How a Nigerian genome team contained a Lassa fever outbreak with international partners

Years of partnership and preparation between the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Disease, the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, and the Massachusetts-based Broad Institute ensured the samples were rapidly sequenced in Nigeria by local labs. This response, marked by cooperation and in-country capability, may be the model for the years ahead, as scientists from both Broad in the US and Nigeria believe the chances are high of emerging virus outbreaks occurring more frequently.

“It’s Really Worrying Right Now.” An Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is NOT Under Control

The DRC is a very large country and these cases are so far confined to the eastern part of the country. This is also the region of the Democratic Republic of Congo that has long been mired in conflict and insecurity. In recent weeks, Ebola treatment centers have been attacked forcing medical staff to suspend operations. Meanwhile, new Ebola cases are confirmed on a nearly daily basis.

When It Comes to Disease, Why Wait for a Pandemic to Respond?

Researchers are now able to take advantage of mobile technologies that can mimic viral properties and combine them with people’s thirst for adventure games. Which means that every student body, housing complex, and workplace could prepare for the public health and sociological implications of an outbreak.

The Disease Detectives

The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program was started during the Cold War to create a group of people who could be quickly deployed to halt outbreaks such as those from, for example, biological weapons. When a health department requests urgent help from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least one EIS officer and/or other subject-matter experts travel to the front line.