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Ebola - again

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Ebola - again

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Old 18th May 2018, 06:56
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Ebola - again

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/f...city-bvlj5h7gv

Fears of ‘explosive’ outbreak as ebola hits Congo port city

One confirmed case of ebola and another suspected in a large port city on the Congo River has deepened fears of an “explosive increase” in the epidemic that could spread across borders.

Mbandaka, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has a population of about 1.2 million and is a hub for trade and travel in the absence of a functioning road network in the region. Peter Salama, from the World Health Organisation, described the confirmation of an urban case, the first in nine ebola outbreaks in the DRC, as “a game changer”. He said: “The challenge just got much, much tougher. This is a major development in the outbreak. We have urban ebola, which is a very different animal from rural ebola. The potential for an explosive increase in cases is now there.”

Oly Ilunga Kalenga,the country’s health minister, warned that the epidemic had moved into “a new phase” as he announced population tracing at all air, river and road routes out of the bustling city. Border screening is now being boosted in 13 countries in the region. A total of 44 cases have now been reported, including 23 deaths, 20 probable and 21 suspected cases.

The 2,900-mile Congo River links the equatorial city to the DRC’s capital, Kinshasa, and to Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, both about 430 miles downriver to the west. A river tributary links the DRC to the Central African Republic to the north. Jose Barahona, Oxfam’s local director, said: “Boats move up and down the river, people and goods travel. One of the risks is that someone with the virus could easily access one of the boats and start moving up and down.”

An experimental vaccine is due to be introduced on Monday, which emergency teams had hoped might “ringfence” the outbreak in the isolated area of Bikoro, 93 miles from Mbandaka. It is thought that ebola was brought to the densely populated city by a group who had attended the funeral of an ebola victim in Bikoro. More than 500 people who were in contact with the infected people have been traced and are being monitored. They are expected to be among the first to be vaccinated by the WHO, which has received 4,000 doses and is expecting thousands more.......

The WHO is to hold an emergency meeting on the crisis in Geneva today.
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Old 18th May 2018, 20:52
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Scary stuff. I read a book about this a while ago, (The Hot Zone I think it was called). Basically the feeling is that if this gets out of Africa and into a densely populated area with major transport hubs it could pretty much end the human race.
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Old 18th May 2018, 22:12
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AeroSpark is Right!

You are correct, Sir! The Hot Zone by Richard Preston, published in 1995, is a MUST READ! A work of non-fiction, the book is divided into two sections. The first deals with the eruption of hemorrhagic viruses in Africa in the shadow of the extinct volcano, Mt. Elgon. The second is a minute-by-minute replay of an outbreak of Ebola in Reston, Virginia, a suburb of this Nation's capital. (I lived in D.C. when this happened; nobody had a clue that it was going on until the threat had been eliminated! Had it "broken out", we were all dead in the Western Hemisphere. Viruses fly as fast as jet aircraft...)

Preston is one of my favorite authors. I purchased The Hot Zone one afternoon, took it home, opened it after dinner, and put it down at sunrise the next morning, having stayed awake all night to read each frightening word...

- Ed

The link below is to an updated article citing the WHO's concerns:
The Hill

Last edited by cavuman1; 19th May 2018 at 19:05. Reason: Add Link
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Old 20th May 2018, 01:42
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Another experimental vaccine in the congo? What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 20th May 2018, 08:24
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I think a lot of the spread of Ebola is as a result of some ‘practices’ that take place in certain parts of Africa. It is traditional to wash, touch and kiss the dead - even victims of this highly contagious disease. But prohibiting communities from properly honouring their dead ones—and thereby worsening their distrust in medical professionals—can be deadly, too. Ebola can be controlled pretty well by the use of disinfectant and bleach but a lot of the issues arise from the reluctance by the community’s attitude or understand the concept of quarantining the infected or dead.

Incidentally, a friend who worked at Porton Down said that the initial virus was transferred into the human population by the eating of bushmeat - particularly chimpanzees and fruit bats, who are notorious for carrying it - and whilst it still continues, these outbreaks are inevitable.
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Old 20th May 2018, 09:43
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Thanks for the tip ORAC, I've just ordered it online for the princely sum of 72 pence (+ p&p) from Amazon.
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Old 20th May 2018, 11:03
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Originally Posted by BehindBlueEyes View Post
Incidentally, a friend who worked at Porton Down said that the initial virus was transferred into the human population by the eating of bushmeat - particularly chimpanzees and fruit bats, who are notorious for carrying it - and whilst it still continues, these outbreaks are inevitable.
True, except the primary host species is most probably fruit bats, but these are also eaten as bush meat.
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Old 20th May 2018, 19:09
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I have a friend who actually ran an Ebola hospital during the last major outbreak, very scary indeed.
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