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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Ebola Again

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2018 at 2:51am
Not a lot of real information seems to be coming out of the DRC at the moment.  But, at least, the health messages seem to be getting through.]

Church in Congo suspends sacraments during Ebola outbreak

Jun 7, 2018

CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2018 at 3:49pm

'Strong progress' in calming Congo Ebola outbreak: WHO

9 Jun, 2018 4:45am

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — "Strong progress" has been made in calming Congo's deadly Ebola outbreak in a city of 1.2 million and in the rural outpost where the epidemic was declared one month ago, the World Health Organization said Friday, but now the focus turns to "some of the most remote territory on Earth."

Health officials expressed cautious optimism as the pace of new cases has slowed. Congo's health ministry late Thursday announced a new confirmed Ebola case, bringing the total to 38, including 13 deaths.

The new case is in the remote Iboko health zone in Congo's northwest. Health workers also have been chasing contacts of those infected in Mbandaka city, a provincial capital on the heavily traveled Congo River, and in Bikoro town where the outbreak was declared.

While Ebola's spread to a major city has complicated efforts to track all contacts of those infected, the presence of the virus in Iboko poses another world of problems.

The forested terrain is so rough that even four-wheel-drive vehicles can't reach the area, which has no electricity, WHO's emergency response chief Peter Salama told reporters in Geneva. Motorcycles are only now arriving and health workers are sleeping 15 to 20 people to a tent.

"This is a major logistical and boots-on-the-ground epidemiological endeavor now," Salama said, adding that work there will go on for weeks.

WHO has vaccinated more than 1,000 people over the past two weeks in all areas of the outbreak, including health workers who are at high risk. The virus spreads via bodily fluids of infected people, including the dead.

"There's been very strong progress in the outbreak response, particularly in relation to two of three sites," Salama said. "Phase one, to protect urban centers and towns, has gone well and we can be cautiously optimistic."

He warned, however, that experts are not in a position to document all chains of transmission of the virus, so "there may still yet be unknown chains out there and there may still be surprises in this outbreak."

This is Congo's ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976, when the hemorrhagic fever was first identified.

WHO said it is supporting emergency response and preparedness efforts by nine neighboring countries. Republic of Congo and Central African Republic are closest to the outbreak and are highest priority, but Congo is also bordered by Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

WHO says the Ebola response will cost more than $15.5 million over nine months.

Source:   https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12067268

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2018 at 2:37am

Congo Ebola outbreak: WHO records 62 cases, 27 deaths



NEW YORK - World Health Organisation (WHO) experts said they have recorded 62 Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during this latest outbreak, with 38 confirmations and 27 deaths.

Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response of WHO, Dr Peter Salama reported in Geneva that “very strong progress” in response to the Ebola outbreak in the DRC, one month after the start of the diseases.

He said that the first phase – protecting urban centres and towns – “has gone well, and we can be cautiously optimistic.”

“There have been 62 Ebola cases in the DRC during this latest outbreak, with 38 confirmations and 27 deaths.

“The latest case, confirmed on Thursday, was in the remote Iboko health zone in the northwest, an indication that the outbreak is ongoing, he said.

Salama, who just returned from a two-day visit to the DRC said: “There’s been very strong progress in the outbreak response, particularly in relation to two of the initial three sites: Mbandaka and Bikoro”.

Mbandaka, in northwest DRC, has a population of around one million,and it is the capital of Equateur province, where the small town of Bikoro also is located.

“We’re cautiously optimistic but there’s a lot of very tough work to do in phase two before we say that we’re on the top of this outbreak and we’ve learned the hard way in the past never to underestimate Ebola,” Salama said.

He said the focus now was on rural isolated communities in the Iboko health zone which would present logistical and other challenges.

Salama described it as among the most remote territory on Earth, mainly inhabited by indigenous populations, while WHO currently has 80 staff in the area.

