Health workers wearing protective clothing prepare to carry an abandoned dead body presenting with Ebola symptoms at Duwala market in Monrovia August 17, 2014. Credit: Reuters/2Tango
reuters.com - By Josephus Olu-Mammah and Umaru Fofana - August 27, 2014
(Reuters) - The worst ever Ebola outbreak is causing enormous damage to West African economies as foreign businessmen quit the region, the African Development Bank said, while a leading medical charity branded the international response "entirely inadequate."
As transport companies suspend services, cutting off the region, governments and economists have warned that the epidemic could crush the fragile economic gains made in Sierra Leone and Liberia following a decade of civil war in the 1990s. . .
. . . Air France, the French network of Air France-KLM said on Wednesday it had suspended flights to Sierra Leone after advice from the French government.
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they've discovered how the deadly Ebola virus disables the immune system. They hope the findings will prove valuable in efforts to find treatments for the disease taking hundreds of lives in Africa. . .
. . . American researchers found that the Ebola protein VP24 disrupts a cell's natural immune response. They said this action is an important first step on Ebola's path to causing fatal disease, according to the study published Aug. 13 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.
A British man infected with the Ebola virus is loaded into a Royal Air Force (RAF) ambulance after being flown home on a C17 plane from Sierra Leone, at Northolt air base outside London, August 24, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
af.reuters.com - By Umaru Fofana and Media Coulibaly - August 26, 2014
FREETOWN/KINSHASA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday it had shut a laboratory in Sierra Leone after a health worker there was infected with Ebola, a move that may hamper efforts to boost the global response to the worst ever outbreak of the disease.
. . . The WHO said it had withdrawn staff from the laboratory testing for Ebola at Kailahun -- one of only two in Sierra Leone -- after a Senegalese epidemiologist was infected with Ebola. . .
"It's a temporary measure to take care of the welfare of our remaining workers," WHO spokesperson Christy Feig said, without specifying how long the measure would last. "After our assessment, they will return."
A relic of the Middle Ages, quarantines do more harm than good
By Amber Hildebrandt, CBC NewsAug 25, 2014 5:00 AM ET
Medical experts say that mass quarantine is rarely if ever effective in stemming the spread of a contagion like Ebola, and the move by Liberia to cordon off a sprawling slum is likely to do more harm than good.
reuters.com - (Reporting by Bienvenu-Marie Bakumanya; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Robin Pomeroy) August 24, 2014
(Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo declared an Ebola outbreak in its northern Equateur province on Sunday after two out of eight cases tested came back positive for the deadly virus, Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said.
A mysterious disease has killed dozens of people in Equateur in recent weeks but the World Health Organization had said on Thursday it was not Ebola.
"I declare an Ebola epidemic in the region of Djera, in the territory of Boende in the province of Equateur," Kabange Numbi told a news conference. . .
. . . Numbi said that one of the two cases that tested positive was for the Sudanese strain of the disease, while the other was a mixture between the Sudanese and the Zaire strain -- the most lethal variety.
reliefweb.int - by Zoom DOSSO with Selim SAHEB ETTABA in Dakar
MONROVIA, August 22, 2014 (AFP) - Every region of Liberia has now been hit by Ebola, officials said Friday, as the World Health Organization warned the fight against the worst-ever outbreak of the killer disease would take months.
After seeing people fall to the deadly virus in area after area, Liberia said two people had succumbed to the virus in Sinoe province, the last Ebola-free bastion in a country that has seen the biggest toll . . .
. . . The virus has spread relentlessly through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and Nigeria has also been affected despite showing some progress in fighting the epidemic . . .
Video: Earth's atmosphere contains an unexpectedly large amount of an ozone-depleting compound from an unknown source decades after the compound was banned worldwide.
huffingtonpost.com - August 23rd, 2014 - Katherine Boehrer
New research from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows that large quantities of a chemical responsible for depleting the ozone layer are still being emitted, even years after an international ban.
New measurements have revealed that despite the Montreal Protocol, which limits the use of a variety of ozone-depleting chemicals, releases of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) continue. There should be zero emissions of the compound under the international agreement, but NASA measurements show an average of 39 kilotons are still emitted every year.
As Ebola outbreak grows, WHO notes case-count difficulties
cidrap.umn.edu - by Robert Roos - August 22, 2014
. . . the World Health Organization (WHO) conceded that the size of the epidemic has been underestimated and cited a list of reasons for that, from concealment and denial of cases to the closing of treatment centers and clinics. . .
. . . The WHO also said that in parts of Liberia, newly opened treatment facilities have been immediately flooded with patients, many of whom were not previously identified. "This phenomenon strongly suggests the existence of an invisible caseload of patients who are not being detected by the surveillance system."
Although Ebola virus (EBOV) is transmitted by unprotected physical contact with infected persons, few data exist on which specific bodily fluids are infected or on the risk of fomite transmission. Therefore, we tested various clinical specimens from 26 laboratory-confirmed cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, as well as environmental specimens collected from an isolation ward, for the presence of EBOV. Virus was detected by culture and/or reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction in 16 of 54 clinical specimens (including saliva, stool, semen, breast milk, tears, nasal blood, and a skin swab) and in 2 of 33 environmental specimens.We conclude that EBOV is shed in a wide variety of bodily fluids during the acute period of illness but that the risk of transmission from fomites in an isolation ward and from convalescent patients is low when currently recommended infection control guidelines for the viral hemorrhagic fevers are followed.
reuters.com - (Reporting by Bienvenu Bakumanya and Emma Farge; Editing by Daniel Flynn/Mark Heinrich) August 21, 2014
(Reuters) - At least 70 people have died in northern Democratic Republic of Congo from an outbreak of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, denying that the illness was Ebola.
A WHO report dated Thursday and seen by Reuters said that 592 people had contracted the disease, of whom 70 died. Five health care workers, including one doctor, are among the dead.
"This is not Ebola," a WHO spokesman said in an email to Reuters on Thursday.