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Mapping Infectious Diseases Using Crowdsourced Data Collected With Open-Source Tools

Reflections on a PLOS ONE paper by researchers from Medecins Sans Frontieres, who crowdsourced data using open source tools during the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa to get more accurate and up-to-date disease maps. Continue reading Mapping Infectious Diseases Using Crowdsourced Data Collected With Open-Source Tools

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Clinical Research in Times of Ebola… and other Epidemics

As the news trickles in about the raging cholera outbreak in Yemen, and an emerging outbreak is being dealt with urgently in North-Eastern Nigeria, we are more frequently being confronted with the uncomfortable question of leveraging these situations to conduct clinical research activities. The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) have come out with a report dealing with exactly this quandary. This report, … Continue reading Clinical Research in Times of Ebola… and other Epidemics

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Turning to the “Infected Jelly” to Treat Ebola

The NEJM has come out with a very interesting paper: Evaluation of Convalescent Plasma for Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea. The explosive outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa last year had hijacked the headlines and media space in a big way. Multiple solutions were touted, including the vaccine trial STRIVE. Few articles, however, looked at the systems response to the crisis. Although the current … Continue reading Turning to the “Infected Jelly” to Treat Ebola

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New York Times: Treating Ebola? Chuck the Stethoscope!

In an interesting news piece, the New York Times has brought up an issue that is quite startling in its simple complexity. The stethoscope, otherwise so natural an extension of a physician, that it has almost ceased to be an independent, separate instrument, is almost non-existent in the wards where ebola patients are being treated in the developing countries! In USA, the leading centers have … Continue reading New York Times: Treating Ebola? Chuck the Stethoscope!

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Anthony Fauci: Ebola Virus Not Showing Accelerated Evolution

One of my modern day medical idols is Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the lead editors of the two-volume Bible of Internal Medicine, “Harrison’s Internal Medicine”, and also the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In an NIH News piece he has commented: “The Ebola virus in the ongoing West African outbreak appears to be stable—that is, it does not appear … Continue reading Anthony Fauci: Ebola Virus Not Showing Accelerated Evolution

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STRIVE to Control Ebola

The Sierra Leone Trial to Introduce a Vaccine Against Ebola (STRIVE) has started recruiting volunteers to test for the effectiveness of the vaccine. About 6,000 healthcare and other frontline workers will be enrolled in STRIVE to receive the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, which uses the vesicular stomatitis virus to carry a non-infectious Zaire ebola virus gene, hopefully inducing an immune response from the recipients. This trial is … Continue reading STRIVE to Control Ebola

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