Tag Archives: Ebola

Ebola virus surges to six in DR Congo; 2 dead.

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Ebola is named after the DR Congo’s Ebola River, near which the virus was discovered by Belgian microbiologist Peter Piot and his team in 1976.

The number of confirmed cases of the Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) has reached six, with two people having died, the health minister of the North Kivu province said.

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The new outbreak of Ebola started in DR Congo in early February.

“Today we have confirmed two new cases (of Ebola).

“Now we have six cases, two people have died. The vaccination is underway,” Eugene Nzanzu Salita said on Thursday, as quoted by the 7sur7 news outlet.

The Ebola virus is transmitted to humans from wild animals and is estimated by the World Health Organisation to have a 50-per-cent fatality rate.

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Ebola is named after the DR Congo’s Ebola River, near which the virus was discovered by Belgian microbiologist Peter Piot and his team in 1976.

‌The largest Ebola outbreak took place in West Africa in 2014-2015, with more than 11,000 people having died and some 28,000 cases having been reported.

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#Newsworthy

‘All shoes buckled’ amid fresh Ebola virus outbreak.

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Ehanire explained that their function was to advise on coordinating access to acquisition and distribution of vaccines when available, and on immunisation strategy.

The Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF) is enhancing surveillance at the nation’s points of entry to respond to recent outbreak of Ebola in neighbouring countries, especially, Guinea and the Congo DCR.

Nigeria’s Port Health Services have been put on alert on land, while sea and Air borders as well as major hospitals have also been put on notice for a keen index and to check patient travel history, especially at Outpatient departments, and report concerns to infectious disease focal persons and state epidemiologists.

This came as the Federal Government, yesterday, assured that the country would soon get safe and efficacious COVID-19 doses as promised, despite recent concerns over efficacy of the vaccines following emergence of new variants.

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It was gathered that the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) had allocated 1.4 million free doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Nigeria, of which 500,000 doses are expected by the end of this month, courtesy of MTN’s donation of 7 million doses to Africa. The balance of 900,000 doses for Nigeria is expected by the end of March 2021.

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed this at the PTF briefing yesterday in Abuja, noted that Nigeria was willing to send experienced volunteers from its Centres of Excellence on Viral haemmorrhagic fever, to support the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) measures to contain Ebola resurgence in West African sub region. He stressed that it would be important to protect the sub region from the catastrophic burden of dealing with two severe diseases of public health concern.

Ehanire, who further stated that ​Nigeria would work with the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO) and WHO on strategies to bring the Ebola outbreak under control and provide regular updates on preparedness, containment and response measures in due course, stressed that stricter infection prevention and control measures, including Personal Protective measures, must be taken immediately there is reason to suspect a case in Nigeria.

He noted that ​the Federal Ministry of Health constantly monitored diseases of public health concern around the world and was observing the Ebola disease outbreak in Guinea Conakry with concern.

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The minister, in view of these developments, renewed the call on Nigerians to limit foreign trips only to very essential ones, and to altogether avoid high burden countries and those with particularly deadly disease outbreaks for now, so as not to pick up such diseases or become a vehicle for their importation.

He said that the Federal Government had continued to work on rollout of COVID-19 vaccines when they arrive, warning that all COVID vaccines carry a certain amount of risk and any vaccines not approved by the Federal Ministry of Health through its agencies would not be used in Nigeria.

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The minister noted that government would not be responsible for the safety or efficacy of vaccines given outside the framework of government and that all Nigeria’s needs had been carefully calculated by NPHCDA, even as it would be possible to accommodate all interests in the framework.

He observed that government had inaugurated the Vaccine Coordination Committee, an Interministerial, multi-sectoral committee to address diverse issues peculiar to COVID-19 vaccine acquisition by Nigeria.

Ehanire explained that their function was to advise on coordinating access to acquisition and distribution of vaccines when available, and on immunisation strategy.

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He said, “Other sources of vaccines are under negotiation. The National Agency For Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has received dossiers for Sputnik V vaccine of Russia, Covishield or Astra Zeneca manufactured under license by Serum Institute of India, Covaxin by Bharat vaccines of India and the Sinopharm Vaccine of China, for evaluation and validation for use in Nigeria. Some of them are nearly ready for results.

“I received a message from His Excellency, the High Commissioner of India, giving 100,000 AstraZeneca or covishield vaccine doses, also by the Serum Institute of India, as a gift of the Government of India to Nigeria.

The people of Nigeria appreciate these gestures of goodwill and partnership. With regard to the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), Nigeria this morning completed her account opening, signed by two officials each, of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning, at Afrexim Bank as a requirement for access to vaccines on that platform, which will give Nigeria access to a much larger portfolio and variety of vaccines.

Among the vaccines are the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine and as much of the Pfizer mRNA vaccines as we can manage.

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The COVID-19 Vaccine Coordinatiing Committee and NPHCDA’s strategy for vaccine delivery will advise the mix of vaccines that Nigeria will acquire”

Also speaking, Chairman of PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha stated that Nigeria would keep a keen eye on the Ebola outbreak to avoid having to combat two deadly diseases at the same time.

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#Newsworthy

DR Congo begins Ebola vaccination.

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The WHO’s office in the Democratic Republic of Congo said four people in Biene had been vaccinated and 334 other contacts would also receive the jab.

Health workers in eastern DR Congo have begun an Ebola vaccination drive after four cases, two of them fatal, surfaced just three months after the country’s last outbreak of the disease, the UN said.

“The authorities today… launched an anti-Ebola vaccination campaign in Butembo just a week after the virus re-emerged,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a tweet.

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“Workers at Matanda hospital, where the first positive case of Ebola was treated, were the first to be vaccinated,” it said.

The health ministry announced on February 7 that four women in Biene, in the troubled region of North Kivu, had fallen ill with the notorious haemorrhagic fever. Two have since died.

The WHO’s office in the Democratic Republic of Congo said four people in Biene had been vaccinated and 334 other contacts would also receive the jab.

On November 18, DR Congo declared that the country’s 11th documented epidemic of Ebola was over.

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The outbreak, in the northwestern province of Equateur, claimed 55 lives.

On Sunday, the West African state of Guinea said it had confirmed seven cases of Ebola — the first resurgence of the disease in the region since a 2013-2016 epidemic that killed more than 11,300 people.

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#Newsworthy

Just in: Liberia ‘at alert’ after Guinea Ebola deaths.

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Guinea’s Health Minister Remy Lamah told AFP on Saturday that four people had died of Ebola, the first deaths since a 2013-2016 epidemic which began in Guinea killed 11,300 people across the region.

Liberian President George Weah on Sunday put the country’s health authorities on heightened alert after four people died of Ebola in neighbouring Guinea, the first resurgence of the disease in five years.

Weah “has mandated the Liberian health authorities and related stakeholders in the sector to heighten the country’s surveillance and preventative activities in the wake of reports of the emergence of the deadly Ebola virus disease in neighbouring Guinea,” his office said in a statement.

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Guinea’s Health Minister Remy Lamah told AFP on Saturday that four people had died of Ebola, the first deaths since a 2013-2016 epidemic which began in Guinea killed 11,300 people across the region.

According to Weah’s statement on Sunday, the new deaths occurred in Guinean town of Gouecke close to Liberia’s northeastern border.

“However, no case of the disease has so far been detected in” Liberia, it insisted.

“The president’s instruction is intended to ensure Liberia acts proactively to avoid any epidemic situation, the kind Liberia witnessed in 2014.”

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Weah also instructed the health authorities “to immediately engage communities in towns and villages bordering Guinea and increase anti-Ebola measures,” the statement continued.

“While the health authorities are urged to increase their alert level, the general public is assured that there is no case of Ebola in Liberia and that the government is undertaking all measures to ensure that the public remains safe from the deadly virus.”

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#Newsworthy

DR Congo announces Ebola resurgence.

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We have another episode of the Ebola virus in the east,” in the North Kivu province..

Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday announced a “resurgence” of Ebola in the country’s troubled east after a woman died of the disease, just three months after authorities declared the end of a previous epidemic.

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“We have another episode of the Ebola virus in the east,” in the North Kivu province, Health Minister Eteni Longondo told state television RTNC.

“It was a farmer, the wife of a survivor of Ebola, who showed typical signs of the disease on February 1,” he said, adding that she died on February 3.

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#Newsworthy

Ebola virus: Fresh 100 cases surge in DR Congo

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One hundred cases of Ebola have been recorded in DR Congo’s northwest in less than three months, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday as it warned the response to the epidemic is underfunded.

The outbreak was reported in Equateur province on June 1, just as the country was preparing to declare an end to a separate Ebola epidemic in the east that claimed over 2,000 lives.

The latest outbreak — the vast central African country’s 11th since Ebola was identified in 1976 — has since spread to 11 of the province’s 17 health zones, and 43 people have died, according to WHO.

The number of cases has doubled over the past five weeks, it said.

“With 100 Ebola cases in less than 100 days, the outbreak in Equateur Province is evolving in a concerning way,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa.

Affected communities are spread across 300 kilometres (185 miles) in remote and densely forested areas, presenting logistical challenges, Moeti said.

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“Without extra support the teams on the ground will find it harder to get ahead of the virus,” Moeti said.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus voiced concern about delays between the onset of symptoms and an alert for a suspected case of Ebola, which he said was five days.

“This is concerning, because the longer a patient goes without treatment, the lower their chances of survival, and the longer the virus can spread unseen in communities,” he said at a press conference in Geneva.

“The situation has been further complicated by a strike by health workers, which is affecting activities including vaccination and safe burials,” he said.

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In early August, Ebola health workers went on strike to demand payment of their salaries.

“DRC has the best-trained workforce in the world for Ebola. This situation needs to be resolved as quickly as possible,” he said.

‘Ignore at our peril’
According to WHO, DR Congo’s health ministry has presented a plan to donors and partners requiring $40 million (34 million euros) in the fight against Ebola, and has committed $4 million.

WHO said it has already mobilised a total of $2.3 million to combat the epidemic.

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“COVID-19 is not the only emergency needing robust support. As we know from our recent history we ignore Ebola at our peril,” Moeti warned.

On June 25, DR Congo officially declared an end to an Ebola epidemic that broke out in the east nearly two years earlier, which Health Minister Eteni Longondo described as “the longest, most complex and deadliest” in the country’s history.

The two epidemics have no common viral strain, according to WHO.

The virus is passed on by contact with the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of an infected or recently deceased person.

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The death rate is typically high, ranging up to 90 percent in some outbreaks, according to the WHO.

In May 2018, another Ebola epidemic in Equateur province was contained in less than three months, with 54 cases and 33 deaths recorded.

DR Congo has also faced a major measles outbreak and recurring flare-ups of cholera and malaria.

The country has recorded 9,802 cases of coronavirus and 248 deaths since the first cases were reported on March 10, according to the latest official figures.


#Newsworthy

Just in: Canada ‘yes’ Ebola drug for COVID-19 cure

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Canada on Tuesday gave the green light for people with severe symptoms of COVID-19 to be treated with the anti-viral drug remdesivir.

“Remdesivir is the first drug that Health Canada has authorized for the treatment of COVID-19,” said the health ministry.

At least two major US studies have shown that remdesivir can reduce the duration of hospital stays for COVID-19 patients.

Washington authorized the emergency use of the medicine — which was originally intended as a treatment for Ebola — on May 1, followed by several Asian nations including Japan and South Korea.

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Canada said Tuesday it can be used on COVID-19 patients who have pneumonia and need extra oxygen to help them breathe.

The doses used in Canada will be made by a unit of Gilead Sciences, the US pharmaceutical company that developed the drug.

This file photo taken on April 8, 2020 shows one vial of the drug Remdesivir during a press conference about the start of a study with the Ebola drug Remdesivir in particularly severely ill patients at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, northern Germany, amidst the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Ulrich Perrey / POOL / AFPcbi

In early July, the European Commission also authorized use of remdesivir to treat the coronavirus.

As of Tuesday, Canada was reporting 114,800 cases of the virus and more than 8,900 fatalities.


#Newsworthy…

Ebola or Ébórà? – By Olamide Noble | Historic

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It is called Ebola (Ebola Virus)

It is also called Ebola hemorrhagic fever. A virus that causes severe bleeding, organ failure and can lead to death.

  • Treatable by a medical professional
  • Spreads by animals or insects
  • Requires a medical diagnosis
  • Lab tests or imaging always required
  • Critical: needs emergency care

Humans may spread the virus to other humans through contact with bodily fluids such as blood.

Extremely rare: Fewer than 500 cases per year (Nigeria)

How Did Ebola Virus Start?

The Ebola virus outbreak that’s ravaging West Africa probably started with a single infected person, a new genetic analysis shows. This West African variant can be traced genetically to a single introduction, perhaps a person infected by a bat, researchers report in the journal Science. Continue Reading »

Is Ebola A Curable Virus?

