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Ebola Update – 24 October 2014

The Nurse, Amber Vinson, has been claimed by family members to be Ebola-free. However, while she seems to have made a recovery a fourth person has been diagnosed with the virus in the USA. Here is a round-up of the day’s news:


  • Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, has been named as the fourth person diagnosed with Ebola on US Soil. He worked for Doctors without Borders in Guinea and arrived back in the States on the 17th of October 2014 via Brussels. The CDC confirmed that he went through all screening measures at JFK but did not have a fever at the time. He was not isolated upon return but practiced self-monitoring. Between his arrival and hospitalization on the 23 of October 2014 he used the subway, a cab, visited a restaurant and bowling alley. Two friends and his fiancée, Morgan Dixon, are also in isolation. Earlier today social media blew up when photos of Officers dumping protective gear in a bin on a street corner circulated. However it has been claimed that they had only secured the perimeter around his apartment and were not actually in contact with any of his belongings.
  • Côte d’Ivoire is currently looking for a suspected Ebola patient. The health care worker allegedly fled from Guinea after finding out that someone treated by his clinic had died from the virus. Côte d’Ivoire recently reopened airports to flights from affected countries but land borders remain closed.
  • A two-year old girl, whose father had died from Ebola, has been hospitalized in Kayes, Mali after testing positive for the virus. She and her family members are currently in isolation. It is believed that she was brought to the country from Guinea. Meanwhile, African Union Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma said at a meeting in Accra that medical teams have been dispatched to the three most affected nations to help fight the virus.
  • Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has joined the list of individuals who have donated to the fight against Ebola. Allen donated US $100million to help prevent and manage the virus in West Africa. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has also donated US $50million to UN Agencies to help fight the epidemic.
  • A drug mule who arrived at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport in Spain has died after bags of cocaine exploded in his stomach. Staff were allegedly too scared to help the man as they feared he might have Ebola.

Mali and New York Confirm First Cases

On seemingly opposite ends of the globe two new cases of Ebola have been confirmed by respective health authorities. The Ministry of Health in Mali has confirmed the infection of a 2 year old who traveled from Guinea while New York has confirmed that a Doctor who recently returned from Guinea has tested positive for the virus.

Mali is the sixth country in West Africa to be affected by the largest recorded outbreak. It is understood that the 2 year old girl was placed in isolation along with all direct contacts on the the 23rd of October 2014. The Ministry of Health released a statement confirming the importation after a suspected case was identified at Fousseyni Daou Kayes Hospital. It is strongly suspected that at least one of the girls parents has died from Ebola recently.

In the USA a suspected case appeared at Bellevue Hospital when Dr Craig Spencer was admitted with symptoms. Significant concern has been raised about the time line for this infection after it emerged that Dr Craig Spencer may have been symptomatic while using the subway and taxi cabs. Research suggests that Ebola can survive without a host for several days. CDC officials have been dispatched to assist with the case and contact tracing has begun.

The World Health Organization and the United Nations raised concerns about the risk of case importation for Mali and Côte d’ Voire in recent weeks after reports began to emerge that the outbreak was continuing to spread in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The confirmation of a case in Mali reaffirms the statements from officials and experts in recent weeks. The outbreak must be contained in the West Africa “Hot Zone”.

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