbreak on Monday, as hoped. But WHO remains on the ground and committed as ever to working with the government, affected communities and our partners to end the outbreak," he added.'


They need to stop making love to the bushmeat
 

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