Saturday, August 30, 2014

Myanmar Ebola suspects’ blood samples sent to lab in India

Ebola suspects’ blood samples sent to lab in India

Passengers being tested for Ebola at a ferry dock in Maungdaw, the entrance gate between Myanmar and Bangladesh, seen on the last week of August (Photo - Win Maung/EMG)
Blood samples taken from a Myanmar man suspected of possibly having Ebola – and four others said to have had contact with him – were sent to a laboratory in Pune, in India, on Friday, the Health Ministry has said.
Ministry officials said blood samples from patient Zin Min Oo and four people who allegedly had contact with him were sent in accordance with International Air Transport Association standards for bio-safety, after initial difficulties in doing this were overcome.
The laboratory in India is recognized by the World Health Organisation. The samples may be forwarded to the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, in the US, and labs in Hamburg in Germany, they said.
Zin Min Oo recently returned from West Africa, which has been hit hard by a deadly Ebola outbreak, with a fever. He was initially feared he may have Ebola, and he was put in a unit in Weibergi Hospital.
But doctors have said he has recovered from the fever and they have found no symptoms of the deadly disease – on him, or the four who had contact with him.

40,000 people of the South-south region defied the ebola virus disease (EVD) scare in Port Harcourt to show their support for the president

40,000 people of the South-south region defied the ebola virus disease (EVD) scare in Port Harcourt to show their support for the president and also present 4,150,000 signatures urging Jonathan to seek a second term..
GATINEAU, Que. – A girl has been put in isolation at a hospital in Gatineau, Que., as a precautionary measure and is being tested for Ebola after coming down with a fever following a recent trip to West Africa.
Karelle Kennedy, a spokeswoman for Outaouais region public health, says a blood test was sent to a laboratory Friday afternoon and that the results should be back Saturday.
She says the child was not in contact with health groups or an infected person in Africa and that health officials strongly believe that the test will be negative..

Lagos-Ebola: LASG warns residents against open defecation

In a bid to check the spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), the Lagos State Government on Saturday warned residents against urinating and defecating in drains, dumpsites and empty areas.
Mr Tunji Bello, the Commissioner for the Environment gave the warning on Saturday when he led some state officials to monitor the monthly sanitation exercise across the state.
He said open urination and defecation could further spread of the virus.
People can contract the virus through  urine and faeces. Residents should keep their environment clean and take the other preventive measures to reduce the risk of being infected.
“ Now Ebola is a serious health issue in the country and there are things our people need to do and should not do to help contain the spread of the disease.
“Residents must stop defecating or urinating in public. This should stop because if somebody is infected and he goes out to urinate in open places that is just the easiest way to spread it,’’ Bello told newsmen.
“If we are able to stop the unhygienic habits and do the right thing, then we are on course in the fight against the disease.’’
On indiscriminate dumping of waste by residents, Bello warned them to desist from such practices, saying it is a major cause of flooding and other environmental problems in the state.
He condemned dumping of refuse in unauthorised places in Isolo area of the metropolis and said that the government would fence off some affected locations as part of efforts to discourage such habits.
Bello said some residents, who had erected structures on flood-prone areas had been notified to remove such structures immediately for public safety.
On the monthly sanitation, the commissioner
urged the people to participate actively in the exercise.
“Participating in the exercise regularly should be a duty of all.
“We see people playing football and doing some things during the exercise. We have cautioned them.
“Some would listen, some would not. But those who would not comply the law enforcement agents will take care of them,’’ he said.

Nearly 60 wounded in Guinea Ebola riots, local government says

Nearly 60 wounded in Guinea Ebola riots, local government says

At least 55 hurt after clashes between protesters and security forces in Guinea's second-largest city - at the epicentre of West African Ebola outbreak

Health workers take off their protective suits as they finish their shifts at the Pita hospital
Health workers take off their protective suits as they finish their shifts at the Pita hospital in Guinea Photo: AFP
Clashes between protesters and security forces in a Guinean city at the epicentre of the West African Ebola outbreak have left at least 55 wounded, the local government said on Saturday.
A curfew was imposed in N'Zerekore, Guinea's second-largest city, after two days of protests Thursday and Friday by market stall holders against a team of health workers sent, without notice, to spray their market with disinfectant.
Regional governor Lancei Conde said at least 27 law enforcement officers forces were among the wounded.
"In N'zerekore and elsewhere, there are two camps - those who believe in the existence of Ebola and those who think that the epidemic is imported. Investigations are ongoing," he said.
City prefect Aboubacar M'bop Camara said protesters had "attacked the regional hospital's ambulance, UNICEF vehicles, the vehicle of the cardiologist at the regional hospital (and) the car of a private individual"...

Quarantine for Ebola Lifted in Liberia Slum

MONROVIA, Liberia — Liberia’s government announced Friday night that it would lift an Ebola quarantine on a large slum here in the capital, 10 days after attempts to cordon off the neighborhood from the rest of the city sparked deadly clashes and fueled doubts about President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s ability to handle the outbreak.
Residents of the neighborhood, West Point, will be free to move in and out starting Saturday at 6 a.m., said Lewis Brown, the minister of information. The army, which had pressed for the quarantine and took the lead in enforcing it in the first two days, will be removed from West Point, leaving only the police, Mr. Brown said.
A nationwide curfew, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., will remain in place, he said.
“This was a tool intended to help the community to help themselves and get the help they desperately need,” Mr. Brown said in a telephone interview. “We’re pleased with the way that the community has owned up to this.”
Ms. Johnson Sirleaf ordered the quarantine on Aug. 20, rejecting the advice of international Ebola experts and her own health officials who argued that such a large-scale quarantine, especially one led by the military, would be unmanageable and could exacerbate the spread of the disease. The quarantine immediately led to running battles between residents and the security forces; Shakie Kamara, a 15-year-old boy caught in the violence, died after suffering bullet wounds to both legs.
During the quarantine, many residents have sneaked out of West Point by paying bribes to soldiers and police officers. Prices of food and basic goods have doubled, causing living conditions in the slum to degrade further.
As state radio announced the news of the lifting of the quarantine Friday night, hundreds of residents in West Point gathered on its main road to celebrate, according to residents contacted by phone. Soldiers could no longer be seen at checkpoints, and only a light police presence remained, residents said.
“The road is jam-packed,” said Abubakar Bah, who manages a drug dispensary near the main entrance. “Everybody is very happy. Most people here still don’t believe there is Ebola in West Point. They’re saying that the government came and didn’t find Ebola, and so that’s why they’re leaving.”

Rapidly Mutating Ebola Renders Diagnostic Tests Inaccurate – AKA: You May Have a New Strain of Ebola and Test Negative

An international team of scientists — some of whom succumbed to the virus during the course of their research — has sequenced 99 Ebola virus genomes from 78 patients in Sierra Leone, creating a valuable trove of genetic data for scientists and health care workers struggling to bring the growing outbreak under control.

“We were able to sequence and analyze our samples with about a 10-day turnaround. This is unprecedented, as earlier studies have usually taken many months with much smaller datasets,” says Daniel J. Park, a co-author and computational biologist at the Broad Institute, in an email interview with Mashable.

The research, which used an advanced genetic analysis technique known as deep sequencing, reveals that the disease is rapidly accumulating mutations as it spreads.

The team found 395 genetic changes, including 341 that make this outbreak distinct from the viral genomes tied to previous Ebola outbreaks, and 50 that are unique to the West African outbreak more broadly.

Of particular interest are mutations that alter protein sequences, since they could potentially change the accuracy of diagnostic tests for the virus as well as vaccines and therapies. 

It is unclear if these mutations are related to the severity of the current outbreak, but further genetic analysis could determine this.
For starters, the data show that the virus is rapidly accumulating new mutations as it spreads through people. “We’ve found over 250 mutations that are changing in real time as we’re watching,” Sabeti says.

While moving through the human population in West Africa, she says, the virus has been collecting mutations about twice as quickly as it did while circulating among animals in the past decade or so.

“The more time you give a virus to mutate and the more human-to-human transmission you see,” she says, “the more opportunities you give it to fall upon some [mutation] that could make it more easily transmissible or more pathogenic.”

Sabeti says she doesn’t know if that’s happening yet. But the rapid change in the virus’ genome could weaken the tools researchers have to detect Ebola or, potentially, to treat patients.

Diagnostic tests, experimental vaccines and drugs for Ebola — like the one recently used to treat two American patients — are all based on the gene sequences of the virus, Sabeti says. “If the virus is mutating away from the known sequence, that could be important to how these things work.”


The Dandelion Effect

It just don't look good, boys and girls..
40% more cases in just 3 weeks is a big ole red flag. Mutations at a blinding speed. Dire warnings from the WHO, CDC,MSF or the latest talking health official, and I see them at a panic too. Experimental drugs that aren't tested..Magic serums and new vaccines...6 to 9 months just to get a grip on the situation? Cases 'could exceed 20,000' as outbreak expands, warns WHO..
What will the next 3 weeks bring? I for one am  not going along with the projected numbers and will guess that we have 17,000 cases already. You can't or won't prove different.
More than a million in quarantine on the Guinea/lib/SL border triangle.
Up to 75,000 inWestPoint... now lifted
30 to 40,000 in Dolo town
quarantines in DRC, Nigeria,Senegal..
What about Mali, Guinea Bissau, Ivory coast..??

Lifting travel bans and constantly telling us how bad it will get, is talking out both sides of your mouth..
 "Travel restrictions and active screening of passengers on arrival at sea ports, airports or ground crossings in non-affected countries that do not share borders with affected countries are not currently recommended by WHO.".
How can you tell us this when we see infected people sneaking across borders everyday and spreading this stuff?
 Are you more completely worried about economics than human lives? The answer to that is obvious..

 "It is important to note that a person who is infected is only able to spread the virus to others after the infected person has started to have symptoms.." This little lie is becoming very irritating.
I have read about too many false positives, false negatives, no testing done or INSTANT test results to go on believing anything you say.

WHEN are you really going to tell us how many cases and deaths there are? If you had 500 new cases last week, and cases are doubling every 30 days...the more that get it, the more chances for mutation, the more cases are transported to other areas and countries, yet you say there is no need for travel restrictions?

..and about that side of the mouth talk, why does the CDC tell us to not worry, "we can handle it", when you can't handle contaminated infectious diseases in your own damn labs? "anthrax and bird flu" WHY the HELL would you let an exposed CDC worker return to the states with no restrictions on travel?
This does not instill confidence at all..more like mistrust.Maybe he is a vaccine test patient? hmmm

 Ya'll are way behind the game on this outbreak and I have been watching it since December. Now you are all about trying to do something, which mainly consist of covering your asses and hiding cases or downplaying any risk to travelers on airlines.

Get the military involved with logistics, a million people are about to riot down there.
 Get air carriers to put up one plane from each for supply transport."BA, Delta,Gambia Bird,ect"
Keep all vaccine test subjects in one area only..just in case it gets funny.
 Get Du pont,Clorox, Rubbermaid and some mobile crematorium manufactuers on the phone NOW.
You aren't going to bury 20,000 ebola victims..and at the new rate of infections, that will be WAY before your happy dreams of a 6 to 9 month containment.
 Making Ghana a distribution center is one good idea out of very few recent developments.

The winds are blowing fast,cold and flu season is on the way and ebola symptoms start out the same as a flu.. how many tests to you have ready for America, Mr President.. you have been very silent on this outbreak.. wait till you have a few million people looking for food and answers as to why ebola continues to go unchecked into this country.

PICKUP THE PACE, before  this dandelion has but one solution

Joint Statement on Travel and Transport in Relation to Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Outbreak

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Joint Statement on Travel and Transport in Relation to Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Outbreak

The current Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak is believed to have begun in Guinea in December 2013. This outbreak now involves community transmission in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and recently an ill traveller from Liberia infected a small number of people in Nigeria with whom he had direct contact.
On 8 August 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005).
In order to support the global efforts to contain the spread of the disease and provide a coordinated international response for the travel and tourism sector, the heads of the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Airports Council International (ACI), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) decided to activate a Travel and Transport Task Force which will monitor the situation and provide timely information to the travel and tourism sector as well as to travellers.
The risk of transmission of Ebola virus disease during air travel is low. Unlike infections such as influenza or tuberculosis, Ebola is not spread by breathing air (and the airborne particles it contains) from an infected person. Transmission requires direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals, all unlikely exposures for the average traveller. Travellers are, in any event, advised to avoid all such contacts and routinely practice careful hygiene, like hand washing.
The risk of getting infected on an aircraft is also small as sick persons usually feel so unwell that they cannot travel and infection requires direct contact with the body fluids of the infected person.
Most infections in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, are taking place in the community when family members or friends take care of someone who is ill or when funeral preparation and burial ceremonies do not follow strict infection prevention and control measures.
A second important place where transmission can occur is in clinics and other health care settings, when health care workers, patients, and other persons have unprotected contact with a person who is infected. In Nigeria, cases are related only to persons who had direct contact with a single traveller who was hospitalized upon arrival in Lagos.
It is important to note that a person who is infected is only able to spread the virus to others after the infected person has started to have symptoms. A person usually has no symptoms for two to 21 days (the “incubation period”). Symptoms include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, and in some cases, bleeding.
The risk of a traveller becoming infected with the Ebola virus during a visit to the affected countries and developing disease after returning is very low, even if the visit includes travel to areas in which cases have been reported.
If a person, including a traveller, stayed in the areas where Ebola cases have been recently reported, he/she should seek medical attention at the first sign of illness (fever, headache, achiness, sore throat, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain, rash, red eyes, and in some cases, bleeding). Early treatment can improve prognosis.
Strengthened international cooperation is needed, and should support action to contain the virus, stop transmission to other countries and mitigate the effects in those affected.
Affected countries are requested to conduct exit screening of all persons at international airports, seaports and major land crossings, for unexplained febrile illness consistent with potential Ebola infection. Any person with an illness consistent with EVD should not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation. There should be no international travel of Ebola contacts or cases, unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.
Non-affected countries need to strengthen the capacity to detect and immediately contain new cases, while avoiding measures that will create unnecessary interference with international travel or trade.
The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend any ban on international travel or trade, in accordance with advice from the WHO Ebola Emergency Committee.
Travel restrictions and active screening of passengers on arrival at sea ports, airports or ground crossings in non-affected countries that do not share borders with affected countries are not currently recommended by WHO.
Worldwide, countries should provide their citizens traveling to Ebola-affected countries with accurate and relevant information on the Ebola outbreak and measures to reduce the risk of exposure.

CDC raises travel alert for DR Congo on Ebola concerns

TAIPEI--The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) heightened a health advisory against travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo Saturday from “watch” to “alert” on concern over the continued spread of the Ebola virus. There have been 24 Ebola cases confirmed in the central African country as of Aug. 18, 13 of which have been fatal, the CDC said....

Ebola in Rivers, ECOWAS Official May Face Manslaughter Charges

Ebola in Rivers, ECOWAS Official May Face Manslaughter Charges

30 Aug 2014
By James Emejo

The Nigerian diplomat attached to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Olubukun Koye who escaped from quarantine in Lagos after testing positive to Ebola virus and travelled to Port Harcourt for treatment, an action that resulted in the death of the doctor who treated him (Iyke Enemuo) may face manslaughter charges.

This is coming on the heels of report that the number of persons under surveillance in the state for Ebola Virus Disease has increased from 100 to 160.

Sources told THISDAY that the issue of Koye (a primary contact of the index case, late Liberian Partick Sawyer) who defied instruction not to leave Lagos after being placed in the isolation unit, was discussed at the Federal Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday and that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation Mohammed Adoki was directed to look into the Nigerian laws and see how he could be sanctioned for his action that resulted in the death of Enemuo.

The Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Samson Parker while giving an update on the EVD in the state, after recording its first death from Ebola last week Friday, disclosed that the surveillance list had increased to 160.

He said the state’s contact tracing team was working seriously to make sure that the spread of the EVD was contained in the state.

Parker also gave further insight into how the dreaded EVD crept into the state and claimed its first victim.

He said the late Enemuo was aware that Koye, whom he treated, had evaded the surveillance team in Lagos to travel to Port Harcourt.


Parker said Koye had returned to Lagos where the surveillance group saw him and tested him of the EVD and that he had tested negative.

He said Koye neither disclosed to the people that he travelled to Port Harcourt nor that he had treated himself of the disease.

According to the commissioner, “When news got to Koye that the doctor that treated him in Port Harcourt had died, he collapsed. It was then he opened up and confessed that Dr. Enemuo had treated him when he travelled to Port Harcourt. He confessed that he sneaked out of Lagos to Port Harcourt”.

However, the authorities of the isolation centre in Lagos never disclosed to the public that an ebola positive patient had escaped from the centre when the incident occured. This information is only just coming to light following the death of a doctor in Port Harcourt...

TAN’s rally for Jonathan is firing squad –Rivers groups

Home » News » TAN’s rally for Jonathan is firing squad –Rivers groups

TAN’s rally for Jonathan is firing squad –Rivers groups

The Rivers State Chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) and  Ikwerre Citizens for Democratic Movement (ICDM) have declared their opposition to a pro-Jonathan rally scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt today.
The Transformation Ambassador of Nigeria (TAN) a group supporting President Good Luck Jonathan’s re-election bid in 2015 is billed to hold its South–South rally in the Rivers State capital.
But the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other groups in the state have described the rally as untimely and an avenue to spread the Ebola virus disease, following the outbreak in the state.
  Reacting in Port Harcourt yesterday, the State Chairman of APC, Dr. Davies Ikanya, said the rally is nothing but a firing squad against the people.

He said as a party, the leadership of the APC in the state was not afraid of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but was only concerned about the threat it poses to the lives of residents of the Garden City.
Ikanya said: “The rally is a firing squad, it is an invitation to death. The same people who said the public  should avoid crowd and that they are committed to the fight against Ebola is today organising a rally in Rivers State when they are aware of the outbreak of the disease in the state.
“We are committed and we are not threatened by their coming. I think the group who said they are going to protest against the rally by tomorrow has a point.

“The President should be thinking about how to assist the state government to fight Ebola instead of organising political rallies.”
The President General of Ikwerre Citizens for Democratic Movement (ICDM), Comrade Prince Obiajunwo Dike, said the group had given President Jonathan up till 11 pm yesterday to call off the rally or see himself as one of  the enemies of Rivers people.
He said the people of Rivers State, especially the youths, were being mobilised to barricade the Elekahia Stadium venue of the rally in the interest of Rivers State.
Dike said even the President is aware that there is an outbreak of Ebola in the state, which he said had rendered the rally unnecessary in order to prevent further spread of EVD in the state.
He said he expected the Federal Government to focus on the pressing needs in the state and not to play politics with the lives of the people.
  He said: “As far as I am concerned, the rally will not hold in the state. If they go ahead to hold the rally by tomorrow, then Jonathan hates Rivers people.
“We will mobilise against them. We don’t mind if our action leads to an uproar tomorrow.”
 Meanwhile, stakeholders in the health sector  in the state have said that the government was yet to provide safety measures to contain the  spread of the EVD  in the state.
They expressed fears that some people in the state who had contracted the decease were yet to be located for quarantine. ...
He also revealed that two women visited the late Dr. Ikechukwu Sam Enemuo’s wife and left the widow’s house to a supermarket at Government House but were yet to be traced.
He said: “The most important thing now is awareness. There were two women who visited the wife of the deceased, but nothing has been done about them.
“They ought to have been quarantined or placed on surveillance. Such a big super

Alpha Kanu, Miatta Kargbo and Deaths Announced by the Three MRU Countries

...No..w, we note utterance of Alhaji Alpha Kanu against this newspaper up in Parliament on August 14th.  This is second time he is threatening us with legal action over Ebola coverage. This time, he is threatening under the guise of the State of Public Emergency. What a shameless man!After he lies, he threatens to jail those who question his lies? Unbelievable display of shameless bullying!

Now, we would like Information Minister Alhaji Alpha Kanu to tell this country whether any appeal was made to the wife of America’s Vice-President, Dr. Jill Biden, during her last month visit, about urgent need for the international community to help with Ebola Epidemic? Did anyone raise Ebola assistance issue with Dr. Jill Biden? If not, is it because it was being downplayed then?

Going by just one example of a local authority, the position of this newspaper is that it is sad to see  Alpha Kanu &  Health Minister Miatta Kargbo, continue to propagate under-reported figures of Ebola deaths in Sierra Leone.

Paramount Chief of Jawei Chiefdom, P.C. Musa Ngoumbuklah Kallon II has handed over to this newspaper a signed copy of number of Ebola deaths in his chiefdom, including suspected and probable deaths. The number of probable and suspected Ebola deaths in Jawei chiefdom alone, is in excess of the  insulting figures released by certain government officials as national totals.

The editor of this newspaper hails from Jawei Chiefdom and has first hand experience of how almost 200 deaths have affected his chiefdom people. One of our parliamentary interns hails from Kissi Teng and also has first hand experience of the high number of deaths in that Kissi area...

Sierra Leone News : Koindu Town Chief Dies as Ebola Makes a U-turn in Kissi Teng

By Augustine Samba & Jeneba V. Kabba
Aug 29, 2014, 17:12

The Town of Koindu in the Kissi Teng Chiefdom Kailahun District, Chief Moses Foryoh who doubles as Bursar of the Kissi Bendu Secondary School, on Thursday 28th August 2014 died at the Kaiya Ebola Isolation Center in Koindu. The death of the chief has created panic and standstill in the Koindu Township and its environs according to sources. Relatives of the deceased told our reporters that he just collapsed last Wednesday and was taken to the isolation center for medical examinations.

“He did not complain of any sickness, he fell down just after bath and as we rushed to help him the medical personnel advised us not to touch him and was taken to the isolation center” our source revealed.

Chief Moses Foryoh popularly known as ‘American’

Nearly ninety residents including two local authorities in Kissi Teng Chiefdom alone have died since the outbreak of the Ebola disease in May this year. BBC Focus on Africa last evening quoted World Health Organization (WHO) as saying about twenty thousand people may likely contact the Ebola Disease before it will be contained in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Over three thousand people have already been infected and nearly fifteen hundred people have died in the three countries.

Kissi Teng Chiefdom in Sierra Leone shares borders with Guinea and Liberia around where the Ebola outbreak was first detected in the country. Few weeks ago, residents of Kissi Teng told this newspaper that the Ebola crisis was relative calm and according to them nobody was infected with the virus for quiet some weeks.

However, as recently as three weeks, the community that was calm has lost its Local Councilor and some other residents including the Town Chief.

Ebola experts recommend the reopening of borders

Ebola experts recommend the reopening of borders

Kinshasa, 29/08/2014 / Africa
The borders must be open, but with better sanitary control of the crossings. All consider border closures decided by the Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau as useless and rather damaging.
Close the borders to prevent the spread or open to allow a coordinated response to the epidemic and allow the passage of humanitarian? This is the dilemma for experts and Ministers of Health of the countries of ECOWAS, meeting in Accra, Ghana last Thursday to talk about Ebola. The epidemic claimed 1,552 deaths, according to the latest report of the World Health Organization.

All the talk of health experts as political were unanimous Thursday in Accra, Ghana, which brought together Ministers of Health of the countries of the Economic Community of the West Africa (ECOWAS): the borders should be open, but with better sanitary control of the crossings. All consider border closures decided by the Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau as useless and rather damaging. They fear a social and humanitarian crisis: NGOs can not access the affected countries and their equipment does not happen again. The Ministers of Health of Liberia and Sierra Leone have also not been able to come to Accra for lack of commercial flights available.

"Do not ostracize" affected countries

Ghanaian President, Chairman of ECOWAS, has reiterated: there must be a coordinated response to deal with the epidemic. "Ebola branded our country. We have no choice but to combine our efforts and resources to combat it, "he has said. John Dramani Mahama denounced the isolation in which the affected countries were set by their neighbors, saying it must implement containment measures that "do not ostracize" contaminated countries. But he also notes the impact of these measures on uncontaminated countries, "Nations that depend largely on tourism recorded cancellations of visits even though there are no reported cases on their ground," said the president of ECOWAS.

Consequently border closures: some places have become inaccessible to health agencies - a situation that could change as the Ministers in Accra agreed to the establishment of humanitarian corridors. The experts also recommended close monitoring of patients and their families, which will appease neighboring countries not yet affected by the virus.

The "against-productive" measures

Resume sailings from countries to countries affected. Shared by the association Doctors Without Borders, which also denounced the quarantine areas or entire regions opinion:

"The quarantine measures (...), who seem to leave good intentions of public health, are against-productive, assures Claire Magone, communication director for MSF France, currently serving in Sierra Leone. All these measures to isolate the affected communities not affected communities, they make sense in cases where the epidemic is highly localized. But there it is extended. Being able to seal the borders, it is a bit of a medieval idea. And finally, she says, these measures also have an effect against-productive because they worry because they are scary. Because for someone who faces the harsh reality of the diagnosis of the disease, know that you will be rewarded for going to notify you to the health center to accept you isolate, manage and that during this time, your family will be locked up for 21 days, it's still a rather qu'incitative "discouraging measure.

$ 200 million pledged by the African Development Bank

ECOWAS needs money to stem the epidemic. Many health centers in Liberia and Sierra Leone can not accommodate patients. Must be recruited in emergency health personnel and implement quarantine measures in some areas. A solidarity fund has been set up in July, but only two of the fifteen countries of ECOWAS members have yet participated. The African Development Bank has pledged more than $ 200 million, the field agents are eagerly awaiting.

In Accra, representatives from several countries have admitted to have realized too late the danger. A symbolic gesture in Accra could be decided finally proof of their willingness to act: sending medical teams of the sub-region as reinforcements in infected areas.

...Parker also revealed that the late Dr Iyke Enemuo, who died of Ebola disease, last week Friday, in Port Harcourt was aware that Olu Ibikunle Koye, a Nigerian diplomat, working with the Economic Community of West Arican States (ECOWAS), was a carrier of the Ebola virus.
Speaking further, Parker said, “He (Koye) had received the late Dr Patrick Sawyer (the Liberian-American who transmitted the virus) in Lagos. Upon developing the symptom, he confided in a female colleague, called Lillian, who contacted the late Dr Enemuo.
“It was after contact was established with Dr. Enemuo that Olu Ibikunle Koye flew to Port Harcourt to see Dr Enemuo,” he said.
According to the health commissioner, to conceal his movement, Koye, who had been quarantined along with other people for having primary contact with Sawyer, sneaked out of the isolation unit and took a flight to Port Harcourt and switched off  his phone so that he cannot be reached or traced.
Parker said, on arrival in Port Harcourt, Koye obfuscated being traced, checked into a Mandate Gardens, a local hotel in the Rumunokoro area in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, within the vicinity where Enemuo’s private health facility, Sam Steel Clinic, was located.
“From what we have gathered so far, Dr Enemuo, knowing full well that Koye was positive of the Ebola virus, took some measures of precaution to protect himself while treating Koye.
“Knowing the enormity of what he was doing, Dr Enemuo, upon Koye’s departure for Lagos, poured bleach all over the room that Koye slept in order to sanitise the place.
“Upon developing the Ebola symptom, Dr Enemuo approached one of our colleagues for treatmemt at Green Heart Hospital, along Evboh Road, in the GRA. Dr Enemuo did not tell the doctor that was treating him the truth. He merely told him that he had fever. He lied. He did not tell the doctor that was treating him his full story.
“But the doctor, a nice and conscientious professional, suspected that Dr Enemuo was either hiding something or was suffering from a strange ailment because he proved negative to malaria, fever and typhoid fever.
“To be sure of what he was doing, he spoke to other very experienced doctors about the strange case he was handling in his hospital. He even invited some of his colleagues to come over to his hospital to study Dr Enemuo’s medical history.
“Of course, the news of the Ebola virus was everywhere. So, they were afraid to go. None of them showed up at the hospital where Dr Enemuo was being treated. His condition continued to deteriorate and he eventually died and his body was taken to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH),” he said.
The Commissioner for Health further said when news got to Koye that the doctor that treated him in Port Harcourt had died, he collapsed and it was then  that he opened up and confessed that Enemuo had treated him when he travelled to Port Harcourt...

US Plans Trial of Ebola Vaccine in Nigeria,Gambia and Mali

 Today at 12:01 PM.
Federal researchers next week will start testing humans with an experimental vaccine to prevent the deadly Ebola virus.
The National Institutes of Health announced Thursday that it is launching the safety trial on a vaccine developed by the agency's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline. Beginning Tuesday, it will test 20 healthy adult volunteers to see if the virus is safe and triggers an adequate response in their immune systems.
Even though NIH has been testing other Ebola vaccines in people since 2003, this is a first for this vaccine and its trial has been speeded up because the outbreak in West Africa "is a public health emergency that demands an all-hands-on-deck response," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID.
This isn't a treatment for the disease, but a hoped-for preventative measure. Fauci said the vaccine cannot cause Ebola in the volunteers being tested.
He cautioned that there is no guarantee it will work: "I have been fooled enough in my many years of experience."
Fauci doesn't expect results from this initial round of testing until the end of the year, emphasizing that public health measures such as quarantine, isolation, infection control and personal protective devices are still the best way to fight the outbreak that so far has killed at least 1,552 people in West Africa.
The World Health Organization Thursday estimated that the death toll could eventually exceed 20,000, while announcing new efforts to fight what Fauci called the "rapidly evolving and currently uncontrolled outbreak."
The major target of the vaccine, if it works, would be health care workers, although residents of the area could also be eligible for the shots, Fauci said. More than 240 health workers have become infected in this outbreak, and more than 120 have died, he said.
If it works, people would get one shot in the arm to protect them from an immediate threat and eventually a second shot for longer-term immunity, Fauci said.
Testing will be at NIH's campus in Bethesda, Maryland, and involve a mixture that uses both the current Zaire strain and another strain, Sudan. In the second week of September, NIH and a British team will test that vaccine on 100 volunteers in the United Kingdom; tests will commence in Gambia and Mali in the middle of the month. American health officials are also talking about a future trial in Nigeria.
Then a different version of the vaccine, using only the Zaire strain, will be tested on another 20 adults in October at NIH and elsewhere in the United States.
Also sometime in fall, Canadian and U.S. health officials will start safety testing a different type of Ebola vaccine developed by NewLink Genetics Corp. of Ames, Iowa.
The U.S. vaccine takes a single protein from the Ebola virus and pairs it with a chimpanzee cold virus to help as a delivery system. Past vaccines have the used the same protein but different delivery systems.
Usually, the second stage of drug trials involve testing on larger numbers of people before it goes into final testing.
A British consortium has pledged $4.6 million to help speed up the vaccine tests. With some of that money, GlaxoSmithKline will be able to begin manufacturing up to 10,000 doses of the U.S. vaccine, if the tests are successful. The 10,000 doses will be ready by the end of the year and if needed, production can be ramped up for stockpiling, GSK spokeswoman Sarah Alspach said.
This testing "is exactly what needs to be done," said Pardis Sabeti, a Harvard University professor who has been studying Ebola and was in Africa working the outbreak.

Two Japanese with suspected Ebola symptoms hospitalized in Moldova

August 29, 15:05 UTC+4
The Japanese citizens flew from Japan to Moldova via IstanbulCHISINAU, August 29./ITAR-TASS/.Two Japanese citizens with suspected Ebola symptoms were taken from Chisinau airport to a Moldovan clinic on Friday, Moldovan border guard police said.
The passengers had signs similar to the Ebola virus-caused disease, including a high temperature. They confirmed that they began feeling unwell after returning from southern Africa where they were on a business trip, the border guard press service said.
The Japanese citizens flew from Japan to Moldova via Istanbul.
They were taken to the Moldovan National Public Health Centre.

Ghana to become Ebola nerve centre

2014-08-30 10:03
Accra - The Ghanaian presidency has announced that the United Nations will use Ghana as a base for supplies bound for countries stricken by the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 1 550 people in West Africa.
More than 3 000 people have been infected since the virus was detected in the remote jungles of southeastern Guinea early this year and it has quickly spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria and Senegal reported its first case on Friday.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon had a telephone conversation with Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama, who agreed to let international agencies use Ghana's capital as a base for air lifting supplies and personnel to affected countries.

Mahama chairs the West African regional grouping, Ecowas, which has set up a solidarity fund to fight the deadly disease.
"Using Accra as the logistics and co-ordination centre will open a vital corridor to get urgently needed supplies and health personnel into the affected countries and areas," a statement said.
Regular international commercial flights to the affected countries have been suspended, making it difficult for supplies to reach them.
The statement said the UN and local authorities would work closely to put in place appropriate screening and prevention measures to avoid any adverse effects on Ghana as a result of the international operations.
The UN will also help review and strengthen Ghana's Ebola preparedness as steps are taken to prevent the virus from spreading to that country, according to the statement.

Ebola-hit Liberia bans sailors from disembarking

Ebola-hit Liberia bans sailors from disembarking

 August 30, 2014, 7:10 pm


Monrovia (AFP) - Liberia said on Saturday it would deny permission for any crew to disembark from ships at the country's four seaports until the Ebola epidemic ravaging west Africa was under control.
Sailors on commercial ships can normally ask for a "show pass" allowing them to get off the vessel and access the port but the documents are being withdrawn to curb the spread of the virus, said Matilda Parker, head of Liberia's ports authority.
"For vessels coming in we have cancelled show passes. Absolutely no one from on board vessels will be allowed down," she told AFP.
The country's four seaports, including the Freeport of Monrovia, would adopt a "zero tolerance" approach, Parker said, against an outbreak which has claimed 1,500 lives since the start of the year.
Liberia, the hardest-hit of five west African nations struggling with the epidemic, has seen almost 700 deaths.
"For the workers who are going onboard vessels, they are going through three layers of screening at the gate, at the security desk and also at the peer. They have been instructed not to get in contact with anybody on board," Parker added.
Monrovia's port is run by APM Terminals, which operates in 63 countries, as part of a deal committing the company to a $145 million investment including a 600-metre wharf and state-of-the-art container tracking technology.
The port -- known as the "gateway to Liberia's economy" -- handles the majority of imports in an economy which has to buy in almost all commodities, meaning the price of fuel, machinery, manufactured goods and food rely heavily on its smooth running.
ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steel producer and the first investor to enter post-war Liberia in 2005, has ploughed an estimated $75 million in Buchanan, the country's second-largest port.

Liberia reopens Ebola-fear slum

Crowds are cheering and celebrating in the streets after Liberian authorities reopened a slum where tens of thousands of people were barricaded amid the country’s Ebola outbreak.
Information minister Lewis Brown said lifting the quarantine does not mean there is no Ebola in the West Point slum.
But he added that authorities feel confident they can screen for the sick and that the community is now actively fighting the disease.
The slum of 50,000 people in Liberia’s capital was sealed off more than a week ago, sparking unrest and leaving many without access to food or safe water.
Liberia has been the hardest-hit of the five countries with Ebola cases in West Africa. Senegal announced its first case yesterday.

1.3m people in Ebola quarantine

The World Food Programme needs $70m to feed 1.3m people in Ebola quarantine

Reuters | 30 August, 2014 16:08
Residents of West Point neighbourhood, which has been quarantined following an outbreak of Ebola, receive food rations from the United Nations World Food Programme in Monrovia
Residents of West Point neighbourhood, which has been quarantined following an outbreak of Ebola, receive food rations from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Monrovia August 28, 2014.

The World Food Programme needs to raise $70 million to feed 1.3 million people at risk from shortages in Ebola-quarantined areas in West Africa, with the agency's resources already stretched by several major humanitarian crises, its regional director said.

WFP's West Africa Director Denise Brown said the organisation was currently providing food for around 150,000 people in Ebola-striken nations but needed to rapidly scale that up as the worst ever epidemic of the virus advanced.
Senegal on Friday became the fifth country to confirm it had been touched by the outbreak that has infected more than 3,000 people - killing some 1,550 of them - since it was detected in March. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday the outbreak could infect a total of 20,000 people before it ends.
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have pledged to impose a 'cordon sanitaire' on the most affected communities in their joint border region, restricting travel to and from the areas and limiting their access to food supplies.
"We need $70 million. That's for 1.3 million people for three months," Brown told Reuters late on Friday. "We've agreed this morning...that we need to extend that because WHO is already talking about 6-9 months before this is contained."
Brown said the WFP would look from donations from major donors like the United States, the European Union, the World Bank and Japan, as well as from non-traditional benefactors such as Arab states.
She warned, however, that the agency's resources were already thinly stretched by major humanitarian crises in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Central African Republic.
"I don't think the world has ever seen so many concurrent crisis on such a huge scale. The humanitarian community is stretched beyond belief," she said.
Brown said WFP started food distribution in Guinea around 4 months ago, and more recently in Liberia and Sierra Leone, mostly delivering food to isolation wards in hospitals before gradually increasing the scope of the mission.
Travel restrictions imposed by neighbouring African countries, notably Senegal - a regional hub for the humanitarian sector - had made it more difficult to get staff and supplies into the affected region, Brown said.
The operation was also made more challenging by precautions to stop the disease spreading and staff becoming infected.
"We don't want to go in and do a distribution for 10,000 people. We want small groups of people, which is going to be very hard for us to manage," Brown said. "Yes, it probably makes us a bit slower but we need to get this right."
The area of Liberia hardest-hit around the northern Lofa county include some of its main food producing regions and the quarantine imposed on this area has raised fears that supplies to the rest of the country will be restricted.
Brown said that prices for rice and cassava at one of the main markets in the capital Monrovia had already risen by around 30 percent and there were reports that farmers had not been able to plant their crops because of contagion fears, suggesting shortages were likely to worsen.

Late doctor knew diplomat had Ebola virus –Rivers

Late doctor knew diplomat had Ebola virus –Rivers

August 30, 2014 by Simon Utebor
The Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Samson Parker, says the late Dr. Samuel Enemou, who treated Olu Koye, a Nigerian diplomat with the Economic Community of West African States, was aware that the diplomat was a carrier of the deadly Ebola virus.
The commissioner stated this during a press conference in Port Harcourt on Friday evening.
Parker said, “He had received the late Dr. Patrick Sawyer in Lagos. Upon developing the symptom, confided in a female colleague, called Lilian, who contacted the late Enemuo. It was after contact was established with Dr. Enemuo that Olu Koye flew to Port Harcourt to see him.
“To conceal his movement, Koye, who had been quarantined among other people for having primary contact with the late Dr. Sawyer, the Liberian-American who transmuted the Ebola virus into Nigeria, sneaked out of the isolation unit where he was being observed and took a flight to Port Harcourt and switched off his phone so that he could not be reached or traced should he answer a call.”

On arrival in Port Harcourt, he said Koye checked into Mandate Gardens, a local hotel in the Rumunokoro area in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
The hotel is within the Rumunokoro area where Dr. Enemuo’s private health facility, Sam Steel Clinic is located.
Parker added, “From what we have gathered so far, Dr. Enemuo, knowing that Koye was positive of the Ebola virus took some measures of precaution to protect himself while treating Koye.
“Knowing the enormity of what he was doing, Enemuo upon Koye’s departure for Lagos, poured bleach all over the room that Koye slept in order to sanitise the place.”
He said the deceased, after having developed the symptom, approached a colleague for treatment at Good Heart Hospital along Evo Road in G.R.A.
He said Enemuo did not tell the doctor that was treating him the truth, stressing that he merely told him that he had fever.
Parker said, “He lied. He did not tell the doctor that was treating him his full story. But the doctor, a nice and conscientious professional, suspected that Enemuo was either hiding something or was suffering from a strange ailment because he proved negative to malaria, fever and typhoid fever.
“To be sure of what he was doing, he spoke to other very experienced doctors about the strange case he was handling in his hospital.”
The commissioner said the doctor treating Enemuo even invited some his colleagues to come over to his hospital to study Enemuo’s medical history.
He said because the news of the Ebola virus was all everywhere, those he called were afraid to honour the invitation.
Parker added that none of them showed up at the hospital where Enemuo was being treated, stressing that Enemuo’s condition continued to deteriorate until he died after which body was taken to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
The commissioner also declared that the advent of the dreaded Ebola virus in the state was currently posing a challenge, saying the development was tantamount to a war time situation.
He said the Rivers State governor, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, had pledged to provide funds to enable the state to procure all relevant materials as well as the services of medical experts from Nigeria and abroad to contain the virus.
Parker also said 60 more people who had secondary contacts with Koye were quarantined last night, bringing the total so far to 100.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The birthplace of an outbreak

The birthplace of an outbreak

A portrait of Sierra Leone in the wake of the Ebola virus

Published on August 28, 2014
The epicenter of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone sits in the rural Kailahun district. Nearly half of the country’s Ebola cases have been found there. The province shares a border with Guinea and Liberia, the two other nations hardest hit by the worst Ebola outbreak in history.
ABOVE: A boy wanders through a field of rice near the village of Dia, Sierra Leone, in August. Many of the country’s Ebola cases are found in rural areas.
In Kailahun, the aid group Doctors Without Borders has established a treatment center with more than 80 beds. Caring for Ebola patients is difficult, stressful work. The virus spreads by contact with bodily fluids, such as blood, urine and sweat. So medical staff must wear specialized protective gear that covers them head to toe. Everything is washed down with chlorinated water, as disinfection is a major concern. There is no cure for Ebola, and survival rates hover around 50 percent.
Staff must not only care for patients, but they must carefully bury the dead. Traditional practices require family members to wash the body and touch it before burial. But someone who has died from Ebola is especially contagious. The virus is literally spilling out of their skin. Many infections are blamed on burial practices. So Red Cross teams have been tasked with retrieving the bodies of people even suspected of having the disease. More than 240 health-care workers have been infected by Ebola during the West African outbreak. “The emotional burden of doing this is high,” said Walter Lorenzi, head of mission for Doctor Without Borders in Sierra Leone. “The stress, sometimes, can be too much.”


Residents of Kailahun gather along a river at dusk in August. The Kailahun district, in eastern Sierra Leone, has been heavily affected by the ongoing Ebola outbreak. School has been suspended, and residents live in fear. A Doctors Without Borders treatment center in Kailahun is the largest in history. Caring for the disease’s victims has been in­cred­ibly stressful and dangerous.


Members of a Red Cross burial team take samples from a woman suspected of dying from Ebola in the village of Dia in August. The government of Sierra Leone mandates that all deaths in which the cause is unclear be treated as potential Ebola cases. Contact with the bodies of Ebola victims is a leading cause of virus transmission. “Safe burials” are conducted by the International Federation of the Red Cross in accordance with rigorous safety procedures. The workers must put on personal protective equipment before entering the home.


Residents of Sengema, including relatives of a man suspected of dying of Ebola, gather in August to watch Red Cross workers prepare and take the man’s body. The dead bodies of Ebola victims are extremely infectious because the virus is transmitted by bodily fluids, such as sweat, urine and blood. Family and community members are encouraged not to touch the bodies of those suspected of dying from Ebola. As a result, traditional funeral ceremonies have been seriously disrupted by the outbreak. Bodies are buried away from residential areas to reduce the risk of infection.


Sierra Leone’s police and military have established numerous checkpoints on roads leading into and out of Ebola-affected areas. People denied passage at a checkpoint outside of Kenema wait in August. Only those with a government-issued permit are allowed to cross Ebola quarantine checkpoints.

An Ominous Ebola Forecast

An Ominous Ebola Forecast