WHO warns of W Africa’s Ebola ‘shadow zones’

David Nabarro of the UN says WHO has a new plan to fight Ebola

David Nabarro of the UN says WHO has a new plan to fight Ebola

Families hiding infected loved ones and the existence of “shadow zones” where medics cannot go mean the West African Ebola epidemic is even bigger than thought, the World Health Organisation has said. Some 1,427 people have died among 2,615 known cases of the deadly virus in West Africa since the outbreak was first identified in March, according to new figures released by the WHO on Friday.  Under-reporting of cases is a problem especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone, currently the two countries hardest hit. “As Ebola has no cure, some believe infected loved ones will be more comfortable dying at home,” the WHO said in a statement detailing why the outbreak had been underestimated.

“Others deny that a patient has Ebola and believe that care in an isolation ward – viewed as an incubator of the disease – will lead to infection and certain death.”

Corpses are often buried without official notification. And there are “shadow zones”, rural areas where there are rumours of cases and deaths that cannot be investigated because of community resistance or lack of staff and transport. The WHO said it is now working with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to produce “more realistic estimates”. On Friday, the WHO said it had drawn up a draft strategy plan to combat the disease in West Africa, and details would be released early next week. David Nabarro, Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola, who was travelling with the WHO’s Fukuda in Liberia, said the strategy would involve ramping up the number of health workers fighting the disease. “It means more doctors, Liberian doctors, more nurses, Liberian nurses, and more equipment,” he said. “But it also means, of course, more international staff.”

Ballooning numbers

Despite initial assertions by regional health officials that the virus had been contained in its early stages, Ebola case numbers and deaths have ballooned in recent months as the outbreak has spread from its initial epicentre in Guinea. “We think six to nine months is a reasonable estimate,” Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security, said during a visit to Liberia, speaking of the time the agency now believes will be required to halt the epidemic. An Ebola outbreak will be declared over in a country if two incubation periods, or 42 days in total, have passed without any confirmed case, a WHO spokesperson said.

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Liberia overwhelmed by number of Ebola dead

Red Cross says Monrovia’s crematorium cannot keep up with deaths, turning away dozens of infectious corpses every day.

Red Cross says Monrovia's crematorium cannot keep up with deaths, turning away dozens of infectious corpses every day.

Red Cross says Monrovia’s crematorium cannot keep up with deaths, turning away dozens of infectious corpses every day.

The crematorium in Liberia’s capital Monrovia is being overwhelmed by the number of dead Ebola victims being brought in, the Red Cross has said. Fayah Tamba, the secretary-general of the Liberian division of the charity, said on Thursday workers were having to return corpses to a hospital in the city after being told there was no capacity to cremate all the victims. Tamba said she believed it may now be necessary for international organisations to take over responsibility for handling the crisis from the national authorities. Liberia is the worst affected of four West African countries hit by Ebola, with 576 deaths from 972 cases to date.

Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids and the dead bodies of victims are highly contagious. “We are constrained … On Saturday our team was able to collect up to 41 bodies. On Sunday they collected up to 37 bodies,” Tamba told a local radio station. “The crematorium did not have the capacity to cremate all these bodies, so we had to … carry them [back] to ELWA (the hospital in the capital).

“The next morning we had to make sure to carry these bodies to the crematorium and make sure they were cremated before we could start collecting new ones. “When you have a situation of this calamity, of this magnitude, we think it is important for us to have an international organisation that will co-ordinate the humanitarian intervention,” she said. Tamba’s comments came after a chaotic day in Liberia’s capital on Wednesday, with violence erupting in an Ebola quarantine zone after soldiers opened fire and used tear gas on protesting crowds.

The Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, had ordered a nightime curfew and the quarantine of Monrovia’s West Point slum and Dolo Town, to the east of the capital, in a bid to stem the outbreak. According to the latest figures from the World Health Organisation, the Ebola outbreak – the worst ever recorded – has killed at least 1,350 people, 576 in Liberia, 396 in Guinea, and 374 in Sierra Leone. On Thursday, South Africa banned anyone from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone from entering its territory.

