Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Maine nurse’s boyfriend still barred from campus

This article was originally published on this site

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — A nurse who successfully fought Maine’s quarantine for health care workers who have treated Ebola patients is free to go wherever she pleases, but her boyfriend on Monday was still staying away from the campus where he’s a nursing student.

Ted Wilbur told reporters that the University of Maine at Fort Kent asked him to stay away as his girlfriend, Kaci Hickox, was in the news amid attempts to quarantine her after she returned from treating Ebola patient in West Africa. The university contends he voluntarily agreed to stay away, and the voluntary agreement remained in effect Monday.

Ray Phinney, associate dean of student life and development, said the university is willing to revisit the agreement.

Hickox, who contends she poses no danger because she’s not showing symptoms, fought attempts to quarantine her after returning from Sierra Leone.

A Maine judge sided with her Friday, rejecting the state’s attempt to restrict her movement. The judge signed a final order on Monday. Even with the order, Hickox said she planned to stay away from public places out of respect for local residents.

She and Wilbur are living together in Fort Kent in an off-campus home. The 21-day incubation period for Ebola for her ends on Nov. 10.

Steve Hyman, one of Hickox’s lawyers, said there’s no reason for him to be prevented from setting foot on campus. He said attorneys plan to talk to Wilbur to see what he wants to do between now and Nov. 10.

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Tune out cable news and turn away fear

This article was originally published on this site

I miss the days when people would say “Bon voyage” to travelers heading off. Today, Americans instead say “Travel safely.”

I travel a lot. In the last year or so I’ve been to Egypt, the West Bank, Israel, Turkey and Russia. My loved ones worry out loud: “Rick, do you think this is safe?” I always assure them, “As long as I’m not traveling through Chicago, I think I’ll be OK.”

After traveling and lecturing across the United States in recent months, it strikes me that our nation has never been so racked with fear. The paramount concern is “national security”: the fear that apocalyptic forces outside America’s borders — Islamic State, Ebola, immigrants from Latin America — will creep in and overwhelm us.

But the more I travel, the clearer it seems to me: Fear is for people who don’t get out much. These people don’t see the world firsthand, so their opinions end up being shaped by sensationalistic media coverage geared toward selling ads. Sadly, fear-mongering politicians desperate for your vote pile on too.

Commercial television news is hammering “the land of the brave” with scare tactics as never before. I believe the motivation is not to make us safer. It’s to boost ratings to keep advertisers satisfied and turn a profit.

When Walter Cronkite closed the evening news by saying, “And that’s the way it is,” I believe that, to the best of journalists’ knowledge, that really was the way it was. In those days, television networks were willing to lose money on their evening news time slot to bring us the news. It was seen as their patriotic duty as good corporate citizens.

But times have changed, and now corporations have a legal responsibility to maximize short-term profits for their shareholders. They’ve started sexing up, spicing up and bloodying up the news to boost ratings. And 24/7 news channels have to amp up the shrillness to make recycled news exciting enough to watch.

In a sense, news has become entertainment masquerading as news. Now an event is not news, it’s a “crisis.” Today it’s Islamic State militants and Ebola. Last month, the greatest threat to civilization was apparently the National Football League turning a blind eye to domestic violence. Or was it racist cops? Or child immigrants at the Mexican border? Of course, these are serious issues. But hyping a news story as a “crisis” and lurching erratically from one to the next serves only to stir people up. Mix in negative political ads, and it can feel as if the world is falling apart.

The unhappy consequence: We end up being afraid of things we shouldn’t be — and ignoring things that actually do threaten our society, such as climate change and the growing gap between rich and poor.

It seems that the most fearful people in our country are those who don’t travel and are metaphorically barricaded in America. If we all stayed home and built more walls and fewer bridges between us and the rest of the world, eventually we would have something to actually be fearful of.

I’ve found that one partial solution is a simple one: travel.

The flip side of fear is understanding. And we gain understanding through travel. As you travel, you realize that we’re just 300 million Americans in a much wider pool of 7 billion people. It’s good for our national security to travel, to engage with the other 96% of humanity and gain empathy for people beyond our borders.

Don’t let fear-mongering politicians and ratings-crazed news channels shape the way you see our world. Get out there and experience it for yourself. Bon voyage.

Rick Steves writes travel guidebooks and hosts the public television series “Rick Steves’ Europe.” The new edition of his book “Travel as a Political Act” is out this month.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Australia bows to pressure to step up Ebola fight in Africa

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Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 25, 2014.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 25, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) – Australia will fund an Ebola treatment clinic in Sierra Leone, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday, responding to pressure from the United States and others to do more to tackle the deadly outbreak at its West African source.

 

Australia last week became the first rich nation to issue a blanket ban on visas from the three most Ebola-affected countries – Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia – sparking widespread criticism.

 

Australia will provide A$20 million ($17.5 million) to staff a 100-bed treatment center that will be built by Britain and run by Aspen Medical, a private Australian company.

 

“We anticipate about 240 staff required to do the job,” Abbott told reporters in Sydney. “Most of them will be locally engaged. Some will be international and it’s quite possible, even likely, that some will be Australian.”

 

Australia had already committed around A$18 million to fight the outbreak of the virus, but had been called on by U.S. President Barack Obama, opposition lawmakers and medical bodies such as Doctors Without Borders to do more.

 

Abbott’s government had raised concerns that any medical staff infected with the disease would not have access to treatment and would face a dangerous 30-hour evacuation flight home. Britain had given assurances that any Australian staff infected with Ebola would be treated as if they were a British citizen, Abbott said.

 

Ebola can take as long as three weeks before its victims show symptoms, at which point the disease becomes contagious. Ebola, which can cause fever, vomiting and diarrhea, spreads through contact with bodily fluids such as blood or saliva.

 

World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim on Tuesday criticized Asian countries for not contributing enough to the global effort to fight Ebola, despite having a wealth of trained medical personnel.

 

“Many countries in Asia who could help simply are not, especially when it comes to sending health workers,” Kim told a news conference in Seoul.

 

The World Health Organization says the outbreak, the most deadly on record, has killed some 5,000 people. No cases have been diagnosed in Australia, although there have been a number of scares.

 

(Editing by Nick Macfie)

 

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Ebola nasal spray vaccine found to ‘offer long-term protection’ 

This article was originally published on this site
  • Scientists at the University of Texas are developing the breathable vaccine
  • It has been shown to protect monkeys against the deadly virus
  • Next step is to test vaccine on humans in phase one clinical trials
  • Researchers said respiratory vaccine could overcome logistical problems of storing, transporting and administering injectable vaccines

By

Lizzie Parry for MailOnline
Published:
08:47 EST, 4 November 2014

|
Updated:
13:27 EST, 4 November

A nasal spray being developed as a potential vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus has been found to be effective.

Scientists at the University of Texas discovered the breathable vaccine offers long-term protection during pre-clinical trials with monkeys.

Since the current outbreak erupted in West Africa earlier this year, almost 5,000 people have lost their lives – the majority in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

A number of injectable experimental vaccines are being trialled in the US, UK and Mali, with plans to extend human trials into other parts of Europe, Gabon and Kenya.

A nasal spray being developed as a potential vaccine for the Ebola virus (pictured under the microscope) has been found to protect monkeys in pre-clinical trials

There are  vaccination trials ongoing in the US and UK. It is hoped the first results will be available next year

There are vaccination trials ongoing in the US and UK. It is hoped the first results will be available next year

But researchers in Austin, Texas, say their small pre-clinical study is the only proof to date that a single dose of a non-injectable vaccine against Ebola is long-lasting.

They claim the discovery could have ‘significant global implications in controlling future outbreaks’.

A breathable vaccine could overcome the logistical obstacles of storing, transporting and administering injectable vaccines in parts of Africa most afflicted by the virus, the researchers said.

The work will be presented tomorrow at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Kristina Jonsson-Schmunk, a graduate in pharmacy and professor Dr Maria Croyle, and Dr Gary Kobinger and his team at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, developed the vaccine over seven years.

It was found to improve survival of immunised non-human primates from 67 per cent to 100 per cent, after challenge with 1,000 plaque forming units of Ebola Zaire 150 days after immunisation.

It is significant because only 50 per cent of the primates given the vaccine by the standard route – an injection into the muscle – survived challenge.

