Tag Archive | Ebola

Deadly Ebola is found in doctor’s eye months after virus left blood

Ebola Virus

For the first time, Ebola has been discovered inside the eyes of a patient months after the virus was gone from his blood.
Ebola has infected more than 26,000 people since December 2013 in West Africa. Some survivors have reported eye problems but how often they occur isn’t known. The virus also is thought to be able to persist in semen for several months.
The new report concerns Dr. Ian Crozier, a 43-year-old American physician diagnosed with Ebola in September while working with the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone.
He was treated at Emory University Hospital’s special Ebola unit in Atlanta and released in October when Ebola was no longer detected in his blood. Two months later, he developed an inflammation and very high blood pressure in one eye, which causes swelling and potentially serious vision problems.
He returned to Emory, where ophthalmologist Dr. Steven Yeh drained some of the fluid and had it tested for Ebola. It contained the virus but tears and tissue around the outside of his eye did not.
That suggests that casual contact with an Ebola survivor poses no public health risk, but shows that survivors need to be monitored for the eye problem, Yeh said.
Crozier has not fully recovered his vision but continues to improve, Yeh said.
Dr. Jay Varkey, an Emory infectious disease specialist, said those involved in Crozier’s care wore recommended protective gear and monitored themselves for Ebola symptoms for several weeks afterward as a precaution.
Doctors discussed the case at an Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology conference in Denver on Thursday, and the New England Journal of Medicine published their account online.
Earlier Thursday, the World Health Organization said that the number of Ebola cases reported in Guinea and Sierra Leone last week dropped to its lowest total this year. And Liberia, which has had the most deaths in the outbreak — more than 4,700 — plans on Saturday to declare the outbreak over in that country unless new cases are discovered.
Courtesy of news.yahoo.com

Ebola death reported in Sierra Leone region where epidemic originated

Ebola Virus

Ebola has struck again in the district where the epidemic originated in Sierra Leone, dashing hopes of a recovery after more than three months during which no cases had been reported.
The ministry of health and sanitation confirmed a case of the virus on Saturday in the eastern Kailahun district of the country. A nine-month-old boy was tested positive for Ebola after his death, authorities said.
The World Health Organisation has flown a rapid response team in to the area to investigate and guard against further spread in the area where Médecins sans Frontières opened its first field hospital last summer.
Alex Bonapha, the Kailahun district council chairman, said it was not clear how the boy had contracted Ebola because both his parents were healthy. He said the boy may have been infected during a blood transfusion or there may have been a problem with the sample that was tested.
Sources at the Nixon hospital in Kailahun district confirmed that the boy had undergone a blood transfusion before his death. “I am aware of the weakness in the health system which means that the blood transfused into the baby could well not have been the blood that had been donated by his uncle,” Bonapha told Reuters.
A spokeswoman in Sierra Leone said there had been worrying instances in the past week of families failing to reveal new cases to the emergency services, threatening an invisible spread of the virus.
There is also increased fear about Ebola crossing the porous borders between the three countries affected, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
The WHO said it had observed one village, four hours from the capital, where 59 people had been been infected since February.
“Sadly, over 40 died,” the spokeswoman said. “Many of them were elderly, meaning they had a poorer chance of recovering from the virus. We also met survivors, including many children and a young couple. The village has surpassed 21 days without an infection for which there was a celebration this week.
“Despite that good news, many residents looked shell-shocked and will need ongoing support to overcome their sadness and anger towards the family who brought Ebola into their town.
“This epidemic isn’t over. When someone dies of Ebola in their home, it is a sign of more cases to come,” she said. 
The virus has infected more than 8,500 people since it struck Kailahan last May, with 3,459 confirmed deaths.
Courtesy of theguardian.com

Guinea declares Ebola emergency in five regions

State Of Emergency

Guinea has declared a 45-day “health emergency” in five regions of the African country to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola disease.
In a statement published in national media on Saturday, Guinean President Alpha Conde said that he was declaring the health emergency in the west and southwest of the country, adding that the focus of the virus “has shifted to our country’s coastal areas.”
“That is why I am declaring a reinforced health emergency for a period of 45 days in the prefectures of Forecariah, Coyah, Dubreka, Boffa and Kindia,” he said.
Conde added that “strict measures” will also be taken in the capital, Conakry, to “increase vigilance” in communities against the spread of the virus.
“Wherever the need may be, throughout this period, measures of restriction and confinement will be taken,” said the president.
The restrictions include the temporary closure of hospitals and clinics where there have been cases of Ebola, as well as new rules on burials and possible lockdowns.
A health worker prepares a vaccination on March 10, 2015 at a health center in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, during the first clinical trials of the VSV-EBOV vaccine against the Ebola virus. © AFP
The Ebola outbreak began in the African country in December 2013.
More than 24,000 people in nine countries have been infected with the virus, and over 10,000 of them have lost their lives since the Ebola outbreak.
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are the three African countries worst hit by the deadly virus.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine for Ebola, which is a form of hemorrhagic fever with diarrhea, vomiting, as well as internal and external bleeding as its symptoms. The virus spreads through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.
Courtesy of Press TV

Woman Suspected Of Having Deadly Ebola Virus Is Rushed To Isolation Ward In Northampton, UK

Ebola Virus

A woman who is suspected of having Ebola is being treated at Northampton General Hospital.
Courtesy of Sky News

Potential Deadly Ebola Virus case has been rushed to isolation unit in Berlin, Germany

Ebola Virus

Doctors in Berlin are keeping watch over a South Korean medic who was exposed to the Ebola virus while treating a patient in Sierra Leone. The medic had suffered an injury with a hypodermic needle.
The South Korean arrived on a special flight in Berlin Saturday to be monitored for symptoms of Ebola, doctors at the German capital’s prominent Charité hospital said.
“The person wasn’t flown to South Korea because the Korean government asked Europe to step in,” Dr. Frank Bergmann, who oversees the hospital’s treatment of highly infectious patients, said. “First of all it’s good from a transportation point of view to come here and secondly it’s better for the person’s anonymity to be treated here in Europe,” Bergmann added.
He said both the medic and the government of South Korea had requested as few details as possible be released, so declined to give the medic’s age, gender, profession or employer.
On Monday, the medic had been treating an Ebola patient in Sierra Leone when the patient jolted, causing the needle on a syringe filled with blood to pierce the three plastic gloves the medic was wearing.
“The patient had a very high viral load and died the next day, which means that there was a very high risk of infection,” Bergmann said, although adding that the medic did not currently show any symptoms of Ebola. They will remain under close medical supervision until the end of the three-week incubation period for Ebola. Bergmann added that should the medic develop symptoms, doctors could use experimental drugs.
“With our European standards there should be a good prognosis,” he said.
Previously, three medical workers have been treated for Ebola in Germany – a Senegalese doctor who had been infected in Sierra Leone was treated in Hamburg and survived, as did a Ugandan doctor also infected in Sierra Leone who was treated in Frankfurt. In Leipzig, a United Nations worker from Africa died from the disease after contracting it in Liberia.
Courtesy of DW

Patient Assessed For Deadly Ebola Virus Symptoms In Truro, Cornwall, England, UK

Ebola Virus

A patient is being assessed for possible symptoms of Ebola at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

The person is being kept in isolation and the result will be known in around 24 hours.

The patient had recently been in a high-risk Ebola area, although the exact location has not been revealed.

The tests are thought to be precautionary – more than 100 patients have tested negative in similar circumstances over the last few months.

Symptoms of Ebola are very similar to other tropical diseases, such as malaria.

It comes as the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the UK – a Scottish nurse – arrives in London for specialist medical care.

In a joint statement, the hospital and Public Health England said: “A patient has been admitted to Royal Cornwall Hospital and is currently undergoing a series of tests – one of which is for Ebola.

“We do not expect the results to be known for at least 24 hours and in the meantime the patient is being looked after in isolation, following nationally agreed guidelines and protocols to protect the health of our staff and other patients.

“Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust has been following national guidance around Ebola and made plans in line with advice from Public Health England and NHS England.”

Courtesy of Sky News

New Ebola Case in Mali Confirmed, Two More Suspected

Ebola Virus

Mali on Saturday confirmed a new case of Ebola and said two more suspected patients are being tested, raising concern about a further spread of the disease, which has already killed at least five people in the country. The patient who tested positive “was placed in an isolation center for intensive treatment,” said a government statement distributed Saturday. No details about the patient were provided.
Mali officials are monitoring 310 people to limit the spread of the disease, said the statement. Mali’s five confirmed Ebola deaths are linked to a 70-year-old imam who was brought to the capital, Bamako, from Guinea, where the regional Ebola epidemic first began. The World Health Organization says more than 5,400 people have died in the current outbreak, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Also on Saturday, the first group of volunteers from Britain’s National Health Service arrived in Sierra Leone amid widespread concern about the worsening situation there. More than 30 NHS staffers, including general practitioners and nurses, were expected to stay in Freetown, the capital, for one week of training before moving to treatment centers across the country, Britain’s Department for International Development said in a statement.

