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Ebola Outbreak: Public Health Emergency Declared in Sierra Leone

Posted by feww on July 31, 2014

UPDATED August 1, 2014 @ 03:00UTC

EMERGING & RE-EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES
VIRAL HEMORRHAGIC FEVERS
DEADLY EBOLA HF EPIDEMIC
EBOLA OUTBREAK IN WEST AFRICA
SCENARIO 011
.

Sierra Leone declares public health emergency to curb deadly Ebola outbreak

Death toll from an outbreak of Ebola in West Africa—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—has risen to at least 729 since February, including 233  in Sierra Leone, said WHO.

Liberia’s government earlier announced that it was closing down all schools across the country to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Ebola Fears in Other Countries

“The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday that it has put in place precautionary measures to prevent the entry and spread of the Ebola virus disease in the country,”  said a report.

Ebola could be a threat to Britain, said the British Foreign Secretary during an emergency meeting on Wednesday.

“In terms of the UK, the issue is about the possibility of somebody who has contracted the disease in Africa getting sick here.” He told reporters.

The Nigerian government has ordered the temperature screening of all passengers arriving from places at risk from Ebola, while suspending pan-African airline Asky because it brought the first Ebola case to the overcrowded capital Lagos.

Ethiopia and Kenya have begun screening passengers arriving from West Africa.

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF)

EHF is a highly contagious virus that spreads via close personal contact and kills up to 90% of the victims.

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.

  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and damage to central nervous system.
  • There are  no known cure or vaccine for the Ebola virus.
  • Incubation period is from two to 21 days.

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 current outbreak  is the first known occurrence of Ebola HF in Guinea.

“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 order]

  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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