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Patients missing after raid on Liberia Ebola clinic

Authorities in Liberia’s capital city, Monrovia, have warned of the spread of Ebola after a local clinic was ransacked. The patients quarantined there left the site and their whereabouts remain unknown. Police in Liberia's capital city had restored order by Sunday afternoon following a raid on a local Ebola clinic. However, they warned that local residents now faced a higher risk of exposure to the deadly virus, as the perpetrators had not only stolen infected items, but had also prompted patients to flee. "They broke down the door and looted the place. The patients have all gone," Rebecca Wesseh, a witness to the incident, told the news agency AFP. A police official speaking to the Associated Press news agency also described the incident, which took place on Saturday evening, as a "looting spree." The circumstances surrounding the break in in the district of West Point remained unclear on Sunday. Witness accounts reported by news agencies suggested that a group of armed young men had attacked the quarantine center, claiming that Ebola was a fiction. According to the Associated Press, the group stole a number of items that had visible signs of contamination, such as blood stains and excrement. AFP reported that 17 patients had fled the scene after the raid on Saturday night. The current outbreak of Ebola has become an international health emergency. In the six months since the first diagnosis of the current outbreak, about 1,145 people have died across Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Officials in Kenya have announced a travel ban on incoming passengers from the West Africa countries hit by the epidemic.

Authorities in Liberia’s capital city, Monrovia, have warned of the spread of Ebola after a local clinic was ransacked. The patients quarantined there left the site and their whereabouts remain unknown. Police in Liberia’s capital city had restored order by Sunday afternoon following a raid on a local Ebola clinic. However, they warned that local residents now faced a higher ... Read More »

Ebola threatens to leave 1 million without food

Ebola threatens to leave 1 million in need of food in west African countries hit by the deadly virus. New fears have arisen after MSF warned the outbreak could last another six months. Ebola, which has claimed the lives of 1,145 people, now threatens to leave 1 million without food, according to the UN World Food Program. Road and port blocks imposed to help quarantine the deadly disease are also leading to soaring prices. As more regional airlines suspend flights to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the current situation is set to rapidly decline. Fruit and vegetables have ceased to arrive in Guinea's capital of Conarky and in neighboring Sierra Leone and Libera, several markets have been closed. As prices for staples such as rice increase by reports of 25 percent, many products from the southeastern Guinea remain unsold as no one wants to buy goods from the infected area. Soaring prices have also hit Liberia after it closed down markets on its borders with neighboring infected countries. Bushmeat hunters are also struggling after losing their livelihoods in the face of the worst ever Ebola outbreak. Some farmers have been forced to cut off their fields as bushmeat can carry the Ebola virus, leaving them unable to pay their rent. On Thursday Ivory Coast also blocked all access of ships from the four Ebola-afflicted countries to its port in Abidjan. Like in 'wartime' The UN World Food Program (WFP), which has already been providing aid to thousands of people, is planning food conveys to send to the impoverished Ebola-stricken countries, as part of a regional emergency operation. "It's a health crisis, but it has impacted food security," said WFP spokeswoman Fabienne Pompey. In Geneva on Friday the medical charity, Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) warned that the widespread outbreak could last another six months. The head of MSF, Joanne Liu said that more experts were needed in the hard-hit region. "It is deteriorating faster, and moving faster, than we can respond to," Liu told reporters. "Like in a war time, we have a total collapse of infrastructure." Liu said the world community needed to get the "upper hand" over the next six months. At Ebola treatment centers, beds are continuing to fill up with patients faster than health workers can cope with, as scientists around the world race to provide a vaccine.

Ebola threatens to leave 1 million in need of food in west African countries hit by the deadly virus. New fears have arisen after MSF warned the outbreak could last another six months. Ebola, which has claimed the lives of 1,145 people, now threatens to leave 1 million without food, according to the UN World Food Program. Road and port ... Read More »

Nigeria reports new case of Ebola, fears of spread beyond Lagos ease

Nigeria has reported one new case of Ebola, with the disease so far confined to Lagos after concerns were eased slightly that it might have spread. A report of a case in Singapore was said to be a false alarm. The number of new cases of Ebola in Nigeria had risen by one to a total of 11, Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said on Thursday, representing an apparent slowing of transmission. The figure includes three deaths, with the eight surviving patients being treated at a specialist isolation hospital in Lagos. "Eight are still alive, more than half of them are doing very well and actually showing signs of recovery... under treatment," Chukwu said. Within the megacity of more than 20 million people, 169 people remain under observation for possible infection - down from 177. The several cases reported in Nigeria were associated with an infected traveler - who later died - arriving there from Liberia. Concerns that a nurse might have transmitted the disease from Lagos to the eastern city of Enugu were eased somewhat. Six people remain under screening for the disease, but so far none has proved positive. The World Health Organization has called the current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, which has killed more than 1,000 people, an international emergency. Airline stops Africa-bound flights South Korean national carrier Korean Air said it would halt flights to the Kenyan city of Nairobi, in what it said was a precautionary measure to prevent Ebola's spread. Although there have been no cases of Ebola so far in Kenya, the city is Korean Air's only destination in Africa. The airline has a record of taking precautionary measures ahead of other carriers. In Singapore, the Straits Times reported that a woman from Nigeria had been taken into isolation after flying to the country and reporting to a local hospital suffered from a fever. The woman, in her fifties, was discharged after investigations showed she did not have the disease. The disease has so far been reported on a significant scale in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with Germany having urged its citizens not to travel to any of the three countries.

Nigeria has reported one new case of Ebola, with the disease so far confined to Lagos after concerns were eased slightly that it might have spread. A report of a case in Singapore was said to be a false alarm. The number of new cases of Ebola in Nigeria had risen by one to a total of 11, Nigerian Health ... Read More »

Germany urges citizens to leave Ebola-hit nations

The German government has urged nationals to leave three countries in west Africa affected by the Ebola virus. The outbreak has now killed more than 1000 people, including a second prominent physician in Sierra Leone. Following a meeting of a crisis unit working to stem the ongoing Ebola outbreak, Germany on Wednesday updated its travel warnings for the hardest-hit regions. "It was decided that all German nationals who are in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are called upon to leave due to the still-critical situation," foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schäfer told reporters, adding that German medical personnel needed on the ground were "explicitly exempt." German embassies and consulates in the three countries would remain open, Schäfer also said. This latest outbreak of Ebola, which began in March, is the worst since the deadly and highly contagious virus was discovered in the 1970s. According to figures published Wednesday by the World Health Organization (WHO), 1,069 people have now died. Further deaths Authorities in Sierra Leone announced earlier on Wednesday that a second of its physicians working to stop the spread of the disease had perished. Dr. Modupeh Cole was a senior physician at Connaught Hospital in Freetown. "We are all very, very saddened," the country's chief medical officer Dr. Brima Kargbo said, adding that Cole was a "powerful presence in the country's medical team and has been [...] instrumental in the fight against the Ebola virus." Cole's death follows that of Sierra Leone's leading anti-Ebola expert, Sheik Humarr Khan, who succumbed to the virus a fortnight ago. In Nigeria on Wednesday officials reported the death of government staff member Jatto Asihu Abdulqudira, the third Nigerian to die from Ebola. The 36-year-old, who was working with ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) in Lagos, had been in contact with Nigeria's first Ebola victim, Patrick Sawyer. Nigeria currently has 10 confirmed cases, with more than 100 people under surveillance, and has requested supplies of the experimental drug ZMapp to fight the virus. ZMapp has been used to treat two Americans who are still alive and a Spanish priest who has died. Canadian authorities have also pledged to send an experimental Ebola drug to the WHO, which has approved using experimental drugs against the virus. Travel restrictions Fears over the virus' spread have also led to further travel restrictions, with the Reuters news agency reporting that Guinea-Bissau has closed its border with Guinea.

The German government has urged nationals to leave three countries in west Africa affected by the Ebola virus. The outbreak has now killed more than 1000 people, including a second prominent physician in Sierra Leone. Following a meeting of a crisis unit working to stem the ongoing Ebola outbreak, Germany on Wednesday updated its travel warnings for the hardest-hit regions. ... Read More »

Canada to send experimental Ebola drugs to West Africa

Canada has said it is donating doses of an experimental Ebola drug to fight the ongoing outbreak in West Africa. The announcement comes after the World Health Organization deemed it ethical to use the untested drugs. On Tuesday, Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose said Canada would donate 800 to 1,000 doses of its experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO). Earlier on Tuesday, the WHO approved the use of experimental drugs to fight the virus. "Our government is committed to doing everything we can to support our international partners, including providing staff to assist with the outbreak response, funding and access to our experimental vaccine," Ambrose said in a statement. The government says the drug - which the Public Health Agency of Canada licensed for commercialization to US firm BioProtection Systems, a unit of Newlink Genetics - has never been tested in humans but has shown promise in animals. On Monday, a US company that also makes an experimental vaccine - known as ZMapp made by Mapp Biopharmaceuticals - announced that it sent all of its available supply of the treatment at no cost to West Africa, without naming any countries specifically. The US has confirmed that some doses went to Liberia. A Spanish priest who had just begun taking the experimental drug became the first European to succumb to the virus this year when he died on Tuesday. Two US missionaries infected in Liberia have made some progress in a hospital in the state of Georgia, where they are also taking the drug. Since the beginning of the year, the disease has killed more than 1,000 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. The highly contagious virus is a form of hemorrhagic fever that can cause severe fever, unstoppable bleeding and organ failure. There is no known cure.

Canada has said it is donating doses of an experimental Ebola drug to fight the ongoing outbreak in West Africa. The announcement comes after the World Health Organization deemed it ethical to use the untested drugs. On Tuesday, Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose said Canada would donate 800 to 1,000 doses of its experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health ... Read More »

WHO approves use of experimental Ebola drug

ایبولا وائرس سے اب تک ایک ہزار تیرہ افراد ہلاک ہو چکے ہیں۔ عالمی ادارہ صحت ڈبلیو ایچ او کے مطابق گزشتہ تین دنوں کے دوران مغربی افریقہ کے تین ممالک میں 52 افراد اس وائرس کا شکار ہوئے۔ ان میں سب سے زیادہ یعنی 29 ہلاکتیں لائبیریا میں ہوئیں۔ ان تین دنوں میں سیرا لیون میں ایبولا وائرس سے17جبکہ گِنی میں چھ افراد ہلاک ہوئے۔ ڈبلیو ایچ او کے بیان میں بتایا گیا کہ اب تک ایبولا سے متعلق 18سو سے زائد واقعات سامنے آ چکے ہیں۔ نائجیریا کے صنعتی مرکز لاگوس میں دس افراد میں ایبولا وائرس کی نشاندہی ہو چکی ہے۔ ابھی تک ایبولا کی روک تھام کے لیے کوئی بھی دوا دریافت نہیں ہو پائی ہے۔

A panel of medical experts says it is ethical to use experimental treatments on patients infected with Ebola, the WHO has announced. Meanwhile, a Spanish priest has died despite being treated with an experimental serum. “In the particular circumstances of this outbreak, and provided certain conditions are met, the panel reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions ... Read More »

WHO mulls ethics of untested drugs

The World Health Organization has been hosting talks on the ethics of using experimental drugs. The meeting was held as West Africa battled with an outbreak of the Ebola virus in which the death toll is nearing 1,000. However, two Americans and a Spanish priest, who caught the diease while working in Africa, are being treated with an untested drug called ZMapp, which has reportedly shown promising results. This has stirred debate about the rights and wrongs of using unproven medication, and the need for guidelines on their use. DW Was it ethically wrong for this unproven drug to be administered to these three patients? Thorsten Feldt: It think it was not wrong to give it to them, but we must be very clear that those drugs have so far not been tested in humans, but the data and the results from animal trials were really promising. So after really thinking about the ethics and evaluating the risks and the possible benefits, it became clear that it was worth trying those drugs. Dr Jeremy Farrar, director of the British medical research charity Wellcome Trust, has called for Africans to be given access to such experimental medication. Do you share his views? I think in the long run, yes, but we still only have data from three patients, and even there we don't have complete data yet. Their conditions might have improved, but that doesn't necessarily tell us that the ZMapp antibody mixture is actually working. This is not enough (in the way of data). We are very reluctant to support administering the drug broadly in Africa, where we would have no means of controlling risks and side effects. There would also be very limited means of receiving data on the efficacy of the drug. But bearing in mind that people are dying wouldn't it be advisable, or even wise, to just give them whatever can somehow help them? Yes. And I think the WHO is on track, but this really needs to be evaluated carefully. One other thing is that it is not possible to provide the quantities of the drug needed for hundreds of patients right now. So there is this logistical problem. But it is a good thing that the WHO has started to clear up the ethical aspects so that progress can be made with treatment for Africans. You also have to realize that there are other measures to control the epidemic which might be a priority right now. But where is there so little research, or interest, in developing a drug for Ebola, or a vaccine for that matter. The virus has been around for quite a long time, hasn't it? Drug research is a matter of money - always. The pharmaceutical industry has very little interest because the case numbers are very small, even though there have been ongoing, minor outbreaks for decades. Financially it is uninteresting and the drugs which are in development now were only made possible through cooperation with the US Defense Department. Dr Thorsten Feldt works for the Department of Infectious Dieases at Düsseldorf Universtiy Clinic Interviewer: Chrispin Mwakideu

