The time to deploy Ebola virus vaccines is now, according to a commentary being published early online today in Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors from Yale School of Public Health write that the relentless epidemiologic trajectory and geographic dissemination of the current Ebola outbreak represent a public health crisis that shows no signs of diminishing under current efforts. Several Ebola vaccines have been developed in the last decade, yet the sporadic nature of Ebola outbreaks has made it impossible to conduct the human trials necessary for licensure. However, the authors suggest that the safety risks of vaccines found to be safe in phase 1 clinical trials are probably negligible compared with the risks faced by health care workers in communities where Ebola is circulating. Note: The URL is live and can be included in news stories. For a PDF, please contact Megan Hanks. To interview the lead author, Alison P. Galvani, PhD, please contact Karen Peart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-432-1326.
Precautions to prevent a U.S. outbreak of Ebola should be based on evidence and not media hysteria, according to a commentary being published early online today in Annals of Internal Medicine. The lead author from Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute says that many hospitals are developing plans that include excessive measures for managing patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola. Excessive measures, such as requiring health care personnel to wear full head and body hazmat suits and placing all patients in negative pressure rooms at all times, are unwarranted. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are based on evidence accumulated over 20 Ebola outbreaks in the past 40 years. Studies have shown that Ebola transmission requires direct physical contact and is inefficient. As recommended by the CDC, a fluid-impervious gown, gloves, surgical mask, and face shield are adequate to protect health care personnel from direct contact with blood or other body fluids during routine care. Exceeding these recommendations could increase risk through self-contamination during removal of novel gear, and could foster mistrust and cynicism about our nation's public health agency.
The URL is live and can be included in news stories. For a PDF, please contact Megan Hanks. To interview the lead author, Michael Klompas, MD, MPH, please contact Jessica Maki at email@example.com or 617-525-6373.
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