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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:28 am 
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In addition to an increase in US media on Ebola spread, media in Europe are also beginning to sound alarms about an out of control virus in western Africa.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:30 am 
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VIDEOS

Ebola "out of control" in West Africa
The Monde.fr with AFP | 07/30/2014 at 24:59 • Updated 07/30/2014 at 14h51

Sierra Leone became the new epicenter of the epidemic hemorrhagic fever.
Ebola spreads high-speed Africa West. The outbreak of this virus, fatal in 25-90% of cases, expressed at the beginning of the year in Guinea and then won Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone. These three countries now account for at least 1,201 cases, including 672 deaths, according to the latest report of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Image
Read our decryption: Three graphs and a map to understand Ebola

Liberia and Sierra Leone, "an unprecedented epidemic"
In both countries recently affected by Ebola, the situation is worsening day by day, is alarmed, Wednesday, July 30, operations director of the NGO Doctors Without Borders, Bart Janssens. He calls in the columns of Belgian daily La Libre Belgique greater responsiveness on the part of authorities:

"This epidemic is unprecedented, absolutely not under control and the situation is that worse since it still runs, especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone, with very large homes. It is WHO and governments to deploy and organize more ways to bring the efforts and capacity required for level start an early control of this epidemic. "

Regarderl'infographie Understanding the regional spread of the Ebola virus

The spread of Ebola virus
Risk of spread to other countries
After Liberia and Sierra Leone, considered by WHO since Sunday as the new epicenter of the outbreak, neighboring countries are in turn under the threat of the virus. "If the situation does not improve quickly enough, it there is a real risk of seeing new countries affected " , has warned the head of MSF.

Last week, the Nigeria announced the first case of its soil, a Liberian who traveled by plane from Monrovia to Lagos via Lome and died on July 25. The main Nigerian airline Arik Air, has also suspended all its flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The Organization of International Civil Aviation Organization and WHO announced Tuesday, July 29, think about how to limit the spread of Ebola. "Until [Tuesday] morning [prior to Asky decision] that did not affect civil aviation, but now we are concerned " , found the Organization of International Civil Aviation Organization and the WHO.

The risk of spreading the virus by travelers concerned until Europe . Wednesday, July 30, the United Kingdom held a ministerial crisis meeting on the subject and alerted her doctors.

Watch Video: The Ebola virus can happen in France?

http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2 ... _3244.html

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:41 am 
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How deadly Ebola has spread across the globe: Fears virus has now reached Asia after Hong Kong woman returning from Kenya shows symptoms of killer disease

Hong Kong woman quarantined when she fell ill after returning from Kenya

Expert claims panic over death of U.S. man in Nigeria is 'justified'
He warned the spread of Ebola could become a global pandemic

Health campaigners petition U.S. drug authorities to fast-track potential cure
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond declares disease is 'very serious threat'
He will chair an emergency meeting on how to boost defences

British airlines are also on 'red alert' for cases of the deadly virus

Man with 'feverish' symptoms tested for deadly Ebola at Birmingham hospital
He had travelled into Midlands from Benin, Nigeria via France when he fell ill
Charing Cross Hospital staff also feared man had Ebola symptoms this week
No cases have been confirmed in UK but 672 people have died in West Africa
Warning issued to GPs, A&E departments and all NHS trusts across the UK
Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and damage to the nervous system
By LIZZIE PARRY and EMMA GLANFIELD and MARIO LEDWITH
PUBLISHED: 20:12 EST, 29 July 2014 | UPDATED: 08:20 EST, 30 July 2014

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A woman has been quarantined at a hospital in Hong Kong after falling ill with Ebola-like symptoms when she returned from a trip to Africa.
The patient, who is said to be exhibiting symptoms similar to the deadly virus, is undergoing tests to verify the cause of her illness, local media reported.
It comes as potential victims were tested for the incurable disease in the UK, and it emerged Sierra Leone's top doctor, who had been fighting the epidemic, died from the virus.
The death of a U.S. citizen in the Nigerian capital of Lagos on Friday, prompted fears of a world pandemic, as experts warned the disease could be spread by air travellers.
Scroll down for videos
Deadly: The man was tested for the Ebola virus at a hospital in Birmingham after developing 'feverish' symptoms. He was given the all-clear by doctors but there are fears the killer disease could spread to the UK
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Deadly: The man was tested for the Ebola virus at a hospital in Birmingham after developing 'feverish' symptoms. He was given the all-clear by doctors but there are fears the killer disease could spread to the UK
Concern: Ebola (above) has already killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and infected more than 1,200 since it was first diagnosed in February. Symptoms include sudden fever, vomiting and headaches
Concern: Ebola (above) has already killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and infected more than 1,200 since it was first diagnosed in February. Symptoms include sudden fever, vomiting and headaches
The latest outbreak of Ebola is the most severe since the disease was discovered in 1976. So far the disease has spread from a village in Guinea to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria
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The latest outbreak of Ebola is the most severe since the disease was discovered in 1976. So far the disease has spread from a village in Guinea to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria
Dr Derek Gatherer of the University of Lancaster has warned of a global pandemic, claiming the virus is as infectious as flu.
He warned each person infected with the disease could spread the virus to at least two other people, adding that the panic sparked by the death of Mr Sawyer in Lagos, is justified.
'Anyone on the same plane could have become infected because Ebola is easy to catch,' he said.
'It can be passed on through vomiting, diarrhoea or even from simply saliva or sweat - as well as being sexually transmitted.
'That is why there is such alarm over Mr Sawyer because he became ill on the flight so anyone else sharing the plane could have been infected by his vomit or other bodily fluids.'

More...
In boiling hot suits with silent death lurking everywhere and the fear that a mistake could be fatal: Doctors give a gripping insight into their battle in the crucible of the biggest Ebola outbreak in history
'A new and emerging threat': Government convenes Cobra emergency committee to respond to Ebola outbreak
Sierra Leone's top Ebola doctor dies after contracting the virus while fighting the outbreak as Nigeria admits precise number of people U.S. victim Patrick Sawyer could have infected is unknown
The Australian doctor at the front line of the battle to contain the global Ebola virus outbreak
From the symptoms of a common cold to bleeding out the ears and eyes: What happens when you are infected with the Ebola virus?
Ebola warning issued to GPs and A&E departments as experts say hospitals could be ¿ill-equipped¿ if deadly disease spreads to UK
It comes as health campaigners today called for U.S. authorities to speed up their approval of a new drug hoped to be the first cure for the deadly Ebola virus.
They are calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States to fast-track their authorisation of the TKM-Ebola drug.
The petition, created on change.org, states: 'One of the most promising is TKM-Ebola manufactured by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals.
'This drug has been shown to be highly effective in killing the virus in primates and Phase 1 clinical trials to assess its safety in humans were started earlier this year.'
In July the FDA put clinical trials on hold, despite the face 14 research participants had already safely tolerated the drug, campaigners said.
Those responsible for the petition added: 'Given that at least one patient has transferred the disease from Liberia to Nigeria by air travel, the possibility of a global pandemic becomes increasingly likely.
'In view of this it’s imperative that the development of these drugs be fast-tracked by the FDA and the first step should be releasing the hold on TKM-Ebola.
'There is a precedent for fast tracking anti-Ebola drugs in emergency cases as happened last year when a researcher was exposed to the virus and received an experimental vaccine.'
Health campaigners have petitioned U.S. authorities, calling for the Food and Drug Administration to fast-track their approval of a new Ebola drug, which could be the first cure for the disease
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Health campaigners have petitioned U.S. authorities, calling for the Food and Drug Administration to fast-track their approval of a new Ebola drug, which could be the first cure for the disease
Nigerian health officials are in the process of trying to trace 30,000 people thought to have come into contact directly or indirectly with a Liberian Ebola victim.
Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for Liberia's Finance Ministry, died on Friday after arriving at Lagos airport on June 20, having vomited and suffered diarrhoea on two flights.
The 40-year-old U.S. citizen had been to the funeral of his sister, who also died from the disease.
He was put in isolation at the First Consultants Hospital in Obalende, one of the most crowded parts of the city, home to around 21 million people.
Mr Sawyer took two flights to reach Lagos, from Monrovia to Lome and then onto the Nigerian capital.
So far 59 people who came into contact with Mr Sawyer have been identified by Nigerian health officials, and are under surveillance.
But health officials have said they are looking at contacting 30,000 people who could be at risk of contracting the disease.
Professor Sunday Omilabu, from Lagos University Teaching Hospital, said health officials are in the process of tracing all those people who are thought to have been in contact with Mr Sawyer.
He said: 'We've been making contacts. We now have information about the (flight) manifest.
'We have information about who and who were around.
'So, as I'm talking, our teams are in the facility, where they've trained the staff, and then they (are) now asking questions about those that were closely in contact with the patient.'
Public health adviser, Yewande Adeshina, added: 'We're actually looking at contacting over 30,000 people in this very scenario.
'Because any and everybody that has contacted this person is going to be treated as a suspect.'
U.S. citizen Patrick Sawyer, pictured with his daughter Ava, died on Friday in the Nigerian capital of Lagos having become infected with the Ebola virus. His death prompted fears of a global pandemic after he flew from Liberia to Nigeria
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U.S. citizen Patrick Sawyer, pictured with his daughter Ava, died on Friday in the Nigerian capital of Lagos having become infected with the Ebola virus. His death prompted fears of a global pandemic after he flew from Liberia to Nigeria
Decontee Sawyer, the wife of Liberian government official Patrick Sawyer, said she shudders to think how easily her husband could have returned to the U.S. carrying the disease
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Decontee Sawyer, the wife of Liberian government official Patrick Sawyer, said she shudders to think how easily her husband could have returned to the U.S. carrying the disease
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond today declared the disease a 'very serious threat' to Britain as he prepares to chair an emergency meeting on how to bolster the country's defences against the vicious virus.
British airlines are on alert for cases of the deadly virus, after tests revealed a man died in Nigeria from the disease, having been allowed to board an international flight from Liberia.
A British man has also been tested for the Ebola virus, putting doctors on red alert that it could be on its way to the UK.
A spokesman for Hong Kong's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) will be notified if it is confirmed the patient is suffering from the Ebola virus.
In Nigeria health officials said today, they are in the process of tracing 30,000 people at risk of contracting the disease after coming into contact with a Liberian man who died on Friday.
Meanwhile, the British man was taken to hospital in Birmingham after complaining of feeling ‘feverish’ on a flight back to the Midlands from West Africa.
He had been travelling from Benin, Nigeria via Paris, France when he became unwell on Monday.
However, after undergoing a number of tests he was given the all-clear for the virus which has already killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and infected more than 1,200 since it was first diagnosed in February.
In another scare, medical staff at Charing Cross Hospital in London became concerned a man in his twenties had caught the virus this week.
But his symptoms were quickly confirmed as not being linked to the bug and doctors ruled out the need for an Ebola test.
Tragic: US citizen Patrick Sawyer (pictured with his wife Decontee) died after contracting Ebola in West Africa
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Tragic: US citizen Patrick Sawyer (pictured with his wife Decontee) died after contracting Ebola in West Africa
Fears: Medical staff at Charing Cross Hospital in London became concerned a man in his twenties had caught the virus this week. However, his symptoms were later put down to another bug and Ebola was ruled out
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Fears: Medical staff at Charing Cross Hospital in London became concerned a man in his twenties had caught the virus this week. However, his symptoms were later put down to another bug and Ebola was ruled out
Nigeria tracing over 30,000 potentially exposed to Ebola

Fears over the ability to contain the spread of Ebola were augmented last night as it emerged the body of a young stowaway was found hidden in on a U.S. military plane.
The Pentagon said the young boy, believed to be of African origin, was found near the wheel of a cargo plane which landed in Germany.
AIRLINES ON EBOLA RED ALERT
British airlines are on alert for cases of the deadly virus, after tests revealed a man died in Nigeria from the disease, having been allowed to board an international flight from Liberia.
Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for Liberia’s Finance Ministry, had been in Liberia for the funeral of his sister, who also died from the disease, and was on his way back to his home in the US.
The 40-year-old arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, on July 20 and had suffered from vomiting and diarrhoea on two flights. He was put in isolation in hospital and died on Friday.
Nigeria has closed the Lagos hospital where Mr Sawyer was treated and put its airports and ports on 'red alert'.
ASKY airlines, the carrier which flew Mr Sawyer, suspended flights to the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone yesterday.
In Britain, the Department of Transport said UK airlines are 'monitoring the situation'.
Virgin Atlantic told the Daily Express their staff have been trained to spot the signs and symptoms of the virulent disease, which has claimed the lives of 672 people in West Africa since February.
The plane was on a routine mission in Africa, and had made stops in Senegal, Mali, Chad, Tunisia and the Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily before arriving at Ramstein.
It is thought the boy climbed aboard in Mali, which borders Guinea - where the current Ebola outbreak originated at the end of last year.
It comes as hospitals and medical centres across the UK remain on red alert for the virus, with doctors being told to look out for symptoms of the disease which can go unnoticed for three weeks and kills 90 per cent of victims.
The Department of Health confirmed protections have been put in place to deal with the deadly bug, should it spread to Britain.
A spokesman said: ‘We are well prepared to identity and deal with any potential cases of Ebola, although there has never been a case in this country.’
The Government’s chief scientific advisor also issued a frank warning about the disease, which he said could have a ‘major impact’ on the UK.
Sir Mark Walport said: ‘The UK is fortunate in its geographical position. We’re an island. But we are living in a completely interconnected world where disruptions in countries far away will have major impacts.
‘The most dangerous infections of humans have always been those which have emerged from other species,’ he told the Daily Telegraph, referring to the virus originating in fruit bats and monkeys.
He said the Government was ‘keeping a close eye’ on the outbreak and was prepared for the disease spreading to Britain, but insisted any risk was ‘very low’.
He added: ‘We have to think about risk and managing risk appropriately.’
Public Health England has added to fears about the spread of the virus by saying it was ‘clearly not under control’.

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Virus: Symptoms of Ebola include high fever, bleeding, damage to the nervous system and vomiting
Outbreak: There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola, which is spread by contact with infected blood or bodily fluids
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Outbreak: There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola, which is spread by contact with infected blood or bodily fluids
The Government agency’s global health director, Dr Brian McCloskey, said: ‘It is the largest outbreak of this disease to date, and it’s clear it is not under control.
‘We have alerted UK medical practitioners about the situation in West Africa and requested they remain vigilant for unexplained illness in those who have visited the affected area.’
The current outbreak started in Guinea in February and spread to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone in weeks. Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and damage to the nervous system.
There is no vaccine or cure. It is spread by contact with infected blood or other bodily fluids.
All outbreaks since 1976 – when Ebola was first identified – have been in Africa, with the previous highest death toll being 280.
However, authorities around the world have been put on high alert in recent weeks after an American doctor working in Liberia became infected and passed through an airport.
Nigerian health officials yesterday admitted they did not have a list of all the people who came into contact Patrick Sawyer, prompting fears the outbreak could spread.
But the manifesto appears to have been disclosed as Professor Sunday Omilabu, from Lagos University Teaching Hospital, said health officials are in the process of tracing all those people who are thought to have been in contact with Mr Sawyer.
He said: 'We've been making contacts. We now have information about the (flight) manifest.
'We have information about who and who were around.
'So, as I'm talking, our teams are in the facility, where they've trained the staff, and then they (are) now asking questions about those that were closely in contact with the patient.'
Public health adviser, Yewande Adeshina, added: 'We're actually looking at contacting over 30,000 people in this very scenario.
'Because any and everybody that has contacted this person is going to be treated as a suspect.'
Doctor demonstrates the dangers of working with ebola

