Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ebola: U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

Medical Research Institute Develops Ebola Diagnostics
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2014 – The Ebola crisis in West Africa seized global attention in March, but scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have worked for years on diagnostics, vaccines and drugs for Ebola and other lethal pathogens that adversaries might use in bioweapons targeting troops on the battlefield.

USAMRIID, based in Frederick, Maryland, has pioneered research since 1969 to develop such medical countermeasures, and its work has contributed to critically needed help in the current outbreak.

On Oct. 25, the World Health Organization reported 10,141 cases of confirmed and suspected Ebola virus disease in six affected countries -- Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States -- and in the previously affected countries of Nigeria and Senegal, and 4,922 deaths, all as of Oct. 23.

During a DoD News interview last week, a USAMRIID scientist discussed the institute’s work on Ebola diagnostics, a critical tool that allows medical workers in West Africa, and now around the world, to determine whether someone is infected with the Ebola Zaire virus.

The Ebola Zaire strain, one of four known strains of Ebola virus, is the one that has caused the current outbreak.

Diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutic drugs needed

In Africa today, some of the most-needed medical products are diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutic drugs to treat Ebola virus disease. USAMRIID and others are working on vaccines and therapeutics for Ebola, but none has been approved yet for use in patients. read more>>>

* * The Fight Against Ebola Is in West Africa, Not the US, Officials Warn * *

* * * DoD Helps Fight EBOLA in West Africa * * *

Navy Physician Provides Ebola Treatment Expertise to DoD Team
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, Oct. 27, 2014 – The Defense Department’s unprecedented mission of establishing a 30-member team to rapidly and effectively respond to any potential Ebola virus outbreak in the U.S. has brought some of the U.S. military health system’s best medical professionals together.

One member of the joint team brings real-world experience treating Ebola patients to the DoD training course that will assist in advancing the group’s proficiency. Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) James Lawler, chief of the clinical research department of the bio-defense research directorate, Naval Medical Research Center, Fort Detrick, Maryland, discussed his role on the DoD team serving as a subject-matter expert on Ebola treatment.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work in a couple of isolation treatment units in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said, “and recently, in May, I was at the Ebola treatment unit in Conakry, Guinea, as a consultant for the World Health Organization. He also worked with the local health ministry and with Doctors Without Borders, which runs the Ebola treatment unit in Conakry.

Advances in Ebola treatment

Lawler, an 18-year Navy veteran, said he thinks the treatment of Ebola has “evolved significantly” due to the outbreak in West Africa.

“We’re really rewriting the textbook on Ebola virus disease, because we’ve seen so many more cases in this outbreak,” he said. “I think we’ve tried to capture a lot of the lessons that have been learned from West Africa, and also from the repatriated patients who have been treated here in the United States. We’ve learned a lot about effective treatment and how important aggressive supportive care can be, and we’ve tried to impart those lessons to the team here.” read more>>>

DoD News Broadcast Channel Plans Ebola Special
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2014 – Defense Department leaders discuss mission, policy and protection of troops participating in the department’s Ebola response in a special program scheduled to air at 9 a.m. EDT Oct. 30 on the DoD News Broadcast Channel, Defense Media Activity officials announced today.

“Ebola Defense: A DoD News Special Report” also takes an in-depth look at the specialized training for service members deploying to West Africa, and the program also will present the latest information on the Army’s research on potential Ebola vaccines and treatments. helpful links found under report>>>

The Military’s Ebola Screening Machine Just Got Approved for US Hospitals
October 27, 2014 - Rapidly screening for Ebola at U.S. hospitals has just gotten easier thanks to military-funded technology. Salt Lake City-based BioFire announced over the weekend that they had received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for hospital workers to use their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening machine, the FilmArray, to screen for Ebola.

It’s the same machine that the U.S. military is using to fight the disease in Africa. But until Saturday, the FDA approved FilmArray for Ebola screening for research purposes only in U.S. hospitals.

The Dallas hospital that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who became the first individual to die of Ebola in the United States, but was not authorized to use it to test patients showing symptoms of Ebola. read more>>>

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