“We’re talking about an enormous logistical effort required to reach every alert of a case. And then if there is a confirmation of a case, every contact of those cases,” he explained. (NAN)


Source:  https://www.enca.com/africa/congo-ebola-outbreak-who-records-62-cases-27-deaths

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 11 2018 at 11:48am
In tracking filovirus reservoirs, fruit bats have been implicated for ebola, though apparently no virus has yet been isolated. Since VSV-EBOV is based on VSV, and VSV-Indiana was originally isolated from a cow in July of 1925, the Salmonella connection to Mbandaka links US and UK. Salmonella has been isolated from fruit bats in India: Pteropus.

Salmonella mbandaka
' A single isolate of S. mbandaka exhibted multidrug resistance to tetracycline, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and ampicillin....'

UK / Cattle / Animal Feed
'....We show that UK isolates of S. mbandaka is comprised of one of clonal lineage which is adapted to proficient utilisation of metabolites from soya beans under ambient conditions.'

This links to Australia, for the progenitor plant which is ancestor to the soybean:

Novel RNA Viruses Within Plant Parasitic Cyst Nematodes
journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0193881
'....SCN (soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines) NLV and BLV are negative-sense RNA viruses....An additional viral genome was identified from Globodera pallida (potato cyst nematode). The virus is a picorna-like virus, a positive-sense virus.'

This links to polio (picornavirus) vaccinations at Mbandaka (formerly Coquilhatville). 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 12 2018 at 1:59pm
If ebola is vectored by fruit bats, though no virus has yet to be found infecting them, then bat flies are suspect. Nipah virus infects Eidolon dupreanum, though E. helvum is infected by Lagos bat virus, which is the link to HIV-2.

'No. 73  Lagos Bat Virus

Isolated by L.R. Boulger, Lagos, Nigeria.

Time of Collection: Feb 1956

Susceptibility to Experimental Infection:  Monkey (Cercocebus torquatus torquatus), 5th passage, no evidence of infection.'
(Catalogue of Arboviruses of the World)

Just as HIV-2 does not affect sooty mangabeys, Lagos bat virus (Rhabdoviridae) does not seem to affect other mangabeys such as C. torquatus.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2018 at 9:36am

Democratic Republic of Congo: Ebola Virus Disease - External Situation Report 10

Report
from World Health Organization
Published on 12 Jun 2018 

1. Situation Update

The outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains active. One month into the response, there is cautious optimism about the situation in Bikoro and Wangata (especially Mbandaka) health zones where the last confirmed EVD case was reported on 16 May 2018. The primary focus of the response has moved from the urban areas of Equateur Province to the most remote and hard-to-reach places in Itipo and the greater Iboko Health Zone.

On 10 June 2018, two new suspected EVD cases were reported in Iboko Health Zone. Thirteen laboratory specimens (from suspected cases reported previously) tested negative. No new confirmed EVD cases and no new deaths have been reported on the reporting date. Since 17 May 2018, no new confirmed EVD cases have been reported in Bikoro and Wangata health zones, while the last confirmed case was reported in Iboko Health Zone on 2 June 2018.

Since the beginning of the outbreak (on 4 April 2018), a total of 55 EVD cases and 28 deaths (case fatality rate 50.9%) have been reported, as of 10 June 2018. Of the 55 cases, 38 have been laboratory confirmed, 14 are probable (deaths for which it was not possible to collect laboratory specimens for testing) and three are suspected. Of the confirmed and probable cases, 27 (52%) are from Iboko, followed by 21 (40%) from Bikoro and four (8%) from Wangata health zones. A total of five healthcare workers have been affected, with four confirmed cases and two deaths.

The outbreak has remained localised to the three health zones initially affected: Iboko (24 confirmed cases, 3 probable, 2 suspected, 7 deaths), Bikoro (10 confirmed cases, 11 probable, 1 suspected, 18 deaths) and Wangata (4 confirmed cases, 3 deaths).

The number of contacts requiring follow-up is progressively decreasing with many completing the required follow-up period. As of 10 June 2018, a total of 634 contacts were under follow up, of which 633 (99.8%) were reached on the reporting date.