NIGERIAN ACTOR POSTS PICTURE AS HE FLEES EBOLA-RIDDEN LIBERIA
A Nigerian actor posted a photograph of himself fleeing Liberia, after becoming concerned over the Ebola outbreak.
Wearing a face mask, Jim Iyke a well-known star in the country's movie industry - popularly called Nollywood - is pictured in the VIP lounge at Monrovia's airport.
Nigerian actor Jim Iyke posted this picture on his Instagram account, revealing he had cut short a business trip to Liberia over fears the Ebola virus is spreading in the West African country
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Nigerian actor Jim Iyke posted this picture on his Instagram account, revealing he had cut short a business trip to Liberia over fears the Ebola virus is spreading in the West African country
Although the virus is not airbourne, the actor, appeared to be taking no risks, as he revealed he was cutting short a business trip to the West African nation.
Writing on Instagram, he said: 'Monrovia, unfinished biz: Leavin tonite. Nt ashamed to admit tis ish scares the Jesus outta me. #Ebola!!!!'
Iyke, who began acting in 2001, is one of the highest paid actors in Nollywood and has appeared in more than 150 films, including Last Flight to Abuja.
He is the founder of the Jim Iyke Foundation for Children with Special Disabilites.
Spreading: The outbreak has hit Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and has now killed a man in far more densely populated Nigeria. The outbreak is the deadliest ever of the terrifying disease as the death toll crept past 670
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Spreading: The outbreak has hit Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and has now killed a man in far more densely populated Nigeria. The outbreak is the deadliest ever of the terrifying disease as the death toll crept past 670
Mr Sawyer, a consultant for Liberia’s Finance Ministry, had been in Liberia for the funeral of his sister, who also died from the disease, and was on his way back to his home in the US.
The 40-year-old arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, on July 20 and had suffered from vomiting and diarrhoea on two flights. He was put in isolation in hospital and died on Friday.
So far 59 people who came into contact with him have been identified and are under surveillance. But the airlines have yet to release flight information naming passengers and crew members.
Dr David Heymann, head of the Centre on Global Health Security, said every person who had been on the plane to Lagos with Mr Sawyer would need to be traced.
Sierra Leone’s top doctor fighting Ebola died yesterday after he contracted the virus just days ago. Sheik Umar Khan was credited with treating more than 100 patients.
Liberia closed most of its border crossings on Sunday and Nigeria’s airports and borders have been on full alert since Friday.
Nigeria confirms Ebola case in megacity of Lagos

ARE YOU AT RISK OF CATCHING THE INCURABLE, DEADLY EBOLA DISEASE?
What is Ebola virus disease?
Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90 per cent.The illness affects humans as well as primates, including monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees.

How do people become infected with the virus?
Ebola is transmitted through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals.
In Africa infection in humans has happened as a result of contact with chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead in the rainforest.
Once a person becomes infected, the virus can spread through contact with a sufferer's blood, urine, saliva, stools and semen. A person can also become infected if broken skin comes into contact with a victim's soiled clothing, bed linen or used needles.
Men who have recovered from the disease, can still spread the virus to their partner through their semen for seven weeks after recovery.
The Ebola virus is fatal in 90 per cent of cases and there is no vaccine and no known cure
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Who is most at risk?
Those at risk during an outbreak include:
health workers
family members or others in close contact with infected people
mourners with direct contact with the bodies of deceased victims
hunters in contact with dead animals
What are the typical signs and symptoms?
Sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. That is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and internal and external bleeding.
The incubation period is between two and 21 days. A person will become contagious once they start to show symptoms.
When should you seek medical care?
If a person is in an area affected by the outbreak, or has been in contact with a person known or suspected to have Ebola, they should seek medical help immediately.

What is the treatment?
Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. They need intravenous fluids to rehydrate them.
But there is currently no specific treatment for the disease. Some patients will recover with the appropriate care.

Can Ebola be prevented?
Currently there is no licensed vaccine for Ebola. Several are being tested but are not available for clinical use.
Is it safe to travel to affected areas?
The World Health Organisation reviews the public health situation regularly, and recommends travel or trade restrictions if necessary. The risk of infection for travellers is very low since person-to-person transmission results from direct contact with bodily fluids of victims.

Source: World Health Organisation


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z38xW7vM8e
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:44 am 
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Published Date: 2014-07-29 21:49:28
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Ebola virus disease - West Africa (106): Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea
Archive Number: 20140729.2644117

EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE - WEST AFRICA (106): NIGERIA, LIBERIA, SIERRA LEONE, GUINEA
*******************************************************************************
A ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
http://www.isid.org

In this posting:
[1] MSF update
[2] Nigeria: precautions
[3] Nigeria, Liberia: precautions
[4] Liberia
[5] USA: low risk (CDC)

******
[1] MSF update
Date: Mon 28 Jul 2014
Source: Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) [edited]
http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/ar ... est-africa


Battling the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in West Africa
--------------------------------------------------------
As the Ebola virus disease [EVD] outbreak continues to spread, with 1093 cases and 660 deaths [now 1201 cases and 672 deaths as of 23 Jul 2014 -- see WHO update in ProMED-mail archive 20140727.2638658] reported across west Africa, Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is stepping up its response in the most affected areas. While the number of cases in Guinea has declined significantly, in neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia more and more people are being infected with the virus. With resources already stretched, health authorities and international organizations are struggling to bring the outbreak under control.

Sierra Leone
------------
In Sierra Leone -- now the epicenter of the epidemic, with 454 cases recorded so far [now 525 cases and 224 deaths as of 23 Jul 2014 -- see WHO update in ProMED-mail archive 20140727.2638658] -- MSF is rapidly scaling up its response, with 22 international and 250 Sierra Leonean staff currently working in the country. In Kailahun, in the east of the country, the team is running a 64-bed EVD treatment center. Since the facility opened on 24 Jun 2014, 131 suspected, probable, and confirmed patients have been admitted for treatment. So far, 12 patients have recovered and returned home to their families. An MSF psychologist is providing support and counseling to patients and their families, as well as to other MSF staff members.

MSF is also supporting the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) at 2 referral sites in the villages of Koindu and Buedu in Kailahun district, where people with symptoms of EVD are isolated before being transferred by ambulance to MSF's center in town. In the past 3 weeks, MSF has trained more than 200 community health workers to deliver essential health messages to people in their villages about how to protect themselves against EVD and what action to take if someone shows any signs or symptoms of the disease.

MSF will now focus its efforts on halting the spread of the disease in the area straddling the Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia borders, where the population is very mobile and people continue to transmit the disease to different villages. The team will scale up its health promotion and outreach activities in the villages in this area, and reinforce the alert system so that any new suspected cases can be identified promptly and transferred in MSF's ambulance to Kailahun for treatment.

[In Sierra Leone, the doctor who led the fight against EVD, Sheik Umar Khan, has died of the disease. Government officials hailed Dr Khan, 39, as a "national hero". The government disclosed last week [22 Jul 2014] that he was being treated for Ebola and had been quarantined (http://frontpageafricaonline.com/index. ... s-in-place). - Mod.JW]

Guinea
------
In Guinea, the situation has stabilized in some areas and MSF has closed its EVD treatment center in Telimele, in the west of the country, after no new cases were reported for 21 days. During 7 weeks, 21 people with the disease were admitted to the center, with an astonishing 75 percent of patients making a recovery. Without medical care, as few as 10 percent of patients could be expected to survive.

