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Related terms: Ebola Virus Disease, EVD

Chimps Can Get Ebola, Too, But Oral Vaccine May Help

Posted 9 Mar 2017 by

THURSDAY, March 9, 2017 – A new study shows promise for an oral vaccine to protect wild apes against the Ebola virus. The virus is a real threat to Africa's great apes – for example, Ebola is estimated to have killed one in three wild gorillas in recent decades. However, the researchers noted that the new vaccine research was stopped early due to U.S. laws regarding medical testing in chimps. In the current study, six chimps received the oral vaccine while four were injected and served as a control group. The animals all showed a strong immune response after 28 days. The researchers said there were no side effects. The oral vaccine could potentially be administered to wild apes through food. "In 2014, the world was gripped by fears of an Ebola virus pandemic. Yet few people realize that Ebola has already inflicted pandemic scale mortality on our closest relatives," said lead ... Read more

Related support groups: Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola Blood Test May Help Predict Survival Chances

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 – A blood test may help determine a person's chance of surviving an Ebola infection, researchers say. "It is not just defining how much Ebola virus that is present in a patient that defines whether a patient will survive. How the patient fights the infection is also key," said John Connor, an associate professor of microbiology at Boston University School of Medicine. Figuring out common aspects of how the immune system responds in people who have survived the often-deadly infection might help researchers learn ways to keep an Ebola virus infection from being fatal, Connor said in a university news release. American and British scientists looked at blood samples from infected and surviving patients during the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The researchers identified a small number of genes whose "expression" accurately predicts survival of patients infected ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola Can Linger in Lungs, Study Finds

Posted 5 Jan 2017 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 5, 2017 – Researchers say they've discovered signs that the Ebola virus could lurk in the lungs and reproduce in a recovering patient, a finding that could lead to better understanding of the deadly disease. At issue: Does the Ebola virus cause lung damage by infecting the lungs and spreading in them? Researchers have suspected this, but weren't sure that the virus infects the lung. Dr. Giuseppe Ippolito and colleagues at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome monitored the lungs and blood of one patient with Ebola infection. The investigators found signs that the virus lingered in the lungs for almost a week after it was no longer found in the patient's blood and that it also may have reproduced. "This suggests a major role of the respiratory tissues in the pathogenesis of Ebola virus disease," the study authors wrote, referring to the way the virus ... Read more

Related support groups: Respiratory Tract Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola Vaccine Appears Very Effective in Trial

Posted 23 Dec 2016 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 23, 2016 – An experimental Ebola vaccine was highly effective against the deadly virus in a large trial conducted in Guinea, researchers say. The vaccine trial included nearly 12,000 people during 2015, when new cases of Ebola were still appearing in West Africa. Among 5,800 people who received the vaccine, no Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination. But 23 cases developed among those who did not get vaccinated, the researchers reported. The trial was conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), Guinea's Ministry of Health and international partners. The results were published Dec. 22 in The Lancet. "While these compelling results come too late for those who lost their lives during West Africa's Ebola epidemic, they show that when the next Ebola outbreak hits, we will not be defenseless," lead author Marie-Paule Kieny said in a journal news ... Read more

Related support groups: Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Some Ebola Infections May Be Symptomless

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – Researchers have discovered cases of symptom-free Ebola infection in West Africa, which suggests that the number of people who had the virus during the recent epidemic was higher than thought. There were 28,000 reported cases of Ebola in West Africa between 2013 and 2016. That total included only people with symptoms. Researchers took blood samples from 187 people in a village in Sierra Leone that was a major hotspot of Ebola infection. None of these people was previously known to have Ebola. Still, 14 of them had Ebola antibodies in their blood. "The findings provide further evidence that Ebola, like many other viral infections, presents with a spectrum of clinical manifestations, including minimally symptomatic infection," Dr. Eugene Richardson, a research scientist at Partners in Health in Boston, and colleagues wrote in the study. "These data also suggest ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola Virus Mutated to Become More Infectious, Scientists Say

Posted 3 Nov 2016 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2016 – Mutations in the Ebola virus boosted its ability to infect people during the 2013-2016 epidemic in West Africa, two independent teams of researchers say. By the time the epidemic ended, more than 28,000 people had been infected and more than 11,000 had died. The authors of the studies wanted to determine if there were any genetic changes in the Ebola virus in response to infection in such a large number of people. "Ebola virus is thought to circulate in an unknown animal reservoir and to only rarely cross over into people. When the virus does cross over, the effect has been devastating to those people who are infected. Until recently, the human disease outbreaks have been short lived, and the virus has had little opportunity to adapt genetically to the human host," said Dr. Jeremy Luban. He is co-author of one of the studies and a professor at the University of ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola May Be Present in Semen for Year or More

Posted 31 Aug 2016 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 30, 2016 – Ebola virus stays present in semen longer than previously thought, and is more likely to be found in older men, researchers report. The deadly virus can be transmitted through semen. Preliminary findings from 429 male Ebola survivors taking part in a national screening program in the African nation of Liberia showed that 9 percent (38) had fragments of Ebola in their semen. Of those 38 men, 63 percent tested positive for Ebola in their semen a year after recovering from the disease. One man's semen still had evidence of Ebola at least 565 days after he recovered from the illness, the study found. Men older than 40 were more likely to have Ebola fragments in their semen than younger men, the study authors said. Along with testing semen for Ebola, the Men's Health Screening Program (MHSP) in Liberia provides counseling and education about safe sex, and led to a ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Sex, Breast Milk May Have Helped Spread Ebola in Africa

Posted 19 May 2016 by

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 – The Ebola virus was transmitted by semen and breast milk during the latter stages of the outbreak in Sierra Leone, a new study shows. Researchers from the United Kingdom identified several instances of unconventional transmission of the deadly disease, including a mother who may have passed it to her baby through breast-feeding. In another instance, an Ebola survivor sexually transmitted the virus a month after being released from quarantine. "Close contact with an infected individual is still by far the most common way for Ebola to spread, but this study supports previous research suggesting that the virus can persist in bodily fluids for a long time after recovery," said Jeremy Farrar, director of Britain's Wellcome Trust, which funded the study. "These unusual modes of transmission may have contributed to isolated flare-ups of infections towards the end of ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Lactation Augmentation

Ebola May Leave Some Survivors Blind

Posted 4 May 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2016 – About one-fifth of Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone developed severe or total vision loss within weeks of being declared free of the virus, a new study finds. Many survivors develop uveitis, a general term describing illnesses that trigger swelling and can destroy optical tissues, the researchers said. "Uveitis patients developed ocular symptoms a median of three weeks after discharge from Ebola treatment centers" in Sierra Leone, said a team led by Dr. John Mattia of the Lowell and Ruth Gess Eye Hospital in Decatur, Ga. The researchers were to present the findings Wednesday in Seattle at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. In the West African study, Mattia's team examined the eyes of 50 Ebola survivors with uveitis out of a group of about 270 survivors. A total of 62 eyes were given visual acuity tests. "Severe vision ... Read more

Related support groups: Eye Conditions, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Color Vision Defect (Acquired)

Two-Step Ebola Vaccine Strategy Works in Early Trial

Posted 19 Apr 2016 by

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 – A new two-step Ebola vaccine strategy has shown some promise in early clinical trials. The trials involved two candidate Ebola vaccines that were given to volunteers in separate shots, the researchers said. One vaccine was provided first as a "primer" shot, and the second was given as a "booster." The winning combo was a "primer" shot of a genetically engineered cold virus (AD-26), followed by a "booster" shot of a similarly altered smallpox virus (MVA), according to the report. In both cases, the viruses had been altered to include genetic material from Ebola, so any immune response to the vaccine could theoretically promote immunity to Ebola, the study authors explained. An immune response was observed after primary immunization with the AD-26 vaccine, and boosting with the MVA resulted in sustained elevation of specific immunity to Ebola, the researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

