Ebola virus (EBOV, formerly designated Zaire ebolavirus) is the sole member of the Zaire ebolavirus species, and the most dangerous of the five known viruses within the genus ebolavirus. Four of the five known ebolaviruses cause a severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans and other primates, known as ebola virus disease. The virus and its species were both originally named for Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), the country where it was first described and was at first suspected to be a new "strain" of the closely related Marburg virus; the virus (but not its species) was renamed to "ebola virus" in 2010 to avoid confusion. The species is a virological taxon species included in the genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae (whose members are called Filovirus), order Mononegavirales.Its natural reservoir is believed to be bats, particularly fruit bats, and it is primarily transmitted between humans and from animals to humans, through body fluids.
Ebola: what is it and how does it spread?
More than 800 people in West Africa have died in the worst Ebola outbreak on record. What is Ebola, and how does this highly contagious and deadly disease spread? First discovered in 1976, the virus has periodically spread through parts of Africa, killing thousands in the process.
There is currently no vaccine, and due to its fast onset and horrific symptoms it has become one of the world's most feared diseases. There are five strains of Ebola: Zaire, Sudan, Tai Forest, Bundibugyo and Reston. The Zaire strain, which is involved in the latest outbreak, is the most lethal with a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent.
Humans can catch the virus from animals through close contact with infected animals' blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids.
The virus is thought to reside within the region's fruit bat population, with the bats carriers of Ebola, but unaffected by it.
The bushmeat trade (the catching and eating of wild animals, including primates such as gorillas and chimpanzees), is thought to play a role in outbreaks of the disease.
While cooking infected meat kills the virus, handling of the meat beforehand can cause infection.
Once in the human population, the virus continues spreading through direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids.The World Health Organisation has specifically noted traditional healing and burial practices in rural regions as a factor in the spread of the disease.
How does it affect the body?
1) Ebola enters the body through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of infected animals (including other humans).Early symptoms include high fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat.
The similarity of these symptoms to those caused by malaria and other diseases endemic to the regions where Ebola is active can complicate initial diagnosis.
2) Once in the body the virus quickly begins to replicate within the host’s cells, consuming the cell as it replicates, before bursting out and spreading to other cells.The virus causes small clots to form in the infected patient’s bloodstream, thickening the blood and slowing the blood flow.Blood clots get stuck in vessels near the surface of the skin and gather around organs, causing the affected tissue to die.
3) One of the reasons Ebola is so deadly stems from the fact that once in the bloodstream it can affect the vast majority of cells within the body.The virus acts on the collagen that forms the connective tissue holding muscles and organs together.
As the virus spreads it attacks the liver, kidneys, brain, intestines and eyes.
4) The external bleeding is one of the most well-known aspects of the virus, and makes treatment of the virus problematic.
In the current outbreak dozens of health workers treating those infected have succumbed to the disease.
5) In the final stages of the disease internal and external bleeding is common as the organs and blood vessels in the body begin to break down.Internal haemorrhaging of the heart can occur, and patients bleed from puncture wounds, orifices and mucus membranes (such as the eyes).Depending on the strain of the virus up to 90 per cent of patients eventually die, often from renal failure, blood loss, or shock, within days of symptoms appearing.
Why is containing Ebola proving difficult?
In West Africa, the man-made elements of conflict, confusion and culture have all combined to create a perfect-storm for Ebola.
The scientist who first identified Ebola in 1976 gives direct and simple advice on how to contain this latest outbreak:
"Soap, gloves, isolating patients, not reusing needles and quarantining the contacts of those who are ill - in theory it should be very easy to contain Ebola," Dr Peter Piot told the BBC.
In practice, this is a much tougher proposition. The latest outbreak has emerged in war ravaged West Africa, where much of the health care infrastructure has been totally destroyed.
Poverty has combined with fear, ignorance and superstition, particularly in remote communities, where distrust of government is understandably high, and belief in witchcraft and sorcery is interwoven into everyday life.
Testing for Ebola often requires multiple blood tests – which is difficult to conduct in areas where strong cultural beliefs prohibit collection of a "life force".
In Liberia, some communities believe the outbreak is a hoax, and that health care workers have been sent to kill them. In one town, health care workers spraying chlorine – a cheap and effective counter to the spread of the disease - were attacked.
In Guinea, Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) doctors and medics were attacked by villagers who believed the clinical team had brought Ebola to their country.
Governmental response has been heavy handed. Liberia's president threatened to jail anyone sheltering or hiding suspected Ebola cases.
An un-coordinated rush by the international community to assist can also complicate efforts, says African governance expert Kim Yi Dionne, especially when it appears that no one is in charge.
Already involved in the Ebola response are the local ministries of health for Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the World Health Organisation, MSF, UNICEF and many other agencies.
As the World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to monitor the evolution of the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea and the suspected case in Nigeria, the rend of the epidemic in West Africa remains serious, with about 1,500 cases of infection reported up to 24 July 2014, including suspect, probable, and laboratory-confirmed cases
Visual Science’s Ebolavirus 3D Model is 10 Times More Complex Than Their HIV Model
The Ebolavirus was first described in 1976 during the Zaire ebolavirus outbreaks in Africa. It’s one of the most lethal viruses on Earth, and it’s part of the Filoviridae family that includes Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus. Recent taxonomic updates have changed the way that we refer to these viruses, but they remain just as deadly, since once patients are infected, they develop severe hemorrhagic fever that has a fatality rate of almost 90% in some cases, which is the case in the Zaire ebolavirus variant.
There have been several epidemics of this disease, and many people have died of it, mainly in Zaire, Sudan, Congo and Uganda. There have also been some fatalities because laboratory accidents. Ebolavirus is one of a handful of viruses that needs to be contained in Level 4 Biohazard facilities, necessitating positive pressure personnel suits, with a segregated air supplies.
In this 3D model that was presented in a study, Ebola-encoded structures are shown in maroon and structures from human cells are shown in gray. The model is based upon X-ray analysis, NMR spectroscopy, and general virology data that have been published in studies over the last two decades. Some protein structures were elaborated using a predictive computer biology algorithm, including molecular modeling.
This intricate model includes 11 types of Ebolavirus and human proteins, 18,900 nucleotides of genomic RNA and more than 2.5 million different lipid molecules. Ebolavirus are deadly because they cause severe hemorrhagic fever, infecting the capillary endothelium and several types of immune cells.
US fast-tracking process toward human testing of Ebola vaccine
A biopharmaceutical company in Ames, Iowa has been given the go-ahead and funding from a branch of the U.S. Department of Defense to work toward human testing of an Ebola vaccine.NewLink Genetics and their subsidiary, BioProtection Systems, were recently given a government contract from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), for $1 million to research and speed up the process to begin human clinical testing of their existing Ebola vaccine. As of now, the vaccine has only been tested on animals, like rodents and monkeys, and scientists have seen positive results. However, before a vaccine can be tested on humans, there are many time-consuming precautionary steps that have to be taken. With the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, these processes are speeding up.
“Times change and so do perceptions of risk. So at this point, although there’s still a lot of attention paid to ethical issues, everyone is acting as it hits their desk,” said Dr. Jay Ramsey, clinical and regulatory compliance officer for NewLink Genetics.
NewLink Genetics and BioProtection Systems applied for a government contract last year and had their application sped up and approved when the outbreak began escalating. Since the outbreak, Ramsey told FoxNews.com, the process has been “much faster” than usual, with requests that normally took weeks or months, “being answered right away.”
“Well over 60 percent of people will die if exposed [to the Ebola virus]. It becomes clear that the greater risk is not necessarily from testing a new drug, but from not testing,” said Ramsey. “So as a consequence, it’s easier to get clinical studies started and volunteers are more likely to show up because they have an interest in receiving protection against the disease.”
Ramsey said their Ebola vaccine has been 100 percent effective in preventing lethal infection when given to animals before they are infected with the virus. In cases where the animal was given a lethal dose of Ebola and then given the vaccine, Ramsey said the vaccine has been shown to block the disease when administered shortly after exposure.The BioProtection Systems vaccine, called by its lab name, BPSC1001, works by causing the body to create a strong immune response to the Ebola virus.“In the case of our vaccine, we believe you get a rapid, strong, and relatively long-lasting immune response which would protect you from infection by Ebola virus,” said Ramsey, drawing on evidence collected in primate studies of the vaccine.
According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed more than 1000 lives and sickened many more. Two Americans are among those infected with the deadly virus after they were working in Liberia on a missionary trip. Both of those Americans are now back on U.S. soil at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta where they are being treated in isolation units. They were both voluntarily given an experimental serum, ZMapp, before they left Liberia. And while their conditions seem to be improving, medical experts caution it is too early to know if ZMapp is the cause.
Other Ebola treatments have made their way into the national spotlight in recent weeks. Another compound that could be used for treatment is still being studied at Auburn University. Researchers there told FoxNews.com that their compound, called WY3161 by its lab identification number, could help the body’s immune system fight back against Ebola, adding that the treatment will not be ready for current patients, but they hope to be able to put it to trial in the future.
When asked about the Auburn University research timetable compared to NewLink Genetics’, Ramsey wouldn’t give a estimate of how quickly their vaccine could help patients. However, he did add that the company thinks they can have an impact on the virus “substantially sooner .Ramsey told FoxNews.com he believes the NewLink and BioProtection Ebola vaccine will be one of the first to make it to clinical trials on humans. His hope is the trials will be successful so that the process of manufacturing the vaccine can begin. Although he cannot say how long exactly that would take.NewLink Genetics has been working on an Ebola vaccine for years, but the government contract will help speed up their research. The $1 million is only the first part of funding that is available should the vaccine be successful and make it to human clinical trials.
A clinical trial of an experimental vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus is set to start shortly, according to British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, which is co-developing the product with U.S. scientists.
Secret serum: Liberia Ebola drug used on Brantly is only one of many in development
A US biotech firm claims it provided the "secret serum" that may have helped Dr Kent Brantly recover from Ebola in Liberia. It's only one of many drugs in development - most are desperate for funding.
A US biotech firm claims it provided the "secret serum" that may have helped Dr Kent Brantly recover from Ebola in Liberia. It's only one of many drugs in development - most are desperate for funding.
One firm, the San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical, just got lucky.Mapp Biopharmaceutical claims to have provided the "secret serum" that may have cured US medic Dr Kent Brantly of Ebola, and may also have helped missionary Nancy Writebol recover.Both were treated in Liberia and have since reportedly been transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
The drug they received is said to be ZMapp - a drug that has yet to undergo any human trials.
A statement on the company's website says "ZMapp is composed of three "humanized" monoclonal antibodies manufactured in plants, specifically Nicotiana" and that it was first identified as a drug candidate in January of this year.
In March 2014, Mapp Biopharmaceutical was part of a group awarded a multimillion-dollar grant by the US's National Institutes of Health (NIH) to further research on Ebola.Others seriously lack funding - in fact, there are many researchers working on potential Ebola drugs and vaccines, all striving to make it to human trials.
For instance, researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK and the New Iberia Research Center in the US, who have tested an Ebola vaccine on captive chimpanzees - with success.
"It is safe and immunogenic," the researchers write in the journal "PNAS" - meaning, the vaccine induces immune responses which protect the chimpanzees against Ebola."If somebody gave me some money and I got permission from the people in the field, I could go and vaccinate wild chimpanzees and gorillas tomorrow," researcher and lead writer Peter Walsh told DW. Walsh is also president of the NGO Apes Incorporated.As with humans, Ebola is fatal in apes. So aside from the threat from poaching and loss of habitat, the virus poses an added threat to endangered gorillas and chimpanzees in Africa.
HOW DOES ZMAPP WORK?
Antibodies are proteins used by the immune system to mark and destroy foreign, or harmful, cells. A monoclonal antibody is similar, except it’s engineered in a lab so it will attach to specific parts of a dangerous cell, according to the Mayo Clinic, mimicking your immune system’s natural response. Monoclonal antibodies are used to treat many different types of conditions. This medicine is a three-mouse monoclonal antibody, meaning that mice were exposed to fragments of the Ebola virus and then the antibodies generated within the mice’s blood were harvested to create the medicine.
WHY DID AMERICAN MISSIONARY WORKERS GET THE DRUG?
Many have asked why these two workers received the experimental drug when so many — around 1,600 — others in West Africa also have the virus. The World Health Organization says it was not involved in the decision to treat Brantly and Writebol. Both patients had to give consent to receive the drug, knowing it had never been tested in humans before. The process by which the medication was made available to the American patients may have fallen under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “compassionate use” regulation, which allows access to investigational drugs outside clinical trials.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), is positive-sense, single-stranded RNA novel species of the genus Betacoronavirus.
First called novel coronavirus 2012 or simply novel coronavirus, it was first reported in 2012 after genome sequencing of a virus isolated from sputum samples from patients who fell ill in a 2012 outbreak of a new flu.
As of 14 May 2014, MERS-CoV cases have been reported in several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Bangladesh, the Philippines (still MERS-free), Indonesia (none was confirmed), the United Kingdom, and the United States. According to an article in the 1 July 2014 International New York Times, there were over 700 documented cases in 20 countries with 250 deaths attributed to the illness. Almost all those infected were somehow linked to Saudi Arabia. In the same article it was reported that Saudi authorities' errors in response to MERS-CoV were a contributing factor to the spread of this deadly virus.
The virus MERS-CoV is a new member of the beta group of coronavirus, Betacoronavirus, lineage C. MERS-CoV genomes are phylogenetically classified into two clades, clade A and B. The earliest cases of MERS were of clade A clusters (EMC/2012 and Jordan-N3/2012), and new cases are genetically distinct (clade B).
MERS-CoV is distinct from SARS and distinct from the common-cold coronavirus and known endemic human betacoronaviruses HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1. Until 23 May 2013, MERS-CoV had frequently been referred to as a SARS-like virus, or simply the novel coronavirus, and early it was referred to colloquially on messageboards as the "Saudi SARS".
The first confirmed case was reported in Saudi Arabia 2012.Egyptian virologist Dr. Ali Mohamed Zaki isolated and identified a previously unknown coronavirus from the man's lungs. Dr. Zaki then posted his findings on 24 September 2012 on ProMED-mail.The isolated cells showed cytopathic effects (CPE), in the form of rounding and syncytia formation.
A second case was found in September 2012. A 49-year-old male living in Qatar presented similar flu symptoms, and a sequence of the virus was nearly identical to that of the first case. In November 2012, similar cases appeared in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Additional cases were noted, with deaths associated, and rapid research and monitoring of this novel coronavirus began.
It is not certain whether the infections are the result of a single zoonotic event with subsequent human-to-human transmission, or if the multiple geographic sites of infection represent multiple zoonotic events from a common unknown source.
A study by Ziad Memish of Riyadh University and colleagues suggests that the virus arose sometime between July 2007 and June 2012, with perhaps as many as 7 separate zoonotic transmissions. Among animal reservoirs, CoV has a large genetic diversity yet the samples from patients suggest a similar genome, and therefore common source, though the data are limited. It has been determined through molecular clock analysis, that viruses from the EMC/2012 and England/Qatar/2012 date to early 2011 suggesting that these cases are descended from a single zoonotic event. It would appear the MERS-CoV has been circulating in the human population for greater than one year without detection and suggests independent transmission from an unknown source
Saudi Arabia MERS death toll reaches 169: ( 19 May 2014)
Saudi health authorities reported Monday a new death from the MERS coronavirus, taking to 169 the overall number of fatalities from the disease in the world's worst-hit country.
The health ministry said on its website that the latest person to fall victim to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was a 59-year-old man who died on Sunday in the western city of Taif. It reported two new infections, one in Riyadh and the other in the commercial capital of Jeddah, raising the total number of MERS cases to 531.
Other nations including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and the United States have also recorded cases, mostly in people who had been to the desert kingdom.
MERS is considered a deadlier but less transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that appeared in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.
Like SARS, it appears to cause a lung infection, with patients suffering coughing, breathing difficulties and a temperature. But MERS differs in that it also causes rapid kidney failure.
Scientists find MERS virus antibodies that may lead to treatments:
Scientists have found natural human antibodies to the newly-emerging Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus and say their discovery marks a step towards developing treatments for the often fatal disease.
