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.
The Department of Heath denied reports this morning to eNCA journalist, Uveka Rangappa that Ebola had come to the country. The story was originally reported by OFM. Joe Malia, for the Department of Health, confirmed that an elderly man was being treating for a fever in Potchefstroom but claimed that it was very likely not Ebola. He said that the patient had not traveled outside South Africa and given the lack of index patient considered it low risk. He added that despite the low risk all precautions were being taken and the man would of course be tested just in case.
Yesterday Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security echoed President Obama and reconfirmed that five major airports would implement new security measures. The Airports to be affected would be JFK, Newark, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare and Atlanta. He also said that measures would include issuing ‘do not board’ orders, information and guidance to travelers, notices at airports and ‘care sheets’ for travelers. He also added that prevention would focus on targeted questions, temperature checking with non-contact thermometers and US based contact information collection.
South Africa has had temperature screening at all major Airports since the swine flu epidemic. All international arrivals are expected to stand in front of the monitor regardless of where you are coming from. If this patient is confirmed as positive they would be the first patient for the 2014 West African Outbreak. South Africa also had 2 cases of Ebola in 1996 which resulted in one death.
More than 5000 false reports have occurred since the first case of Ebola was diagnosed in the United States during the 2014 outbreak. Today, a person claiming to have had contact with ‘patient zero’, Thomas Eric Duncan, was taken for testing at a hospital in Frisco, Texas. The patient is said to be exhibiting symptoms of Ebola.
A Press Conference was held shortly after 3:30pm CT in Texas. Chief Mark Piland of the Frisco Fire Department confirmed that a patient was being tested. The person was confirmed as having been in the apartment and had also been in contact with family members of Duncan but did not have any contact with the index patient. Mayor of Frisco Maher Maso said that the “risk is minimal” and also added that they were “taking all precautions”.
It was confirmed that they were following the protocols laid out by the CDC and were waiting for further information. The case was dealt with in conjunction with Care Now Officials. The patient is currently at a hospital in Dallas.
If this case is confirmed it will be the first contact indirectly related to Duncan to be diagnosed with the virus.
Thomas Duncan died earlier today.
A Press Conference was held today to discuss the handling of a potential Ebola patient at Cobb Country Jail, Georgia. Dr. Fitzgerald spoke about how the situation was dealt with claiming it “worked perfectly.” She confirmed that at present “all labwork is negative and normal”. She had submitted the final test to the CDC.
The patient confirmed that he traveled out of the country to Liberia and had spent time in Nigeria as well. The patient was suffering from nausea and vomiting when he was taking to hospital and isolated. All involved had the proper protective gear. It was also confirmed that staff members had not yet had contact with the family, nor had the Sheriff, Neil Warren.
“There is no reason to test anyone else at this point,” claimed Dr. Fitzgerald offering his immediate isolation as justification. This comes on the heels of the first confirmed Ebola case in the US which was heavily criticized due to the fact that the patient was sent home from the emergency room for two days which lead to roughly 100 contacts.
It was stressed that Ebola was a fluid virus and could cause you to become infected if you touch infected fluid and then a susceptible part of your body, and it was also mentioned that you are only at risk if you have traveled to West Africa and have a fever or if you’ve had contact with someone who has Ebola.
Officials also congratulated the county calling it the “best partnership” and said that people in Cobb should be proud. It “was all of us working together,” they noted. The apparent successful intervention will no doubt boost confidence of Americans in their healthcare system.
The results will be available between 21:00 and 00:00 tonight according to Dr. Fitzgerald.
Fresh on the heels of the frightening CDC report several new suspected cases have appeared outside the current hot-zone in Africa. Most of these cases are likely to result in Malaria diagnosis or other diseases endemic to the African Continent but authorities around the world are taking every precaution possible when dealing with people entering their countries from affected areas.
A Guinean refugee has been quarantined in Switzerland shortly after entering an asylum camp. The refugee claims to have lost a family member to Ebola and was isolated at the first signs of fever. A few days ago a health worker was flown to Geneva after being bitten by a young child suffering from Ebola making this the second suspected contact this week for the European country.
A recent suspected case in Perth has been cleared after a woman who visited the West African region tested negative for the deadly virus. Australia has been vigilant in its efforts to prevent an outbreak by isolating and testing individuals exhibiting possible Ebola symptoms. Earlier this week a man was tested for Ebola and was found to have Malaria after developing flu like symptoms and fever.
Chennai, India saw a suspected case of Ebola as well when a 22 year old man was admitted to hospital after returning from Nigeria. Initial indications seem negative for the disease but the patient, who had been working in a hospital, will be placed under surveillance for 21 days in an effort to ensure his well being and allow for rapid response in the event that he tests positive.
The number of suspected cases will continue to increase in the upcoming weeks as awareness about Ebola increases. The natural and understandable fear around the deadly virus has resulted in cautious behavior by port officials around the world.