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Ebola warning: WHO increases risk level to ‘very high’ – world on alert

Ebola Virus

The WHO Africa Region division tweeted as we speak: “So far there have been 18 instances, 9 deaths, 523 contacts, 82 % monitored and 1604 individuals vaccinated.” An outbreak has additionally been recorded within the Democratic Republic of Congo. The WHO has warned international locations neighboring Guinea weren’t ready for outbreaks or for future vaccination campaigns.

However, at current the worst-hit nation of the newest outbreak is Guinea.

It is the primary outbreak of the lethal virus there since a 2013-2016 outbreak, which was thought of the world’s worst.

The 2013-2016 outbreak unfold all through a number of West African international locations.

The lethal pathogen killed hundreds of individuals throughout its final outbreak and the WHO is fearful in regards to the newest resurgence, particularly amid the coronavirus crises.

The WHO’s Regional Emergency Director Abdou Salam Gueye mentioned: “There are six neighboring international locations to Guinea and we carried out an evaluation of readiness.

“Two of the international locations aren’t prepared and one is borderline and there are three international locations kind of prepared.”

The international locations that border Guinea are at the moment not ready to roll-out mass Ebola vaccination programmes.

Mr Gueye added: “Those neighboring international locations agreed on cross-border cooperation and coordination to management the outbreak.”

The nation has the present capability to inoculate 100 individuals per day.

This would be the first time an Ebola vaccine has been distributed within the nation.

Currently, 1604 individuals had been vaccinated in Guinea.

Bachir Kanté, an official on the well being ministry, mentioned: “In the approaching days, we will likely be in a position to vaccinate extra individuals so as to include this pandemic correctly.”

Courtesy of today-india.in

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31 people die after BUBONIC PLAGUE outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo

A bubonic plague outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has seen several dozen people succumb to the long-feared disease, which caused Europe’s Black Death pandemic in the 14th century.

Multiple cases of the plague were identified in the Biringi area of Ituri Province in northeastern DR Congo between November 15 and December 13, Anne Laudisoit of New York-based NGO, Ecohealth Alliance, told AFP.

At least 520 people have become ill and “more than 31” of them have died, Ituri Health Minister Patrick Karamura told the outlet.

The vast majority of cases involved bubonic plague, with the exception of five instances of pneumonic plague and two instances of septicemic plague, which occur when the disease spreads to the lungs or blood, respectively.

Younger people were most affected, with the average age of patients being only 13. Among those infected was a three-month-old baby, according to Laudisoit.

The plague, which is caused by Yersinia pestis bacterium, is endemic to the province where it was first confirmed in 1926. Outbreaks occur regularly, with the World Health Organization (WHO) also issuing an alert over spiking cases of the disease in Ituri’s Rethy region in July last year.

The latest outbreak began with mass deaths among rats, which had been infected by germ-carrying fleas in their fur. Those fleas then started to look for new hosts and shifted onto humans, infecting them through their bites.

Bubonic plague is the most common form of the disease, which occurs after the bacillus travels through the blood and attacks the nearest lymph node. Those swollen and painful lymph nodes that can sometimes break open are known as ‘buboes’. Other symptoms include fever, headaches and vomiting.

The so-called Black Death, which according to various estimates killed between a third and a half of Europe’s population in the mid-14th century, while also heavily hitting North Africa and Asia, was the largest pandemic in human history and was caused by bubonic plague.

The fearsome disease is now curable with several types of antibiotics. However, without proper treatment, the plague can cause death in between 30 to 90 percent of those infected.

However, getting proper medical attention in DR Congo is often difficult as its health system suffers from lack of funding and is hampered by the activity of various militant groups. Besides the plague, the Central African country is also challenged by episodic Ebola outbreaks, malaria, cholera, HIV and other diseases.

Courtesy of rt.com

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Ebola kills 4 in Guinea as West African nation suffers first outbreak of deadly disease in 5 years

Ebola Virus

A resurgence of Ebola has killed four people in Guinea, marking the first time in five years that the disease has been linked to fatalities in the West African country.

The latest victims of the virus had participated in a funeral for a nurse who had fallen ill and died, Guinea’s National Health Security Agency chief Sakoba Keita told local media. Her death has now been attributed to Ebola.

Following the burial, eight people showed symptoms of the virus, including diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding. Three of the individuals died, while four others have been hospitalized. Keita said that one of the patients had “escaped” from where he was being treated but was later located and taken to a hospital in the capital, Conakry. The outbreak occurred in the southeast region of Nzerekore.

Health Minister Remy Lamah said that the government was “really concerned” about the new Ebola deaths. Guinea has not recorded a fatality from Ebola since 2016, when the virus ripped through the country and the surrounding region, killing more than 11,000 over a three-year period.

Ebola is a highly infectious and deadly disease that causes hemorrhagic fever and internal bleeding. The virus is spread through contact with infected body fluids.

The outbreak comes as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) struggles to rein in its own resurgence of the virus. The country recently saw two deaths that have been attributed to the disease, raising fears that it may have been premature to declare in November that its latest struggle against Ebola was “over.” The DRC has fought the virus for decades, having suffered 11 outbreaks since the disease was first discovered near the Ebola river in 1976.

Courtesy of rt.com

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‘Mysterious’ disease alarm: Some 300 hospitalized, 1 dead in India as medics fail to identify cause of patients’ suffering

At least one person has died and hundreds more have been hospitalized due to an unknown illness that has emerged in Eluru, India. Medical authorities are scrambling to identify what is causing the health problems.

Residents of the city, which is located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, have been rushed to hospital after suffering from dizziness, headaches, vomiting, and epilepsy-like symptoms. Around 300 people have been treated for the unexplained illness in total, with more than 140 patients being discharged after receiving medical care, according to NDTV, citing health officials.

Most people seem to recover from the bizarre sickness, but one patient, a 45-year-old man, died after being admitted to the hospital with symptoms of nausea and epilepsy.

Authorities are still trying to determine the cause of the unexplained illness. CT scans have not revealed anything unusual in the patients, and cerebral spinal fluid tests also came back normal. The afflicted individuals have all tested negative for Covid-19. Blood, water, and food samples have been collected and sent to a forensics laboratory, local media reported, and health officials are awaiting the results of screenings carried out to detect E. coli bacteria.

A special team of doctors has been dispatched to the city as officials conduct a house-to-house survey in an attempt to identify potential patients, as well as find clues that could reveal the source of the illness.

According to media reports, some of the patients said they had experienced convulsions and lost consciousness after drinking tap water. Water contamination was identified as the culprit behind the string of hospitalizations, but officials have insisted that there is no evidence there is anything wrong with the city’s supply.

Courtesy of rt.com

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Ebola-like virus which causes massive bleeding found to jump from human to human after Bolivia outbreak

Virus Outbreak - Danager

Scientists have sounded the alarm over an Ebola-like virus from Bolivia which has been found to spread from person to person, killing three out of every five confirmed patients.

The rodent-borne Chapare virus first emerged in 2004 in the Bolivian province from which it gets its name, about 370 miles east of the country’s capital city, La Paz.

New research has shed light on the deadliness of the disease and how it spread from patient zero.

Following a 2019 outbreak in the country, researchers have found that, though it comes from a different viral family than Ebola, it also causes hemorrhagic fever, which can, in turn, cause life-threatening organ failure and bleeding.

At present, there is no treatment for Chapare outside of intravenous hydration and supportive care. The virus causes fever, headache, abdominal pain, rash and bleeding of the gums, and is believed to result from contact with rat urine or droppings.

Dr. Caitlin Cossaboom, an epidemiologist with the US Centers for Disease Control, presented findings from her research into a 2019 outbreak to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s annual meeting on Monday.

A 65-year-old rice farmer was patient zero in the outbreak who then spread the disease to a 25-year-old doctor who treated him.

“The night before he died, she suctioned saliva from his mouth, and then she fell ill nine days later,” Cossaboom explained.

The 48-year-old paramedic who transported the doctor to hospital was the next to be infected after performing CPR on her.

A gastroenterologist conducted an endoscopy on the doctor and developed symptoms 14 days later. All of the cases resulted in exposure to bodily fluids from an infected person.

Patient zero, the doctor and the gastroenterologist all died from the Chapare virus, while the ambulance worker and another infected person survived.

The pygmy rice rat and the small-eared pygmy rice rat were found to be the primary carriers of the pathogen. They inhabit Bolivia and several neighbouring countries.

Scientists now worry the virus may have been circulating in the country for years with patients having been misdiagnosed with dengue fever, a mosquito-borne virus which cannot be transmitted from human-to-human, unlike Chapare.

The good news is that arenaviruses, such as Chapare, are vulnerable to both heat and disinfectants, which means that global spread is extremely unlikely.

Courtesy of rt.com

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China bubonic plague spreads: 17 provinces now infected after alarming new cases #BubonicPlague #China

Bubonic Plague Alert

Three more cases of the virus have now been discovered in the central Mongolian province of Uvurkhangai. With this new cluster of cases, the health ministry has confirmed that almost every province in the country now has an active outbreak. Due to its proximity on the border with China, there are increased concerns the deadly infectious disease may soon migrate across.

Dorj Narangerel, head of public relations and surveillance department of the health ministry said: “Three suspected cases of the plague are now under isolation at a local hospital.

“They are members of the same family or mother and her two children.”

This means 17 out of the 21 provinces in the country have now reported outbreaks.

Indeed, China had also reported outbreaks of the bubonic plague in the northern region of Inner Mongolia in July and earlier this month.

Due to the outbreak, China placed a lockdown on the region in order to stop a catastrophic pandemic spreading throughout the country again.

A death was reported in the city of Bayannur due to organ failure after contracting the deadly disease.

Authorities in his village of Bayannur said: “The place of residence of the deceased is locked down, and a comprehensive epidemiological investigation is being carried out.

“Currently, there is a risk of the human plague spreading in our city.”

Another person also died after contracting the virus in the nearby city of Baotou.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus, Chinese health officials have moved quickly to quarantine any town or city at risk of the bubonic to stop a second pandemic from occurring.

The bubonic plague, which caused the Black Death, is transmitted by fleas which usually live on rodents.

As a result of the mountainous terrain in Mongolia and northern China, there is a high number of rodents potentially carrying the virus.

Such was the potency of the disease, it caused 50 million deaths across Europe in the Middle Ages.

The virus can cause a victim’s limbs or body parts to become blackened hence why it was called the Black Death.

Although the recent spike has been largely confined to South East Asia, a case was also reported in California.

A positive case was discovered in the Lake Tahoe region of the state earlier this month.

This was the first time any such case was reported in five years.

Health Officer Nancy Williams said: “Plague is naturally present in many parts of California, including higher elevation areas of El Dorado County.

“It’s important that individuals take precautions for themselves and their pets when outdoors, especially while walking, hiking and/or camping in areas where wild rodents are present.

“Human cases of plague are extremely rare but can be very serious.”

Crucially, there is now treatment for the virus if it is detected early enough.

However, certain countries hunt rodents which are a core part of their diet.

Courtesy of express.co.uk

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Doctors sound alarm as deadly tick-borne virus re-emerges in China, kills 7 so far #TickBorneVirus #SFTS #China

Infectious Disease Alert

As if Covid-19 wasn’t enough, Chinese doctors are warning that the country’s population is threatened by yet another virus. The infection is passed by tick bites, but could also be transmitted between humans, experts say.

The SFTS virus has already infected around 60 people this year in China’s eastern Jiangsu and Anhui Provinces, and seven of them have died.

Symptoms of the potentially deadly infection include fever, cough, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting, as well as a decline in white blood cells.

SFTS isn’t exactly new, as the first cases of the tick-borne disease were reported in rural parts of the Hubei and Henan provinces back in 2009, and Chinese virologists isolated its pathogen in 2011.

The current case fatality rate of the re-emerging disease is between approximately 16 and 30 percent, according to the China Information System for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the infection is primarily transmitted through tick bites, transition between humans cannot be excluded, Sheng Jifang, a doctor from a hospital under Zhejiang University, told the Global Times, explaining that it could be passed through blood or mucous.

A 2015 outbreak of the same virus in Japan and South Korea had a mortality rate of more than 30 percent in both countries. The virus is known to be particularly harmful for older or immunocompromised people.

The doctors also warn that tick bites are a major transmission route not only for SFTS, but other infections as well. They say there is no reason to panic, however, if people exercise caution.

In 2018, the World Health Organization included SFTS on its list of the diseases prioritized for research together with the likes of Ebola, SARS and Zika. Those viruses were singled out due to their high potential to cause a public health emergency and lack of efficacious drugs or vaccines against them.

In December, China’s Wuhan became the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, with the disease quickly spreading around the globe, infecting 19 million and killing more than 719,000.

Courtesy of rt.com

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UPDATE: ‘Family cluster’ among 13 new UK coronavirus cases – including first in Scotland #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #Scotland #England #London #Surrey #Sussex #Essex #Manchester

Coronavirus Alert

Thirteen new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK – including the first case in Scotland.

It is the biggest jump in COVID-19 cases the UK has seen in one day – and means all four home nations have now been affected.

The Scottish patient, who is receiving treatment after being placed into isolation, is a resident of the Tayside area and has recently returned from Italy.

The other 12 cases are in England – including a “family cluster”.

Three of the new patients caught coronavirus in England from a man in Surrey who tested positive on Friday.

They are members of his family and are all adults. One is also from Surrey and two are from West Sussex.

Health officials are still trying to find out how the original Surrey patient caught the illness in the UK without having travelled abroad.

Another of the new cases, from Essex, has not been abroad and it is not clear where they picked up the virus.

The eight other new cases in England are believed to have caught the virus abroad:

One is from London
One is from Bury in Greater Manchester and had been to Italy
One is from Gloucestershire
Three are from West Yorkshire: one from Bradford who had been to Italy and two from Leeds who have visited Iran
Two are from Hertfordshire

The 13 new cases join three that were reported yesterday: one from Hertfordshire, one from Gloucestershire (linked to today’s) and one from Berkshire.

One of those three is a staff member at St Mary’s School in Tetbury and another works at Willow Bank Infant School in Woodley. Both schools have said they are carrying out a deep clean.

Burford (Day & Boarding) School in the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire, is among schools to have been temporarily closed after pupils returned from half-term holidays in northern Italy.

The new cases bring the total number of confirmed in the UK to 36, including one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland.

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/yx7wwbte

Coronavirus: 12 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in UK #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #Europe #emergency #quarantine #epidemic

Breaking News

Twelve new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in England, the UK’s chief medical officer says.

Courtesy of Sky News

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