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Uganda To Start Experimental Vaccine For Ebola Along With DRC

The Ebola virus causes a severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fever.

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Congo, Uganda, ebola
A Congolese health worker administers Ebola vaccine to a boy who had contact with an Ebola sufferer in the village of Mangina in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. VOA

Uganda will begin administering the experimental Ebola vaccine to approximately 2,000 health care and front-line workers along its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday, the Ministry of Health said.

Uganda has no confirmed cases of Ebola, but as the threat worsens in the DRC, the preventive measure is seen as necessary because of heavy border traffic. More than 20,000 people cross from the DRC into Uganda and back every week, the ministry says.

“The public high risk of cross-border transmission of Ebola to Uganda was assessed to be very high at national level,” said Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda’s minister for health. “Hence, the need to protect our health workers with this vaccine. Currently in Uganda, we have 2,100 doses of the vaccine available at the National Medical Stores and preparations are in high gear, including training of the health workers that are to be targeted.”

Congo, Uganda, ebola
A health care worker from the World Health Organization, left, gives an Ebola vaccination to a front line aid worker who will then vaccinate people who might potentially have the virus, in Mbandaka, Congo, May 30, 2018.
VOA

Many of those crossing the border are from the DRC’s North Kivu province, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Ugandan border, where armed conflict has made fighting the Ebola outbreak a challenge.

The vaccine, known as rVSV, has been used during recent outbreaks in Congo, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and is currently being dispensed in North Kivu.

Uganda’s Health Ministry says the Ebola vaccine will be given with the consent of Uganda’s health workers, since it is being used outside of clinical trials.

Congo, Uganda, ebola
Photo taken Sept 9, 2018, shows health workers walking with a boy suspected of having the Ebola virus at an Ebola treatment centre in Beni, Eastern Congo. VOA

Despite being experimental, the vaccine is absolutely safe, Aceng says.

“The vaccine is a recombinant vaccine genetically developed by getting a particle of the Ebola gene, replacing a particle of the gene with another virus called the vesicular stomatitis virus. The vaccine therefore is a genetically modified organism, that is able to replicate and cause antibody production against the Ebola virus but not cause Ebola virus disease,” she explained.

Also Read:Ebola Not A Global Health Emergency: WHO

The Ebola virus causes a severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fever.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has confirmed 250 cases of Ebola — causing 180 deaths — and another 41 suspected cases. (VOA)

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Vaping Can Lead to Chronic Disease in Lungs known as “Popcorn Injury”

This novel disease pattern of airway injury associated with vaping leading to chronic obstruction appears to be distinct from the alveolar injury

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Vaping
Novel disease pattern of airway injury associated with Vaping leading to chronic obstruction appears to be distinct from the alveolar injury characterizing the EVALI . Pixabay

In yet another serious health alert on e-cigarette use, researchers have documented first-ever case of a new form of damage from Vaping products in a youth which is similar to “popcorn lung,” a condition seen in workers exposed to food flavouring fumes in microwave popcorn factories.

If inhaled, the chemical called diacetyl causes bronchiolitis, which is characterized by the small airways of the lungs becoming inflamed and obstructed.

The 17-year-old patient who narrowly avoided the need for a double lung transplant suffered with this new type of vaping-related injury.

A team from Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, and University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto described the life-threatening bronchiolitis in a previously healthy 17-year-old male who initially presented for care after a week of persistent and intractable cough and was eventually hospitalized and put on life support.

After ruling out other causes, the team suspected flavoured e-liquids as the cause. The youth’s family reported that he vaped daily using a variety of flavoured cartridges and used tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) regularly. THC is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.

“This novel disease pattern of airway injury associated with vaping leading to chronic obstruction appears to be distinct from the alveolar injury characterizing the EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury) have been described cases recently reported in the US, and the seven confirmed or probable cases in Canada, highlighting the need for further research and regulation of e-cigarettes,” elaborated lead author Dr Karen Bosma, Associate Scientist at Lawson.

The case study, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), provides detailed medical information on the extent and type of injury as well as treatment.

“This case of life-threatening acute bronchiolitis posed a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge,” the authors wrote.

Vaping
In yet another serious health alert on e-cigarette use, researchers have documented first-ever case of a new form of damage from Vaping products in a youth which is similar to “popcorn lung,” a condition seen in workers exposed to food flavouring fumes in microwave popcorn factories. Pixabay

“Given the patient’s intense vaping exposure to flavoured e-liquid and negative workup for other causes of bronchiolitis, we suspected that bronchiolitis obliterans might have been developing in this patient as in microwave popcorn factory workers exposed to occupational inhalation of diacetyl.”

The youth narrowly avoided the need for a double lung transplant, but now has evidence of chronic damage to his airways.

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He is still recovering from his lengthy stay in the intensive care unit, and is abstaining from e-cigarettes, marijuana and tobacco.

“This case may represent the first direct evidence of the lung disease most expected to result from e-cigarette use,” said Dr Matthew Stanbrook, Deputy Editor, CMAJ. (IANS)