Context

On 8 May 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo notified WHO of an EVD outbreak in Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province. The event was initially reported on 3 May 2018 by the Provincial Health Division of Equateur when a cluster of 21 cases of an undiagnosed illness, involving 17 community deaths, occurred in Ikoko-Impenge health area. A team from the Ministry of Health, supported by WHO and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), visited Ikoko-Impenge health area on 5 May 2018 and found five case-patients, two of whom were admitted in Bikoro General Hospital and three were in the health centre in Ikoko-Impenge. Samples were taken from each of the five cases and sent for analysis at the Institute National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB), Kinshasa on 6 May 2018. Of these, two tested positive for Ebola virus, Zaire ebolavirus species, by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 7 May 2018, and theoutbreak was officially declared on 8 May 2018. The index case in this outbreak has not yet been identified and epidemiologic investigations are ongoing, including laboratory testing.

This is the ninth EVD outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo over the last four decades, with the most recent one occurring in May 2017.

Source:   https://reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/democratic-republic-congo-ebola-virus-disease-external-situation-8
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2018 at 1:30pm
There seems no published reports of fruit-bat eating habits in the areas of interest for this latest outbreak. Feline immunodeficiency virus links to big cats and jungle cats such as leopards, linking "cat scratch fever" (Bartonella) to Nipah virus (Paramyxoviridae) and fruit bats:

Exposure to Bat-Associated Bartonella
'....128,000 bats on average, are hunted for food yearly in southern Ghana alone. Serologic evidence of human infections with novel paramyxoviruses from Eidolon helvum supports concerns regarding this contact.'

During rubber-exploiting years in the Congo, the workers slept in wooden cages constructed from available materials, which were not always effective against leopards. Thomas Duncan's ebola med, brincidofovir, is the ether lipid analogue of cidofovir. Cidofovir potently inhibits cytomegalovirus. Congo chevrotain (Tragulus) mothers teach their young to eat the twigs of Pycnanthus, which anti-cytomegalovirus compounds include dihydroguaiaretic acid.

(Hungary, 2010) Dihydroguaiaretic Acid / CMV


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2018 at 2:32pm
CMV-Based Ebola Vaccine
(Hamilton, Montana; Devon, UK; Braunschwieg, Germany; Riverside, California; Portland, Oregon)

The chevrotainian "ghost sequence" from Pycnanthus (Myristaceae) is the signal for myristoylation, Gly-Ala-Gly-X-Ser, linking poliovirus and rhinovirus inhibitors:

(May 2018) Poliovirus/Rhinovirus Inhibitors

(1988) Anti-HIV-1 / Myristoylation
'....inhibited the myristoylation of the proteolytic cleavage of the gag-coded polyprotein Pr53gag to p24 but did not affect the processing of gp160.'

'p. 728:  At some time in late 1959 or early 1960, a (polio vaccination) campaign was staged at the large town of Coquilhatville ("Coq," now Mbandaka) in Equateur Province.

p. 738:  Equally, we know that one of the last campaigns in the Congo, that at Coquilhatville (Mbandaka), the one that Courtois later hoped to have monitored by the CDC, does not correlate with the early spread of HIV-1, for a retrospective test of 250 sera taken from Mbandaka in 1969 revealed no HIV positives.' 
(Hooper, The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV/AIDS)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2018 at 10:22am
VSV-EBOV, a Diptera-based vaccine compares with CMV-based vaccines, because some bat fly parasites are blind. Thus, Iboko, for example, links to CMV retinitis:

Iboko / CMV Retinitis
'....CMV retinitis (6%)....cataract and glaucoma constituted a public health problem in this rural area of Zaire.'

One reason Tragulus mothers teach their young to eat Pycnanthus twigs is here:

(May 2018 India)  Newborn Glaucoma / CMV

Nigeria / CMV Retinitis / HIV-AIDS

Having mentioned the "ghost sequence" for myristoylation, one link to poliovirus and rhinovirus is here:

Anti-Poliovirus N-Myristoylation

Ebola and Marburg are Mononegavirales. Mononegavirales sequences found in the soybean cyst nematode, link the Tragulus-Pycnanthus assemblage:

(2014 Mississippi State University)  Heterodera glycines Myristoylation

Thus, the progenitor of the soybean in Australia may have reacted against a Mononegavirales vector sometime during evolution.

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