News / Health

Ebola Kills Another 84 in West Africa Over 3-day Period

  • The local market does business as usual despite fears of the Ebola virus, Monrovia, Liberia,  Aug. 19, 2014. 
  • Children surround a man suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 19, 2014. 
  • A health worker carries gloves at an Ebola treatment center, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 18, 2014. 
  • Liberian police are deployed at an Ebola treatment center to provide security, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 18, 2014. 
  • A woman reads a fact sheet for the Ebola virus during an awareness campaign in Lagos, Nigeria, Aug. 15, 2014. 
  • Liberian policemen dressed in riot gear disperse a crowd of people that blocked a main road after the body of someone suspected of dying from the Ebola virus was left in the street by health workers, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 14, 2014.
  • A poster displaying a government message against Ebola is displayed prominently at a maternity hospital, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Aug. 14, 2014.
VOA News

The World Health Organization said another 84 people have died in West Africa as a result of the Ebola virus, bringing the death toll from the epidemic to 1,229.

The U.N. health agency on Tuesday announced the number of confirmed and likely infections has risen to 2,240, including 113 new cases reported late last week.

The majority of the new deaths were in Liberia, where authorities are struggling to contain the virus.

Between Aug. 14-16, Liberia recorded 53 new deaths, followed by Sierra Leone, with 17, and Guinea, with 14.

The Liberian government said it has accounted for all 37 suspected Ebola patients who fled an isolation center in the capital, Monrovia, when it was attacked and looted by armed men Sunday.​

Ebola cases and deaths, as of August 19 update, 2014Ebola cases and deaths, as of August 19 update, 2014
Ebola cases and deaths, as of August 19 update, 2014
Ebola cases and deaths, as of August 19 update, 2014

The information ministry said there was a "misunderstanding" among nearby residents who thought the center was bringing in Ebola victims from the rest of the country.

The incident raised fears that the fleeing patients could widen the contagion. Liberia sent police to track down the fugitive suspected cases.

The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said it has opened a new 120-bed Ebola management facility in Monrovia. Much of the city's established health care system has shut down because of doctors and other personnel's fears of Ebola.

3 health workers recovering

Liberia's government also reported the improving health of three Ebola-infected health care workers who received the experimental drug Zmapp.

Medical professionals treating the three workers reported they are showing "very positive signs of recovery" and are making "remarkable" progress, the government said.

The drug, produced by the American company Mapp Biopharmaceutical, has not been formally tested. It is not known if the health care workers' improvement is a result of the treatment.

The outbreak in four West African countries – Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria – is the biggest Ebola epidemic to date.

Ebola Virus: How to Prevent Spreading the Disease

  • Avoid physical contact with people showing symptoms: continuous high fever, red eyes, vomiting and stomach ache.
  • Wash hands thoroughly and frequently, including under the fingernails. Use soap and clean water; use hand sanitizer if soap is not available.
  • Use gloves when taking care of infected patients.
  • Avoid contact with raw meat; cook all animal food and by-products thoroughly.
  • Avoid bush meat; avoid buying or eating the wild animals, including nonhuman primates.
  • Avoid areas of known outbreaks.
  • Do not touch anyone who has died from Ebola.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Clinic, Plan International

Neighboring West African countries have taken precautions, including Cameroon, which on Tuesday closed all of its borders with neighboring Nigeria. 

Government officials said it was better try to prevent infections than try to heal those infected with the virus.

'Cautious optimism' on Nigeria

On a more hopeful note, the WHO expressed “cautious optimism” that the spread of the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation where four deaths out of 12 confirmed cases have been recorded since July, could be stopped.

A patient brought Ebola into the country last month when he flew into Lagos from heavily affected Liberia.  He subsequently infected several people with the deadly disease.  

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

But WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib says the city’s 12 confirmed cases of Ebola and four deaths are all part of a single chain of transmission, which she says is encouraging.

“The situation seems quite good in Nigeria and this is also a sign that the health authorities in Nigeria have taken all the right measures to detect, follow, and trace all the contacts of this man.  And, also to do a very comprehensive surveillance to detect any other Ebola cases," said Chaib.

Chaib says Nigeria will have to pass through two incubation periods of 21 days each and if no cases of the disease are confirmed for 42 days the country will be declared free of this dreaded disease.

“We are not yet there.  We have some 10 days in Nigeria in order to make this statement," said Chaib.

It also described the situation in Guinea, where the virus made its first appearance in West Africa in December, as currently “less alarming” than in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The WHO noted that governments have set up quarantine zones in parts of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The agency said it is working with the U.N. World Food Program to distribute food to about 1 million people living in those areas.

Fears of the disease and quarantine measures such as military and police roadblocks have stopped farmers from reaching their fields, and as a result food output has dropped, raising fears that a famine could set in on top of the deadly illness.

“We think that even beyond the control of the outbreak there will be severe food shortage,” said Gon Myers, WFP country director for Sierra Leone. The extra food deliveries would be trying to reach 400,000 people in Sierra Leone alone.

The U.N. health organization is also urging authorities in the affected countries to screen all passengers leaving airports, seaports and major border crossings for signs of the virus.

Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person. 

The disease causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea and uncontrollable bleeding through bodily openings, including the eyes, ears and nose. 

Previous outbreaks have had a death rate of up to 90 percent, although the death rate in the current epidemic is closer to 50 percent.

Lisa Schlein contributed to this report from Geneva. Some information provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Major Variola from: DC
August 19, 2014 1:49 PM
The West will begin mining the harbors and cratering the airports so nothing can leave. They will landmine the jungle. Anything that leaves is sunk or shot. Snipers sans Frontieres. Quarantine with extreme prejudice.

Civilization is a choice. Make it. Soon. Or don't, and the population goes back to the under-billion level before the West started feeding everyone...Ebola... gets rid of overpopulation like strong juju magic!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs