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Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:09 PM

Ebola virus has mutated during course of outbreak

Source: Wapo

The Ebola virus sweeping through West Africa has mutated repeatedly during the current outbreak, a fact that could hinder diagnosis and treatment of the devastating disease, according to scientists who have genetically sequenced the virus in scores of victims.

The findings, published Thursday in the journal Science, also offer new insights into the origins of the largest and most deadly Ebola outbreak in history, which has killed more than 1,500 people in four countries and shows few signs of slowing. It also provided another reminder of the deep toll the outbreak has taken on health workers and others in the affected areas, as five of the paper’s more than 50 co-authors died from Ebola before publication.

In a collaboration led by scientists at Harvard University and aided by officials at Sierra Leone’s health ministry, researchers sequenced Ebola virus genomes from 78 patients beginning in the early days of the outbreak this spring. Those 99 samples — some patients were tested more than once — suggested that the outbreak began with a single human infection before spreading rapidly, like a spark that grows into a wildfire.

Ebola’s arrival in Sierra Leone in May started with a funeral, according to Thursday’s findings. A young pregnant woman tested positive for the virus and was treated at Kenema Government Hospital. Health workers who traced her contacts discovered that she and more than a dozen other women recently had attended the burial of a traditional healer who had been treating Ebola patients near the Sierra Leone-Guinea border. All of them had been infected.


Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/ebola-virus-has-mutated-during-course-of-outbreak/2014/08/28/98235aaa-2ecb-11e4-bb9b-997ae96fad33_story.html?hpid=z1



Have a nice weekend

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ebola virus has mutated during course of outbreak (Original post)
flamingdem Aug 2014 OP
cstanleytech Aug 2014 #1
flamingdem Aug 2014 #2
cstanleytech Aug 2014 #5
B2G Aug 2014 #9
cstanleytech Aug 2014 #11
Aerows Aug 2014 #17
cstanleytech Aug 2014 #18
Aerows Aug 2014 #19
cstanleytech Aug 2014 #24
Aerows Aug 2014 #15
suffragette Aug 2014 #3
flamingdem Aug 2014 #4
suffragette Aug 2014 #6
Aerows Aug 2014 #13
suffragette Aug 2014 #20
Aerows Aug 2014 #21
suffragette Aug 2014 #23
paleotn Aug 2014 #7
dembotoz Aug 2014 #8
morningfog Aug 2014 #10
Aerows Aug 2014 #14
morningfog Aug 2014 #16
cstanleytech Aug 2014 #12
Kurska Aug 2014 #22

Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:20 PM

1. The mutations mentioned for the the virus have not changed its method of spreading.

In other words if proper measures were being taken where this outbreak was happening and people didnt come into contact with bodily fluids from infected people they would be fine but the people are panicking and doing stupid shit like attacking hospitals which needs to stop.
Because if the people dont stop and if it continues I predict there will be far more needless deaths as its likely most if not all of the western nations will say "screw this" and stop sending aid and will just put into place a quarantine for the infected countries until the outbreak is over.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:35 PM

2. Seems like a good investment for Western nations to send all the

equipment and supplies needed immediately. Plus, money for public health education. Otherwise this will be a #firstworldproblem - can only imagine the headlines once that starts.

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:51 PM

5. From what I gather the WHO has alot of the resources to control it now

provided people dont do stupid shit like try to keep a loved one infected at home rather than take them to a hospital or destroy the facilities setup for testing for it which is whats happening.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 12:37 PM

9. I must have missed the part that assures us

 

the the method of transmission isn't changing. There have been close to 300 mutations since this outbreak started.

The last I heard, they had just isolated the genetic sequences, not analyzed their impacts.

And at a minimum, this makes testing far more challening. False negatives increasing is a very real possibility.

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Response to B2G (Reply #9)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 02:27 PM

11. Oh no ones saying its 100% impossible because it is always a chance but there is also

a chance an asteroid the size of Texas could hit us tomorrow or aliens could initiate a peaceful first contact tomorrow but the odds on that happening are are pretty damn low.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #11)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 03:15 PM

17. I'm not so certain that the odds are that low, in this situation

 

The outbreak has been worse than ever before, and many trained health care providers have been infected. You would think they would be the first to maintain safety to prevent infection.

The fact that this outbreak is intense means that virulence has increased. That's simply science. The WHY of the increase in intensity is going to warrant more study.

