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Ebola Spreads to Liberia, Senegal Shuts Border

Posted by feww on March 31, 2014

VIRAL HEMORRHAGIC FEVERS
EBOLA CONFIRMED IN LIBERIA
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Ebola HF cases confirmed in Liberia

At least two cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Liberia, apparently spreading from neighboring Guinea, where the deadly virus has killed 78 people.

The two confirmed cases in Liberia are sisters, one of whom had recently returned from Guinea, said officials.

The highly contagious virus is spread via close personal contact and kills between 25% and 90% of victims.

The first known outbreak in Guinea started in the remote southeastern Forest Region but had recently spread to the capital, Conakry [Population 2.2 million.]

Senegal shuts border with Guinea

Senegal government closed its border with neighboring Guinea soon after confirmation that the virus had reached Conakry.

“When it used to be only in the south of Guinea, we didn’t do anything special. But now that it’s reached Conakry, we believe it’s safer to close our borders,” said Senegal’s Health Minister.

“We have also closed all weekly markets, known as luma, in the south. And we’re having some discussions with religious leaders regarding big religious events,” she added.

Suspected cases of Ebola have also been reported in neighboring Sierra Leone.

Five subspecies of Ebolavirus have so far been found. Four of those have caused disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans, according to CDC.

There are no known cure or vaccine for the Ebola virus.

In Africa, confirmed cases of Ebola HF have previously been reported in the following countries:

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
  • Gabon
  • South Sudan
  • Ivory Coast
  • Uganda
  • Republic of the Congo (ROC)
  • South Africa (imported)

“The natural reservoir host of ebolaviruses, and the manner in which transmission of the virus to humans occurs, remain unknown. This makes risk assessment in endemic areas difficult. With the exception of several laboratory contamination cases (one in England and two in Russia), all cases of human illness or death have occurred in Africa; no case has been reported in the United States,” said CDC.

Ebola_2_thumb_colorized
Ebola virions (image 2 colorized 1), diagnostic specimen from the first passage in Vero cells of a specimen from a human patient — this image is from the first isolation and visualization of Ebola virus, 1976. In this case, some of the filamentous virions are fused together, end-to-end, giving the appearance of a “bowl of spaghetti.” Negatively stained virions. Magnification: approximately x40,000.  Micrograph from F. A. Murphy, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas.

12 deadly pathogens could spread into new regions aided by climate change

A report by Wildlife Conservation Society released on October 7, 2008 lists 12 deadly pathogens that could spread globally as a result of climate change. “All have potential impacts to both human and wildlife health as well as global economies.” Report said.

Titled ‘The Deadly Dozen: Wildlife Diseases in the Age of Climate Change,’ the report illustrates examples of diseases that could spread due to temperatures changes and variations in regional precipitation levels.

The “Deadly Dozen” list [ABC]

  1. Avian influenza
  2. Babesia
  3. Cholera
  4. Ebola
  5. Intestinal and external parasites
  6. Lyme disease
  7. Plague
  8. Red tides
  9. Rift Valley fever
  10. Sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis)
  11. Tuberculosis
  12. Yellow fever

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