Archive | August 9, 2014

Plane crash seriously injuring two in Isle of Bute, UK

Plane Crash Alert

Two people have been seriously injured after a light aircraft crashed on an island.

Emergency services were called to the scene between the Kilchattan Bay and Kingarth areas of the Isle of Bute at around 3.45pm today.

Police Scotland said that two people on board have been taken to hospital.

The force said that investigations into the circumstances of the incident are at an early stage.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue service said that it had three fire engines at the scene.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said that one person has been taken to hospital on the island while the other has been airlifted to the Southern General in Glasgow.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said they are aware of the incident and will be investigating.


Plane Makes Emergency Landing In Everglades, USA

(Courtesy:National Park Service/ Ranger Scott Devore)

Three people walked out of a single engine plane, uninjured after they were forced to make an emergency landing in the Everglades Saturday morning.

The people on board the Piper PA 28 plane were doing training by the Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport.

They had launched from Tamiami Airport earlier that day but at around 10:50 a.m they were heading back to the airport when their engine failed forcing them to land.

The pilot was able to land the plane near Shark Valley Road in the Everglades, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The three people who were on board the plane are all licensed pilots.

Miami-Dade County Police, U.S. National Park Service and Miccosukee Police are investigating the incident.

The FAA is set to arrive to the scene to do an incident assessment.

Deadly EEE Virus; A resident has been diagnosed with the deadly EEE virus in Onondaga County, New York, USA

EEE Virus Alert

An Onondaga County resident has been diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a potentially deadly virus transmitted by mosquitoes.

The individual is hospitalized and is in stable condition, according to the Onondaga County Health Department, which declined to disclose any other details about the case.

Central New York is a hot spot for Eastern equine encephalitis, EEE for short. Five Central New Yorkers have died from EEE since 1971. Maggie Wilcox, a 4-year-old Oswego resident, died from the virus in 2011. Her family has been advocating for the development of a public vaccine.

This is the first known human case in Onondaga County since 2010.

EEE is a rare but dangerous viral infection that is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. Initial symptoms, which usually start four to 10 days after the bite, can include fever, headache and vomiting. Illness can then progress to altered mental status, confusion, seizures, coma and even death. The greatest risk for infection with this virus is for people who spend a lot of time outdoors.

Michelle Mignano, Onondaga County’s interim health commissioner, said the county was notified of the EEE diagnosis today by the state Health Department.

She said it is essential that residents consistently take measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

The Onondaga County Health Department recently conducted aerial spraying of the Cicero swamp. Mignano said if additional spraying is determined to be necessary, the public will be notified through the media and by the emergency reverse 911 notification system.

Oswego County plans to do aerial spraying tonight and Saturday night.

It is important that the public continue to take measures to minimize being bitten by mosquitoes and to keep yards free of standing water to reduce the mosquito population, Mignano said.

Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. Personal protection is advised during outdoor activities. Personal protection measures include wearing shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outside for a long period of time.

The department said people should use mosquito repellent.

It also offered these tips:

  • Throw away outdoor containers, ceramic pots, or containers that hold water;
  • Remove all tires from your property;
  • Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors;
  • Clean clogged rain gutters and make sure they continue to work properly;
  • Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use;
  • Change water in bird baths at least every four days;
  • Clear vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds;
  • Clean chlorinated swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs;
  • Drain water from pool covers;
  • Use landscaping to eliminate low spots where standing water accumulates.

Deadly Ebola Virus; Chief medical officer’s statement on St. Lucia’s preparedness for the Ebola virus

Ebola Virus

During a press conference on Friday August 8th Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Merlene Fredericks stated that The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially declared the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) as a public health event of international concern. Dr. Fredericks stated that Ebola is a viral disease spread by direct contact with an infected person so if someone touches or is caring for someone who is ill with the virus and gets into contact with the ill person’s secretions, eg. saliva, vomit, diarrhea, perspiration, then such a person can get infected. The CMO informed the media of WHO’s statement to all states re: the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) which reads as follows: “There should be no general ban on international travel or trade; restrictions outlined in these recommendations regarding the travel of EVD cases and contacts should be implemented. States should provide travelers to Ebola affected and at-risk areas with relevant information on risks, measures to minimize those risks, and advice for managing a potential exposure. “States should be prepared to detect, investigate, and manage Ebola cases; this should include assured access to a qualified diagnostic laboratory for EVD and, where appropriate, the capacity to manage travelers originating from known Ebola-infected areas who arrive at international airports or major land crossing points with unexplained febrile illness. The general public should be provided with accurate and relevant information on the Ebola outbreak and measures to reduce the risk of exposure. States should be prepared to facilitate the evacuation and repatriation of nationals (e.g. health workers) who have been exposed to Ebola.”

