EBOLA/EVD [to 23 January 2016]

EBOLA/EVD [to 23 January 2016]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC); “Threat to international peace and security” (UN Security Council)


Ebola Situation Report – 20 January 2016
SUMMARY [Excerpts]
:: Human-to-human transmission directly linked to the 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa was declared to have ended in Sierra Leone on 7 November 2015. The country then entered a 90-day period of enhanced surveillance to ensure the rapid detection of any further cases that might arise as a result a missed transmission chain, reintroduction from an animal reservoir, importation from an area of active transmission, or re-emergence of virus that had persisted in a survivor. On 14 January, 68 days into the 90-day surveillance period, a new confirmed cases of EVD was reported in Sierra Leone after a post-mortem swab collected from a deceased 22-year-old woman tested positive for Ebola virus. The woman died on 12 January at her family home in the town of Magburaka, Tonkolili district, and received an unsafe burial. In the preceding 2 weeks the woman travelled from Port Loko, where she was a student, via the districts of Kambia and Bombali before arriving in Magburaka on 7 January. Reports indicate that her symptoms during travel included vomiting and diarrhoea. The Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), with the support of WHO and other partners, responded rapidly to the new case, identifying approximately 150 contacts of whom approximately 50 are deemed to be at high risk. Vaccination of contacts and contacts of contacts is underway under the authority and coordination of the Sierra Leone MoHS. However, the woman’s extensive travel history in the 2 weeks prior to her death, her presentation to and subsequent discharge from a health care facility at which health workers did not use personal protective equipment (PPE), her period of close contact with family whilst ill, and her unsafe burial indicate a significant risk of further transmission. One contact in Tonkolili remains to be traced. The origin of infection is under investigation.

:: Human-to-human transmission linked to the most recent cluster of cases in Liberia was declared to have ended on 14 January 2016. Guinea was declared free of Ebola transmission on 29 December 2015, and has now entered a 90-day period of enhanced surveillance that is due to end on 27 March 2016.

:: With guidance from WHO and other partners, ministries of health in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have plans to deliver a package of essential services to safeguard the health of the estimated more than 10,000 survivors of EVD, and enable those individuals to take any necessary precautions to prevent infection of their close contacts. Over 300 male survivors in Liberia had accessed semen screening and counselling services by 17 January 2016…

Ebola vaccine purchasing commitment from Gavi to prepare for future outbreaks
20 January 2016
Agreement will help push vaccine towards regulatory approval.
Davos, 20 January 2016 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. (known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada) have signed an agreement to support the provision of a vaccine to protect against future deadly Ebola outbreaks. The agreement, announced today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, will help Merck take the vaccine through licensure and WHO prequalification.

Under the Advance Purchase Commitment, Gavi has provided US$ 5 million towards the development of Merck’s rVSV∆G-ZEBOV-GP live attenuated Ebola Zaire vaccine, on the understanding that it will be submitted for licensure by the end of 2017. If approved, it would become one of the world’s first licensed Ebola vaccines and Gavi would be able to begin purchasing the vaccine to create a stockpile for future outbreaks.

Additionally, Merck will ensure that 300,000 doses of the vaccine are available from May 2016 for use in expanded use clinical trials and/or for emergency use as needed while vaccine development continues. Merck has already submitted an application through WHO’s Emergency Use Assessment and Listing (EUAL) procedure. If the EUAL is approved, this will provide an opportunity for the investigational vaccine to be used if another public health emergency with Ebola occurs before the vaccine is licensed.

“The suffering caused by the Ebola crisis was a wake-up call to many in the global health community,” said Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley. “New threats require smart solutions and our innovative financing agreement with Merck will ensure that we are ahead of the curve for future Ebola outbreaks.”

“We are very pleased to join with Gavi in announcing this Advance Purchase Commitment agreement to support the provision of MSD’s investigational monovalent Ebola Zaire vaccine – in case of a resurgence of the Ebola outbreak or a new outbreak,” said Dr Julie Gerberding, executive vice president, Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health for Merck. “We applaud Gavi for this bold step to be a part of the solution to address a disease that has impacted so many lives.”…

Guinea Revives Border Health Screening to Mitigate Risk of Spread of Ebola
01/22/16 – IOM / International Organization for Migration
Guinea – Following the confirmation of a new Ebola case in Sierra Leone on January 12 – and confirmation of another case on January 20th – IOM and its partners are reactivating cross-border health screening at Guinea’s borders with Sierra Leone and reinforcing their surveillance capacity in Forecariah Prefecture, the border area closest to the outbreak.

WHO: Clinical care for survivors of Ebola virus disease
22 January 2016 — Today, there are over 10 000 survivors of Ebola virus disease. A number of medical problems have been reported in survivors, including mental health issues. Ebola virus may persist in some body fluids, including semen. Ebola survivors need comprehensive support for the medical and psychosocial challenges they face and also to minimize the risk of continued Ebola virus transmission. WHO has developed this document to guide health services on how to provide quality care to survivors of Ebola virus disease.
Read the guidance for survivors