African Aviation Regional issues that affect the numerous pilots who work in this area of the world.

Ebola in Lagos

Old 27th Jul 2014, 00:54
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Ebola in Lagos

One person arrived on Asky collapsed at the airport and then died, poor chap.

Lets hope there is no outbreak in LOS.
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Old 27th Jul 2014, 05:58
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He could have been a drug mule. I've experienced this with Naija pax when a heroin condom burst. Vomiting blood and convulsing.
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Old 27th Jul 2014, 09:21
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The passenger was confirmed to have had Ebola after a blood test and he was Liberian not Nigerian.
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Old 29th Jul 2014, 17:05
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Ebola outbreak: Victim who sparked fears of global epidemic was on way home to US

An Ebola victim who was allowed to board an international flight was an American citizen on his way home to the United States, it has emerged.

Patrick Sawyer worked for the Liberian government and was visiting his sister there when he developed symptoms while on a plane to Nigeria. He was quarantined on arrival in Lagos and died on Friday......

The 40-year-old father-of-three is believed to have contracted the disease from his sister, whom he was caring for without knowing she had Ebola.

Mr Sawyer took two flights to get to Nigeria from Liberia, where he had attended his sister's funeral. The first took him from Monrovia to Lome in Togo, where he boarded a plane to Lagos. He collapsed at the airport on landing.

The Nigerian authorities have closed the hospital he was treated at, First Consultants Hospital in Obalende, one of the busiest parts of the city with a population of around 21 million. Manifests of the passengers and crew who travelled on the same flights as Mr Sawyer have yet to be released......

His job involved promoting trade in West Africa and he was on his way to a conference in Lagos from where he planned to travel back to the US when he fell ill with vomiting and diarrhoea. Fellow passengers on his plane were given warnings about the disease’s symptoms, which can include bleeding from the nose and mouth, but were allowed to continue on their journeys.

As Ebola has an incubation period of up to 21 days, there are fears that some may even now be spreading the disease still further.......
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Old 30th Jul 2014, 01:19
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Watch with interest and keep our pinkies double crossed.

The authorities (Nigeria, Guinie, Liberia and Sierra Lione) have done too little and too late. The cat is well and truly out of the bag.

Even Europe and the rest of the west may well regret not taking action on closing borders sooner.

The west should be absolutely shovelling resources into west Africa to stop this disease. They wont of course.
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Old 30th Jul 2014, 08:29
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Exeng,

You are correct. If that guy had made it to the US before his symptoms showed up, it might have been a different story.
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Old 30th Jul 2014, 09:27
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The west should be absolutely shovelling resources into west Africa to stop this disease. They wont of course.
There are several western medical teams already working out there, but there is a limit to what the wealthier countries can do for the affected countries as they do not readily accept good advice, nor do they have the organisational ability to implement it. They usually just want money, which is then snaffled into some offshore bank account by officials.

There are some really dedicated and worthy people in all west african countries (several local doctors have already sacrificed their lives trying to combat the disease). Unfortunately their heroic efforts will always be outweighed by the feckless and venal majority.
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Old 30th Jul 2014, 17:46
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EBOLA VS AIRLINE CREWS

The unlucky gentleman who died in Lagos was attending to his sister, who may not know know she had Ebola. He almost got on a flight to the US. (He was a US citizen) He then died from it. Doubtful that he is the only air traveler who has contracted or carries the disease. Who knows how many other cases there are yet to be identified, revealed, and reported. Medicins Sans Frontieres reports that they are encountering difficulties as local folks believe MSF teams arriving in their villages are bringing the disease! May they be successful in fighting this plague. Support MSF if you can.

With the spread of Ebola in W.A., how soon before international airlines stop sending their crews & equipment to cities like Lagos. And another thought... should Customs & Immigration in US and other countries begin screening arriving passengers for fever?
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Old 9th Aug 2014, 07:42
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I read that Goodluck J. has approved spending U.S. $11.7 million to fight the desease. What percentage is that I wonder of the yearly oil revenues?

This pathetically small amount of money gives some insight into the thinking of the Nigerian government.

Last edited by exeng; 9th Aug 2014 at 07:44. Reason: Clarification of currency
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Old 10th Aug 2014, 07:16
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thats probably the amount of interest he earned from his personal current account last week!!!!
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Old 13th Aug 2014, 05:19
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Thumbs down

For those of us with families, friends and loved ones in Lagos, the news gets more alarming by the day. There are only 10 confirmed cases so far, but I'm certain they haven't tracked down all the contacts that Mr Patrick Sawyer had, nor the nurse who first treated him. People are frightened and being exploited by some of the charlatans who call themselves pastors in this nation of ours where people are always desperate for miracles. Fake pastors, fake cures and an over crowded city of possibly as many as 21 million people. I'm trying to be optimistic because if it gets out of hand here, it'll spread to a lot more countries


By Tim Cocks

LAGOS, Aug 12 (Reuters) - When Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer collapsed at Lagos airport, he brought Ebola into a potentially ideal place for the deadly virus to spread - a vast, dirty, overcrowded city where tracing carriers and their contacts is a major problem.

Sawyer's arrival last month from Liberia - which along with Sierra Leone and Guinea lies at the centre of an outbreak that has killed more than 1,000 people - caught authorities in the Nigerian commercial capital unprepared.

By the time they realised where he was from or what illness he had, Sawyer had had contact with dozens of people. Lagos has now had 10 cases of Ebola, an illness spread by contact with the fluids of an infected person.

As Africa's biggest economy, Nigeria has a better health system than the other west African countries which are among the poorest in the world, and Ebola doesn't spread through the air or water supply as with many other epidemic diseases.

But health experts - who are trying to overcome superstition and public ignorance about Ebola as well as the disease itself - say there is now only a short opportunity to find and lock down other infected people before the outbreak in the city of 21 million gets out of hand.

"Lagos is big, it's crowded. It would make in many ways a perfect environment for the virus to spread," said Nigerian epidemiologist Chikwe Ihekweazu, who runs website Nigeria Health Watch and worked on Ebola in South Sudan a decade ago.

"In the heart of Lagos, people live on top of each other, sharing bedrooms and toilets. In densely populated communities infection control becomes almost impossible to do well."

When Sawyer landed at Murtala Mohammed airport on July 20, none of the bystanders, airport staff or healthworkers who rushed to help him understood the danger they were in.

No one had the full body protection of mask, suit and gloves that are essential to prevent contagion, so his ill advised journey gave the world's worst Ebola outbreak a foothold in Africa's most populous nation.

Sawyer died five days later, followed by one of the nurses who first treated him. Eight others are confirmed infected and receiving treatment, including a hospital doctor.

"Unfortunately nobody knew the status of this person, no one knew the kind of illness that he had, no one knew he was coming," Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris said. A health official said he had also been sick on the plane.

Sawyer was taken to First Consultants Hospital where, Idris said, he was treated "like any ordinary patient".

Hospital staff took blood samples, checked his temperature, treated his symptoms, which by then included severe vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding - all signs of late-stage Ebola.

"In the course of doing this, a lot of those health workers got infected," said Idris.

It took weeks to trace about 70 people who were primary contacts with Sawyer, multiplying the possible avenues of contagion in the meantime.

Tom Frieden, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which is helping to fight the West African outbreak, said he was "deeply, deeply concerned about the situation" in Lagos because of the city's size.

"If you leave behind even a single burning ember, it's like a forest fire. It flares back up," he told a U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs last week.


"ONE MAD MAN"

Nigerians are furious that Sawyer, whose sister had died of Ebola and who was himself under surveillance, was able to hop on a plane and give the virus a free ride to Nigeria.

"It is unfortunate that one mad man brought Ebola to us," President Goodluck Jonathan put it bluntly on Monday.

Sawyer, who worked as public health manager at an iron ore mining project of steelmaker ArcelorMittal, caught the disease from his sister who died in Monrovia of Ebola on July 8.

Liberia's Information Minister Lewis Brown told Reuters that Sawyer had travelled against medical advice. ArcelorMittal said there were no more cases among its employees and contractors in the country "at this time".

The arrival of the virus in Lagos has raised global attention to the biggest and most complex outbreak so far of Ebola, which has no proven cure and was first detected in 1976 in the forests of then Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo.

In many ways, Africa's top oil producer is in a better position than the other three affected countries. According to consultancy DaMina Advisors, it has one doctor per 2,879 people - compared with one per 86,275 in Liberia.

While public doctors are striking over pay, Nigeria has the money to mobilise enough health workers for now.

Recent progress in tracing Sawyer's contacts, though it got off to a slow start, gives some cause for hope, experts say.

Yet because it is a city of migrants, Lagos is a potential springboard for Ebola to spread across Nigeria. "There's a lot of mobility within the country. If infected people end up taking taxis to their villages, then we're in trouble," said Ihekweazu.


"PEOPLE ARE AFRAID"

Alarm bells first went off when the hospital ran I.D. checks on Sawyer two days after his arrival, and figured out belatedly that he was Liberian who had come from Monrovia, Idris said.

They quickly isolated him and tested him for Ebola. Yet even after that, nurses continued treating Sawyer without protection, so "the chances of infection again went up".

Tracing Sawyer's contacts aboard the flight then took time because the airline produced a passenger list only after a week.

Three weeks later, 177 primary and secondary contacts of Sawyer's have been traced and all are under surveillance, federal Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said on Monday.

Chukwu also announced measures to contain the disease, including training health care professionals in surveillance of possible cases, putting port officials on red alert, and a public awareness campaign in multiple languages.

In its built-up metropolitan areas, Lagos has 20,000 people per square km (50,000 people per square mile), the state government says, about the same as other overcrowded cities such as Mumbai and Dhaka.

Sanitation is at least as bad as either of the other two, with most Lagosians urinating and defecating in the open.

Both walls leading to the entrance to the now closed First Consultants hospital have "Do Not Urinate Here" stencilled on them, though judging by the smell no one pays much attention.

Against one, an old woman sells a kaleidoscopic array of flip-flop sandals flowering out of a rusty wheelbarrow. A child hawks plastic bags of pineapple slices next to an open drain.

Almost every bit of this street in downtown Obalende, a mishmash of rundown colonial buildings and tin roofed shacks, has somebody walking, standing, sitting down or trading on it.

"We've never had such a situation before, never had Ebola in a large, densely populated area like Lagos," said John Vertefeuille, leader of the CDC's response team for the city. The real problem "is identifying suspected patients ... and making sure that we find every contact", he told Reuters. "That's our priority."

Public education is another essential. Boyai Sanusi, who runs a bag-making shop on a street opposite the hospital, was shocked when he heard Ebola was on his doorstep, but confesses he has no idea how it is spread. "People are afraid," he said. "They don't know what to do."

David Heymann from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, an expert on the virus that struck near Congo's Ebola river almost 40 years ago, said Nigeria needed to overcome the problem. "They should be making use of every channel of communication in Lagos, every radio station in every ethnic language should be talking about this, explaining the symptoms over and over again," he told Reuters.


FAITH HEALERS AND WITCH DOCTORS

Poor education and superstition has long been good business for traditional doctors and faith healers in a region where sickness is often seen as the work of devils or mischievous ancestral spirits.

Early in the alert, Lagos state authorities became alarmed by some claims of miracle cures circulating, and threatened to prosecute anyone claiming they could heal Ebola victims.

Nigerian Pastor Ituah Ighodalo had to take down a Facebook posting in which he said U.S. preacher John G. Lake once cured Ebola victims "with bare hands" and "brought to an abrupt end the spread of the deadly virus". Lake died in 1935, four decades before Ebola was discovered.

But the main worry was "Prophet" T.B. Joshua, pastor of one of Nigeria's biggest churches who draws tens of thousands from all over West Africa, lured by claims his divine healing powers can cure ailments including HIV/AIDS and spine damage.

He was due to hold a convention last weekend, prompting fears of Ebola victims showing up seeking miracles, but after a Lagos state delegation visited Joshua, he agreed not to hold it, and he told followers from Ebola-hit countries to stay away.

On social media, a claim that eating bitter kola nuts and another that drinking salt water can prevent Ebola went viral, and Chukwu warned those spreading the rumours would be arrested.

The Vanguard newspaper daily reported this week that two people died drinking salt water in Jos city. That would make misinformation about the disease in Nigeria so far as deadly as Ebola itself. (Additional reporting by Pascal Fletcher in Johannesburg, Michele Gershberg in Washington and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Pascal Fletcher and David Stamp)
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Old 21st Aug 2014, 07:50
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The human toll from Ebola is bad enough but the long term economic consequences have the potential to cause even more damage and misery in some of the world's poorest countries

The death toll in the worst Ebola outbreak in history topped more than 1,200 as of Tuesday, according to the World Health Organization. The good news is that, for now, new cases appear to be limited to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. The bad news is that even if the outbreak doesn't spread beyond West Africa, the economic and political fallout in this fragile part of the world will likely last years, experts said.

The outbreak is hitting some of the poorest and most politically unstable countries on Earth. Endemic public health problems besides Ebola afflict the region. Infectious diseases, including polio, which has yet to be eradicated in Nigeria, plague the area. A 2009 study by Oxfam found that illiteracy rates in West Africa are the highest in the world. The region is also dealing with the threat from Islamic extremism, most notably Boko Haram in Nigeria. Sierra Leone and Liberia, racked by years of civil war, are trying to transition from post-conflict societies to stable government.

The outbreak comes at an inopportune time for the region. Prior to the outbreak, the Nigerian economy was being celebrated as the largest in Africa, with a GDP of $510 billion, compared with second-place South Africa, with a GDP of $353 billion. Sierra Leone is attempting to draw foreign investment to its diamond industry and saw its GDP grow 20.1 percent from 2012 to 2013. In 2013, Guinea's GDP grew a modest 2 percent.

All of these positives are now overshadowed by the bleak prediction of Ebola's ramifications in the region. The World Bank estimates that Guinea's GDP will shrink between 3.5 and 4.5 percent this year as Ebola roils the agricultural sector and discourages regional trade. Liberia's finance minister, Amara Konneh, lowered the country's GDP estimates by 5.9 percent because of the outbreak. Bismarck Rewane, CEO of the Financial Derivatives Company, a Lagos-based financial advisory and research firm that manages $18 million in assets, told CNBC Africa on Monday, Aug. 18, that Nigeria could lose at least $3.5 billion of its $510 billion GDP. Moody's has already warned that the virus could hinder the region's energy sector.

Matt Robinson, senior credit officer at Moody's in London, wrote last week that the Ebola pandemic would bring "significant economic" disruptions. "If a significant outbreak emerges in the Nigerian capital of Lagos, the consequences for the West African oil and gas industry would be considerable," his note read. "Any material decline in production would quickly translate into economic and fiscal deterioration."

The total economic consequences won't be known until the outbreak truly subsides. If history is any indication, the blow is likely to be enormous and disproportionate to the death toll. For instance, the 2003 SARS outbreak, which killed 800 people, inflicted some $50 billion in damages to the global economy, according to the Economist. Ebola could be even worse.

Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University who closely tracks global instability, said the pandemic could grind regional commerce to a halt. That, combined with concerns about those governments' ability to prevent Ebola from hindering regional commerce, threatens to derail the area's recent progress.

"If the outbreak keeps going, it could be devastating," Hanke told Foreign Policy. "The one thing that keeps things going is private trade and commerce. If you start shutting that down, the economic impacts could be enormous."

This holds true for Nigeria, whose economy stands to shrink by less than 1 percent because of the outbreak. David Fidler, an associate fellow at the Center on Global Health Security at London's Chatham House, said that even a small economic disruption in a country as fragile as Nigeria could have far-reaching effects on Nigeria's travel, agricultural, and energy sectors. According to the International Monetary Fund, the energy sector accounts for 96 percent of Nigeria's export revenue.

"The spread into Nigeria is bad news," he said. "It creates the perception … that their government, the economy, and society lack sustainable capacity to engage in economic activity, to usefully take in investment."

Fidler said the government's struggles to contain the Ebola outbreak, which has infected 15 people and killed four people there, could lead some investors to conclude that the country isn't a safe place for their money. Nigeria has seen its GDP growth rate increase from 3.64 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to 6.77 percent in the same quarter of 2014, but Ebola -- along with the Boko Haram threat -- could lead to a slowdown.

"This is not what you want on a brochure asking people to come do business," Fidler said.

Bongo Adi, a professor of business at the Lagos Business School, told Foreign Policy that the Nigerian business community and the general public are gripped by fear. He said that Nigerian consumer demand, which he estimates already dropped 3.4 percent this year because of the Boko Haram crisis, is "expected to fall further."

Adi added that the country's paranoid response to the outbreak is only making matters worse. Nigerian social media has spread rumors of the effectiveness of consuming a saltwater drink known as the "blood of Christ" to prevent the disease. Government officials have been just as bad: Last week, Nigeria's health minister was forced to recant a claim he made on national television that there was a miracle cure for Ebola circulating through the Nigerian diaspora.

"Perhaps worse than the real Ebola epidemic, is the swath of … rumors that have grown out of it," Adi said.

Further complicating matters is Nigeria's overpopulation, especially in and around Lagos -- where some 21 million people live -- and in the Niger Delta, the country's oil-producing region. In both places, too many people and poor sanitation have allowed diseases largely eradicated in less crowded living conditions to thrive.

"We are talking about environments where diseases such as typhoid and cholera -- all diseases borne via the food and water chain -- are still endemic," Adi added. "In the event that [Ebola] makes it into the food chain -- a very likely scenario given the level of infrastructure decay, poor sanitation awareness, and unhygienic practices -- the damage would expectedly be of colossal proportions."

According to Chatham House's Fidler, combating sophisticated medical problems like Ebola in West Africa could make attracting foreign investment even more difficult. This would continue a troubling trend for the region; according to the 2013 World Investment Report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, direct foreign investment into West Africa fell by 5 percent in 2013, from $17.6 billion to $16.8 billion.

"There are wider multiplier effects" in post-conflict countries, he said, referring to weak political institutions, public health infrastructure, and corrupt and inept militaries. "It just feeds stereotypes about African countries not being able to tend to their own affairs."
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Old 21st Aug 2014, 11:37
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Meanwhile, 5 fresh cases have been reported in Lagos.....
Five new suspected Ebola cases in Lagos ?LASG
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Old 21st Aug 2014, 14:22
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I read that Goodluck J. has approved spending U.S. $11.7 million to fight the desease
Probably the change he got from his discounted purchase of two essential presidential helicopters: Nigerian Air Force acquiring AW101 helicopters | defenceWeb
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Old 21st Aug 2014, 18:23
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And Dangote donates Naira150M

Nigeria: Dangote Foundation donates millions towards Ebola Centre | Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
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Old 22nd Aug 2014, 08:16
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Good and Bad News

While it is very good to hear that the two US casualties have been cured at home it may drive some sick Africans to try and fly out of the country to seek better treatment.

Hopefully the experimental drug that seems to have worked will be rapidly produced and sent to Africa. Better we throw money and help into containment there rather than risk it reaching the US or EU.
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Old 28th Aug 2014, 10:39
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And now in PH

BBC Link

Nigeria has confirmed its first Ebola death outside Lagos – a doctor in the oil hub of Port Harcourt.

A further 70 people are under surveillance in the city, while his wife has been put under quarantine.

He died last Friday but the results of the tests have only just been announced by Nigeria's health minister.

The latest figures show that more than 1,550 people have died, with more than 3,000 confirmed cases - mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

West Africa's health ministers are meeting in Ghana to discuss how to tackle the world's most deadly Ebola outbreak.



Fruit bats are believed to be a major carrier of the Ebola virus but do not show symptoms
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
Fatality rate can reach 90% - but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 55%
Incubation period is two to 21 days
There is no vaccine or cure
Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus's natural host

Ebola was taken to Nigeria by Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American man who travelled to Lagos before dying.

One of his contacts evaded Nigeria's surveillance team and travelled to Port Harcourt, where he sought medical treatment, Health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said.

Although the man later recovered, the doctor who treated him died and tests showed he had Ebola, the minister said.

The doctor who treated Mr Sawyer also died.

More than 240 health workers have been infected with Ebola - a rate which the World Health Organization (WHO) said was "unprecedented".

It noted that in many cases protective suits, even rubber gloves and face masks, were not available.

The doctor becomes the sixth fatality in Nigeria, which is Africa's most populous country.

On Wednesday, Nigeria announced that schools would not reopen until 13 October in order to try and contain the disease.
P1
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Old 29th Aug 2014, 09:12
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Unhappy Ebola is Rapidly Mutating

The WHO now reports that the present strain of Ebola is mutating rapidly and could infect up to 20,000 people before it is contained, but this could take as long as 6 - 9 months.

Rapidly mutating Ebola could infect up to 20,000

The Ebola outbreak sweeping through West Africa will get significantly worse before it subsides, infecting as many as 20,000 people, the World Health Organisation said, even as US researchers announced plans to begin human safety trials next week in a race to develop an effective vaccine.
Adding more urgency to the crisis, new research detailed how the virus at the heart of the outbreak has mutated repeatedly in recent months, a fact that could hinder diagnosis and treatment of the devastating disease the longer the crisis stretches on. Five of the paper's 50 co-authors died of Ebola before they could see their findings about the sequencing of the virus' genome published.

Despite the bad news continuing to flow out of West Africa – of overfilled and understaffed treatment centres, of airlines suspending service into affected areas, of controversial quarantines, of body counts climbing by the day – Thursday also brought a sense that the international response to the crisis, widely criticised as slow and inadequate, is shifting into higher gear.

The World Health Organisation issued a "roadmap" aimed at stopping the Ebola outbreak within the next six to nine months. It includes dramatically scaling up efforts to contain the spread of the disease and treat those stricken by it, increased resources at hospitals and isolation centres, ensuring safe burials and more aggressive public awareness campaigns.
The agency said it also will work to clear logistical "bottlenecks" that have made it difficult to get disinfectants, body bags, gloves and other medical supplies to the areas where they are desperately needed.

The plan will cost an estimated $US490 million ($524 million) over the next six months and require thousands of experts and local volunteers, the agency said. That doesn't include support for other essential services or helping West African health systems recover from the epidemic.
The organisation also offered sobering new numbers of Ebola's toll in West Africa. At least 1552 deaths and 3069 people infected have been recorded in the four countries battling the virus – Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria – though the actual totals almost certainly are higher.
Scientists from the National Institutes of Health, in collaboration with British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, said the experimental vaccine that will undergo human trials beginning next week has shown promising results in non-human primates. If the trials are successful, officials said, they could have 10,000 doses available in short order to immunise health workers and others at risk of contracting Ebola.

The NIH and other groups, such as the British public health charity Wellcome Trust, are trying to line up similar human Ebola vaccine trials in Britain, Gambia and Mali beginning as early as next month. And the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is in talks with Nigerian officials about conducting trials in that country.
As researchers work toward effective treatments for Ebola, the study published on Thursday in Science offered new insights into the origins of the outbreak and how it ended up in West Africa. By genetically sequencing samples of the Ebola Zaire strain – one of five types known to infect humans – researchers said the virus appears to have diverged about a decade ago from a related strain in Central Africa, where previous outbreaks have occurred.
Ebola's arrival in Sierra Leone this spring appears to have begun with a single funeral, according to the findings. A young woman who had recently suffered a miscarriage arrived at Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone in May with a high fever. During her treatment, doctors discovered she had been infected with Ebola, becoming the country's first diagnosed case.
The woman recovered, but health workers who traced her contacts discovered that she and more than a dozen other women recently had attended the burial of a traditional healer who had been treating Ebola patients near the Sierra Leone-Guinea border. All had been infected.
The study also details more than 300 genetic mutations that make the present Ebola outbreak different from any in the past.
Washington Post
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