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MSF says Ebola 'moving faster' than they can handle

MSF says Ebola 'moving faster' than they can handle

15 August 2014 | 14:54 | FOCUS News Agency
Geneva. The Ebola crisis in west Africa is outstripping the ability of aid organisations to stem the epidemic, the head of international medical charity MSF said Friday, likening it to a war, AFP reported.
"It is deteriorating faster, and moving faster, than we can respond to," Joanne Liu told reporters a day after returning from a 10-day mission to the hard-hit region.
"It is like war time. There is fear," she said.
"It's moving, and advancing, but we have no clue how it's going. Like in a war time, we have a total collapse of infrastructure," she added.
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Ebola epidemic "vastly" underestimated: WHO

Ebola epidemic "vastly" underestimated: WHO

15 August 2014 | 07:00 | FOCUS News Agency
Freetown. The UN's health agency said Thursday that the scale of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been vastly underestimated and "extraordinary measures" were needed to contain the disease, AFP reports.
As the official toll climbed to 1,069, according to World Health Organisation, the United States ordered the evacuation of diplomats' families from Sierra Leone, one of the three countries at the epicentre of the outbreak along with Liberia and Guinea.
The Geneva-based WHO said in a statement it was coordinating "a massive scaling up of the international response", in a bid to tackle the worst epidemic of haemorrhagic fever-causing virus since its discovery four decades ago.
"Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak," it said.
"The outbreak is expected to continue for some time. WHO's operational response plan extends over the next several months," the organisation warned.
A serious outbreak in Lagos, where the epidemic claimed a fourth victim on Thursday, could severely disrupt the oil and gas industry in Nigeria if international companies are forced to evacuate staff and local operations are shut down, the Moody's rating agency warned.
Any "decline in production would quickly translate into economic and fiscal deterioration," said Matt Robinson, senior credit officer at Moody's.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama called President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Sierra Leone's leader Ernest Bai Koromo.
The calls came as the US State Department ordered families of its diplomats in Sierra Leone to leave the country to avoid exposure.
"In his conversations with both leaders, the president underscored the commitment of the United States to work with Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other international partners to contain the outbreak and expressed his condolences for the lives lost," the White House said in a statement.
In Sierra Leone's parliament on Thursday, the country's chief medical officer, Dr Brima Kargbo, spoke of the difficulties health workers were facing in fighting the epidemic.
"We still have to break the chain of transmission to separate the infected from the uninfected," Kargbo said. But, he added: "There is a rejection among people of the existence of Ebola and hostility towards health workers."
The disease has taken its toll on those trying to help its victims.
Sierra Leone disclosed Thursday that 32 nurses died from Ebola while performing their duties between May 24 to August 13.
South Africa has stepped in to help the country by sending a mobile laboratory to be installed in the capital Freetown to ease the problem of having to send blood samples elsewhere for analysis, Sierra Leone's health ministry said.
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Obama talks to Liberia, Sierra Leone leaders on Ebola

Obama talks to Liberia, Sierra Leone leaders on Ebola

14 August 2014 | 22:28 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. US President Barack Obama called his counterparts in Liberia and Sierra Leone Thursday to discuss the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the White House said, cited by AFP.
The calls to Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone came as the US State Department ordered families of its diplomats in Sierra Leone to leave the country to avoid exposure to the disease.
"In his conversations with both leaders, the president underscored the commitment of the United States to work with Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other international partners to contain the outbreak and expressed his condolences for the lives lost," the White House said.
As of Wednesday, according to the World Health Organization, 1,069 people had died of the disease since the start of the year when it spread from Guinea to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the last and most populous West African country to be affected.
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Ebola: US orders embassy families out of Sierra Leone

Ebola: US orders embassy families out of Sierra Leone

14 August 2014 | 20:14 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. The United States on Thursday told the families of its diplomats in Sierra Leone to leave the country to avoid exposure to the deadly Ebola epidemic, AFP reported.
"The embassy recommended this step out of an abundance of caution," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, citing "a lack of options for routine health care services at major medical facilities due to the Ebola outbreak."
Harf said that the State Department was also "reconfiguring" its staff at the embassy in Freetown to "be more responsive" to the crisis ravaging the country.
"We remain deeply committed to supporting Sierra Leone and regional and international efforts to strengthen the capacity of the country's health care infrastructure and system -- specifically, the capacity to contain and control the transmission of the Ebola virus and deliver health care," Harf said in a statement.
On August 7, the United States ordered families of embassy staff out of Liberia, another country hit by the world's biggest ever outbreak of Ebola.
The death toll from the epidemic reached 1,069 on Wednesday, according to the World Health Organization.
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Albania police detains migrants with Ebola symptoms

Albania police detains migrants with Ebola symptoms

14 August 2014 | 13:53 | FOCUS News Agency
Skopje. Albanian police has detained some forty illegal migrants, five of whom are said to be infected with the Ebola virus, the Macedonian Vecer daily writes.
The five individuals were hospitalised in the town of Vlorë.
According to the police, the migrants came from Eritrea and first arrived in Greece, then went to Albania.
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Confirmed Nigeria Ebola cases rises to 11: minister

Confirmed Nigeria Ebola cases rises to 11: minister

14 August 2014 | 13:29 | FOCUS News Agency
Abuja. The number of confirmed Ebola cases in Nigeria has risen by one to 11, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said on Thursday, as cited by AFP.
The figure includes three deaths and eight people who are being treated at a special isolation unit set up in Lagos, a megacity of more than 20 million people, the minister told reporters.
Nigeria has not recorded a case outside Lagos but there were fears that a nurse who was infected in the city may have carried the virus to the key eastern city of Enugu.
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Consignment of experimental Ebola drug arrives in Liberia: Reuters

Consignment of experimental Ebola drug arrives in Liberia: Reuters

14 August 2014 | 01:48 | FOCUS News Agency
Monrovia. A consignment of experimental Ebola drugs arrived by plane in Liberia on Wednesday to treat two doctors suffering from the virus, which has killed more than 1,000 people across four West African countries, Reuters reports.

The drug, ZMapp, arrived in two boxes on a commercial flight from the United States carried by Liberia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augustine Ngafuan, and was unloaded at the VIP terminal, a Reuters witness said. It will be taken to a hospital in the capital and administered to Liberian doctors Zukunis Ireland and Abraham Borbor, who officials said contracted the disease while attending to patients, including a late colleague.

The world's worst outbreak of Ebola has claimed the lives of 1,069 people and there are 1,975 probable and suspected cases, the vast majority in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to new figures from the World Health Organisation. Three people have died in Nigeria.

The U.N. health agency said only around 10 to 12 doses of the drug have been made and this raises difficult ethical questions about who should get priority access. The doctors will be the first Africans to receive it, though it has been given to a Spanish priest who later died and two U.S. aid workers who are reported to have shown signs of recovery.
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Nigeria nurse exposed to Ebola leaves Lagos, breaking quarantine

Nigeria nurse exposed to Ebola leaves Lagos, breaking quarantine

13 August 2014 | 21:26 | FOCUS News Agency
Abuja. A Lagos-based nurse who was exposed to Ebola travelled to the eastern part of Nigeria, violating a government directive to keep the virus from spreading outside the city, an official said Wednesday, cited by AFP.
"One of the nurses that was involved with the treatment of the index case, unfortunately, disobeyed medical instructions and somehow travelled to Enugu," Information Minister Labaran Maku told journalists.
The so-called index case is Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian finance ministry employee who brought Ebola to Lagos, sub-Saharan Africa's largest city, on July 20. He died on July 25.
"Twenty-one persons in Enugu are... being watched," including the nurse's husband and those who had direct contact with her, Maku said.
Nigeria has tried to locate everyone who interacted with Sawyer, including those on his flight, which originated in Liberia's capital Monrovia.
People who had contact with Sawyer were told to stay in Lagos to guard against any potential spread of the terrifying tropical disease outside the city.
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PICTURE OF THE DAY
NASA rocket explodes after it lifts off.
NASA rocket explodes after it lifts off.

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Trakia Motorway after the snowfall. October 25 2014.
Trakia Motorway after the snowfall. October 25 2014.
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