Paul Stoffels on Ebola

Stepping Up Our Response to Ebola Less than 100 years ago, little could be done to combat global epidemics. In 1917, Spanish influenza swept the world quickly and 50 million people died. Science and medicine significantly lagged behind medical need. The World Health Organization (WHO) and other global health authorities weren’t yet formed to help coordinate a response. And governments were without options. Since then, innovation in R&D has significantly advanced vaccine research and production. Today, we are faced with the threat of a new global epidemic—the Ebola virus. The global health community must work in lockstep and with urgency to stop the spread of the disease. Within the private sector, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies are mounting one of the largest scale responses to a public health threat in history. Together, we are accelerating the innovation, development and production of new Ebola medicines and vaccines. For our part, Johnson &Johnson just announced a major $200 million commitment of resources, including a promise to produce as much of our experimental Ebola vaccine regimen as we possibly can.  We have committed a large, full-time team to the job of testing, scaling up and manufacturing the vaccine.  We expect to have more than one million doses of the vaccine regimen in 2015, with 250,000 ready for broad clinical trial application by May. But without the help of governments, aid organizations and health authorities, our effo...
Source: PHRMA - Category: Pharmaceuticals Authors: Source Type: news

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In “The Pandemic Century” Mark Honigsbaum covers nine outbreaks that shaped how we think and respond to diseases.
Source: NYT Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Books and Literature The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris (Book) Mark Honigsbaum Epidemics Influenza SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) Ebola Virus Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Source Type: news
Have you ever thought that it would be possible to monitor drug overdoses, Zika cases or the spread of the flu in real time? Have you ever imagined that satellites wouldbe able to tell how and where a malaria epidemic will happen months before the actual outbreak? It is mind-blowing how, in the last years, digital maps developed to a level where they serve as effective tools for evaluating, monitoring and even predicting health events. That’s why I decided to give a comprehensive overview of digital maps in healthcare. John Snow, cholera and the revolution of maps in healthcare Before Game of Thrones monopolized Joh...
Source: The Medical Futurist - Category: Information Technology Authors: Tags: Future of Medicine Healthcare Design Mobile Health digital health digital technology epidemics epidemiology gc4 Innovation interactive maps Source Type: blogs
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
Abstract Deterministic and stochastic methods relying on early case incidence data for forecasting epidemic outbreaks have received increasing attention during the last few years. In mathematical terms, epidemic forecasting is an ill-posed problem due to instability of parameter identification and limited available data. While previous studies have largely estimated the time-dependent transmission rate by assuming specific functional forms (e.g., exponential decay) that depend on a few parameters, here we introduce a novel approach for the reconstruction of nonparametric time-dependent transmission rates by projec...
Source: Bulletin of Mathematical Biology - Category: Bioinformatics Authors: Tags: Bull Math Biol Source Type: research
Conclusion This study has identified a substance in the mucus secreted by a south Indian frog which can kill certain types of flu virus. Researchers often turn to natural substances with known health-giving properties to find potential new drugs for humans. For example, aspirin was developed based on a compound found in willow bark – which had been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years. Some other drugs – such as some chemotherapy and anticlotting drugs – have also been developed from chemicals found in plants. By isolating the substances that have an effect the researchers can make sure...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Medication Medical practice Source Type: news
Discussion We applied simple phenomenological models applied to surveillance data of Zika cases from Antioquia, Colombia, to forecast the size of the Zika epidemic and evaluate the reproduction number within the first two disease generations. Using the GRM model that incorporates the possibility of sub-exponential growth dynamics22, we were able to generate reasonable forecasts of epidemic size within 22% of observed values based on 30 days of epidemic data. By contrast, the logistic growth model consistently underestimated the epidemic size and was not able to capture the early growth phase of the Zika epidemic, which exh...
Source: PLOS Currents Outbreaks - Category: Epidemiology Authors: Source Type: research
Abstract: History provides us several illustrations where epidemic outbreaks have led to biological disasters. Accidental or deliberate release of harmful micro-organisms can also lead to biological disasters. With the advent of bio-terrorism, there is a growing realisation that biological agents can also be used as weapons of mass destruction. The spread of Spanish Influenza of 1917-18, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) / Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Swine Flu (H1N1), Avian Influenza (H5N1), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), dengue, chikunguniya, Ebola o...
Source: International Journal of Infectious Diseases - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Tags: Type: Invited Presentation Source Type: research
Conclusions Our findings reveal significant variation in epidemic growth patterns across different infectious disease outbreaks and highlights that sub-exponential growth is a common phenomenon, especially for pathogens that are not airborne. Sub-exponential growth profiles may result from heterogeneity in contact structures or risk groups, reactive behavior changes, or the early onset of interventions strategies, and consideration of “deceleration parameters” may be useful to refine existing mathematical transmission models and improve disease forecasts.
Source: Epidemics - Category: Epidemiology Source Type: research
In conclusion the recent adverse reactions to EVD in Western Africa have not been new to history or unique to Africa. Instead, the distrust and violence seen in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in 2014/15 parallel Europe’s long encounters with cholera from 1830 into the twentieth century. This European past combined with recent events in West Africa can provide lessons for policy makers. First, authorities and health workers must recognize that some diseases have greater potential to spark distrust and violence than others, and the former tend to be ones with high fatality rates, when victims enter health facilities...
Source: PLOS Currents Outbreaks - Category: Epidemiology Authors: Source Type: research
Researchers at EcoHealth Alliance used mathematical models to gauge the effects of an outbreak on the distribution of food.
Source: NYT Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Famine Epidemics Food Influenza Spanish flu Ebola Virus pandemic starvation Source Type: news
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