Category Archives: Virology

INCLUDES Measles; Smallpox; Virus genotyping; Hepatitis – all; Waterborne virus (Norovirus, Rotavirus), population health, communicable diseases, gastrointestinal disease outbreaks.
EXCLUDES Lyssavirus, Hendra, Influenza or Vectorborne diseases

Australia’s rejection of costly new treatment sofosbuvir a ‘death sentence for Hepatitis C sufferers’

ABC News Deborah Cornwall 24 October 2014

Liver experts at a conference on the Gold Coast have been warned Australia is on the verge of a catastrophic death spiral from Hepatitis C.
Dr Miriam Levy, the director of gastroenterology at Sydney’s Liverpool Hospital, told the conference on Thursday that the recent decision by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) to refuse subsidies for a breakthrough treatment for Hepatitis C had effectively delivered a death sentence to up to 50,000 Australians who would die from the disease in the next few years.

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Infectious disease expert Professor Lyn Gilbert appointed to oversee Australia’s response to Ebola threat

ABC News Sophie Scott 23 October 2014 7:05pm

One of Australia’s leading doctors has been appointed the country’s Ebola tsar with the job of overseeing the response to the epidemic.
The ABC was granted exclusive access to the meeting between chief medical officers from across Australia, where it was revealed infectious disease expert Professor Lyn Gilbert would spearhead the country’s response.
Professor Gilbert is an expert in infectious diseases at the University of Sydney.
Read more PAUL TOOHEY  October 24, 2014
Ebola outbreak: Australia’s National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre is on standby to be sent to West Africa

ABC News Simon Cullen 23 October, 2014
Ebola outbreak: US, UK have asked Australia to send medical teams to fight Ebola, DFAT officials say

The Guardian Jessica Glenzain 24 October 2014
Doctor tests positive for Ebola at New York Hospital
Preliminary test confirms virus in Craig Spencer, a physician with Doctors Without Borders who had been working in west Africa

Australia tackles Ebola outbreak with super-committee of public servants
‘This is a significant outbreak and Australia wishes to do its part in helping to deal with it,’ says Peter Varghese, the head of Dfat
The Guardian Shalailah Medhora 23 October 2014


Russia will not destroy smallpox virus

BioPrepWatch 17 October 2014

Pending the decision of the World Health Organization (WHO) to destroy smallpox virus stocks, the Russian State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology (VECTOR) will not eliminate its stocks prematurely.

WHO aims for Ebola serum in weeks and vaccine tests in Africa by January

The Guardian 22 October 2014

The World Health Organisation has announced it hopes to begin testing two experimental Ebola vaccines in west Africa by January and may have a blood serum treatment available for use in Liberia within two weeks.

The UN’s health agency said it aimed to begin testing the two vaccines in the new year on more than 20,000 frontline health care workers and others in west Africa – a bigger rollout than previously envisioned.

Separately, a senior Red Cross official said he was confident the epidemic could be contained within four to six months.

Townsville Hospital to run Ebola simulations

Townsville Bulletin Anthony Templeton 22 October 2014

THE Townsville Hospital will run a simulation to gauge whether it is prepared to handle an outbreak of the ebola virus.

The simulation and training exercise, which is expected to take place early next week, will test the hospital’s procedures if an infectious disease outbreak occurred in Townsville.

Chief Medical Officer: we’re not ready for Ebola in our region

The Australian Jared Owens 22 October 2014

AUSTRALIAN medical teams lack specialist training to manage an Ebola epidemic in our region, despite government claims it could “rapidly deploy forces” to a neighbouring country if requested.

The Chief Medical Officer’s revelations to a Senate hearing that Australian Medical Assistance Teams were not being provided the training, which can take weeks, came as a leading public health expert said there was a “quite high” risk of isolated Ebola outbreaks in Australia, although such cases would be managed “very well”.

Related news:

Australia ready for outbreak, health boss / Sydney Morning Herald 22 Oct 2014

The federal health department has declared Australia ready to respond to a regional Ebola outbreak.

The assurance comes after the government’s chief medical officer, Chris Baggoley, sparked concern about Australia’s preparedness, apparently contradicting prior government assurances a strategy is in place should the epidemic reach the Asia-Pacific.

Ebola serum for Africa patients within weeks, says WHO

BBC News October 21, 2014 Michelle Roberts

Serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks in Liberia, one of the countries worst hit by the virus, says the World Health Organization.

Speaking in Geneva, Dr Marie Paule Kieny said work was also advancing quickly to get drugs and a vaccine ready for January 2015.  Continue reading…