33 of the Day: Ebola Edition
DAKAR (Reuters) – A 33-year-old American doctor working for a relief organization in Liberia’s capital has tested positive for the tropical disease Ebola, according to a statement from Samaritan’s Purse.
Dr. Kent Brantly, medical director at one of the country’s two treatment centers run by the organization, recognized his own symptoms and confined himself to an isolation ward.
It was not immediately clear how he caught Ebola. The relief group’s Melissa Strickland said that he had followed strict safety protocols when treating patients.
“It’s too early to try to explain it. We will have an intensive and thorough investigation,” she said.
Across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, at least 660 people have died from the illness, according to the World Health Organisation, as poor, ill-equipped African governments have struggled to cope with the virus.
This is nuts:
A woman who tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus is now on the loose in a Sierra Leone city with a population of around 1 million people. The woman had been quarantined in a hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone, when she was “forcibly” removed by her family, according to Reuters.
Officials are appealing to the residents of Freetown to locate this woman. Since February, the Ebola virus has been responsible for the death of 660 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The virus has a 90 percent death rate, according to the World Health Organization, however, this particular outbreak seems to have a 60 percent mortality rate.
This is nuts too:
Health workers here say they are now battling two enemies: the unprecedented Ebola epidemic, which has killed more than 660 people in four countries since it was first detected in March, and fear, which has produced growing hostility toward outside help. On Friday alone, health authorities in Guinea confirmed 14 new cases of the disease.Workers and officials, blamed by panicked populations for spreading the virus, have been threatened with knives, stones and machetes, their vehicles sometimes surrounded by hostile mobs. Log barriers across narrow dirt roads block medical teams from reaching villages where the virus is suspected. Sick and dead villagers, cut off from help, are infecting others.
“This is very unusual, that we are not trusted,” said Marc Poncin, the emergency coordinator in Guinea for Doctors Without Borders, the main group fighting the disease here. “We’re not stopping the epidemic.”
20 x 33 = 660Efforts to monitor it are grinding to a halt because of “intimidation,” he said. People appear to have more confidence in witch doctors.