Ms Jonsson-Schmunk said: ‘Ebola causes devastating outbreaks with fatality rates of 25 to 90 per cent in Africa and Asia.

‘Although progress has been made in understanding the virus’ biology, no licensed vaccines or treatments currently exist.

‘There is a desperate need for a vaccine that not only prevents the continued transmission from person to person, but also aids in controlling future incidences.’

‘The main advantage of our vaccine platform over the others in clinical testing is the long-lasting protection after a single intranasal dose,’ Dr Croyle added.

Prayers are said for a victim of Ebola  in Freetown, Sierra Leone as healthcare workers prepare to remove the body from public

Prayers are said for a victim of Ebola in Freetown, Sierra Leone, as healthcare workers prepare to remove the body from public

Hearth workers cover the body of a man suspected of dying from the Ebola virus on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia.  The World Health Organization said this week that the rate of infection in Liberia appears to be falling but warned that the response effort must be kept up or the trend could be reversed

Hearth workers cover the body of a man suspected of dying from the Ebola virus on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. The World Health Organization said this week that the rate of infection in Liberia appears to be falling but warned that the response effort must be kept up or the trend could be reversed

‘This is important since the longevity of other vaccines for Ebola that are currently being evaluated is not fully understood.

‘Moreover, the nasal spray immunisation method is more attractive than a needle vaccine given the costs associated with syringe distribution, needle safety and disposal.’

The current Ebola outbreak in Western Africa is the largest and most complex epidemic since the virus was first discovered in 1976, according to the World Health Organisation.

With a fatality rate currently as high as 70 per cent, officials have declared this outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

The next stage of Dr Croyle and her team’s research is a phase one clinical trial that tests the effectiveness of their vaccine in human volunteers.

They also plan to further explore their initial data they have collected for the administration of the vaccine as a thin film under the tongue in non-human primates.

The study was published in the online edition of the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

NO EBOLA VACCINE BECAUSE VIRUS ONLY AFFECTED POOR AFRICAN NATIONS, SAYS WHO CHIEF

A vaccine to protect millions from the Ebola virus decades after it was first detected does not exist because the disease previously only affected poor African nations.

The head of the World Health Organisation’s scathing conclusion came as nearly 5,000 people have lost their lives to the hemorrhagic fever – the majority in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Dr Margaret Chan, director general of the WHO, criticised drugs companies for turning their backs on ‘markets that cannot pay’.

WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan said: 'Why are clinicians still empty handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has historically been confined to poor African nations'

WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan said: ‘Why are clinicians still empty handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has historically been confined to poor African nations’

She said the current outbreak – the most deadly in history – has exposed two WHO arguments ‘that have fallen on deaf ears for decades’.

Addressing the regional committee for Africa in Benin yesterday, Dr Chan said: ‘Ebola emerged nearly four decades ago. Why are clinicians still empty handed, with no vaccines and no cure?

‘Because Ebola has historically been confined to poor African nations.

‘The R&D (research and development) incentive is virtually non-existent.

‘A profit-driven industry does not invest in products for markets that cannot pay.

‘WHO has been trying to make this issue visible for ages. Now people can see it for themselves.’

 

 

 

MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS

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Pregnancy-style Ebola test ‘gives results in 15 minutes’ and could be available by January

This article was originally published on this site
  • The new test is in the pre-production phase, say French scientists
  • Small white plastic kit can be used without specialist equipment speeding up the diagnosis process and giving results within 15 minutes
  • A drop of blood, urine, serum or plasma is placed on the test 
  • The virus is then caught by antibodies already present in the bands
  • Depending the results, the test provokes a coloured reaction
  • Researchers say the test could be available as early as January 2015  
  • Currently tests for the virus can take between 24 hours and three days 

By

Lizzie Parry for MailOnline
Published:
11:30 EST, 4 November 2014

Updated:
13:20 EST, 4 November

A new pregnancy-style Ebola test could give health workers on the front line in West Africa accurate diagnoses within 15 minutes, it has been claimed.

French scientists are in the pre-production phases of the test, which they claim will ‘dramatically cut times’ for medical teams working in the field.

The small white plastic kit is in development and resembles a traditional pregnancy test.

