Ebola scare at Delhi airport, 3 Indians taken for test

Three Indians who arrived at the Delhi airport on Tuesday morning from Ebola-hit Liberia have been isolated and taken for medical examination. A total of 112 people will be arriving on Tuesday at Delhi and Mumbai airports from the African nation.

Ebola scare at Delhi airport, 3 Indians taken for test

Government has taken elaborate precautionary arrangements. “As part of the tentative plan, the aircraft will be first taken to a remote bay and all passengers will be screened at the step-ladder exit after the arrival of flights at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA),” Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said.

While the passengers without any symptoms will be cleared and shifted to the terminal for immigration and customs clearance, those coming from Liberia with symptoms suggestive of EVD will be shifted to designated hospital in ambulance from the bay, it said.

According to MIAL, Ethiopian Airline, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Jet and South African Airways are flying these passengers to Mumbai. Some of these passengers will first arrive in Delhi and then leave for Mumbai by domestic airlines flight, MIAL said.

Mial also said the baggage of the passengers needs to be kept separate by the concerned airline in their custody, adding disinfection of the flight will be carried out once all passengers would be deboarded.

Flights will be allowed to board the next batch of passengers only after thirty minutes of disinfection, it added.
Source: India Today

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Gambia on high alert for Ebola outbreak

Gambia’s ministry of health and social welfare said on Thursday that it is on high alert for a possible Ebola outbreak in the country and are taking preventive measures to tackle the disease.

Gambia, Ebola outbreak, Ebola alert, WHO

Modou Njai, director of health promotion and education at the ministry, said that so far there has been no confirmed case of the Ebola virus disease in Gambia, Xinhua reported.
“Currently there are public health officials stationed at all the border entry points, including at the airport and seaport and we are also increasing our surveillance teams countrywide to ensure that those going in and out are properly checked for Ebola virus,” Njai said.

According to Njia, 210 technical advisory committee members, 350 Red Cross volunteers, 75 local government authorities, 75 cluster monitors, 25 health journalists have been sensitised, including 36 representatives of youth groups who has been sent to various settlements in the country to sensitise people about the disease.

The preventive measures taken by the Gambia’s public health officials include reading passengers’ temperature and asking about their travel history. The public health officials are also in touch with regional health management teams posted in various regions, Njia added.

Gambia’s regional management teams coordinate and supervise surveillance teams posted to various locations in the country.

According to the World Health Organisation, the death toll due to the Ebola virus continues to rise in West Africa and currently stands at 1,350.

Source: IBN Live

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WHO Declares Ebola an International Emergency

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa an international emergency, and officials say the spread of the disease demands a massive, coordinated response.

The outbreak affects Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. These countries have reported 1,070 confirmed cases, 436 “probable cases,” and 932 deaths through Aug. 4, according to the WHO.WHO Declares Ebola an International Emergency

Largest Outbreak Recorded
Following a 2-day teleconference, WHO announced there is now a risk that the disease could spread to other countries. It says the spread of the virus is being worsened by inadequate health facilities in affected countries. Experts say this is the largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded.

WHO has made several recommendations for affected countries. It calls on each head of state to declare a national emergency and personally address the nation to update the population and outline what measures will be taken to control the situation.

It also calls on them to put in place national disaster and emergency management programs, provide good quality clinical care, and improve the safety and protection of health care workers.

Screening Travellers
It also recommends that affected countries should screen anyone trying to travel abroad for Ebola if they have unexplained symptoms consistent with the disease. What’s more, anyone who might have been exposed to Ebola should be banned from leaving those countries, unless they’re travelling under proper medical supervision.

The WHO says there should be no general ban on international travel or trade. The director general of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, told a news conference: “The declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern alerts the world to high vigilance for possible cases of Ebola Virus Disease.” But the announcement “by no means implies that all countries, or even many countries, will see Ebola cases.”

Low Risk in U.S.
The CDC says the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. is low. “The standard, rigorous infection control procedures used in major hospitals in the United States will prevent spread of Ebola,” the CDC told.

“In the past decade, the United States has had five imported cases of hemorrhagic fevers – one of Marburg and four of Lassa, both viruses that are similar to Ebola. Each time, the American public health system identified the cases and through thorough infection control procedures, prevented anyone else from becoming ill.

“The best way to protect Americans is to stop the outbreak in West Africa,” the CDC says. “We know how to control Ebola. Previous outbreaks of Ebola virus disease have been contained by patient isolation, rigorous use of infection control measures in hospitals, intensive and thorough tracing of those who came into contact with the patients, and community education.”

Source: web md

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Ebola deaths soar to 887 as Nigeria confirms 2nd case

Authorities in Nigeria on Monday announced a second case of Ebola in Africa’s most populous country, an alarming setback as the total death toll from the disease in several West Africa countries shot up by more than 150 to 887.

Most of the newly reported deaths occurred in Liberia, where on Monday night a special plane to evacuate a second American missionary who fell ill with Ebola landed in the capital. Nancy Writebol is expected to arrive in Atlanta on Tuesday, where she will be treated at a special isolation ward

Ebola deaths soar to 887 as Nigeria confirms 2nd case

Health authorities in Liberia ordered that all those who die from Ebola be cremated after communities resisted having the bodies buried nearby. Over the weekend, military police were called in after people tried to block health authorities in the West African nation from burying 22 bodies on the outskirts of the capital, Monrovia.

The World Health Organization announced Monday that the death toll has increased from 729 to 887 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.

Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said the confirmed second case in his country is a doctor who had helped treat Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American man who died July 25 days after arriving in Nigeria from Liberia.

Test samples are pending for three other people who also treated Sawyer and now have shown symptoms of Ebola, he said. Authorities are trying to trace and quarantine others.

“Hopefully by the end of today we should have the results of their own tests,” Chukwu said.

The emergence of a second case raises serious concerns about the infection control practices in Nigeria, and also raises the specter that more cases could emerge. It can take up to 21 days after exposure to the virus for symptoms to appear. They include fever, sore throat, muscle pains and headaches. Often nausea, vomiting and diarrhea follow, along with severe internal and external bleeding in advanced stages of the disease.
New York patient likely not infected

“This fits exactly with the pattern that we’ve seen in the past. Either someone gets sick and infects their relatives, or goes to a hospital and health workers get sick,” said Gregory Hartl, World Health Organization spokesman in Geneva. “It’s extremely unfortunate but it’s not unexpected. This was a sick man getting off a plane and unfortunately, no one knew he had Ebola.”

On Monday night, a doctor at Mount Sinai Medical Centre in Manhattan said a man who visited West Africa last month and is being tested for Ebola likely doesn’t have it.

“Odds are, this is not Ebola,” Dr. Jeremy Boal, chief medical officer at the hospital, said. He added he was expecting a definitive answer about the man’s condition within a day or two.

Two American aid workers infected with Ebola, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, are improving. Both were infected while working in Liberia.

Brantly is being treated at a special isolation unit at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, and Writebol was expected to be flown there Tuesday in the same specially equipped plane that brought Brantly.
70 people under surveillance, Nigeria says

Doctors and other health workers on the front lines of the Ebola crisis have been among the most vulnerable to infection as they are in direct physical contact with patients. The disease is not airborne, and only transmitted through contact with bodily fluids such as saliva, blood, vomit, sweat or feces.

Sawyer, who was travelling to Nigeria on business, became ill while aboard a flight and Nigerian authorities immediately took him into isolation upon arrival in Lagos. They did not quarantine his fellow passengers, and have insisted that the risk of additional cases was minimal.

Nigerian authorities said a total of 70 people are under surveillance and that they hoped to have eight people in quarantine by the end of Monday in an isolation ward in Lagos. The emergence there is particularly worrisome because Lagos is the largest city in Africa with some 21 million people.

Health officials rely on “contact tracing” — locating anyone who may have been exposed, and then anyone who may have come into contact with that person.

Ben Neuman, a virologist and Ebola expert at Britain’s University of Reading, said that could prove difficult at this stage.

“Contact tracing is essential but it’s very hard to get enough people to do that,” he said. “For the average case, you want to look back and catch the 20-30 people they had closest contact with and that takes a lot of effort and legwork … The most important thing now is to do the contact tracing and quarantine any contacts who may be symptomatic.”

Source: cbc

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Worst Ebola Outbreak in Seven Years Kills 83 in Guinea

The death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak in seven years climbed to 83 in Guinea as the aid organization Doctors Without Borders said the disease’s geographical spread marks the flare-up as unprecedented.

In neighboring Liberia, one of two confirmed cases has died, while a second person who died with a suspected Ebola infection tested negative for the virus, the World Health Organization said in a statement. Both confirmed cases in Liberia were exposed to Ebola in Guinea, Gregory Hartl, a WHO spokesman, said on Twitter.

The outbreak is the first in Guinea, which reported five new cases, raising the total to 127 suspected or confirmed illnesses, Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesman in Guinea, said today. The pattern of infection, with patients found in the coastal capital of Conakry as well as villages in the country’s southern area, marks this outbreak as different, according to Mariano Lugli of Doctors Without Borders.

“We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases,” Lugli, coordinator of the organization’s project in Conakry, said in a statement. The group “has intervened in almost all reported Ebola outbreaks in recent years, but they were much more geographically contained and involved more remote locations.”

Guinea’s government has asked people not to eat monkeys, chimpanzees and bats and to avoid travel in the affected areas, while Senegal closed its southern border with Guinea. The WHO said it doesn’t recommend any restrictions on travel to or trade with Liberia or Guinea.

No cases have been reported in Sierra Leone, which shares borders with Guinea and Liberia near the worst affected area.

Serious Threat

The Economic Community of West African States expressed “deep concern” over the outbreak and asked for international help in combating the “serious threat” to regional security.

The Guinean towns of Gueckedou and Macenta, near the border with Liberia, have been hardest hit, with 55 and 14 deaths respectively, according to the nation’s health ministry. There are 11 confirmed cases in the capital Conakry, and three deaths, Jasarevic said yesterday by phone from Guinea.