There is no cure or specific treatment for the Ebola virus disease that is currently approved for market, although various experimental treatments are being developed. … As of August 2019, two experimental treatments known as REGN-EB3 and mAb-114 were found to be 90% effective. Continue Reading »

Where is Ebola Virus Found?

Ebola viruses are mainly found in primates in Africa and the Philippines; there are only occasional Ebola outbreaks of infection in humans. Ebola hemorrhagic fever occurs mainly in Africa in the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Sudan, Ivory Coast, and Uganda, but it may occur in other African countries. Continue Reading »

How Does Ebola Virus Kill?

After entering the body, it kills cells, making some of them explode. It wrecks the immune system, causes heavy bleeding inside the body, and damages almost every organ. The virus is scary, but it’s also rare. You can get it only from direct contact with an infected person’s body fluids. Continue Reading »

written by: Adigun Michael Olamide ‘Olamide Noble’

source(s): nbcnews, wikipedia, medicinenet, webmd


#Newsworthy…

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News+: WHO unmask cause of fresh Ebola attack in Africa.

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The World Health Organisation, WHO, has revealed the likely source of the new outbreak of Ebola virus in Republic of Congo.

Director-General, Dr.Tedros Ghebreyesus on Wednesday debunked reports that the new outbreak is linked to the previous outbreak in the region.

According to him, the new Ebola virus is likely from an animal source.

Tedros said this during a virtual press briefing on Wednesday.

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He disclosed that investigations were still ongoing to determine the source of the new outbreak of Ebola.

Tedros said “Genetic sequencing from new Ebola cases in Democratic Republic of Congo has revealed that the outbreak is not linked to north kivu or the 2018 equetor outbreak, investigations are ongoing to understand the source but likely a new introduction from an animal source.”

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Recall with NobleReporters that WHO had on Tuesday confirmed eight fresh cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The agency reported that the cases were recorded in Wangata health zone, Mbandaka, in Équateur province and four patients have died of the disease.


#Newsworthy…

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Scares as new Ebola virus intrude DR Congo.


Just two days before the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo was to be declared over, the World Health Organization (WHO) says a new case has been confirmed.

More than 3,400 people have been infected and 2,200 have died since the outbreak was announced in eastern DR Congo nearly two years ago.

The authorities were preparing to declare the epidemic over on Sunday.

But it now has to continue fighting Ebola as well as Covid-19 and measles.


#Newsworthy…

WHO set to declare DR Congo Ebola free.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it has been over a month since last Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) case was recorded in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General disclosed this in the agency’s official twitter account @WHO.


“If it is stays that way, the outbreak will be declared over in less than a month.

“WHO thanks all partners for their solidarity in staying the course in the service of the people of the country; my special thanks to the government,’’ he said.


Meanwhile in a statement posted on the agency’s website, it stated that there have been no new cases of EVD reported in the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since Feb. 17.

“However, because there is still a risk of re-emergence of EVD, it is critical to maintain surveillance and response operations until and after the end of outbreak declaration – as outlined in the WHO recommended criteria for declaring the end of the EVD outbreak.


“Unfortunately, the response faces increasing limitations that could result in delayed detection and control of flare-ups.

“ These limitations include a funding shortfall, ongoing insecurity and lack of access to some areas, and limited staffing and resources amidst other local and global emergencies.’’


According to the statement, no funding for the Ebola response has been received by WHO since December, 2019.

“ An urgent injection of 20 million dollars is required to ensure that response teams have the capacity to maintain the appropriate level of operations through to the beginning of May 2020.


“ If no new resources are received, WHO risks running out of funds for the Ebola response before the end of the outbreak.

“Ongoing response activities include investigating and validating new alert cases, supporting appropriate care and rapid diagnosis of suspected cases.


“Suspected cases (which continue to be detected), supporting survivors through a multi-disciplinary programme, and strategically transitioning activities.’’

The UN agency said From Marc 9 to March 15, over 32, 000 alerts were reported and investigated.

It said of these, 2,550 alerts were validated as suspected cases, requiring specialised care and laboratory testing to rule-out EVD.

“ During this same period, 2760 samples were tested, including 1565 blood samples from alive suspected cases, 405 swabs from community deaths, and 790 samples from re-tested patients,’’ it stated.


#Newsworthy…