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calendar   Wednesday - March 18, 2015

The EverReady Bunny Disease

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Ebola Cases On The Rise In Guinea

Guinea Ebola cases rise, three doctors infected

Guinea has suffered a setback in its fight against Ebola with a rash of new cases, including three doctors infected by the virus, with officials blaming weak surveillance and a failure to follow safety procedures.

The outbreak, which began in eastern Guinea more than a year ago and has killed over 10,000 people in the three West African countries worst hit, had appeared to be on the wane, but Guinea has seen cases rise for three consecutive weeks, according to World Health Organization data.

A government health report from the weekend showed there were 21 new cases in a single day, a spike from the recent daily average of eight.

President Alpha Conde said on Tuesday that everything must be done to end the outbreak by mid-April, ahead of a meeting with donors scheduled around that date.

Ending Ebola could reboot Guinea’s mining-dependent economy that has been hammered by the outbreak which has scared investors, he said.

“With Ebola, it is easier to go from 100 cases to 10 cases than from 10 cases of to zero. To end it, we need ten times more effort than when the outbreak was at its height,” he said.

A big source of concern is a chain of new infections that can be linked back to a woman who died of Ebola and was not buried safely, according to Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba, spokeswoman for the U.N.’s Ebola emergency response mission UNMEER.

“It’s a major setback .... It’s due to individual behaviors. That is having a devastating effect on the community. People are simply not practicing the safety rules that we have been talking about for a year,” she told Reuters.

Of the other two countries worst hit, Sierra Leone has also seen a spate of new cases while Liberia has no known cases at present and is waiting to be declared free of the disease.

The new cases in Guinea are in the capital and the southwestern town of Forecariah but if the situation is not brought under control they could spread across borders, said Lejeune-Kaba.

Guinea officials said the new cases came from high risk Ebola contacts who had left Forecariah and developed symptoms elsewhere, pointing to poor surveillance.

Meanwhile, here in the USA ...

Fifteen American aid workers who had high-risk exposure to Ebola in Sierra Leone have arrived back in the United States since Friday for monitoring, according to a spokesman.

None is known to be infected with the disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Tom Skinner said Tuesday.

The returning workers are clinicians for Partners in Health, a Boston-based aid group. They all had contact with a colleague who’s been diagnosed with the disease and is being treated at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

The heath care worker with Ebola was in critical condition Monday, the NIH said. That changed from the NIH saying on Friday that the patient was in serious condition. Details about the patient’s identity weren’t released.

While in West Africa, the workers “came to the aid of their ailing colleague,” according to a Partners in Health statement.

As the CDC investigates who else might have had contact with the Ebola patient, more workers might be flown back to the United States, according to Skinner.

The workers are being housed near hospitals that specialize in treating Ebola patients, and if they show signs of the disease, they’ll be admitted as patients—as was the case with one worker in Nebraska.

The person developed symptoms Sunday evening and “out of an abundance of caution” was taken to the biocontainment unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

“At this point, this person has not tested positive for the Ebola virus,” Phil Smith, M.D., medical director of the unit, said in a statement Monday. “However, because of a change in symptoms, we decided the most prudent course of action was to bring the individual to the Biocontainment Unit, where we can better monitor symptoms and safely perform testing.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/18/2015 at 08:18 PM   
Filed Under: • Health-Medicine •  
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