Ebola crisis: Virus spreading faster than efforts to control it, says WHO

Posted: August 2, 2014 in Africa News
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The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is spreading faster than efforts to control it, World Health Organization (WHO) head Margaret Chan has said.

She told a summit of regional leaders that failure to contain Ebola could be “catastrophic” in terms of lives lost.
But she said the virus, which has claimed 728 lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since
February, could be stopped if well managed.

Ebola kills up to 90% of those infected.
It spreads by contact with infected blood, bodily
fluids, organs – or contaminated environments.
Patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.

Initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external haemorrhaging from the eyes and gums, and internal bleeding that can lead to organ failure.

A US relief agency says it will repatriate two of its American staff who have contracted the virus in Liberia.
They are believed to be the first Ebola patients ever to be treated in the US.

Hundreds of US Peace Corps volunteers have already been evacuated from the West African
countries.

Separately, US President Barack Obama announced that delegates from affected countries attending a US-Africa conference in Washington next week would be screened.

“Folks who are coming from these countries that have even a marginal risk, or an infinitesimal risk of having been exposed in some fashion, we’re making sure we’re doing screening,” he said.

the Liberian government declared
Friday a holiday to allow a huge sanitisation and chlorination exercise in government ministries and places of public gathering.

Information Minister Lewis Brown said “the intent is to let us come to the realisation that something
is wrong and what is wrong is serious”.

Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage.
Fatality rate can reach 90%.
Incubation period is two to 21 days and There is no vaccine or cure for it.

Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help
recovery.
fruit bats are considered to be virus’ natural host.

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