Archive | August 15, 2014

Deadly Ebola Virus; 14 people have been rushed to emergency isolation units for Ebola Virus tests in Serbia

Ebola Virus

14 people in Serbia were put under surveillance because of the possibility of infection with Ebola. They are persons who have returned from Africa, mainly from Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Upon arrival at the airport such passengers undergo health checks and within 24 hours they are advised to seek epidemiologist advice to monitor their condition for 21 days, the incubation period of the disease.

Deadly Ebola Virus; Suspected case in the city of Ilorin, Nigeria

Ebola Virus

KWARA State government Thursday announced the discovery of a suspected case of Ebola virus in Ilorin.
 
The suspected case, a boy of seven months old, was said  to have been treated for fever at a private hospital in the town. 
 
His mother was said to have travelled from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital to Ilorin when the boy fell ill.
 
When the condition did no improve after two days on admission as he persisted in stooling and vomiting, he was referred to a pediatrician who is the proprietor of another clinic.
 
After spending about three hours in the referred hospital, according to the Senior Special Assistant on Public Health to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Prof.           Sunday Opakunle, the proprietor of the clinic said there were traces of blood in the stool, and quickly alerted the Ebola Committee on the development.
 
According to Opakunle at a press briefing in Ilorin, “ordinarily the symptoms could have been something else, but in view of the prevailing global scourge on Ebola, we decided not to take chances on it. We moved into action, by evacuating the baby and the mother to our isolated ward for Ebola at Sobi Specialist Hospital where the boy is placed on examination and treatment. Besides, we have sealed the clinics for a few days and de contaminated them.”
 
He disclosed that no history of contact was established between the patient as none of those around the baby was symptomatic. 
 
He said the next stage was to conduct examination and Laboratory Medical Imaging on him.
 
Opabola said, the samples of the baby had been sent to Lagos, Redeemer University and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) with a promise that the results would be made available “later today.”
 
Besides, he disclosed that the state government has concluded plans to install its own test machines at the State’s Advanced Diagnostic Centre in Ilorin to cater for any future emergencies relating to Ebola.
 
Already, three quarantined centres have been established in the State Opabola said members of the public should not panic but religiously follow all the laid down preventive measures on the scourge.
 
NYSC asks states to integrate orientation camps into preventive measures’
 
From Hendrix Oliomogbe, Asaba
 
WORRIED over the rising cases of Ebola virus, the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig. Gen. Johnson Olawumi has directed all state Commissioners of Health to integrate the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation  camps into their contingency plans in case of any suspected outbreak of the contagious disease.
 
Olawumi who spoke after inspecting the Delta State Orientation Camp at Issele-Uku, Aniocha North council of the State yesterday explained that all NYSC camp clinics have been equipped with necessary items for the medical personnel to properly handle any suspected patient of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
 
He assured corps members of adequate security in any part of the country, saying that the scheme was in partnership with state governments across the federation in an integrated framework geared towards ensuring the safety of corps members throughout the service year.
 
VC charges scientists  on cure  
 
From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City
 
The Vice Chancellor, Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Prof. Ernest Izevbigie yesterday charged scientists in the country  on the need to research into how to find a cure for the dreaded Ebola virus.
 
He stated this at a press briefing heralding the school’s 10th convocation ceremony where  he said 456 students would graduate from the school.
 
He said “The world has been in a state of panic over the re-emergence of Ebola virus, we have a lot of professionals in this country. We have many professors in this country in various fields. The essence of the attainment of academic excellence is to do research. You don’t get professorship as a honour just like that, you have to engage in active research for societal value. He added: “Some of us have been saying America should do more, the West should do more, I have a different approach which is that everybody should do more. The global community should do more, we should not look for somebody to come and solve our problems. 
 
China pledges N850m for affected W’ African countries 
 
•Pharmacists promise to help halt spread
 
By Chukwuma Muanya and Kenechukwu Ezeonyejiaku
 
Chinese government yesterday promised to provide a total value of N850 million (30 million Yuan/5 million USD) emergency humanitarian aid for the three Ebola-stricken West African countries to help them deal with the  scourge. 
 
In a similar development, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has also pledged support in the fight against the spread of the deadly virus. 
 
According to a statement by the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos, the humanitarian supplies are mainly protective clothing and gears, monitoring devices, sprays, drugs and other medical equipment, and has been shipped to the destination by the chartered flight on August 10.
 
The Consulate said the recent outbreak of the Ebola in such three West Africa countries as Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone poses a serious threat to the local people’s health and life, adding ,“The nations acted quickly after the outbreak by mobilizing social forces, local and international resources to fight against the spread of epidemic, trying their best to minimize the loss of life of local people.”
 
The statement reads: “A friend in need is a friend indeed. Chinese and African peoples are good brothers, good friends and good partners, who grow together by sharing weal and woe, and always support and help each other.” 
 
Besides the above-mentioned emergency supplies, medical teams sent by Chinese government in these countries are  actively participating in treating of Ebola patients, regardless of their personal safety, making great contribution to the epidemic prevention and control.” 
 
In a  statement, the PSN  noted that as emphasis is on prevention of the spread of the disease, it has become imperative for them to take drastic actions to help arrest the impending epidemic which has no known cure at the moment.
 
U.S. embassy to partner Nigeria on surveillance at airports
 
From Joke Falaju, Abuja
 
The United State Embassy in Nigeria has pledged to assist the Federal Government in the scale up surveillance at the nation’s airport to curtail the spread of the Ebola Virus diseases.
 
The Deputy Chief Information Officer, US Embassy,  Maria Brewers who stated this during a courtesy call on the Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka in Abuja.
 
She said: “I think Nigerian government is on track towards retaining the Category1 status even in the face of the outbreak of the Ebola disease in the country, and I think the government has taken the right steps in curtailing the virus and we intend to work with you in all the airports.”
 
She said the embassy has been working with the Aviation Ministry both in Abuja and Lagos to ensure proper screening of passengers coming in and out of the country, and the Center for Disease Control was working with the government to ensure that the disease is stamped out and it does not further impact any population.
 
She stressed the need for more public health workers who would engage in screening of passengers who are coming in and out of the country, adding that its public health communicators have been sensitizing Nigerians on ways of preventing the spread of the virus.
 
Chidoka in his remark,  assured that the outbreak of the Ebola virus, would not be a damper the country preparedness for Category 1 certification status, rather it would increase preparedness.
 
He further assured that Nigeria was on track and is addressing all the necessary gaps in the attainment of the Category1 status so that when the inspection team comes back all the facilities would have been put in place.
 
Salt not antidote to Ebola, says NAFDAC 
 
Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii has advised members of the public to disregard rumours purporting that salt can cure complication resulting from the Ebola virus which has so far killed two  persons in the country and put eight others under intensive management.
 
While urging the public to stop listening to rumours of an Ebola cure, Orhii said there was no known cure for the deadly virus at the moment and advised members of the public to embrace strict personal hygiene by washing of hands with soap or hand sanitizer and avoid crowded places.
 
The NAFDAC boss gave this advice while inaugurating the latest batch of corp members into NAFDAC/NYSC-CDS group at NYSC orientation camp, Kubwa in Abuja. Orhii was represented at the  event by the Director, Special Duties of the Agency, Dr. Abubakar JIimoh.
 
Taking cognizance of the importance of accurate and reliable public health information, Orhii said NAFDAC was strengthening its partnership with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), through the design of new strategies geared towards consolidating on the gain made so far in the area of public enlightenment and youth advocacy to eradicate the menace of fake drugs and unwholesome regulated products.
 
The NAFDAC DG said the agency’s partnership with NYSC through NAFDAC/NYSC-CDS group has recorded great successes in reaching the grassroots with messages of safe food and drug practices.
 
He added that the move  necessitated  NAFDAC to build on the successes of its previous strategies and increase its support and commitment towards ensuring that Corp members are empowered with the right information to be ambassadors of the agency in their places of primary assignment.
 
He said, “the thrust of this strategy is anchored on the unassailable mileage of the youth corps members and gravitating on their creative energies in educating Nigerians particularly at the hinterlands on the regulatory activities of the agency”

Horrific horse virus spreading like crazy across Central Texas, USA

Horse Virus Alert

A strange disease that leaves horses with raw tongues, oral blisters, skin lesions and other horrific symptoms is spreading throughout Central Texas and Colorado, according to new reports. The spread of vesicular stomatitis (VS), a highly-contagious disease that usually requires quarantines in order to be mitigated, has resulted in the cancellation of several horse shows, as well as major economic losses for some ranchers.
 
An announcement issued by the Texas Animal Health Commission on July 25 explains that outbreaks of VS have occurred in at least 21 different locations in eight Texas counties, including in Austin’s Travis County. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) added around the same time that at least 27 equines were affected, including 22 in Texas and five in Colorado.
 
Similar to foot and mouth disease, VS typically shows clinical signs that include major swelling; shedding of skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats and above the hooves; and severely painful oral blisters and sores. In severe cases, otherwise healthy animals will simply stop eating, sometimes for days at a time, requiring their owners to put them under quarantine for at least three weeks while they recover so as not to infect other animals.
 
