Credit CDC PHIL
Although the oft repeated meme `We know how to control Ebola’ is still being uttered, the truth is we have entered uncharted territory with this epidemic. Tactics that always worked well in Ebola outbreaks of the past – which struck in smaller populations that were remote, rural, and not terribly mobile - have come up short with the virus now spreading in both rural and urban centers across three West African nations.
Recognizing that as conditions change, so must the response, the World Health Organization has convened an informal consultation to discuss how science, and new information gleaned during this epidemic, might help guide changes in their response to this outbreak, and to outbreaks in the future.
My thanks to Martin Enserink for tweeting the link to this WHO press release.
Date: 7 October 2014
On 7 October 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) will convene an informal consultation on how science can inform our response to Ebola virus disease.
A group of scientists with expertise in Ebola control will work with WHO to review the current science and information emerging from the countries experiencing epidemics of Ebola virus disease. This expert advice will be used to inform WHO directions and actions in this current response and any future Ebola outbreaks.
Objectives of the consultation
The objective of the consultation is to obtain perspectives from the review of the available science in relation to diagnostic and virological findings, clinical features, epidemiology and the impact of Ebola disease control measures on the evolution of the outbreak.
These observations may be used by WHO to:
- consider if any changes in our control strategy are warranted, either immediately or later after further observations have generated stronger or clearer data and information.
- facilitate or coordinate the gathering of important data, which is currently not available, but is needed to achieve a more profound understanding of the situation for purposes of decision making.
The first meeting will take place by teleconference. WHO may reconvene the consultation as required, to review changes in the situation, to consider any major new scientific findings and to look comprehensively over the many scientific subject areas covered to consider if new studies or other actions are indicated.
The teleconference will be chaired by Professor Peter Piot of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. A full list of participants will be posted on the WHO website of the meeting.