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Regards to all our listeners!
I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).
Here is what's new this week in To Your Health, a consumer health oriented podcast from NLM, that helps you use MedlinePlus to follow up on weekly topics.
The study found an Ebola vaccine (developed by Merck) was almost 100 percent effective when given to adults immediately or three weeks after they were exposed to an Ebola patient.
The study's 28 authors included 7,651 people in a 'ring vaccination' trial that began earlier this year — in March 2015. An editorial in The Lancet that accompanied the study notes the ring vaccination method identifies a newly diagnosed Ebola patient and then tracks down their circles of contacts. In turn, these diverse contacts participate in a test of the Ebola vaccine's clinical efficacy.
The Lancet editorial notes (and we quote) 'To identify this often complex network of contacts required the help of family and friends in many small and dispersed communities across the most affected parts of the country (Guinea)' (end of quote).
Incidentally, more than 90 percent of the study's staff are from Guinea. The Lancet editorial adds no clinical trial of this scale previously had been done in Guinea.
The editorial suggests (and we quote) 'That such a trial was even possible is a testament not only to the skill of the research teams but also to the commitment of communities to defeating an epidemic that has devastated their nation' (end of quote).
The editorial explains neither the Ebola vaccine used in the study (nor any other) is licensed at this time. The editorial emphasizes (and we quote): 'More data on efficacy are needed before it (the vaccine) can be widely deployed' (end of quote). The researchers also note there are ongoing clinical trials of other Ebola vaccines in West Africa.
An article published in Health Day after the
Guinea - Ebola vaccine research was published noted the researchers now plan to extend their study population to teenagers (ages 13-17), and to children (ages 6-12).
However, the editorial concludes the Guinea - Ebola vaccine research (and we quote): 'is a remarkable scientific and logistical achievement' (end of quote).
Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) provides a guide to experimental treatments for Ebola (including proposed vaccines) in the 'treatments and therapies' section of MedlinePlus.gov's Ebola health topic page. The CDC also provides information about the overall prevention of Ebola within the 'prevention/screening' section of MedlinePlus.gov's Ebola health topic page.
A gateway to the current clinical trials that assess the clinical efficacy of different Ebola vaccines is available within the 'clinical trials' section of MedlinePlus.gov's Ebola health topic page. To backup, Ebola resurfaced in West Africa in 2014 and fostered significant public health anxiety in African and non-African nations, including the U.S.
MedlinePlus.gov's Ebola health topic page additionally provides links to the latest pertinent journal research articles, which are available in the 'journal articles' section. You can sign up to receive updates about Ebola as they become available on MedlinePlus.gov.
To find MedlinePlus.gov's Ebola health topic page type 'Ebola' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page, then, click on 'Ebola (National Library of Medicine).'
Of course, we are pleased to report some progress to address a current, global medical challenge. We cross our fingers that it may be medically possible to envision the prevention of Ebola for many adults and children in the future.
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It was nice to be with you. Please join us here next week and here's to your health!