Ebola is a disease caused by an ebolavirus. Symptoms start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches. Vomiting, diarrhea and rash follow, along with decreased function of the liver and kidneys. Victims bleed both within the body and externally. From 1976 through 2013, the World Health Organization reported a total of 1,716 cases. In 2013 an outbreak started in Guinea, spreading to neighboring African countries and infectied doctors, some of who were transported back to the US for treatment. The virus continues to claim victims as it spreads to more countries.
Liberia passes two 21-day incubation cycles with no new Ebola cases, passing the threshold for declaring the country’s epidemic to be over. This has led the WHO to declare West Africa’s Ebola epidemic to be over as well, although the organization cautions that the region may still see flare-ups. Ebola killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa during the epidemic, which began in late 2013. WHO chief Chan:
So much was needed and so much was accomplished by national authorities, heroic health workers, civil society, local and international organizations and generous partners.
Doctors say Cafferkey is now in critical condition, and that she is suffering an “unusual late complication” of her previous infection. Health authorities have emphasised that the risk to the general public remains low. However, 58 people who had been in close contact with her are being monitored by Health Protection Scotland, 25 of them have been vaccinated.
After falling ill in Glasgow, Cafferkey is flown to London by military aircraft and admitted to the specialist treatment isolation unit at Royal Free Hospital in London.
We can confirm that Pauline Cafferkey was transferred from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow to the Royal Free London hospital in the early hours of this morning due to an unusual late complication of her previous infection by the Ebola virus. She will now be treated in isolation in the hospital’s high-level isolation unit under nationally agreed guidelines. The Ebola virus can only be transmitted by direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person while they are symptomatic, so the risk to the general public remains low.
ZMapp is granted fast track approval in America. LeafBio says the grant is an “important milestone” which brings them closer to eventually gaining approval. The drug has been administered under emergency use authorization to nine infected patients in Africa in addition to two infected missionaries in Europe during its first clinical trial. LeafBio CEO Whaley:
We are gratified to receive this designation for ZMapp. We are hopeful that this step will accelerate its access once safety and efficacy are demonstrated to satisfaction by FDA in ongoing clinical trials.
The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine against Ebola is 100% successful in trials involving 4000 people which are conducted in Guinea. Brende says:
Having seen the devastating effects of Ebola on communities and even whole countries with my own eyes, I am very encouraged by today’s news. This new vaccine, if the results hold up, may be the silver bullet against Ebola, helping to bring the current outbreak to zero and to control future outbreaks of this kind. I would like to thank all partners who have contributed to achieve this sensational result, due to an extraordinary and rapid collaborative effort.
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch and NIH use an aerosol vaccine that activates immune cells in the respiratory system of rhesus macaques and provides full protection against the virus. The vaccine can be used without any medical administration, so that developing countries can help themselves. Doctors say it’s not a breakthrough because a cure for monkeys does not necessarily have to be successful for humans as well. Virologist:
The initial several decades of attempts to develop a vaccine against the Ebola virus were unsuccessful. This is one of the few vaccines that works.
International donors pledge $3.4 billion for a total of $5.2 billion to help rebuild Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone following the Ebola epidemic. The U.N. will follow up to ensure the delivery of the money. New pledges include $745 million from the African Development Bank, $495 million from the European Union, $360 million from the Islamic Development Bank, $340 million from Britain, and $266 million from the United States. Liberian President Sirleaf says funds will revive the economies and societies of affected areas.
The world as a whole has a great stake in how we together respond to this global thread. Virus diseases, just like terrorism, know no national boundaries.
Ebola returns to Liberia with five recent cases of the disease. Sequencing data show the virus is genetically similar to the past Ebola outbreak. WHO conducts further tests to see if people unknowingly had the virus and explores other possibilities such as sexual transmission.
There are a considerable number of survivors. And we also know that it persists in certain bodily fluids, and that it can subsist for at least six months.
Mugabe arrives in New York ahead of the United Nations International Ebola Recovery Conference, accompanied by First Lady Grace Mugabe, Health Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister and Finance Minister. They are expected to be confined within a 25-mile radius due to travel sanctions.
The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association is warning that the health delivery system in the country is deteriorating owing to government lax in controlling medical aid societies and alleged corruption, citing the auditor general’s report which alleged that local resources are being abused and are short changing patients.
A 28 page report by a panel led by Dame Stocking says the World Health Organisation unable to handle public health emergencies judging from its performance in the Ebola epidemic. The report suggests fault in WHO’s financial preparedness, reliance on diplomacy, and lack of decisive actions by director general Chan. Furthermore, the report recommends regional and country representatives to play a more active role in pushing their governments to take immediate action to epidemics; this is in response to WHO’s delayed declaration of an Ebola crisis only after the death of 1,000 people.
WHO does not currently possess the capacity or organisational culture to deliver a full emergency public health response.
WHO accepts the report’s criticism and prepares improvements to its workforce and financial reserves. Medecins Sans Frontieres Dr. Liu:
The question is how will this translate into real action on the ground in future outbreaks?
Early stage clinical trials find experimental vaccine VSV-ZEBOV is safe and promotes antibody response in all 40 adult recipients according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). Some recipients experience fever, but except in one case, the fever abates within 24 hours of vaccination. Volunteers are being enrolled in Liberia for the second phase of the trial. Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), states
Until a safe and effective vaccine is available, the world will continue to be under-prepared for the next Ebola outbreak.
Liberian government dismantles a crematorium and removes drums containing the ashes of more than 3000 Ebola victims as outbreak of the disease is contained. Acting Information Minister Isaac Jackson:
These activities — these prayers services — are taking place in an effort to accord these people the utmost respect considering the circumstances under which they were cremated and they parted with their families. We think it is only but proper that we now accord them — the over 3,000 people cremated — respect in a more dignified way.
Beatrice Yardolo, 58, an English teacher is cured. It is the last confirmed case of Ebola in Liberia, Tolbert Nyenswah, the deputy health minister of Liberia:
There was a lot of excitement because we feel that this is a victory, But it’s not over yet. We are still cautioning people. We told them they must still protect their villages, their towns. They should report any suspicion of Ebola to the health teams. We still have a response that is tight.
Pham plans to file suit against Texas Health Resources for ‘corporate neglect, alleging that Texas Health Resources failed to develop policies and provide proper training for staff dealing with Ebola patients.
I wanted to believe that they would have my back and take care of me, but they just haven’t risen to the occasion….I was the last person besides Mr. Duncan to find out he was positive. You’d think the primary nurse would be the first to know. … I broke down and cried, not because I thought I had it but just because it was a big ‘whoa, this is really happening’ moment.
Texas Health Resources spokesman Wendell Watson:
Nina Pham bravely served Texas Health Dallas during a most difficult time. We continue to support and wish the best for her, and we remain optimistic that constructive dialogue can resolve this matter.
An experimental antiviral drug, called favipiravir, is still in early stages in West Africa, and too few people have been treated to really know whether the drug helps shows some promise in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. It is only effective, however, if patients get it early. The survival rate of 85% in the ones who have received it is encouraging. European Commission for Research Moedas:
If these results are confirmed by the ongoing clinical trial, it will be the first-ever treatment to be deployed against this deadly disease during the current outbreak.
Eight healthcare workers are being sent home due to Ebola exposure from S.D. Cooper Hospital in Monrovia. They will be under heavy observation for 21 days. This number still remains far lower than last year when the West African nation had the worst outbreak in history. To this date, Liberia reports 3,900 Ebola deaths according to the World Health Organization. Assistant Health Minister for the country, Nyenswah states:
You cannot be under observation and then at the same time go to work to expose people. No way.
About 60 American troops enter isolation at Fort Bragg in North Carolina after returning from Africa. The troops were in an area where the Ebola virus is present. Since nobody had direct contact with infected people, officials believe none of the troops to be infected:
This lets us start the calendar with that confidence, and then as I said we’ll be checking them every twelve hours with the same questions and the same temperature screening to make sure that they have no developing concerns,
Scotland confirms its first case of Ebola as a health care worker returning from Sierra Leone. Scottish health agency NHS Scotland statement:
The patient was admitted to hospital early in the morning after feeling unwell and was placed into isolation at 7.50 a.m. All possible contacts with the patient are now being investigated and anyone deemed to be at risk will be contacted and closely monitored. However, having been diagnosed in the very early stages of the illness, the risk to others is considered extremely low.
The FDA gives emergency approval to a new diagnostic test kit to test blood. It is the seventh in a series of emergency authorizations based on a 2006 authorization and intended to take a more proactive stance towards the virus.
The CDC reports that as many as a dozen scientists may have been exposed in a lab in Atlanta. They mistakenly transfered a sample from a high-security lab to another lab in the building. CDC director Frieden:
We are monitoring the health of one technician who could possibly have been exposed and I have directed that there be a full review of every aspect of the incident and that CDC take all necessary measures. Thousands of laboratory scientists in more than 150 labs throughout CDC have taken extraordinary steps in recent months to improve safety. No risk to staff is acceptable, and our efforts to improve lab safety are essential — the safety of our employees is our highest priority
The child admitted to the University of Chicago Medical Center after being flagged for a high fever during an O’Hare screening tests negative for the virus and has been discharged, per a statement released by the hospital.
Tests by the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed a negative result for Ebola.
A child is quarantined at the University of Chicago Medical Center after arriving at O’Hare International Airport with Ebola-like symptoms. Statement:
The patient has been isolated under strict quarantine protocols until the child’s condition improves and a diagnosis is established. The patient has been assigned a dedicated and highly trained team composed of nurses, physicians and other health care professionals.
Fire destroys a warehouse at the Conakry airport in Guinea, burning everything inside, including a cache of medicine to treat the Ebola virus. Dr. Moussa Konate, head of logistics for Guinea’s Ebola response, could not immediately say how much had been lost.
Dr. Victor Willoughby, 67, who tested positive for Ebola on Saturday, dies from the virus hours after an experimental drug arrived in the country for him. Dr. Brima Kargbo, the country’s chief medical officer:
Dr. Victor Willoughby was a mentor to us physicians and a big loss to the medical profession. He has always been available to help junior colleagues.
Sierra Leone bans holiday celebrations amidst its continued fight against Ebola. Palo Conteh, head of the government’s Ebola response unit:
[There will be] no Christmas and New Year celebrations this year. We will ensure that everybody remains at home to reflect on Ebola. Military personnel will be on the streets at Christmas and the New Year to stop any street celebrations.
Timenames the Ebola fighters as the 2014 Person of the Year. Time Editor Nancy Gibbs explains the choice:
Ebola is a war, and a warning. The global health system is nowhere close to strong enough to keep us safe from infectious disease, and “us” means everyone, not just those in faraway places where this is one threat among many that claim lives every day. The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight. For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the Ebola fighters are TIME’s 2014 Person of the Year.
According to the World Health Organization, the current outbreak surpasses 16,000 cases with nearly 7,000 deaths from these cases. The United Nations’ health agency issues its latest numbers, focusing on how Ebola has affected Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — the three countries where the vast majority of cases have occurred.
The WHO and other health agencies say the scale of the Ebola outbreak is likely significantly worse than even the current high numbers indicate, because many people died before they could be diagnosed and many contracted the disease in remote areas without ready access to health care.
U.S. scientists say that the first human trial of an Ebola vaccine being developed by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline produced ‘positive’ results. The twenty healthy adults who are tested develop anti-Ebola antibodies and produce an immune response with no serious side effects. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:
Based on these positive results from the first human trial of this candidate vaccine, we are continuing our accelerated plan for larger trials to determine if the vaccine is efficacious in preventing Ebola infection.
Campbell launches “Fashion for Relief”, a fashion pop-up shop, to raise awareness for Ebola. The shop is set to be open for one week at the Westfield shopping centre in east London.
Raising awareness for Ebola and educating about its prevention is crucial to help prevent the spread of this deadly disease. We hope the Fashion For Relief store will raise much-needed funds and awareness, whilst offering amazing pieces at accessible prices.
The World Health Organisation has confirmed that the Democratic Republic of Congo is Ebola-free, as 42 days have passed since the last case in an outbreak that killed at least 49 people. The DRC outbreak, which began in August, involved a different strain of Ebola from the one that has claimed more than 5400 lives in west Africa.
UN health agency:
The Democratic Republic of Congo is now considered free of Ebola transmission.
People from Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea will be able to apply for protection from deportation from the U.S., as well as for work permits, for a period of 18 months after which Homeland Security will reassess the situation in west Africa. Temporary protected status is used when people’s country of origin is too dangerous to return to, such as after the Haiti earthquake in 2010.
An Ebola survivor travelling from Liberia to India is quarantined after traces of the virus are found in his semen. India Health Ministry statement:
Currently, this person is not having any symptoms of the disease. However, he would be kept under isolation in the special health facility of (the) Delhi Airport Health Organization, till such time his body fluids test negative and he is found medically fit to be discharged.
Vinson describes how her engagement ring was destroyed in the Ebola decontamination process:
I took off all my jewelry, thinking that my jewelry would be safer at home than in the hospital. And when the decontamination team came in, everything that was on the surface was swiped into a bin for incineration. My jewelry box being on my nightstand was one of those things that got destroyed.
After hearing the story, Chris Nieto of Zales jewelers invites Vinson and her fiancé to pick out a new ring for free.
When we heard that Amber Vinson’s ring was lost by the clean-up crew, our hearts went out to her. It was really important that we went ahead and wanted to step up to get her something that helps celebrate her life and express love.
When I found out that Zales had offered to give a ring, I was taken aback by the generosity because I’ve had so much negativity towards me. For someone to reach out to me with such a positive thing, it put a big smile on my face. … It made my day.
Vinson still suffers fatigue from the effects of the disease.
I never had Ebola. I never had symptoms of Ebola. I tested negative for Ebola the first night I stayed in New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s private prison in Newark. I am now past the incubation period – meaning that I will not develop symptoms of Ebola. I never had Ebola, so please stop calling me “the Ebola Nurse” – now!
Like many aid workers, I went to West Africa to respond to the Ebola outbreak because it was the most essential struggle about which I knew I could do something. I spent four of the most difficult weeks of my life fighting against a disease that destroys people of all ages and physical strengths. I witnessed men, women and children – who days earlier were strong and full of life – struggle to hold a glass of water to their lips. I worked in an Ebola case management center where our beds were constantly filled and so many others suffering from Ebola in West Africa needed help, but the capacity was lacking; we need many more people to go and help.
Like me, most workers who return from helping to care for Ebola patients will thankfully never develop symptoms of Ebola, and US policy needs to reflect that truth rather than stoke fears that someone could get sick.
Nobody should’ve had to watch me ride my bicycle out in the open as politicians fed the public false fears and misinformation. I want to live in an America that reaches out to aid workers as they return from West Africa and says, “We loved and stood by you when you were fighting this disease. We will love and stand by you now.”
We can define compassion, instead of being ruled by fear and fear-mongers.
A new version of Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?, featuring Bono, One Direction and Sam Smith, debuts on The X Factor. The proceeds from the song, which is available on iTunes, are being donated to help the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Bob Geldof, who wrote the original version:
[Ebola] is the most anti-human disease, but we can stop it, and we will stop it.
Salia, a critically ill surgeon diagnosed with Ebola while working in his native Sierra Leone, is returning to the United States to be treated at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the biocontainment unit at Nebraska Medical Center:
Our staff has had a break since treating our last patient, so I know we’re ready to go.
Clinical trials of experimental Ebola treatment will start next month in West Africa as the regional death toll from the deadly virus surpasses 5,000.
One trial will treat infected patients with the antiviral drug brincidofovir at a medical center in the Liberian capital of Monrovia. In a second trial, patients will get the antiviral drug Favipiravir in the southern town of Gueckedou in Guinea. A third trial in the Guinean capital of Conakry will focus on giving patients blood transfusions from Ebola survivors, a method recommended by the World Health Organization.
Doctors Without Borders:
This is an unprecedented international partnership which represents hope for patients to finally get a real treatment against a disease that today kills between 50 and 80% of those infected.
Duncan’s family and Texas Health Resources reach a confidential settlement. As a part of the settlement, a memorial fund is set up in Duncan’s name to raise money to help victims of Ebola in South Africa. Texas Health Presbyterian statement:
We know that this has been a terribly sad, difficult and trying time for Mr. Duncan’s family and friends, and they will continue to be in the hearts and prayers of the entire Texas Health Presbyterian family.
Vinson tells the Today Show that she has no regrets about treating Thomas Eric Duncan and would treat other Ebola patients.
Nursing is what I do. I could never see a patient that needs help and not do everything I can to help them.
Discussing coming under fire for having flown to and from Ohio on a commercial plane.
It made me feel terrible because that’s not me. I am not careless. I am not reckless…I was never told that I couldn’t travel. I talked to my (Intensive Care Unit) management team. I talked to management in person and they said the CDC said it was OK for me to go…I’m an ICU nurse; I embrace protocol and guidelines and structure, because in my day-to-day nursing, it is a matter of life and death.
Vinson says she was “floored” when she heard that Nina Pham had become ill.
I was afraid for myself and my family. I did everything I was instructed to do. I felt if Nina can get it, any one of us can get it.
About her training:
We did not have excessive training where we could put on and take off the protective equipment, where we could get to a level of being comfortable with it. I didn’t have that.
Aid groups say thousands of people in Sierra Leone are being forced to break quarantine to find food as food prices in quarantined areas have risen beyond affordability. Disasters Emergency Committee:
The quarantine of Kenema, the third largest town in Sierra Leone, is having a devastating impact on trade — travel is restricted so trucks carrying food cannot freely drive around. Food is becoming scarce, which has led to prices increasing beyond the reach of ordinary people.
The World Food Program fed more than 450,000 people in Sierra Leone in October, including people who are under quarantine or being treated for Ebola, but distribution of food has been difficult since it has required bringing food to remote areas by poor roads.
Tam-Baryoh is jailed in Freetown’s Pademba Road prison under emergency powers in an executive order from the president. Jail superintendant:
The powers were derived from the Ebola emergency regulations the country is currently under
The charges against him and the length of his detention aren’t specified. The arrest may be linked to comments Tam-Baryoh made on his radio show MONOLGUE, in which he appeared to challenge arrests made last week in the Kono district after Ebola-linked riots. The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists condemns the arrest.
The Ebola outbreak is blocking treatment of malaria, pneumonia, typhoid, and other illnesses in west Africa as people either cannot find an open clinic, or are too afraid to go to one. The WHO refers to the hidden cases of illness:
emergency within the emergency
Official at the Emergency charity:
There’s this incredible silent killer health crisis behind the Ebola crisis