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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/29/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Incurable disease spreading rapidly throughout West Africa

In response to the rapidly escalating spread of the Ebola virus throughout West Africa, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has closed most of his country's borders. What points of entry that remain open will have Ebola testing centers and will implement preventive measures, she said. President Sirleaf also placed restrictions on public gatherings and ordered hotels, restaurants and other entertainment venues to play a five-minute video on Ebola safety.

Liberian President Sirleaf has placed restrictions on public gatherings and ordered hotels, restaurants and other entertainment venues to play a five-minute video on Ebola safety.

Liberian President Sirleaf has placed restrictions on public gatherings and ordered hotels, restaurants and other entertainment venues to play a five-minute video on Ebola safety.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/29/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Ebola, Liberia, Nigeria, air flights, risk


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the meantime, the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history continues to spread. 

"No doubt the Ebola virus is a national health problem," President Sirleaf said. "It attacks our way of life, with serious economic and social consequences. As such we are compelled to bring the totality of our national resolve to fight this scourge."

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The World Health Organization, or WHO had confirmed last week 224 cases of Ebola in Liberia, including 127 deaths. Ebola to date has killed at least 660 people in West Africa. There were 45 new cases reported in the region between July 18 and July 20.

This is the first such outbreak to hit West Africa and many fear that the virus may spread even wider.

A Liberian man with Ebola died in Lagos, Nigeria last week, Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said.

Patrick Sawyer arrived at Lagos' airport on July 20 and was immediately isolated at a local hospital after exhibiting common Ebola symptoms. He told officials he had no direct contact with anyone who had the virus.

Officials are now working to identify people who may have come in contact with the man on his flights. The airline has not provided the passenger lists for all three of the flights Sawyer took. Sawyer flew first to Ghana before he went to Togo and then switched planes to fly to Nigeria.

"In collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Aviation, I've also put into motion mechanisms to track down all contacts at high risk," Lagos State Health Commissioner Dr. Jide Idris said.

The state department has identified 59 people so far who came into contact with the man. Twenty have been tested for Ebola.

Arik Air, one of Nigeria's biggest airlines, suspended operations this week into the country's capital, Monrovia, and another city called Freetown.

It's not likely the virus would spread on a plane unless a passenger were to come into contact with a sick person's bodily fluids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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