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Ebola outbreak in Uganda

The first widespread outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever since 2009 has killed 14 people in the Kibaale district of western Uganda, the World Health Organization said on 29 July.

Twenty cases have been reported since the beginning of July, but the presence of ebola virus was not officially confirmed until last week, by the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe.

Today, after the virus spread to the capital, Kampala, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni told people to avoid physical contact. There’s no treatment or vaccine against the virus, which is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids.

According to the UVRI, this outbreak involves the Sudan subtype of the virus, which in a 2000–01 Ugandan outbreak killed 224 people — 53% of identified cases (a typically high fatality rate). The World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control don’t yet have confirmation of that diagnosis, however.


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    arnold katz said:

    Biosafety Level 4

    Sarepta’s Marburg & Ebola Virus Drug Shows Survival in Primates Despite Delayed TreatmentDrug Shows 100% and 83% Survival When Administered 48-Hours and 96-Hours Post-Infection
    CAMBRIDGE, MA—(Marketwire 07/19/12) Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (SRPT), a developer of first-in-class RNA-based therapeutics, announced today that its lead therapeutic drug candidate for the Marburg virus, AVI-7288, demonstrated up to 100% survival in a non-human primate (NHP) study exploring the drug’s effect when treatment is delayed to various time points post-infection. The study demonstrated a significantly higher rate of survival among NHPs treated with AVI-7288 compared to the placebo-treated group when treatment was administered up to 96-hours post infection. Sarepta is conducting this work under a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contract managed by the Joint Project Manager Transformational Medical Technologies (JPM-TMT) Project Management Office, a component of the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD).“These results are unprecedented and demonstrate a compelling proof of concept with our PMOplus® chemistry platform and its ability to treat the most lethal and fast-acting viruses, without compromising efficacy of survival even after up to a four-day delay in the initiation of treatment,” said Chris Garabedian, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sarepta Therapeutics. “These results represent a significant advancement toward the protection of our service members and the civilian population in the event of a bioterrorist attack. Extending the window of opportunity for effective medical intervention against lethal infections may translate to more lives saved.“This study showed a high degree of survival between 83% and 100% in each of four post-exposure cohorts that received daily treatments with AVI-7288 beginning one-, 24-, 48-, or 96-hours after infection, compared to 0% survival in the placebo-treated control group. Currently at Day 27, the study will continue to monitor the surviving non-human primates until study termination at Day 41.The work is a collaborative effort between Sarepta and scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the DoD’s leading medical research laboratory for biological defense, which has the DoD’s only maximum containment, or Biosafety Level 4, capability.

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