With today’s announcement of the first Ebola case to be diagnosed in the U.S., it’s worth brushing up on the facts about the virus to help your readers, viewers and listeners understand.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hosting a briefing at 5:30 p.m. ET about the case, diagnosed in a patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Expected to speak during that briefing:
- Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H, director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- David Lakey, M.D., commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services
- Edward Goodman, M.D., FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA, hospital epidemiologist, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
- Zachary Thompson, M.A., director, Dallas County Health and Human Services
And here are some resources to use in your reporting:
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has information about research and development of a vaccine for Ebola.
Another good resource is the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
AHCJ members have free access to The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Its blog provides links to Capitol Hill hearings about Ebola.
Entry for Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Medline Plus.
BU Today, the marketing and communications site for Boston University, published a special series, “Battling Ebola.” While it was launched before the U.S. diagnosis, it includes some relevant background, information and sources. Articles on the site look at “why medical personnel risk traveling to the hot zone; the ethical and political dilemmas presented by the outbreak; how the virus kills; and efforts to design effective therapies.”
From Emory University, Emory freshmen determined to build a fast, portable Ebola test.
The National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories has links to some news coverage of ebola, including:
- Ebolanomics, The New Yorker: An explanation of why there is still no approved drug to treat the virus
- Drug found effective against virus similar to Ebola, USA Today, Aug. 20, 2014: Coverage of a study that shows an experimental treatment for Marburg virus – a close cousin to Ebola – can be given after symptoms of the terrible disease have started to appear. The finding suggests that similar treatments may work for Ebola patients.
- Researchers race to develop field tests to confirm Ebola, Bloomberg News, Aug. 15, 2014: Developing tools to quickly diagnose the virus.
And for those of you who care about such things, Associated Press style is for “Ebola” to be capitalized.