WHO: Evidence Shows Ebola Crisis Vastly Underestimated


who.int - August 14, 2014

cnn.com by Faith Karimi - August 15, 2014

(CNN) -- The magnitude of the Ebola crisis in West Africa is "vastly" underestimated, the World Health Organization warned this week, as the death toll steadily climbed. . .

. . . "The outbreak is expected to continue for some time," the WHO said in a statement Thursday. "Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak."


CLICK HERE - WHO Ebola news - Statement - August 14, 2014

Mapping Ebola outbreak

More than 1,000 people have died, with Sierra Leona, Guinea and Liberia worst-affected and two deaths in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared an International Public Health Emergency.


Ebola outbreak

Map: Ebola outbreak in West Africa


Researchers from the New England Journal of Medicine have traced the outbreak to a two-year-old girl, who died on 6 December 2013 in a small village in south-eastern Guinea.


Cumulative death toll

The WHO has published updates on the spread of the virus in each of the countries affected.

Graphic: Cumulative death toll for the 2014 outbreak


MSF estimates 6 months to contain Ebola epidemic

It will take about six months to bring under control the Ebola epidemic, the head of Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans  Frontieres) said on Friday, saying the outbreak in West Africa felt like "wartime, is moving, advancing."

"Over the next six months we should get the upper hand on the epidemic, this is my gut feeling," said Joanne Liu, international president of Doctors Without Borders, adding more experts were needed on the ground. "We need people with a hands-on operational mindset," to combat the outbreak."

Liu said she had conveyed those messages to the WHO and "that I think the wake-up call was too late in calling it a public health emergency of international concern."

"I think we have a common understanding on it now," Liu said. "Now we have to find out how that is translated into concrete action in the field ... a statement will save lives only if followed up on the ground."

They survived Ebola. Now they are shunned.

August 13

Melvin Korkor thought the hardest fight had already been won.

Weeks after contracting Ebola — most likely from a sick patient — Korkor, a Liberian doctor, was able to walk out of a treatment center in Lofa with a clean bill of health, according to Voice of America.

He was one of the lucky ones to survive the deadly disease.

But since leaving the hospital, Korkor has been fighting another difficult battle: Overcoming Ebola-survivor stigma — which, he told a Liberian radio station, "is worse than the fever."


U.S. Orders Departure of Eligible Family Members from Sierra Leone

Press Statement

Marie Harf
Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 14, 2014
At the recommendation of the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone, the State Department today ordered the departure from Freetown of all eligible family members (EFMs) not employed by post. The Embassy recommended this step out of an abundance of caution, following the determination by the Department’s Medical Office that there is a lack of options for routine health care services at major medical facilities due to the Ebola outbreak.


Ebola: UN health agency says more than 1 million people affected by outbreak

Ebola in West Africa poses a great threat to development. Photo: UNDPUN News Center - un.org - 13 August 2014

13 August 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today convened a United Nations system-wide coordination meeting in response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which is now affecting more than 1 million people in the so-called “hot zone of disease transmission” on the borders of the three countries most impacted by the disease.

According to the latest update issued today by the World Health Organization (WHO), between 10 and 11 August, 128 new cases of Ebola virus disease, as well as 56 deaths, were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, bringing the total number of cases to 1,975 and deaths to 1,069.


Only the facts: Ebola experimental drugs

By Caleb Hellerman, CNN
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1122 GMT (1922 HKT)

(CNN) -- The race to develop an effective treatment or vaccine against Ebola is on as the largest outbreak in history continues to spread in West Africa. Meanwhile, questions about whether unproven treatments are appropriate to use, and who should get them, are inspiring passion and resentment.

On Wednesday, an Iowa-based company called NewLink said it has enough doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to begin clinical trials in the next few weeks, if such trials are approved. Meanwhile, a shipment of 800 to 1,000 doses of the vaccine, known as VSV-EBOV, were delivered to health officials in Liberia, as a donation from the Public Health Agency of Canada.


U.S. Health Officials to Consider Use of Unapproved Ebola Meds

reuters.com - By David Morgan and Sharon Begley - August 7, 2014

(Reuters) - The Obama administration is forming a special Ebola working group to consider setting policy for the potential use of experimental drugs to help the hundreds infected by the deadly disease in West Africa, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

The group is being formed under Dr. Nicole Lurie, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services, an administration official said.

