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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The UN body says practices like rubbing a patient’s body with limes and onions or drinking saltwater are ineffective against the virus, and warns against fake vaccines and cures.
Decades of scientific research have failed to find a curative or preventive agent of proven safety and effectiveness in humans, though a number of promising products are currently under development. All rumours of any other effective products or practices are false. Their use can be dangerous. In Nigeria, for example, at least two people have died after drinking salt water, rumoured to be protective.
Duncan is pronounced dead at 7:51 a.m. at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where he was admitted Sept. 28 and has been kept in isolation. Texas officials are monitoring 10 people who had direct contact with him while he was symptomatic, as well as 38 others who may have had contact. None have shown symptoms of the disease to this point. They will be monitored for 21 days, the normal incubation period for the disease. Hospital:
Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle. Our professionals, the doctors and nurses in the unit, as well as the entire Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas community, are also grieving his passing. We have offered the family our support and condolences at this difficult time.
The Foreign Office is investigating reports that a 57-year-old British man has died and a second man, aged 72, is ill in Skopje. Macedonian officials say the the patients had been staying at a hotel when they fell ill. The now-deceased man was admitted to the Clinic for Infectious Diseases around 3 p.m. (9 a.m. Eastern) and died around two hours later. His friend remains under observation at the hospital and medical staff are attempting to confirm whether they were infected with Ebola.
The Bill and Melinda Foundation pledged $50 million to help fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The money will be used to help the government purchase supplies, “scale up emergency operations,” and enable international aid.
We are working urgently with our partners to identify the most effective ways to help them save lives now and stop transmission of this deadly disease. We also want to accelerate the development of treatments, vaccines and diagnostics that can help end this epidemic and prevent future outbreaks.
Sierra Leone has voted to pass an amendment to its Health Act whereby people caught hiding Ebola patients could face possible jail time of up to two years. The amendment still needs to go for presidential approval. The country has been hit hard by the current outbreak with at least 392 deaths and 910 cases recorded.
Sierra Leone majority leader Ibrahim Bundu:
[Sierra Leone has suffered] abandonment and isolation from those we viewed to be our biggest friends in the region and beyond. These ugly developments are evidenced in the cancellations of flights, closing of borders, reduction of operational hours of banks and further isolation by shutting down businesses at the time of greatest need.
He said lawmakers would soon review the country’s partnerships “so as to form a permanent record of who are true friends are.”
Nigeria declares a State of Emergency after seven cases of Ebola are confirmed in the country after a man arriving from Liberia fell sick. Two of the confirmed cases die while several people who have come into contact with the man are under surveillance.
Writebol, the second American who contracted Ebola while working with a missionary group in Liberia, is airlifted to Emory hospital in Atlanta for treatment. The aid worker, 59, is the second American to be flown into the US for treatment. David Writebol:
The World Bank pledges $200m in emergency aid to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra-Leone, in a bid to counter further spread of the deadly virus. Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, says that he is ” deeply saddened” by the progress of the epidemic thus far. The funds will be used to undertake numerous relief activities including providing medical supplies, paying staff and driving a campaign that will contain the epidemic.Yong Kim:
I have been monitoring (Ebola’s) deadly impact around the clock and I’m deeply saddened at how it has ravaged health workers, families and communities, disrupted normal life and has led to a breakdown of already weak health systems in the three countries.
The CDC is now concerned about the risk of Ebola spreading beyond Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Dr. Skinner, an infectious disease specialist from the organization, says that travelers could unknowingly transfer the deadly virus beyond more international borders. Dr. Rob Dretler, CDC:
We know what to do and can completely isolate them but someone coming home who doesn’t know they are sick and is here a few days and gets sick, that’s the risk.
Researchers consider using blood transfusions from Ebola survivors to pass antibodies into infected people, as no vaccines or drugs are approved yet. Dr. Peter Piot, director of London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and co-discoverer of the virus:
This is something that’s fairly simple to do
WHO’s network of international blood regulators says there are thousands of survivors from past Ebola outbreaks in Africa. It says it has identified several patients as possible donors and the first batch of blood from survivors could be available later in the year, but adds:
[The] logistics of blood collection are an issue
Blood from donors must also be screened for other illnesses such as HIV and malaria before it can be used.
Khan dies after contracting Ebola. Chief medical officer Dr Brima Kargbo:
It is a big and irreparable loss to Sierra Leone as he was the only specialist the country had in viral haemorrhagic fevers.
Doctors without Borders:
His work and dedication have been greatly appreciated by the medical community in Sierra Leone for many years. He will be remembered and missed by many, especially by the doctors and nurses that worked with him. MSF’s sincere thoughts and condolences are with Dr. Khan’s family, friends and colleagues.
Sierra Leone declares a 4-day lockdown from the 18th to the 21st of September 2014. This is in a bid to tackle the Ebola outbreak in the country. The aim of the move is to allow health care workers to isolate new cases and prevent the disease from spreading further. Health workers will be given vaccines in November, after safety checks have been completed.
Patient Zero, a two-year-old boy dies a few days after falling ill in a village in Guéckédou, a village in southeastern Guinea that borders Sierra Leone and Liberia. A week later, the virus kils the boy’s mother, then his three-year-old sister, then his grandmother. All have symptoms of the virus, including fever, vomiting and diarrhea, but at the time, no one knew what had made them ill. Two mourners at the grandmother’s funeral take the virus home to their village. A health worker carries it to another village, where he dies, as does his doctor. They both infect relatives from other towns. WHO releases the chart of infection in August 2014.
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