Meanwhile, two Americans have been discharged from an Atlanta hospital after being treated with an experimental Ebola drug.  Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who both contracted the virus in Liberia, have tested clear of the virus and are likely to make a complete recovery, said Bruce Ribner, the medical director of Emory’s infectious disease unit.

#annoying-things, #death, #disease, #disease-control, #dislikes, #ebola, #ebola-outbreak, #hate, #liberia, #murder, #red-cross, #viruses

Ebola scare in Spanish coastal resort popular with British tourists

Ebola scare in Spanish coastal resort popular with British tourists

An Ebola scare has taken place in a Spanish coastal resort popular with British tourists. Health chiefs in Alicante, Spain, have activated their alert protocols after a Nigerian man showed ‘several symptoms’ of the disease. He was admitted to hospital with fever and vomiting, prompting concern among doctors, Sky News reported. It comes after Spanish priest Father Miguel Pajares died from the deadly disease which he caught while working in Liberia. Yesterday, a patient was quarantined during an Ebola scare at a British hospital. The man, who had travelled from Lebanon, walked into the Accident and Emergency department at Weston General Hospital in Somerset at around 9am. Nurses became concerned that the symptoms he was displaying were related to the disease and he was isolated on the ward. Tests carried out on the patient later confirmed he was not infected with Ebola.

Korpo Klay watches as a Liberian health department burial team prepares to enter the home of her deceased cousin Kormassa Kaba, who was suspected of dying of the Ebola virus

Patients were kept waiting for assessments at the hospital in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, while the hour-long incident was resolved.A hospital spokeswoman said: “A patient came in from abroad and because of some of the symptoms they were displaying, the accident and emergency department were naturally very cautious. “They followed all the correct procedures and the proper triaging. The patient was found not to have Ebola. “After around an hour it was back to business as normal once the department had established there was no cause for concern.” Isolating Ebola patients is critical to slowing the spread of the disease, as sick people can transmit it through their bodily fluids such as blood, sweat or urine. There is no licensed treatment or vaccine for the disease, which has killed at least half of its victims this year. The latest negative test comes after a Sierra Leone athlete competing at the Commonwealth Games was tested and found to be clear of Ebola in Glasgow last month. So far more than 1,000 people have died and almost 2,000 suspected, probable or confirmed cases have been recorded in West Africa since the outbreak was first detected.

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Ebola facility in Liberia attacked – Hundreds of Ebola patients on the loose

Ebola-outbreak-graphic-jpg

Ebola patients fled during an attack at a health care facility in Monrovia, Liberia, on Saturday, Liberian National Police spokesman Sam Collins told Media Sunday.

All patients who ran away had Ebola, and some chose to stay at the facility, Collins said. The assailants stole mattresses and equipment, he said, adding that no one was injured in the incident and the attackers “were not trying to free the patients.” The assailants were using weapons but not wielding guns, according to Collins. “It was an attack from people afraid of Ebola,” Collins told Media. “Everybody is afraid.” Since an Ebola epidemic was declared in Guinea in March, the disease has spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. Ebola can be contracted by coming into contact with infected organs and body fluids such as blood, saliva, urine and other secretions.

In the deadly disease’s current outbreak in those countries, 712 people have died from Ebola and 1,310 people are Liberia confirmed to be infected with the virus, the World Health Organization reports. Tolbert Nyenswah, Liberia’s assistant minister of health, told Media that as of Friday, 154 people in the nation have died from Ebola. There are more cases in which patients are suspected to have the disease, but that information has not been confirmed, he said. Last week, Liberia’s government said that sample doses of ZMapp, an experimental drug used to treat two American health care workers in Atlanta, Georgia, would be sent to Liberia to treat doctors who have contracted the virus.

The country had requested the drug, and the White House and U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it. ZMapp has not been tested for public use. Earlier, the company that makes ZMapp said its supply was exhausted after fulfilling a request of a West African country which it did not, at the time, name. Nyenswah told CNN that the drug have already been given to three infected doctors in Liberia who have already taken doses of it. Liberia has taken other measures to try to contain the virus. In late July, it closed most of its borders and national campaigns have been launched to educate the public about how Ebola is spread and what to do if someone comes into contact with an infected person.

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(BREAKING NEWS) Woman Detainee In Scotland Tested For Ebola

Glasgow-Airport

A female detainee who took ill at an immigration removal centre in South Lanarkshire is to undergo tests for the Ebola virus.

More follows…

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WHO approves experimental treatment for Ebola

Biggest outbreak ever

Biggest outbreak ever

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved the use of untested Ebola drugs to treat the current outbreak in West Africa.  The WHO said at a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday that the use of untested drugs was ethical, provided certain conditions were met. The statement comes following a meeting of medical experts asked to assess the ethics of using untested drugs in the outbreak.  Two batches of experimental treatments were reported to be heading to Liberia on Tuesday, the first delivery of untested Ebola drugs in Africa. The UN health agency said more than 1000 people had died so far from the illness in West Africa, with authorities recording 1,848 suspected or confirmed cases. The virus, spread by direct contact with bodily fluids was detected in Guinea in March and has since spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and possibly Nigeria.

Death rate 

Two Americans and a Spanish priest, who contracted Ebola in Liberia, had received a dose of the treatment never tested in humans. The Americans have showed signs of improvement but the priest died on Tuesday.
The vast majority of Ebola victims are Africans, and some have protested that their citizens are not getting access to the novel drugs. There is no evidence yet that experimental drugs can actually help fight Ebola, and it is possible they could be harmful. The outbreak has had about a 50 percent death rate, according to the UN, adding urgency to the search for a treatment. WHO also said the world had “a moral duty” to properly collect evidence about the untested treatment’s safety and effectiveness in a proper scientific trial, the AP news agency reported. West African nations are struggling to control both the deadly outbreak and the fear it has engendered. Most airlines flying in and out of the Liberian capital of Monrovia have suspended flights amid the unprecedented health crisis. The Ivory Coast, which shares borders with Liberia and Guinea, as banned direct flights from those countries and said it would increase health inspections at its borders.

 

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Spanish Priest With Ebola Dies In Hospital

Fr Miguel Parajes was flown from Liberia for treatment.

Fr Miguel Parajes was flown from Liberia for treatment.

A Spanish priest who contracted ebola while working in Liberia has died in hospital, health authorities in Madrid have confirmed. Father Miguel Pajares was the first European infected by a strain of the virus that has killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa. He was airlifted from Liberia on August 7 after becoming infected while working for a non-governmental organisation there. The 75-year-old was flown to Spain for treatment with his co-worker Juliana Bohi, a nun who has since tested negative for the disease.

Spain’s Health Ministry said Fr Pajares was being treated with the experimental drug ZMapp, manufactured by U.S. company Mapp Biopharmaceutical.  Two US aid workers infected by the disease have shown some signs of improvements since being given the drug, which had only previously been tested on monkeys. Fr Pajares was part of a Catholic order at St Joseph’s Hospital in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia. A Congolese nun died at the hospital over the weekend, days after its director also passed away. The hospital has since been closed because of the outbreak.

Fr Parajes had been in quarantine in Madrid's Carlos III Hospital

Fr Parajes had been in quarantine in Madrid’s Carlos III Hospital

Authorities in affected countries are spreading the word about the disease

Authorities in affected countries are spreading the word about the disease

Medics Zukunis Ireland and Abraham Borbor are expected to be the first Africans to be treated with ZMapp and have given written consent, Liberia’s Information Minister Lewis Brown said. Mr Brown told Reuters the Liberian government received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the pair to be treated before the drug could be exported – and that supplies should arrive in the next 48 hours. Meanwhile, a panel of medical experts has ruled that it is ethical for infected patients to be treated with experimental drugs such as ZMapp, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said. The UN health agency said in a statement: “In the particular circumstances of this outbreak, and provided certain conditions are met, the panel reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention.” Treatment with experimental drugs requires informed consent, freedom of choice, confidentiality, respect for the person, preservation of dignity and involvement of the community, the WHO said. The virus has spread to four African countries – Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria – infecting a total 1,848

people, according to the WHO, which has branded the outbreak an international health emergency.

The latest outbreak has killed around 55-60% of those infected.

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Rwanda tests suspected Ebola case

The patient is the first to be tested in Rwanda since the outbreak emerged in west Africa earlier this year

The patient is the first to be tested in Rwanda since the outbreak emerged in west Africa earlier this year

Rwanda has placed a German student with Ebola-like symptoms in isolation, and is waiting for test results checking for the deadly tropical disease, the health ministry says. “Samples from the suspected case have been sent for testing to an international accredited laboratory for approval, results will be available in 48 hours,” the health ministry said in a statement on Sunday. The patient is the first to be tested in Rwanda since the outbreak emerged in west Africa earlier this year.  This outbreak of the virus, centred on Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, is the worst recorded and has killed nearly 1,000 people. Last week the World Health Organisation declared the epidemic a global health emergency. Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s health minister, said the patient was a German medical student who had recently spent time in Liberia. He had a fever and malaria but for “100 percent security” Rwanda had quarantined him, until test results were back in two days, Binagwaho said. Like other nations across east Africa, Rwanda said it had put in place measures against the deadly virus. “Surveillance systems and emergency management systems have been established,” the health ministry said. “Health workers have been trained across the country and are vigilant.”

Meanwhile, Nigeria has 10 confirmed cases of Ebola, up from seven at the last count, although only two so far have died, including the Liberian who brought the virus in, the health minister said on Monday.All were people who had had primary contact with Patrick Sawyer, who collapsed on arrival at Lagos airport on July 25th
and later died, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu told a news conference. A nurse who treated him not knowing what it was and without protective gear also died.

Hong Kong test negative

As fears of the disease spread, Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection said on Sunday night that a Nigerian man, earlier suspected of having the virus, had tested negative at the Princess Margaret Hospital. It was Hong Kong’s first suspected case of Ebola, which is spread through blood and body fluid, in the latest outbreak. The 32-year-old man who had been vomiting and suffering from diarrhoea, both symptoms of the disease, had arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday. After he went to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the man was transferred to the Princess Margaret Hospital and was quarantined there. According to the centre, the man had never been to Ebola-effected countries such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the past month, nor had he had contact with Ebola-positive patients and animals. The UK National Health Service website says an infected person will typically develop fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, sore throat and intense muscle weakness. These symptoms start suddenly, between two and 21 days after becoming infected, but usually after five to seven days.

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CONFIRMED – Ebola is a Real Public health risk to the World

ebola-africa-who-emergency.si

Well let there be NO question now, Ebola has won, W.H.O have failed and Ebola has spread around the World. There are confirmed cases in China, USA and Europe. West Africa is rampant with it. This is now a real and honest World issue, it has and will spread to all corners of the globe. W.H.O would not say this if they thought otherwise. This is bigger than the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed 10% of the planet for one reason, Air travel. We now pray to a God if we have one. Countries MUST close borders, Air Travel MUST be suspended World Wide. This is out of control. Our worst fears have become reality

Ebola An International Health Emergency – WHO

http://news.sky.com/story/1315153/ebola-an-international-health-emergency-who

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is an “extraordinary event”, which poses a public health risk to other states, the World Health Organization said, urging global coordinated response to the disease. The health body described the consequences of a further international spread of the virus as“particularly serious” due to its virulence. “A coordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola,” the WHO said in a statement after a two-day meeting of its emergency committee on Ebola.

 

Untitled

WHO (World Health Organisation) announced an international health emergency over Ebola, calling the current outbreak the most severe since 1976, when the virus was first identified in humans. The organization previously declared similar emergencies for the swine flu pandemic in 2009 and for polio this May. The declaration of an international emergency is aimed at increasing the level of vigilance for transmission of the virus. All states with Ebola transmission – Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone – should declare a national emergency, WHO said, adding that the outbreak shouldn’t prevent international trade and travel. “Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own,” Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO chief, said at a news conference in Geneva. “I urge the international community to provide this support on the most urgent basis possible.

WHO announced an international health emergency over Ebola, calling the current outbreak the most severe since 1976, when the virus was first identified in humans. The organization previously declared similar emergencies for the swine flu pandemic in 2009 and for polio this May. The declaration of an international emergency is aimed at increasing the level of vigilance for transmission of the virus. All states with Ebola transmission – Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone – should declare a national emergency, WHO said, adding that the outbreak shouldn’t prevent international trade and travel. "Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own," Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO chief, said at a news conference in Geneva. "I urge the international community to provide this support on the most urgent basis possible.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan (L) sits next to Keiji Fukuda

The spread of Ebola could be stopped if infected people are dealt with properly, Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s head of health security, said. “This is not a mysterious disease. This is an infectious disease that can be contained,” he stressed. “It is not a virus that is spread through the air.” The organization explained the rapid spreading of the virus by the weaknesses of the health systems of the affected states in West Africa. The inexperience of local medics and misperception of the Ebola virus “continue to be a major challenge in some communities,” the health body added. Global alarm over the spread of the disease increased in July when an American citizen died in Nigeria after traveling there by plane from Liberia. The current outbreak of Ebola, which began in Guinea in March and spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia, has already claimed nearly 1,000 lives.

US lifts hold on experimental Ebola drug

The US health authorities have eased safety restrictions on an experimental Ebola drug, which could clear the way for its use to treat patients infected with the deadly virus. Tekmira Pharmaceuticals announced on Thursday that it has received “verbal confirmation” from US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the full clinical hold on its TKM-Ebola drug has been modified to a partial clinical hold. “We’re pleased that the FDA has considered the risk-reward of TKM-Ebola for infected patients,” Dr. Mark Murray, Tekmira’s CEO, stressed. “We have been closely watching the Ebola virus outbreak and its consequences, and we are willing to assist with any responsible use of TKM-Ebola.” The drug developed by the Canadian company, which has a $140-million deal with the US government, has shown ability to block high doses of the Ebola virus in monkey studies.

An ambulance carrying American missionary Nancy Writebol, 59, who is infected with Ebola in West Africa arrives past crowds of people taking pictures at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia

An ambulance carrying American missionary Nancy Writebol, 59, who is infected with Ebola in West Africa arrives past crowds of people taking pictures at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia

However, Tekmira had to stop its research on July 21 after small dosing study in 28 healthy adults revealed problematic immune responses among some of the subjects. Previously, a source within the FDA told Reuters that the partial hold would allow the company to launch a new study in sick patients, for whom any safety risks from the treatment would be mitigated by the prospect of dying. “The benefit-risk ratio changes completely,” the source said. “Anything that would shift the risk-benefit to a more favorable outcome could potentially allow the authorization of that study.” Earlier this week, another experimental drug was given to two American aid workers who contracted Ebola in Liberia, with the patients showing signs of improvement. Unlike TKM-Ebola, which targets the genetic material of Ebola, ZMapp drug, developed by Mapp Biopharmaceutical of the US, is aimed at boosting the immune system’s efforts to tackle the virus. Experimental drugs that haven’t yet proven to be safe or effective are given the green light due to a massive Ebola outbreak in West Africa. However, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, said that the actual death toll may exceed the WHO’s stats as many cases may remain unreported. “The data coming out is kind of a fog-of-war situation,” Frieden is cited as saying by AP. The health official warned the congressional committee on Thursday that current Ebola crisis in West Africa can sicken more people than all other previous outbreaks of the disease combined.

Health workers carry the body of an Ebola virus victim in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 25, 2014

Health workers carry the body of an Ebola virus victim in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 25, 2014

“It will be a long and hard fight” because in a best-case scenario it would take at least three to six months to end the outbreak, Frieden stressed. The virus is spreading rapidly due to lack of infection control, with families taking care of their sick relatives together with the health workers, and risky burial practices, he added. Meanwhile, the US has ordered families of its diplomats to in Liberia, warning against non-essential travel to the West African state. The US is also sending extra staff to Liberia in the fight against Ebola, which includes 12 disease prevention specialists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a 13-member disaster assistance response team from USAID. Ebola virus disease is a severe disease, with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent, according to the WHO.

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Audio Podcast – Ebola, the very latest. Please listen/Watch

 

 

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 Two links, one from the CDC one from W.H.O

 

 http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/symptoms/

 

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

 

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