Ebola

Ebola466 posts

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.

31 Oct, 2014

Military to train more response teams

The Department of Defense is expecting a request from the Department of Health and Human Services for more rapid response personnel similar to the first military team, which completed training at Fort Sam Houston this week. The first team is made up of Army, Navy and Air Force personnel, including 20 critical care and inpatient nurses, five physicians and five infection control specialists who would instruct civilian health care workers in infectious disease protocols. At least one team member has experience treating Ebola patients.

Judge rejects quarantine

District Court Chief Judge Charles LaVerdiere rejects Hickox’s quarantine order but orders her to submit to “direct active monitoring,” coordinate travel with public health officials and immediately notify health authorities should symptoms appear. Hickox tells reporters the decision is a “good compromise” and that she would continue to comply with direct active monitoring.

I know that Ebola is a scary disease.  have seen it face-to-face. I know we are nowhere near winning this battle. We’ll only win this battle as we continue this discussion, as we gain a better collective understanding about Ebola and public health, as we overcome the fear and, most importantly, as we end the outbreak that is still ongoing in West Africa today.

LaVerdiere praises Hickox for lending her skills “generously, kindly and with compassion” to “aid, comfort and care” for Ebola patients.

We owe her and all professionals who give of themselves in this way a debt of gratitude.

MSF: Death toll may be much higher

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres says the death toll in Sierra Leone may be much higher than the WHO’s revised total of 4,951 from 13,567 reported cases. MSF coordinator:

The situation is catastrophic. There are several villages and communities that have been basically wiped out. In one of the villages I went to, there were 40 inhabitants and 39 died. The WHO says there is a correction factor of 2.5, so maybe it is 2.5 times higher and maybe that is not far from the truth. It could be 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000.

Interview

Interview

Hickox gives an interview to media after the state judge rules that she won’t have to stay in quarantine. She says she will comply with the court’s recommendations including direct monitoring.

I’m very satisfied…It’s just a good day.

Nurse Upbeat As Ebola Quarantine Rejected

Quarantine rule ‘absolutely ridiculous’

Somerset County volunteer Steve Butwell, who is planning to return to Liberia to resume running the medical clinic he and his founded in the remote Po River area, says the New Jersey quarantine rule that Hickox was isolated under hasn’t been formulated by medical scientists. Butwell:

It’s absolutely ridiculous. You can’t quarantine someone without explaining the process. You don’t want to downplay the need to keep people safe but it sounded like things were being made up on the fly. Let the experts in infectious diseases set the standards. I don’t want just people in general leadership roles making the calls.

Funds vaccine to counter airborne exposure

The Pentagon provides a $9.5 million funding grant to the Profectus BioSciences to manufacture trivalent VesiculoVax™-vectored vaccine. Statement:

The lyophilized trivalent vaccine is being tested in both pre-exposure and post-exposure studies to confirm protection of non-human primates from aerosol exposure to Ebola and Marburg viruses.

Roommate in Africa had virus

A document released by the state of Maine indicates Hickox’s roommate had Ebola:

The respondent’s roommate in Africa became infected without knowing how she became infected with Ebola. (Any potential risk to respondent from that incident has passed)

1 Nov, 2014

Report: Worst case scenario 130 U.S. infections

Medical researchers provide Associated Press with a range of predictions for the eventual number of U.S. cases, ranging from one or two additional infections by end-2014, to as many as 130 cases. Stanford University infections disease professor:

I don’t think there’s going to be a huge outbreak here, no. However, as best we can tell right now, it is quite possible that every major city will see at least a handful of cases.

Condition upgraded

Officials say Spencer’s condition has been upgraded from “serious but stable” to “stable”. Authorities have said Spencer was awake, communicating and undergoing plasma and antiviral therapies, treatments that have been used to treat Ebola patients at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and at the Nebraska Medical Center.

Africa tourism falls

Tourism operators in Africa’s east, north, and south are reporting big drops in business due to the virus. Hotels in Tanzania have reported a 30% drop in business and 2015 bookings are down 50%, while a South African tourism industry council says 55% of tourism-dependent businesses have suffered a negative impact. Cook Travel in north Africa says tourists have canceled trips to Egypt and Morocco, and Morocco has asked to put off the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament it is scheduled to host in early 2015. A World Bank report says sub-Saharan Africa had a record 33.8 million tourists in 2012. The World Tourism Organization says Africa tourism rose 6% last year and was expected to increase 4%-6% this year, but that’s now unlikely to happen. One extended family from Long Island paid a $20,500 fee to reschedule a $197,000 safari holiday from July 2015 until 2016. Employee at Cook Travel in New York:

People are being a little bit unreasonable—they’re treating Ebola like the modern version of the plague

Canada suspends visas

Canada becomes the second developed nation after Australia to close off immigration channels to people from the three Ebola-affected west African countries. Work on permanent-resident applications is also suspended. An immigration ministry spokesman says the measures are different from Australia’s.

We have instituted a pause, but there is room for discretion if we can be assured that someone is not infected with Ebola.

2 Nov, 2014

Indonesian patient improves

The 46-year-old domestic worker, identified as GN, is still in isolation but is improving. He is one of 28 domestic workers who returned from Liberia Oct. 26. A blood sample has been sent to the health ministry for testing. Health ministry:

On Saturday morning, the patient’s body temperature was 37.3 degrees Celsius and he reported to be no longer suffering swallowing pain. His condition is improving

Indonesian worker hospitalized

A domestic worker in Indonesia, the world’s fourth-biggest country by population, is hospitalized after returning from Liberia. The unidentified worker is placed under a 21-day quarantine at the Madiun hospital in East Java province, on the archipelago country’s main Java island. The worker’s name isn’t released yet. Around 6.5 million Indonesians work in domestic service in other countries, mostly in Asia. This is the first suspected case in the country, which has strong economic growth but a relatively underdeveloped medical system.

UN worker treated in France

France is treating a UN employee who contracted the virus in Sierra Leone. Health ministry statement:

This person, who worked in Sierra Leone in the fight against Ebola, has undergone a secure medical evacuation by specialised aircraft

The person is in isolation under high security in an army training hospital in Saint-Mande near Paris.

Exponential phase may be over

WHO officials tell BBC Health that they are relatively optimistic new cases may level off to around 1,000 a week, indicating the exponential growth phase may be over. WHO official:

Things clearly have changed with respect to the trajectory of the epidemic. What we’ve seen is, very clearly, a slowing down in the some of the affected areas in the three countries.

3 Nov, 2014

London patient negative

A woman with a haemorrhagic fever at St. George’s hospital in Tooting has tested negative for the virus. She had travel connections with west Africa and was isolated away from the A&E while samples were tested at the Government laboratory at Porton Down in Wiltshire. Spokesman:

The outcome of the Ebola test result is negative. We can confirm that the patient will remain at St George’s Hospital. All appropriate actions have been taken by our staff to protect the public and the patient

4 Nov, 2014

Hampers treatment of other illnesses

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

Imprisons journalist

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.

Thousands break quarantine

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.

Search for blood-prick test

Researchers are looking for a faster way to test for the virus, especially for field use in west Africa. Chief executive of Genalyte, a San Diego-based company that makes pinprick tests:

There’s a great deal of interest in a technology that can screen large numbers of people from a finger prick in only a few minutes.

CEO at BioFire Defense, based in Salt Lake City, which has got clearance from the WHO for a one-hour test that is sent to a laboratory:

It would have taken years to get this product approved through the traditional process

6 Nov, 2014

No regrets, would treat Ebola patients

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.

10 Nov, 2014

Released

NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation announce Spencer is free of the virus. This means there are not current cases of Ebola in the United States.

Dr. Spencer poses no public health risk and will be discharged from the hospital tomorrow, Tuesday, November 11th.

12 Nov, 2014

Family and hospital reach settlement

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.

15 Nov, 2014

Returns to US for treatment

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 drug trials to start next month

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.

16 Nov, 2014

Arrives in the United States

Salia arrives in the United States to begin treatment for Ebola at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medical Center:

This is an hour-by-hour situation. He is extremely ill. We have multiple highly-trained specialists who are experts in their fields targeting his most serious medical issues.

Band Aid song to benefit Ebola

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.

17 Nov, 2014

Martin Salia dies from Ebola

Death

Salia dies at Nebraska Medical Center while being treated for Ebola. Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the hospital’s biocontainment unit:

It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share this news. Dr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren’t able to save him.

Single sales ‘extraorinary’

Geldof calls sales of Band Aid’s new version of Do They Know It’s Christmas?, released to raise money for Ebola, ‘extraordinary’ in an interview on Radio 4’s Today program.

From what we’ve seen from iTunes it’s gone bonkers. Within four or five minutes we had a million quid.

Stop calling me ‘the Ebola nurse’

In an op-ed in The Guardian, Hickox says:

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.

19 Nov, 2014

Gets new ring

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.

Vinson:

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.

Survivor quarantined over semen

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.

Temporary protected status for west Africans

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.

21 Nov, 2014

DRC is Ebola-free

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.

27 Nov, 2014

Vaccine results positive in first human trial

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.

Opens Ebola fashion pop-up

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.

30 Nov, 2014

Outbreak surpasses 16,000

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.

10 Dec, 2014

Ebola fighters named 2014 Person of The Year

Time names 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.

12 Dec, 2014

Cancels Christmas

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.

18 Dec, 2014

Fire destroys medicine

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.

11th Sierra Leone doctor dies

Death

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.

19 Dec, 2014

Child quarantined in Chicago

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.

20 Dec, 2014

Child tests negative

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.

24 Dec, 2014

CDC reports potential exposure

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

Emergency approval for testing kit

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.

29 Dec, 2014

First Ebola case in Scotland

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.

4 Jan, 2015

Health worker evaluated

Hospital

An American health worker, possibly exposed to Ebola in Sierra Leone, enters the University of Nebraska Medical Center for evaluation and testing. Taylor Wilson, hospital spokesman:

There will be 21 days of monitoring and if the disease does develop, obviously treatment would begin pretty quickly.

17 Feb, 2015

Troops isolated

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,

21 Feb, 2015

Liberia exposure

Illness

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.

23 Feb, 2015

Promising Ebola drug

Illness

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.

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