The WHO has distributed single-use protection equipment and hygiene kits to health-care workers in hospitals in an effort to stem the spread of Ebola, Jasarevic said.

The virus, first identified in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is transmitted to people through the blood and other secretions of wild animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, bats and porcupines, according to the WHO. Humans transmit the virus to each other through contact with blood and other body fluids.

All the outbreaks of the past decade have been in Congo, the neighboring country of the Republic of Congo, and Uganda, with the exception of one in Sudan in 2004.

There are no drugs or vaccines approved to treat or prevent Ebola.

Source: Bloomberg

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Guinea Ebola outbreak: Bat-eating banned to curb virus

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Guinea has banned the sale and consumption of bats to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, its health minister has said.

Bats, a local delicacy, appeared to be the “main agents” for the Ebola outbreak in the south, Rene Lamah said. Sixty-two people have now been killed by the virus in Guinea, with suspected cases reported in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Ebola is spread by close contact. There is no known cure or vaccine. It kills between 25% and 90% of victims, depending on the strain of the virus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Symptoms include internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting.

‘Quarantine sites’

It is the first time Ebola has struck Guinea, with recent outbreaks thousands of miles away, in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr Lamah announced the ban on the sale and consumption of bats during a tour of Forest Region, the epicentre of the epidemic, reports the BBC’s Alhassan Sillah from the capital, Conakry.

People who eat the animals often boil them into a sort of spicy pepper soup, our correspondent says. The soup is sold in village stores where people gather to drink alcohol.

Other ways of preparing the bats to eat include drying them over a fire. Certain species of bat found in West and Central Africa are thought to be the natural reservoir of Ebola, although they do not show any symptoms.

Health officials reported one more death on Tuesday, bringing the number of people killed by Ebola to 62, our correspondent adds. The charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has set up two quarantine sites in southern Guinea to try to contain the outbreak

Health authorities are receiving help from the WHO while messages are being broadcast on national television to reassure people. Sierra Leone’s health ministry said it was investigating two suspected cases of Ebola.

“We still do not have any confirmed cases of Ebola in the country,” its chief medical officer Brima Kargbo told AFP. “What we do have are suspected cases, which our health teams are investigating and taking blood samples from people who had come in contact with those suspected to have the virus,” he added.

Mr Kargbo said one suspected case involved a 14-year-old boy buried in a Sierra Leonean village after he apparently died across the border in Guinea two weeks ago, AFP reports.

The other patient was still alive in the northern border district of Kambia, he added. Five people are reported to have died in Liberia after crossing from southern Guinea for treatment, Liberia’s Health Minister Walter Gwenigale told journalists on Monday.

However, it is not clear whether they had Ebola. Outbreaks of Ebola occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests, the World Health Organization says.

Source: BBC

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Ebola outbreak in West Africa infects 80, killing 59

An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus has killed at least 59 people in Guinea and is suspected to have spread to neighbouring Liberia.

Health workers in Guinea are trying to contain the spread of the disease which causes severe internal bleeding. In neighbouring Liberia, health officials said they are investigating five deaths after a group of people crossed the border from Guinea in search of medical treatment.

“The team is already investigating the situation, tracing contacts, collecting blood samples and sensitizing local health authorities on the disease,” Liberian Health Minister Walter Gwenigale said.

The Ebola virus leads to severe hemorrhagic fever in its victims and has no vaccine or specific treatment. The new cases mark the first time in 20 years that an outbreak of the virus has been reported in West Africa.

Sierra Leone on high alert

Already health workers fear the outbreak could overtax Liberia and Guinea, both deeply impoverished countries with severely limited medical facilities. Officials in Sierra Leone are also on high alert and have sent medical teams to the border with Guinea, though no cases have emerged so far.

“The Ebola fever is one of the most virulent diseases known to mankind with a fatality rate up to 90 per cent,” said Ibrahima Toure, Guinea’s country director for the aid group Plan International.

“Communities in the affected region stretch across the borders and people move freely within this area. This poses a serious risk of the epidemic becoming widespread with devastating consequences,” he said.

The World Health Organization said it is dispatching experts to help ministry officials in Guinea.

Panic erupts

Efforts were underway to keep the virus from reaching the capital of Conakry, home to some 3 million people. Panic erupted Sunday amid reports that two of the deaths had occurred in the capital. However, on Monday authorities said that those cases were only under investigation and later proved not to be positive for the virus.

As the government issued messages on state radio and television urging people to wash their hands and avoid contact with sick people, medical officials said supplies of chlorine and bleach were running out at stores.

“I usually take a taxi to get to work but in order to avoid contact with strangers, I’m going to walk instead, said Touka Mara, a teacher in Conakry.

Authorities said that goods in Conakry that had been imported from the affected part of the south were being quarantined as a precautionary measure.

Ebola was first reported in 1976 in Congo and is named for the river where it was recognized. Ebola outbreaks were reported in Congo and Uganda in 2012.

The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person, or objects that have been contaminated with infected secretions. During communal funerals, for example, when the bereaved come into contact with an Ebola victim, the virus can be contracted, health officials said.

Source: msn news

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