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UPDATE 3-South Korea confirms third case of MERS virus; 64 isolated

reuters.com - May 21, 2015

South Korean health officials confirmed the country's third case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Thursday, with the two latest cases found in people who had been in contact with the first patient after he returned from the Middle East.

Authorities have isolated as a precaution another 64 people who are family members or medical workers treating those three patients, said Yang Byung-guk, director of the health ministry's Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Test results came back positive for a 63-year-old woman, the wife of the first proven case, as well as for a 76-year-old man who shared a hospital room with him, the ministry said.

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Doctors Link Risky Burials to Ebola Rise in West Africa

          

nytimes.com - by Adam Nossiter - May 19, 2015

Only days after declaring the lowest number of new Ebola cases in Guinea and Sierra Leone this year, officials at the World Health Organization said Tuesday that there had been a nearly fourfold increase during the most recent week of reporting, to about 35 new cases.

With Liberia, the other West African nation at the center of the epidemic, being declared free of Ebola this month, the recent drop in infections in Sierra Leone and Guinea had offered hope that the worst Ebola outbreak in history might end soon. . . .

. . . Health officials said that sharp falls and rises were normal as an epidemic approached its end. But they also said that some persistent risky practices, like unsafe burials of Ebola victims in Guinea, had contributed to the rise.

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After Ebola, a Look at How Africa Can Respond to Future Health Emergencies

                 

undp.org - theglobalobservatory.org - by Michael R. Snyder - May 14, 2015

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Guinea - Resurgence of Ebola in Boffa, Forecariah and Dubréka (Matam)

africaguinee.com - by BAH Aïssatou - May 16, 2015

(English translation provided below)

(Links to most recent WHO and UNMEER Situation Reports provided below)

Ebola : Nouveau rebondissement de l’épidémie en Guinée…

CONAKRY- Alors que l’épidémie Ebola tendait vers sa fin en Guinée,  elle vient de faire  un rebondissement dans certaines préfectures situées en basse Guinée et à Conakry.  20 cas confirmés ont été enregistrés ces derniers jours, a appris africaguinee.com.

Cette information rapportée par le chargé de  communication à la Coordination de  Lutte Contre Ebola, Fodé Tass Sylla  indique aussi que 5 cas positifs ont été enregistrés à Boffa, Dubréka et Forécariah et  (Matam), dans la seule journée du jeudi 14 mai.  Avec un total de 27 cas d’hospitalisation dont  18 cas  confirmés dans les Centres de traitements d’Ebola. 

 Les raisons  de cette situation  s’expliquent  par le déplacement des malades et des personnes contacts d’une localité  à une autre ;  et le déplacement des personnes vers les cérémonies funèbres, affirme Fodé Tass Sylla

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Nurses with Tablets and Bikers with Smartphones Join Ebola Fight

reuters.com - by Joseph D'Urso

. . . For a two week trial, researchers employed locals to scoot around the province on small motorbikes known as okadas, collecting household, health and population data from villages on simple smartphones.

They travelled in pairs, one riding the motorbike and one using a GPS-enabled smartphone running an Android operating system, preloaded with a specially designed, simple programme for storing the necessary information.

When they arrived in a village they interviewed a village leader or representative to gather as much information as possible, and log GPS coordinates, essential in a region where village names are often duplicated or spelt differently.

Nic Lochlainn said it takes a long time to learn to use the sophisticated satellite devices usually used for mapping but users could master this software in hours and the data let experts assign Ebola cases to specific villages more accurately.

The scheme covered 950 villages in two weeks, and the cost was "very modest" compared with sending foreign aid workers into the field or commissioning detailed satellite imagery, she said.

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Ebola Virus Evolved at Normal Rates During Epidemic, Scientists Say

submitted by George Hurlburt        

        

(John Moore/Getty Images)

theverge.com - by James Vincent - May 14, 2015

Chinese scientists report that the Ebola virus responsible for the outbreak in West Africa last year mutated at a normal rate, further alleviating fears that the virus had been able to evolve more rapidly than usual thanks to the prolonged and widespread nature of the epidemic. Ebola, like HIV and influenza, belongs to a class of virus with a high rate of mutation, and scientists had previously warned that it might evolve to become more contagious, and, in an extreme scenario, even airborne.

This latest report published in Nature corroborates an earlier study from March, showing that while the virus did mutate as it spread to new areas, it did so within the bounds of expected behavior.

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CLICK HERE - REPORT - Genetic diversity and evolutionary dynamics of Ebola virus in Sierra Leone

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Nepal Earthquakes: Survivors Face Years of Anxiety, Depression

nbcnews.com - by F. Brinley Bruton - May 14, 2015

Countless Nepalis face long battles with anxiety and depression after the country's devastating recurring earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks, aid workers and mental health professionals warned.

Delilah Borja, Save the Children's country director in Nepal, said the organization was "extremely concerned about the emotional well-being" of kids who were caught up in the two major quakes.

"The second quake in particular has created a new level of terrifying uncertainty as those affected must now ask themselves if another deadly earthquake is coming," she said in a statement released on Wednesday.

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The Pain of the New Normal: Guinea After Ebola

      

Children wash their hands before entering a classroom in Gueckedou - Photo: Jennifer Lazuta

irinnews.org - by Jennifer Lazuta

GUECKEDOU, 13 May 2015 (IRIN) - “Life is back to normal, but everything has changed,” said 30-year-old Yawa Keterine Camara as she slowly stirred a boiling cauldron of sauce outside her mud-brick home in southeastern Guinea. “I live again like before, but nothing is quite the same.”

Camara, who lost her husband to Ebola in November, said her life, like many, many other Guineans, is now divided in two: pre-Ebola and post-Ebola, the before and after.

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Diarrhoea Patients on Rise in Quake Hit Khokana

ekantipur.com

LALITPUR, APR 28 - With the lack of safe drinking water after the April 25 earthquake , people in Khokana village, the southern outskirt of the Kathmandu Valley, has begun suffering from diarrhoea.

Although the villagers initially got treatment at local health posts, the number of the sufferers increased. So, they were referred to better hospital and the health camps run by the Nepal Army, said a local social worker, Nepal Dangol.

Similarly, Shivaram Baniya from Adarshashaul Higher Secondary School said more than 100 diarrhoea patients have been provided treatment at health camps run by a joint team of Nepal Army and the Bangladesh Army. RSS

http://www.ekantipur.com/2015/04/28/national/diarrhoea-patients-on-rise-in-quake-hit-khokana/404576.html

http://np.ekantipur.com/2015/04/28/top-story/diarrhoea-patients-on-rise-in-quake-hit-khokana/404576.html

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Re: Diarrhoea patients on rise in quake hit Khokana | Health | National

Jim,

I agree. The question is whether we can alter the trajectory of disease with better assessment, surveillance, and rapid response. What we engaged in Haiti worked, but it was never scaled appropriately.

We can do better in Nepal. The monsoon season is only a couple months away. Efforts we need to be scaled immediately.

Mike

Dr. Michael D. McDonald

Coordinator
Global Health Response and Resilience Alliance

Chairman
Global Resilience Systems, Inc.

President
Health Initiatives Foundation, Inc.

***@***.***
202-468-7899

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