Pesticides likely behind 'mysterious killer disease' in Nigeria

Deutsche Welle                                                                            April 19, 2015

 Eighteen people died under mysterious circumstances in southwest Nigeria this week, sparking fears of a new infectious disease outbreak. Weed killer was the likely cause, the World Health Organization has now said.

When over a dozen men in the village of Ode Irele in southwestern Ondo state who complained of similar symptoms all died within a day, alarm bells began to ring. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no reason to suspect any outbreak of infectious disease, such as Ebola, which has claimed over 10,000 lives in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

The "current hypothesis is herbicides," WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said on Sunday, adding: "Tests done so far are negative for viral and bacterial infection."

The victims began showing symptoms between April 13 and 15, including blurred vision and loss of consciousness, and Ondo spokesman Kayode Akinmade said it was due to a "mysterious killer disease."

Read complete story

Country / Region Tags: 
General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Rebuilding after Ebola will require the world’s help

WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL                             Aug. 18, 2015

THE RAVAGING of populations in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea by the Ebola virus over the past year has been devastating. The virus killed 10,702 people and left behind vast economic and emotional tolls. The rest of the world responded slowly to the outbreak but eventually rallied. Now it is time to do the same with the aftermath and extend a hand for rebuilding...

The outbreak has receded, but weak local health-care systems proved inadequate when the virus began to spread last year, and improvements are vital in all three countries, especially a much-strengthened system of surveillance to spot any resurgence. Trained health-care workers are in short supply. A small but important step was taken recently in the announcement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help set up an African CDC that could keep the continent one step ahead of another scourge. But the rest of the world also has a stake in making sure that the region builds a better firewall against infectious disease....

General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Paper and Phones Could Soon Diagnose Ebola and HIV for $1

NEWSWEEK  by Conner Gaffey                               April 16, 2015
Diseases such as HIV and Ebola are on the verge of being diagnosed almost instantly using paper-based technology costing less than $1.

                                       Diseases may soon be tested for via paper and smartphones Getty

The devices, known as biosensing platforms, are made from cheap materials including plastic film and cellulose paper. Results are captured using a smartphone camera and sent back to hospitals or clinics for immediate diagnosis.

Current HIV diagnosis can cost up $48 (45) for a negative test and $64 (60) for a positive test. Checks for Ebola cost some $100 (95), take up to six hours to produce a result and require sophisticated diagnostic equipment, the type of which is often unavailable in western Africa where the disease is especially prevalent.

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

CDC announces smartphone coaching app for Ebola workers

CGN                                                    April 17, 2015

(Scroll down for underlying press release.)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a free smartphone application that provides intuitive coaching on CDC's guidelines for proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent transmission of Ebola.

Powered by 22otters, a mobile patient engagement platform, CDC's PPE app is an animated, speech-enabled, step-by-step mobile coaching tool to help healthcare workers access easy-to-follow directions for putting on and removing PPE and respirators in accordance with CDC guidelines to prevent transmission of Ebola. Following the initial Ebola app release, 22otters will release a variant of the app allowing training progress tracking and content modules customized for providers.

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Evaluating Clinical Trial Designs for Investigational Treatments of Ebola Virus Disease

PLOS MEDICINE   by Ben Cooper and others                                                             April 14, 2015
Experimental treatments for Ebola virus disease might reduce EVD mortality. There is uncertainty about the ability of different clinical trial designs to identify effective treatments, and about the feasibility of implementing individually randomised controlled trials during an Ebola epidemic

A treatment evaluation programme for use in EVD was devised using a multi-stage approach (MSA) with two or three stages, including both non-randomised and randomised elements. The probabilities of rightly or wrongly recommending the experimental treatment, the required sample size, and the consequences for epidemic outcomes over 100 d under two epidemic scenarios were compared for the MSA, a sequential randomised controlled trial (SRCT) with up to 20 interim analyses, and, as a reference case, a conventional randomised controlled trial (RCT) without interim analyses.

Read complete study.

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Nigeria Hit With Mysterious Epidemic In Ondo State, More Deadly Than Ebola: Report

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES  by Morgan Winsor        April 17, 2015

A strange disease has ravaged a small community in western Nigeria, killing at least 14 people in the last 10 days. Residents of the Ikale community in Ondo state have described the mysterious epidemic as more deadly than Ebola and many are afraid to touch the dead, the Daily Post in Nigeria reported.

“We are worried. Our people are dying. We don’t know this sickness,” resident Mary Omogbehinla told the Daily Post on Thursday. “We can’t touch those who have been killed. I have counted about 19, others said 14. God please, have mercy on us.”

Four new patients with symptoms of the strange disease were isolated at a local hospital in Ode Irele. The state’s health commissioner, Dayo Adeyanju, said Thursday the government launched an awareness campaign to encourage residents to report any potential cases of the mysterious ailment. The World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria’s health ministry and other health agencies were also contacted to help identify the disease and to ensure the cases do not spread, the Daily Post said Thursday.

Country / Region Tags: 
General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Ebola: World Bank Group Provides New Financing to Help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Recover from Ebola Emergency

THE WORLD BANK                                                                           April 17, 2015

New GDP Estimates Show International Support Vital to Speed Recovery

WASHINGTON--The World Bank Group (WBG) announced today that it would provide at least US$650 million during the next 12 to 18 months to help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone recover from the devastating social and economic impact of the Ebola crisis and advance their longer-term development needs. The new WBG pledge brings the organization’s total financing for Ebola response and recovery efforts to date to US$1.62 billion.

The additional funding announcement comes as the WBG releases new GDP estimates showing that the Ebola epidemic continues to cripple the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Estimated GDP losses for the three countries in 2015 rose to US$2.2 billion: US$240 million for Liberia, US$535 million for Guinea and US$1.4 billion for Sierra Leone. In addition to the severe effects of Ebola, the economic downturn in the three countries is aggravated by the sharp decline in global iron ore prices, as well as the collapse of the mining sector in Sierra Leone...

General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

"Exhausted" Liberia struggles with long Ebola 'to do' list -

REUTERS  by Astrid Zweynert                                                                 April 17, 2015

OXFORD, England-- Treating trauma and the mental health issues of Ebola survivors is one of the many challenges facing "exhausted" Liberia, a senior health ministry official said.

Liberia has weathered the worst ever outbreak of Ebola, which has killed more than 10,600 people and infected 25,791, more successfully than its neighbours Sierra Leone and Guinea....

"Our country is exhausted. We still have huge needs," said Miatta Gbanya, deputy incident manager of Ebola response at the Liberian healthy ministry.

"The mental health of survivors, of health care workers need addressing. That's just one thing - there is still a lot to be done," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation....

 The Liberian government has been analysing its response to the Ebola epidemic and ways it could prevent similar outbreaks in the future, including investing some of the aid it has received into the healthcare system, Gbanya said.

Read complete story.

Country / Region Tags: 
General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Dramatic’ progress in fighting Ebola must be followed by long-term recovery efforts

UNITED NATIONS NEWS CENTRE                                                      April 16, 2015

WASHINGTON  --Intense efforts to control the Ebola outbreak in the three most-affected West African countries in will continue, the United Nations health chief said in Washington, DC today, adding that the international community is also looking for ways to build on dramatic recent progress by aiding with efforts aimed at recovery from the outbreak.

Tuesday 14 April 2015 was a happy day in Sierra Leone as children returned to school after many months             away, due to the Ebola outbreak. Photo: WHO/N. Alexander

“The goal is to help people and their communities to return to a normal life again,” said Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). “It means that children are going back to school, women can once again shop in their local markets, and livelihoods are restored.”

General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Ebola on the wane, Sierra Leone braces for a whole new crisis

WASHINGTON POST  by Todd C. Frankel                                                        April 16, 2015

Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma was ready to talk about something besides Ebola.

Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma, left, and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf listen as U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement to the news media in the Cabinet Room at the White House April 15, 2015 in Washington, DC. Obama and his counterparts discussed their progress in the fight against the Ebola virus and their efforts to create long-term economic recovery for the West African countries. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

His West African nation is not yet Ebola-free. It is still fighting to rid itself of the feared pathogen, which has killed more than 10,000 people in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia since March 2014. But today the number of new Ebola cases in Sierra Leone has slowed to a trickle. The country recorded just seven new confirmed infections last week. Last November, Sierra Leone was reporting 550 new cases a week.

Country / Region Tags: 
General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Ebola Fighters Say Now Is Not the Time to Let Up

 Cases may be nearing zero in certain areas, but the threat of the disease lingers

 TIME MAGAZINE  by Maya Rhodan                                                   April 16, 2015

There were only 37 confirmed cases of Ebola last week, just a year after the deadly virus was spreading quickly across Western Africa. But key stakeholders in the effort to reduce the number of cases to zero said Thursday that success is not guaranteed.

President Barack Obama, flanked by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, left, and Guinean President Alpha Condé, speaks in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 15, 2015, to discuss the progress made in the international Ebola response. Manuel Balce Ceneta—AP

“We are dealing now with the most difficult areas,” said Bruce Aylward, the assistant director-general of polio and emergencies at the World Health Organization. “We’re dealing with issues of fear, of trust with communities that have been marginalized. That have not been fully engaged.”

General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

What Would You Do if Restaurants and Your Local Grocery Store Closed Tomorrow?

    - by Joseph Agoada - April 14, 2015

If all the supermarkets and restaurants in your neighborhood closed their doors tomorrow, would you know how to source your next meal? Would you be able to survive in a world without a local grocery store or eatery? While the thought of losing your local market may seem extreme, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are faced with the daily challenge of finding the food to fuel their day.


Country / Region Tags: 
General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Turning the Page on Ebola

Joint Statement by Presidents Alpha Condé  of Guinea, Ernest Bai Koroma  of Sierra Leone. and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia 

 PROJECT SYNDICATE   COMMENTARY                                                                                       April 16, 2015

....The uncontrolled spread of the disease exposed the shortcomings of our national health care systems, as well as regional and global institutions’ weak capacity for coordination and effective response. Simply put, we were ill prepared to cope with, much less prevent, an outbreak on this scale.

We bear a collective responsibility for the thousands of lives lost to Ebola and the tens of thousands affected by the disease. And, today, thanks to institutional improvement and adaptation, we are closer to winning the fight against Ebola. Although the disease has not been contained and eradicated throughout the region, its spread has slowed; now we have to start planning our recovery, which must include strengthening the national, regional, and international systems that protect our people’s lives and futures....

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Challenges in Guinea spur increase in Ebola cases

CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH AND POLICY    by Lisa Schnirring                       April 15, 2015
(Scroll down for full WHO report.)
Ebola progress held steady in Sierra Leone and Liberia last week, but the number of confirmed cases in Guinea increased, with the country's response indicators showing a mixed picture amid sparks of community resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today in its weekly epidemiologic update.

The outbreak region registered 37 confirmed cases last week, up from 30 reported the week before, the WHO said. Guinea's cases increased from 21 to 28, with Sierra Leone reporting 9 lab-confirmed cases, the same as the week before. Liberia hasn't reported any new cases since the middle of March.

Meanwhile, the geographic scope of the outbreak shrank a bit last week, with 8 districts in Guinea and Sierra Leone reporting cases, down from 10 the week before. The hot spots are still located in western Guinea, especially Forecariah district near the border with Sierra Leone. The few cases in Sierra Leone are coming mainly from three western districts in an area that includes the capital city, Freetown.

General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Ebola Hit Liberia rebuilds devastated child health care system

AFP    by Zoom Dosso                                       april 16, 2015
Monrovia - Estella Verdier keeps vigil by her sick four-month-old grandson's hospital bed, praying for his recovery but placing her faith in the earthly healing powers of Liberia's first ever children's hospital.

A woman sits next to her baby on April 7, 2015 in Liberia's first ever children's hospital, just opened in Monrovia by Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), part of the country's response to the daunting challenge of repairing its wrecked health service (AFP Photo/Zoom Dosso)

The 46-bed unit, just opened in Monrovia by Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), is part of the country's response to the challenge of repairing its wrecked health service as it emerges from the nightmare of Ebola...

With its Ebola clinics now empty, Liberia's priority is curing the ailing healthcare system.

"We basically decided to come and help the medical system in the effort of restoration after Ebola hit," MSF project coordinator Ondrej Horvath told AFP.

Country / Region Tags: 
General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 


Subscribe to Global RSS
howdy folks