“That’s very hard to say. In most cases, the answer would be ‘no,’ ” Morse says. “But Ebola is obviously a concern and very virulent. I’d say it’s too early at this point to speculate on what any mutation or any change, even with rapid evolution, might lead to.”
A number of scientists working on the project caught Ebola. “Five of them passed from Ebola,” Sabeti says, including Dr. Shiek Humarr Khan. He was Sierra Leone’s top virologist, who had treated dozens of Ebola patients before catching the virus.
Health workers in Sierra Leone, who talked to NPR in the spring, blamed a lack of proper protective equipment for infections at the government-run hospital in Kenema, where Khan worked.
“The work is just that dangerous,” Sabeti say. “Another British nurse at the hospital has just come down with Ebola. You’re seeing so many infections going on. It’s an extraordinary thing that’s going on right now [in Sierra Leone].”
via Ebola Is Rapidly Mutating As It Spreads Across West Africa : Goats and Soda : NPR.
“The spaces in The Cordovan were designed as two-story so you could theoretically have your business on the first floor,” Goodman explains. “The lofts in the second building [meanwhile] are designed with concrete floors and oversized doors to cater to artists.”
Both Goodman and Lynch feel the live–work concept has worked well in Haverhill and would be extremely successful in large urban centers, as well.
via Live–Work Spaces Present New Opportunity for Owners, Operators – Multifamily Executive Magazine.
Synthetic vaccine developer Replikins, Ltd., announced on Tuesday that a new analysis of the gene structures in the dengue virus paved the way to a vaccine candidate.
via Genetic analysis of dengue leads to synthetic vaccine | Vaccine News Daily.
A possible vaccine, not ready for prime time yet
Researchers previously discovered that patients infected with the 2009 H1N1 flu virus developed broad cross-reactive antibodies, and most of them had never before been exposed to the virus. After the virus began circulating in the general population and was included as part of standard flu immunizations, however, studies of immune responses showed antibodies were generated against the head region of the protein and not the stem.
“Our findings delineate a potential vaccination strategy where H5N1 or H7N9 immunization could be used not only for immunologically priming the population to quickly respond to serious pandemic influenza threats, but also for generating broadly neutralizing antibodies against influenza in humans,” the authors of the study said.
via Vaccination against “unfamiliar” flu viruses could protect against other strains | Vaccine News Daily.
The bacterium is notoriously difficult to fight because it has an almost uncanny ability to adapt to changes in its surroundings, says Associate Professor Birgitte Kallipolitis, University of Southern Denmark. Together with colleagues from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, she has published a study, which in details reveals how this extreme ability to adapt takes place.
via Researchers Discover Why Listeria Bacterium is So Hard to Fight.
Israel’s Jerusalem municipality has approved plans to build a Jewish religious school in the heart of occupied East Jerusalem, Palestinian activists and Israeli media said.
The Ohr Somayach yeshiva will occupy a nine-story building in the middle of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, Haaretz reported.
The plan was reportedly approved six months ago by Jerusalem’s Municipal Planning and Building Committee and given the go ahead on Wednesday.
A Ma’an reporter said the building will occupy 1,900 square meters and have three underground floors.
The religious school will be located between the al-Hayat Medical Center and the Nasif gas station.
Activist and Sheikh Jarrah resident Salih Diab told Ma’an that the building of a Jewish religious school, and the implementation of evacuation orders against Palestinian residents, will turn Sheikh Jarrah into a “Jewish neighborhood.”
The land was reportedly confiscated in the 1980s under Israel’s Absentee Property Law of 1950, which had been used as a tool to annex Palestinian land.
A 2013 report prepared by the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem said that the law has been used extensively in Jerusalem to confiscate property and land owned by West Bank Palestinians, who were technically considered “absentee” after Israel unilaterally annexed East Jerusalem.
via Israel approves Jewish yeshiva in heart of East Jerusalem | Maan News Agency.
Epidemiology and surveillance
The total number of probable and confirmed cases in the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the four affected countries as reported by the respective Ministries of Health of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone is 3069, with 1552 deaths.
The outbreak continues to accelerate. More than 40% of the total number of cases have occurred within the past 21 days. However, most cases are concentrated in only a few localities.
The overall case fatality rate is 52%. It ranges from 42% in Sierra Leone to 66% in Guinea.
A separate outbreak of Ebola virus disease, which is not related to the outbreak in West Africa, was laboratory-confirmed on 26 August by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is detailed in a separate edition of the Disease Outbreak News.
Health sector response
A full understanding of the outbreak that will lead to improved response requires detailed analysis of exactly where transmission is occurring (by district level) and of time trends. This analysis is ongoing. Preliminary results show that cases are still concentrated (62% of all reported cases since the beginning of the outbreak) in the epicentre of the outbreak in Gueckedou (Guinea); Lofa (Liberia), where cases continue to rise; and Kenema and Kailahun (Sierra Leone). Capital cities are of particular concern, owing to their population density and repercussions for travel and trade.
via WHO | Ebola virus disease update – west Africa.