I hope it is as small of a chance of an asteroid hitting us. Sadly, this rather caught health officials blind-sided because testing for the virus to blood level is only done by a handful of laboratories world-wide.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #17)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 04:21 PM

18. The healthcare officials didnt get infected due to a virulence increase because it hasnt nor

has the virus become airborne but rather the health care workers came into contact with bodily fluids via secondary contact from another worker who was infected and its pretty much the same with everyone else in that to become infected you have to come into contact with bodily fluids.
If people would stop doing stupid shit like hiding sick family members, destroying testing facilities, not taking themselves to a doctor when they start feeling sick and following basic quarantine measures such as cleaning their hands and using gloves you would likely not see as bad an outbreak as there is atm.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #18)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 04:26 PM

19. Forgive me for saying so

 

But that is a rather naive perspective. This was done in prior outbreaks, and the fatality rate was not this high.

You could be right, but given the severity of the outbreak, you could definitely be wrong. Cautious cynicism says that there is another factor leading to the spread.

What that factor is, I won't speculate, but analysis of the situation says that another vector of infection is happening. My .02

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Response to Aerows (Reply #19)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 07:30 PM

24. In prior outbreaks you didnt have mobs attacking and destroying testing facilities

nor were there as many reports of people who were infected actively avoiding medical treatment which are contributing factors to the spread of the current outbreak and there have been zero reports that show the virus has mutated its method of transmission.
Furthermore to start panicking over the a report that the virus has mutated is silly as mutation in nature is always happening due to many factors in the environment all the time and it leads to a thing called evolution.

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Response to B2G (Reply #9)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 03:10 PM

15. My main fear is method of transmission adapting

 

to be easier. I'm really concerned about the fact that so many health care workers have become infected, when you would think they are the most equipped and educated against infection.

I think at this point it is safe to say that transmission of the virus has become easier, otherwise, we wouldn't have this many people infected (and unfortunately, dead).

It's not fear-mongering to assess the situation - it is reality.

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Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:36 PM

3. Scary news

And the Congo has a separate outbreak of a different strain of Ebola as well.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28922290

Meanwhile, it looks like those in power who can flee have been doing so at higher rates:

http://www.france24.com/en/20140827-liberia-ministers-fired-ebola-epidemic-johnson-sirleaf/

Latest update : 2014-08-27
Liberia's leader has sacked ministers and senior government officials who defied an order to return to the west African nation to lead the fight against the deadly Ebola outbreak, her office said on Tuesday.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had told overseas ministers to return within a week as part of a state-of-emergency announcement on August 6, warning that extraordinary measures were needed "for the very survival of our state".

Sirleaf "directed that all officials occupying ministerial level positions or equivalent -- senior and junior -- managing directors, deputy/assistant directors or equivalent, commissioners et cetera who violated the orders are hereby relieved of their positions," her office said in a statement.

It did not say how many ministers were affected or who had been fired.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:42 PM

4. This makes the doctors who walk into these situations look

even more heroic.

Of course over 100 have died already. They should all get awards for bravery.

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:59 PM

6. It sure does.

They know the danger and still go to help. Courageous souls, all.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 03:05 PM

13. Amazingly courageous.

 

I'd have to really stop and think before wading into such a circumstance.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #13)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 05:38 PM

20. And stop and think again

Don't know if I could do that, but then none of us know until we're confronted with the situation and choice.
Then there are the many medical personnel who are facing this due to living in the area where it's occurring. They are being courageous by not walking away.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #20)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 05:41 PM

21. Stunning examples

 

of courage and character, my friend. I would hope that put in the situation I would rise to the challenge, but as I said, I'd have to stop and think about it.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #21)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 06:27 PM

23. Thank to flaming dem for raising this important point.

And your sig line is very apt in describing roots of courage, my friend.



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Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 11:06 PM

7. Well, yea.....

...that's what viruses do, whether in their host species(s) or in other susceptible species. That's what makes them such slippery little devils. That's why there are several strains of Ebola known to infect humans and some slight variations within each strain. The longer an outbreak lasts plus high levels of immune response (selective pressure), the higher the chances of novel variations and new strains. While coming at a terrible cost, one good thing to come of this is we're collecting a great deal of data on how Ebola does what it does, how it mutates and how it spreads within human populations. Data that will be invaluable in combating the next outbreak.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6200/989.full

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Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 10:55 AM

8. good evolution does not exist

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 02:12 PM

10. Neither does bad evolution.

 

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Response to morningfog (Reply #10)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 03:06 PM

14. I think the poster meant "Good thing evolution doesn't exist"

 

Could be wrong.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #14)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 03:13 PM

16. That makes sense.

 

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 02:29 PM

12. Nor does evil evolution exist either as evolution is just a dice roll in the end. nt

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Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 05:48 PM

22. It goes airborne

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