Let’s start paying attention and reporting what’s going right and not just reporting fear-mongering articles and stories for pure sensationalistic journalism.
Surprisingly, the national media has paid little or no attention to potential Ebola vaccines currently being tested by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) agencies and Canadian Agencies.
This is no fairy tale. Military Times (A Gannett Company) published an article on October 6, 2014 titled “Potential Ebola vaccines studied by DoD agencies” reporting the positive efforts in the Ebola fight.
We’ve all heard about the experimental treatment called ZMAPP being successfully used on five Ebola infected persons (developed by MAPP Pharmaceuticals and Kentucky Bioprocessing). That story has been well covered. The Kentucky based laboratory has placed all other projects behind that of their work to produce more of the experimental drug, according to MAPP Biopharmaceutical.
There is more good news that additional potential treatments are currently in the human trial stages. Testing of the vaccines on animals that had the diseased went well. The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) already approved human testing of the vaccines. Human testing to evaluate health risks and side effects should currently be underway at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory, working with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, DTRA and Newlink Genetics Corporation developed a vaccine called VSVΔG-ZEBOV.
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline created an Ebola Vaccine called NIAID/GSK that began testing in September.
- Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, a Canadian company under contract with U.S. DoD developed TKM-Ebola, an experimental treatment for use on infected persons now, without the FDA approval.
Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, U.S. Army Africa commander and head of a joint military task force was quoted in a “Stars and Strips” article that:
“...two mobile testing labs [that] have made it possible to diagnose Ebola cases in hours instead of days or longer… The two mobile labs came in last Sunday (October 5) and were fully operational Thursday and Friday (October 9-10), and … Construction of a facility to treat ill health care workers will be completed on Friday (October 10)."
In November, 17 Ebola treatment facilities are projected to be completed. They will have the capacity to hold 1700 patients. In Monrovia and Senagal, two hospitals for U.S. personnel are being built.
On October 9th, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a 20-fold surge in international aid to fight the outbreak. On October 10th, Military Times published that the U.S. government has allocated $800 million towards the Ebola fight. And to help calm fears and provide faster reaction times for suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola within the U.S., President Obama directed the creation of rapid response teams (although the President used the label SWAT teams – poor choice of labels since SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics) capable of providing expertise and personnel to any needed location within 24 hours of notification. Hopefully, the ramped up efforts by the U.S., Canada, and other nations supporting the development of a viable treatment, as well as providing aid to the region, are successful.
U.S. President B.Obama on Ebola
Bad News is Good News?
To show the other side of the discussion, Bloomberg News service (October 14th) reports that the World Health Organization is quoted as expecting to see 10,000 Ebola cases each week in West Africa by December 1st. The author of the Bloomberg article does not mention that there are any current treatments or that there have been successful strides with other drug treatments or the efforts by aid workers to (successfully) reduce the spread of the disease. And, in fact quotes a WHO official as saying the future is bleak.
What’s my point?
Unfortunately there are still main-stream media members that are ignoring treatments that have been successful, more medications currently being tested with positive results and that there is an army of aid workers and millions of dollars being allocated to fight the disease. Bad news is good news in the media. Good news is not news to many fear mongers of the press. Positive strides are being made, but there are no quick fixes. Every so called expert that posts a video to YouTube that preaches doom and gloom and the world is coming to an end is just some oddball’s method of self-gratification. Don’t get caught up in the fear-fest created by many reporters, media personalities and video poser. Keep the faith - the world is not ending.
U.S. President B. Obama on U.S. Response to Ebola
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