#Ebola Update: Case counts, clinical trials, and live webcast about the ebola crisis in West Africa

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The CDC and WHO have updated the case counts for this week, with the total deaths in West Africa at 5,147.

The Liberian President has ended the state of emergency that was declared to control the ebola outbreak in that country.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has announced it will begin accelerated clinical trials next month.

Doctors Without Borders said it will host clinical trials starting next month in three Ebola treatment centers experimenting with drugs for off-label uses, shortening the usual lengthy process used to find treatments through study with animals and healthy people.

More info on the trials from MSF:

The trials’ protocols are in the final stages of development and are designed with a simple target of 14-day survival and with broad inclusion criteria. The protocols will ensure that disruption to patient care will be minimal, that internationally-accepted medical and research ethical standards are respected, and that sound scientific data will be produced and shared for public good. The main principles and designs have been shared with the respective countries’ ethical authorities, with the goal of starting the first trials during December 2014. Initial results could be available in February 2015.

The two drugs, brincidofovir and favipiravir, were selected from WHO’s shortlist of potential Ebola treatments after careful review of safety and efficacy profiles, product availability, and ease of administration to patients.

Lastly, MSF will host a live webcast about the Ebola crisis in West Africa:

Join Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on November 13 at 8:00 PM EST for a special update on the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

The panel will include MSF aid workers recently returned from assignments in Guinea and Liberia, along with members of MSF headquarters staff. This wide-ranging discussion will include first-hand accounts of working with patients and communities, the ongoing problem of fear and stigma in West Africa and here in the US, and the challenges facing the international community going forward.

#Ebola Quotable: MSF President Dr. Joanne Liu tells United Nations NOW is the time to act

Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it. Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat. The WHO announcement on August 8 that epidemic constituted a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ has not led to decisive action, and states have essentially joined a global coalition of inaction.

 

Funding announcements and the deployment of a few experts do not suffice. States with the required capacity have a political and humanitarian responsibility to come forward and offer a desperately needed, concrete response to the disaster unfolding in front of the world’s eyes. Rather than limit their response to the potential arrival of an infected patient in their countries, they should take the unique opportunity to actually save lives where immediately needed, in West Africa.

 

The clock is ticking and Ebola is winning. The time for meetings and planning is over.  It is now time to act. Every day of inaction means more deaths and the slow collapse of societies.

Dr. Joanne Liu in an address to the United Nations

Dr. Liu is President of the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, aka Doctors without Borders).

#Ebola Quotable: Anja Wolz calls for action on Ebola Outbreak

My time in Kailahun (Sierra Leone) has been frustrating and disappointing, because I know from previous outbreaks what is required to control this one. No single organization has the capacity to manage all that is needed to stop the outbreak. Other organizations must attack this outbreak in all its facets. But the response has been too slow. We need people who are hands-on and on the ground. We need to be one step ahead of this outbreak, but right now we are five steps behind. – Anja Wolz perspective for NEJM, a must-read for first-hand descriptions of the Ebola outbreak from a nurse!