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
x
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
x
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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs