News / Europe

    British Nurse Recovers as Ebola Threat Grows in W. Africa

    Health Officials: Ebola Spiraling Out of Controli
    X
    September 03, 2014 4:29 AM
    Health officials say the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is spiraling out of control and threatening to spread to other continents. The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday called for an urgent and concerted effort worldwide to contain the deadly virus. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    See VOA correspondent Zlatica Hoke's related video on the Ebola crisis
    VOA News

    A British nurse infected with Ebola has recovered and been released from a London hospital, even as health experts warn the virus' threat is growing in West Africa and requires a "massive" global response.

    The Royal Free London Hospital said Wednesday that William Pooley was discharged after 10 days of treatment that included the experimental drug ZMapp. He was hospitalized there last month after contracting Ebola while working in Sierra Leone.

    The world's worst outbreak of Ebola already has infected at least 3,000 people and killed more than 1,500 in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.

    Health care workers in protective suits leave a high-risk area at a Monrovia hospital run by Doctors Without Borders on Aug. 30, 2014.Health care workers in protective suits leave a high-risk area at a Monrovia hospital run by Doctors Without Borders on Aug. 30, 2014.
    x
    Health care workers in protective suits leave a high-risk area at a Monrovia hospital run by Doctors Without Borders on Aug. 30, 2014.
    Health care workers in protective suits leave a high-risk area at a Monrovia hospital run by Doctors Without Borders on Aug. 30, 2014.

    Two health experts who've recently visited the region offered dire assessments and said combatting the disease would require a concerted global response, especially from wealthy countries.

    "Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it," Joanne Liu, president of the international charity Doctors Without Borders, told the United Nations in a briefing Tuesday. "Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transational threat."

    Liu told the UN warned the deadly virus will not be stopped unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams to West Africa

    Worsening situation predicted

    The outbreak in West Africa will worsen "significantly" in coming weeks, predicted Tom Frieden, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Speaking at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Frieden praised the tremendous effort by health care workers but emphasized the urgency of the situation.

    "There is a window of opportunity to tamp this down, but that window is closing," he said. "We need action now to scale up the response."

    Frieden attributed Ebola's spread to "just two roots: people caring for other people in hospitals or homes and unsafe burial practices where people may come into contact with body fluids from somebody who’s died from Ebola.

    "That is really the Achilles’ heel of this virus," he said. "We know how it spreads. We know how to stop it from spreading. The challenge is to do that everywhere it’s needed."

    The CDC director called for a major inflow of resources, technical experts and a global, coordinated, unified approach. He pointed out the epidemic is not just an African problem, but a global problem.

    Liu likewise called the virus a transnational threat.

    "Riots are breaking out, isolation centers are overwhelmed, and health workers on the front lines are becoming infected and are dying in shocking numbers," she told the U.N. "Others have fled in fear leaving people without care for even the most common illnesses [and] entire health systems have crumbled."

    Liu said isolation centers are now reduced to places where people go to die alone, where little more than palliative care is offered.

    • A woman looks down as she walks past a man suspected of suffering from the Ebola virus in a busy part of Monrovia, Liberia, Sept. 12, 2014.
    • People stand around a man suspected of suffering from the Ebola virus in a main street in Monrovia, Liberia, Sept. 12, 2014.
    • World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan addresses the media on support to Ebola-affected countries, at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Sept. 12, 2014.
    • Debbie Sacra, wife of ebola patient Dr. Richard Sacra, answers a question at a news conference held at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., Sept. 11, 2014.
    • Sierra Leone's president Ernest Bai Koroma (left) is handed the keys to an ambulance by U.S. Embassy representative Kathleen FitzGibbon, one of five ambulances donated by the U.S. to help combat the Ebola virus in the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Sept. 10, 2014.
    • An ambulance transporting an American infected with the deadly Ebola virus leaves Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia headed for Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Sept. 9, 2014.
    • Health workers care for patients infected with the Ebola virus, at a clinic in Monrovia, Liberia, Sept. 8, 2014. 
    • A health worker uses a thermometer to screen a man's temperature at a makeshift road block run by Guinean security forces near the town of Forecariah, Guinea, Sept. 7, 2014. 

    Obama's message of support

    Before leaving for Europe, U.S. President Barack Obama videotaped a message to West Africa.

    "On behalf of the American people, I want you to know that our prayers are with those of you who have lost loved ones during this terrible outbreak of Ebola," said Obama.

    He sought to dispel myths surrounding Ebola's spread, saying infection only comes through contact with someone or something infected by the virus or the body fluids of someone who has died of Ebola. He said people can respect their burial traditions and honor their loved ones "without risking the lives of the living."

    The president said stopping the disease will not be easy, but it can be done cooperatively.

    Federal contract for drug

    U.S. health officials Tuesday announced a federal contract with California-based Mapp Biopharmaceuticals to speed development of ZMapp, the experimental drug that has yet to go through extensive human testing but has been rushed into use despite its limited availability.

    Two American missionaries working in Liberia who contracted Ebola were given the drug and have recovered from their illnesses. One of those health care workers, Kent Brantly, told NBC television Tuesday he was not sure he would survive.

    "I don’t think they ever said, ‘Kent, you are about to die.’ But I felt like I was about to die," Brantly recalled.

    Brantly, who has been released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, said he is in "tearful prayer" for yet another American doctor, identified only as a male obstetrician, who has contracted Ebola in Liberia. He has isolated himself since the symptoms appeared.

    All three Americans, including Nancy Writebol, work for the North Carolina-based SIM International mission.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Klon Vincent Jabbeh from: Monrovia, Liberia
    September 03, 2014 1:51 PM
    Please president Obama we really in need of this Ebola treatment of Africia. Africian are dying every day of this weapon of mass distortion call Ebola.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora