Tag Archives: Ebola Virus Updates

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.

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.

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.

CDC Issues Level 1 Emergency Response for Ebola Virus Outbreak

The Ebola Virus outbreak has risen to an alarming rate, and now the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has raised their emergency response to Level 1.  The Level 1 Emergency Response is the highest level at the CDC.  The main reason for the status being raised is because of the amount of workers being sent into the countries currently being affected by the Ebola outbreak.

The CDC is now helping the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases with their headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Center specializes in researching and studying Ebola.  So far nearly 250 workers are working on the Ebola response with thirty of them being sent to the affected countries.  More staff members are scheduled to be deployed soon.

With the Ebola virus killing nearly 1000 people so far in West Africa there’s no doubt this outbreak has very serious.  To gauge how serious this is, the CDC has only raised their emergency response to Level 1 twice in the past eleven years before this.  The other two times were Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the H1N1 outbreak of 2009.

Ebola Outbreak State of Emergency Declared By Nigeria

ebola virus state of emergency

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that the Ebola Virus Outbreak’s death toll in West Africa has now surpassed 900 deaths and currently sits at 932.  A nurse in Nigeria died from Ebola marking the second Ebola death in Nigeria.  The first Ebola death in Nigeria was Patrick Sawyer, a 40 year old American of Liberian decent who got sick while traveling to Nigeria on a business trip.  Both Ebola deaths in Nigeria occurred in Lagos, a mega city with a population of over 21 million people.  Because of the crowded population there are great concerns the virus could spread quickly if not contained.  Millions of people in Lagos live in cramped up conditions without plumbing or flushable toilets.  Signs have been posted throughout the city trying to warn people to not urinate in public spaces as that act of emitting bodily fluids could potentially spread the Ebola disease.

Just a couple hours ago, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared a state of emergency in Nigeria in a televised address to the nation.  Sirleaf said, “Ignorance and poverty, as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices, continue to exacerbate the spread of the disease”.  Nigerian officials have been moving quickly to obtain isolation tents to quarantine potentially infected people in anticipation of a further outbreak.

Ebola Outbreak Leads to Emergency World Health Organization Meeting

Global health experts are meeting to discuss the Ebola outbreak and whether or not to declare the outbreak a global health emergency.  The World Health Organization, also known as WHO, will be meeting for the next couple of days.

The Ebola Virus has now killed close to nine hundred people in West Africa.  Since the outbreak began in Guinea it has spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.  Nigeria experienced their second Ebola death last Wednesday and there are five reported cases in Nigeria’s largest city.  A man who died in Saudi Arabia last week is suspected to have died from an Ebola infection.  When the results come back, if he in fact died of Ebola, he will be the first Ebola death outside of West Africa.   There have been many people suspected to be infected with Ebola in the U.S. but all so far have turned out to not be Ebola (other than Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who were transported to the U.S. from Liberia for treatment).

With the outbreak possibly spreading beyond West Africa top health experts are revving up conversations about what to do.  Infectious disease experts have called for experimental treatments to be offered more widely, such as the experimental serum given to Dr. Brantly and Nancy Writebol.

Second American Ebola Victim Nancy Writebol Arrives in US

Nancy Writebol, the other American Ebola virus victim, arrived in Atlanta yesterday and was transported to Emory University Hospital by ambulance.  Unlike Dr. Kent Brantly who walked into the hospital on his own accord, Writebol was carried into the hospital on a stretcher by hospital workers wearing biohazard suits and protective gear.  Her condition has been described as weak but improving.

Writebol’s family had been thinking about funeral arrangements a week ago and now they are much more hopeful.  Her son Jeremy said, “We’re grateful to everyone who was joined us in praying for this moment.”  David Writebol, Nancy’s husband said her care in Liberia had been exceptional.  He said watching her care was “like watching the love of Christ take place right before your eyes.”

The family is hopeful not just that Nancy will survive but they are also hopeful that this entire incident will bring attention to West Africa and what is going on there.