Mali is working to prevent the Ebola virus from spreading to its capital city, Bamako, from across its border with Guinea. The deadly virus has already killed 86 people in Guinea, but the three suspected cases in Bamako are not yet confirmed. The local airport will use thermal-imagining cameras to detect fevers in passengers, so they can be quarantined and tested.
Guinea has suffered the worst of the outbreak, but the disease has also spread to Liberia, where six people have died. Other countries are taking precautions: Senegal has sealed its border with Guinea, and Saudi Arabia cancelled the visas of pilgrims from Guinea and Liberia. This morning an Air France flight arriving in Paris from Guinea spent two hours in quarantine, until tests confirmed that a passenger suspected of being infected was healthy.
Ebola is untreatable, highly contagious, and deadly. Let us hope it spreads no further than it already has.
West Africa is bracing itself for the worst outbreak of the Ebola virus in nearly a decade. CNN is reporting that the death toll has risen to 85 with dozens more ill. The deaths are among 137 cases reported by the World Health Organization, which said the outbreak has “rapidly evolved” since starting in southeastern Guinea. Other suspected affected areas include Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Doctors Without Borders is calling the outbreak “unprecedented” in a press release because of the spread of the virus, a virus which is usually confined to a smaller area.
“We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country,” said Mariano Lugli, coordinator of MSF’s project in Conakry. “MSF has intervened in almost all reported Ebola outbreaks in recent years, but they were much more geographically contained and involved more remote locations. This geographical spread is worrisome because it will greatly complicate the tasks of the organizations working to control the epidemic.”
According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola virus disease has a case fatality of up to 90 percent and outbreaks typically occur in Central and West Africa, near tropical forests. It first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It’s transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission, generally through close contact with blood, secretions, or other bodily fluids.
It is characterized by a sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat. It is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases internal and external bleeding.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine available for use in people or animals.
Doctors Without Borders says that field workers include doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, and water and sanitation experts. More than 40 tons of equipment has been flown into Guinea to try to curb the spread of the disease.
To break the chain of the transmission of the virus, isolation of the patient is oftentimes necessary.
Bodies of two people were recovered on Wednesday from the site where an ultralight plane crashed Monday while flying over the mountains northwest of Voss, a city in Norway’s western county of Hordaland.
The two men had been missing after the plane, having taken off from the Boemoen airport near Voss at 4.00 p.m. local time (1500 GMT) Monday, did not land as planned the same night.
In an extensive search operation, a police Sea King helicopter Tuesday sighted the wreckage of the plane near the Stora Volavatnet lake, about 12 km northwest of Voss.
The bodies were found in the cockpit which was under snow, ice and water, said the Norwegian news agency NTB, quoting a local police officer.
A Delta Air Lines Inc flight made an emergency landing at a New York airport on Wednesday after a cockpit indicator signaled a hydraulic system problem, and the aircraft later rolled into a grassy area, an airline official said.
Flight 886, which was carrying 118 passengers and five crew from an Atlanta airport to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, was diverted to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) because it has longer runways, Delta spokeswoman Leslie Scott said.
“It wasn’t traveling fast when it happened,” Scott said. “They landed normally at JFK, but once they were taxiing to the gate, the aircraft exited the taxi-way and ended up in the grassy area.”
There were no reports of injuries, and passengers were disembarked and shuttled to a terminal, Scott said. The twin-engine, single-aisle McDonnell Douglas MD-88 left at about 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time (22:45 GMT) and landed at JFK at about 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
A cockpit indicator signaled a problem with the hydraulic system, which controls multiple systems, including the brakes, as the roughly 147-ft (44.8-m) plane was descending into the New York area, Scott said.
Delta maintenance crews, who towed the aircraft out of the grass, were evaluating the plane to determine if there was a mechanical failure, Scott said.
A Qantas flight from Sydney to Perth has made an emergency landing in Adelaide after a smoke warning light was activated.
Qantas said the Airbus A330 had 253 passengers on board when it diverted to Adelaide Airport and landed without incident.
‘The flight deck received a warning light indicating a technical issue, so as a safety precaution the pilots made the decision to divert to Adelaide,’ the airline said in a statement.
‘The aircraft landed without incident and passengers disembarked via normal procedure through the aerobridge.
‘The aircraft is currently being assessed by engineers.’
Emergency service crews in Adelaide were put on standby but were not required.
A passenger on the plane said the incident was handled well by the crew.
‘Everything went pretty smooth,’ the passenger identified on ABC radio as Dave said.
‘The pilot said he thought it was just a false alarm, but for safety they had to bring the plane back and evacuate everybody.
‘The pilot did a great job and the flight attendants did a really good job keeping everybody under control.’
A plane headed to the Kansas City International Airport from Indianapolis experienced a possible loss of pressure in the cabin Thursday.
According to Southwest Airlines spokesperson Dan Landson, flight No. 1731 with 147 passengers on board had a warning light go on suggesting a possible loss of pressure. Landson said the warning was noticed as the flight was about 30 miles outside of Kansas City.
At that point, the pilot alerted officials at KCI and began a rapid decent. According to the website flightware, the plane dropped 26,000 feet in 11 minutes, descending from 36,000 feet at 3:13 p.m. to 10,000 feet at 3:24 p.m., numbers confirmed by Landson.
KCTV5 News contacted retired TWA Pilot Dale Campbell regarding the incident. Campbell said the incident seemed to be “controlled,” but noted that it was certainly “something out of the ordinary” that he never experienced in his more than 20 years piloting for TWA. Campbell also said it appears the pilot “took the absolute correct action.”
The Southwest Boeing 737 was scheduled to arrive at KCI at 3:50 p.m.
The alert about the loss of pressure came out at 3:51 p.m.
Landson said the plane landed at 3:59 p.m., taxing to the gate without issue. All passengers exited the plane and no injuries were reported.
Passengers originally bound for Denver on the same plane boarded a second plane. The Boeing 737 plane remains at KCI out of service as Southwest Airlines mechanics investigate.