Deadly Ebola Virus; Boarder authorities in Australia are on RED ALERT over Ebola Virus

Ebola Virus

One man with dual US-Liberian citizenship has died from Ebola after becoming sick on a plane from Monrovia to Lagos.

Passengers who land at Sydney Airport will be rushed to Westmead Hospital, which has been designated the viral haemorrhagic fever hospital for NSW. Paediatric patients will be sent to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Australian authorities have placed border protection on alert to monitor arriving international passengers for signs of the deadly Ebola virus.


Aeroplane passengers who exhibit Ebola symptoms on their way to Australia will be rushed into quarantine as soon as they land, under the federal government’s safeguards aimed at containing the disease if it enters the country.


Head of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said spread of Ebola to the US would happen due to global air travel but said any outbreak would unlikely be large.

One man with dual US-Liberian citizenship has died from Ebola after becoming sick on a plane from Monrovia to Lagos.

Passengers who land at Sydney Airport will be rushed to Westmead Hospital, which has been designated the viral haemorrhagic fever hospital for NSW. Paediatric patients will be sent to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.


A person can only transmit the virus if they are showing symptoms, health authorities have said, and any physical contact with a person prior to that time is safe.


Canberra epidemiologist Kamalini Lokuge, who recently returned from Guinea in West Africa where she was responding to the Ebola outbreak with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), said the best way to keep Australia safe was to help control the outbreak in Africa.


“The response needs to be stepped up,” she said. “Containing it is resource-intensive because there needs to be treatment centres, people who go into communities to reach out and educate families with sick people, people to arrange safe burials and people to monitor those who have had contact with an infected person for the 21-day incubation period.”


However, Dr Lokuge said alarm over Ebola-infected doctors being sent home for treatment was unwarranted.


“In a place like the US there is no risk as far as unstoppable spread for a disease like this,” she said.


The strict hygiene regulations in developed nations such as Australia and the US would be able to quickly stop the spread of the Ebola virus, Dr Lokuge said. 


“It’s not a particularly contagious disease in the way it is transmitted,” she said. “It is transmitted when there are very sick people and someone cares for them and comes into contact with their body fluids or comes into contact with the body of someone who has died with no protection in place.


“You get it when there’s nursing at home and there’s no protection, or when a body is not buried safely.


“It is not like the flu where someone who may not look sick passes it on to someone on the bus. We see it in family members of people who have been infected or people who have gone to funerals and touched the body.”


Dr Lokuge said international aid workers were at risk when they were too tired to do their duties safely.


“You have to make sure your staff have time to rest,” she said.


“Once people are overstretched and are being asked to do things when they are tired, that’s when you get the risk of people not being able to keep up with what’s needed.”


“Everyone knows it’s killed health staff – why has that happened? It’s because there’s no resources and personnel to implement safety protocols, and that needs to be fixed.


“The thing I find hardest is health staff who get infected, because it’s preventable.”

Two Australian workers for Medecins Sans Frontieres are currently in Ebola hot spots, one in Liberia and the other in Sierra Leone.


The organisation said it had extensive experience dealing with Ebola outbreaks and enforced standard protocols to protect its staff in the field.


“Medecins Sans Frontieres volunteers coming back from affected countries will be closely monitored during the virus’ three-week incubation period,” it said.


“If an Australian volunteer becomes infected in the field, Medecins Sans Frontieres will consider the options available to provide the best possible care, which does not currently include repatriation to Australia.” 


Ebola Virus

Indian authorities are on alert for the Ebola virus, the health minister said, suggesting there is a risk the deadly virus could be imported into country if the large population of Indians working in the four affected West African nations returns

There are nearly 45,000 Indian nationals living and working in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria – where an outbreak of the disease has killed 932 people, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told parliament on Wednesday.

“If the situation worsens in the affected countries, there could be possibility of these Indians travelling back to India,” Vardhan said. “While the risk of Ebola virus cases in India is low, preparedness measures are in place to deal with any case of the virus imported to India.”

Liberia has declared a state of emergency to tackle the worst-ever outbreak of the disease, its health system is collapsing. Officials say some major airlines have halted flights to the affected countries and many expatriates are leaving.

Though the vast majority of cases are in the remote border area of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, concern over Ebola’s spread grew last month when a U.S. citizen died in Nigeria of the virus after arriving from the region. A nurse who treated him also died in Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city, and at least five other people have been isolated with symptoms.

In Saudi Arabia, a man suspected of contracting Ebola during a recent business trip to Sierra Leone died early on Wednesday in Jeddah.

Vardhan advised against all non-essential travel to the four countries, adding that authorities will screen travellers who originate from or transit through affected nations, and track them after their arrival in India.

In-flight announcements prior to landing will be done by airlines, and passengers will be informed that mandatory self-reporting is required at immigration.

The government will also set up facilities at airports and ports to manage travellers showing symptoms of the disease. Signs range from fever and intense weakness to internal and external bleeding and the incubation period is two to 21 days.

“The surveillance system would be geared up to track these travellers for four weeks and to detect them early, in case they develop symptoms,” Vardhan said. “These persons would also be advised to self report in case of symptoms.”

Of the 4,700 Indians in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, 300 are Central Reserve Police Force personnel – comprising largely women – serving as U.N. peacekeepers in Liberia. Nigeria has nearly 40,000 Indian citizens.

There are also 7,000 Indian troops deployed in other African nations, but not in the affected countries.

Vardhan said the troops will be informed of precautions to take to reduce the risk of contracting the disease, and returning personnel will also be tracked and monitored for symptoms.

State authorities have been instructed to designate hospitals with isolation wards for response to possible cases and to stock personal protective equipment.

The minister said the government also planned to spread public awareness about the disease through newspapers, radio and television. Information about the virus will be posted on the health ministry’s website.

“Though there is no vaccine or curative therapy for Ebola virus disease, I want to apprise this house that outbreaks can be contained through early detection and isolation of cases, contact tracing and monitoring, and following rigorous procedures for infection control, if such cases were to report in our country,” Vardhan said.

Deadly Ebola Virus; A patient rushed to hospital is under investigation for Ebola virus in Brampton, Canada

Ebola Virus

A patient at a hospital near Toronto has been isolated as a precautionary measure after showing flu-like symptoms similar to those characteristic of the Ebola virus, a public health official said Friday.


Dr. Eileen de Villa with Peel Public Health said the steps were taken because the patient at Brampton Civic Hospital recently travelled to Nigeria, which has been hit with an outbreak of the disease.


“Because there are some health concerns ongoing in West Africa, as a precautionary measure the hospital has put in heightened infection control measures, including isolating the patient,” she said in an interview.


De Villa said the patient is showing a fever and other flu-like symptoms but cautioned there has been no diagnosis yet.

“The hospital has to do its patient care work and diagnostic work in order to confirm what the exact diagnosis is.”


Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins, who is also a doctor with a background in public health, issued a statement expressing confidence in the province’s ability to deal with any possible Ebola cases. He also noted Ebola symptoms are similar with a number of other diseases.


Ebola is a rare and severe disease that can infect both humans and non-human primates. The virus is contagious and is spread by direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from a sick person.


In its early stages Ebola has non-specific symptoms similar to the flu or malaria, which is common in parts of Africa. The virus causes symptoms including fever, vomiting, muscle pain and bleeding and is spread by direct contact with bodily fluids like blood, sweat, urine, saliva and diarrhea.


The latest Ebola outbreak is the largest and longest ever recorded for the disease, which has a death rate of about 50 per cent and has so far killed at least 961 people, according to the World Health Organization.


It emerged in Guinea in March and has since spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria — which on Friday declared a state of emergency because of the virus.


There have been false alarms about Ebola in places like Britain and Hong Kong.


The United States has investigated upwards of 22 people but to date had no confirmed cases from within the country. Two American aid workers infected while caring for patients in Liberia are being treated at an Atlanta hospital with an experimental Ebola therapy.


The Public Health Agency of Canada is advising Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to the outbreak, but has issued a statement saying the risk of Ebola to Canada is very low.


It says travellers to Nigeria should practice special precautions such as avoiding direct contact with blood and other bodily fluids of people with Ebola virus or unknown illnesses, among other steps.


The World Health Agency on Friday declared the outbreak to be an international public health emergency that requires an extraordinary response to stop its spread.


The organization said countries without Ebola should heighten their surveillance and treat any suspected cases as a health emergency.


In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have already elevated their Ebola response to the highest level and have recommended against travelling to West Africa.

