View Full Version : Ebola

25th Mar 2005, 11:09
BBC: Ebola-like virus reaches Luanda

The Marburg virus, an Ebola-like bug that has killed 98 people in Angola's northern province of Uige, has reached the capital, Luanda, officials say. Its new victims in Luanda are said to be a teenage boy and an Italian doctor, both of whom were recently in Uige. At least three other cases of the disease have been diagnosed in Luanda.

UN and aid agency officials are working with the Angolan government to contain the Marburg virus, which causes fever, vomiting and severe bleeding......Two nurses died of the disease on Tuesday in Uige hospital, a spokeswoman for a commission monitoring the outbreak told the AFP news agency....

Carlos Alberto, an Angolan health ministry spokesman, told AFP the situation "is bad, very bad". Setting up quarantine rooms where people with suspected cases of the disease could be isolated from other patients was a priority, he said.

The European Union announced on Thursday that it will give $650,000 (£348,000) to fight the disease.

The early stages of the disease are marked by diarrhoea, stomach pains, nausea and vomiting. As it develops, patients can experience chest pains, severe internal bleeding and eventually, death.

25th Mar 2005, 12:04
That sounds nice.

What would be the closest international airport? And are there any direct flights going to Canada?:yuk:

25th Mar 2005, 12:20
I wouldn't think Ebola is very fussy about whether or not it takes a direct flight. It's not paying...

One thought though: The early stages of the disease are marked by diarrhoea, stomach pains, nausea and vomiting. I'd stay well clear of Manchester city centre pubs this weekend anyway. Just in case. ;)

Onan the Clumsy
25th Mar 2005, 13:00
The symptons sound like what you get after reading certain threads on prune

25th Mar 2005, 16:38
Looks like Mother Nature is trying to kick humans off the Earth again.

25th Mar 2005, 16:46
Shucks,...and there's me thinking Ebola is an Ethiopian long distance runner!!:hmm:

25th Mar 2005, 16:47
They only thing running is your internal organs out of every orifice of your body.:oh:

25th Mar 2005, 16:59
Did I read that right ? The EUROPEAN UNION (how many countries is that at the moment?)...has allocated $650,000 to fight the Ebola virus ? With Dubyas Dollars approaching the level of a third world currency that's the price of a mid price house in an outer London suburb.....

Marburg is not exactly Ebola but is a closely related virus....a 'thread' virus...(AIDS is also a thread virus but not nearly as dangerous) .it could be natures answer to mans destruction of the planet..(In case you think this a bit sci-fi...These viruses have probably existed for thousands of years in their 'natural hosts' monkeys and possibly other mammals and less developed species...mostly inhabiting the rain forests...as the rain forests are destroyed so is the natural habitat of these species who then come into closer contact with other species including man..the emerging virus will 'jump' species as it mutates....rather fine really...very Darwinlike. ) For the uninitiated, Ebola comes in several strains...the Marburg 'only' kills about 50% of those contacting the disease...the Zaire strain (Also known as Mayinga) kills about 90% of those infected...at present these particular strains do not find it easy to infect for the simple reason that they kill too quickly and the virus will die with the host...if the virus were to mutate with another strain which would allow it to become 'airborn' ie. where it could travel to another host in a way that we catch influenza or a cold..A huge proportion of the worlds human population could be wiped out in weeks...certainly in months....( A strain of the Ebola virus at present only dangerous to monkeys has the ability to infect in this way....all it needs is to mutate...)

25th Mar 2005, 17:16
Makes you wonder sometimes dunnit, Aids. Ebola, Avian Flu.............all these bloody diseases appearing.
Are they a natural occurrence or something more sinister that's gotten loose from a laboratory somewhere???.............not that I distrust some governments you understand, ...just maiking an observation.
:yuk: :yuk:

25th Mar 2005, 17:42
One can understand your concerns Micky, but there's stuff in the deepest darkest jungles and forrests that us "civilised" talking monkeys have never seen and perhaps can't even dream about.

Like "I'm a celeb get me out of here" :E :E

Maude Charlee
26th Mar 2005, 10:04
Have a read of 'Executive Orders' by Tom Clancy. Nice little plot regarding the Ebola virus. :ooh:

26th Mar 2005, 10:20
Before the dotcom bubble burst, investors were willing to die for a piece of it... :}

26th Mar 2005, 11:33
see ......I was right..........one of them dodgy governments messing with nature.
That's the way to deal with Ayatollah chappies though, well done Pres Ryan.:}

26th Mar 2005, 11:55
Marburg disease, Green Monkey, Ebola, similar or linked, deadly and at present the human variant apparently still by contact. The mutation to airborne suspected a matter of time and will be very very nasty. Stuff of nightmares. has been in Africa for many years.

26th Mar 2005, 13:39
Well this is cheery stuff for an Easter weekend. :rolleyes:

26th Mar 2005, 18:35
Cheery as in nailing a man to a cross and letting him bleed to death...? :rolleyes:

27th Mar 2005, 21:09
What would be the closest international airport? And are there any direct flights going to Canada?Luanda has an internatinal airport. Don't know about Canada, but it has connexions with major European cities (presumably all major cities WW)

Edited to add that according to Le Monde (http://www.lemonde.fr/web/depeches/texte/0,14-0,39-24692486,0.html) another case has been reported in Cabinda (nothing on the Beeb or Reuters yet)

27th Mar 2005, 21:18
There are no direct flights between Canada and the entire continent of Africa. We are ignoring the continent.

Solid Rust Twotter
27th Mar 2005, 21:32
SA govt considering issuing a travel warning. Airports are being monitored, particularly inbound flights from Angola.

Any more gen regarding flights Angola/Congo-Europe?

27th Mar 2005, 22:13

It's coming to get you!!!! :E

Honestly - I dunno why some of you lot don't just hide under the quilt all day.

We've all got an appointment with the man with the scythe, after all. It's just a matter of timing. :ok:

28th Mar 2005, 01:35
We are ignoring the continent.

Reminds me of that quaint little island just to the west of France.

28th Mar 2005, 01:57
Caslance, ORAC posted an interesting article and people are responding. What's the problem?

28th Mar 2005, 04:54
Marburg Case Fatality Rate of 93% in Angola Exceeds Ebola Virus

Recombinomics Commentary
March 27, 2005

>> Marburg is similar to the deadly Ebola virus. Dr. Michael Bell a Marburg specialist at the CDC says that Marburg is less deadly than Ebola, but spread in the same way, through bodily fluids. About 25 % of those infected with Marburg die, usually from shock or liver failure. <<

The larger outbreaks of Marburg Virus (MBGV) and Ebola Virus (EBOV) have similar case fatality rates. Like influenza (type of Orthomyxoviridae), they are single stranded negative sense RNA viruses. MBGV and EBOV are the two types of Filoviridae.

There have been several large outbreaks involving the two viruses, and most of the larger outbreaks have been characterized by a high case fatality rate. In 1976 there were two large EBOV outbreaks. In southern Sudan 117 out of 284 patients died, giving a case fatality rate of 42%. In adjacent Zaire 280 out of 318 patients died, case fatality rate of 88%. The largest MBGV outbreak was between 1998 and 2000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where 123 out of 149 patients died, case fatality rate of 83%.

For the current outbreak, a retrospective analysis by the WHO, after the causative agent was identified, indicated 95 out of 102 patients died, case fatality rate of 93%. Recently updated figures of 115 out of 123 deaths, also generates a case fatality rate of 93%, which is the highest rate recorded for larger EBOV and MBGV outbreaks.

28th Mar 2005, 06:11
Ebola is not something we should greatly fear, outbreaks tending to be self limiting. Because it is only spread by contact it spreads slowly and is easily contained, the lethality rate also ensures that there are few, if any carriers. The fact that it tends to occur in remote jungle regions away from large population centres and means of transport also limits the effect. If there is a concern, it is at the possibility of an outbreak in a large population centre where quarantine is much harder to enforce and contacts become untraceable.

Those at greatest risk are the medical staff who voluntarily put themselves in harms way, a large percentage of the victims being doctors and nurses. The current outbreak has claimed the life of Italian doctor, Maria Bonino.

Rollingthunder - "Two Canadians are headed for Angola to help stop the spread of Marburg, a deadly disease that has killed more than 100 people in the country since October. Dr. Heinz Feldman, an expert in deadly pathogens, and Allen Grolla, a laboratory technician will join an international team of laboratory experts, epidemiologists and infection-control specialists to quickly diagnose the viral disease and curb its spread."

Saddest fact - Three-quarters of those currently infected with Marburg are children under five.

if you want scary, the UK papers yesterday reported that the government has instructed local councils to earmark sites and buildings for use as mortuaries able to handle up to a 1000 fatalities a day in case of an outbreak of bird flu. Expected UK deaths in the event of an outbreak being in excess of 700,000.

Doctor Maria Bonino. RIP

28th Mar 2005, 06:28
Thanks for that ORAC.

My comment referred to the Canadian airline industry which has always ignored Africa. Closest we've ever gotten is Tel Aviv. African airlines seem to ignore us as well.

Maude Charlee
28th Mar 2005, 18:09

Oops, sorry everybody.


28th Mar 2005, 21:13
Malaria kills one child every 30 seconds in Africa... :(

28th Mar 2005, 21:33
The worst thing about that is that it is preventable, and at least someone is throwing money at it to see if it can be down. Whisper his name - Bill Gates.

29th Mar 2005, 14:03
We have big research centre in the town I live in when back home in Africa called Chemri which has been working on malaria for years. The mossies always breed themselves resisitant though I do hear work is being done on a vacination. Very big problem and I have lost many neighbors to it, the cerebral type kills extremely quickly.

29th Mar 2005, 14:24
Give me $50 billion...and you can SHOUT my name. But just maybe we're not mean't to be able to prevent certain things. Because they might lead to more severe catastrophes. And maybe it's all for the best. When the next ice-age comes instead of global warming, we'll all be heading for our mother continent, with or without visas...and we'll be glad.

(Sorry, I seem to be affected cerebrally...)

29th Mar 2005, 14:39
Hmm sort of natural checks and ballances you mean. Lots of those nowadays come with Government Hazmat warnings and suchlike, technological standins as it were, however nothing like a few natural ones to even up things I suppose.

29th Mar 2005, 14:48
Can't agree with your sanguine approach to 'thread' or Filo viruses such as Ebola, Marburg, Aids etc....
You quite rightly state ...as I did in my earlier posting that the virus kills so quickly and effectively that it has difficulty in transporting itself to another 'host'/Victim......

This is true only of the current strains of the virus...viruses have a remarkable ability to mutate in order to survive. Another strain of thread virus currently 'believed' to be a threat only to primates is capable of airborne transmission..if say the Ebola 'Zaire' strain was to mutate and become 'airborne'...(more than just feasible)...you can kiss goodbye to a very large section of the human race....keep destroying the natural habitat of these viruses...the rain forrest, and the earth may, through a Darwinian process try to defend itself against its attackers.... man.

29th Mar 2005, 15:02
Pretty spooky eh :uhoh:

5th Apr 2005, 07:10
Daily Telegraph: Panic in Angola as killer virus spreads

Panic spread through Angola's capital yesterday after the worst recorded outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus, an Ebola-like condition that kills with massive internal bleeding, claimed its 150th life.

Many in Luanda, a city of 3.8 million people, withdrew their children from school. Shops ran low on supplies of bleach, which was bought by families to disinfect their water supplies.

State radio broadcast an emergency message every 10 minutes, saying: "Alert, Marburg. Don't touch any corpse. Inform the health authorities about any suspicious illnesses or death due to bleeding.".....

5th Apr 2005, 10:30
This is scary. After seeing the complete inability of the western world to counter AIDS or prevent its spread through discriminatory treatment and forced testing of immigrants and visitors to this country, I have no faith that the western world will be able to hold back diseases like this from their borders- the human rights lawyers will prevent any action whatsoever to protect us!

5th Apr 2005, 10:55
Recombinomics (http://www.recombinomics.com/News/04040501/Marburg_Accelerating.html):

Marburg Spread Accelerating in Uige and Adjacent Provinces

Recombinomics Commentary
April 4, 2005

An outbreak of the deadly Ebola-like Marburg virus has intensified in Angola, claiming more than 29 lives over the past four days and taking the nationwide toll to 155, heightening fear of the disease in the capital Luanda, authorities said on Monday. Angolan health minister Sebastiao Veloso said the toll climbed to "175 cases, among them 155 dead, all from the province of Uige", the epicentre of the outbreak in the country's north on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The official toll had stood at 126 on Thursday.

The Marburg cases in Angola are exploding as the virus geographically extends its reach. Today's WHO announcement indicates deaths have now occurred in four provinces outside of Uige, including Cabinda, Luanda, Kuanza Norte, and Malange. Although the cases may trace back to Uige, the large number of new cases and deaths in new provinces seems likely to lead to new transmissions. The 20 case differential between the number of infections and number of deaths does not represent discharges. The case fatality rate remains at 100%, but now new patients are being identified at a higher rate than patients dying. The increased number of new admissions indicates the outbreak is accelerating.

The demographics began to change several weeks ago when the first health care workers were infected. The number of workers who have died is at least 12. In the past 1-2 weeks deaths have been reported for the first time in the four provinces surrounding Uige.

The latest reports do not have as much detail on the age of patients or the breakdown of locations. They also do not update the status of the passenger in Portugal being tested (a report on the third passenger was scheduled for release last Thursday), or the suspect cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There have also been media rumors of additional cases in Cabinda.

The number dead has surpassed the record of 126 for Marburg and now appears likely to surpass the record number of 280 Ebola deaths. Although contact tracing efforts are increasing, the 20 newly diagnosed patients who have not died indicate that the number of contacts should be at least 2-4X the 100 being monitored or traced by WHO. Media reports indicate that 16 are under hospital quarantine in Cabinda and 9 are under quarantine in Italy. These 25 under quarantine are linked to just two of the 155 deaths.

The case fatality rate of 100% and rapid spread of the virus in five provinces is markedly different than prior Marburg outbreaks.

This behavior suggests the Marburg virus in Angola is a recombinant.

5th Apr 2005, 14:26
Marburg outbreak not yet under control - UN

Luanda - Angola's Marburg epidemic, which has claimed 155 lives, is not under control and the country urgently needs protective clothing for health workers battling the deadly virus, a UN official said on Tuesday. With a mortality rate of 88 percent and nine new cases reported since Sunday - bringing the total to 175 - efforts to spread information about Marburg were more urgent than ever, Mario Ferrari, Unicef chief in Angola said.

"I wouldn't say (the situation) is under control. But I'm very confident, if I look at the mobilisation of technical resources, the brains that came here and the energy that the (health) ministry is putting into that fight, that things will be improved," he said in an interview. "It will take time, we must be patient, it is not in two or three days that we can eradicate this. But I'm confident that at the end there will be success," he added.

The northern province of Uige has been the epicentre of the killer virus, for which there is no specific cure. But there are fears that it could spread to other provinces, including Luanda, home to more than four million people..... In the capital, residents have scrambled to take precautions, emptying store shelves of bleach to disinfect their homes and gossipping nervously about the disease.

"In a town like Luanda I understand that everybody is on alert because if the disease is implanted in Luanda, it would be quite complicated because of the size of the population, because there is a large movement of people," Ferrari said. "It's important the population becomes aware of the existence of the virus and that they must protect themselves and that everybody realises we're in front of something serious. But it's not a reason to panic," he said.

Ferrari said a nationwide public awareness campaign, led by the Ministry of Health and supported by Unicef and the World Health Organisation (WHO), would target health workers at the frontline of the epidemic, as well as the population at large. But he said there was still a serious shortfall in protective clothing for health workers, including goggles, face masks and headgear, and said that Unicef and WHO were coordinating a "flash appeal" to mobilise more resources.

"Some materials are arriving this week but the need is huge and we need more," Ferrari said. "We need materials to protect people working in direct contact with patients who may be infected and also kits with essential drugs to make sure health centres in other provinces are prepared in case the virus spreads," he added....

Solid Rust Twotter
5th Apr 2005, 20:01
News report in South Africa this afternoon:

A man has died from a mysterious ailment in a small town in the Eastern Cape after returning from Angola. Tissue and fluid samples have been sent off for testing.

5th Apr 2005, 20:16

Following your logic, isn't it good that diseases appear to reduce the numbers and hence the impact of the perpetrators of evil on Mother Earth: Man? Therefore, it must be wrong and speciocentric to consciously try to defend against their spread.

I propose the EU, which prides itself as first and foremost on its humanitarian ethos and love of nature, sponsor free travel to and from Luanda until adequate numbers of our catastrophic species have been culled.

By the way, how is the implementation of Kyoto coming? I'm curious as to whether my former home of Napoli's air is clean yet, and the streets cleared of rubbish so I may return to ecotopia.:cool:

6th Apr 2005, 06:11
Major problem with current antiviral drugs is the high frequencies of drug resistant mutants . RNA & retroviruses have about 1mill fold higher mutation rates per nucleotide incorporated then that of the organisms with DNA genomes .
( A priori ) calculations show that a population of RNA viruses decended from single parent contains extremely large numbers of mutants - as all possible single & double mutants will be present in such large population , drug resistant viruses are guaranteed to be present even before the exposure to the drug .
As the mathematical probability of Ebola or Marburg developing an airborne mutant is relatively small , it is still a possibility .

6th Apr 2005, 08:23
Marburg Transmission in Cacuaco - Slum Adjacent to Luanda

Recombinomics Commentary
April 6, 2005

Angolan health workers in a slum outside Luanda were treating a new suspected case of the Marburg virus as a senior United Nations official warned that the outbreak of the Ebola-like epidemic was not yet under control.

Nurses at a clinic in the township of Cacuaco, some 18 kilometres north of the capital, were scrambling to help the 22-year-old woman who they feared may be the latest casualty of the haemorrhagic fever .......

"We have a suspected case of Marburg - she arrived here an hour ago complaining of a fever and anal bleeding," clinic administrator Analdina Chivukuvuku said. "She is bleeding quite badly," she told AFP at the clinic - one of three that serve the township with a population of some 613,000 residents on the Atlantic coast's Baia do Bengo.
Nurses were putting a drip into the young woman whose legs and feet were covered in blood. ….They wore only face masks and rubber gloves and said they feared the virus because of a lack of proper protection.

The description of the patient in Cacuaco, a slum adjacent to Luanda, strongly suggests transmission of Marburg near Luanda. Over a week ago, a 12 year-old girl was admitted to the Cacuaco Health Centre and she too started to bleed badly and was transferred to the larger Americo Boa Verde hospital in Luanda.

Her case was described in a media report on some of the earlier cases in Luanda. Uige was mentioned in connection with all of the cases except the 12 year-old who was said to be from Luanda. Since the transfer was precipitated by the bleeding, there was not an obvious connection to Uige. Similarly, the newly admitted 22 year-old is described above without reference to Uige, and although not confirmed, clearly sounds like a hemorrhagic fever case.

One of the major fears of Luanda residents is that Marburg would make its way into the slums of Luanda, where it would easily spread and where contract tracing would be difficult.

Cacuaco, with a population of over 600,000 would appear to be a fertile breeding ground from spreading Marburg virus.

The fears of Luanda residents appear to have been realized.

6th Apr 2005, 08:53
Are you trying to spread panic, ORAC? Why don't you start a bird flu (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4067116/) thread?

6th Apr 2005, 10:20
Don´t think those who come to Jetblast are inclined to panic - unless Mr Draper has them in his sights...

6th Apr 2005, 10:26
Panic ??!!! The information printed here is from the major newspapers , Marburg outbreak in Uganda is happening , what is so wrong about discussing the known facts etc? The thread title is also rather obvious ' Ebola' , so if the topic is offencive , scary or otherwise unpleasant , there's no need to read it , right ?

... well, one , of course should post correct facts here, as the outbreak is in Angola not in Uganda . ooopshhhh....

6th Apr 2005, 18:24
Errr yes presently in Angola. Watch this space.:uhoh:

6th Apr 2005, 18:33
A slight aside ...

ORAC - your figures for Bird Flu are out by a factor of ten - see here (http://www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/10/60/56/04106056.pdf) at page 40 (the whole doc is an interesting, if worrying read)


6th Apr 2005, 21:21
RaraAvis....some of the earliest cases of Ebola were traced to the Mount Elgon region of Uganda...the most deadly strain of Ebola (Zaire) I believe originated in north eastern Zaire ( now Democratic Republic of the Congo) very close to the Ugandan border....... in anycase these viruses are unlikely to carry passports and in theory can be found anywhere in the rain-forest areas of central Africa...possibly also the Amazon...if not Ebola then another deadly virus...

BenThere....whether one thinks it a benefit to nature that a huge part of the human population could be wiped out depends on whether you think that the human race is more important than the planet... I have no firm views either way...as I fly regularly into the forrested area currently affected by Marburg (and will again tomorrow) it's of more than a passing interest to me.

I am nevertheless impressed by the way nature defends itself.

Dynamic Apathy
7th Apr 2005, 00:13
Ah, Srubbed, I take it you are a Spam, and as such there is an 80% chance that you live with your head permanently stuck up your own backside.

Well, never mind because you have a President is also part of the 80%.

Now, I think that you have just outlined the policy of the American Government. But why in Africa. Is it because the Americans have knowledge of vast oilfields under Africa!!

There really should be a new American motto: Where there's oil, there's a Bush.

BTW, 20% of Americans are really nice people!

7th Apr 2005, 15:49
As of 5 April, the Angolan Ministry of Health has reported 181 cases of Marburg haemorrhagic fever. Of these, 156 have died. While children under the age of 5 years initially accounted for around 75% of cases, recent cases are including an increasing number of adults.

World Health Organization assessment:
".... WHO remains confident that the outbreak (of viral haemorrhagic fevers) can be brought under control. ... The outbreak in Angola is not only the largest on record, with the highest fatality, but is also the first to occur in an urban setting. ....... a top priority at present is to prevent the virus from establishing a foothold in densely populated urban or peri-urban parts of the country. For example, Uige, which is presently the epicentre of the outbreak, has around 500,000 inhabitants, but Luanda, where some cases have been reported, has a population close to 3 million. ...... Based on experiences with Ebola, control measures can have an immediate impact by interrupting chains of transmission. The eventual success of such measures depends on their sustained application, supported by efficient surveillance, and requires very good communication and transportation systems. Such systems are not presently available in Angola and cannot be established quickly. As another consequence of the country’s recent history, hundreds of thousands of landmines are thought to remain in the country, making transportation by rail and road precarious and necessitating air transport of staff and equipment. ...."

Full text at:

tony draper
8th Apr 2005, 12:55
The obvious thing to do would be to stop any bugga from there coming here right now, but that would be politicaly incorrect and have the fluffies in a uproar, so they wont.

8th Apr 2005, 16:35
Definitely not Mr D, they will be directed to the nearest hospital.

9th Apr 2005, 05:25
As this outbreak of Marburg is the first ever taking place in a 'urban center' , a city with massive slum areas , the logistical challanges of keeping the infected individuals/areas under quarantine are massive , to say the least .
A village in the middle of a rather inaccessible rainforest can sustain an outbreak until it 'burns itself out ' - effectively killing all possible carriers . City on the other hand is a whole different ballgame .
Don't think we've seen the worst yet ...

... there MUST be happier news , somewhere ... searchmode on ....

9th Apr 2005, 07:10
I'm hiding under the bedsheets with the wife.....naked:ok:

9th Apr 2005, 08:13
Very cosy....Just you the wife and the DeskTop..

11th Apr 2005, 10:41
Marburg Seeding Linked to Childhood Vaccine Program?

Recombinomics Commentary
April 10, 2005

Most of the affected persons are children under one year old. Three nurses were also infected. This week, 12 samples tested positive for Marburg fever by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The above comments by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on March 25 suggest that the Marburg outbreak in Angola was initiated via a childhood vaccine program. The initial WHO announcement indicated around 75% of the cases were in children under the age of 5. The comments by MSF indicate that more than 67% of the cases under 5 years-of-age were in children under 1 year-of-age.

Since Marburg hemorrhagic fever is now readily transmitting to teenagers and adults, including 17 health care workers, it seems that the concentration of cases in children under 1 was not due to a lack of immunity that coud be found in adults. Indeed, the case fatality rate has been at or near 100% for all cases, regardless of age, with few, if any, survivors.

Unfortunately, the cases in Angola did not receive significant attention until health care workers were infected about a month ago. Within 1-2 weeks the Marburg virus was detected in 9 of 12 fatal cases, and resources began to flow into Angola.

However, it now seems that the effort failed to interrupt transmission when the virus was largely confined to the city of Uige, and now cases in seven provinces have been reported. The number of cases has more than doubled in the past few weeks.

Prior Marburg and Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreaks had been largely limited to rural areas. However, the cases in the Angola capital of Luanda, and associated slums like Cacuaco, threaten to create a novel transmission setting in a densely populated urban area. This setting could magnify the number of cases, which could lead to a much broader outbreak inside and outside of Angola, potentially leading to a deadly pandemic......

NPR interview included comments by Christa Kitz, who is coordinating the work of Medecins Sans Frontieres. She indicated that cases in and around Luanda have been identified who have not been to Uige and have no contacts in Uige, indicating the urban transmission of Marburg has begun....Additional problems were mentioned including lack of reliable electricity, which precluded use of the mobile lab, and burial customs which included washing of the dead body and drinking the water....

This update clearly demonstrates that controlling Marburg in Angola will be a major challenge, and fears of Marburg racing through the slums of Luanda have been realized.

11th Apr 2005, 12:22
Me the wife and.....yes, the desktop.;)

11th Apr 2005, 14:03
Recombinomics Commentary
April 11, 2005

Despite incessant warnings on local radio that families of the sick should neither treat them at home nor touch corpses, Pinto's family cared for her in their house and prepared her body for burial. The virus is spread by bodily fluids, and even stray drops of spittle or beads of sweat can lead to death. "We heard on the radio that we were not supposed to do it, but out of emotion, we touched the body," said her husband Antonio, 53. "We washed her when she was alive and after she died." He also knew about the isolation unit set up at Uige's regional hospital, where Pinto had worked for 20 years. But he refused to take her there, he said, because "people believe the isolation unit is making people die."........

The above comments related to a nurse who died in Uige on Thursday demonstrate why there has been a recommendation that the main hospital in Uige be closed. It would seem that cases at the hospital were arriving at the rate of 10-15 per day. Since there are currently only 12 cases alive in the hospital, 10-15 cases were dying per day. There are no reports of any survivors, so it does not take very long for people to realize that going into the hospital is a death sentence.

Thus, the family (including six children) of a pediatric nurse at the hospital refused to take her to the hospital for care and isolation. Instead the entire family was exposed to the Marburg virus in spite of warnings broadcast by radio. The number of cases coming into the hospital is down, but the drop is due to patients dying at home or moving out of the area.......

LUANDA (Reuters) - Fear and ignorance are fueling the world's deadliest outbreak of Marburg fever in Angola, where locals are too suspicious of medics in "astronaut" suits to let them take away infected loved ones, aid workers said on Monday.

Terrified residents stoned World Health Organization (WHO) workers' vehicles late last week, putting a brief halt to their operations to contain the disease in Uige province, northeast of Angola's capital Luanda.

"We no longer have people coming to the isolation ward — people are hiding their patients at home because they're scared. That means the virus keeps on spreading in the community," Monica Castellarnau, emergency coordinator for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Uige, told Reuters by phone from Uige....

"We've become scapegoats. That's how people express their fear, grief and anger at the situation. They see we've got an isolation ward with very restricted access — they think we're doing funny things," Castellarnau said. "People have not been given sufficient information to understand the measures that are necessary to stop the virus … It's crucial people understand the public health risk of keeping sick people at home. Only then can we start to control the spread of the virus," she said.......

MSF has opened the city's only isolation ward in a cordoned-off section of the general hospital. But Castellarnau said the hospital should be closed to all non-Marburg cases to avoid it becoming a source of infection.

"We have strongly recommended that the hospital be closed temporarily and this is because the risk of infection at the hospital is unacceptably high," she said.

Health workers have said basic hygiene rules are still not fully observed in Angolan hospitals......

11th Apr 2005, 19:52
Ancient tribal remedies included isolation of the victims and families in their huts with food placed outside until food was no longer collected then huts were burned. No strangers allowed from outside villages, in effect a quaranteen that though somewhat seemingly heartless and obviously unacceptable by todays standards was what was required to stop the trail of death. Not possible today.

12th Apr 2005, 06:02
AFP - Huge public relations effort in Angola to halt spread of Marburg April 12, 2005

Uige, Angola - Health experts fighting the killer Marburg virus in northern Angola say they are facing denial from families who are refusing to send their sick to hospitals or are taking them out of the city, worsening the risk of contamination.

A massive public awareness campaign is being put in place in the city of Uige as part of efforts to contain the haemorrhagic disease, which has claimed 203 lives, the worst epidemic so far of the Ebola-like virus. "We must work on social mobilisation reinforcement. They must know the risk," Quiala Godi, Uige's provincial health director, said yesterday. "We must contact religious authorities and traditional chiefs for them to pass on the message to the population," he added.....

African traditional culture in the region dictates that relatives spend a long time in the presence of the body of the deceased, which increases the risk of spreading the disease, which is transmitted through contact with body fluids. Local communities also do not want to accept that their relatives died of the killer virus.

"The residents are in a state of total denial. When somebody is sick they prefer to say that it's not Marburg," William Perea, a Colombian medical epidemiologist, said as he travelled through the slum outskirts of Uige to look for fatalities and suspected cases. "They are calling us too late, when the person is already dead, to dispose of the body," said Perea, adding that on Sunday, mobilisation teams had "nine alerts, but only one person was alive".......

Others are taking their sick along as they flee to nearby villages, Godi added. "For example, we have a case 90 kilometres from here of a family who left with a child from Uige's hospital. When they arrived at their village, the child died. "Then the mother died and then the father," Godi said.

12th Apr 2005, 09:30
All filoviruses - Marburg & all species of Ebola have dispalyed the ability to spread through airborne particles - aerosoles - under reasearch conditions . This type of spread has not been documented among humans in ' real world ' setting .
Shall we add - ' as of yet ' or emphasize ' has not been documented ' ?
How long were the local governments willing to wait before launching a major information campaign a 'la ' Facts about Marburg virus ' or similar ?
An anicent burial tradition which requires repetetative close contact with the body by all family members is a prime way to spread the infection .
Why wait until you have an epidemic & panic in your hands ???

12th Apr 2005, 12:21
Hey, Capt KAOS, remember your link about bird flu (http://www.recombinomics.com/News/04110502/H5N1_1000_HCM_City.html)...... :ooh:

13th Apr 2005, 22:21
Marburg still peaking - WHO

Uige - There is no end in sight to the outbreak of the Marburg virus in Angola, a top expert from the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday, citing "massive problems" in mobilising Angolans to fight the Ebola-like bug in this northern city.

"After four weeks, this epidemic is still peaking," said Pierre Formenty, the WHO's top specialist on new and dangerous diseases. "It has not been stopped, because we have massive problems in mobilising the community against it," he told AFP as the death toll from the deadly haemorrhagic fever hit 210. The length of the epidemic "really depends on the degree of the mobilisation by the Angolans, of the people itself, not only on the authorities... They don't realise that it could take months", Formenty said in an interview.

A team of top scientists arrived last month in the northern city of Uige, the epicentre of the epidemic that was first detected in October. Their efforts have been met with fierce resistance and denial by many residents in Uige, who are shunning the hospitals and the specially-suited medical teams that roam the city in search of Marburg cases.

"Uige is not a classic urban environment. It's a village with 200 000 inhabitants," said Formenty, a French doctor who has been on various WHO teams to combat a dozen similar deadly outbreaks, including Ebola which hit mainly rural areas in central Africa. "The difference between this outbreak of Marburg and previous outbreaks, including Ebola, is that this one is in an urban, confined area, while the others were in rural areas," said Tom Ksiazek, who heads the Atlanta-based centres for disease control's (CDC) special pathogens branch. "(That is what's making) this one more difficult to control," he told AFP.

Apart from a lack of information to the public, despite the best efforts of the WHO, health experts are trying to battle the outbreak with the very little infrastructure left over from the country's civil war that ended in 2002. There is almost no running water and no electricity, except for a few homes running on generators in Uige.

14th Apr 2005, 01:08
Well, just back from BRU via LHR...not that any flights from Africa go to either.../denial

Yeah, if you destroy any available public health service and also the national boundaries in a place with a good stock of unknown germs, don't be surprised. Some people ought to examine their consciences over Angola.

14th Apr 2005, 15:48
Care to expand Steam Chicken?

14th Apr 2005, 19:07
Steamchicken...no flights from Africa to Brussels...??? Actually the DR Congo (Home of Ebola) is an ex-Belgian colony.. (which accounts for a lot in DRC)...and has regular flights....one landing here in Kinshasa in about 15 min... I doubt that you are at any great risk taking a flight from Brussels to London !

If you really want to feel close to the problem come on down and I'll try to get you a seat on the flights I do into the Angolan Marburg infected rain forest every few days.... we can stand together and watch sick people getting onto the aircraft...and debate just what they might be suffering from...it passes the time.

Between flying into the Kisangani region (Pneumonic Plague) and flying down to the Angolan area (Marburg) I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't simply order a Level 4 Biohazard suit and have epaulettes glued onto that !

15th Apr 2005, 00:10
Yes, I know there are all the SNs in the world from West Africa to BRU. Hence the denial tag.

If you want me to expand, well, Pierre Falcone, Viktor B, Air Bas/Pass/Cess, there are more. I don't think rehearsing the history now will do that much good. I just think some of the "fish and flowers" might have had an effect on current conditions there.

15th Apr 2005, 03:37
I'm running for the hills......See ya.:sad:

15th Apr 2005, 12:35
GENEVA (Reuters) - A 400-bed isolation ward set up at the epicenter of a deadly outbreak of Marburg disease in Angola is empty, shunned by families loath to surrender infected loved ones, the World Health Organization said Friday.

The U.N. agency said that as an emergency measure to stem the spread of the hemorrhagic fever it may distribute disinfectants to relatives refusing to send patients to its facility in the northern province of Uige.

The outbreak, which began last October, has killed 215 of 235 known victims of the Ebola-like disease which is transmitted through bodily fluids including saliva and blood. Uige remains the most severely affected area with 208 cases and 194 deaths, according to a WHO statement issued overnight.

"The isolation ward at the province's large 400-bed hospital, which has been specially equipped and staffed for the care of Marburg patients, is empty, despite the fact that cases and deaths are known to be occurring in the community," it said. "It is apparent that, for the time being, the community does not accept the conception of isolation," it added.

The Geneva-based WHO also said that four volunteers from the Angolan Red Cross, freshly trained in teaching communities about preventing the disease, were killed by lightning while on their way to work Thursday.

21st Apr 2005, 11:53
Marburg Toll in Angola Increases to 264
Recombinomics Commentary, April 20, 2005

..The total number of reported Marburg cases to date continues to rise. The number of reported cases remaining on the official tally has risen to 264, which is 16 shy of the record death toll for Ebola in Republic of Congo in 1976.

Since the beginning of the outbreak last fall, the number of monthly cases has doubled each month. Last month there were approximately 70 cases that have remained on the official list. Since there have been approximately 130 new cases this month that have not been discarded, it seems likely that the number of cases in April will be more than double the number of cases in March.

18th May 2005, 18:35
Ebola outbreak confirmed in Congo - May 18th

BBC Ebola Story (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4559003.stm)

Tests have confirmed an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Congo, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

Nine people have died and two more are sick in the Cuvette West province, scene of at least three Ebola outbreaks in recent years.

WHO Congo representative Amadou Yada said a family of hunters contracted the disease after picking up the body of a dead chimpanzee in the forest.

Cheers, SSS

18th May 2005, 19:03
Ebola........??? Ebola what?




Jordan D
19th May 2005, 01:18
Ebola puts the fear of God into me ... there are something that just really scare me - Ebola is one of them.