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The Army Is Playing A Key Role In Finding A Cure For Ebola
Army researchers from Fort Detrick are developing relationships with Ebola survivors in Uganda, who may hold the key to a vaccine or treatment for the deadly disease.
John Dye led a team from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases on a trip to Uganda in August. Dye is chief of viral immunology at the institute.
"For the last 50 years, there have been Ebola outbreaks all over Africa, and a lot of them have occurred in Uganda," he said.
Uganda is a "hotbed of viruses and bacteria," Dye said, and people there have been living alongside the virus for years.
"We do know that monkeys carry Ebola as well, and monkey meat is a main staple of the diet of people in Africa," he said.
Since 2011, researchers from the institute have traveled to Uganda about every six months to collect samples of Ebola survivors' blood. Certain types of cells in their immune systems may indicate how the body can successfully fight off the disease.
"What's different about them and their status of their body, their genetics or their immune system that allowed them to survive when 70 percent of the other people succumb?" he said.
Some survivors are still suffering problems with eyesight and arthritis, even though they have fought off the virus, Dye said.
As in the West African outbreak, Ebola survivors in Uganda, in East Africa, were often shut out from their communities.
"They couldn't get jobs. They couldn't go back to their previous jobs because they were seen as cursed, where, ironically, the survivors are actually blessed," Dye said.
As researchers from a foreign country, Dye's team had to spend time with native Ugandans to explain why their blood was needed and why the survivors were so important.
"Everywhere we go, we try to get that message across that these individuals are not cursed, they actually are so lucky that they survived this infection that normally kills about 70 percent of the people [that are infected]," Dye said.
The Army institute also sent researchers to Liberia at the height of the West African Ebola outbreak. They helped create the first center to monitor genetic changes in the Ebola virus that may affect the effectiveness of future vaccines and treatments.
The ebola virus.Centers for Disease Control photo.
The genomics center is based at the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research.
The Army institute has been involved in the development of Ebola treatments including the "ZMapp" drug, which proved to be an effective treatment during the West African outbreak.
The institute developed one of three antibodies in the cocktail-style drug, which is now licensed to a biopharmaceutical company in California.
Dye said the institute's current work focuses on treating and vaccinating against other strains of the virus, which are genetically separate from the strain that caused the most deaths in the West African outbreak, but still share the characteristics of Ebola.
"We don't know what the next outbreak is going to be. ... If it's one of these others that comes out of the woods, we don't really have anything in the cupboard" to treat it, Dye said.
Alternatively, a vaccine created with the research they've done in Uganda may protect against all the strains of Ebola.
Dye said he's hoping the vaccines or treatments that come from their research will be tested in Uganda.
A manufacturing plant in Frederick, which gets its marching orders through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, plans to make more doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine early next year, according to David A. Lindsay, a director at the plant.
© 2016 The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.