U.S. Moving Money From Ebola Fund to Help Fight Zika

Posted 6 Apr 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, April 6, 2016 – The Obama administration is shifting $589 million in funding to prepare for likely outbreaks of Zika virus in the United States during the upcoming mosquito season, senior officials announced Wednesday. The money includes $510 million originally intended for fighting the Ebola virus, which officials said remains a global health threat. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said the transferred money will support state-level mosquito-control efforts and Zika surveillance. It will also boost laboratory testing for Zika; fund efforts to develop diagnostic tests and potential vaccines; and pay for response efforts in Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory where the Zika virus currently is most active. Health officials believe it's only a matter of time before Zika – which is linked to serious birth defects – becomes active in the mainland ... Read more

Related support groups: Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Zika Virus Infection

Risk of Getting Ebola From Survivors Seems Low, Study Finds

Posted 29 Feb 2016 by

MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 – The risk of infection with the often-fatal Ebola virus from non-sexual contact with survivors seems low, researchers report. The British team analyzed nearly 6,000 articles on Ebola and found that, while the virus may be present in certain areas of survivors' bodies for an extended time, it is typically cleared from the blood within 16 days. In general, that means there is little risk of contracting Ebola from a survivor, the researchers concluded. However, an important exception is transmission of the virus through sex because Ebola remains in semen for months after a patient has recovered, the scientists added. The study was published Feb. 29 in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. In 2014, three West African countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – were hit hard by the worst Ebola outbreak in history. More than 28,000 people were infected and ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Monkey Trial Offers Hope for Future Ebola Treatment for Humans

Posted 26 Feb 2016 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 – An antibody treatment for Ebola might be able to protect people for up to five days after they've been exposed to the deadly virus, a new animal study suggests. The treatment protected a group of three macaque monkeys exposed to a high dose of Ebola, even though researchers waited five days before injecting the antibodies, said senior study author Nancy Sullivan. All three monkeys had a fever, one of the first signs of Ebola infection, by the time they received treatment, said Sullivan, chief of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Biodefense Research Section. Public health officials plan to perform phase 1 trials on healthy humans with the antibody, to make sure the treatment is safe, before building a stockpile that could be used to test its effectiveness during a future Ebola outbreak, she added. "It's difficult to go from monkeys ... Read more

Related support groups: Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

2 Experimental Ebola Vaccines Show Potential

Posted 24 Feb 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 – Two experimental Ebola vaccines showed promise in a clinical trial, researchers report. The vaccines triggered an immune response and were well-tolerated among people in the phase 2 trial conducted in Liberia, one of the West African nations hit hard by the 2014 Ebola outbreak. The trial was sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Researchers had planned to continue testing the vaccines in a broader phase 3 trial with 28,000 people, but that was abandoned because the decline in new Ebola cases made the larger study impossible. The phase 2 trial tested the cAd3-EBOZ vaccine, which uses a chimpanzee-derived cold virus to deliver Ebola virus genetic material. The trial also tested the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, which uses the vesicular stomatitis virus – related to the rabies virus – to carry Ebola genetic material. The trial ... Read more

Related support groups: Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola May Leave Lasting Neurological Problems

Posted 24 Feb 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 – Many Ebola survivors have brain symptoms that last long after other signs of the potentially fatal infection are gone, a new study finds. "While an end to the outbreak has been declared, these survivors are still struggling with long-term problems," study author Dr. Lauren Bowen, from the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, said in an American Academy of Neurology news release. The research team checked the health of 82 Ebola survivors in Liberia, one of three West African countries at the epicenter of the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Their average age was 35. At least six months after they were first infected with the virus, most had some type of neurological issue. Common problems included weakness, headache, memory loss, depressed mood, muscle pain, tremors, abnormal eye movements and irregular reflexes, the researchers said. Two of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Psychiatric Disorders, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

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