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Ebola Update – 17 October 2014

At the Congressional Hearing in the United States yesterday commitment from the relevant stakeholders was reaffirmed in the fight against Ebola. Yesterday as well, at the United Nations Headquarters, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to the International Community to raise at least US $1 billion to reduce the rate of transmission by December 1st, 2014. Here is a update on some of the latest developing stories regarding Ebola:

  • Senegal has officially been cleared of Ebola, the Associated Press reports. Senegal had an imported case from a man who entered the country on the 29th of August 2014. The Government responded by monitoring all contacts, isolating the man and launching public awareness campaigns. Today, given that enough time for potential incubation periods have passed, the UN Health Agency was able to declare the outbreak over. It was called “a good example” in a statement by the World Health Organization.
  • Nina Pham, who arrived at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda today, appeared in a Youtube clip where she appeared to be in good spirits despite her diagnosis. The rationale behind the move was to give her state of the art care and also lighten the load on Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where many staff are now being actively monitored. A worker from the same hospital is currently in isolation aboard a Carnival Cruise Ship near Belize. The worker is 19 days away from her last exposure and did not work directly with the index patient but may have handled blood samples. At the time she left for the cruise the CDC had not yet switched from self-monitoring to active monitoring protocols.
  • On Thursday, 16 October 2014, four people were tested for Ebola in Spain and Tenerife. All preliminary results are now in and all are negative. This includes a person who traveled in the same ambulance as Teresa Romero, the man who presented with fever on an Air France flight from Nigeria via Paris to Madrid (he has Malaria), a missionary who had returned from Liberia and the last in Tenerife, a Red Cross nurse who was in Sierra Leone. Teresa Romero remains the only person currently known to have Ebola within Spanish borders.
  • England will begin screening at two more airports, Manchester and Birmingham, and France says it will begin screening visitors arriving on a once a week flight from Guinea.

8 October WHO Situation Update

The latest Situation Report has been released by the World Health Organization with data reported up until the 4th of October 2014 for Liberia and 5th of October for Sierra Leone and Guinea. Liberia reports 77 more deaths than confirmed cases while Sierra Leone reports 86 more deaths than confirmed cases. Reporting continues to suffer as the situation worsens in the 3 hardest hit countries. The official case total for the West African outbreak has increased to 8011 with 3857 deaths reported.

The report has a general worrying sentiment with all three regions described as deteriorating. Liberia is noted for extreme difficulties in acquiring data and the concern of widespread under reporting of cases is echoed in the report. Media reports from Liberia have been spotty after the Government allegedly began interfering with the media. Reports from individuals on the ground indicate a growing concern at the status of general infrastructure and facilities in Liberia.

The report includes data on beds available per country and the current capacity. Liberia reports 21% coverage suggesting that at least 2300 Ebola patients are without proper treatment facilities in the country. Media reports indicate that Sierra Leone is facing a strike among burial teams resulting in slow removal of bodies which will certainly impact the situation further. The situation in Senegal, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo remains stable.

USA still lists one case but the data has not yet been updated to indicate the passing of America’s first Ebola patient. Data from Spain is not included in the report and will likely be contained in a report later this week. Minimal data is reported regarding the number of contacts for the US however it is reported by the Media as between 80 and 100 with at least 10 considered high risk. Spain has admitted 5 cases for testing and at least 30 contacts are being monitored.

WHO Ebola Update 8 October 2014

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