Friday, August 15, 2014

Ebola Watch -August 15 , 2014 --- Ebola Outbreak "Moving Faster" Than Reported Cases Suggest, WHO Warns May Be Far Worse ...... Items of note from the frontlines in Africa ....


The story of experimental drug and involvement of the and is at times conflicting. Read here:

FIVE SUSPECTED EBOLA VICTIMS FOUND IN ALBANIA: Newsweek is reporting that five immigrants out o...

Liberia's President Sirleaf accuses patient Dr Sawyer of irresponsibility after travelling to Nigeria against advice

Ebola Cases Surge At Record Pace As Death Toll Hits 1,145

Tyler Durden's picture

Is it any wonder that both the WHO and Doctors Without Borders appear in full panic mode, explaining that the outbreak is "moving faster" than they can manage it? As WHO reports, the death toll in West Africa has jumped to 1,145 (2,127 infections) with 76 new deaths in the last 2 days and a record-breaking pace of reported new cases (152 in the last 2 days).


Ebola Outbreak "Moving Faster" Than Reported Cases Suggest, WHO Warns May Be Far Worse

Tyler Durden's picture

The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa continues to escalate, with 1975 cases and 1069 deaths reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, according to the WHO, but warns that "there is evidence that the number of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak." While Nigeria remains 'contained' for now, Ireland now has its first suspected case of Ebola according to The Journal. What is perhaps most concerning is Doctors Without Borders warn the ebola outbreak is "moving faster" than they can handle.

Elsewhere, the outbreak is expected to continue for some time. WHO’s operational response plan extends over the next several months. Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.
As The Journal reports,
THE HSE HAS said today that it has not been notified of any official suspected case of Ebola in a Dublin hospital – but that it could not rule out that the virus was being looked at earlier this morning as one of several possibilities for a patient being treated there. has confirmed with hospital sources this morning that a patient who had recently travelled abroad was being investigated as having a suspected virus. He is suffering from flu-like symptoms and consultants had been looking at Ebola as one of the possibilities.
As Bloomberg notes,
aid groups such as Doctors Without Borders, with almost 700 workers in the affected region, have criticized the WHO and governments including the U.S. for failing to recognize the devastation being caused since January by the spread of the deadly virus. It’s the first time Ebola has appeared in West Africa.
Interestingly Fujifilm says it has over 20,000 doses of potential Ebola vaccine...
Co. produced drug when it filed data to seek approval to treat flu in Japan, spokesman Takao Aoki says by telephone today.

Co. has capability to mass-produce drug at factory in Toyama prefecture in Japan: Fujifilm

Co. told World Health Organization it can supply drug if requested: Fujifilm
*  *  *
Bloomberg Roundup:
• Latest WHO death toll: 1,069
• Liberia minister warns of price hikes on medicated soap, chlorine, chloride
• Ireland may have first suspected Ebola case, reports
• NOTE: Irish Independent says no confirmed case seen
• Spread in West Africa worse than cases suggest, WHO says
• Athletes from Ebola-affected regions banned from some Youth Olympic events
• Togo PM denies religious leaders’ claims of Ebola in country
• African air links at risk as virus ravages region
• Ebola stigma increases survivors’ burden in long recovery effort

Ebola outbreak takes toll on Nigerians

By Onche Odeh, Emmanuel Udom, Abel Orukpe (Lagos), Daniel Abia, (P/Harcourt), Anolu Vincent (Owerri)
The outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Nigeria may have brought more financial burden on residents of the country, as individuals, families and institutions have added products that could reduce chances of contracting the disease to their must-have lists.
This is most evident in Lagos, where residents now live in fear and suspicion of each other, especially as news filtered into town that family members that may have had contact with those with confirmed cases have gone into hiding to avoid being quarantined.
The fear is heightened by the government’s decision to conceal the identities of those affected as a way of avoiding stigmatisation.
In the city, considered Sub-Sahara Africa’s largest in terms of population, families now have extra volumes of liquid disinfectants, as the shelves of shops temporarily ran out on santisers in the past week. Most of them have restocked, but twice as much.
Sunday Independent’s findings revealed that banks, eateries, hotels, traders, transporters, markets, pharmacists, and others have added disinfectants like hand sanitisers, liquid soaps, plastic hand gloves and other sanitary products to their budget lines.
At the Pen Cinema branch of Zenith Bank of Nigeria Plc, most of the staff at the banking hall were seen wearing hand gloves and face masks as they attended to customers.
Some of the female bank worker, who spoke with our correspondent showed off hand sanitisers, which they purchased with personal incomes.
A 50 ml of pocket size hand sanitiser that lasts an individual not more than seven days costs N250.
The bug is also catching up on eateries.
Quality Controller of Tastee Fried Chicken, Agege, Lagos, Tope Oyegun, said the immediately the outbreak of the deadly virus was reported in the media, hand sanitisers were purchased by the hospitality outfit for the workers, while disinfectants like Dettol were placed at all the restrooms for the customers.
Meanwhile, Bitter kola has become a hot sell across the country.
This is sequel to media reports that a Nigerian scientist, Professor Maurice Iwu, who headed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as chairman, had proven that Bitter Kola possess the ability to cure Ebola.
At the popular Katangowa Market, the prices of bitter kola have gone up by as much as 100 per cent.
A piece of bitter kola, which used to go for N10, was selling for between N20 to N30 by some Hausa traders stationed at Old Ota road.
Meanwhile, bush meat sellers along the River-Akwa Ibom threshold are far from bothered by the news of Ebola outbreak in Nigeria.
Mrs. Maria Sunny, a bush meat seller at the boundary the two states said though who spoke with our correspondent sounded unperturbed by the stories, saying, “I have not seen anybody that has been identified with the virus. Any day they are able to identify the disease here then I will stop to sell bush meat”.
When Sunday Independent visited the a bush meat joint in Port Harcourt as early as 8 am, a number of people were found eating delicacies made of various bush meats.
In view of the danger posed by the Ebola virus, the Rivers State government has assured residents of safety.
Commissioner of Health, Samson Parker, who gave the assurance in a statement, said that government has set up surveillance unit to keep tap of any case relating to the virus.
He said, “The state is leveraging on its experience in tackling Lassa fever”.
In Imo, the Ebola scare has become a nightmare to residents.
Food vendors in the state have reportedly reduced, by significant measure, their patronage of butchers.
Visits by Sunday Independent to most eateries within Owerri and its environs revealed that veterinary doctors now enjoy stronger patronage by those who are into animal husbandry business while poultry farmers, public and private schools in the state have also banned food vendors from operating within the school premises for fear of exposing innocent kids to the virus.

Ebola : Experimental drug developed by Nigerian scientist arrives Nigeria Today   An experimental drug developed by a Nigerian in diaspora for the treatment of Ebola is expected to arrive the country today, the Minister for Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said. The drug, called “Nanosilver”, has been approved for use by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an experimental treatment ethical in the case of the Ebola epidemic. The Federal Govt yesterday approved the use of experimental drugs in the treatment of the deadly virus.   Ebola: Nurse, husband who escaped quarantine relocated to Lagos in special ambulance – Minister   Nigerian Minister for Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu has confirmed that the Lagos nurse who travelled to Enugu against medical advice is now back in Lagos and is under quarantine with her husband. The suspect, identified as a nurse, said to have travelled to her home town to visit her family, is now under surveillance with 20 others she came into contact with in the city. With the development, the total number of Nigerians under monitoring for the dreaded virus is now 198. Revealing these facts yesterday after the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, Information Minister, Labaran Maku, explained that Nigeria currently has 10 confirmed cases of Ebola, all stemming from the visit of the late Sawyer. Maku explained that of the 198 persons under surveillance, 177 of them are in Lagos while 21 are in Enugu. He said: “All those who had primary contact have been quarantined. Secondary contacts have also been traced. So far, the number of people that have been traced is 198. “Of this number, 177 are in Lagos and are being traced. Some are in quarantine, some are being monitored by health specialists.” Meanwhile, the death toll world wide from the outbreak stands at 1,069 and total number of infections 1,975, according to the World Health Organisation.   Ebola: Nigeria turns back corpse flown in from Egypt   Aviation Authorities, Wednesday night, turned back a corpse flown into the country from Egypt at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport. Airport officials disallowed the family of the deceased from collecting the body flown in aboard Egypt Air at about 11.30 pm. Airport sources revealed that the stand by Nigerian officials was in compliance with the Federal Government directives that banned the transportation of corpses within and outside the country – a move to check the spread of Ebola Virus Disease. The source explained that “though Egypt is not among the countries with the Ebola outbreak, it is better to take precautionary measures by not entertaining any exception in the movement of corpses in the country.” The source revealed that the corpse is that of a Nigerian who had gone to the Pharaoh’s country for medical treatment.” “We plead with the family members who had turned up at the Airport to received his corpse to bear with us in the face of a big national question that requires the understanding of citizens to surmount”, the source explained. When contacted, Avaition Skokesman, Alhaji Yakubu Datti, decline to comment on the issue but asked journalists to seek confirmation from the Federal Ministry of Health. Datti Said; ” the airport is run by a combination of official drawn from strategic ministries and since your enquiry bothers on health, I would advise you cross check your facts from Federal Ministry of Health”. Ebola Scare In Kwara: Govt closes down private hospital in Ilorin Kwara state government Friday announced the immediate closure of a private hospital in Ilorin over a suspected Ebola Virus contaminations even as the government urged residents in the state not to panic noting that though the case was a global case, but that Kwara state is safe. The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Public Health,Professor Sunday Popoola,in company of his counterpart from the Secondary Health,Dr Ibrahim Gambari said this at a press conference in the government house, Ilorin.Professor Popoola told journalists that a seven month old baby girl brought to a private hospital in Ilorin was suspected to have the Ebola virus adding that the victim has been isolated and quarantined in Sobi Specialist hospital. He explained that the suspected baby girl came into the state with her mother as visitors from Ibadan Oyo state, adding that upon their entry into the state in August the child was taken to the private hospital on malaria case .He however expressed shock that after the baby had spent 3 days on admission there was no sign of improvement hence the doctor reported the case to the ministry for prompt action. Professor Popoola noted that after close examination the patient vomit was discovered to have traces of blood in it, which was taken and sent to Lagos for laboratory examination.He said “if not of the situation on ground, malaria, cholera and other cases in babies can come with such symptoms like that of Ebola virus. “We have ordered the concerned private hospital closed and kept it on a very strict surveillance.”Popoola explained that the state government can not take chances hence the reason the hospital was closed down and surveillance was put in place to prevent any possible spread. He however disclosed that the state government has already ordered the purchase of Ebola test machine form Abuja and it is to be installed at the Kwara Diagnostic centre .He noted that the state has created three Isolation centres one in Sobi Specialist Hospital, Omu-Aran general hospial and the general hospital Okuta on the boarder town of the state . Lagos Ebola patients neglected, critically ill, dying – Relatives, colleagues From the families and colleagues of doctors and medical officials quarantined in Lagos after contracting the Ebola virus came yesterday a distress call -  they are dying. According to them, the  patients are being treated by doctors, who are inexperienced in the treatment of Ebola. The relations, at a news conference in Lagos, urged the government to seek international help. But Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu said in Abuja that Nigeria would get today a drug  to treat the patients. Giving an update on the Ebola situation in Nigeria, Chukwu said there was a new case – one of the doctors who treated the late Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer. An infected  nurse also died yesterday, bringing to four the number of people who have died so far from the Ebola virus. The minister, who confirmed the death in a statement last night, said there were 10 confirmed cases of the virus. A retired pathologist, Dr. Hellen Boyo Ekwueme, said the situation of the patients had become so critical that something urgent needed to be done. “The seven people that have been quarantined are now helpless. We are not happy about the way they are being treated. The government is overwhelmed though we are not here to lay blames on anybody. We do not know what to do.  We need help. The U.S. should also show some kind of responsibility because Sawyer who brought the surge to the country, was their citizen,” she said. One of the patients’ relatives, Mr. Deji Akinyanju, noted that the victims were being neglected and their chance of recovery was faint given the inadequate facilities. He urged Nigerians to help in seeking foreign support for the patients. “We should see this as a collective cause. Anybody can be a victim. We want Nigerians to show concern for these patients by seeking aid on their behalf. We do not want to lose them but their condition is very critical,” he said. When asked to precisely state the condition of the patients, the group advised reporters to visit the hospital and see things for themselves. Some reporters, however, said they were being restricted by the hospital’s security guards from seeing the patients.

Ebola Outbreak: Guinea Declares Emergency

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Guinea has a declared a national health emergency as it battles to curb the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
This meant tighter border controls, the immediate isolation of anyone suspected to have Ebola and a ban on moving bodies from one town to another, state radio reported.
Ebola has killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa amid fears that it could spread to East Africa.
This is the deadliest outbreak since the disease was discovered in 1976.
There is no cure for Ebola, but the first consignment of the experimental drug, ZMapp, has arrived in Liberia from the US, reports the BBC’s Jonathan Paye-Layleh from the capital, Monrovia.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) approved giving patients untested drugs.
Ebola’s initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external haemorrhaging from areas such as eyes and gums, and internal bleeding which can lead to organ failure. Patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.
The outbreak began in Guinea in February and has killed 377 people in the country.
It has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, which have all declared a national health emergency, claiming a total of 1,069 lives by Wednesday, according to WHO.

President Goodluck Jonathan has sacked all resident doctors in all federal government hospitals across the nation. A statement from the Federal Ministry of Health said the action was taken to enable government appraise the challenges in the health sector in a bid to fight the Ebola scourge. Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, directed that letters of termination of residency training be issued to all affected resident doctors in hospitals immediately. The Nigerian Medical Association in June instructed its members to go on strike despite the Federal Government’s successive intervention...

Published By: Daily Times - Today