MERS, a SARS-like viral disease first detected in 2012 that has caused outbreaks in the Middle East and sporadic cases around the world, has raised international alarm in recent weeks with a surge in infections and deaths in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi officials confirmed 26 more MERS cases and 10 deaths at the weekend, bringing the toll in the kingdom alone to 339 confirmed cases, of which 102 have been fatal.There is currently no cure or vaccine for MERS - a severe respiratory disease which causes cough, fever, shortness of breath, and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.
But in studies published in two leading scientific journals on Monday, scientists from the United States, China and Hong Kong said they had found several so-called neutralising antibodies that were able to prevent a key part of the virus from attaching to receptors that allow it to infect human cells.Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system that recognize foreign viruses and bacteria. A neutralising antibody is one that not only recognizes a specific virus but also prevents it from infecting host cells, eventually meaning the infection is cleared from the person or animal.In one study in the Science Translational Medicine journal, a Chinese-led team found that two antibodies, called MERS-4 and MERS-27, were able to block cells in a lab dish from becoming infected with the MERS virus."While early, the results hint that these antibodies, especially ... used in combination, could be promising candidates for interventions against MERS," the scientists wrote.In a second study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal, a team from the United States said their discovery of a panel of seven neutralising antibodies offered the long-term possibility that either a vaccine or treatments could be developed to fight MERS.
The vast majority of MERS cases have been in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East, but the discovery of sporadic cases in Britain, Greece, France, Italy, Malaysia and other countries have raised concerns about the potential global spread of the disease by infected airline passengers.Although the disease has not yet been seen in North America, "the chance of someone infected with MERS landing on U.S. shores is possible," said Wayne Marasco, an infectious disease expert at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who led the PNAS study.Scientists are not yet clear precisely how the MERS virus is transmitted to people, but it has been found in bats and camels, and many experts say camels are the most likely animal reservoir from which humans are becoming infected.
The virus is similar to the one that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which emerged in China in 2002/2003 and killed some 800 people - around a tenth of those it infected.The World Health Organization has said it is "concerned" about the rising number of MERS infections in Saudi Arabia. The United Nations health agency said it plans to send a team of international experts to the kingdom this week to help investigate the outbreak.
Structure-based discovery of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus fusion inhibitor:
A novel human coronavirus, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), has caused outbreaks of a SARS-like illness with high case fatality rate. The reports of its person-to-person transmission through close contacts have raised a global concern about its pandemic potential. Here we characterize the six-helix bundle fusion core structure of MERS-CoV spike protein S2 subunit by X-ray crystallography and biophysical analysis. We find that two peptides, HR1P and HR2P, spanning residues 998–1039 in HR1 and 1251–1286 in HR2 domains, respectively, can form a stable six-helix bundle fusion core structure, suggesting that MERS-CoV enters into the host cell mainly through membrane fusion mechanism. HR2P can effectively inhibit MERS-CoV replication and its spike protein-mediated cell–cell fusion. Introduction of hydrophilic residues into HR2P results in significant improvement of its stability, solubility and antiviral activity. Therefore, the HR2P analogues have good potential to be further developed into effective viral fusion inhibitors for treating MERS-CoV infection.
Encephalitis is acute inflammation (swelling up) of the brain resulting either from a viral infection or when the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks brain tissue. The most common cause is a viral infection. In medicine acute means it comes on abruptly; of abrupt onset, develops rapidly, and usually requires urgent care. Encephalitis occurs in 1 in every 1,000 cases of measles.
Encephalitis generally begins with fever and headache. The symptoms rapidly worsen, and there may be seizures (fits), confusion, drowsiness and loss of consciousness, and even coma.
Encephalitis can be life-threatening, but this is very rare. When there is direct viral infection of the brain or spinal cord it is called primary encephalitis. Secondary encephalitis refers to an infection which started off elsewhere in the body and then spread to the brain.
What are the signs and symptoms of encephalitis? A symptom is something the patient reports and feels, while a sign is something other people, including a doctor may detect. For example, a headache may be a symptom, while a rash may be a sign.
The affected patient typically has a fever, headache and photophobia (excessive sensitivity to light). There may also be general weakness and seizures.
Less common - the individual may also experience nuchal rigidity (neck stiffness), which can lead to a misdiagnosis of meningitis. There may be stiffness of the limbs, slow movements, and clumsiness. The patient may also be drowsy and have a cough.
The brain swells (becomes inflamed) as a result of the body's attempt to fight off the infections.
In more severe cases the person may experience very severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, confusion, disorientation, memory loss, speech problems, hearing problems, hallucinations, as well as seizures and possibly coma. In some cases the patient can become aggressive.
How is encephalitis diagnosed? Doctors who identify classic symptoms in adults of fever, headache, confusion and occasionally seizures, and irritability, poor appetite and fever in young children may order further diagnostic tests.
A neurological examination generally finds that the patient is confused and drowsy.
If the neck is stiff, caused by irritation of the meninges, the doctor may consider meningitis or meningoncephalitis.
A lumbar puncture, which takes a sample of cerebrospinal fluid, may reveal higher-than-normal levels of protein and white blood cells (normal glucose). However, in some cases results may come back normal for patients with encephalitis.
A CT scan may be useful in detecting changes in brain structure. It can also rule out other symptoms causes, such as stroke, an aneurysm or a tumor.
An electroencephalograph may show sharp waves in one or both of the temporal lobes.
A blood test may be ordered if the doctor suspects the cause is a West Nile virus infection.
Primary (infectious) encephalitis: according to the NHS (UK), there are three main categories of viruses: 1. Common viruses, such as HSV (herpes simplex virus) or EBV (Epstein Barr virus). 2. Childhood viruses, such as measles and mumps. 3. Arboviruses, which are spread by mosquitoes, ticks and other insects, and include Japanese encephalitis, West Nile encephalitis and tick borne encephalitis.
The virus causing Japanese encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes belonging to the Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Culex vishnui groups, which breed particularly in flooded rice fields. The virus circulates in ardeid birds (herons and egrets). Pigs are amplifying hosts, in that the virus reproduces in pigs and infects mosquitoes that take blood meals, but does not cause disease. The virus tends to spill over into human populations when infected mosquito populations build up explosively and the human biting rate increases (these culicines are normally zoophilic, i.e. they prefer to take blood meals from animals
Secondary (post-infectious) encephalitis: could be caused by a complication of a viral infection. Symptoms start to appear days and even weeks after the initial infection. The patient's immune system treats healthy brain cells as foreign organisms that need to be destroyed, and attacks them. We don't know why the immune system goes wrong and does this.
India on Friday launched an indigenous vaccine against Japanese encephalitis as part of a national programme to fight the virus.
Nineteen states, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, are hit by the disease each year as malnourished children succumb to the virus which is transmitted by mosquitoes from pigs to humans.
"Beginning with the first report in 1955 in Tamil Nadu state, JE virus has now spread to over 171 districts in 19 states," Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said at the launch of the vaccine called Jenvac in New Delhi.The two-shot vaccine was developed by government agencies and the private Bharat Biotec pharmaceutical firm in a joint venture launched in 2008.The minister said Jenvac, which offers immunity for three years, would initially cost the government 70 rupees ($1.13) but would be supplied free of charge to the people.
He said India so far had been dependent on China for the vaccine and added that the cost of the locally-developed Jenvac would slide with the scale of production"We will eventually need about 10 million doses of the vaccine for comprehensive coverage," the minister said.The virus, which normally affects children aged below 15, infected adults earlier this year in the northeastern state of Assam, Azad said.He said the cabinet has approved a 40-billion rupee national programme to combat the virus, which causes brain inflammation and can result in brain damage.Symptoms include headaches, seizures and fever and health experts say 70 million children nationwide are at risk.
Mosquito Control : Spraying mosquito habitats with inscticide. Time consuming, expensive it is difficult to cover all mosquito habitats, and causes environmental pollution.
Bednets : Mosquitoes bite at dusk before people are in bed.
Pig Control : Segregating, Slaughtering, or Vaccinating pigs.
- Economically not feasible and difficult.
- Other animals, like birds, may also act as amplifying hosts so even pigs are eliminated JE will not disappear.