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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:01 am 
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Media report describes the attraction of Ebola cases in Guinea to a healer in Sierra Leone, followed by further transmission through subsequent funerals.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:02 am 
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Sierra Leone's 365 Ebola deaths traced back to one healer
AFPBy Frankie Taggart | AFP – 5 hours ago

It has laid waste to the tribal chiefdoms of Sierra Leone, leaving hundreds dead, but the Ebola crisis began with just one healer's claims to special powers.
The outbreak need never have spread from Guinea, health officials revealed to AFP, except for a herbalist in the remote eastern border village of Sokoma.
"She was claiming to have powers to heal Ebola. Cases from Guinea were crossing into Sierra Leone for treatment," Mohamed Vandi, the top medical official in the hard-hit district of Kenema, told AFP.
"She got infected and died. During her funeral, women around the other towns got infected."
Ebola has killed more than 1,220 people since it emerged in southern Guinea at the start of the year, spreading first to Liberia and cutting a gruesome and gory swathe through eastern Sierra Leone since May.
The tropical pathogen can turn people into de facto corpses with little higher brain function and negligible motor control days before they die.
The virus attacks almost every section of tissue, reducing organs and flesh in the most aggressive infections to a pudding-like mush which leaches or erupts from the body.
The virus is highly infectious through exposure to bodily fluids, and its early rapid spread in west Africa was attributed in part to relatives touching victims during traditional funeral rites.
The herbalist's mourners fanned out across the rolling hills of the Kissi tribal chiefdoms, starting a chain reaction of infections, deaths, funerals and more infections.
A worrying outbreak turned into a major epidemic when the virus finally hit Kenema city on June 17.
An ethnically-diverse, Krio-speaking city of 190,000, Kenema already has the highest incidence of Lassa fever -- another viral haemorrhagic disease -- in the world.
But the brutality and cold efficiency of the Ebola virus -- described in medical literature as a "molecular shark" -- caught the city's shabby, chaotic hospital off-guard.
- 'Deadly and unforgiving' -
Crumpled photographs of dead nurses cover noticeboards on the flaking walls outside the maternity unit and in the administration block.
Twelve nurses have been among 277 people to die since the first case showed up in Kenema hospital. A further ten have been infected with Ebola and survived.
"The nurses who lost their lives and those who got infected would never have gone in knowing that they would get infected," Vandi, the district medical officer, told AFP.
"We are fighting a battle that is new. Ebola is new here and we are all learning as we go along."
The first case at the hospital was a woman who had partially miscarried, having probably passed the virus to her unborn child.
The facility boasts the only Lassa fever isolation unit in the world, set apart from the main building, and a makeshift Ebola unit was quickly set up there.
It was then that the nurses began dying.
As head sister of the Lassa fever ward for more than 25 years, Mbalu Fonnie was credited with attending to more haemorrhagic fever patients than anyone in the world.
She had survived Lassa fever herself, but was no match for the Ebola virus when it got into her bloodstream from a patient in July.
She was dead within days, along with fellow nurses Alex Moigboi and Iye Gborie, and ambulance driver Sahr Niokor.
The deaths prompted a strike of 100 nurses, who complained of poor management of the Ebola centre.
"Wherever the Ebola virus strikes for the first time, there is a heavy toll on healthcare workers because they don't have experience with it," Vandi told AFP.
"The Ebola virus is deadly and unforgiving. The slightest mistake you make, you will get infected."
Umar Khan, a hugely admired doctor and the country's leading Ebola specialist, died after saving more than 100 lives, and at least nine nurses have died since.
- Inadequate protection -
There are 80 beds in the hospital's Ebola centre, almost double its capacity.
Shifts are voluntary, and many nurses have refused to work in the unit, while those who remain are overworked and exhausted.
Some staff say they have gone weeks without a day off, and 12-hour shifts are par for the course.
Sister Rebecca Lansana was quoted by the Guardian newspaper as saying she was nervous about the high number of staff deaths.
"My family do not want me to come here anymore. They think I will die, they don?t want to be around me in case I give them Ebola," she told the London-based daily.
By the time the article came out on August 9, Lansana had already been dead five days, aged just 42.
Her husband Emmanuel Karimu, 45, told AFP she was moved from maternity to the Ebola unit after a crash course of just one week.
One day after work, she began to feel feverish and feared the worst, checking herself in for tests which came back positive.
"They transferred her to the Ebola ward that day and four days later she died," Karimu said, accusing the hospital of providing inadequate protective clothing.
The hospital told AFP staff training had hugely improved in recent weeks, with the help of global aid agencies and the World Health Organization.
The Ebola outbreak has infected 848 people and claimed 365 lives in Sierra Leone since the herbalist began inviting clients across the border with promises of salvation.
"These figures tell us one thing: Ebola is here with us and its impact on us is real," Maya Kaikai, the government minister for the eastern region, told a news conference in Kenema on Saturday.
"It is a disease that spreads very fast, without regard for academic or economic status, political affiliation, age, ethnic grouping, gender or religion."

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/sierra-leones ... ml#ABHhTC2

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:10 am 
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Health Ministry Confirms Ebola In Sierra Leone!
Editor posted this in Featured News, Health, Life, National News, Top Stories on May 27th, 2014
ebol

By Princetta Williams

The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Madam Miatta Kargbo, has confirmed the first case of Ebola in Sokoma Kissi Teng Chiefdom, Kailahun District.

Madam Kargbo made this disclosure at a press conference held at the Ministry of Information and Communications at the Youyi Building in Freetown.

She said only one case has so far been confirmed with seven unconfirmed cases with similar signs and symptoms.

She said the ministry, which has since been on a preparedness mode, will henceforth move to a response phase and that from now on they will be informing the general public to take precautionary measures and work in line with the advice of government.

“Dead bodies of Ebola,” she noted, should not be touched by anyone, but health workers alone.

The Director of Prevention and Disease Control, Dr.Amara Jambai, said they are yet to know the type of Ebola that has been confirmed but implored all Sierra Leoneans to be vigilant in driving away Ebola.

He said they will not allow corpse to be buried here in Sierra Leone or to be taken out of the country.

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation has however expressed concern over the report in the social media of nine (9) deaths of Ebola in the Kailahun district.

It states in a report that the recent event of diarrhoea and vomiting in the Koindu Town, Kissi Teng Chiefdom, Kailahun district which has been shared in the social media as an Ebola outbreak in the Kailahun district, are currently being investigated.

“The actual cause of the diarrhoea and vomiting is yet to be established and stool and blood samples have been collected and sent to the Kenema Laboratory and the National Reference Laboratory in Lakka for further investigation,” the public notice states, adding that as of May 25, 2014, report received from the District Medical Officer Kailahun district, and the Directorate of Disease Prevention and Control indicate that eleven (11) cases of acute diarrhoea and vomiting reported, of which four (4) died and the five (5) admitted at the Koindu Community Health Centre are responding to treatment. Two out of the eleven (11) cases have already been discharged.

“At this stage, the Ministry wishes to reassure the general public that appropriate measures have been taken including continued repositioning of drugs and medical supplies. Staffs have been trained and Communities are being sensitized.

“The Ministry would also like to emphasize the importance of hand washing with soap and water, drinking only safe water, use of ORS, and to report to the nearest health facility when there are symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting,” it concluded.

http://africayoungvoices.com/2014/05/he ... rra-leone/

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:13 am 
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Ebola hits Sierra Leone
By Bampia James Bundu

The Minister of Heath and Sanitation, Miatta Kargbo has declared Kailahun and Kenema as a high risk zone for the Ebola virus.
Speaking at an emergency press conference held at the Ministry of Information and Communication in Freetown, Madam Kargbo revealed that the Ebola virus has been confirmed in Sokoma village in Kissy Teng Chiefdom, Kailahun District on Sunday 25 May 2014. She said that the Ebola virus was brought to Sierra Leone by a woman who travelled to Guinea to witness a funeral ceremony victim who died of Ebola the fever and later returned home with the virus, got sick and died subsequently.

The minister of health said during her funeral, the women who washed the corps were also infected with the virus and are presently hospitalized at the Koindu hospital. She noted that as of yesterday, “one Ebola case has been confirmed, six hospitalized due to Ebola trace and are undergoing series of testing.” She said as a result of that, people in Kailahun and Kenema Districts were at high risk of coming in contact with the Ebola virus. “I urge all to restrict their movement to and from Kenema and Kailahun especially in Kissy Teng Chiefdom where the disease was discovered”, she warned.
Madam Kargbo said that the ministry has move from preparation to response stage and they were doing all they could to ensure that they trace all those who were at the funeral of the late woman in order to test them for the virus.
She called on everybody to be cautious because “Ebola is a dangerous disease that kills faster than one could imagine,” and can be transmitted through “fruit bats, bush animals, and human contact.” She also urged all health practitioners, especially the rapid respond team to be vigilant and step up their efforts in ensuring that they use all protective gears and check patients properly.
The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo noted that in Sierra Leone, victims have shown less symptoms. He said symptoms like “diarrhoea and vomiting are the only symptoms we have observed for now, but bleeding and sore throat are yet to be detected,” he said. He appeal to all Sierra Leoneans not to panic, but to be cautious and should be mindful of what they do and how they interact. “We should not attend funerals service of Ebola victims, it’s highly risky; don’t touch Ebola victims or carry them without protective gears”, he cautioned.
The World Health Organizatio Country Representative, Dr. Jacob Mufundadescribe Ebola as “a very serious disease that kills very fast and can be transmitted from one person to another through body contact.” He said many people have died as a result of the Ebola
infection since the disease was discovered in Guinea and Liberia in March this year because the two countries were not prepared for such outbreak. “Sierra Leone is lucky to be prepared for the disease, which Guinea and Liberia never had”, he noted.
He urged all Sierra Leoneans to listen and follow the instructions of the government because they are very important. “Report all cases to the hospital, stay away from a dead corpse and be vigilant,” he said.
The head of disease prevention and control, Dr. Amara Jambai said the ministry had alerted all their district health medical teams to be vigilant and run more tests on people suspected of the Ebola virus. He said they had already supply protective gears to all Ebola-threat areas, all border crossing points, and to PHUs so that they can be well equipped in handling cases of Ebola. “We had conducted series of training with our nurses, to educate them on how to handle Ebola cases and how to use those protective gears”, he assured.
(C) Politico 27/05/14

http://politicosl.com/2014/06/ebola-hits-sierra-leone/

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