An experimental Ebola virus vaccine was 100% effective in preventing the disease after 10 days in the 5837 people who received it in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Meanwhile, 23 of the 4507 people who did not receive the vaccine contracted the virus in the same timeframe. These findings, published online December 22 in the Lancet, are the final results from a phase-3 trial of a recombinant, replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus–based candidate vaccine expressing a surface glycoprotein, dubbed rVSV-ZEBOV.
Please fire me. I had to cover my coworker’s weekend shift cause she called in claiming she had Ebola but she wasn’t sick enough to go to the hospital. She was back to work two days later. With a stuffy nose.
ENGINEER 1: Someone’s gotta do something about this Ebola. ENGINEER 2: Yeah, man. Yeah. ENGINEER 1: Like, maybe not let people fly out of Africa. ENGINEER 2: Yeah. You know what they should do? They should try to find a cure. ENGINEER 1: Good idea. ENGINEER 2: I know.
“We’ve noticed a decrease in the number of patients”
Dr. Ibrahima Sory Diallo is a Pediatrician at Donka Hospital in Conakry, Guinea.
Q: Where were you when you first heard of Ebola?
A: I first heard about it while on mission in Mamou.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you heard of the outbreak?
A: I had watched a documentary about Ebola in other countries so when I heard about it hitting Guinea, my first thought was that the concerned regions of the country would immediately be quarantined and access would be denied in the regions.
Q: Did Ebola change the day to day functioning of your work?
A: What mostly changed was the use of protective gloves while treating patients. We were given a greater quantity of gloves but still we need more. It’s just not enough. We also now stress the importance of handwashing and other hygiene measures to the patients. We’ve been sensitizing mothers on how to protect themselves and their families.
Q: Did you have enough people to do the job?
A: When it started we noticed that there were fewer doctors so we had to establish rounds of presence: one group of doctors was coming one week, and the other the following week and so on.
Q: What positive side effects of the epidemic have you observed?
A: There’s higher awareness among medical personnel on hygiene. You won’t see a doctor touching a patient with bare hands anymore.
Q: Has there been more or less people in the wards?
A: We’ve noticed a decrease in the number of patients since the outbreak of the disease.
Q: Do you think Ebola will have a lasting impact on Guinea?
A: Yes, I think it will last. Epidemiologists say that it’s the first time that this disease has reached a capital, and in addition many people don’t believe us when we say Ebola is real.
Q: Do you have a message for the partners?
A: We still need help, we must use more NGOs to reach the people and sensitize them. Regarding the traceability of donations, we must beware and use serious organizations so that the Ebola products will not end up on sale in the local markets.
Q: What would you say to the people of Guinea?
A: As you can see, doctors are not dying of this disease anymore, and that’s because they have understood and agreed to comply with the preventive measures. It will be the same for the whole country if the population also complies with the rules.
The 2014 West African Ebola outbreak killed 11,310 people. Liberian
nursing assistant Salome Karwah was not one of them. The disease that
tore through her town in August of that year took her mother, her
father, her brother, aunts, uncles, cousins and a niece. But by some
miracle it left Karwah, her sister Josephine Manley and her fiancé James
Harris still alive.
just because Karwah escaped Ebola, it didn’t mean she was secure
against the failures of Liberia’s broken medical system. She died on
Feb. 21, 2017, from complications in childbirth and the lingering social
stigma faced by many of Ebola’s survivors.
used to joke that survivors had “super powers” — because after
overcoming the disease they were forever immune from it. Like any
superhero, she often quipped, it was her moral duty to use those powers
for the betterment of humankind. So as soon as she recovered, she
returned to the hospital where she had been treated — the Médecins Sans
Frontières (MSF) Ebola treatment unit just outside of the capital,
Monrovia — to help other patients. Not only did she understand what they
were going through, she was one of the rare people who could comfort
the sick with hands-on touch. She could spoon-feed elderly sufferers,
and rock feverish babies to sleep.
I met Karwah, in November 2014, she, her fiancée, and her sister were
already planning to re-open the family medical clinic that had been
forced to close when her father, the local doctor, succumbed to Ebola.
She envisioned a kind of super-clinic, whose survivor nurses would able
to go where other medical personnel feared to tread because of their
immunity. “I can do things that other people can’t,“ she said then. "If
an Ebola patient is in his house, and his immediate relative cannot go
to him, I can go to him. I can take [care of] him.”
It was her determination to help Ebola patients when most of the world fled in fear that put her among the Ebola Fighters who were named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2014.
the time, Karwah seemed invincible. When the outbreak in Liberia ended,
and people could have a party without fear of catching the virus, she
finally married her fiancé, changed her name to Salome Harris, and had
her third child. She picked the name Destiny. Then she got pregnant
again. On Feb. 17 she delivered a healthy boy, Solomon, by cesarian
section. She was discharged from hospital three days later.
hours of coming home, Karwah lapsed into convulsions. Her husband and
her sister rushed her back to the hospital, but no one would touch her.
Her foaming mouth and violent seizures panicked the staff. “They said
she was an Ebola survivor,” says her sister by telephone. “They didn’t
want contact with her fluids. They all gave her distance. No one would
give her an injection.”
died the next day. “My heart is broken,” says Manley. “Salome loves her
children, her James. The one-year-old, the newborn, they will grow up
never remembering their mother’s face.”
doesn’t know what caused the convulsions, but believes that something
went wrong in the surgery. Still, she says, if her sister had been
treated immediately, she might have had a chance. Instead, "she was
of Karwah’s death rippled far beyond her small community in Liberia.
Those who knew her for her tireless cheer in the MSF Ebola treatment
clinic were devastated. “To survive Ebola and then die in the larger yet
silent epidemic of health system failure… I have no words,” says Ella
Watson-Stryker, a MSF health promoter who worked with Karwah in Liberia
and was also among the Ebola Fighters on the 2014 cover.
Please fire me. I had to call in sick to work today (I have bronchitis & Pneumonia), and my supervisor replied that I needed to give them two hours advance notice. I called at 8:30 AM, my shift starts at 9:30 AM, and my supervisor doesn’t arrive until 8:00 AM. I’m sorry, was I supposed to call at 7:30 in the morning to a location where no one will pick up the phone?
Produced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), under a magnification of 25,000X, this digitally-colorized scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image depicts numerous filamentous Ebola virus particles (blue) budding from a chronically-infected VERO E6 cell (yellow-green).
Ebola is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).
Ebola is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. When infection occurs, symptoms usually begin abruptly. The first Ebolavirus species was discovered in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo near the Ebola River. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically. See the Flickr link for additional SEM NIAID Ebola virus imagery.
The Ebola outbreak that
affected more than 28,000 people in West Africa is over, but the long-term
impact is still felt and MSF is still responding to its aftermath. MSF nurse
Carissa Guild has been involved in the Ebola response since 2014. She speaks about the lasting impact that Ebola has left in the West African region.
New picture for Westwind magazine, about Dr. Gillian Seton, who refused the U.S. embassy in Liberia when they urged Americans out of the country at the onset of the Ebola outbreak so she could stay and help.
“Throughout the epidemic, I witnessed how communities were ripped apart. But it was very empowering to see how extremely dedicated all the national staff were, and fortunately other international actors eventually got involved. For the next epidemic, the world should stand ready to intervene much faster and more efficiently” -Hilde de Clerck, MSF epidemiologist