The action follows mounting international pressure as the death toll mounts to consider using untested treatments.


Ebola Also Devastates Wild Ape Population

Mrithi, a 20-year-old male western lowland gorilla.

Steve Baragona - August 13, 2014 9:03 AM

One day in 1996, boys from a village in northern Gabon brought home a chimpanzee they found dead in the forest. The villagers butchered it for food.

That act set off an Ebola outbreak that killed 21 people, according to the World Health Organization.

Years later, on a reporting trip in Gabon, author David Quammen met two men from the village who were there during the outbreak.

At the time Ebola was ravaging their village and their families, they noticed something strange. In the forest nearby, 13 gorillas lay dead.


Electromagnetic Disaster Could Cost Trillions and Affect Millions. We Need to Be Prepared


Roasted by a pulse. Credit: arbyreed, CC BY-NC-SA

homelandsecuritynewswire.com - by Anders Sandberg - August 12, 2014

In 1962, a high-altitude Pacific nuclear test caused electrical damage 1,400 km away in Hawaii. A powerful electromagnetic pulse (EMP) – created either by a solar storm or a high-altitude nuclear explosion — poses a threat to regions dependent on electricity, as such pulses could cause outages lasting from two weeks to two years. The main problem is the availability of spare transformers. Superstorm Sandy’s worst effects were in a single location. In the case of a big EMP surge, replacement transformers would be needed in hundreds of locations at the same time. The cost of an EMP pulse to the U.S. economy would likely be in the range of $500 million to $2.6 trillion. A report by the U.S. National Academies was even more pessimistic, guessing at a higher range and a multi-year recovery. Besides disrupting electricity such storms can also destroy satellites, disrupt GPS navigation, and make other parts of the infrastructure fail.

Indian doctors in Nigeria Ebola row free to leave, says hospital

A female immigration officer uses an infrared digital laser thermometer to take the temperature of a female passenger at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja August 11, 2014. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Image: A female immigration officer uses an infrared digital laser thermometer to take the temperature of a female passenger at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja August 11, 2014. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

trust.org - August 12th, 2014 - Nita Bhalla

Four Indian doctors in Nigeria say they are being forced to treat cases of Ebola against their will and have accused their employers of taking away their passports to stop them leaving the country, the Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.

However, the hospital in the Nigerian capital Abuja where the doctors are working denied the claims, pointing out there were no cases of Ebola in the city.

The doctors said they were ordered not to leave the Primus Hospital despite their fear of contracting the deadly disease, the newspaper reported.

Canada offers experimental Ebola vaccine VSV-EBOV to West Africa

The Canadian Press

Aug 12, 2014 5:47 PM ET

A made-in-Canada experimental Ebola vaccine will be offered for use in the West African outbreak response, the Public Health Agency of Canada revealed Tuesday.

The news comes hours after the World Health Organization said a panel of experts advised that it would be ethical to use untested drugs and vaccines in this raging epidemic, which is several times larger than any previous outbreak.


At Heart of Ebola Outbreak, a Village Frozen by Fear and Death

At the center of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, the villagers in Njala Ngiema are afraid to return to homes where so many died. Video Credit By Ben C. Solomon on Publish Date August 11, 2014. Image CreditTommy Trenchard for The New York Times

nytimes.com - by Adam Nossiter - August 11, 2014

NJALA NGIEMA, Sierra Leone — The signs of a deadly struggle remain: Scattered around the houses of the Ebola dead lie empty pill packages, their plastic casings punched through. Nearby in the mud are used packets of oral rehydration salts. The pills did not work, and the hurried trip to the hospital, if there was one, came too late.


Nigeria: Lagos Overwhelmed, Nigeria Asks for Ebola Outbreak Help

- Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP

Spanish priest with Ebola dies in hospital


12:39 Tuesday 12 August 2014

A Spanish priest who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia has died in hospital, health authorities in Madrid have confirmed. Father Miguel Pajares (75) was the first European infected by a strain of the virus that has killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa.

He was airlifted from Liberia on August 7th after becoming infected while working for a non-governmental organisation there.


He was flown to Spain for treatment with his co-worker Juliana Bohi, a nun who has since tested negative for the disease.


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