Ebola 3.0

December 18, 2014 3:13 PM

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The doctors, nurses and other health care workers who responded to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa were recently named Time magazine's "Person of the Year." The courageous individuals who dedicate their careers and risk their lives to help in times of global public health emergencies such as Ebola deserve this recognition. A new report shows that health care workers have more than 100 times the risk of being infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone as the general public there. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 622 health care workers have acquired the virus and 346 of them have died in the affected countries. The recent death of a physician in the United States, who had been working in Sierra Leone and had tested negative for Ebola days before testing positive, underscores the urgent need for new technologies to detect, treat, contain, and prevent this and other infectious illnesses. These illnesses account for one of every four deaths annually, and 27 new infectious illnesses including Ebola, AIDS, West Nile encephalitis, Lyme's disease, and MERS, have emerged since 1972.

Strengthen infectious disease research and surveillance. Studies examining the clinical course of Ebola, including the effects of co-infection and treatment for other diseases such as AIDS, are needed. Research to fast track the gene sequencing of Ebola and other contagious diseases is underway and ...

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