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FDA Approves Ebola Vaccine For USe And Distribution In United States – Forbes

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On Thursday, the FDA announced the approval of the Ebola vaccine, Ervebo, for use in adults aged 18 and older. This follows the approval of the vaccine in Europe in November. Although Ebola is rare in the U.S., the vaccine’s approval will help in world-wide efforts to prevent future Ebola outbreaks and deaths. 

Ervebo’s U.S. approval is based on results from a study conducted between 2014-2016 during an Ebola outbreak in Guinea. These study results showed that the vaccine was nearly 100% effective in preventing patients from contracting Ebola with symptom onset greater than 10 days after vaccination. In addition, the vaccine was tested in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Canada, Spain and the U.S., with similar results. The approval was granted to Merck & Co., Inc.

The vaccine is administered as a single-dose injection that contains a protein from the virus. The most commonly reported side effects were pain, swelling and redness at the injection site, as well as headache, fever, joint and muscle aches and fatigue.

“Today’s approval is an important step in our continuing efforts to fight Ebola in close coordination with our partners across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as our international partners, such as the World Health Organization,” said Anna Abram, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Legislation, and International Affairs, in an FDA statement. “These efforts, including today’s landmark approval, reflect the FDA’s unwavering dedication to leveraging our expertise to facilitate the development and availability of safe and effective medical products to address urgent public health needs and fight infectious diseases, as part of our vital public health mission.”

Ebola, formally known as Ebola virus disease (EVD) is caused by the Zaire ebolavirus. Although rare, the virus can cause serious and often deadly results. The first cases of the disease were noted in Africa in the 1970s, and since then several breakouts have caused thousands of deaths on the African continent. Since 2014 alone, there have been more than 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths from Ebola, the FDA statement reported. According to the World Health Organization, up to 90 percent of those infected with Ebola can die from the virus. 

The virus causes fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headaches and sore throat. This soon escalates to vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function. In more extreme cases, patients will develop internal bleeding and eventually death may occur. 

The virus is also highly contagious and is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids, blood and tissue of infected people, or in some cases infected wild animals. For example, some of the cases in Africa are believed to have been begun through the consumption of infected animal meat, most notably bats. In addition, health workers who treat infected patients are at extremely high risk for contracting the virus themselves. 

Due to the extreme need for the vaccine, the FDA granted the vaccine’s application a Priority Review and a Tropical Disease Priority Review Voucher, as well as a Breakthrough Therapy designation, in the hopes to expedite the drug’s development. 

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Saskatchewan officials fine person $2000 for not self-isolating while symptomatic – The Observer

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REGINA — Saskatchewan health officials have fined a person $2,000 for not self-isolating while showing symptoms of COVID-19, bringing the total amount of penalties levied in the province to more than $20,000.

The Ministry of Health has not released specific details about the recent case, except to say the penalty was imposed after a contact tracing investigation.

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“Public health is confident that all close contacts have been determined and contacted in this case,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Health.

Public health rules state people must isolate for 14 days if they return from international travel, are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been close to someone who is positive.

Officials said the recent violation was of a section of the provincial public health order that states all symptomatic people who have been directed to get a COVID-19 test, or are awaiting their results, must isolate until they are no longer deemed a risk.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said asymptomatic people being tested are only required to self-monitor.

“As there is no further public risk, we will not be releasing additional information about this enforcement,” said the statement.

A spokeswoman said officials have issued four fines related to violations around COVID-19 precautions, including the one announced Thursday.

Recently, an organizer of a private gathering at a home in Saskatoon, where about 47 people attended, was fined $2,000. Another $2,000 fine was handed to a person who didn’t self-isolate, despite being positive for COVID-19.

A $10,000 penalty was given to a business that was open when restrictions were in place.

“Fines are not our first choice; we want people to be responsible and protect their health and the health of the friends, family and community,” Colleen Book said in an email.

“There can be very serious consequences for not following Public Health Orders and we are seeing increasing transmission rates in Saskatchewan and across the country as a result of social gatherings (weddings, parties etc.). This is putting our schools, businesses and health facilities at risk.”

Saskatchewan reported five new infections on Thursday. Officials said of the more than 1,800 cases reported to date in the province, 130 are believed to be active.

There are 24 active infections of children since schools reopened earlier this month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020

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Manitoba murder trial to continue with 11 jurors after one shows COVID-19 symptoms. – Nanaimo News NOW

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Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews told the jury Thursday he received advice from public health that it is safe and prudent to continue.

Toews says even if the juror tests positive, it doesn’t mean the remaining jurors would need to self-isolate given the steps taken in court, which include physical distancing.

“It is not prudent to wait any longer,” said Toews.

Moar, 23, is accused of killing Hibi at the foster home he ran for boys.

Jury trials were suspended across the country in the spring as the justice system grappled with how to handle the pandemic.

They resumed in Manitoba earlier this month with Moar’s trial.

The court put several protocols in place. Jury selections have been held in a large convention centre, there has been physical distancing in courtrooms and masks became mandatory after an employee at the Winnipeg courthouse tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Toews said Wednesday that he was optimistic that jurors would soon hear his charge in the case before beginning deliberations on a verdict. (CTV Winnipeg, The Canadian Press)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Manitoba murder trial to continue with 11 jurors after one shows COVID-19 symptoms. – rdnewsnow.com

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Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews told the jury Thursday he received advice from public health that it is safe and prudent to continue.

Toews says even if the juror tests positive, it doesn’t mean the remaining jurors would need to self-isolate given the steps taken in court, which include physical distancing.

“It is not prudent to wait any longer,” said Toews.

Moar, 23, is accused of killing Hibi at the foster home he ran for boys.

Jury trials were suspended across the country in the spring as the justice system grappled with how to handle the pandemic.

They resumed in Manitoba earlier this month with Moar’s trial.

The court put several protocols in place. Jury selections have been held in a large convention centre, there has been physical distancing in courtrooms and masks became mandatory after an employee at the Winnipeg courthouse tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Toews said Wednesday that he was optimistic that jurors would soon hear his charge in the case before beginning deliberations on a verdict. (CTV Winnipeg, The Canadian Press)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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