In the capital, Conakry, MSF is reducing its activities as far fewer cases are appearing. Currently the Donka treatment center has just one patient who is now recovering and should be able to leave the hospital by next week. MSF is planning to hand over responsibility for the center to the Guinean Ministry of Health by the end of July [2014]. Of the 59 confirmed EVD patients admitted to the center since 25 Mar 2014, 63 percent recovered and were able to return home. However, cured patients continue to face stigma from their communities and even some of MSF's Guinean staff prefer not to reveal where they are working, for fear of being ostracized by their families.

[Photo of MSF EVD treatment centre in Conakry: http://www.msf.ca/sites/canada/files/eb ... ry_eng.jpg. - Mod.JW]

In Gueckedou, in the southeast -- the original epicenter of the epidemic -- the number of patients in MSF's center has declined significantly, with currently just 2 patients admitted. It is very unlikely, however, that this reflects an end to the outbreak; instead it suggests that infected people may be hiding in their communities rather than coming for treatment. There continues to be significant fear surrounding EVD amongst local communities and MSF teams have been prevented from visiting 4 villages due to hostility. MSF is working with local authorities and elders to try to ensure safe access to these areas in order to obtain a clearer picture of whether people are still being infected and dying of the virus. Since the beginning of the outbreak, MSF has treated 150 patients in its center in Gueckedou. The recovery rate in the Gueckedou centre has been lower than in Telimele or Conakry, as people have been delaying coming for treatment.

Liberia
-------
In Liberia, the situation is deteriorating rapidly, with cases of EVD now confirmed in 7 counties, including in the capital, Monrovia. There are critical gaps in all aspects of the response, and urgent efforts are needed to scale up, particularly in terms of contact tracing, organizing safe burials, and establishing a functioning alert system. Already stretched beyond capacity in Guinea and Sierra Leone, MSF is able to provide only limited technical support to the Liberian Ministry of Health. MSF has set up an EVD treatment center in Foya, in Lofa county in northern Liberia, where cases have been increasing since the end of May [2014]. After the initial set up, MSF handed over the management of the center to nongovernmental organization Samaritan's Purse on 8 Jul 2014.

There are currently 6 patients admitted to the center and MSF experts continue to provide technical support and training to the staff there. The team will now shift its efforts to Voinjama, also in Lofa county, where there are reports of people dying of EVD in their villages before being able to reach medical assistance. The MSF team will set up a referral unit for the Ministry of Health so that people suspected to have EVD can be isolated and then transferred to the treatment center in Foya.

In Monrovia, an MSF emergency team -- comprising an emergency coordinator, medical coordinator, one doctor, 2 epidemiologists, and 2 water and sanitation specialists -- is constructing a new tented treatment center with capacity for 40-60 beds. It was scheduled to open on 27 Jul 2014 and will also be run by Samaritan's Purse. Previously, the MSF team had already set up and handed over to the Ministry a 15 bed treatment unit at Monrovia's JFK hospital Health in April 2014. However, the unit has since been closed and all patients are currently cared for at ELWA [Eternal Love Winning Africa] hospital in Paynesville until the new center is open at the same site. Currently there are 14 patients admitted to this center. The MSF team is also supporting the Ministry of Health in the overall coordination of the EVD response and providing technical and medical guidance.

[Source includes a video interview with an Ebola survivor, in French with English subtitles.]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall

******
[2] Nigeria: precautions
Date: Sun 27 Jul 2014
Source: The Guardian News [edited]
http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/lead-sto ... bola-virus


[Excerpts]
Lagos hospital shut down
------------------------
As part of measures to prevent the spread of Ebola virus disease (EVD), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Federal Government have shut down the hospital, First Consultants Medical Centre Limited, Ikoyi Road, Obalende, Lagos, where the 1st victim died.

They have also begun testing of all passengers on the same flight with the 1st EVD virus victim in Nigeria who died on Friday [25 Jul 2014] in a Lagos hospital. It is feared that all the more than 200 passengers on board were exposed to the deadly virus and may continue to spread the disease if they are not quarantined.

[Byline: Chukwuma Muanya]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

[What test is being used? Unless a person on the plane had skin contact with the victim, or with surfaces he touched, they were not exposed to infection -- see WHO instructions to airlines/airports in comment in ProMED-mail archive 20140728.2640090. And what about the passengers who changed planes in Lagos and went elsewhere in Nigeria or the world? - Mod.JW]

******
[3] Nigeria, Liberia: precautions
Date: Tue 29 Jul 2014
Source: BBC News [edited]
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28550906


A major West African airline has stopped flying to Liberia and Sierra Leone amid growing concern about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. Asky said it took the decision to keep "its passengers and staff safe during this unsettling time". The number of people killed by the virus in West Africa has now reached 672, according to new UN figures. Asky is the 2nd airline, after Nigeria's largest airline, Arik Air, to ban flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone. It had not halted flights to Guinea, but passengers departing from there would be "screened for signs of the virus", Asky said.

Last week, Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, reported its 1st case -- that of Liberian finance ministry official Patrick Sawyer who flew to the main city, Lagos, in an Asky flight.

Liberia has deployed police officers at the international airport in the capital, Monrovia, to ensure passengers are screened for symptoms of Ebola. "So if you have a flight and you are not complying with the rules, we will not allow you to board."

Liberia has also suspended all football activities in an effort to control the spread of Ebola. "Football being a contact sport -- people are sweating -- they do contact each other, and that could result in contracting the disease," the president of its football association, Musa Hassan Bility, told the BBC. "It also has to do with the fans because whenever there is a game, a lot of people come together and we want to discourage gathering at this point," he said. [This is overabundance of caution: people who are infectious have nasty symptoms and don't feel like playing football or going to a game. - Mod.JW]

The BBC's Jonathan Paye Layleh in Monrovia says that public awareness campaigns around Ebola have been stepped up in the city. Many people are worried about the outbreak, and fewer people are going to restaurants and entertainment centres, he says.

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******
[4] Liberia
Date: Mon 28 Jul 2014
Source: Associated Press (AP) [edited]
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/new-fear ... lane-scare


No one knows for sure just how many people Patrick Sawyer came into contact with the day he boarded a flight in Liberia, had a stopover in Ghana, changed planes in Togo, and then arrived in Nigeria, where authorities say he died days later from Ebola virus disease [EVD]. Now health workers are scrambling to trace those who may have been exposed to Sawyer across West Africa, including flight attendants and fellow passengers.

Health experts say it is unlikely he could have infected others with the virus. Still, unsettling questions remain: How could a man whose sister recently died from EVD manage to board a plane leaving the country? [Is it proposed that all passengers be asked if they had a recent death in the family? And supposing they had, do the authorities expect a straight answer if the result is that the passenger is denied boarding? - Mod.JW]

Worse: Could EVD become the latest disease to be spread by international air travel? Sawyer's death on Friday [25 Jul 2014] has led to tighter screening of airline passengers in West Africa, where an unprecedented outbreak that emerged in March [2014] has killed more than 670 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. But some health authorities expressed little confidence in such precautions. "The best thing would be if people did not travel when they were sick, but the problem is people won't say when they're sick. They will lie in order to travel, so it is doubtful travel recommendations would have a big impact," said Dr. David Heymann, professor of infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. "The important thing is for countries to be prepared when they get patients infected with EVD, that they are isolated, family members are told what to do and health workers take the right steps."

[It was reported that the victim had no symptoms when he boarded in Liberia -- see Ebola virus disease - West Africa (101): Nigeria ex Liberia, WHO, Sierra Leone 20140726.2636095. - Mod.JW]

The World Health Organization is awaiting laboratory confirmation after Nigerian health authorities said Sawyer tested positive for ebolavirus, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said. [Confirmation came from a competent Nigerian lab. - Mod.JW]

The WHO has not recommended any travel restrictions since the outbreak came to light. "We would have to consider any travel recommendations very carefully, but the best way to stop this outbreak is to put the necessary measures in place at the source of infection," Hartl said. Closing borders "might help, but it won't be exhaustive or foolproof."

The risk of travelers contracting EVD is considered low because it requires direct contact with bodily fluids or secretions such as urine, blood, sweat or saliva, experts say. EVD can't be spread like flu through casual contact or breathing in the same air. Patients are contagious only once the disease has progressed to the point they show symptoms, according to the WHO. The most vulnerable are health care workers and relatives who come in much closer contact with the sick.

Still, witnesses say Sawyer, a 40-year-old Finance Ministry employee en route to a conference in Nigeria, was vomiting and had diarrhea aboard at least one of his flights with some 50 other passengers aboard. Ebolavirus can be contracted from traces of feces or vomit, experts say. Sawyer was immediately quarantined upon arrival in Lagos -- a city of 21 million people -- and Nigerian authorities say his fellow travelers were advised of EVD's symptoms and then were allowed to leave. The incubation period can be as long as 21 days, meaning anyone infected may not fall ill for several weeks. Health officials rely on "contact tracing" -- locating anyone who may have been exposed, and then anyone who may have come into contact with that person. That may prove impossible, given that other passengers journeyed on to dozens of other cities.

International travel has made the spread of disease via airplanes almost routine. Outbreaks of measles, polio and cholera have been traced back to countries thousands of miles away. Even EVD previously traveled the globe this way: During an outbreak in Ivory Coast [Cote d'Ivoire] in the 1990s, the virus infected a veterinarian [who had examined dead chimpanzees in the forest and] who traveled to Switzerland, where the disease was snuffed out upon arrival and she ultimately survived, experts say. Now 2 American aid workers in Liberia have tested positive for the virus and are being treated there. US health officials said Monday [28 Jul 2014] that the risk of the deadly germ spreading to the United States is remote.

The mere prospect of EVD in Africa's most populous nation has Nigerians on edge. In Nigeria's capital, Abuja, a 35-year-old male entrepreneur, said he is particularly concerned about taking the bus, which is the only affordable way to travel. "It's actually making me very nervous. If I had my own car, I would be safer," he said. "The doctors are on strike, and that means they are not prepared for it. For now I'm trying to be very careful." It's an unprecedented public health scenario: Since 1976, when the virus was 1st discovered, EVD outbreaks were limited to remote corners of [Sudan] Congo and Uganda, far from urban centers, and stayed within the borders of a single country. This time, cases 1st emerged in Guinea, and before long hundreds of others were stricken in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Those are some of the poorest countries in the world, with few doctors and nurses to treat sick patients let alone determine who is well enough to travel. In Sawyer's case, it appears nothing was done to question him until he fell sick on his 2nd flight with Asky Airlines. An airline spokesman would not comment on what precautions were being taken in the aftermath of Sawyer's journey. Liberian Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah told AP last week that there had been no screening at Liberia's Monrovia airport. That changed quickly over the weekend, when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said a new policy on inspecting and testing all outgoing and incoming passengers will be strictly observed. She also announced that some borders were being closed and communities with large numbers of EVD cases would be quarantined.

International travelers departing from the capitals of Sierra Leone and Guinea are also being checked for signs of fever, airport officials said. Buckets of chlorine are also on hand at Sierra Leone's airport in Freetown for disinfection, authorities said. Still, detecting Ebola in departing passengers might be tricky, since its initial symptoms are similar to many other diseases, including malaria and typhoid fever. "It will be very difficult now to contain this outbreak because it's spread," Heymann said. "The chance to stop it quickly was months ago before it crossed borders ... but this can still be stopped if there is good hospital infection control, contact tracing and collaboration between countries."

Nigerian authorities so far have identified 59 people who came into contact with Sawyer and have tested 20, said Lagos State Health Commissioner Jide Idris. Among them were officials from ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States], airline employees, health workers and the Nigerian ambassador to Liberia, he said. He said there have been no new cases of the disease.

[Byline: Maria Cheng, London; with Jonathan Paye-Layleh, Monrovia, Liberia; Clarence Roy-Macaulay, Freetown, Sierra Leone; Erick Kaglan, Lome, Togo; Heather Murdock, Abuja, Nigeria]

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[I thank <gadanya@neo.tamu.edu> who sent in a similar story by Facebook news feed link from the Daily Trust, a general interest newspaper situated in Nigeria's capital, Abuja. - Mod.JW]

******
[5] USA: low risk (CDC)
Date: Mon 28 Jul 2014
Source: Emergency Medicine [edited]
http://www.emed-journal.com/articles/cl ... eeb1e.html


From a CDC Briefing
CDC: Ebola poses very low risk to US health care workers
--------------------------------------------------------
Standard barrier nursing protocols that have been in place in the USA since recognition of HIV will be adequate to protect health care workers in the unlikely event that patients who contracted the ebolavirus in Africa present to a US emergency department or physician's office, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] said during a 28 Jul 2014 press briefing.

Since March 2014, 672 people have died during the ongoing Ebola virus disease [EVD] outbreak in Western Africa, according to Dr. Steve Monroe, director of the CDC Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology. 2 [US] health care workers, both in Monrovia, Liberia, have presented with EVD. One is symptomatic and in isolation; the other has fever but no other symptoms. Transmission of the virus to health care workers seems to have occurred via needle stick or contact with infected bodily fluids, according to Dr. Monroe.

In 2008, 2 cases of Marburg virus infection occurred in Western Europe. Marburgvirus is a hemorrhagic fever virus that is a close cousin to ebolavirus, Dr. Monroe noted. Both patients were managed by way of standard barrier nursing precautions already in place, and those precautions were sufficient to protect physicians and nurses involved in their care. "If a case [of EVD] were to show up in the USA, I'm confident that we are already doing what needs to be done to prevent virus transmission to health care workers," he said.

The disease cannot be spread by asymptomatic people, according to Dr. Monroe. And if a symptomatic person travels on an airplane, it is unlikely that fellow travelers will be exposed to infected bodily secretions, he added. One case of an EVD patient traveling by air has been noted. The man flew from Liberia to Lagos, Nigeria, where he died. The countries involved in the outbreak have stepped up efforts to screen for fever and other signs of the disease those travelers who seek to leave their countries. Only 50 percent of infected people present with hemorrhage; others present with the vague symptoms of fever, headache, muscle aches, and vomiting.

[Byline: Sally Koch Kubetin]

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[There was another case in 1996 when an EVD-infected doctor flew from Gabon to South Africa. None of the passengers or other contacts caught it from him, except his hospital nurse, who died; he recovered. See ProMED-mail archive WER Contents, 29 Nov 1996 19961129.1990.

CDC emphasizes that EVD cannot be spread by people with no symptoms, and only half of the victims show external bleeding. Recommendations publicized in EVD-affected countries should take these facts into account, and not prohibit contact between people with no symptoms.

In Liberia, the Roberts International Airport, the nation's only international airport, says it is putting in place measures to help prevent the spread of the virus. As of Monday [28 Jul 2014], all people without business at the airport, including family members and well-wishers, will not be allowed to enter the premises of the airport (http://frontpageafricaonline.com/index. ... s-in-place).

A new WHO update dated 27 Jul 2014, at http://who.int/csr/don/2014_07_27_ebola/en, does not provide any new case or death figures beyond 23 Jul 2014, already posted on ProMED on 25 Jul 2014, but adds a report on the Nigeria case, without giving any final confirmation that it was EVD (but a knowledgeable source informs ProMED that there is no reason to doubt the diagnosis by the Nigerian lab).

Read the story of the 2 UK and Brazilian doctors who arrived on the same day in Sierra Leone, deployed through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), a WHO-based network of experts and institutions that can assist with the international response to disease outbreaks, at http://who.int/features/2014/challenges ... utbreak/en. - Mod.JW]


See Also
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (105): Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone 20140728.2640090
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (104): WHO, Nigeria, Togo alert, Sierra Leone 20140727.2638658
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (103): Liberia, Sierra Leone 20140727.2637578
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (102): Nigeria, Sierra Leone, drugs & vaccine 20140726.2636858
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (101): Nigeria ex Liberia, WHO, Sierra Leone 20140726.2636095
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (100): Cote d'Ivoire,Tanzania, Nigeria alerts 20140724.2633437
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (99): WHO, Sierra Leone, Liberia 20140724.2632442
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (98): Nigeria susp, alert 20140724.2632831
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (97): Sierra Leone, Liberia, tests 20140723.2630441
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (96): Liberia, Sierra Leone 20140723.2628773
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (95): FAO alert, Sierra Leone 20140722.2626215
Ebola virus disease - Congo DR: susp 20140721.2624831
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (94): Sierra Leone 20140720.2623966
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (93): Sierra Leone, WHO underfunded 20140719.2622727
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (92): Sierra Leone, drugs, EU disease ctr. 20140718.2620802
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (91): WHO, Guinea,Sierra Leone,Liberia, border 20140717.2618525
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (90): Sierra Leone, Ghana meeting, historical 20140716.2615640
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (89): WHO update, Sierra Leone, Liberia, risk 20140715.2613043
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (88): WHO, Liberia, prevention, challenges 20140713.2607118
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (87): Liberia, Sierra Leone, MSF, drugs, vaccine 20140712.2605570
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (86): WHO, UNSC, ECOWAS, Guinea, Liberia 20140711.2603448
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (85): Guinea, Liberia, region 20140710.2601330
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (84): WHO update 20140708.2596192
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (83): Ghana susp, Guinea, S. Leone, Liberia 20140708.2593018
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (82): Guinea, prevention, Tanzania, UK 20140706.2591433
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (81): Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, overseas 20140705.2589463
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (80): WHO update, meeting 20140704.2587114
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (79): Guinea, Nigeria prevention, drug testing 20140703.2586162
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (78): Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia 20140702.2583396
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (77): WHO, meeting, Sierra Leone, Liberia 20140701.2579682
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (74): CDC summary 20140626.2566502
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (73): WHO update, Sierra Leone 20140625.2566397
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (72): WHO update 20140624.2562337
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (71): Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria serology 20140622.2558446
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (70): Sierra Leone, Liberia, travel advice 20140621.2556770
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (69): Guinea, Sierra Leone, region 20140621.2555351
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (68): Liberia, One Health approach 20140619.2553035
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (67): WHO update, Liberia, Sierra Leone 20140618.2550323
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (66): Liberia (Monrovia), Sierra Leone 20140617.2547352
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (63): Sierra Leone 20140613.2538970
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (58): Sierra Leone, challenges 20140607.2526192
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (57): WHO update, challenges 20140607.2525234
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (56): Sierra Leone, Liberia, WHO 20140604.2518983
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (55): MSF report, Sierra Leone 20140603.2517388
Ebola virus disease - West Africa (54): WHO update, Sierra Leone 20140603.2515262
and earlier posts beginning with
Undiagnosed viral hemorrhagic fever - Guinea (02): Ebola conf. 20140322.23496
Undiagnosed viral hemorrhagic fever - Guinea: (NZ) RFI 20140319.2342420
.................................................sb/jw/je/mpp

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:49 am 
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Killer virus fear
- Man tested for deadly bug in Birmingham
- Government to hold emergency Cobra meeting
- Woman in Hong Kong quarantined

EXCLUSIVE BY STEVE HAWKES, NICK McDERMOTT and DANIEL CUTTS Published: 15 hrs ago
A MAN has been tested for killer bug Ebola in Birmingham — plunging Britain into high alert over the deadly virus.
He was rushed to hospital on Monday after feeling “feverish” on a flight back to the Midlands from Benin, Nigeria, via Paris.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:54 am 
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Ebola outbreak: David Cameron says deadly virus poses 'serious threat' to Britain

By Georgia Graham, Political Correspondent

8:53AM BST 30 Jul 2014

Comments155 Comments

The spread of Ebola is a “very serious threat” to the UK, the Foreign Secretary has said as he prepares to chair an emergency meeting on how to tighten the Britain’s defences against the deadly virus.


Mr Hammond said that David Cameron regards the threat as “serious” and will discuss which measures need to be taken to protect British people from the virus bother in the UK or in our diplomatic posts abroad.


He said the Government was “very much focused” on dealing with the “new and emerging threat.”


The disease, which can be fatal for up to 90 per cent of infected victims, had killed more than 670 people in an outbreak across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Public Health England has issued an urgent warning to doctors to watch for signs of the disease after an infected man was allowed to travel through an international hub. Official said the virus was “clearly not under control.”

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Hammond said that discussion of the response to the virus has “certainly” has reached Cabinet level discussions with the Prime Minister.

He said: “As far as we are aware there are no British national so far affected by this outbreak and certainly no cases in the UK. However the prime Minister does regard it as a very serious threat.

“I will be chairing a cobra meeting later on today to assess the situation and look at any measures that we need to take either in the UK or in our diplomatic posts abroad in order to manage that threat.

“Were very much focused on it as a new and emerging threat that we need to deal with.”

The meeting has been called after the Government’s chief scientist warned that deadly diseases such as Ebola are “potentially a major threat” to Britain.

In an interview with The Telegraph Sir Mark Walport, the Government’s chief scientific adviser said the increasingly interconnected world was placing Britons at risk.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10999 ... itain.html

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DEAD BODIES: HEALTH MINISTRY FAILING TO PICK UP ABANDONED

Written by FPA Staff Writer
Published: 30 July 2014

As the deadly Ebola virus continues to spread, Liberians are panicking as dead bodies of people who have died from unknown causes continue to dawdle around the city of Monrovia and its environs without the Ministry of Health collecting them. The situation is creating Health hazard as communities worry that Liberia’s Health ministry is incapacitated to cater to the Ebola crisis.
Monrovia - Following the government of Liberia’s declaration of a national health emergency in the face of the deadly Ebola outbreak that has killed close to 130 Liberians and an entire government ministry at risk because of an employee that died of the deadly disease in Nigeria, there have been reports of dead bodies lying around with no effort by the ministry of health to remove them.

Over the lake that divides the police academy road from the rest of the SKD Boulevard community two objects in the shape of body bags white in color were afloat. Residents and motorists were concerned about the floating object, but all efforts made to contact the health ministry to confirm what the object actually is proved futile as no health response team showed up to remove the object that looked like the body bag in which Ebola victims are buried.

In Harbel, Margibi County it was reported that three persons had died in a house, but the corpses were still in the house three days after. The Gardnersville community was a scene of chaos and confusion as youth blocked the main highway because a corpse had been abandoned for five days and had started to decay.

In the Brewerville suburb outside Monrovia, a mother of three is afraid as news spread of the death of a strange woman who was brought into the community just yards from her house Sunday night. People are dead scared of the disease and many parents are taking their children out of vacation school because of the media campaign that has been waged against the disease by the government over the last two days.

The government had reported that burial teams were facing challenges in burying people who die from the deadly virus as many communities are concerned about people who die from the virus being buried in their areas. Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyeswah told FPA weeks ago that the ministry was concerned that some Liberians were still in denial of the disease.


“We are still having huge challenges with denial; huge challenges with burial practices, that is, people who die from the disease, their family members were finding difficulties to release the bodies to us so that we help them to safely bury,” he said.