The World Health Organization has been hosting talks on the ethics of using experimental drugs. The meeting was held as West Africa battled with an outbreak of the Ebola virus in which the death toll is nearing 1,000. However, two Americans and a Spanish priest, who caught the diease while working in Africa, are being treated with an untested drug ... Read More »

Nigeria announces 10 Ebola cases as outbreak spreads

نائجیریا کے شہر لاگوس میں ایبولا وائرس سے متاثرہ مریضوں کی تصدیق شدہ تعداد 10 ہو گئی ہے۔ نائجیریا کے وزیر صحت کے مطابق قبل ازیں تصدیق شدہ کیسز کی تعداد سات تھی۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ ان میں سے دو افراد کی موت ہو چکی ہے جن میں لائبیریا کا ایک شہری بھی شامل ہے جو یہ وائرس نائجیریا لانے کا موجب بنا تھا۔ اونیی بُوچی چُکوو نے ایک پریس کانفرنس سے خطاب میں بتایا کہ ایبولا سے متاثر ہونے والے تمام افراد پیٹرک ساویر کے ساتھ براہ راست رابطے میں آئے تھے۔ لائیبریا کا یہ شہری 25 جولائی کو لاگوس ایئرپورٹ پر آمد کے فوری بعد بے ہوش ہو گیا تھا اور بعد ازاں اس وائرس کے باعث اس کی موت واقع ہو گئی۔

Nigeria has confirmed a new case of Ebola in its financial capital, Lagos. Senegal and Rwanda have each announced their first suspected cases, as nations take measures to halt the spread of the deadly virus. Nigeria on Monday confirmed its 10th case of Ebola in its largest city and financial capital, Lagos. Health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said the latest confirmed ... Read More »

New Ebola precautions ordered for West Africa

Nigeria has banned the transport of corpses over national and state borders. This comes a day after Guinea closed its borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia in a bid to halt an Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 900. The newspaper Leadership reported Sunday that Nigerians would have to bury Ebola victims in the communities where they die. So far, two people have died in Nigeria of Ebola, which is spread through blood and other bodily fluids and has an overall fatality rate of 90 percent. "Henceforth dead bodies will not be allowed to be transported from one part of the country to another," Dr. Khalliru Alhassan, the second in command at the Health Ministry, said Saturday in Kano, according to the newspaper. Seven people are known to be infected in Nigeria. Six cases remain unconfirmed. About 70 people remain under surveillance. Ebola, which causes hemorrhaging and has no vaccine or treatment, has killed 900 people this year in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia (pictured). On Friday, the World Health Organization declared the current outbreak of Ebola an international emergency. Four continents worry A 40-year-old who died in Jeddah after returning from Sierra Leone did not have Ebola, Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry announced on Saturday. According to officials, samples submitted to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a laboratory in Germany had come back negative for the Ebola virus. Saudi Arabia will not issue visas to Mecca pilgrims from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea this year. A patient in Canada has also tested negative, according to the province of Ontario's Health Ministry. Doctors put the man into isolation after he showed Ebola-like symptoms and ran a fever upon landing from Nigeria. In Madrid, doctors will treat the priest Miguel Pajares - infected in Liberia and the first known Ebola carrier on European soil during the current outbreak - with the experimental drug ZMapp, Spain's Health Ministry announced on Sunday. Doctors have determined that the 65-year-old Spanish nun Juliana Bonoha Bohe, who worked at the same hospital as Pajares in Liberia, does not have Ebola. The condition of two American Ebola patients improved after they received treatment with ZMapp, though it remains unclear how much of that result is correlation. The charity Pajares and Bohe worked for had petitioned Spain for permission to bring in two African missionaries who became infected with Ebola while helping treat patients at the same hospital, but the country turned the request down. One of those two missionaries, a Congolese nun, died of Ebola on Saturday, the charity announced. A Sierra Leonean in the German city of Hamburg has tested negative, the news agency dpa reported on Sunday. Doctors have released the man, admitted on Saturday afternoon with a fever and vomiting.

Nigeria has banned the transport of corpses over national and state borders. This comes a day after Guinea closed its borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia in a bid to halt an Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 900. The newspaper Leadership reported Sunday that Nigerians would have to bury Ebola victims in the communities where they die. So ... Read More »

Guinea shuts borders in bid to halt Ebola spread

Guinea has shut its borders with West African neighbors Sierra Leone and Liberia, seeking to halt the spread of Ebola. Almost 1,000 people have died in the outbreak, the majority in the three neighboring countries. Guinean authorities on Saturday said they were temporarily shutting the borders primarily to prevent infected people crossing into Guinea, where at least 367 people have died of Ebola since March. Another 18 patients are being treated in isolation, in the country where the first cases of the current outbreak were diagnosed. "We have provisionally closed the frontier between Guinea and Sierra Leone because of all the news that we have received from there recently," Health Minister Remy Lamah said, then noting that crossings to Liberia would also be closed. Despite formally shutting the official crossings, preventing people from crossing the long, porous borders in rural areas is likely to prove extremely difficult. Guinea's Minister for International Cooperation, Moustapha Koutoub Sano, told reporters in the capital Conakry that the decision was taken in consultation with the two neighbors. Sierra Leone on Saturday deployed some 1,500 troops to two eastern districts - near the border with Guinea - where most of the country's cases have been discovered. Guinea also borders Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and the Ivory Coast, where there have been no recorded cases of Ebola as yet. The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday declared this year's Ebola outbreak to be an international health emergency, saying 961 people had died from 1,779 known cases. The WHO stopped short of advising international travel restrictions, however. Nigeria seeks volunteers, Liberia pledges funds In the Nigerian capital Lagos, authorities on Saturday appealed for volunteers to plug a shortfall of medical staff. "I won't lie about that," Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris said on state television. Nine people have been diagnosed with Ebola in Lagos, home to some 20 million people, and two of them have died. President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday declared a state of emergency in Nigeria, pledging roughly $11.7 million (9 million euros) in funding to isolate patients, screen border crossings, and trace people exposed to the disease. Similarly, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Saturday met with hundreds of health workers at the capital Monrovia's city hall, pledging up to $18 million to improve the country's medical response. "If we haven't done enough so far, I have come to apologize to you," she said. Experimental treatments being tested Medical staff, missionaries and other first responders have been particularly hard hit by the outbreak, because of their proximity to the infectious disease, which spreads via contact with bodily fluids. There is no proven vaccine or medication to combat Ebola; alleviating symptoms including fever, vomiting and diarrhea - mainly through rehydration - is the most effective response. Quarantine procedures for those infected and high standards of hygiene for those exposed are crucial to slow the spread. Several experimental drugs are in testing to combat Ebola, however, and a WHO official on Saturday told the AFP news agency that it was "realistic" to hope for a vaccine by 2015. Microbiologist Marie-Paule Kieny, who headed the WHO's vaccine division during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009, said the circumstances justified somewhat hurried development and testing of potential treatements. "Will it have been tested as well as other vaccines we put out in the field? No, absolutely not. That would be impossible," Kieny told AFP. She said it was particularly important to speed up government authorization for phase-one trials, which in Africa can often take months. One potential drug, ZMapp, from US company Mapp Biopharmaceutical, is being used to treat two infected US citizens who recently returned from Africa. Kieny said the drug appeared "promising." Kieny also said that the WHO was working with several pharmaceutical companies.

Guinea has shut its borders with West African neighbors Sierra Leone and Liberia, seeking to halt the spread of Ebola. Almost 1,000 people have died in the outbreak, the majority in the three neighboring countries. Guinean authorities on Saturday said they were temporarily shutting the borders primarily to prevent infected people crossing into Guinea, where at least 367 people have ... Read More »

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