MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - A new case of Ebola has been confirmed in Liberia, the World Health Organization reported Friday. This is the first confirmed case of Ebola in Liberia since January.
The confirmation of a new Ebola case comes just 3 days after the WHO emergency committee said Ebola is no longer a public health emergency of international concern. WHO stood by that statement Friday, adding that flare-ups are expected, largely due to the persistence of the Ebola virus in some survivors.
Urgent need to finish Ebola vaccine
This week, a panel of international experts called for urgent action toward producing a safe and effective Ebola vaccine in preparation for future outbreaks.
A new report by Wellcome Trust and the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy Team B said progress toward Ebola vaccines could “grind to a halt as memories of the outbreak in West Africa begin to fade.” A team of public health, medical, pharmaceutical and humanitarian experts are urging members of the international health community to push toward the completion of an Ebola vaccine rather than shifting their attention to more other pressing public health issues.
"While many in the international public health community believe these efforts have solved ‘the problem of Ebola,’ the path forward is not quite so simple, and many unresolved challenges and questions remain," said Dr. Michael Osterholm, Regents Professor and Director of CIDRAP. "In our report, we identify four key areas in which critical additional work and effort are needed to enhance Ebola preparedness for future outbreaks, particularly in the megacities of equatorial Africa, and to address the ongoing concern that Ebola virus disease may become endemic in West Africa."
The four areas of need identified in the report are:
1. Filling in the gaps in data on the safety and efficacy of Ebola vaccines.
2. Understanding the complex regulatory pathways for Ebola vaccines.
3. Gaining direct input from African public health leaders to clarify how Ebola vaccines will be used or evaluated in respond to future Ebola outbreaks.
4. Creating a business case for ongoing Ebola vaccine development and deployment.
Fox 9 on YouTube - Ebola kills 9 members of Minnesota family
Minnesota has the largest Liberian immigrant population in the United States. Cynthia Sangbai-Kwennah of Brooklyn Center, Minn. has lost 9 family members since the deadly Ebola outbreak erupted in her home country.