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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:06 am 
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Liberia deputy health minister, Bernice Dahn, in quarantine after office assistant dies from Ebola.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:07 am 
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Liberia's chief medical officer is placing herself under quarantine for 21 days after her office assistant died of Ebola.

Bernice Dahn, a deputy health minister who has represented Liberia at regional conferences intended to combat the ongoing epidemic, told The Associated Press on Saturday that she did not have any Ebola symptoms but wanted to ensure she was not infected.

The World Health Organization says 21 days is the maximum incubation period for Ebola, which has killed more than 3,000 people across West Africa and is hitting Liberia especially hard. WHO figures released Friday said 150 people died in the country in just two days.

Liberia's government has asked people to keep themselves isolated for 21 days if they think they have been exposed. The unprecedented scale of the outbreak, however, has made it difficult to trace the contacts of victims and quarantine those who might be at risk.

"Of course we made the rule, so I am home for 21 days," Dahn said Saturday. "I did it on my own. I told my office staff to stay at home for the 21 days. That's what we need to do."

Health officials, especially front-line doctors and nurses, are particularly vulnerable to Ebola, which is spread via the bodily fluids of infected patients. Earlier this month, WHO said more than 300 health workers had contracted Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three most-affected countries. Nearly half of them had died.

Making sure health care workers have the necessary supplies, including personal protective equipment, has been a challenge especially given that many flights in and out of Ebola-affected countries have been canceled.

At an emergency meeting of the African Union on Sept. 8, regional travel hub Senegal said it was planning to open a "humanitarian corridor" to affected countries.

Senegal was expected on Saturday to receive a flight carrying humanitarian staff from Guinea — the first time aid workers from one of the three most-affected countries were allowed in Senegal since the corridor was opened, said Alexis Masciarelli, spokesman for the World Food Program.

The airport in Dakar, Senegal's capital, has set up a terminal specifically for humanitarian flights where thorough health checks will be conducted, Masciarelli said.

The current plan calls for two weekly rotations between Dakar and Ebola-affected countries and a third weekly rotation between Dakar and Accra, Ghana, where a special U.N. mission to fight Ebola will be headquartered, Masciarelli said.

Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, African Union commissioner for social affairs, said Saturday he plans to travel to West Africa Sunday to meet regional leaders and airline executives to try to convince them to resume flights canceled because of Ebola.

The first batch of an AU Ebola taskforce, totaling 30 people, left for Liberia on Sept. 18, Kaloko said. Taskforce members are expected to arrive in Sierra Leone on Oct. 5 and in Guinea by the end of October, he said.

——

Associated Press writers Robbie Corey-Boulet in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and Elias Meseret in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, contributed to this report.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/ ... e-25800969

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:15 am 
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27 September 2014 Last updated at 10:15 ET
Liberia's chief medical officer under Ebola quarantine

Liberia's chief medical officer has put herself under quarantine for 21 days, after one of her assistants died from the deadly Ebola virus.

Bernice Dahn, a deputy health minister, said she had no symptoms but wanted to take every precaution.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says more than 3,000 people have died from Ebola in West Africa.

Liberia has been the worst hit by the disease, accounting for 1,830 deaths - 150 in the last two days alone.

Health workers have been particularly vulnerable to the virus, which is spread by the infected bodily fluids of patients.

Health organisations recommend isolating people for at least 21 days, which is the maximum incubation period for the virus.

'Every precaution'
Ms Dahn told the BBC on Saturday that she herself had decided to go into quarantine and wanted to abide by that rule.

She said she had not come into contact with any other infected people, apart from the office assistant who died this week, but wanted to take every precaution.

Liberia has just 51 doctors to serve the country's 4.2 million people
Ms Dahn, who represented Liberia at international Ebola conferences, has also instructed her staff to stay at home for the same time period.

The WHO highlighted the risk of infection for health workers trying to stem the outbreak in its latest report released on Friday,

It said 375 workers are known to have been infected, and that 211 have so far died from the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

The deaths and sickness have made it even more difficult for the already weak healthcare systems in the affected countries to cope with the outbreak.

There is a severe shortage of hospital beds, especially in Liberia.

Ebola's incubation period can last from two days to three weeks
The latest WHO figures indicate that more than 6,500 people are believed to have been infected in the region in the world's most deadly Ebola outbreak.

On Friday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pledged to send $130m in emergency aid to the countries worst hit by the virus: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Some 600 people have died in Sierra Leone and a similar number in Guinea, where the outbreak was first confirmed in March.

Senegal, which has also been affected by the virus, is due to receive a flight carrying aid workers from one of the three worst affected countries, Guinea, for the first time on Saturday, AP news agency reports.

The airport in Dakar has set up a terminal specifically for humanitarian flights where thorough health checks will be conducted, the agency quotes World Food Program spokesman Alexis Masciarelli as saying.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, US President Obama called for more urgent action in the response to the outbreak.

"There is still a significant gap between where we are and where we need to be," he said.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29393737

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:17 am 
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NIH expected to admit American patient exposed to Ebola virus

By Christian Davenport September 27 at 6:38 PM
An American physician who was exposed to the Ebola virus is expected to be admitted to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., in the coming days, the research agency said in a statement Saturday afternoon.

The patient, who was volunteering in an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone, will be admitted for observation and to enroll in a clinical study at a center “specifically designed to provide high-level isolation capabilities.” The action is being taken “out of an abundance of caution,” the NIH said, adding that it “is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our patients, NIH staff, and the public.”

It stressed that “this situation is of minimal risk to NIH staff and the public.”

The NIH did not release the patient’s name or any more information about his or her condition. Officials said the patient could arrive as early as Sunday.

Just because someone is exposed to the deadly virus, it “doesn’t necessarily mean they are infected,” said Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH.

As the death toll rises to more than 2,800, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues a dire forecast.

The spread of the virus is the largest Ebola outbreak in history and the first such outbreak in West Africa, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The risk of an outbreak in the United States is “very low,” the CDC said.

As of Friday, 3,083 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been attributed to the virus, according to the World Health Organization.

The CDC has warned that the virus could potentially infect 1.4 million people in Liberia and Sierra Leone by the end of January. And a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine said that the virus could become endemic in the hardest-hit countries in West Africa.

The United States, however, has launched a $750 million effort to create treatment facilities in Liberia. And this month, the U.N. Security Council voted to create an emergency medical mission to help stem the outbreak.

Also this month, the Liberian government, the WHO and nonprofit partners are preparing to start a program to move infected people out of their homes and into ad hoc centers in an effort to try to stem the disease’s spread. The goal is to prevent the patients from infecting their families and to offer at least basic care — food, water and pain medicine — with many hospitals closed.

In Liberia on Saturday, the country’s chief medical officer announced that she would quarantine herself after her office assistant died of Ebola, the Associated Press reported.

Bernice Dahn, a deputy health minister who has represented Liberia at regional conferences on combating the epidemic, told the AP that she did not have Ebola symptoms but wanted to ensure she is not infected.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ ... story.html

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:18 am 
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September 27, 2014, 10:41 PM
NIH to give treatment to American doctor exposed to Ebola

WASHINGTON - The National Institutes of Health is preparing to care for an American doctor who was exposed to the Ebola virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone.

Out of what the agency called "an abundance of caution," the physician is expected to be admitted to the special isolation unit at the NIH's hospital near the nation's capital as early as Sunday, for observation.

NIH infectious disease chief Dr. Anthony Fauci wouldn't discuss details about the patient but said that in general, an exposure to Ebola doesn't necessarily mean someone will become sick.

"When someone is exposed, you want to put them into the best possible situation so if something happens you can take care of them," Fauci said.

"NIH is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our patients, NIH staff and the public," said an agency statement.

Four other Americans aid workers who were infected with Ebola while volunteering in the West African outbreak have been treated at hospitals in Georgia and Nebraska. One remains hospitalized while the rest have recovered.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nih-to-give ... -to-ebola/

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:20 am 
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Sep 28, 4:49 AM EDT

NIH TO TREAT US DOCTOR EXPOSED TO EBOLA VIRUS
BY LAURAN NEERGAARD
AP MEDICAL WRITER

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Institutes of Health is preparing to care for an American doctor who was exposed to the Ebola virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone.

Out of what the agency called "an abundance of caution," the physician is expected to be admitted to the special isolation unit at the NIH's hospital near the nation's capital as early as Sunday, for observation.

NIH infectious disease chief Dr. Anthony Fauci wouldn't discuss details about the patient but said that in general, an exposure to Ebola doesn't necessarily mean someone will become sick.

"When someone is exposed, you want to put them into the best possible situation so if something happens you can take care of them," Fauci said.

"NIH is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our patients, NIH staff and the public," said an agency statement.

Four other Americans aid workers who were infected with Ebola while volunteering in the West African outbreak have been treated at hospitals in Georgia and Nebraska. One remains hospitalized while the others have recovered.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/ ... TE=DEFAULT

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