Ebola crisis: Seventh Sierra Leone doctor dies from virus

Ebola Virus

A Sierra Leonean doctor has died from Ebola, bringing the number of doctors killed by the virus to seven, a medical source says.
“Dr Michael Kargbo died this afternoon,” said a senior health worker at the Hastings Treatment Centre in the outskirts of Freetown.
It was not clear how Dr Kargbo, a 64-year-old dermatologist working at the Magburaka Government Hospital, was infected with Ebola, as he was not serving in a frontline Ebola treatment unit.
Sierra Leone has seen at least 128 of its health personnel infected by Ebola, as staff working in general wards and special treatment centres have been exposed to the disease.
All seven Sierra Leonean doctors who have contracted Ebola have died.
Dr Kargbo’s death comes a day after Dr Martin Salia, a surgeon from Sierra Leone, died in the United States after being evacuated for treatment.
The Ebola outbreak has killed over 5,000 people, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Mali is currently facing a new wave of cases but Senegal and Nigeria have successfully contained outbreaks.
Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has set a goal of having no new cases by the end of December.
UN officials said the disease was still advancing rapidly in Sierra Leone, where there is a lack of treatment centres.

Patient rushed to isolation ward with Ebola Virus symptoms which forces the GP walk-in centre to shut down in Hereford, UK

Ebola Virus

A hospital patient in Hereford has undergone testing for Ebola after displaying early symptoms of the virus, health officials have confirmed.
Public Health England (PHE) said the man is being tested “as a precaution”, and they expect test results to show the man is not infected.
A spokesman said the man was displaying one of the early symptoms of Ebola, which has killed more than 5,000 people and infected more than 13,000 across parts of west Africa.
The spokesman said: “PHE can confirm it has received a sample for precautionary Ebola testing, involving an individual at Hereford County Hospital with a history of travel to west Africa.
“Ebola is considered very unlikely but testing is being done as a precaution. Based on the evidence-based risk assessment protocol, we are confident that all appropriate actions are being taken to ensure there is no risk to public health.”
Mum Marie Williams, who was in the clinic when it was closed, said: “We were in there at the time and although my daughter has a potential life threatening condition if she is poorly they refused to give me any info on what had happened.”
A spokesman for Primecare, which runs the service, said: “As a precautionary measure and in line with standard infection control guidelines the NHS health care centre in Belmont Road, Hereford has been closed after patient with a suspected infectious disease was seen.
“The patient has now been transported to hospital.”
Deaths from the current outbreak have now reached over 5,000 in West Africa.

India quarantines Ebola survivor over virus traces in semen samples

Ebola Virus

A man who had been cured of Ebola but continued to show traces of virus in his semen upon his arrival in India has been isolated, as authorities are not willing to take a risk of possible sexual transmission within 90 days from clinical cure.
A 26-year-old Indian man who was declared free from Ebola in Liberia is now in isolation at the New Delhi airport even after being declared Ebola free under World Health Organization’s standards, India’s Health Ministry has announced.
“It is a known fact that during convalescence from Ebola Virus Disease, persons continue to shed virus in body fluids for variable periods. However, presence of virus in his semen samples may have the possibility of transmitting the disease through sexual route up to 90 days from time of clinical cure,” a ministry statement reads.
Authorities announced that an unnamed Indian male was quarantined after arriving in Indian from Liberia on 10th November. At the airport screening he produced a medical clearance certificate from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Government of Liberia stating that “he has successfully undergone care and treatment related to Ebola Virus Disease and after post treatment assessment he has been declared free of any clinical signs and symptoms and confirmed negative by laboratory analysis.”
As a matter of precaution, medical staff at the airport conducted three blood samples that were sent out to the National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi. All three came back negative for Ebola, conforming to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. But fearing that “the virus may continue to be positive in secretions like urine and semen for a longer time,” medical staff decided to test his bodily fluids.
“His semen sample tested at National Centre for Disease Control on 17th November, 2014 was found positive for Ebola Virus by RT-PCR. The tests for semen samples repeated at National Institute of Virology, Pune, on 17th November, 2014 also tested positive,” the ministry said.
Authorities note that currently the man is not experiencing any symptoms of the disease but will be kept under isolation until “his body fluids test negative and he is found medically fit to be discharged.”
“This would rule out even the remote possibility of spread of this disease by the sexual route,” authorities concluded.
Some experts however said the Indian authorities overreacted as the risk of sexual transmission was only theoretical. “It does seem a rather strong reaction to an individual situation,” Andrew Easton, a professor of virology at the University of Warwick in the UK, told Bloomberg, adding that using a condom would be an acceptable way to reduce transmission risk as per WHO standards.
The Ebola outbreak has killed at least 5,177 people, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, according to the latest figures from the WHO. There have been no Ebola cases reported in India but there are fears that an outbreak could eventually spread as an estimate 45,000 Indian nationals are currently living in West Africa.