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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:58 pm 
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Ebola virus has killed more than 1,900, health officials say
POSTED 9:45 PM, SEPTEMBER 3, 2014, BY DALLAS FRANKLIN AND KFOR-TV, CNN WIRE AND NBC NEWS

(CNN) — More than 3,500 people have been infected by the Ebola virus in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since the first documented cases in December, according to new figures released Wednesday by the World Health Organization. More than 1,900 people have died.

There is also a smaller, unrelated outbreak in Congo and at least one confirmed case in Senegal, according to WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan.

She characterized the outbreak as a “global threat” and encouraged the international community to do more to combat it. Chan complimented the United States for its “very strong support” through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said the official numbers are lower than the actual number of cases, because families afraid of the stigma associated with Ebola do not report sick loved ones. Others are caring for patients in isolation.

Frieden characterized the outbreak as “spiraling out of control” Tuesday in a conversation on CNN’s “New Day.”

“What we’re seeing is a … hugely fast increase in cases that’s harder and harder to manage,” he said. “The more we can get in there and tamp that down, the fewer cases we’ll have in the weeks and months to come.”

Dr. David Nabarro, the senior United Nations system coordinator for Ebola, said that in observing the disease on the ground, he noticed that a number of the infections have spread between family members who are caring for the sick.

They must care for those infected with Ebola because there are not enough hospital beds, nor are there enough ambulances to transport people safely. If the patients do get to a health care facility, there is not a good system of infection control, nor is there enough protective equipment to go around.

Nabarro said there is a desperate need for personnel to help on the ground as well as for nurses, doctors and ambulance drivers in West Africa. The area also needs money to fight the outbreak — at least $600 million, by some estimates.

The fact that airlines have stopped flying to the countries affected has kept people isolated and has inadvertently made the outbreak worse, making it harder for staff and supplies to make it there.

New cases in Nigeria

Nigeria’s minister of health said there are three new confirmed cases of Ebola in Port Harcourt, the country’s oil hub.

The ministry believes other cases will be confirmed there shortly.

Ebola initially arrived in Nigeria through an infected air traveler.

The passenger landed in Lagos on July 20 and died five days later. One person who was put into quarantine after he came into contact with the passenger fled the city and sought treatment in Port Harcourt. A doctor who treated him developed symptoms and died a little more than a week later.

Not knowing he was sick, the doctor treated other patients. He also came into contact with members of the community after family and friends visited to celebrate the birth of a baby and after members of his church visited him at the hospital.

Nigerian health leaders are monitoring the health of more than 200 people who may have had contact with the doctor. About 60 more are considered to have had high-risk or very high-risk exposure.

The other confirmed Nigerian cases now include the doctor’s spouse, who is also a doctor, and a patient at the hospital where the doctor was treated. Staff members are being tested for Ebola.

With the help of the CDC and the WHO, an isolation facility has been set up to handle additional Ebola cases.

Civic unrest and security issues, coupled with the public’s fear of Ebola, are among the concerns. The military has been called in to escort people to the clinic.

More need for help

Dr. Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Borders, spoke at a special United Nations briefing on Wednesday, criticizing the international community’s “lethally inadequate” response to the global threat.

The group, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, has been on the ground fighting the outbreak since March.

Liu made what her organization described as an “unprecedented call” for U.N. members with the technology to intervene in a biological threat to do so immediately.

“Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it,” she said. “Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat. The WHO announcement on August 8 that the epidemic constituted a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ has not led to decisive action, and states have essentially joined a global coalition of inaction,” she said.

“The clock is ticking, and Ebola is winning,” Liu warned. “The time for meetings and planning is over. It is now time to act. Every day of inaction means more deaths and the slow collapse of societies.”

Third American diagnosed with Ebola

A third American has been diagnosed with Ebola while working at a hospital in Liberia.

Dr. Rick Sacra is serving as a missionary doctor with the North Carolina-based group SIM.

He offered to go after two other workers were diagnosed with Ebola.

“Rick travels back and forth to Liberia and he volunteered just a month ago when Dr. Brantly and Nancy were, tested positive to Ebola. Rick called and said, ‘I’m ready to go,” said Bruce Johnson, SIM USA president.

He was treating pregnant women at the organization’s hospital in Monrovia and did not knowingly care for anyone with Ebola.

“We have no confirmation at this time about the exact content, contact point that Dr. Sacra had with Ebola or contracted it. They check patients at our hospital before admittance for Ebola symptoms. And there is a strong possibility that the Ebola symptoms were not, were masked and not presenting themselves with a particular patient,” said Johnson.

The 51-year-old from Boston realized his temperature was rising on Friday.

An Ebola test administered on Monday came back positive.

He’s said to be in good spirits and is communicating with his family via a cell phone and email.

The group’s president says there are currently no communications with Emory Hospital, which treated two other American missionaries when they contracted the virus.

“Each patient is very different. In the case of Kent and Nancy, how they handled Ebola was very different. And it’s that kind of disease. It’s very unpredictable and, as I’ve been told, one day does not indicate the next day,” said Johnson.

“Right now, we’re exploring all opportunities and options. But right now our focus is the care of Rick right there in Liberia,” he added.

British patient gets better

Medical personnel have been particularly vulnerable in this Ebola outbreak.

William Pooley, a British volunteer nurse who cared for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, was the first Briton known to be infected.

Doctors flew him back to be treated in an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in North London. He stayed there for 10 days of treatment that included the experimental drug ZMapp, which was also used to treat two American medical personnel last month who have since been released from the hospital.

Pooley’s doctors released him from care on Tuesday.

http://kfor.com/2014/09/03/ebola-virus- ... cials-say/

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:49 am 
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niman wrote:
“We have no confirmation at this time about the exact content, contact point that Dr. Sacra had with Ebola or contracted it. They check patients at our hospital before admittance for Ebola symptoms. And there is a strong possibility that the Ebola symptoms were not, were masked and not presenting themselves with a particular patient,” said Johnson.


If they check patients, they check HCW's, who furthermore must perform a check over themselves on a paranoid basis. I know I would. I still see increased suspicion of asymptomatic transmission or Dr Sacra getting the virus from somewhere else - arthropod, food, etc..


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:04 am 
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morning wrote:
niman wrote:
“We have no confirmation at this time about the exact content, contact point that Dr. Sacra had with Ebola or contracted it. They check patients at our hospital before admittance for Ebola symptoms. And there is a strong possibility that the Ebola symptoms were not, were masked and not presenting themselves with a particular patient,” said Johnson.


If they check patients, they check HCW's, who furthermore must perform a check over themselves on a paranoid basis. I know I would. I still see increased suspicion of asymptomatic transmission or Dr Sacra getting the virus from somewhere else - arthropod, food, etc..

Please. HCWs are being hit hard by infections by patients and HCWs. Ebola transmits H2H.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:14 am 
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niman wrote:
morning wrote:
niman wrote:
“We have no confirmation at this time about the exact content, contact point that Dr. Sacra had with Ebola or contracted it. They check patients at our hospital before admittance for Ebola symptoms. And there is a strong possibility that the Ebola symptoms were not, were masked and not presenting themselves with a particular patient,” said Johnson.


If they check patients, they check HCW's, who furthermore must perform a check over themselves on a paranoid basis. I know I would. I still see increased suspicion of asymptomatic transmission or Dr Sacra getting the virus from somewhere else - arthropod, food, etc..

Please. HCWs are being hit hard by infections by patients and HCWs. Ebola transmits H2H.

Liberia report on Monrovia shows new HCW Ebola cases almost daily. More than any other location in the world.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:47 am 
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It's also possible that someone with early or minimal symptoms took Tylenol in order to escape detection and get treatment.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:50 am 
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From: <WorldHealthOrganizationNews@who.int>
Date: September 4, 2014 at 9:00:39 AM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: WHO Press Release: UN Senior Leaders Outline Needs for Global Ebola Response




WHO NEWS RELEASE

UN Senior Leaders Outline Needs for Global Ebola Response

Washington, September 3, 2014 -- The United Nations’ senior leadership on Ebola today said they could stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 6 to 9 months, but only if a “massive” global response is implemented.

In a Washington, D.C., news conference, Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), said the Ebola outbreak is “the largest, most complex and most severe we’ve ever seen” and is racing ahead of control efforts. Implementing the new WHO roadmap to coordinate and scale up international response will help the affected countries stop ongoing transmission, she said.

Dr David Nabarro, UN Coordinator for the Ebola Response, said the United Nations system is working together on 12 detailed steps for the global response, which he estimated will cost at least US $600 million and require “several thousand people to scale up our response by 3 to 4 times.”

WHO’s Assistant-Director General for Global Health Security, Keiji Fukuda, who just returned from West Africa, said, “We don’t have enough health workers, doctors, nurses, drivers, and contact tracers” to handle the increasing number of cases. “Most of the infections are happening in the community, and many people are unwilling to identify themselves as ill. And if they do, we don’t have enough ambulances to transport them or beds to treat them yet,” he said.

Fukuda said that insufficient health personnel and facilities to care for the growing number of cases was fueling the spread of the epidemic, as families are forced to care for patients at home, putting them and their contacts at risk of contagion. Mobilizing international financial support and additional health personnel is a top priority for scaling up the international response, Fukuda said.

Another urgent need is to open up airline routes that have been closed to affected countries. These closures “have a huge impact,” Fukuda said, impeding the flow of experts and supplies into Africa, and the outbreak itself is having a negative impact on the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. “People need medical supplies, food, fuel, charcoal, and other provisions. We have to get it to them.” He noted that “WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions be applied except in cases where individuals have been confirmed or are suspected of being infected with Ebola Virus Disease or where individuals have had contact with cases of Ebola.”

Dr Nabarro and Dr Fukuda just returned from a needs assessment in the affected countries to shape the new UN surge plan for the region. The urgent needs include communications and messaging, care for the infected and proper burials, diagnosis and contact tracing, health services for other conditions, transport and supplies, cash to pay health workers, medical services for responders, air and sea access, and strong coordination to avert economic downturns.

The countries affected by the current outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, have reported about 3,500 cases and 1,900 deaths, Dr. Chan noted. A separate outbreak has been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

CONTACT:
Christy Feig, Director of Communications, World Health Organization: feigc@who.int, +41.79.251.7055

Daniel Epstein, WHO spokesperson, epsteindb@msn.com, mobile +1 301 219-2015

Donna Eberwine-Villagrán, Media and Communication, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization: eberwind@paho.org, Tel. +1 202 974 3122, Mobile +1 202 316 5469

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:03 pm 
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How Do We Stop Ebola? WHO Declares 'War' On The Virus
by NPR STAFF
September 04, 2014 5:43 PM ET
Listen to the Story
8 min 51 sec

In the best case scenario, it will take at least six to nine months to bring the current Ebola outbreak under control. During those months, at least 20,000 more people may be infected and half will likely die.

That's the projection from Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization. "If we are going to go to war with Ebola, we do need resources," Chan told NPR's David Greene during an interview Thursday on Morning Edition. "An empty war chest is not going to do it."

The organization is hoping to raise $600 million from donor countries to fight the outbreak in West Africa, where the number of Ebola cases has already surpassed 3,500 and the death toll is inching toward 2,000.

But the aid groups need more than just money.

They need, what Chan calls, medical "troops" and "weapons." And that's not just doctors and nurses, but also more protective gears and burial teams to carry out "safe and respectful burial of the dead." From past experiences, she says, it takes 200 to 250 health care workers to take care of only 80 Ebola patients.

And aid organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders, are already stretched thin.

"We're talking about [recruiting] thousands of health care workers," she says. "So clearly we cannot expect to deploy them from the international community. Most of them have to come from the local communities."

But Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the outbreak is spiraling out of control, only recently came out of civil wars. So their health care systems are "rudimentary" at best, Chan says.

"Two doctors take care of 100,000 people," she says. "This is the kind of situation we're dealing with."

Plus, health care workers who have already joined the fight haven't been getting paid by their governments for the work they've done, prompting many to go on strike.

"Money is a huge part of the problem," says Dr. David Nabarro, who is leading the U.N.'s efforts against the outbreak. "They have been promised additional hazard pay to enable them to keep working despite the dangers associated with Ebola, and the money hasn't been getting through."

After arriving by ambulance, people with suspected Ebola virus lie on the ground before being admitted to the Doctors Without Borders Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia, last week. The 120 beds in the center were filled almost immediately.

Nabarro is confident, however, that the work they've been doing to find more funding and explore alternative ways to pay the workers will help overcome that problem. "We'll see doctors and nurses working in the very, very near future," he says.

Addressing recent criticisms that WHO was slow to help with the outbreak, Chan says that given the limits, the organization has already acted faster than they normally would. The unprecedented outbreak has caught everyone "off guard," she says, and it's still full of uncertainty.

"We don't understand why the virus is spreading so quickly," she says. "We all underestimated the complexity [of the outbreak] — how this would play out in a country where it has very little capacity."

But she's still optimistic the outbreak can be stopped. "I have learned ... [after] over 40 years in managing crises," Chan says, "you need to have a sense of hope and optimism ... and take fast action."

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2 ... um=twitter

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:03 pm 
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Audio

http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlaye ... =345886208

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