On Monday, the IOM (Institute of Medicine) sponsored a workshop in Washington D.C. on Ebola research priorities, and about four hours of video from this conference has now been uploaded to the IOM’s Youtube Account in their 11/4/2014 - Open Session play list.
While I’ve not had time to watch all of the videos, I’m aware that the media has picked up on some of the uncertainties expressed by presenters (see Reuters’s U.S. scientists say uncertainties loom about Ebola's transmission, other key facts) regarding the virus.
In the biological sciences, absolutes are hard to come by. There are always outliers, unusual or paradoxical responses, and exceptions to the rules. Which is why it is import to discuss research priorities, to better sort these things out.
First a brief description of the workshop from the IOM edu website, followed by links to the individual videos.
Research Priorities to Inform Public Health and Medical Practice for Domestic Ebola Virus Disease (EVD): A Workshop
November 3, 2014 (8:30 AM Eastern)
An ad hoc committee, under the auspices of the Institute of Medicine in collaboration with the National Research Council will organize a one-day workshop that will explore potential research priorities arising as a result of the emergence of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), a hemorrhagic disease caused by a filovirus, in the United States. The workshop will focus primarily on basic science and environmental health research issues of specific concern to affected and potentially affected U.S. communities. The workshop will help inform future research that could be conducted under real-world conditions (i.e., during an event) that would provide public health officials and the general public with additional accurate information about virus transmission, mitigation of health risks, and appropriate measures to prevent the spread of disease. Specific topics that may be discussed include:
- Routes of transmission and persistence of the virus to inform public health practice.
- Examine characteristics and properties of the virus that influence the stability and viability of EVD in order to continue to inform public health efforts, handling of potentially infectious materials, and protection of at-risk responders.
- Assess methods of viral inactivation and alternative solutions for effective disinfection of contaminated surfaces.
- Explore considerations regarding the real-world use of personal protective equipment (PPE) among non-traditional workers or others that may be exposed to infected individuals or contaminated materials, including real-time training and education.
- Strategies to address issues of concern to healthcare workers and the general public, including the use of PPE and personal protective behaviors to prevent spread and reduce exposure.
The committee will develop the agenda for the workshop session, select and invite speakers and discussants, and moderate the discussions. An individually authored brief workshop summary based on the presentations and discussions held during the workshop will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines.
11/4/2014 - Open Session 37:45