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Tracking the Ebola outbreak in near real-time: HealthMap, ProMED and other tools

Tracking the Ebola outbreak in near real-time: HealthMap, ProMED and other tools | Biodefense News | Scoop.it

Sobering news keeps coming out of the West African Ebola outbreak. According to numbers released on August 6, the virus has sickened 1,711 and claimed 932 lives across four nations. The outbreak continues to grow, with a high risk of continued regional spread, according to a threat analysis released byHealthMap (an outbreak tracking system operated out of Boston Children’s Hospital) and Bio.Diaspora (a Canadian project that monitors communicable disease spread via international travel).


“What we’ve seen here—because of inadequate public health measures, because of general fear—is [an outbreak that] truly hasn’t been kept under control,”John Brownstein, PhD, co-founder of HealthMap and a computational epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, told ABC News. “The event started, calmed down and jumped up again. Now, we’re seeing movement into densely populated areas, which is highly concerning.”


If you’re interested in keeping tabs on the outbreak yourself, there are several tools that can help:


  • HealthMap’s Ebola map. The HealthMap team is maintaining a dedicated, interactive map and timeline of the epidemic athealthmap.org/ebola (embedded at the top of this post). Both map and timeline are regularly updated as new information becomes available, as is the HealthMap Twitter account.
  • ProMED. The International Society for Infectious Disease, a non-profit organization for infectious and emerging disease research, operatesProMED, a disease news monitoring service that tracks outbreaks of human and veterinary infectious diseases. ProMED (short for Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases) has been sending out regular email and Twitter alerts about the Ebola outbreak since it was first noticed in March.
  • US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is regularly posting updated news and patient counts—as well as travel and preparedness guidance and other information about the virus—on both their website and Twitter.
  • World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO’s Global Alert and Response system is providing regular updates on disease spread and control efforts. The organization is also distributing updates via its Twitter feed.

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Biodefense News's insight:

One glaring omission from this list is http://www.ascelbio.com, which is supplying CDC/GDD with outbreak information and forecasting.  Ascel Bio was also in constant contact with Samaritan's Purse and asked to help respond to evacuate.

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M. Philip Oliver's curator insight, August 15, 12:33 PM

Thanks To Dr. Stefan

Luigi Cappel's curator insight, August 16, 5:53 PM

Not only is this a great site, but when I went in, it automatically identified that I live in New Zealand and showed me areas close to me where there are notifiable diseases. It showed that currently measles is growing around our country. This is a great site to check out, whether you are traveling overseas and want to see if there are things you want to be forewarned about, perhaps be inoculated against, or in the case of something like Ebola, places you might be better off staying well away from at least in the short to medium term. 

 

I recommend checking it out, whether you are traveling, or simply want to see great use of maps to show real time data. The time-lapse video showing the expansion of Ebola is fascinating. This is the sort of thing we usually just see on movies showing the CDC, like one of my favorite TV shows 24. Where's Jack Bauer when you need him? Oh, I here a rumor he may be coming back:)

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USPHS deploying 65 officers to Liberia

USPHS deploying 65 officers to Liberia | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
A team of specialized officers from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is being prepared to deploy to manage and staff a previously announced U.S.
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Very few aircraft equipped to evacuate Ebola patients - CIDRAP

Very few aircraft equipped to evacuate Ebola patients - CIDRAP | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
CIDRAP
Very few aircraft equipped to evacuate Ebola patients
CIDRAP
Developing the system was a collaboration of Phoenix Air with the CDC and biodefense experts in the Department of Defense (DoD), he said.
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Ebola's Warning for an Unprepared America - Wall Street Journal

Ebola's Warning for an Unprepared America - Wall Street Journal | Biodefense News | Scoop.it

The world is finally mobilizing to wage a muscular fight against Ebola's catastrophic spread through West Africa. President Obama has put the Pentagon in charge of a robust, 3,000-person U.S. relief effort in the stricken areas. This is a positive step, but the world is still dangerously ill-prepared for the fight against pandemic outbreaks.

