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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/25/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Volunteer British nurse tests positive for virus in Sierra Leone

As a sign of the escalation of the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, the nation of Ivory Coast has sealed off its borders with Guinea and Liberia. Ivory Coast Prime Minister Daniel Duncan formally signed the order that closes the land borders his nation shares with the two other countries.

To date, the Ebola outbreak is limited to four West African nations -- Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. Nearly 2,500 suspected cases have been reported in what the World Health Organization says is the worst known outbreak of the disease.

To date, the Ebola outbreak is limited to four West African nations -- Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. Nearly 2,500 suspected cases have been reported in what the World Health Organization says is the worst known outbreak of the disease.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/25/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Ivory Coast, Liberia, Guinea, Ebola


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to an official government statement, the borders will remain closed until further notice. The announcement arrived on the same day the British government announced one of its citizens was infected with the deadly virus. A volunteer nurse who lives in the West African nation of Sierra Leone has tested positive for the Ebola virus, according to Britain's Department of Health.

Known only as "William," the male nurse was living in a home established by an American university for researchers in Sierra Leone.

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"William" was working in Kenema Government Hospital and was working with Ebola patients there, according to Dr. Robert Garry of Tulane University. Garry is manager of the university's program that researches Ebola. The hospital is run by the government of Sierra Leone, but receives support from Tulane researchers.

No one else living in the house was "significantly exposed" and "William" is still in Sierra Leone.

"William" reportedly fell ill and had a low viral load, meaning he wasn't infected for a long time. Garry added that the British national has a fever but none of the other symptoms of the Ebola virus.

British Chief Deputy Medical Officer John Watson said the overall risk to the public in the United Kingdom is very low. In a statement on the United Kingdom's government Web site, medical experts are "assessing the situation in Sierra Leone to ensure that appropriate care is provided," Watson said.

Ebola is one of the world's most virulent diseases. The virus was introduced to human populations through the human handling of infected animals -- like fruit bats, gorillas and monkeys, to name a few -- found sick or dying in the rainforest.

The infection is then transmitted among humans through direct contact with the blood and bodily fluid of infected people.

To date, the Ebola outbreak is limited to four West African nations -- Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. Nearly 2,500 suspected cases have been reported in what the World Health Organization says is the worst known outbreak of the disease.

There is some good news. According to the World Health Organization, Web site, the survival rate for people with Ebola in this outbreak has been 47 percent, which is a substantial improvement over the disease's survival rate, historically.

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