Tag Archives: Ebola

Disease ‘superspreaders’ accounted for nearly two-thirds of Ebola cases, study finds

Disease ‘superspreaders’ accounted for nearly two-thirds of Ebola cases, study finds. Washington Post, February 13, 2017.

ebola

Monrovia, Liberia, was hit hard during the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. (Zoom Dosso/AFP via Getty Images)

They are called superspreaders, the minority of people who are responsible for infecting many others during epidemics of infectious diseases. Perhaps the most famous superspreader was Typhoid Mary, presumed to have infected 51 people, three of whom died, between 1900 and 1907.

Now scientists studying how Ebola spread during the 2014-2015 epidemic in West Africa say superspreaders played a bigger role than was previously known, according to findings published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 If superspreading had been completely controlled, almost two-thirds of the infections might have been prevented, scientists said.

The social life of infectious diseases

The social life of infectious diseases.STEPS Impact Stories, December 7, 2016.

This story looks at how the ESRC STEPS Centre’s research on epidemics fed into responses to the Ebola outbreak in 2014, and the need for long-term work across disciplines to respond to infectious diseases. It is the first in a set of impact stories looking back at STEPS work over the past decade.

The Ebola epidemic that broke out in 2014 was the first to hit West Africa, and the worst ever recorded. Most of the cases were in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. By October the disease had killed nearly 5,000 people.

ebola

Health promotion, by CDC Global (published on Flickr under a Creative Commons attribution 2.0 licence)

As the outbreak grew, more and more agencies in the region and beyond joined the fight against it. Attention also turned to the dynamics of the outbreak, how best to prevent its spread, and how to treat people safely and effectively in urgent and sometimes chaotic conditions. As well as fighting the disease on the ground, it was important to understand the reasons behind its spread, and the social and cultural responses to it.

What went wrong with Ebola?
Why did the Ebola outbreak get as bad as it did, and what can we learn from the response? The scale and speed of the outbreak was put down to weak health systems, a lack of resources, and fear. But there were other factors too. It became clear that violence in the region had left a deep legacy of mistrust in the population, leading to rumours and suspicion of health workers. Changing patterns of migration may also have led people to be more at risk.

Read the complete article.

Guide to Community Engagement in WASH: A practitioner’s guide, based on lessons from Ebola

Guide to Community Engagement in WASH: A practitioner’s guide, based on lessons from Ebola, November 2016. Oxfam.

This guide is a compilation of best practices and key lessons learned through Oxfam’s experience of community engagement in the 2014–15 Ebola responses in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

It provides ideas for all stages of an intervention, including the importance of assessment; principles and methods for community engagement; the challenges of scaling-up responses and changing communities’ behaviours; and reflections on how to better advocate for communities.

Drawing on semi-structured interviews and input from practitioners in various agencies, as well as a literature review, this guide aims to inform public health practitioners and programme teams about the design and implementation of community-centred approaches during a disease outbreak.

 

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on WASH & Ebola

Issue 167| Oct  31, 2014 | Focus on WASH and Ebola

This issue contains updates on Ebola outbreaks and other recent journal and newspaper articles as well as links to World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites on Ebola. Included are WHO/UNICEF factsheets, guidance on making chlorine solution from Tufts University, articles from the Global Public-Private Partnership on Handwashing, a summary of water and Ebola issues from the Pacific Institute, Ebola-related anthropological studies from the Institute of Development Studies, and other resources. WASHPlus_HTMLbanner_weekly_600x159

OVERVIEWS

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD): Key Questions and Answers Concerning Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, 2014. WHO. Link
The key to controlling the hazard associated with the presence of the virus in the body fluids of infected individuals lies in the rigorous enforcement of protocols to separate and contain ALL body fluids (including feces and urine). Feces from suspected or confirmed Ebola cases must be treated as a biohazard and handled at a minimum.

An Open Memo on Ebola and Water. Science Blogs, Oct 2014. P Gleick, Pacific Institute.Link
As input to the ongoing discussions about how to meet and overcome the spreading risks of Ebola, this blog post provides thoughts on the water-related components of U.S. efforts. The author urges manufacturers of water treatment technologies to confirm that they are designed and can be operated to specifically remove or inactivate Ebola-type viruses with high reliability and for medical experts to determine the quality and quantity of water needed in a field hospital setting.

Ebola Virus Disease Factsheet, 2014. WHO. Link
Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance, and contact tracing; a good laboratory service; safe burials; and social mobilization. Community engagement is key to successfully control outbreaks.

WASH-RELATED RESOURCES

Methods to Make Chlorine Solution in Ebola Emergencies, 2014. D Lantagne, Tufts University. Link
The methods for onsite manufacturing of chlorine include: diluting HTH or NaDCC powder in water; diluting concentrated liquid solution in water; and generating sodium hypochlorite using salt, water, and electricity.

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WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Cholera and Ebola Outbreaks

Issue 157 | August 8, 2014 | Focus on Disease Outbreaks

This issue highlights recent alerts, news and publications on cholera and Ebola outbreaks. On August 1, 2014, WHO published its latest statistics on the number of cholera cases and cholera-related deaths in 2013. In 2013, there was a 47% decrease in the number of cases reported compared to 2012 and this is the second consecutive year in which reported cholera era cases declined. Resources on the Ebola outbreaks include WHO alerts, a WHO fact sheet, recent newspaper articles and reports on the One Health approach, which investigates human, animal, and environmental interconnectedness and its impact on health.

CHOLERA NEWS/OUTBREAK ALERTS

Recent Newspaper Articles on Outbreaks – Cameroon – Aug 6, 2014 | Ghana – Aug 4, 2014 | South Sudan – July 30, 2014 | Vietnam – Aug 6 2014 |

CHOLERA STATISTICS/FACT SHEETS

Cholera Fact Sheet, 2014. World Health Organization. (Link)
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Every year, there are an estimated 3–5 million cholera cases and 100,000–120,000 deaths due to cholera. The short incubation period of two hours to five days enhances the potentially explosive pattern of outbreaks.

USAID-IWASH Ebola Preparedness Response

USAID-IWASH Ebola Preparedness Response

Cholera in 2013. Weekly Epidem Rec, Aug 2014. WHO. (Link)
In 2013, 47 countries reported a total of 129,064 cases of cholera including 2102 deaths, giving a case-fatality rate of 1.63%. This represents a decrease of 47% in the number of cases reported compared to 2012 and this is the second consecutive year in which reported cholera era cases declined.

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