viernes, 9 de enero de 2015

Ebola: Mapping the outbreak

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was first reported in March 2014, and has rapidly become the deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery in 1976. In fact, the current epidemic sweeping across the region has now killed more than all other known Ebola outbreaks combined.

Up to 8 January, 8,274 people had been reported as having died from the disease in six countries; Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the US and Mali.

The total number of reported cases is almost 21,000.

Read more at the following BBC site I like

sábado, 8 de noviembre de 2014

Ebola cases down to 1000 new cases per week

From the BBC´s  James Gallagher (Health editor, BBC News website): 

"We may be entering a new phase of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. There is growing - but certainly guarded - talk within the World Health Organization that the overall number of new cases is levelling off.

Officials have told me they now expect the figure to stick at around 1,000 fresh cases each week. It is in sharp contrast to the early phase of the outbreak when the number was doubling every three to four weeks.

BBC map of the Ebola epidemic distribution in West

Back in September, a major report by a team at the WHO and Imperial College London was estimating 20,000 cases by today (November 2). Instead the number of confirmed, probable and suspected cases stands at 13,567.Those early predictions, based on mathematical modelling, were hugely important for making the world pay attention to the severity of the outbreak."

This hints at an unscientific use of mathematical modeling to enfasize the severity of the outbreak. 


viernes, 31 de octubre de 2014

Meet Miss Ebola, Kaci Hickox

Kaci Hickox, also known as Miss Ebola, is the volunteer nurse who has refused to remain in state ordered quarantine. Here she is seen riding her bike in Fort Kent, Maine, followed by a police patrol car: 

Miss Ebola riding her bike in defiance of a state ordered quarantine

I also read that Medicine Sans Frontieres is now issuing statements to criticize state governors who have initiated their own state run quarantine programs. That pretty much shut down any ideas I had to donate to any of their causes. 

This whole mess is now filling with political bullshit, just like global warming, the Middle East, ISIS, and Ukraine. 

domingo, 26 de octubre de 2014

Dr Comatose goes to Africa

To overcome the  lack of training being given to US President Barak Obama, I´ve prepared a simple comic strip to show him why the current policy he´s following is a big mistake. You too can help me by forwarding the link to the media and talking heads who get on TV praising Obama´s policies. They definitely need this simple lesson.

And now, without further comments, Dr Comatose goes to Africa:

sábado, 25 de octubre de 2014

Two U.S. states to quarantine health workers returning from Ebola zones

From Reuters we read a couple of governors grew brains. Maybe brain growth will be contagious and infect president Obama's?

Anyhow, here's the deal:

"(Reuters) - New York and New Jersey will automatically quarantine medical workers returning from Ebola-hit West African countries and the U.S. government is considering the same step after a doctor who treated patients in Guinea came back infected, officials said on Friday.
The steps announced by the two states, which go beyond the current restrictions being imposed by President Barack Obama's administration on travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea, came as medical detectives tried to retrace the steps in New York City of Dr. Craig Spencer, who tested positive for Ebola on Thursday.
The new policy applies to medical workers returning from the region through John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. In the first instance of the new move, a female healthcare worker who had treated patients in West Africa and arrived at the Newark, New Jersey, airport was ordered into quarantine.
"Voluntary quarantine is almost an oxymoron," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "We've seen what happens. ... You ride a subway. You ride a bus. You could infect hundreds and hundreds of people."
Cuomo, who appeared at a news conference with the governor of neighboring New Jersey, Chris Christie, had earlier in the day sought to reassure New Yorkers that Ebola's threat was limited the day after Spencer tested positive for the virus.
NY Post editors sighed with relief as the ny and nj governors grew brains.
In Washington, Obama also sought to reassure a worried public with an Oval Office hug of Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who was declared Ebola-free on Friday after catching the virus from a Liberian patient who died.
As concerns over the possible spread of Ebola eased, U.S. stocks closed out their best week since January 2013. [.N] 
But Republican lawmakers, many of whom for weeks have called for a tougher response to Ebola, continued their criticism of the administration at a congressional hearing.

miércoles, 22 de octubre de 2014

Ebola Vaccine News

The following is an overview of Ebola vaccines and serums under test and/or development. The speed with which these have been created tells me the Ebola epidemic could have been stopped with a much smaller effort if funds had been used several years ago.

