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How escapee Port Harcourt index case was traced

Continue from  Another Ebola victim dies in P-Harcourt

Shedding light on the escape and tracing of the Port Harcourt index case, Adesina said he was under home monitoring at the time of escape.

“We started bringing people for quarantine. There is a model established with Ebola contact tracing called home monitoring because patients are not contagious until they get sick. So we keep them at home and have people monitoring them and check on them all the time. And that is how we found out that the Port Harcourt index case bolted.

“Day 3 of our contact list was when he was lost to care. He switched off his phone, he wasn’t at home, and we couldn’t find him. We got the SSS involved and he was traced to Port Harcourt, at the time we found him, he was heading back to Lagos. He was another case that for whatever reason, he went to look for something. We believe he would have been symptomatic.

Security men at the state government owned Braithwaite Memorial Hospital, BMH testing body temperature

Security men at the state government owned Braithwaite Memorial Hospital, BMH testing body temperature

The government has continued to carry out measures to reduce the chances of the spread of the disease, with some group of people in the different local government, going to house and check people’s temperature.

“We are now at peace that we have been able to silent the Ebola outbreak, because we have not seen any new Lagos infection and suspect. If the man had not gone to Port Harcourt we would have been singing bye bye to Ebola by now,” she said.

Doctors as soldiers

“We are like soldiers going to war and when you are drafted as a doctor you have taken the Hippocratic Oath, you are at war with disease. I don’t expect any special compensation for being a doctor because that is what I stand up for. Do soldiers get special compensation when they go to war? Once you put on your uniform you go to war.   You don’t start negotiating before you go to war. So a doctor is at war with Ebola because diseases are our  enemies and we should not be negotiating over what we have taken an oath to do.”

Ebola cases exceed 1,900 — WHO

The number of people killed by the Ebola virus disease (EVD) has exceeded 1,900, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan has said. She said about 3,500 people had been infected with Ebola in Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Liberia.

Last week, WHO named six countries that are facing the risk of the EVD spread: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Senegal. The organisation and its partners are now working with countries to ensure that full Ebola surveillance, preparedness and response plans are in place in these countries, it said.

To reduce the probability of the disease spreading elsewhere, the governments have set up quarantine zones in areas of high transmission including severely-affected cities in Guinea, Sierra Leone and in Liberia. This prevents people living in these areas from moving to other parts of the country and potentially increasing EVD transmission, WHO said.

Lagos  alerts on sale of fake EVD cassettes, test kits

The Lagos State Government has alerted residents on the activities of some “unscrupulous” people purportedly, hawking “Ebola Cassettes and Test Kits” to unsuspecting people.

In a statement, Special Adviser on Media to Governor Babatunde Fashola, Mr. Hakeem Bello, said the fake items which are branded as “Rapid Response Canada with test results purportedly available in 10 minutes” is a hoax.

  Bello said: “There are no Ebola test kits manufactured anywhere in the world and that the technique for its manufacture does not exist yet, adding that members of the public should not patronize the dubious marketers of the products.”

  Meantime, the state government will today hold a sensitisation workshop for Principals and Head teachers of public primary and secondary schools as well as proprietors of public schools in the state on the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, and Haemorrhagic Fever, EHF, and the new school resumption date of October 13, 2014 at the Blue Roof , Lagos Television premises, Ikeja.

  The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye who stated this therefore, noted that the workshop would also afford stakeholders the opportunity of adequately preparing for the resumption of academic exercise on Monday, October 13, 2014 in view of the outbreak of the EVD in the country.

WHO to assist Rivers to fight Ebola

Meanwhile the World Health Organisation, WHO has called for cooperation from   the general public to   effectively curtail the spread of Ebola in Rivers state. 

Country Director of WHO, Rui Vaz who spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt at a press briefing convened by the state Ministry of Health said the international health body was in the state to provide technical assistance in the fight to wipe out Ebola, adding that early detection of the disease was important in the crusade. 

Vaz who also commended the commitment of Governor Chibuike Amaechi in the fight against the dreaded Ebola disease said everybody needed to be trained to have the basic knowledge of Ebola disease and how it spreads. 

“I will like to highlight that Ebola can be contained and we are going to contain it; there is no doubt, but everything depends on all of us. It is not only the responsibility of the Ministry of Health. 

“The most important thing in Ebola control is the early diagnosis of any potential suspected cases and takes necessary precautions, in terms of isolation where it is needed, and other measures to stop the chain of infection. 

When we speak about training, we should involve everybody. The disease doesn’t know if it is a private or a public hospital. We need to train everybody to be aware. This is why the role of the media is critical.” he said.

Improve your strategies, group tells W/African sub-region

The West African Civil Society Forum, WACSOF, has called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to strengthen its strategies already in place by providing additional logistical support to the already affected countries. 

President of WACSOF, Madame Nathalie Traoré in a statement made available to Vanguard in Abuja also urged the leadership in the sub-region, to tighten measures on countries yet to be affected by the virus, to prevent its spread. 

Expressing its concern, the group said: “This, in our view, is slowing down the management of containing and eradicating the spread of the disease. The banning of flights, use of air space and other means of transportation from affected countries has created additional hardship on the already impoverished countries especially for basic facilities such as food.

The statement called on “the governments to utilize all available resources to protect these workers and provide for those families, who have lost relatives through their selfless service to their countries.

Ogun warns against rejection of patients

Health workers in Ogun State have been warned not to reject patients who come to their hospitals for fear of contracting the Ebola virus disease.

Director, Hospitals Services, State Hospital Management Board, Dr. Nurudeen Aigoro, who gave the warning during the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak Response Training package held for health workers at the State Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta stated that it is better if patients are attended to promptly by the health workers to avoid untimely death.

He said that any worker found defaulting should be reported immediately as he also urge all hospitals to have Infection Control Committees.

Also speaking, Director, Public Health Department of the State Ministry of Health, Dr. Quudus Yusuff advised the health workers to avoid getting in contact with body fluids while emphasising the importance of handwashing with soap and water.

In his presentation, the acting State Epidermologist, Dr. Yufuf Akeem advised the health workers   to discard used gloves in an appropriate waste receptacle and never wash or reuse disposable gloves after treating a patient.

The Assistant Coordinator, Ogun State Ambulance and Emergency Services, Dr. Sedagbe Zeal Hunkokoe, also in his presentation, stated that at the end of the training, health workers should be able to identify suspected cases of Ebola virus disease, determine appropriate Personal Protective Equipment kit to provide safer care and how to put it on appropriately.

According to him, this would stop further disease transmission in the healthcare and community settings and also provide an enabling and conducive environment to live in.

American Ebola victim Dr. Kent Brantly: ‘I felt like I was about to die’

Dr. Kent Brantly had stared death in the face many times, doing all he could against frightful odds to save Ebola victims in West Africa.

Until death stared back.

In his first extensive on-camera interview since contracting the virus, Brantly recalled how close he had come to being one more of the over 1,500 people the World Health Organization says have lost their lives to Ebola in the current outbreak.

Doctors never told him outright he might not survive as he lay in a bed in Liberia, an ocean away from his family. They didn’t have to.

“I felt like I was about to die,” Brantly recalled. “And I said to the nurse taking care of me, ‘I’m sick. I have no reserve, and I don’t know how long I can keep this up.”

He’d been well schooled on how to treat disease, from his days at Indiana University’s medical school to his residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. If he’d contacted Ebola back in the United States, there would have been many more machines and assets available to help him get better.

Brantly didn’t have all those tools at his disposal this summer in Liberia, where hospitals shut down after becoming “incubators for the disease,” according to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

He did, however, have his ardent faith and whatever strength that his body could muster.

Relying on both was his best, only hope of someday reuniting with his wife and two children, who had returned to the United States a few days before his diagnosis.

“I thought, ‘I’m not going to be able to continue breathing this way,’ and they had no way to breath for me if I quit breathing,” he said.

Yet he didn’t stop. Brantly kept fighting Ebola and — unlike many of those he’d treated — he won.

Drawn to mission work since youth

Wife ‘scared,’ knowing how deadly Ebola is

The thing is, while Brantly would never have chosen to contract Ebola, he did choose to go to West Africa. His reasoning was simple: People there needed help and, feeling it was God’s calling, he wanted to help.

So, in 2013, he began a two-year fellowship through the Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. Brantly started off practicing general medicine but, when Ebola began spreading, he took on the role of medical director for the group’s Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Monrovia.

That was his job when he woke up the morning of July 23.

“I just felt a little off, I felt a little warm, a little under the weather,” Brantly explained, adding he then discovered he had a temperature not too much above the 98.6 degree baseline.

His only relief was that his wife, Amber, and their children hadn’t woken up next to him, that he didn’t have to carry “an overwhelming mental burden” of worrying if they too had come down with the disease. For while Ebola can take days to incubate, it’s only contagious when a sufferer is symptomatic — something Brantly didn’t have to worry about with his family.

Yet the family had plenty of reason to worry for Brantly after he tested positive for Ebola.

“I’d seen him treat these people who had already been diagnosed, and I knew how it ends,” his wife Amber testified. “… I had the disadvantage of having the knowledge of the course of the disease. I was scared.”

She wasn’t the only one. According to his hometown newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, Kent Brantly himself told a fellow doctor at John Peter Smith Hospital that he was “terrified.”

“I’m praying fervently that God will help me survive this disease,” Brantly said in an email to Dr. David McRay, the newspaper reported.

Beats odds and survives

Somehow, he did.

According to WHO, more than half of those afflicted with Ebola in this current outbreak have died — a function of how devastating the disease can be as well as a function of where it struck the hardest, a place without widespread high-quality health care options and cultural and social factors that may have contributed to its spread.

Yet Brantly made it through those first few trying weeks. On August 2, he was whisked back on a medical plane to the United States, walking into Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital in a white, full-body protective suit.

Ebola patient walks into Atlanta hospital

His new home was Emory’s special isolation unit, where his interactions with others were strictly restricted to prevent the virus from spreading. Amber visited him, for example, though she could only see him through a glass wall and talk to him via an intercom.

By August 21 — two days after Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who had worked with Brantly who also came down with Ebola and got treatment at Emory — it was a different story.

He hugged and shook hands with nurses and doctors who he, just a few days earlier, hadn’t been able to touch. Dr. Bruce Ribner, the head of Emory’s Infectious Disease Unit, declared that he posed “no public health threat” and could go free.

“Today is a miraculous day,” Brantly said then. “I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be reunited with my family.”

Still, he realizes the fight against Ebola is far, far from over. And it’s still personal. Brantly said that he learned Tuesday morning that a doctor he’d worked with in Liberia — another American, like him and Writebol — had tested positive for the virus.

After hearing the news, Brantly said, “I spent a good, long while in tearful prayer.”

 British nurse William Pooley CURED of deadly Ebola virus and will be discharged from Royal Free hospital

The British nurse who was struck down with Ebola while doing voluntary work in Africa has been cured of the deadly virus and is going home, it was revealed today.

William Pooley has made an astonishing recovery just ten days after being airlifted from Sierra Leone to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital for life-saving treatment.

The 29-year-old today said he was “happy and relieved” as he prepared to leave the hospital in Hampstead and go home with his family.

He told the Standard: “I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has looked after me so well at the Royal Free Hospital.

“I’m happy and relieved to be able to go home today.”

Doctors treated Mr Pooley – the first Briton to contract the virus – with the experimental drug ZMapp, which was credited with saving the lives of two American missionaries last month.

It was feared that supplies had run out but doctors at the Royal Free managed to get hold of some from abroad.

It is understood the doses came from doctors in Madrid who had been attempting to treat a Spanish priest who later died from the disease.

Mr Pooley was given his first dose of the drug on 25 August, a day after he was airlifted back to Britain by a specially-equipped C17 RAF jet.

Specialists clad in protective plastic clothing and wearing gloves and masks were caring for him in the strictly-monitored ward.

His family were only be able to see him through the plastic tent that isolated him from staff and visitors to stop the virus spreading through bodily fluids.

But two days ago, once he was out of danger, he was moved out of the high dependency unit and able to embrace loved ones for the first time.

He was heading back to the family home in Eyke, Suffolk, later today with his parents Robin, 67, and Jackie, 66.

The couple have spent most of the last ten days at his bedside.

It had been predicted Mr Pooley would be kept behind plastic sheeting for weeks, if not months, to stop the spread of ebola.

But his father this week said: “He’s a lot better than we thought he might have been … he seems to be pretty well actually.

“His appetite is back. We came back with a bacon butty one morning for breakfast and we took him a rogan josh one evening.”

Two US doctors who were given ZMapp after they were infected with Ebola while working in Liberia subsequently recovered.

But at least two other patients treated with the drug have died, possibly because help got to them too late. Spanish priest Miguel Pajares was one of them.

He was flown to Madrid after contracting the virus in Liberia but suffered a fatal heart attack less than 48 hours after doctors started to treat him with ZMapp.

The remaining doses for him are understood to have been given to doctors at the Royal Free to treat Mr Pooley.

Before contracting Ebola, Mr Pooley was volunteering at the Ebola centre in Kenema, Sierra Leone, to help those stricken by the outbreak.

The World Health Organisation estimate the Ebola outbreak could eventually claim more than 20,000 victims.

Latest figures show 1,552 deaths from the 3,069 cases reported so far.

World Leaders Fail to Address Ebola Virus, Give Inadequate Response: MSF

Medical charity Doctors without Borders (MSF) said world leaders fail to address the epidemic of the Ebola virus and called the international response lethally inadequate.

“World leaders are failing to address the worst ever Ebola epidemic, and states with biological-disaster response capacity, including civilian and military medical capability, must immediately dispatch assets and personnel to West Africa,” the organization’s press release said. “Despite repeated calls by MSF for a massive mobilisation on the ground, the international response has been lethally inadequate.”

“Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it,” MSF International President Dr. Joanne Liu said. “The WHO announcement on August 8 that epidemic constituted a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ has not led to decisive action, and states have essentially joined a global coalition of inaction.”

MSF started its Ebola intervention in West Africa in March 2014 and is currently operating in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The organization runs five Ebola case management centers with a total capacity of 480 beds, however, more are needed.

Since March, MSF has admitted 2,077 people, 1,038 of whom tested positive for Ebola and 241 have recovered. The organization has deployed 156 international staff members to West Africa and employs 1,700 nationally hired personnel.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) data, the total number of Ebola cases in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone exceeds 3,000 with more than 1,550 deaths. The organization notes, however, that in this Ebola outbreak, the survival rate is higher than in previos outbreaks, with 47 percent surviving.

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.

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