Continued Nyensuah: “That’s the major challenge that we are faced with in dealing with the virus. But if everybody can cooperate with the ministry and do away with denial, discrimination; people die of sudden death that you don’t know what killed them, if you can report that to us and release those bodies for us and don’t touch those bodies, for us to safely test the bodies, we can eradicate the disease very, very quick. If the public does not cooperate, we will have a major challenge in eradicating the disease.”

Now that people are reporting that dead bodies are lying around, it is a huge concern that the ministry is not doing anything to remove these bodies. When FrontPageAfrica contacted Deputy Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn on Tuesday, she said she could not talk because she was busy collecting bodies and trying to place sick people on beds.

Loosing Ebola Fight

It seems at the high level the government is losing its wits on how to deal with the deadly virus that has claimed 129 lives including that of a government official. Sources say it is obvious that the Government is playing catch-up with measures to curb the deadly virus in a meeting held recently.

At the second meeting of the national task force set up by President Sirleaf in which she was present, the government did not seem to have a set plan and there was a lot of talking about decisions.

At the meeting attended by many dignitaries including the US ambassador Deborah Malac, the head of the United Nations in Liberia Karen Langren, ministers and other prominent members of society, it was clear that the only reason the president is acting now is because foreigners are dying from the deadly virus.

According to sources, Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Bernice Dahn at the meeting said the Ebola treatment center in ELWA hospital in Monrovia is overcrowded as there are 25 Ebola patients at the center, which is created for 18 persons and it included the two American doctors. The center is the only Ebola treatment facility in the center in Monrovia and the community is resisting the expansion of the unit.

Dr. Dahn said the Health Ministry called the Defense Ministry asking for support, but they did not come. Local staff of the ministry is afraid because the two expats got sick, they may get the virus. For that reason, some did not come to work on Tuesday. She told the meeting that the government needs to recruit staff to train in order to send back to JFK hospital.

She said in Lofa County, the staff from the Foya Ebola Treatment center was attacked and their vehicle destroyed by community members when they went to pick up an Ebola patient adding that this has led expat staff to feeling unsecured. Dr. Dahn also said the Samaritans Purse has pulled out of the Foya site and that in Montserrado County, "the work is becoming overwhelming." Bomi County is said to also be experiencing a serious outbreak.

From Dr. Dahn’s explanation the President looked solemn and said: "From what I gather, this whole thing is on an uprise...that's what's scary." Sources indicated that President Sirleaf mentioned temperature checks and others at the borders and the person next to someone remarked: "that should have been done months ago."

The deputy health minister is also said to have informed the meeting that more facilities are needed and that health workers who have gotten the disease are getting it in hospitals, not the treatment centers.

Turning patients away

Kendall Kauffeldt of Samaritan’s who’s been in Liberia for 10 years and considers it home, said after the second wave of Ebola hit them, they quickly realized there are limited resources to adequately contain this disease. He said, though they have been trained by MSF to handle Ebola it's a "heavy load on their shoulders and at this point" and this crisis is "beyond a disaster in my opinion." and that we are still "dealing with the tip of the iceburg at this point." He said there needs to be a strong international plea for help as their centers in Foya and Monrovia are both full.

Kauffeldt disclosed that ELWA which was made for 18 now has 25 and they are now turning patients away today because there's no room in the center. He said in Foya they receive daily threats and expats have been held hostage, and their vehicles destroyed. Insecurity makes it almost impossible, as does a lack of resources and international support, and not enough trained staff to help tackle the disease at the treatment centers.

"We can no longer safely operate," the centers, and at this point they are putting their staff at great risk," he said in the meeting. He said some healthcare workers are not showing up to work because they are scared, adding, "our involvement is costing our lives."

He said they can no longer participate in the Case Management Centers (CMC's) and said: "we truly wish we could." Medecins Sans Frontiers Country Director Lindis Hurum said that MSF would not leave Liberia adding that she told the government 5 weeks ago that Liberia needed immediate attention. "We are not without limits."

She said only Samaritans Purse helped when they asked the international community for help. Hurum said MSF does not have enough doctors, nurses or sanitation specialists. "Without that it is unsafe to run a treatment center," she said.

"It's almost unthinkable that we can say we can't do anything in Liberia... I don't know how we can help you...this is beyond MSF, it's an international issue. We can't treat them, in a few weeks "those 50 could be 300."



Airlines Suspend Flights

Three main regional flights, Arik, Asky and Air Gambia have suspended flights to the tri-nations affected by what is known as the deadliest outbreak ever. Arik on Monday suspended all flight operations to Liberia and Sierra Leone following the widespread of Ebola diseases in the countries. The airline company also advised that all inbound flights into Nigeria from any of the Ebola affected countries be immediately suspended by the Federal Government.

Arik Air General Manager, Public Relations, Mr. Ola Adebanji said “As a result of the first Ebola virus death officially confirmed in Lagos, and involving a Liberian national who flew on a foreign (non-Nigerian) based airline from Monrovia via Lome (Togo) into the city last week, Arik Air will be suspending operations into Monrovia (Liberia) and Freetown (Sierra Leone) effective July 28, 2014.”

“The suspension will be in force until further notice. This decision is a precautionary measure aimed at safeguarding the precious lives of Nigerians. Arik Air is taking this important measure as a concerned corporate citizen bearing interest of Nigerians at heart”.

Asky said it has stopped flying to Liberia and Sierra Leone amid growing concern about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. The airline said it took the decision to keep "its passengers and staff safe during this unsettling time". Gambian authorities have ordered four airline companies operating in The Gambia, “not to pick up passengers in Freetown, Monrovia and Conakry as inbound passengers to Banjul.”

In a letter dated 10th April 2014 conveying the ban, “with immediate effect and until further notice”, was sent from the ministry of Transport in Banjul to the country manager Brussels Airline, country manager Arik Airlines, managing director Gambia Bird, the country manager Royal Air Maroc. It was copied to the director-general Gambia civil aviation authority.

“Gambia Bird had planned to launch two flights per week from Bissau and Dakar to Conakry, operating on Tuesdays and Thursdays and utilising Airbus A319 aircraft. The airline, which was founded in 2012, now operates scheduled services throughout West Africa, as well as from Banjul to London and Barcelona, and from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to London”, the statement noted.


High profile deaths

Over the last three days the Ebola virus has claimed the lives of high profile personalities in government including the lead medical doctor at the country’s largest referral hospital the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in person of Dr. Samuel Brisbane.

Dr. Brisbane selected to treat himself at home in a bid not to infect other health workers and spread the disease. Nigeria announced on Friday that a Liberian man who traveled to that country and was placed in isolation in suspicion of the disease died and it turned out to be that the dead man was a government official.

Patrick Sawyer, 40, was Coordinator of the ECOWAS National Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning; he died in Nigeria last Friday after contracting the disease. Sawyer is said to have contracted the virus from his sister who died some weeks ago at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital. His death drew criticisms from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf when she delivered a statement during the celebrations of Liberia’s 167th Independence Day Celebration.

“In another event, one of our compatriots met his untimely death and put to risk others across borders because of indiscipline and disrespect for the advice which had been given by health workers,” said President Sirleaf on Saturday. The ministry of finance announced Monday that all senior officials coming in direct or indirect contact with Mr. Sawyer have been placed on the prescribed 21 days observatory surveillance period starting July 20th, the day Mr. Sawyer departed the country for Nigeria.

“All concerned senior officials have been requested to telecommute up until when certified by the Ministry of Health to return to active duty,” stated the ministry in a release.

“Further to this measure, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Amara Konneh has requested the Ministry of Health to immediately quarantine and properly sanitize both the former Ministry of Finance and the former Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs buildings including the newly constructed National Authorizing Office of the European Union.”