Ebola vaccine development (photo NBC News) 

From NBC News

Even though Ebola is burning out of control in West Africa, it’s not a huge potential market for a large pharmaceutical company to sink its teeth — and its assets — into developing. That leaves the U.S. government and small, niche biopharmaceutical companies.

“I don’t see why anybody except the U.S. government would get involved in developing these kinds of countermeasures,” said Dr. Sina Bavari of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland. “There is no market in it.”

More at 

From the Guardian

“WHO aims for Ebola serum in weeks and vaccine tests in Africa by January

Dr Marie Paule Kieny, an assistant director general at the WHO, said the first tens of thousands of Ebola vaccines could be distributed in the first months of the new year. Kieny acknowledged there were many “ifs” remaining and “still a possibility that it [a vaccine] will fail”. But she sketched out a much broader experiment than was imagined only six months ago. “These are quite large trials,” she said.”

More at

From the BBC

Canada is to ship 800 vials of its Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization. The jab can completely protect animals from a fatal dose of the Ebola virus. However, its safety and effectiveness in humans is unknown. Trials began in the US this week and the WHO will conduct further tests in Europe and Africa. The Public Health Agency of Canada said the vaccine could be an "important tool in curbing the outbreak".

The recent Ebola outbreak - the largest in history - has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa. By December, up to 10,000 people a week could be being infected by the virus, the WHO says. There is no cure or proven vaccine, but a number of experimental approaches are being rushed through.

More at


Researchers have devoted lots of time to building a vaccine that could stop the disease altogether — and according to Daniel Bausch, a Tulane professor who researches Ebola and other infectious diseases, they're making really significant progress.

Bausch says that the obstacle to developing an Ebola vaccine isn't the science; researchers have actually made really great strides in figuring out how to fight back against Ebola and the Marburg virus, a similar disease.

"We now have a couple of different vaccine platforms that have shown to be protective with non-human primates," says Bausch, who has received awards for his work containing disease outbreaks in Uganda. He is currently stationed in Lima, Peru, as the director of the emerging infections department of Naval Medical Research Unit 6.

The problem, instead, is the economics of drug development. Pharmaceutical companies have little incentive to pour research and development dollars into curing a disease that surfaces sporadically in low-income, African countries. They aren't likely to see a large pay-off at the end — and could stand to lose money.

More at 

viernes, 17 de octubre de 2014

U.S. lawmakers blast government's Ebola response

(Reuters) - Congressional lawmakers criticized the government's response to Ebola in the United States on Thursday as some called, at a congressional hearing probing efforts to contain the virus, for a ban on travel from epidemic-stricken West Africa.
It´s like Zombies boarding airplanes (scene from WWZ)
Federal Aviation Administration chief Michael Huerta told reporters separately that the United States is assessing whether to issue a travel ban "on a day-to-day basis" but that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had determined that a ban would not address the challenges posed by Ebola.
The congressional hearing comes as concerns about the virus in the United States are accelerating. Several schools in Ohio and Texas were closed after concerns that a nurse with Ebola traveled on a plane with people with ties to the schools.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) said it would take over the care of the first Texas nurse diagnosed with Ebola, Nina Pham, who contracted the virus while treating a man from Liberia who later died.
Lawmakers focused questions and pointed criticism at the hearing on CDC chief Dr. Thomas Frieden.

"The administration did not act fast enough in responding in Texas," Democratic Representative Bruce Braley of Iowa told the hearing. "We need to look at all the options available to keep our families safe and move quickly and responsibly to make any necessary changes at airports."