Guinea declares new Ebola outbreak

Guinea declared a new Ebola outbreak on Sunday, as tests came back positive for the virus after at least three people died and four fell ill in the southeast – the first resurgence of the disease there since the world’s worst outbreak in 2013-2016. The seven patients fell ill with diarrhoea, vomiting and bleeding after attending a burial in Goueke sub-prefecture. Those still alive have been isolated in treatment centres, the health ministry said. It was not clear if the person buried on February 1 had also died of Ebola. She was a nurse at a local health centre who died from an unspecified illness after being transferred for treatment to Nzerekore, a city near the border with Liberia and Ivory Coast. “Faced with this situation and in accordance with international health regulations, the Guinean government declares an Ebola epidemic,” the ministry said in a statement. The 2013-2016 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa started in Nzerekore, whose proximity to busy borders hampered efforts to contain the virus. It went on to kill at least 11,300 people with the vast majority of cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Fighting Ebola again will place additional strain on health services in Guinea as they battle the coronavirus. Guinea, a country of around 12 million, has so far recorded 14,895 coronavirus infections and 84 deaths. The Ebola virus causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea and is spread through contact with body fluids. It has a much higher death rate than Covid-19, but unlike coronavirus it is not transmitted by asymptomatic carriers. The ministry said health workers are working to trace and isolate the contacts of the Ebola cases and will open a treatment centre in Goueke, which is less than an hour’s drive from Nzerekore.

Source: Guinea declares new Ebola outbreak

The latest antivax false claim: mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are not vaccines but “medical devices” or “gene therapy” | Science-Based Medicine

There’s a new antivaccine talking point in town, and it’s just as much disinformation as other antivaccine talking points. It’s the claim that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not really vaccines but “medical devices,” “gene therapy,” or “experimental biologics” and that they were falsely classified as vaccines in order to bypass safety testing. Here, we discuss why this claim is utter nonsense based…

Source: The latest antivax false claim: mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are not vaccines but “medical devices” or “gene therapy” | Science-Based Medicine

 

Requiring Masks Early In the Covid-19 Pandemic Would Have Prevented Many Deaths – ScienceDirect

Our main counterfactual experiments suggest that nationally mandating face masks for employees early in the pandemic could have reduced the weekly growth rate of cases and deaths by more than 10 percentage points in late April and could have led to as much as 19 to 47 percent less deaths nationally by the end of May, which roughly translates into 19 to 47 thousand saved lives. We also find that, without stay-at-home orders, cases would have been larger by 6 to 63 percent and without business closures, cases would have been larger by 17 to 78 percent.

Source: Causal impact of masks, policies, behavior on early covid-19 pandemic in the U.S. – ScienceDirect

The Most Popular Mask May Also Be the Least Effective, Study Finds

The 3 layer mask including a layer of surgical mask fabric and masks modified with breathable panty shield were sadly not included in the study, but it’s worth a read.

With thousands of brands, styles, materials, and modifications to select from, it’s hard to know which particular masks do the best job of preventing droplets from spreading. That’s exactly why a group of researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill decided to put a range of masks to the test. For a study published by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine in December, they set out to find the most and least effective masks, and found that one of the most popular and prevalent styles is ranked at the bottom of the list for efficacy. Read on to find out how your mask ranks…

Source: The Most Popular Mask May Also Be the Least Effective, Study Finds

Reserving coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines for global access: cross sectional analysis | The BMJ

This study provides an overview of how high income countries have secured future supplies of covid-19 vaccines but that access for the rest of the world is uncertain. Governments and manufacturers might provide much needed assurances for equitable allocation of covid-19 vaccines through greater transparency and accountability over these arrangements.

Source: Reserving coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines for global access: cross sectional analysis | The BMJ