In the case of Ebola, we were late to the battle and are now focused too narrowly on places like Liberia while failing to see West Africa as one big outbreak. We also remain too dependent on outdated tools and strategies in fighting the virus, and are tethered to an effort not yet scaled to the challenge.

While Ebola may still be contained, other potentially calamitous threats are out there. MERS, SARS, avian flu and other illnesses could re-emerge at any time. In the American Midwest, for instance, a novel virus classified as Enterovirus 68 has recently sent some 300 children to the hospital in respiratory distress, with no available antiviral therapy or vaccine. We need to rethink our preparedness and adopt a more modern approach for dealing with these and other looming outbreaks.

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Global Crusade Against Dengue Begins in Indonesia

Global Crusade Against Dengue Begins in Indonesia | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
A team of scientists hoping to eliminate dengue fever is using the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta to conduct eradication trials that it hopes to extend to other parts of the world.
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UPDATE 2-Biodefense drugmaker Siga files for bankruptcy

* Bankruptcy filing stems from dispute with PharmAthene* Siga lists assets of $209.5 mln; liabilities of $197.9 mln* Siga shares fall 31 pct; PharmAthene down 21 pct (Adds details, background, updates
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Suggesting Airborne Precautions for Ebola HCW is a Really Bad Idea

Contributing author Heather Lander, Ph.D. provides insight into why implementing airborne precautions in the Ebola epidemic isn’t the right strategy to prevent infection of health care workers.
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Obama to announce Ebola force of 3,000 US military personnel

Obama to announce Ebola force of 3,000 US military personnel | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
Contingent being sent to west Africa will train health workers, build treatment centres and deliver resources to tackle epidemic Continue reading...
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Former College Student Pleads Guilty to Unregistered Possession of Ricin - Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release)

Former College Student Pleads Guilty to Unregistered Possession of Ricin - Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
Former College Student Pleads Guilty to Unregistered Possession of Ricin Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) According to calculations discussed in the Textbook of Military Medicine, Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare, a...
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Virologist: ‘It’s too late, ebola will kill 5 million’

INFOWARS.COM – A top German virologist has caused shockwaves by asserting that it’s too late to halt the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia and that five million people will die, noting that efforts should now be focused on stopping the...
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Virus Scare at CDC Points to More Problems With Lab Animals but, accused Scientist says it's, "Laughable"

Virus Scare at CDC Points to More Problems With Lab Animals but, accused Scientist says it's, "Laughable" | Biodefense News | Scoop.it

A veteran researcher was accussed of unauthorized research with potentially deadly bat viruses, according to internal CDC documents.


A series of mistakes revealed in recent months has made security at the nation’s premier federal research laboratories look as rigorous as the safeguards in a high school science class. Employees may have been exposed to anthrax. A deadly strain of avian flu was mistakenly sent to a Georgia lab. Vials of smallpox were discovered in an unused portion of a storeroom.

In another example of flawed oversight, internal documents released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that a research scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been accused of going rogue and injecting primates with two unapproved and potentially deadly viruses, West Caucasian bat virus and Lagos bat virus. Worse, the scientist allegedly failed to explicitly inform his staff about the heightened dangers posed by the viruses, including the possibility of “an untreatable and fatal laboratory-acquired infection,” the documents show. The violations occurred sometime “between 2006 and 2009,” although the CDC says it only learned about them in 2012.

The CDC scientist accused of misconduct, Charles Rupprecht, said in an interview that the allegations against him were laughable and the result of a jealous boss, an insecure colleague, and supervisors wanting to appear sensitive to animal research issues. ”I’m not sure you have enough hours to deal with this crock of much ado about nothing!” he wrote in response to an e-mail seeking comment fromBloomberg Businessweek.

