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WHO Declares International Public Health Emergency Over Ebola Outbreak — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
August 11, 2014

WHO Declares International Public Health Emergency Over Ebola Outbreak

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and André Sofair, MD, MPH

The World Health Organization on Friday declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a public health emergency of international concern. In its statement, the group noted that all nations "should be prepared to detect, investigate, and manage Ebola cases."

In other Ebola news:

  • The FDA is allowing a second experimental drug, TKM-Ebola, to be used in infected patients, the New York Times reports. An early trial of the drug's efficacy in humans was halted last month due to side effects. Efforts are underway to provide TKM-Ebola and another experimental drug, ZMapp, to patients in Africa. (The Obama administration is creating a working group to set policies around the potential use of such experimental drugs, Reuters reports.)

  • An experimental vaccine against the virus is set to begin phase I testing in humans, according to Reuters. However, even in a best-case scenario, the vaccine wouldn't be ready for widespread use before 2015.

  • Patient Zero in the current outbreak was likely a 2-year-old boy who grew ill and died in Guinea in late 2013, the New York Times reports.

  • Missionaries returning to Charlotte, North Carolina, after working with infected patients in Africa will be quarantined for at least 3 weeks after their most recent exposure, according to the Associated Press.

In HIV and ID Observations, Paul Sax reflects on waiting and preparing for Ebola. He asks you to share your best sources for the latest information (you may do so at the last link below).

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