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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid