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Ebola Update – 4 November 2014

President of the United States, Barack Obama, will meet today with advisors for an update on the response to the Ebola outbreak. Here is an update of the day’s news:

 

  • Reuters reports that a teacher at a Catholic School in Louisville, Kentucky (USA) has resigned after parents expressed concern about Ebola. The teacher, Susan Sherman, who is also a registered nurse, had recently traveled to Kenya. Upon her return parents and the school board asked that she take paid leave for 21 days to be safe. She instead resigned. Kenya, which is in East Africa, has not yet been affected by the West African Outbreak.
  • Director-general of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan says that pharmaceutical companies have turned their back on people who are unable to pay. She elaborated that the expectation of profit was one of the main reasons that a vaccine for Ebola had not yet been developed and also said that the World Health Organization has been raising this issue for over two decades. Two vaccines are currently being trialed and human trials are expected to start in 2015 pending the outcomes.
  • French Minister of Social Affairs and Health Marisol Touraine says that the United Nations worker who was repatriated to the nation is stable and receiving treatment and Begin military hospital in Paris. The Minister also said that it would be possible to administer experimental drugs if necessary but did not elaborate.
  • In a press conference in Seoul the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim called on Korea to send more health care workers to West Africa to aid in the fight against Ebola. Kim extended the call for all Asian countries with capacity to contribute.
  • The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has said that the African Cup of Nations 2015 in Morocco will continue despite calls for the tournament to be postponed. A further meeting will be held in Cairo on the 11th of November 2014 to discuss logistics.
  • Xinhua News reports that Chinese manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE) are experiencing a massive spike in demand. China currently holds a 50% market share in the production of medical protective gear.
  • On the heels of President of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s call for all stakeholders to play a more central role in the country’s economic recovery, the Central Bank has reported growth in the nation’s public debt to US $658million. Economists are concerned about future debt creation related to the fight against the Ebola virus.

Ebola Update – 3 November 2014

A UN Worker has been transported from Sierra Leone to France for treatment of Ebola. This is the second French national flown home for treatment. Here is a summary of the day’s news:

 

  • A woman in the United Kingdom with a travel history that includes West Africa was hospitalized at St. George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London upon suspicion of Ebola. The Accidents and Emergency section was cordoned off and she was moved to the Clinical Infections Unit to be isolated. The woman later tested negative.
  • Sierra Express Media reports that angry youths chased and threw rocks at an ambulance carrying an Ebola patient causing the driver to lose control and flip over into a ditch. This is not the first incident of its kind in Sierra Leone. The patient is unharmed. Officials in the nation have also said that while they are grateful for the support to fight the disease, they want to make sure that money is being spent appropriately and are considering an audit of Ebola donors.
  • The New Dawn Liberia reports that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has campaigned for the nation’s Central Bank, private financial institutions and other stakeholders to play an active role in the nation’s post-Ebola financial recovery. Johnson-Sirleaf said that the country was making good progress against the virus and it was now time to build a stronger economy.
  • A US $500million lawsuit has been filed against Kimberly-Clark Corp. alleging that its Breathable High Performance Surgical Gowns, which they claim gives maximum protection against infectious diseases including Ebola, failed industry tests which found blood and other particles were able to pass through the material. Despite the test results, the company allegedly continued to market the product as before.
  • The Spanish nursing assistant, Maria Romero, has been moved out of isolation into a general ward. Maria was given the all clear last week but still needs to recover from the effects of the viral disease. Meanwhile, American Doctor Craig Spencer is now said to be in a stable condition.

2nd Possible Ebola Case In France

Less than 24 hours after a false alarm in Paris a suspected case has been upgraded to “Probable” in the French Capital. French Media are reporting that a woman who has a travel history including Liberia has been isolated on strong suspicion of an Ebola infection. It is understood that the woman is not a French national or a health worker. Reports indicate a probability that Ebola will be confirmed once the test results are available despite initial testing being negative for the hemorrhagic fever causing virus. Results of the second test are expected during the course of Friday evening.

Yesterday saw France isolating a public building for nearly two hours when an African man showed Ebola-like symptoms. After investigation the case was deemed a false alarm and the building was released from isolation. Recent outbreaks in the USA and Spain have raised awareness globally resulting in dozens of cautionary isolations and testing around the world.

France is considered to have one of the highest risks for Ebola ‘importation’ according to statistical models developed in recent weeks. The most recent mathematical models indicated a 75% chance that Ebola will reach France before the end of October 2014. The two suspected cases have both appeared in Paris. An Ebola outbreak in a major city center is considered a worst case scenario by many medical experts.

UPDATE: It is understood that the woman is an American.

UPDATE: The French Health Ministry has announced that future reports will only be made if an Ebola case is positive.

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