Government officials are panicking

Liberian government officials are panicking after the death of Sawyer and the measures taken by the ministry of Finance to lockdown the ministry in an effort to counter imminent danger the presence of the late Sawyer may have caused during his last days there. General Services Agency Director-General Mary Broh announced the closure of the General Services Agency. She told Hott FM on Monday that she took the decision to enable her staffers remain home until the outbreak of the virus subsides. A visit at the GSA noticed a depleted entity with only security officers assigned at the main entrance.

Also at the National Oil Company of Liberia, it was reported that entity also temporarily shut down, but Cyrus Badio, Vice President for Public Relations could not be reached for comment as his phone rang endlessly. At nearly all government ministries and agencies, buckets are situated in front of entrances and visitors are compelled by security guards to wash their hands before entry.


American Patients

At the ELWA Hospital, the humanitarian group Samaritan’s Purse is treating one of its doctors, Dr. Kent Brantly who tested positive for the virus. Dr. Brantly and his organization was in the frontline giving care to Liberians affected by the deadly disease when he contracted it. Another American, Missionary Nancy Writebol, from Charlotte, North Carolina, is also sick and is at the ELWA as Liberia struggles against the worst outbreak in history.

Writebol had moved to Liberia with her husband. She worked as a hygienist, spraying protective suits worn by health care workers treating Ebola patients in Monrovia, the Charlotte Observer reported. Writebol and her husband David are not medical personnel, but rather Christian missionaries with 15 years experience serving disease and poverty-stricken third world nations.

Partial border closure

On Sunday the Liberian government announced a series of measures meant to tackle the outbreak that has resulted in the death of 127 Liberians. The President ordered that all borders of Liberia would be closed with the exception of the major entry points, including the Roberts International Airport, James Spriggs Payne Airport, Foya Crossing, Bo Waterside Crossing, Ganta Crossing.

“At these entry points, preventive and testing centers will be established, and stringent preventive measures to be announced will be scrupulously adhered to,” says President Johnson Sirleaf.

“A new travel policy by the Liberia Airport Authority covering inspection and testing of all outgoing and incoming passengers will be strictly observed; restrictions on public gatherings such as solidarity marches, demonstrations, promotional advertisement are to be restricted; Hotels, restaurants, entertainment centers and video clubs are to play five-minute film on Ebola awareness and prevention.”

The President stated that Government vehicles will be commandeered, as appropriate, to provide needed logistics support to the health delivery system and all Government facilities and public places are to install and provide public access for washing of hands and other sanitization services. Standing Orders have also been given to the Security Forces, including the Armed Forces of Liberia, to give support to the Technical Team and the Task Force in enforcing these regulations according to the President.

Sporting activities suspended

The Liberia Football Association has also joined the fight against the deadly disease by suspending all football activities in the country. Musa Bility, president of the LFA in a statement said he made the decision because football matches are contact sports and Ebola is spread through body contacts with an infected person.

He says Schools, Communities, as well as, organized leagues: 4th-1st division, LONA and ISSA football authorities are to observe the measures pending full control of the outbreak, according to a release from the LFA. Sierra Leone has reported the death of its lead doctor Sheik Umar Khan who has been battling the deadly virus for days now.

US Embassy meets Citizens

The United States Embassy in Monrovia held a meeting with US citizens on Tuesday and told them that the disease has not reached the kind of critical level that would require an evacuation. US citizens who attended the meeting confided in FPA after the gathering stating that they were angry because of the way the Embassy is handling their concerns on the disease and a possible exit strategy.

http://frontpageafricaonline.com/index. ... -abandoned

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:13 am 
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Ebola in west Africa: the outbreak country by country
The outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus currently sweeping through parts of west Africa has so far killed an estimated 673 people. As of 23 July there had been a total of 1,202 confirmed, probable or suspected infections


Frances Perraudin
theguardian.com, Wednesday 30 July 2014 10.27 EDT
Image
The Ebola outbreak in west Africa
Guinea: 427 cases, 319 deaths

The first recorded case in the current outbreak of the Ebola virus was in February this year in Guinea. On 25 March, the Ministry of Health of Guinea reported that southeastern districts were affected with an outbreak of “Ebola hemorrhagic fever”. In late May the disease had spread to Guinea’s capital Conakry, a city with around two million inhabitants. The lack of water and sanitation in the city made it very hard to contain the spread of the disease. The latest World Health Organisation update confirmed 311 cases with 208 dead in the country. There are another 99 probably cases that all resulted in death and 17 more suspected cases, 12 of them deaths.

Liberia: 249 cases, 129 deaths

Ebola was reported in the Lofa and Nimba counties of Liberia in late March and by mid-April possible cases had been recorded in Margibi and Montserrado County. In the latest WHO update, 84 were confirmed infected and of those 60 had died. A further 165 probable or suspected cases were reported with 69 of those deaths. Liberian doctor, Samuel Brisbane, who had been treating people with the disease, was confirmed to have died from ebola on 27 July. Two US aid workers for the christian humanitarian aid group Samaritan’s Purse were also reported to be infected.

Sierra Leone: 525 cases, 224 deaths

Sheik Umar Khan
Sheik Umar Khan. Photograph: Reuters
The first cases in Sierra Leone were reported on 25 May in Kailahun District. The outbreak spread rapidly and by 17 July the number of suspected cases reached 442, overtaking the number in Guinea and Liberia. The first case in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown was recorded in late July and the current WHO estimates are that of 525 confirmed, probable or suspected cases, 224 people have died. On 29 July the leading Ebola doctor Sheik Umar Khan also died of the disease.

Nigeria: one case, one death

On 20 July, Liberian civil servant Patrick Sawyer arrived in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, by air and was hospitalised before dying of Ebola. There are fears that the disease might have spread to Togo, where his flight stopped over.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014 ... CMP=twt_gu

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:11 pm 
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Global medical charity Doctors Without Borders has given warning that the Ebola crisis in West Africa is "unprecedented, absolutely out of control", as states across the world took steps to prevent its spread.

Bart Janssens, the charity's director of operations, warned there was no overarching vision of how to tackle the outbreak, in an interview with Belgium's La Libre Belgique newspaper.

"This epidemic ... can only get worse, because it is still spreading, above all in Liberia and Sierra Leone, in some very important hotspots," Janssens said.

"We are extremely worried by the turn of events, particularly in these two countries where there is a lack of visibility on the epidemic. If the situation does not improve fairly quickly, there is a real risk of new countries being affected.

"That is certainly not ruled out, but it is difficult to predict, because we have never known such an epidemic."

More than 650 people have died of Ebola in the outbreak, the largest on record since the disease was detected in the 1970s.

Meanwhile, the International Civil Aviation Organisation has met global health officials to discuss measures to stopping the disease crossing borders. The pan-African airline ASKY suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The EU allocated an extra $2.7m to fight the outbreak, bringing total funding to $5.2m.

"The level of contamination on the ground is extremely worrying and we need to scale up our action before many more lives are lost," said the EU's humanitarian aid commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva.

The bloc has deployed experts on the ground to help victims and try to limit contagion.

Nigerian health authorities meanwhile announced they were trying to trace more than 30,000 people who could be at risk of contracting Ebola after Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian, died from the disease in Lagos on Friday.

Sunday Omilabu, a professor at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, said: "We've been making contacts. As I'm talking, our teams are in the facility, where they've trained the staff, and then they (are) now asking questions about those that were closely in contact with the patient.

"We're actually looking at contacting over 30,000 people in this very scenario. Because any and everybody that has contacted this person is going to be treated as a suspect," said Yewande Adeshina, a public health adviser.

Nigeria's government has implemented a state of "red alert" at all border crossings and initiated a media campaign to alert the public.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/20 ... 18539.html

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:14 pm 
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http://www.trust.org/spotlight/ebola/

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