The CDC's worst nightmare is coming true. Despite reassurances from the government that it was 'contained', the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria is accelerating fast. Health Minister Chukwu said that 17 had now been infected and 271 were under surveillance (including most horrifyingly, 72 in Lagos). In addition, Congo is seeing cases increase rapidly, with WHO reporting 53 cases of Ebola (31 dead) and warning, perhaps ominously, that there is no link with the West Africa strain. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the situation in her country "remains grave," adding "People now don't see this as a Liberia or West Africa crisis. It could easily become a global crisis." Furthermore, Doctors-without-Borders warns, "the world is losing the battle to contain the Ebola epidemic."
Map of #Ebola transmission in West #Africa http://t.co/aofFrJsOxQ (29 Aug 2014) pic.twitter.com/HUrurDsUIY
— WHO (@WHO) August 29, 2014
- *WORLD LEADERS ARE FAILING TO ADDRESS EBOLA EPIDEMIC, MSF SAYS
- *INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO EBOLA 'LETHALLY INADEQUATE', MSF SAYS
- *MSF: WORLD IS LOSING BATTLE TO CONTAIN EBOLA EPIDEMIC
- *MSF: NATIONS WITH DISASTER RESPONSE CAPACITY MUST ASSIST
Nigeria is bad and getting worse fast.. (via Reuters)Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it. Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat.
In West Africa, cases and deaths continue to surge. Riots are breaking out. Isolation centers are overwhelmed. Health workers on the front lines are becoming infected and are dying in shocking numbers. Others have fled in fear, leaving people without care for even the most common illnesses. Entire health systems have crumbled.
Ebola treatment centers are reduced to places where people go to die alone, where little more than palliative care is offered. It is impossible to keep up with the sheer number of infected people pouring into facilities. In Sierra Leone, infectious bodies are rotting in the streets.
Rather than building new Ebola care centers in Liberia, we are forced to build crematoria.
Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) projected as many as 20,000 people infected over three months in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
We are in uncharted waters. Transmission rates are at unprecedented levels, and the virus is spreading quickly through Liberia’s capital, Monrovia.
We have been losing for the past six months. We must win over the next three.
Congo is accelerating... (via WHO)Nigeria has a third confirmed case of Ebola in the oil hub of Port Harcourt, bringing the country's total confirmed infections to 17, with 271 people under surveillance, the health minister said on Monday.
Patrick Sawyer, the first case, came from Liberia, and then collapsed at Lagos airport on July 20.
The shift to Port Harcourt shows how easily containment efforts can be undermined. Nigeria's government acted quickly at the end of July, setting up an isolation ward and monitoring contacts closely. But one of Sawyer's contacts in Lagos avoided quarantine and traveled east to Port Harcourt.
Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said in a press conference that 72 people in Lagos, a city of 21 million people, were still under surveillance. Another 199 people were under surveillance in Port Harcourt.
- *WHO SAYS IDENTIFIED 53 CASES CONSISTENT W/EBOLA IN DRC, 31 DEAD
- *NO LINK BETWEEN WEST AFRICA, CONGO EBOLA OUTBREAKS, WHO SAYS
And Liberia is a disaster... (via CNN)"There are now 31 deaths," Eugene Kambambi, the WHO's head of communication in DR Congo, told AFP, citing Congolese authorities and stressing that the epidemic "remains contained" in an area around 800 kilometres north of the capital Kinshasa.
Kabamba added that there were "53 confirmed, suspected or likely cases" of Ebola, while 185 people were under medical watch because they had admitted to contact with patients or were believed to have had dealings with people stricken by the highly contagious disease.
The government announced on August 25 that the DRC was facing its seventh Ebola outbreak since the disease was first identified in the former Zaire in 1976.
The health minister has ruled out any link with a serious Ebola epidemic sweeping parts of west Africa, at a cost of more than 1,500 lives, on the grounds that there had been no contact between those distant nations and Boende. The WHO has taken the same position.
* * *Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Monday that the situation over the massive Ebola outbreak in her country "remains grave."
"Our health delivery system is under stress. The international community couldn't respond quickly," Johnson Sirleaf told CNN's Nima Elbagir in an interview.
She warned a bigger response is needed to prevent that.
"People now don't see this as a Liberia or West Africa crisis. It could easily become a global crisis."