It can be used without specialised equipment, speeding up the process of testing for the virus, the researchers from a branch of the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) said.

Scroll down for video

A team of scientists in France has developed a new pregnancy-style test for Ebola which could give healthcare workers on the front line in West Africa a diagnosis within 15 minutes

According to the World Health Organisation, the virus, pictured under the microscope, has so far claimed almost 5,000 lives

According to the World Health Organisation, the virus, pictured under the microscope, has so far claimed almost 5,000 lives

Current testing for Ebola does not yield results for around 24 hours, depending on the proximity to a laboratory capable of anaylsing the results, according to the team based in Marcoule, southern France.

Researcher Fabrice Gallais, said: ‘This test works like a traditional pregnancy test available in a pharmacy.

‘We place a sample, a drop of blood, serum, plasma or urine, which moves towards this band.

‘The virus then gets caught by antibodies, already present on the bands.

‘Then depending on the results, you get a coloured reaction.’

The new test has already undergone trials in a high-security laboratory in Lyon to obtain a licence, using the strain of the disease currently spreading through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The head of the laboratory, Laurent Bellanger said he expects to begin to roll out the tests on a larger scale at the beginning of 2015.

‘We are in a pre-production phase,’ he said. ‘The tests we’re working with now are prototypes which helped us make adjustments.

Blood tests and other tests currently take between 24 hours and three days to yield results

Blood tests and other tests currently take between 24 hours and three days to yield results

The new test can be used without specialised equipment, speeding up the process of testing for the virus, the researchers from a branch of the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) said

The new test can be used without specialised equipment, speeding up the process of testing for the virus, the researchers from a branch of the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) said

A sample, a drop of blood, serum, plasma or urine, is placed on the band. The virus then gets caught by antibodies, already present on the bands. Depending on the results, you get a coloured reaction

A sample, a drop of blood, serum, plasma or urine, is placed on the band. The virus then gets caught by antibodies, already present on the bands. Depending on the results, you get a coloured reaction

NO EBOLA VACCINE BECAUSE VIRUS ONLY AFFECTED POOR AFRICAN NATIONS, WHO CHIEF

A vaccine to protect millions from the Ebola virus decades after it was first detected does not exist because the disease previously only affected poor African nations.

The head of the World Health Organisation’s scathing conclusion came as nearly 5,000 people have lost their lives to the haemorrhagic fever – the majority in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan addressed the regional committee for Africa in Benin

WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan addressed the regional committee for Africa in Benin

Dr Margaret Chan, director general of the WHO, criticised drugs companies for turning their backs on ‘markets that cannot pay’.

She said the current outbreak – the most deadly in history – has exposed two WHO arguments ‘that have fallen on deaf ears for decades’.

Addressing the regional committee for Africa in Benin yesterday, Dr Chan said: ‘Ebola emerged nearly four decades ago. Why are clinicians still empty handed, with no vaccines and no cure?

‘Because Ebola has historically been confined to poor African nations.

‘The R&D (research and development) incentive is virtually non-existent.

‘A profit-driven industry does not invest in products for markets that cannot pay.

‘WHO has been trying to make this issue visible for ages. Now people can see it for themselves.’

‘We expect to have a few hundred of them in the coming days in order to start the clinical validation phase.

‘Production can then start at the beginning of 2015 on a larger scale which will be adapted according to requirements in the field.’

The aim of these rapid tests is to be able to conduct diagnosis as close as possible to the affected communities.

Fast tests are also under development in several other countries.

Japanese researchers announced last month they found a new method to detect the virus in 30 minutes, while U.S. researchers are also working on a test that could give results in 10 minutes.

The most deadly outbreak of Ebola on record has killed nearly 5,000 people, all but a handful of them in Liberia,Guinea and Sierra Leone.

There are a number of tests currently used to diagnose Ebola.

The majority work within a few days of the onset of symptoms, detecting the virus’s genetic material or the presence of antibodies against the pathogen.

The most accurate of these is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a technique that looks for genetic material from the virus and creates copies of it that can be deteched, Dr Bruce Hirsch, an infectious disease specialist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, told LiveScience.

He said: ‘PCR is a really definitive test. It can pick up very small amounts of the virus.’

But the test has its drawbacks. It can be negative in the first three days.

Dr Sandro Cinti, a specialist at the University of Michigan Hospital, added: ‘Somebody could be in the hospital for three to five days before a diagnosis is confirmed.

‘The important thing is keeping the patient isolated until you can get a diagnosis.’

Another test for Ebola looks at the antibodies produced by the body’s immune system in response to the virus.

The antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), can take longer than three days to give a positive result.

 

MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS

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11-3-2014 Updates

No Ebola in Durham, North Carolina: http://myfox8.com/2014/11/03/nc-officials-await-test-results-of-possible-ebola-patient-in-durham/

 

11-2-2014 Updates

No Ebola in Oregon: http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2014/11/test_on_liberian_woman_hospita.html

1 Monitored Case in Durham, North Carolina http://www.wral.com/patient-at-duke-hospital-being-monitored-for-possible-ebola/14141848/

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Sierra Leone doctor tests positive for Ebola

This article was originally published on this site

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Authorities in Sierra Leone said Sunday that another doctor there has tested positive for Ebola, marking a setback for efforts to keep desperately needed health care workers safe in the West African country ravaged by the deadly virus.

Government Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brima Kargbo confirmed on Sunday that a fifth doctor in Sierra Leone had tested positive. The other four all have died from the virus that has killed nearly 5,000 across West Africa.

The sick physician has been identified as Dr. Godfrey George, medical superintendent of Kambia Government Hospital in northern Sierra Leone. He was driven to the capital, Freetown, after reporting he wasn’t feeling well.

Doctors and nurses have been the most vulnerable to contracting Ebola, as the virus is spread through bodily fluids. Some 523 health workers have contracted Ebola, and about half of them have died.

France said it was treating a U.N. employee who had contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone.

France’s government announced in a statement late Saturday that a U.N. employee had been evacuated there by a special flight and was undergoing treatment in “high-security isolation” in the Begin Army Training Hospital in Saint-Mande, near Paris.

It didn’t identify the patient or the U.N. agency where the patient works.

France previously had taken in a French medic with Doctors Without Borders in September who had Ebola. She later recovered from the infection.

___

Associated Press writer Jamey Keaten in Paris contributed to this report.

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Nurse: No option but to fight Ebola quarantine

This article was originally published on this site

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — A nurse who successfully fought Maine’s quarantine for health care workers who have treated Ebola patients said she had no option but to challenge how medical professionals were being treated and is hopeful that others who return from West Africa won’t face the same reaction.

Kaci Hickox said in an interview with the Maine Sunday Telegram (http://bit.ly/1wUdMDb ) she was fighting for the rights of other U.S. medical workers who are trying to bring the deadly outbreak under control in West Africa.

After she arrived in Maine last week, state health officials went to court in an attempt to bar her from crowded public places. A judge ruled Friday she must continue daily monitoring of her health but can go wherever she pleases.

“I hope in six months aid workers returning back can be unnoticed,” she told the newspaper. “They won’t be in the media like I was, I hope. And they can walk into a grocery store and maybe no one even knows they were working in a country with Ebola, but one day I hope everyone can know and still smile at them in the grocery store. I know that won’t happen today.”

Hickox, 33, told the newspaper that she will respect the wishes of town residents and avoid going into town during the illness’s 21-day incubation period, which for her ends Nov. 10. She was criticized by some who said she wasn’t considering the public’s well-being by resisting the quarantine.

“I didn’t mean to bring this media storm onto this community, either, but I think unfortunately sometimes, especially when up against governors, you don’t always have an option,” she said. “I don’t feel like I was given an option.”

Hickox is originally from Rio Vista, Texas, and worked in Indonesia, Burma, the Darfur region of Sudan and Nigeria before returning to the U.S. to earn masters’ degrees in public health and nursing. She went to Sierra Leone this summer with Doctors Without Borders when the Ebola outbreak erupted.

She told the paper that she didn’t count the number of people who died, only the number of survivors: 39 during her time. But she still remembers the victims. On her last night in the country, she treated a little girl who didn’t survive.

“I don’t remember her exact age. I think she was 10, but to watch a 10-year-old die alone, in a tent and know there wasn’t anything you could do . it’s hard,” she said.

