Tag Archives: Ebola Virus News

Ebola on a Carnival Cruise Ship?

A man has been quarantined aboard a Carnival Cruise ship in the Caribbean.  Apparently, a Texas hospital lab supervisor who may or may not have handled some fluid samples from Thomas Eric Duncan, (a man who died from Ebola), was vacationing aboard a Carnival Cruise ship and officials decided to quarantine him.  The man did not have direct contact with Duncan and he has not shown any symptoms of Ebola.

The quarantine measure is probably in response to public outrage that authorities haven’t been handling the Ebola issues properly.  Two nurses who cared for Duncan now have Ebola and one of them flew aboard a commercial jet to Cleveland.   Officials are now trying to take more proactive measures to make sure the deadly Ebola virus doesn’t continue to spread.   I can’t think of a much worse place to spread Ebola than on airplanes and cruise ships.

Obama Appoints an Ebola Czar, Overlooks More Qualified Candidate

Is Obama seriously going to appoint one of his political cronies as “Ebola Czar” instead of a more qualified candidate?  It sure looks that way.  According to Fox News, President Obama plans to appoint Ron Klain as the new Ebola Czar.  Klain has no apparent medical background or health care background to speak of.  But he did serve as Chief of Staff to Al Gore and Joe Biden.

If these reports are true and Obama names Klain Ebola Czar that means he will be passing up Dr. Nicole Lurie for the position.  She has served as an assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human services for the past five years.

Ebola Death Toll Continues to Rise

It was reported today that there have been at least 1229 Ebola deaths with over 2200 Ebola infections and hundreds more possible Ebola infections.

Here are a few Ebola outbreak updates for you:

In Liberia, the suspected Ebola virus patients (who were likely to have the Ebola Virus) who fled a quarantined Ebola treatment center have turned themselves in to a hospital.  The patients fled the Ebola clinic when it was ransacked by armed men who looted the place a few days ago.  There was great fear that with the “escaped” Ebola patients wondering around and with the looted items from the clinic being spread around, that the Ebola virus could spread throughout one of the largest slums in the area.

The Ebola situation has gotten so bad in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone that entire villages have been quarantined.  Because of that, many people are starving and don’t have the basics for survival.  The U.N. World Food Program is said to be preparing to deliver food for one million people in the affected areas to provide aid and relief.  The spokeswoman for the World Health Organization said she thinks the world is now using high vigilance in all countries.  She said, “I can’t remember the last time we fed 1 million people in a quarantine situation.”

Ebola Clinic Attacked and Virus Likely to Spread

In Liberia, armed men attacked an Ebola quarantine center, freed the Ebola patients there, and looted everything they could find at the clinic.  The looted items even included bloody sheets and mattresses highly likely to contain the contagious and deadly Ebola virus.

This incident creates the perfect storm for a huge Ebola virus outbreak in the region.  You have the combination of confirmed Ebola patients who have fled the clinic, and you have infected items that were looted being passed around.  On top of that, this all happened near the capital’s largest slum.

30 Ebola patients were staying at the clinic before the attack.  Many of them fled while the clinic was under siege.  Officials are trying to round them up and then transfer them to the Ebola center at Monrovia’s largest hospital.

Liberian officials had considered putting the entire West Point under quarantine but as of right now that is not going to be the decision.  There are over 50,000 residents in West Point.

Ebola Virus Updates

ebola virus updates

Here are the latest updates on the Ebola Virus Outbreak:

  • In efforts to slow the spread of the Ebola Virus, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia have decided to implement ancient medieval tactics to cordon off highly affected areas.  This measure is something that was used long ago to fight the Bubonic Plague.  Cross border isolation zones have been set up and they are being patrolled by armed guards.  Much needed medical supplies and food will be coming to the sanitary barriers but nobody will be permitted to leave the isolation zones.  Hadja Saran Darab, the Secretary General of the Mano River Union, had this to say about the new measures being implemented, “We have agreed to take important and extraordinary actions at the inter-country level to focus on cross-border regions that have more than 70 percent of the epidemic.”   Although this may be effective, it still leaves 30 percent on opposite side of the barrier and it may prove difficult to keep people from leaving, especially if they feel they aren’t receiving what they need inside the barrier.
  • The current death toll from the Ebola Virus outbreak now stands at 1069 Ebola deaths.
  • The last remaining does of the experimental Ebola treatment serum Zmapp arrived in Liberia yesterday.  They were carried personally by Augustine Ngafuan and they will be given to two sick African doctors.  The company who makes Zmapp has said their supplies are now exhausted and it will take multiple months to produce even small amounts of the serum.
  • A Canadian company has pledged to donate up to one thousand does of their untested Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO).  However, it is unknown how scientists can even determine if the vaccine works and there are lots of questions being asked about who will receive the vaccines.
  • A third person in Nigeria has now died from Ebola.  He had been quarantined after he came in contact with the Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer who died from Ebola a month ago.

World Health Organization Approves Experimental Ebola Drug Treatments

With the Ebola Virus outbreak’s death toll now exceeding 1000 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) has finally approved the use of experimental Ebola serums to treat the virus.  The U.S. company that makes ZMapp, the experimental Ebola medicine that was used on Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol, said they have now sent all of their available supplies to the hardest hit areas of West Africa.

After meeting with several Ebola and infectious disease experts, Marie-Paule Kieny, the World Health Organization’s assistant director general, told reporters, “In the special circumstances of this Ebola outbreak it is ethical to offer unregistered interventions as potential treatments or prevention.”

Leading up to these discussions, there had been an international outcry, basically saying that it was unfair that the only people who had been given the experimental serum were white.  Many took to Twitter to voice their complaints and demand that blacks also receive the drug.

It is unknown whether or not Zmapp helped the two American Ebola patients who received doses of the experimental serum.  There were positive indications that it did help them recover, but elderly Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, who became infected while helping patients in Liberia, was also treated with Zmapp and he died anyway.  It remains to be seen how effective this drug will be, and there are other untested experimental drugs in the works that could soon be used on Ebola victims.

Ebola Virus Outbreak Problems Are Mounting in Liberia

Here’s a quick Ebola virus outbreak update with news from Liberia.

Residents in Liberia are outraged at the government’s delays in picking up dead bodies of Ebola victims on the roadsides.  An angry crowd of Liberians blocked the country’s busiest roadway in protest.  Tensions continue to mount as there have been nearly 300 Ebola Virus deaths in Liberia and there are great concerns of further contamination.   In Guinea, officials have made the decision to close its land borders with Liberia and Sierra Leone.   Liberia’s government has ordered that all Ebola victims be cremated since there is so much opposition to normal burials for fear of further contamination.  Over forty health workers in Liberia have become infected by Ebola.  The Doctors Without Borders charity group working in Liberia has described the conditions as “catastrophic.”

Drastic times call for drastic measures and to slow down the spread of Ebola Liberia has launched “Operation White Shield” where soldiers are deployed in different locations outside the capital to discourage residents’ movements.  This is a part of Sirleaf’s emergency measures to better fight the disease and slow down its spread.  Health workers are stationed next to soldiers at each checkpoint to take the temperature of every commuter.  Anyone who has a temperature above the normal range will be prevented from leaving.

Has Ebola Arrived in Canada?

Tests are being performed on a patient exhibiting the symptoms of the Ebola Virus in Brampton Civic Hospital in Ontario, Canada.  The patient who’s name and gender have not yet been revealed, was said to have recently traveled to Canada from Nigeria (a country with confirmed Ebola victims).

Dr. Graham Pollett is the interim Chief Medical Officer of Health.  According to Pollett, “Ontario’s health care system is prepared to respond should an individual arrive with symptoms that could suggest a disease, such as Ebola,  To date, there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in Ontario and the risk to Ontarians remains very low.”

With international travel it is likely inevitable that Ebola cases like this will continue to pop up all over the world.  The World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that West Africa’s Ebola Virus epidemic was a global health emergency and could continue spreading for several months.   The current Ebola death toll stands at 932 deaths with over 1700 Ebola Virus infections.

Update On Dr. Kent Brantly & Nancy Writebol

Hero Dr. Kent Brantly is still in an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia but he gave a statement today to let everyone who where he stands in his fight against the deadly Ebola Virus.  It’s not surprise that Dr. Brantly, being a devout Christian, said that he is in a different location but his focus is still the same – to follow God.

hero Ebola doctor Kent Brantly

Here is Dr. Brantly’s statement in its entirety:

“I am writing this update from my isolation room at Emory University Hospital, where the doctors and nurses are providing the very best care possible. I am growing stronger every day, and I thank God for His mercy as I have wrestled with this terrible disease. I also want to extend my deep and sincere thanks to all of you who have been praying for my recovery as well as for Nancy and for the people of Liberia and West Africa.

“My wife Amber and I, along with our two children, did not move to Liberia for the specific purpose of fighting Ebola. We went to Liberia because we believe God called us to serve Him at ELWA Hospital.

“One thing I have learned is that following God often leads us to unexpected places. When Ebola spread into Liberia, my usual hospital work turned more and more toward treating the increasing number of Ebola patients. I held the hands of countless individuals as this terrible disease took their lives away from them. I witnessed the horror first-hand, and I can still remember every face and name.

“When I started feeling ill on that Wednesday morning, I immediately isolated myself until the test confirmed my diagnosis three days later. When the result was positive, I remember a deep sense of peace that was beyond all understanding. God was reminding me of what He had taught me years ago, that He will give me everything I need to be faithful to Him.

“Now it is two weeks later, and I am in a totally different setting. My focus, however, remains the same – to follow God. As you continue to pray for Nancy and me, yes, please pray for our recovery. More importantly, pray that we would be faithful to God’s call on our lives in these new circumstances.”

Our prayers continue to go out to Dr. Brantly, his loved ones and all those who are victims of this deadly Ebola outbreak.

Here’s an update on Nancy Writebol, the other American Ebola patient being treated at Emory University Hospital.

Ebola victim Nancy Writebol

Apparently Mrs. Writebol’s condition is at least slightly  improving, because her husband told reporters today that his wife was well enough to request a cup of Starbucks coffee.

Ebola Victim Brought To Europe for Treatment

75 year old Priest Miguel Parajes is now the first person infected with the Ebola virus to be taken to Europe for treatment.  Parajes was caring for other Ebola victims in a hospital his humanitarian group runs when it was discovered that he too had been infected with the virus.

Parajes was flown in a special airbus back to Spain along with a nun who was not infected with Ebola.  They landed in Madrid and were escorted by a convoy of medical personnel in protective suits, who took them to a special isolation unit of Madrid’s Carlos III Hospital.  Thirty regular patients were evacuated to clear the area for them.  They are now in quarantine and twelve medical staff members will be alternating three shifts to monitor and care for them.

Other Ebola News and Updates

Yesterday, a man died of Ebola in Saudi Arabia, which marked the first Ebola death outside of West Africa.  With two Americans being treated for Ebola in the United States and now an Ebola patient in Europe concern and fear about the Ebola virus outbreak continues to expand.  In the worst affected regions of West Africa dead Ebola victims have been found in the streets because family members and relatives were too afraid to be near them for fear they would catch the disease.  750 soldiers line the streets in Sierra Leone to enforce Ebola quarantines.  The World Health Organization is having talks and debating whether or not to use untested U.S. drugs on Ebola victims.  So far, President Obama has advised against that, saying it is “too soon”.  Britain’s Cobra emergency committee is meeting to discuss options and Britain has increased the aid they are sending to $5 million Euros.  The current Ebola death toll stands out 932 Ebola deaths and over 1700 Ebola cases.