Editorial: Gearing up for the Zika threat

The World Health Organization has declared that the outbreak of Zika and congenital malformations and neurological disorders in newborns believed to be connected to the virus is a global public health emergency. Since the current outbreak began in Brazil in May 2015, nearly 1.5 million people are reported to have been affected. As of January … Continue reading Editorial: Gearing up for the Zika threat

Zika: ‘I think WHO should declare an emergency’

The World Health Organization faced flak for its delay by two months in 2014 in declaring the Ebola epidemic as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). This might not happen in the case of Zika virus when the WHO convenes an emergency committee on Monday (February 1) to help determine the level of the … Continue reading Zika: ‘I think WHO should declare an emergency’

An Ebola cloud with a silver lining

At the height of West African Ebola epidemic in 2014, the medicine chest was all but empty; no approved drug was available to facilititate treatment. With no signs of the disease abating and the fatality rate hovering around 70 per cent, the World Health Organization (WHO) in August 2014 declared that it was not unethical … Continue reading An Ebola cloud with a silver lining

Editorial: Victory over Ebola

The alacrity and eagerness shown by the research community to find a safe and efficacious vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus has borne fruit. The interim results of a Phase III clinical trial in Guinea using a novel virus vaccine (rVSV-ZEBOV) have shown 100 per cent efficacy after 10 days of vaccination. People who received … Continue reading Editorial: Victory over Ebola

Editorial: Another Ebola battle won

On January 18, the World Health Organization and the Malian government declared Mali free of the Ebola virus disease. Mali is the third country after Nigeria and Senegal to become free of the deadly disease. A country should have had no new cases of Ebola for a continuous period of 42 days, which is a … Continue reading Editorial: Another Ebola battle won

Key science developments to look forward to in 2015

The year 2015 is likely to see some key science developments. The one that most people are eagerly looking forward to is the development of an effective and efficacious Ebola vaccine and/or drug. In the early part of 2015, a few vaccine trials are set to begin and the results are expected by June. Several … Continue reading Key science developments to look forward to in 2015

Ebola: Australia not to send health workers to Africa

In what can be best described as a damp squib, Australia has assured financial aid — $20 million over the next eight months — to manage and run a 100-bed British field hospital in Sierra Leone but has shied away from sending health workers to Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone, the three West African countries … Continue reading Ebola: Australia not to send health workers to Africa

Ebola: Australia’s unjustified ban

  On Tuesday, Australia became the first developed country to ban travel from the three Ebola-hit West African countries — Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. It has decided to cancel all non-permanent or temporary visas held by people from the three Ebola-stricken countries who were yet to travel and not process new visa applications. Permanent … Continue reading Ebola: Australia’s unjustified ban

Editorial: Going by medical evidence

Published in the Hindu on October 29, 2014   The reaction of the Governors of New York and New Jersey to the Ebola threat reflects their lack of understanding of the nature of the disease, and utter disregard for the need to institute well-thought-out public health policies that are based on sound medical advice and … Continue reading Editorial: Going by medical evidence

Editorial: Lessons to be learnt

  Nearly nine months after the Ebola virus first struck in Guinea, grim statistics reveal that in the four West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the disease is far from being tackled. The Ebola outbreak has rather become the “largest, and most severe and complex” ever in its history. As on … Continue reading Editorial: Lessons to be learnt