Deadly Ebola Virus: Nigeria declares state of EMERGENCY

Deadly Ebola Virus: Nigeria declares state of EMERGENCY
Ebola Virus
The outbreak is moving faster than we can control it says Margaret Chan, WHO Director general

GUINEA has announced that it is to close borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia in an desperate attempt to halt the continuing spread of the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola

Liberian nurses remove an Ebola victim from a street in Virginia, left, and right, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

As the virus ravages West Africa, Nigeria has become the third nation to declare a national state of emergency – announced as the death toll of the devastating Ebola epidemic nears 1,000 people.

To date the incurable disease – which has spread through Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria – has infected over 1,779 people.

Yesterday officials from the World Health Organisation admitted that it is struggling to cope with the growing epidemic.

WHO Director general Margaret Chan said: “The outbreak is moving faster than we can control it”.

British Airways and Emirates have responded to the ongoing outbreak by grounded flights to West African disease hotspots in an effort to protect its staff and passengers.

Meanwhile international health experts have congratulated the WHO on not insisting for movement restrictions – allowing for faster transport of personnel and equipment.

In a bid to slow the spread of the fatal virus – which holds a mortality rate of almost 50% – Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan approved more than 1.9billion Naira (£6.6million) to fight the disease.

Nigeria, which houses Africa’s highest population, has already confirmed seven cases and two deaths.

The first death was that of a dual US-Liberian citizen, infected with Ebola, who landed in Lagos on a flight from Liberia, via Togo, on 20 July.

The second was the nurse who tended to him. 

Seven people suspected of contracting the disease are being investigated while another 139 Nigerian people are under surveillance.

Guinea Police secure the area around a man who collapsed in the street feared to suffer from Ebola
Guinea Police secure the area around a man who collapsed in the street feared to suffer from Ebola

President Goodluck Jonathan said in a statement that “every death should be reported to the relevant authorities and special precautions should be taken in handling corpses”.

He also took time to warn members of the public to not spread false information about the Ebola virus “which can lead to mass hysteria, panic and misdirection, including unverified suggestions about prevention, treatment, cure and spread of the virus”.

The epidemic – labelled “an international health emergency” by WHO on Friday –  has been confirmed in four African nations including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria.

But the warnings and continuous stream of WHO statements have been criticised by Dr. Bart Janssens, the director of operations for Doctors Without Borders.

“Statements won’t save lives,” he said.

“Lives are being lost because the response is too slow”.

Two patients are currently being treated for the as-yet incurable disease in the United States.

Aid worker Dr Kent Brantly – who returned for US medical care a week ago – is quarantined at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

First Ebola victim to be brought to the US, Dr. Kent Brantly and his wife, Amber, pose for a photo
First Ebola victim to be brought to the US, Dr. Kent Brantly and his wife, Amber, pose for a photo

In his first public statement since contracting the virus, Dr Brantly, 33, said that he was “growing stronger every day”.

“When I started feeling ill on that Wednesday morning, I immediately isolated myself until the test confirmed my diagnosis three days later,” he explains in the emotional statement.

“When the result was positive, I remember a deep sense of peace that was beyond all understanding.

“I am writing this update from my isolation room at Emory University Hospital, where the doctors and nurses are providing the very best care possible.

“I am growing stronger every day and I thank God for his mercy as I have wrestled with this terrible disease”.

Texan-born Dr Brantly and 59-year-old North Carolinian missionary Nancy Writebol are believed to be the first Ebola patients to receive treatment in the USA.

The pair were part of a Christian aid team helping to combat the outbreak in Liberia.

But despite the rapid spread of the virus – characterised by similarity to a Shepherds Crook beneath a microscope – the European Commission has insisted that the risk to the continent is “extremely low”, due in part to the high standards of healthcare and prevention.

In a statement, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said that the British Government was “very much focused” on dealing with this “new and emerging threat“.

Nancy Writebol is transported to Atlanta's Emory University Hospital isolation ward on Tuesday
Nancy Writebol is transported to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital isolation ward on Tuesday

Deadly Ebola Virus kills a Catholic nun in Liberia, Africa

Ebola Virus

A Catholic humanitarian group based in Spain says a nun from the Congo who was working in Liberia has died of the Ebola virus.

The San Juan de Dios hospital order says Saturday that Sister Chantal Pascaline died “from Ebola in the Hospital San Jose de Monrovia, despite the care she received from a volunteer nurse.”

Pascaline belonged to the same order as a Spanish missionary priest and nun evacuated to Madrid by jet this week. Both are in stable condition in a Madrid hospital.

The latest Ebola outbreak is the largest and longest ever recorded for the disease and so far has killed at least 961 people, the U.N. health agency said Friday. It emerged in Guinea in March and has since spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.


Emergency Alert
***BE ALERT***