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Ebola outbreak 'continues to accelerate' in West Africa; 1,552 people killed

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/29/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Overall fatality rate now at 52 percent

Ebola in West Africa has killed 1,552 people, with no end in sight. According to the World Health Organization, the outbreak "continues to accelerate" with a total number of cases at 3,069, with 40 percent occurring in the past three weeks. It must be noted that "most cases are concentrated in only a few localities," the WHO says.

Ebola's most deadly outbreak to date so far has been centered in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with a handful of cases in Nigeria.

Ebola's most deadly outbreak to date so far has been centered in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with a handful of cases in Nigeria.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
8/29/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Ebola, West Africa, World Health Organization, infection, road map


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ebola's most deadly outbreak to date so far has been centered in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with a handful of cases in Nigeria. The overall fatality rate is 52 percent. According to the organization, these ranges from 42 percent in Sierra Leone to 66 percent in Guinea.

A "road map" was issued this week that "responds to the urgent need to dramatically scale up the international response" in light of the acceleration of new cases, according to the organization, which aims to stop Ebola transmission in affected countries within six to nine months and prevent its spread internationally.

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The map prioritizes the setting up of treatment centers, community mobilization and safe burials. Current plans will also try to overcome bottlenecks in vital supplies such as personal protective equipment, disinfectants and body bags.

"In many areas of intense transmission the actual number of cases may be 2-4 fold higher than that currently reported," the document states.

It also acknowledges that the total number of cases "could exceed 20,000 over the course of this emergency."

Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, says that the plan is easier said than done. They warn that the road map should not give a false sense of hope, the group's director of operations, Brice de le Vingne, said in a statement.

"A plan needs to be acted upon," he said. "Huge questions remain about who will implement the elements in the plan."

De le Vingne warns that even the best medical aid organizations have not had the proper setup to respond at the scale needed to seriously make a dent in the Ebola outbreak.

"As an international public health emergency, states with the capacity to help have the responsibility to mobilize resources to the affected countries, rather than watching from the sidelines with a naive hope that the situation will improve," he said.

In the meantime, an Ebola vaccine is being developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and GlaxoSmithKline will be fast-tracked for human trials.

The experimental vaccine could be given to healthy volunteers in Britain, Gambia and Mali as early as September. The vaccine does not contain infectious virus material and has showed promise in early tests on primates to protect them from Ebola without significant adverse effects.

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