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

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    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.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora