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An expanding list of information resources on Zika virus . . .

CDC - Zika Virus - Case Counts in the US

CDC - Zika Virus - Timeline of "What's New"

CDC Newsroom Releases

HealthMap - 2014 Ebola Outbreaks

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Forty Years Later, Ebola Survivors are Still Making Antibodies to the Lethal Virus


Lab technician and Ebola survivor Sukato Mandzomba (front) worked with Peter Piot (back) in 1976 and again in 2016.  Heidi Larson

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Ebola Virus Neutralizing Antibodies Detectable in Survivors of theYambuku, Zaire Outbreak 40 Years after Infection

sciencemag.org - by Jon Cohen - December 14, 2017

Forty years after the first documented Ebola outbreak, some of the survivors still have antibodies against the virus, a new study reveals. The find bolsters the widely held assumption that Ebola survivors remain immune to the virus for life. The work may also help guide development of new medicines and clarify the long-term health consequences of an Ebola infection.




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Costa Rica Runs Entirely on Renewable Energy for 300 Days

submitted by Jeff Williams


"Eólica" or wind power plant in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. ICE Group / Twitter

ecowatch.com - by Lorraine Chow - November 21, 2017

Costa Rica has charted another clean energy accolade. So far this year, the Central American country has run on 300 days of 100 percent power generation from renewable energy sources, according to the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE), which cited figures from the National Center for Energy Control. . . .

 . . . Costa Rica currently receives 99.62 percent of its electricity from five renewable sources, the highest proportion since 1987. This year, 78.26 percent of electricity came from hydropower, 10.29 percent from wind, 10.23 percent from geothermal energy and 0.84 percent from biomass and solar. 

Costa Rica has emerged as a global environmental leader, with its frequent 100 percent renewable energy streaks and its 2021 goal of becoming carbon neutral—a deadline set a decade ago.


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Where Does the Ebola Virus Hide Between Outbreaks?


Photo by Steve Babuljak

ucsf.edu - by Samantha Ancona Esselmann, Samantha Hindle and Ben Mansky - October 24, 2017

Joe DeRisi, PhD, is a master detective of infectious diseases. No matter how obscure or complex, he says he’ll take on the challenge because “it could lead to new biology that we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.”

That's precisely what happened when he stumbled on a clue to cracking the decades-long search for the place – or creature – where the Ebola virus hides between deadly outbreaks. . . .

 . . . In 2009, DeRisi began studying an incurable disease that was killing reptiles raised in captivity, a disease that caused strange neurological symptoms ranging from vomiting to uncontrollable contortions. They found the culprit – a previously undescribed arenavirus – and uncovered something surprising: the Arenavirus’s glycoprotein, a viral “access badge” to the secure insides of a cell, actually belonged to the Ebola virus.



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Direct Relief - Medical Aid Shipment to Sierra Leone

Direct Relief - August 18, 2017

Direct Relief is sending 10,000 lbs of medical aid to Sierra Leone in response to the recent floods and mudslides.  Items including antibiotics, wound care and rehydration supplies left Direct Relief's warehouse today. Water purification supplies and oral rehydration salts will also be sent to help communities that have lost access to clean water.




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Sierra Leone Floods Kill Hundreds as Mudslides Bury Houses


People may have been asleep when mudslides occurred

bbc.com - August 15, 2017

More than 300 people have been killed in mudslides and flooding near Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown.

A hillside in the Regent area collapsed early on Monday following heavy rains, leaving many houses covered in mud.

A BBC reporter at the scene said many people may have been asleep when the mudslide occurred.

The number of casualties is expected to rise. Locals were reportedly trying to recover bodies from the rubble and mud with their bare hands.



CLICK HERE - Hundreds killed after Sierra Leone mudslide

CLICK HERE - Hundreds Feared Dead After Mudslide In Sierra Leone

CLICK HERE - Hundreds feared dead in Sierra Leone mudslide


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Ebola - West Africa

Liberia - 9 Persons Die Mysteriously In Sinoe County

gnnliberia.com - by Cholo Brooks - April 25, 2017

Police in Sinoe County, southeastern Liberia, are investigation the mysterious death of nine persons after a repass of one late Edwin Dunbar, former Proprietor of One Family Entertainment Center who died few weeks ago in Greenville following a 2-night wake keeping.

According to our contact, those who died mysteriously include five females and four males, our contact said specimens from the nine deceased have been taken to Buchanan, Grand Bassa County for testing to establish the actual cause of death.

As a result of this terrible incident, officers of the Liberia National Police have been deployed in the streets of Greenville using mega phones and requesting those who ate the repass to report themselves.

Our contact said the strange and disturbing situation has created panic among citizens of the County, with others leaving for their towns and villages for fear of the unexpected.

County Health Officer John Logan when asked by our contact to speak on this prevailing situation, as to what is responsible for the mysterious deaths declined to comment on the issue.

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Huge Genome Study Dissects Ebola Outbreak's Spread

NSAID / Flickr

CLICK HERE - Nature - Virus genomes reveal factors that spread and sustained the Ebola epidemic

cidrap.umn.edu - Lisa Schnirring - April 14, 2017

The largest genome sample ever analyzed for a human epidemic reveals that the West Africa epidemic unfolded with small, overlapping outbreaks as the virus spread over short distances and that urban settings amplified the spread.

Meanwhile, another study harnessed different advanced scientific tools in the blood of a single sick patient to detail gene-level response during infection.


CLICK HERE - Science Translational Medicine - Longitudinal peripheral blood transcriptional analysis of a patient with severe Ebola virus disease


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International Research Effort Reveals Major Insights Into Spread of West African Ebola Epidemic

news-medical.net - April 12, 2017

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Nature - Virus genomes reveal factors that spread and sustained the Ebola epidemic

An international effort to analyze the entire database of Ebola virus genomes from the 2013-2016 West African epidemic reveals insights into factors that sped or slowed the rampage and calls for using real-time sequencing and data-sharing to contain future viral disease outbreaks.

Published today in the journal Nature, the analysis found that the epidemic unfolded in small, overlapping outbreaks with surprisingly few infected travelers sparking new outbreaks elsewhere, each case representing a missed opportunity to break the transmission chain and end the epidemic sooner.


ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - A big-picture look at the world’s worst Ebola epidemic




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Blocking TLR4 Pathway May Help Control Ebola Infection

Boston University scientists curbed the host response to Ebola infection by inhibiting TLR4 in macrophages. (CDC Global CC BY 2.0)

CLICK HERE - Virology - Ebolaviruses associated with differential pathogenicity induce distinct host responses in human macrophages

fiercebiotech.com - by Amirah Al Idrus - March 23, 2017

The Ebola virus causes a disease that is often fatal, in part by infecting white blood cells called macrophages and disrupting their immune response. Boston University scientists found that using drugs that block the protein TLR4 can suppress this response and potentially control infection.

Macrophages are responsible for detecting and destroying pathogens, but the Ebola virus activates them through the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) pathway, causing an inappropriate immune response. The Ebola-infected macrophages end up producing excess cytokines and chemokines—proteins that promote inflammation and worsen the disease.


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The Mission to Stop Ebola: Lessons for UN Crisis Response

CLICK HERE - International Peace Institute - The Mission to Stop Ebola: Lessons for UN Crisis Response (28 page .PDF report)

reliefweb.int - February 15, 2017

Executive Summary

The Ebola epidemic of 2014–2016 was a fastmoving, multidimensional emergency that pre - sented unprecedented challenges for the multi - lateral system. In response to the outbreak, which was spreading exponentially in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established the UN’s first-ever emergency health mission, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). UNMEER was mandated by the UN General Assembly in September 2014 to scale up and coordinate the activities of the UN presence on the ground working to stop the outbreak, which eventually claimed over 11,000 lives.

This report asks: Was UNMEER needed? Was it properly structured? Did it deliver? And what broader lessons can be learned from the experience of UNMEER for UN crisis response?

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Ebola 'Super-Spreaders' Cause Most Cases


Getty Images

CLICK HERE - PNAS - Spatial and temporal dynamics of superspreading events in the 2014–2015 West Africa Ebola epidemic

bbc.com - by James Gallagher - February 14, 2017

The majority of cases in the world's largest outbreak of Ebola were caused by a tiny handful of patients, research suggests.

The analysis, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows nearly two thirds of cases (61%) were caused by 3% of infected people.

The young and old were more likely to have been "super-spreaders".



CLICK HERE - Disease “superspreaders” were driving cause of 2014 Ebola epidemic

CLICK HERE - Superspreaders Drove Ebola Epidemic, Study Finds




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