Scientists Ask If Ebola Could Be Silently Immunizing Some People While Killing Others

By Kate Kelland and Emma Farge LONDON/DAKAR (Reuters) - A recent sharp drop in new Ebola infections in West Africa is prompting scientists to wonder whether the virus may be silently immunizing some people at the same time as brutally killing their neighbors. So-called "asymptomatic" Ebola cases - in which someone is exposed to the virus, develops antibodies, but doesn't get sick or suffer symptoms - are hotly disputed among scientists, with some saying their existence is little more than a pipe dream. Yet if, as some studies suggest, such cases do occur in epidemics of the deadly disease, they may be a key factor in ending outbreaks more swiftly by giving secret protection to those lucky enough to be able to bat the infection away. "We wonder whether 'herd immunity' is secretly coming up - when you get a critical mass of people who are protected, because if they are asymptomatic they are then immune," Philippe Maughan, senior operations administrator for the humanitarian branch of the European Commission, told Reuters. "The virus may be bumping into people it can't infect any more." Latest World Health Organization data show new cases of infection in West Africa's unprecedented Ebola epidemic dropping dramatically in Guinea, Sierra Leone and particularly in Liberia. Most experts are sure the main driver is better control measures reducing direct contact with contagious patients and corpses, but there may...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news

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DiscussionOur analysis presents the first transmission modelling of cohort data for RSV and we find that it is important to consider the household social structuring and household size when modelling transmission. The increased infectiousness of symptomatic individuals implies that a vaccine against RSV related disease would also have an impact on infection transmission. Together, the weak cross immunity between RSV groups and the possibility of different transmission niches could form part of the explanation for the group co-existence.Graphical Abstract
Source: Epidemics - Category: Epidemiology Source Type: research
A co-owner and four ex-employees of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy were convicted on Thursday of committing frauds and other illegal activities that helped boost its business before a deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak linked to drugs it made.Reuters Health Information
Source: Medscape Medical News Headlines - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Medscape Today News Source Type: news
ConclusionThis review evaluates data regarding the phytopharmaceutical potential of P. pellucida. In general, several important aspects were questionable or missing in these manuscripts, which points out the need of more investigation on the pharmacological properties and phytochemical compositions of this herb.Graphical abstract
Source: Journal of Ethnopharmacology - Category: Drugs & Pharmacology Source Type: research
Across China, the virus that could spark the next pandemic is already circulating. It’s a bird flu called H7N9, and true to its name, it mostly infects poultry. Lately, however, it’s started jumping from chickens to humans more readily–bad news, because the virus is a killer. During a recent spike, 88% of people infected got pneumonia, three-quarters ended up in intensive care with severe respiratory problems, and 41% died. What H7N9 can’t do–yet–is spread easily from person to person, but experts know that could change. The longer the virus spends in humans, the better the chance that i...
Source: TIME.com: Top Science and Health Stories - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized CDC Disease ebola Gates Foundation MERS outbreak pandemic Zika Source Type: news
We examined monthly service use data for eight maternal and child health services indicators: antenatal care (≥1 antenatal care visit and ≥3 antenatal care visits), institutional delivery, and receipt of five infant vaccines: polio, pentavalent (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B virus, and Haemophilus influenzae type b), yellow fever, measles, and tuberculosis. We used interrupted time series models to estimate trends in each indicator across three time periods: pre-Ebola virus disease epidemic (January, 2013, to February, 2014), during-epidemic (March, 2014, to February, 2015) and post-epidemic (March, 201...
Source: The Lancet Global Health - Category: Global & Universal Source Type: research
Abstract The Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers' Network (DCVMN) gathered leaders in immunization programs, vaccine manufacturing, representatives of the Argentinean Health Authorities and Pan American Health Organization, among other global health stakeholders, for its 17th Annual General Meeting in Buenos Aires, to reflect on how vaccines are shaping global health. Polio eradication and elimination of measles and rubella from the Americas is a result of successful collaboration, made possible by timely supply of affordable vaccines. After decades of intense competition for high-value markets, collaborati...
Source: Vaccine - Category: Allergy & Immunology Authors: Tags: Vaccine Source Type: research
This reporting is brought to you by HuffPost’s health and science platform, The Scope. Like us on Facebook and Twitter and tell us your story: scopestories@huffingtonpost.com.  function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTi...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
Abstract INTRODUCTION: The continuous deployments of polio resources, infrastructures and systems for responding to other disease outbreaks in many African countries has led to a number of lessons considered as best practice that need to be documented for strengthening preparedness and response activities in future outbreaks. METHODS: We reviewed and documented the influence of polio best practices in outbreak preparedness and response in Angola, Nigeria and Ethiopia. Data from relevant programmes of the WHO African Region were also analyzed to demonstrate clearly the relative contributions of PEI resources a...
Source: Vaccine - Category: Allergy & Immunology Authors: Tags: Vaccine Source Type: research
LONDON (AP) — An experimental Ebola vaccine tested on thousands of people in Guinea seems to work and might help shut down the waning epidemic in West Africa, according to interim results from a study published Friday. There is currently no licensed treatment or vaccine for Ebola, which has so far killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa since the world's biggest outbreak began in the forest region of Guinea last year. Cases have dropped dramatically in recent months in the other two hard-hit countries, Sierra Leone and Liberia. "If proven effective, this is going to be a game-changer," said Dr. Margar...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
There’s not a war college in the world that couldn’t learn a thing or two from the way viruses operate. They’re stealthy, they’re territorial, they seek and destroy and know just where to hit. And, just when you think you’ve got them beat, they forge an alliance with another of your enemies. That, according to a new paper published Thursday in Science, is what’s poised to happen with Ebola and measles—and it’s the babies and children of Africa who will overwhelmingly pay the price. The Ebola epidemic is by no means over, but it is being contained and controlled. With nearly 2...
Source: TIME.com: Top Science and Health Stories - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Disease ebola epidemics health measles medicine vaccines Virus Source Type: news
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