The Ebola virus disease can now be treated. The PALM clinical trial – implemented between 2018 and 2020 in the DRC – has evaluated four drug candidates. Two of them – Inmazeb and Ebanga – were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in October and December 2020 to treat the Ebola virus disease caused by the Ebola virus. They are made available to patients by the World Health Organization (WHO) during Ebola outbreaks and aren’t available in the market.
Covid has led to pandemic fatigue, but for both humanitarian and self-interested reasons, global governments must help.
The outbreak was caused by the Sudan strain of the virus, which has no approved vaccine or drug treatment. Scientists are now rushing to begin clinical trials in the coming weeks.
This current outbreak is happening just at the end of the peak of the COVID pandemic, which we think we managed successfully. We are quickly repurposing some of the infrastructure we used for COVID for Ebola.
Uganda borders on regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo that have suffered numerous outbreaks of Ebola. The last of these was reported in August 2022. Uganda itself has experienced several past outbreaks. For these reasons the country has developed a functional surveillance system to flag and confirm suspicious cases early.
“It’s premature to say that this is a curative treatment. We should be optimistic, but not overstate.”
Treatment advances helped many more survive the disease, but may have seeded fresh flare-ups
It is a feat that built on the work of scientists in multiple countries on three continents who toiled in obscurity for years. And it ensured that when future outbreaks strike, health workers have a crucial new tool at their disposal.
Ebola won’t kill us all, but something else might. Like everything living on Earth, viruses must evolve to survive. That is why avian influenza has provoked so much anxiety; it has not yet mutated into an infection that can spread easily. Maybe it never will, but it could happen tomorrow.
Because this epidemic was unprecedented, appearing in three countries simultaneously and in highly populated urban areas, predictions of just how bad the outbreak could get ranged widely.
A new outbreak shows that despite the hard lessons of 2014, more needs to be done
Although not much is being said about Ebola these days, one shouldn’t come away with the view that we are totally unprepared for another outbreak. While R&D takes time, we hopefully will soon have vaccines and drugs to aid in another Ebola outbreak
Something needs to be done about Ebola, and it is Christmas. So, spend a dollar, download a song, and save a life.
The book "The Hot Zone" and more recently the film "Outbreak" have brought public attention to the reality of emerging viruses and potentially disastrous epidemics. It can be difficult to tell fact from fiction with these kind of sources.
I wouldn’t be worried to sit next to someone with the Ebola virus on the Tube, as long as they don’t vomit on you or something - Peter Piot, co-discoverer of Ebola 1976
The global health threats posed by recent viral epidemics, such as avian flu, H1N1, Ebola and Zika, have been happening too frequently to be dismissed as coincidental.
Unless the global public health community invests in and develops better health systems that provide for the poor, such viruses will continue to spread and have severe effects.
The Ebola epidemic that tore through West Africa in 2014 claimed 11,310 lives, far more than any previous outbreak. A combination of factors contributed to its savagery, among them a mobile population, crumbling public health systems, official neglect and hazardous burial practices.
But new research suggests another impetus: The virus may have evolved a new weapon against its human hosts. In studies published on Thursday in the journal Cell, two teams of scientists report that a genetic mutation may have made Ebola more deadly by improving the virus’s ability to enter human cells.
Discovering Ebola's host or hosts–called natural reservoirs–could also help scientists predict outbreaks and develop safety measures.
Some scientists have suggested that bats are Ebola's natural reservoirs, and there is some evidence to support this theory.
Local wars make it much harder to stop an epidemic from going global.
An Ebola outbreak is never good news. But there is some reason not to fear the worst just yet. To start, with the DRC has a long history with Ebola (unlike the West African countries where the 2014 to 2015 outbreak originated). This would be the ninth known Ebola outbreak to strike the DRC, including one that involved five confirmed cases last year and was quickly stamped out. So that means health officials are experienced in spotting the virus and preventing it from spreading.
Conspiracy theories are highly contagious. Here's why they're wrong.
Understanding how Ebola disease outbreaks are exacerbated by sexual transmission is important to stop new chains of transmission and to prevent the disease from spreading to new geographic regions.
Multiple reports strongly suggest that re-emergence of Ebola disease is linked to persistent infections and sexual transmission from survivors.
As the Ebola epidemic rages, two questions have emerged: How did the deadly virus escape detection for three months? And why has a massive international effort failed to contain it?
But when you look at the nitty-gritty details of an Ebola infection, a surprising fact surfaces: The virus isn't what ends up killing you. It's your own immune system.
The head of Liberian organization Traditional Women United for Peace, Mama Tumeh recognized the urgency of the Ebola crisis almost immediately. She quickly jumped into action, working not only to protect Parker Corner, but also to unite other traditional leaders in the fight against the deadly disease. She implemented a host of rules and guidelines for her community to keep the virus out, while also leading outreach programs in other parts of the country.
We have the technology, and we certainly have the money to keep Ebola at bay. What we don't have is communication. What we don't have is a health care system that values preventative care.
I just emerged from the ebola ward. Inside there are three patients with confirmed ebola infection and another 15 or so who are awaiting test results.
I suited up in full protective gear, so that not an inch of skin was showing. An expert from Doctors Without Borders oversaw my suiting-up.
The emergency in the DRC demonstrates that despite all these positive changes, the global response to containing Ebola outbreaks is undermined by the lack of health care and public health infrastructure.
January 28, 2013: For the first time, scientists have found evidence of the African Ebola virus in Asian fruit bats, suggesting that the virus is far more widespread around the world than had been previously known.
