The length of your responses is not to exceed 4 pages total (about 2 pages for each question), 1.5 spaced. This does not include references or figures.
Use this as an opportunity to highlight and apply what you have learned in class, the readings, and/or content in the asynchronous lectures.
Question 1: (~2 pages) Ebola is a virus of zoonotic origin that can cause epidemics among human populations as in the West African epidemic in 2014-15. What level of control is achievable against Ebola? Is Ebola ultimately eliminable or eradicable and what would it take to achieve this state, assuming a highly effective vaccination program is unattainable? Reflect on other systems such as smallpox, polio, and measles etc. in support of your arguments.
Ebola is not currently eradicable due to the fact that the disease is transmissible through animal hosts as well.
Question 2: (~2 pages) Currently approved COVID vaccines are of mixed efficacy and limited availability. What would be the role of surveillance in curtailing transmission and monitoring viral variants? How would you design this system? Discuss symptomatic case detection versus asymptomatic community testing and pathogen (antigen) detection versus antibody testing. Be sure to state your other assumptions.
Ebola is commonly referred to as E.V.D. (Ebola Virus Disease) or EHF (Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever). This disease was primarily discovered around 1976 near the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, around 11,000 people have lost their lives due to this disease (Briand, Bertherat, Cox, Formenty, Jieny, Myhre, Roth, Shindo, and Dye, 2014). Ebola is found to be including symptoms such as fever, sore throat, headaches, muscular pain, bleeding, and sometimes diarrhea. The disease is profoundly associated with a virus that spreads through direct contact with living beings such as humans and animals. This essay aims to provide information such as what is the level of control that is achievable against Ebola and is Ebola ultimately eliminable or eradicable.
It has been found that Ebola has been one of such diseases that are counted as difficult to control. In this regard, the control was achieved through working with institutions and communities to identify people who have or had this disease. After getting cured of Ebola, if those people get sick with symptoms such as smallpox, polio, or measles, immediate action to prevention is set-up with effective measures (Emond, Evans, Bowen and Lloyd, 2016). To be precise, there is a possibility of controlling Ebola up to a certain percentile, but there is also a probability of getting exposed to other diseases if the preventive measures have not worked for the particular individual.
In December 2019, WHO prequalified Ervebo as the most effective vaccine against the Ebola virus. WHO licensed the vaccine to the United States Food and Drug Administration. In this regard, the F.D.A has echoed Ervebo to be 100% effective in preventing Ebola (F.D.A., 2019). While the medical institutions reflect that the world has an effective vaccine against a deadly virus, it is hard to mention whether Ebola has completely eradicated or not. After general research, it could be conveyed that Ebola is not currently eradicable because it is still transmissible via animal hosts.
It has been found that many medical business giants have invested in the vaccination processes for Ebola. One such organization is considered to be Johnson and Johnson, who estimated Ad26.ZEBOV is the right dose to be given to eradicate Ebola (Johnson and Johnson, 2020). However, it could be possibly intervened that eradicating Ebola is feasible only when the authorized institutions run vaccination processes more comprehensively. In this regard, all the uncertainties and relativity parameters with other symptoms such as pox and polio should also be considered widely. Also, to make the eradication process stand successful, the medical associations have to plan to vaccinate animals.
The vaccination processes come with various complications sometimes. With that said, it has been found that the Ebola vaccination processes included some treatments that were not suitable for some people. Even after getting vaccinated with Ervebo, many people have shown other diseases (Osterholm, Moore, Ostrowsky, Kimball-Baker and Farrar, 2016). These included symptoms of smallpox, polio, and measles. One research even stated that one of the most common Ebola symptoms is smallpox and must get immediate intervention if determined. Hence, it could be possibly echoed loud that such biological threats like Ebola come with various other complexities.
To conclude, this essay aimed towards providing information such as what is the level of control that is achievable against Ebola and Ebola is ultimately eradicable or not. For this purpose, the essay has included segments that focused widely on the vaccination processes for Ebola and echoing the relevancy of other symptoms. While Ervebo is referred to as the 100% cure to Ebola disease, the possibility of having symptoms such as pox and polio is common.
The outburst of COVID-19 has shown up as the worst pandemic in the last couple of decades. Initiated from China in December 2019, this virus (SARS-2) has taken more than around 2.39 million globally. With that said, it has been found that around 108 million people worldwide have been a victim of getting exposed to COVID-19 virus (Let et al, 2020). While the symptoms are as common as viral fever, the cure was hard to find. This essay aims towards echoing the role of surveillance in shadowing up the transmission of viral variants. It will also include a reflection on symptomatic case detection versus asymptomatic community testing along with pathogen detection versus antibody testing.
It is assumed that the purpose of surveillance is to potentially detect the disease organisms that are responsible for human diseases in general. In this regard, the role of surveillance in curtailing transmission and monitoring the viral variants of the COVID-19 virus is potentially important. With the increased number of COVID-19 patients every day, many countries are encountering other variants of the virus. One such variant is echoed and referred to as SARS COV-2 (Martin et al, 2020). Thus, in this regard, the role of surveillance will become essential with preventive areas such as spread, cause, and detection so that transmission could be minimized.
In order to design a surveillance system for COVID-19 variants, five broad steps are going to be followed. These will include steps such as defining the purpose of surveillance and monitoring to P.H.S. (Public Health Surveillance), identifying the problems associated, collecting evident data for surveillance, analyzing and interpreting the input and output data, disseminating the interpretations, evaluating the outcomes, implementing the results, and monitoring the impacts. The approach is going to be an event and participatory based surveillance systems (WHO, 2020). This way, an effective surveillance system could be potentially set-up that is comprehensively going to help curtailing transmission and monitoring of COVID-virus variants. In this regard, the WHO (World Health Organization) is acknowledging two steps of surveillance that help in achieving data of various countries as well.
The symptomatic case detection is considered to be a mode of intervention in which direct symptoms are easy to notice, such as fever, cough, or cold (Sayampanathan et al, 2021). On the other hand, asymptomatic community testing is considered a mode of approach through which a community is tested based on breaking the spread of transmission between the community people and local authorities. Similarly, the antigens are considered to be the molecules that are capable of simulating human immune systems. These might include proteins, polysaccharides, or nucleic acids (Nguyen and Kim, 2020). Pathogen detection in this regard helps in measuring the immune capabilities of human beings. On the other hand, the antibody test reveals whether an individual is exposed to the virus or not.
To conclude, this essay aimed towards echoing the role of surveillance in shadowing up the transmission of viral variants. It also aimed towards bifurcating between the concepts of symptomatic case detection, asymptomatic community testing, pathogen detection, and antibody testing. In this regard, the essay has figured out that while the number of cases for COVID-19 patients is increasing day-by-day, a threat of exposure to the other variants of the SARS-2 virus remains a matter of concern. That is why surveillance systems and monitoring should be given a larger part of importance to regulate the effective working of the intervent.