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Favipiravir—a prophylactic treatment for Ebola contacts?

THE LANCET byMichel Van Herp, Hilde Declerck and Tom Decroo June 13, 2015

.. the efficacy of candidate Ebola vaccines for primary prevention has not been proven.2 Furthermore, in communities in which Ebola transmission might be ongoing, an important question is: how will such a vaccination be perceived if a vaccinated person develops Ebola? Such a scenario is possible in people who contract Ebola virus before vaccination. If a person is infected with Ebola virus before vaccination, the vaccine might have a post-exposure prophylactic effect. However, how effective this prophylaxis might be is unknown.2 Moreover, if someone is infected more than 48 h before vaccination, the post-exposure prophylactic effect is likely to be insufficient, leading to possible development of Ebola after vaccination. This scenario is likely to result in serious issues relating to community trust and acceptance of an Ebola vaccine.3 How to exclude Ebola among people presenting with post-vaccination fever is also an issue.2

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Japan Questions Earthquake Forecasts

submitted by Samuel Bendett

Homeland Security News Wire - March 2, 2012

Following the massive 11 March earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan, residents and experts there have grown increasingly skeptical of quake forecasts.

Last month two University of Tokyo seismologists released a study that predicted a major earthquake would hit Japan’s capital city within the next four years. Their study was sharply criticized by those who said their claims were likely incorrect.

Bowing to pressure, the university’s Earthquake Research Institute posted a notice on its site that stated the latest earthquake forecast was the opinion of two researchers and noted the study’s “large margin of error.”

“Many seismologists think this kind of study is too simple,” said Naoyuki Kato, a seismologist at the institute, in an interview with the Washington Post.

Japan, which has been frequently rocked by powerful earthquakes in the past, invests more money than any other nation in the world on earthquake prediction, yet despite spending more than $100 million annually, the art of predicting earthquakes remains elusive.

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