___

Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Gates Foundation boosts aid to stamp out malaria

This article was originally published on this site

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Philanthropist Bill Gates says he wants to end malaria in his lifetime and will give more money toward that goal, part of his broader fight against tropical diseases that are getting unusual public attention because of the Ebola epidemic.

In an interview with The Associated Press and in a speech Sunday at a global health conference in New Orleans, the Microsoft co-founder said his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would increase its malaria program budget by 30 percent, to more than $200 million per year. That’s on top of the foundation’s other donations to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Small steps won’t get the job done, and scientists don’t have all the tools they need to eradicate malaria, Gates said.

His plan includes developing a drug or vaccine to purge the malaria parasite in people who carry it without showing symptoms — a “human reservoir” that helps spread the disease.

“I really do believe that malaria can be eradicated in my lifetime,” said Gates, who just turned 59.

Gates spoke at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, a conference that usually gets little public notice, about diseases often referred to as “neglected.”

That is not the case this year. On Wednesday, Louisiana officials created a stir by asking the 3,500 people registered for the conference to stay away if they have been to certain West African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days, the maximum incubation period for Ebola.

Conference organizers called the stance an overreaction to Ebola fears, and said it would prevent some scientists from presenting studies on the outbreak, which has killed about 5,000 Africans this year.

In all, Gates said his foundation will commit more than $500 million this year to fight malaria, pneumonia, and diarrheal and parasitic diseases in poor countries. Here are some he discussed.

EBOLA

The conference comes “at a pivotal moment in the history of global health” because of the world’s largest outbreak of Ebola, Gates said. He and his wife have pledged $50 million to help contain it and for research on treatments, rapid tests and vaccines. Another Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, has pledged $100 million, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, $25 million.

The global response to Ebola initially stumbled and revealed flaws in our health systems, Gates said. Since then, some countries and groups have helped, but much more is needed, he said.

“We’re likely in the next several decades to have an epidemic that’s more transmissible than this Ebola epidemic,” so bolstering health systems in all countries and ensuring investment in drugs and vaccines is key, he said.

MALARIA

It kills more than 600,000 people each year, mostly children in Africa but also in Asia, Latin America and other areas.

It is caused by parasites spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes. In areas where the disease is common, people can develop partial immunity — they carry the parasite but don’t get sick, and mosquitoes who bite them become infected and then spread the disease when they bite others.

Efforts to control the disease, such as bed nets to prevent mosquito bites, must continue but “the only way to stop malaria is to end it forever,” Gates said.

His plan includes $156 million over five years to the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative to develop vaccines that prevent mosquitoes from infecting people and vice versa.

Dr. Chris Plowe, a malaria expert at the University of Maryland’s Center for Vaccine Development and incoming president of the tropical medicine group, said targeting silent infection is key because “if you want to eradicate or eliminate malaria, you have to get rid of all the parasites.”

The idea of ending malaria in 20 to 40 years “is faster than most people expect,” but a good goal, Plowe said.

POLIO

Gates called polio eradication “my top priority,” noting the viral disease remains endemic in three countries — Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He cited progress: Polio was eliminated in India earlier this year, and as of early September, Nigeria had confirmed only six wild poliovirus cases this year. There is a good chance of getting the polio case count down to zero for the entire continent of Africa, he said.

DENGUE FEVER

The mosquito-borne disease, also known as breakbone fever for the pain it causes, has spread from a few countries a few decades ago to more than 100 today, including the southern United States. An experimental vaccine seems to prevent most severe disease and hospitalizations. Details of a major study on it will be presented at the conference on Monday, and Gates said his foundation would work to build on that work and make a vaccine available to all who need it.

CHIKUNGUNYA

Another mosquito-borne disease, chikungunya causes fever and extremely painful joints. It spread to the Caribbean last year after expanding in Africa and South Asia, and in July, the first locally acquired case in the U.S. was documented in Florida. It’s an important field for research and vaccine development, Gates said.

___

Online:

Gates Foundation/malaria: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/What-We-Do/Global-Health/Malaria

WHO on malaria: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/

Malaria vaccine effort: http://www.malariavaccine.org/

Help for Ebola: www.TackleEbola.com

___

Marilynn Marchione can be followed at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP