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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:25 am 
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Media reporting Ebola infected WHO affiliated worker in Sierra Leone.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:25 am 
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(CNN) —For the first time, a worker with the World Health Organization has fallen ill from Ebola, the WHO told CNN on Sunday.

The health worker is in Sierra Leone and receiving care, the WHO said. No further details were given immediately.

Separately, a British citizen infected with the virus in Sierra Leone is being flown home, the British Department of Health announced Sunday.

The man, simply identified as William, lives in the West African nation in a home established by an American university for researchers.

He is a volunteer nurse in Kenema Government Hospital, where he was working with Ebola patients, according to Dr. Robert Garry of Tulane University.

Garry is manager of the university's program that researches Ebola. The hospital is run by the government of Sierra Leone, but receives support from Tulane researchers.

The UK government said a specially equipped C17 Royal Air Force plane would transport the patient, who would be transferred to an isolation unit at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

"UK hospitals have a proven record of dealing with imported infectious diseases and this patient will be isolated and will receive the best care possible," said deputy chief medical officer John Watson in a press release.

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast announced Saturday that it's closing its borders in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Prime Minister Daniel Duncan signed the order that closes the land borders Ivory Coast shares with Guinea and Liberia.

The borders will remain closed until further notice in an effort to prevent the Ebola virus from spreading into its territory, according to the government statement.

Ebola is one of the world's most virulent diseases, according to the WHO.

The virus is introduced to human populations through the human handling of infected animals -- like fruit bats, gorillas and monkeys, to name a few -- found sick or dying in the rainforest.

The infection is then transmitted among humans through direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of infected people.

WHO's maps of confirmed cases show the Ebola outbreak is limited to four West African nations -- Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. So far, nearly 2,500 suspected cases have been reported in what the WHO says is the worst known outbreak of the disease.

However, the WHO's website says the survival rate for people with Ebola in this outbreak has been 47%, which is a substantial improvement over the disease's survival rate, historically.



Read more: http://www.kitv.com/national/first-who- ... z3BK7gIaYF

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:26 am 
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Gregory Härtl ‏@HaertlG 28m
.@Crof not a @WHO staff member. He was deployed from a @WHO partner institution through our #GOARN network. #Ebola

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:30 am 
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Gregory Härtl ‏@HaertlG 2m
#Ebola: 2 cases now of intl healthcare workers being infected in Sierra Leone. 1 from #UK, #Senegal. Neither are @WHO staff. @Crof

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:03 pm 
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(CNN) -- For the first time, a worker with the World Health Organization has fallen ill from Ebola, the WHO told CNN on Sunday.

The health worker, a man from Senegal, is in Sierra Leone and receiving care, the WHO said. No further details were given immediately.

When asked how the worker contracted the virus, a WHO spokesperson said officials don't yet know all the details.

Separately, a British citizen infected with the virus in Sierra Leone is being flown home, the British Department of Health announced Sunday.

The man, simply identified as William, lives in the West African nation in a home established by an American university for researchers.

He is a volunteer nurse in Kenema Government Hospital, where he was working with Ebola patients, according to Dr. Robert Garry of Tulane University.

Garry is manager of the university's program that researches Ebola. The hospital is run by the government of Sierra Leone, but receives support from Tulane researchers.

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets ... y-body.jpg

A member of Doctors Without Borders prepares to enter a high-risk area of an Ebola treatment center in Liberia.

The UK government said a specially equipped C17 Royal Air Force plane would transport the patient, who would be transferred to an isolation unit at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

"UK hospitals have a proven record of dealing with imported infectious diseases and this patient will be isolated and will receive the best care possible," said deputy chief medical officer John Watson in a press release.

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast announced Saturday that it's closing its borders in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Prime Minister Daniel Duncan signed the order that closes the land borders Ivory Coast shares with Guinea and Liberia.

The borders will remain closed until further notice in an effort to prevent the Ebola virus from spreading into its territory, according to the government statement.

Ebola is one of the world's most virulent diseases, according to the WHO.

The virus is introduced to human populations through the human handling of infected animals -- like fruit bats, gorillas and monkeys, to name a few -- found sick or dying in the rainforest.

The infection is then transmitted among humans through direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of infected people.

WHO's maps of confirmed cases show the Ebola outbreak is limited to four West African nations -- Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. So far, nearly 2,500 suspected cases have been reported in what the WHO says is the worst known outbreak of the disease.

However, the WHO's website says the survival rate for people with Ebola in this outbreak has been 47%, which is a substantial improvement over the disease's survival rate, historically.

CNN's Aliza Kassim and Carma Hassan contributed to this report.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/24/world/afr ... index.html

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:47 pm 
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WHO-deployed health worker receiving care after testing positive for Ebola

WHO statement
24 August 2014


WHO is working to ensure an international health worker who is deployed for the Organization in Sierra Leone and has contracted Ebola receives the best care possible including the option of medical evacuation to another care facility if necessary.

International health workers are an important part of this Ebola response. Even before the Ebola outbreak began, after years of conflict, the area of West Africa most affected by this disease suffered from a weakened and fragile health system with a shortage of health workers. Surge capacity of international health experts is essential to supplement the work of the local frontline workers in this response.

Since the beginning of the international response to the outbreak in March, WHO has deployed nearly 400 people from across the Organization and from partners in the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) to help respond to the disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. This is the first time someone working under the aegis of WHO has fallen ill with the disease.

The Ebola virus is spread through contact with bodily fluids and people giving care or working around infected patients are known to be a high risk group. In the past six months of the outbreak, more than 225 health workers have fallen ill and nearly 130 have lost their lives to the disease they were working to contain.

WHO recognizes there is a risk for health workers who work around Ebola and takes many precautions before they deploy to help them protect themselves in the field. Once there, the Organization ensures those workers have access to appropriate medical advice and support.

Media contacts:
Gregory Hartl
in Geneva, Switzerland
Mobile: +41 79 203 67 15
E-mail: hartlg@who.int

Tarik Jasarevic
in Geneva, Switzerland
Mobile: +41 79 747 27 56
E-mail: jasarevict@who.int

Christy Feig
in Freetown, Sierra Leone
Mobile: +41 79 251 70 55
E-mail: feigc@who.int

Nyka Alexander
in Conakry, Guinea
Mobile:+224 621 845 603
E-mail: nyka.alexander@gmail.com

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/sta ... -ebola/en/

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:55 pm 
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y Associated Press August 24 at 11:41 AM
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — The first British citizen confirmed to be infected with the deadly Ebola disease is being evacuated from Sierra Leone on a jet sent by the Royal Air Force, a Sierra Leone official said Sunday.

The World Health Organization is also considering medical evacuation for a Senegalese health worker who has become infected in Sierra Leone, the U.N. health agency said.


Neither patient was identified by name.

The British patient was working at an Ebola treatment center in eastern Sierra Leone, the region most affected by the outbreak, said Sidie Yayah Tunis, director of communications for the Sierra Leone health ministry.

The Senegalese health worker is an epidemiologist deployed from a WHO partner organization, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said on Twitter.

The two cases highlight the risks facing health workers on the front lines of the battle against Ebola, which has killed more than 1,400 people across West Africa, according to the latest WHO figures.

“This is the first time someone working under the aegis of WHO has fallen ill with the disease,” the WHO said in its statement, adding that more than 225 health workers have been infected and nearly 130 have died from Ebola during the current outbreak.

The British patient was transported via ambulance to Sierra Leone’s main airport in the town of Lungi, Tunis said.

Britain’s Department of Health said the patient was being flown on a specially equipped RAF transport plane to Northolt air base in London.

He will be treated at London’s Royal Free Hospital, which has an isolation unit for infectious disease. The department said in a statement that the patient “is not currently seriously unwell.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/afr ... story.html

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:04 pm 
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WHO: Medical worker infections and shortages hamper Ebola response

Filed Under: Ebola

Lisa Schnirring | Staff Writer | CIDRAP News | Aug 25, 2014


Two medical workers assisting with the Ebola outbreak response in Sierra Leone have been sickened by the disease, one of them deployed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the other a British nurse who was airlifted to a London hospital for treatment.

News of two more infected aid workers comes as the WHO today expressed heightened concerns about the impact the outbreak is having on health workers battling the disease and obstacles the infections pose to getting enough workers from overseas to staff treatment centers.

Response worker infections

According to media reports, the WHO-deployed health worker is an epidemiologist from Senegal. The WHO said on its Twitter feed that the worker is with the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN). In a statement yesterday the WHO said it was working to ensure that the patient, who got sick in Sierra Leone, has the best care possible, with the option of medical evacuation if needed.

The health worker was in Kailahun district tracing Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases, according to Politico SL, a newspaper based in Sierra Leone. The district has been one of Sierra Leone's EVD hot spots.

The WHO said it has so far deployed about 400 staff members of its own and from partner organizations, and the patient is the first of that number to be infected in the outbreak. It added that it recognized the risk Ebola virus poses to health workers and takes many precautions before they deploy to help them protect themselves in the field.

Meanwhile, Public Health England (PHE) yesterday said a British national living in Sierra Leone has been diagnosed with EVD and is being medically evacuated to the United Kingdom, to be treated in an isolation unit at the Royal Free NHS Foundation hospital in London. It said the patient was not currently in serious condition.

John Watson, MBBS, MSc, PHE's deputy chief medical officer, said in the statement that the UK has a robust, well-tested system for handling unusual infectious diseases and that the country's hospitals have a proven record of managing imported infectious diseases. "This patient will be isolated and will receive the best care possible."

The PHE said it would provide no other details about the patient, to protect the patient's privacy. However, according to a media report, the patient is a man who has been working as a volunteer nurse at Kenema Government Hospital over the last 3 months.

The British patient is the fifth medical worker to be flown out of West Africa because of EVD. The others are two Americans who worked for a Christian missionary group, both of whom have recovered, a Spanish priest who died from his infection, and a Spanish nun who reportedly did not have EVD.

WHO details burden on workers, outbreak challenges

The WHO today singled out the high burden the disease has had on health workers as one of the outbreak's unprecedented features. More than 240 healthcare workers have been sickened by Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the four West African countries affected by the event, the agency said. More than half of them have died. Among them have been some of the top doctors in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Several factors explain the high toll the disease is taking on medical staff, the WHO said. They include shortages and improper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), too few medical staff to respond to the outbreak, and compassion that prompts health workers to work in isolation wards beyond the number of hours recommended for safety reasons.

Aside from shortages, the PPE is hot and cumbersome, especially in tropical climates, pushing clinicians beyond their physical limits, with some working 12-hour shifts. "Staff who are exhausted are more prone to make mistakes," the WHO said.

Medical staff and the people in West Africa aren't familiar with EVD, given that the current outbreak is the region's first, the WHO said. Also, other diseases in the area such as malaria have symptoms that often resemble the initial symptoms of EVD, and patients often seek emergency care in settings where doctors and nurses don't initially suspect Ebola and aren't taking protective measures against the disease.

The heavy toll on medical staff is complicating response efforts, because it not only depletes personnel who can treat sick patients, but also makes it difficult for the WHO to secure foreign workers to come to West Africa to help with the outbreak. The WHO added that the African Union has launched an urgent push to recruit more health workers from its member countries.

CDC advice for humanitarian workers

In view of the risk to health workers and other outbreak responders, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Aug 23 issued advice for humanitarian workers traveling to the outbreak countries to assist with the EVD response. It urged people planning trips to the region to consult a travel medicine doctor beforehand to discuss individual recommendations based on medical history and travel plans.

The CDC said humanitarian workers should pack a basic first aid kit. If they expect to work in a healthcare setting where close contact with EVD patients could occur, travelers should ensure that the organization will provide PPE, and if not, workers should pack them and bring them along. It urged workers to check their health insurance plans, or those of their organization, and to purchase one if not fully covered. Workers should also ask organizations about medical evacuation plans.

The CDC's advice also covers special recommendations for health workers, what to do if a worker gets sick during the trip, and what steps to take when returning to the United States.

Alternative treatment developments

In other medical developments, an official from Liberia's health ministry said today that a doctor who received the experimental EVD drug ZMapp has died, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. The country's information minister, Lewis Brown, told AFP that the doctor had been improving, but died last night. Two other health workers who received the drug are still being treated and show encouraging signs.

A WHO ethics panel has given the green light to the use of experimental drugs and vaccines in the outbreak, but it has also warned that supplies are extremely limited and that the therapies aren't expected to have an impact on the course of the outbreak. However, the group will host a meeting in Geneva on Sept 4 and 5 to discuss the most promising treatments, safety and efficacy issues, and possible ways to speed up clinical trials.

Meanwhile, Japan's government today said it can provide a Japanese-developed antiviral drug, if the WHO requests it, the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday. The drug favipiravir is approved in Japan for treating new and reemerging influenza viruses.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Japan is watching for more details from the WHO on the use of untested drugs and in the case of an emergency can respond to individual requests before any decisions from WHO.

The drug's developer, Toyama Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Fujifilm, is talking with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about clinical tests of the drug for treating EVD, a company spokesman told the AP. The company has enough of the drug to treat 20,000 patients.

See also:

Aug 25 WHO Ebola situation assessment

Aug 24 WHO statement

Aug 24 Politico SL story

Aug 24 PHE statement

Aug 23 CDC advice for humanitarian workers

Aug 25 AFP story

Aug 24 AP story

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... a-response

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:42 am 
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World struggles to stop Ebola
Greater international assistance is needed to quell the epidemic, say health officials.

Erika Check Hayden
26 August 2014
Article toolsRights & Permissions

John Moore/Getty Images
A health-care worker dons protective gear before entering an Ebola treatment centre near Monrovia, Liberia.
Dan Kelly felt as if he were entering a war zone when he arrived at Connaught Hospital on 19 August. His friend Modupeh Cole, the physician in charge of the Ebola isolation ward at the hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone, had died six days earlier. Marta Lado, a doctor from Spain, was caring for the ward’s ten patients. “She was mopping the floors herself,” says Kelly, an infectious-disease physician and co-founder of the Wellbody Alliance, a non-profit health-care organization in Sierra Leone. The international aid group Médecins Sans Frontières has called the world’s response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa “dangerously inadequate”. As Kelly travelled around Freetown, noticing closed clinics and health-care workers without adequate protective training and equipment, he had to agree.


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“We’re lacking the kind of passionate humanitarian response that we’ve seen for disasters like the Haiti earthquake or the Haiyan typhoon” in the Philippines, says Kelly, who is raising money through the University of California, San Francisco, to teach infection-control practices to health-care workers fighting the outbreak. More than 240 health-care workers have contracted Ebola in the current episode, including a Senegalese epidemiologist who is the first person deployed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to become infected with the disease. “We’re around rock bottom,” says Kelly.

Weeks after the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak a public-health emergency of inter­national concern and the World Bank pledged to provide up to US$200 million in aid, enough resources to end the crisis have yet to materialize. The WHO reports that the Ebola outbreak has so far claimed 1,427 lives in four West African nations — more than all previous recorded outbreaks combined, and probably an underestimate (see ‘Out of control’). It says that the epidemic will last for another 6–9 months, and the scientists and doctors who are fighting it agree. “I can comfortably say that we will be in this for the next 4 to 9 months, not including the follow-up that will be required to deal with the post-traumatic effects,” says virologist Joseph Fair, a special adviser to the ministry of health in Sierra Leone.

To end the crisis, developed countries and aid groups need to send more people with expertise in treating infectious diseases, public-health experts say. In Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, only three Ebola treatment facilities were operating as of 22 August; the WHO says that, in the coming weeks, facilities will be needed to treat another 500 patients. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, has sent 60 people to West Africa to help with surveillance, disease tracking and education, but they do not treat patients. Health-care workers and experts are badly needed from other Western governments, says Sophie Delaunay, executive director of Médecins Sans Frontières in New York. Many institutions and aid groups are even removing doctors from the region out of concern for the physicians’ safety.


Source: WHO
Expand
Affected countries must also do a better job of dealing with patients and educating the public about the disease, say doctors and scientists. Insensitivity on the part of government officials has sparked uprisings, including a riot in a quarantined neighbourhood of Monrovia on 20 August, says Bailor Barrie, co-founder of the Wellbody Alliance.


Nature special: Ebola outbreak in West Africa
Officials are likely to make more progress fighting Ebola’s spread if they explain their actions and show concern for those affected, he adds, citing his own experience in a village in Kono, Sierra Leone, earlier this month. After a villager there tested positive for Ebola, police put two houses under quarantine — and six people fled. Barrie, along with community leaders and public-health workers, then visited the remaining 30 residents to explain the reason for the quarantine and to answer questions. One man said that he needed someone to go and buy cigarettes, and another needed palm wine; health officials tasked a worker with making these daily deliveries. The inhabitants stayed in quarantine for the full 21-day isolation period, even as three of them developed Ebola-like symptoms. Diagnostic tests were negative, and no one in the houses came down with the virus.

“When you don’t engage people, and just tell them what is right without listening to them, they will not comply with your orders,” says Barrie. “That’s why the initial response in some countries was full of denial, fear and terror — everyone was afraid.”

Fair says that governments also need to undertake widespread, country-wide campaigns, “blasting all forms of media — billboards, radio jingles, T-shirts, pens … basically, inundating the public with so much information that they can’t not hear it and remember it”.

But, ultimately, the most effective tactic to fight Ebola’s spread is to train West Africans in basic public-health measures, says Daniel Bausch, a physician at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, who has treated the disease in Guinea and Sierra Leone. “I’m not naive enough to think it’s an easy thing to do, but it’s the only thing that’s actually going to work,” he says.

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The experience of groups such as Last Mile Health, a non-profit organization that operates in Boston, Massachusetts, and in Monrovia, shows that such training can work. Last Mile Health has deployed 150 community health workers to educate rural Liberians about Ebola. It has also worked to provide basic materials to care for patients. Rajesh Panjabi, the organization’s chief executive, says that in mid-August, nurses at the Martha Tubman Memorial Hospital in Zwedru — which serves 130,000 people in rural eastern Liberia — were preparing to strike over a lack of protective equipment. Last Mile Health provided gloves, masks, gowns and training in how to use them, and the nurses continued working. (Liberia’s ministry of health had estimated earlier this month that the country needs more than 451,360 pairs of medical gloves.) “This is the type of impact you can have through very basic activities, but it takes sustained response and investment,” says Panjabi.

There are other hopeful signs. At Connaught Hospital, nurses from countries including Sierra Leone have joined Lado, the physician leading the clinical effort of the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership, an initiative of the King’s Centre for Global Health in London. Two doctors and another nurse from the partnership will arrive at Connaught in the coming weeks. “We’re at the point where almost anything we do to turn this thing around will make things better,” says Kelly. “It’s got to be one hospital at a time.”

Nature 512, 355–356 (28 August 2014) doi:10.1038/512355a

http://www.nature.com/news/world-strugg ... NatureNews

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