Latest News

THS assists Philippines prepare for Ebola


Tropical Health Solutions is assisting the Philippine Department of Health (DoH) to be ready to control Ebola. I have had the great opportunity to work with the Philippine Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) to help the DoH prepare and deliver a training workshop Training in Hospital Management of Ebola Virus Disease. The goal of this workshop is to train doctors and nurses working in hospitals and clinics in the Philippines to detect and isolate cases of Ebola rapidly and safely.

Ebola - the Chinese are coming


As the West African Ebola outbreak continues and many developed countries, like Australia (my own), head for the hills, China is stepping forward. China has agreed to:
i) build a permanent laboratory in Sierra Leone. Construction will begin this month. The laboratory will be used in the current outbreak and to help Sierra Leone detect and control outbreaks of other tropical diseases. Read the story at

Ebola case count rises sharply in West Africa


The World Health Organization has modified its case count for the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. It rose shaprly as more accurate figures of cases were included in the latest situation report. On 24 October total cases were 10,114. The report of 29 October gives the case count as 13,703, an increase of 35%. The additional cases, however, were cases that had occurred throughout the outbreak, but had not been counted. In Liberia particularly acertainment of cases has been a problem. The good news is that the number of deaths remained stable at 4,941.

Counterfeit drugs - Japan acts


Counterfeit drugs are not just theft but a serious crime that may result in death of patients whose life depends on the drugs being efficacious. I recently gave an overview of the situation for Australian travelers in my October Travel Bug column in Medical Observer. The column can be read here (registration is free).

Ebola - Good news, bad news!


Good news at last in the fight against Ebola: Senegal and Nigeria have controlled their outbreaks and are now declared free of Ebola. The criteria is no new cases of Ebola 42 days after the onset of the last case. The magic figure "42" is equal to 2 maximum incubation periods for the disease. Maximum incubation period for Ebola is 21 days. The other good news is that the reproductive rate of the epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is now less than 1.

Second Ebola nurse case in USA: CDC revises PPE guidelines


With the second nurse testing positive for Ebola in USA, CDC and many hospitals are ugrading their guidelines on PPE for those who care for the patient, but do not come into direct contact with the patient’s fluids and fomites. The New York Times has a very informative piece here about the new guidelines.

Transmission of Ebolavirus in USA


A nurse in Dallas has been diagnosed with Ebola. Nina Pham cared for Thomas Duncan, the man who traveled to Texas from Liberia and subsequently died. The circumstances of transmission in this case is similar to that of the Spanish assistant nurse, Teresa Romero, who acquired Ebolavirus when nursing a patient in Madrid in that no gross breaches of infection control protocol have been identified.

Are Australian GPs ready for Ebola?


Have Australian GPs been left out of Ebola planning? This question was raised in a comment on Medical Observer. Read the story here. Public health strategies are in place after being refined for pandemic influenza and can be adapted to manage Ebola in Australia. However, although there are protocols for GPs, communication seems to be minimal.

GP protocols are available at

Ebola inTexas - If you take a travel history - use it!


Mr Thomas Eric Duncan told staff at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas that he had recently come from Liberia. He had presented with low grdae fever and abdominal pain. Unfortunately, this very important travel history was ignored and he was sent home with antibiotics.

Thomas was subsequetly diagnosed with Ebola to earn the distinction of being the first naturally introduced case of Ebola in USA.

This delay in diagnosis has put others' lives at risk. Let's hope that no secondary cases occur.

Travel history is important. Do not ignore it!

Northern Territory bat tests positive for Australian bat lyssavirus


A bat from Katherine, Northern Territory, has tested positive for Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV). The last positive result for NT was in 1997. The story was reported on ABC News. Unfortunately, the report provides no other details about this specific case except to note that no one had been exposed.