An Ebola vaccine is currently being trialled in Uganda. The vaccine, which has two doses, is designed to produce stronger and longer-lasting immune responses. One of the most important things about the vaccine is that it covers different strains of Ebola, which means it can treat more people. It is to be tested in Uganda and also in parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has been battling an outbreak of the disease for more than a year.
The viruses Preston writes about belong to a small family of "thread viruses" named Marburg and Ebola, seemingly primitive particles of RNA (genetic copying instructions) and proteins. Of Ebola's seven proteins, three are vaguely understood and four are "completely unknown — their structure and their function is a mystery."
“Importantly, the study establishes that it is feasible to conduct a randomized, controlled trial during a major public health emergency in a scientifically and ethically sound manner.”
Researchers identified a number of people who were infected with deadly virus but didn’t report being sick.
An experimental vaccine offers total protection against Ebola, according to preliminary results from a large clinical trial.
Among 4,000 vaccinated people, there were no cases of infection. The study concluded that the vaccine – known as 'rVSV-ZEBOV' – is "highly efficacious and safe in preventing Ebola virus disease".
Treatment with monoclonal antibodies is the current standard of care for Ebola. But recurrent infections can occur even after apparently successful treatment, and patients can inadvertently transmit the virus and cause new outbreaks.
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
The DRC's top virologist says the response has been quick, but it started late because of delays in reporting suspected cases.
When I was exposed to the Ebola virus, I spent hours in a peculiar kind of panic.
Imagine a firefighter battling a blaze while the sprinkler system emits gasoline. This is the current state of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
"It's time for the world to learn that Ebola was discovered by a Congolese," he said. "By Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe."
Today, Peter Piot is the director of the prestigious London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He's friends with Muyembe and expresses nothing but admiration for not only his scientific prowess, but the way he has managed public health emergencies.
Nurse Natalie Mounter quit her job in the UK and headed to the heart of the epidemic to volunteer in a hospital in Freetown. Here, we publish her diary entry after her first day...
In a first, the experimental vaccine is being deployed in the DRC to try to stop an outbreak from spreading.
More than 1,000 people have been infected with Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo since August 2018, according to the World Health Organization. The hemorrhagic fever, which is concentrated in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, has killed 629 people as of Sunday. That makes it the second worst Ebola outbreak on record, after the one that began in West Africa in 2014, which infected more than 26,000 and killed an estimated 11,300 people over the course of two years.
Historically, Ebola epidemics have been major news. This one, which is approaching its first anniversary and still going strong, less so. That’s despite the fact that it is the second largest on record, already six times bigger than No. 3. Most outbreaks have involved well under 100 people; in the North Kivu-Ituri outbreak, nearly 2,600 people have been infected and over 1,700 — 67% — have died.
Why isn’t this one getting more attention?
We’re seriously in awe of the Ebola fighters — who earlier this week were named TIME’s Person of the Year — so we jumped at the chance to chat with one.
Finally, the World Health Organization has declared the world’s latest Ebola outbreak a global health emergency. But what, exactly, does that mean?
When news broke this week that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is facing yet another Ebola outbreak, many public health experts were not surprised. The vast central African country has dealt with more outbreaks of this often-fatal hemorrhagic disease than any other nation. Yet exactly why the DRC is hit so often remains an unanswered question.
Healthcare workers are at risk if they treat patients without taking the right precautions to avoid infection.
People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus - in some cases, up to seven weeks after they recover.
A clinical trial conducted during an epidemic in a violent swath of Congo proved two new drugs can sharply reduce death rates
People can be vaccinated against one strain, the Zaire Ebola virus. It became a preventable disease following the validation of one vaccine candidate during the Ca Suffit Ebola clinical trial in 2015 in Guinea. The Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV (called Ervebo®) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in December 2019. This vaccine is given as a single dose vaccine and has been found to be safe and protective with a reported 100% efficacy.
In early 2014, the largest-ever Ebola outbreak started up in Guinea and eventually spread to eight other countries by the following year. It challenged West Africa — and the global health order. Here's what you need to know.
In general, the majority of febrile patients presenting to the ED do not have Ebola Virus Disease, and the risk posed by patients with early, limited symptoms is lower than that from a patient hospitalized with severe Ebola Virus Disease. Nevertheless, because early symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease are similar to other febrile illnesses, triage and evaluation processes in the ED should consider and systematically assess patients for the possibility of Ebola Virus Disease.
Information for healthcare workers and settings.
Ebola is one of the most lethal viruses that infects primates. It has a mortality rate that ranges from 53-88%. It is endemic to Africa and to the Philippines. Due to its highly pathogenic nature, scientific research conducted on Ebola must be conducted in a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory (AIDS/HIV is a Biosafetly Level 2 virus).
Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).
Latest news on viral hemorrhagic fever including Ebola.
DWB’s strategy to control Ebola is organised into six elements: isolation and supportive medical care for cases, including laboratory capacity to confirm infection; safe burial activities in case management facilities and in communities; awareness-raising; alert and surveillance in the community; contact tracing; and access to healthcare for non-Ebola patients, including protection of health facilities and health workers. These activities are interdependent and all must be in place to contain the epidemic.
Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%. It is one of the world’s most virulent diseases. Involving everyone: social mobilization is key in an Ebola outbreak response.
The likelihood of catching Ebola virus disease is considered very low unless you've travelled to a known infected area and had direct contact with a person with Ebola-like symptoms, or had contact with an infected animal or contaminated objects.