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Week in DC: Events

Week in DC: Events | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
September 15, 2014 Squaring the Iranian Nuclear Circle: Defining Uranium Enrichment Capacity and Other Key Issues Date: September 15, 9:30am Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Root Room, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC...
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Homeland Security Today: EXCLUSIVE - Bio-Martyrs: A Very Real Threat at Unique Moment in Time

Homeland Security Today: EXCLUSIVE - Bio-Martyrs: A Very Real Threat at Unique Moment in Time | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
Homeland Security Today is the leading source for independent news and analysis on homeland security affairs (RT @HSTodayMag: Bio-Martyr #terrorism is a very real threat #bioterrorism #bioattack #jihad http://t.co/a9lxzOrWsl)...
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Pandora Report 9.13.14

Pandora Report 9.13.14 | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
This week we look at a report that claims DHS is not prepared for a pandemic and information about Chemical Weapons in Syria, still.
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Frontiers | Antipodal Biosecurity? Oversight of Dual Use Research in the United States and Australia | Infectious Diseases

The creation of a virulent mousepox virus in Australia and publication of this experiment in 2001 are often argued to mark a dangerous turn in dual use research (1). After this experiment and – far...
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Response Biomedical Corp. Announces Management Changes - CNNMoney

Response Biomedical Corp. Announces Management Changes
CNNMoney
Response develops, manufactures and markets rapid onsite diagnostic tests for use with its RAMP® platform for clinical, biodefense and environmental applications.
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Ebola aid gets $7m boost from Australia after Barack Obama's warning

Ebola aid gets $7m boost from Australia after Barack Obama's warning | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
Australia has pledged $7m to those fighting Ebola, including the World Health Organisation and Médecins Sans Frontières Continue reading...
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Ahead of Print -Dengue Expansion in Africa—Not Recognized or Not Happening? - Volume 20, Number 10—October 2014 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

Ahead of Print -Dengue Expansion in Africa—Not Recognized or Not Happening? - Volume 20, Number 10—October 2014 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
An expert conference on Dengue in Africa was held in Accra, Ghana, in February 2013 to consider key questions regarding the possible expansion of dengue in Africa.
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Dengue Fever in Japan Shows Global Spread Through Travel - Bloomberg

Dengue Fever in Japan Shows Global Spread Through Travel - Bloomberg | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
Dengue Fever in Japan Shows Global Spread Through Travel
Bloomberg
The outbreak in Japan is an extension of the dengue pandemic that has moved around the world over the past 30 years to Europe, the U.S.
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Fact or Fiction?: The Ebola Virus Will Go Airborne

Fact or Fiction?: The Ebola Virus Will Go Airborne | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
Why do some viruses go airborne? Will the pathogen causing the west African outbreak be one of them?
-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Tauri Group awarded $13 million contract from JPEO

Tauri Group awarded $13 million contract from JPEO | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
The Tauri Group, LLC., announced on Wednesday that it was awarded four task orders in August from the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) Omnibus Program Engineering and Technical Support (OPETS) contract.
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QuantuMDx Announce Prototype for Rapid, Handheld Diagnostic

At the TEDMED 2014 conference, medical device developers QuantuMDx Group announced the successful production of their first fully-integrated sample-to-result working prototype of Q-POC, a handheld lab that delivers your DNA-based medical diagnosis...
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New Tracking Technologies Aim to Prevent Sloppy Handling at U.S. Biolabs

New Tracking Technologies Aim to Prevent Sloppy Handling at U.S. Biolabs | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
The CDC is piloting cameras and tablets in high-level biosafety spaces in an effort to avoid future infectious disease botch-ups
-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Predicting and Preventing the Spread of Infectious Disease with Google Earth

Predicting and Preventing the Spread of Infectious Disease with Google Earth | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
In the film Minority Report, PreCrime police combine psychic premonitions with search and surveillance technology to prevent murders (Predicting and Preventing the Spread of Infectious Disease with Google Earth | Singularity Hub via @singularityhub...
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Biodefense News Headlines of the Week – September 14, 2014

See what we’re reading this week at Global Biodefense News on the enterovirus outbreak, chikungunya threat, Ebola response efforts and more...
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Perspective: Ebola Becoming a "Pandemic"

The latest round of media attention on the Ebola disaster now comes from Michael Osterholm in his recent New York Times piece titled "What We're Afraid to Say About Ebola".
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