“It transmits so easily,” stated Si Jarboe, a horse trainer from Central Texas, to KEYE-TV News, noting that she initially thought little of the disease. “The flies [from] what I understand are the transmitter.”
 

Vesicular stomatitis leaves animals ‘miserable,’ say experts

Though the risk of death from VS is relatively small, horses that contract it can take weeks to recover, leaving them miserable in the meantime. And if they aren’t eating during this time, then they’re losing weight and becoming weaker, which can be problematic for show horses that require strength and vigor to win competitions.
 
“I was planning on taking three horses and hopefully kickin’ some butt and it’s not going to happen now,” added Jarboe about taking her veterinarian’s advice not to bring her horses to a recently scheduled play day.
 
With dozens of horses across the Lone Star State now having confirmed cases of VS, the risk of their spreading infection is simply too high in some areas. Rusty Edwards, a ranch owner near Bastrop, for instance, has shuttered his facility entirely until the current outbreak shows signs of retreat.
 
“We have 45 head here and I’m responsible for every horse on this place,” stated Edwards to KEYE-TV. “And I don’t want any of them sick, so we shut the place down.”
 

Much more deadly disease spreading in Minnesota horses

Meanwhile, reports of an outbreak of equine herpesvirus-1, or EHV-1, have emerged in Minnesota, where at least three equines have already had to be euthanized. At least four other horses, according to the Star Tribune, are being tested after showing signs of the virus, which can cause severe neurological damage, leaving horses unable to get up and walk.
 
“This is a common virus that’s in the horse population normally,” admitted Dr. Paul Anderson from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. “What is a little unusual is this number of horses with central nervous system signs… such as problems with coordination and trouble urinating. Occasionally it gets bad enough where there is death.”
 

Deadly Ebola Virus; Woman Being Tested For Ebola Virus In Scotland, UK

Ebola Virus

A female detainee who became ill at an immigration removal centre is to undergo tests for the Ebola virus.

The woman, understood to have arrived from Sierra Leone, was being held at Dungavel Detention Centre in South Lanarkshire.

A spokesman for NHS Lanarkshire said: “We are currently investigating a possible case of Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (Ebola).

“This is a precautionary measure and it would appear at this stage to be highly unlikely the patient will test positive for Ebola.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “We do not comment on operational matters.”

The case comes amid growing international concern about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

More than 1,000 people have died and almost 2,000 suspected, probable or confirmed Ebola cases have been recorded there.

Health experts say they are struggling to contain the epidemic, which started in Guinea last March.

It has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is infected.

Massive landslide kills 23 and School Wall Collapses in Nepal

23 Killed in Landslide and School Wall Collapse in Nepal
At least 20 people were killed due to flood and landslides following heavy rain in Surkhet district of western Nepal today.
 
About a dozen people are still missing in the incident, Home Ministry spokesperson Shanker Koirala said.
 
He said that so far 20 bodies have been recovered mainly from Chisapani village.
 
Search and rescue operations were going on with the assistance of Nepal Army and Nepal Police personnel.
 
Bheri River bridges at Tatopani-Ghatgaun junction and Tatopani-Babiyachaur junction has been swept away by the flood.
 
Another bridge at Hariharpur has also been swept away, the Home Ministry said. ? 
 
Meanwhile, three persons were killed and eleven others sustained injuries when a compound wall of a government school collapsed in Pantheswara village of Gorkha district today.
 
The incident came when a Korean national was distributing helpful items for the school during a programme inside the school room, when the landmass behind the building slipped breaking the compound wall.
 
Those killed in the incident include two women and a man working in the school.
 
However, all the students were safe.

Lightning strike cuts power to more than 15,000 residents in Weber County, Utah, USA

lightning-alert.png

“A lot of our outages are due to weather but rarely do they get that big,” Murphy said

A power outage affecting more than 15,400 residents struck parts of Weber County overnight.

Power was lost in parts of Ogden, South Ogden and Washington Terrace at about 1:26 a.m. from a lightning strike that damaged distribution lines, Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Paul Murphy told the Standard-Examiner. 

“A lot of our outages are due to weather but rarely do they get that big,” Murphy said.

Crews responded to repair the equipment and power was restored to all but about 1,400 residents by 2:24 a.m., according to Murphy. Power was restored to all homes by about 8:15 a.m.

Alert level has been raised to Level 2 (alarming) at the Mayon Volcano in the Philippines

Volcano Alert

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the alert level of Mayon Volcano from Level 1 to Level 2 on Friday afternoon, advising residents to keep at a distance of six kilometers from the volcano.
 
There are six alert levels for Mayon Volcano: 0 (no alert), 1 (abnormal), 2 (alarming), 3 (critical), 4 (hazardous eruption imminent), and 5 (hazardous eruption).
 
Level 2 is characterized, according to PHIVOLCS, by “moderate unrest,” “low to moderate levels of seismic activity,” and “episodes of harmonic tremor,” among others.
It “could eventually lead to eruption,” with PHIVOLCS reminding residents to “be vigilant and desist from entering the 6-kilometer-radius Permanent Danger Zone.”
It said the agency would continue to monitor the volcano closely and would keep the public updated about any developments.
According to PHIVOLCS, these are the signs that a volcano is about to erupt, although these may vary from volcano to volcano.
1. Increase in the frequency of volcanic quakes with rumbling sounds; occurrence of volcanic tremors,
2. Increased steaming activity; change in color of steam emission from white to gray due to entrained ash,
3. Crater glow due to presence of magma at or near the crater,
4. Ground swells (or inflation), ground tilt, and ground fissuring due to magma intrusion,
5. Localized landslides, rockfalls, and landslides from the summit area not attributable to heavy rains,
6. Noticeable increase in the extent of drying up of vegetation around the volcano’s upper slopes,
7. Increase in the temperature of hot springs, wells (e.g. Bulusan and Canlaon) and crater lake (e.g. Taal) near the volcano,

8. Noticeable variation in the chemical content of springs, crater lakes within the vicinity of the volcano,

9. Drying up of springs/wells around the volcano,
 
10. Development of new thermal areas and/or reactivation of old ones; appearance of solfataras (“a natural volcanic steam vent,” according to Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Severe hailstorm, heavy rains leave 16 dead in Peshawar, Pakistan

At least 16 people have been killed and more than 80 others injured in rain-related incidents and hailstorms in various parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s capital city as roofs and walls of building collapsed due to heavy rain.

 

Speaking to journalists at the Lady Reading Hospital, Assistant Commissioner Mumataz Ahmed confirmed the number of casualties. People facing hardships due to the rain complained that they felt stranded as entire provincial cabinet, including Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, was busy with their ‘Azadi March’ and so far no Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader could reach the spot or hospital to inquire after the injured and families of the dead.

 

Rescuers are facing problems due to choked roads, and traffic jams and expressed fears that the death-toll may increase. Severe hail storms hit parts of the Peshawar on Friday evening playing havoc with life and properties in Akhundabad, Gujjarabad, Wazirbagh, Faqirabad and other areas of the city. Earlier, Rescue 1122 personnel confirmed that they had reports of at least 11 people dead and more than 50 others injured during the heavy downpour.

 

Edhi sources had said the death toll might be higher as the rescue workers were still busy in rescue activities. Most of the casualties were a result of collapsing buildings and walls in Lewane Baba Nothia, Faqirabad, Wazri Bagh, Lahori Gate, Phandu, Barisko, Ladny Sarak, Dir Colony and other areas. The families of the victims have castigated the authorities for their negligence as still many people are stranded in collapsed houses and no one visited affected areas to assess the situation.

 

When contacted, the deputy commissioner said the concerned ‘patwaris’ and revenue officers have been directed to assess the life and property losses. The official statement said an emergency was declared in all hospitals to meet any untoward incident due to further rains.

Sabancaya Volcano Spews in Peru

Volcano Alert

Southern Peru’s Sabancaya volcano exploded with a plume of ash that soared nearly two miles into the Andean sky.
 
The Peruvian Geophysical Institute said the explosion may have been linked to recent seismic tremors measured in the area.
 
Sabancaya is Peru’s most active volcano and considered its most dangerous.
 
The mountain remained dormant for more than 200 years before roaring to life in late 1986.
 
The most sustained period of activity in modern times began in May 1990 and continued for more than eight years.

3 x volcanoes are showing high activity in Guatemala

Volcano Alert

The Volcanology Institute of Guatemala (Insivumeh) reported Thursday that the eruptive phase of Fuego, Santiaguito and Pacaya volcano has risen sharply in recent days.
According to a statement disclosed by the institution, the eruptive activity has caused colossal explosions with ash and lava that originally caused small earthquakes in the nation.
“The Fuego volcano, located between the departments of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepequez still generating ash plumes reaching four thousand 300 meters above sea level,” adds Insivumeh communication.
In fact, many communities have reported damage from ash. “We call on the population to remain calm to events that are common in Guatemala,” said the document.
“The Insivumeh continues to monitor the Santiaguito volcano, some two thousand 500 meters above sea level and nestled in the department of Quetzaltenango (west) due to the increased flow of lava” he says.
In September 2012, a powerful explosion del Fuego volcano prompted the evacuation of about 10,000 people in the departments of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepequez.