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By djembefeeling
#35143
bubudi wrote:someone at abc needs to check their calculations
I thought with the 40% spike they meant that 40% of total cases and deaths were reported within the last 3 weeks.
bubudi wrote:medecins sans frontieres, which is the aid organisation seeing the most cases, says that 80% of patients with confirmed ebola have died in west africa
scary. I wonder how the w.h.o. deduces their numbers. that is a huge difference.
I think the exact numbers of people infected with ebola is very hard to grasp in those countries and that the methods of counting were changed in order to get more accurate numbers. the latest report as of September 5 counts a total of 3,967 cases and 2,105 deaths. that is a much lower increase of cases, but the number of new cases and new deaths almost match:

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/5- ... n.pdf?ua=1

under these circumstances it's probably better not to look at the exact numbers but the trend at large. and the trend is that ebola rapidly spreads into areas not been affected before, that it grows faster than the actions and supplies against it can be implemented, and that, combined with the economic effects, it enters a vicious circle spiraling into a big crisis of all of Westafrica.

Some good news is that there might be a vacine by November, so that at least doctors and nurses could be vacinated. they did suffer big time from contracting ebola which is part of the problem in the fight against it.
By bubudi
#35144
yes, it did occur to me they may be talking about rate of increase of cases. there are epidemiologists from w.h.o. visiting communities because they can't trust them to report deaths and many never went to a clinic. in addition, they are working with msf and others to try and more accurately document the cases. due to the stigma and intense fear of the disease (which often transfers to health workers who are potentially exposed to the illness), communities are not really cooperating and it will be an extremely challenging task to get accurate stats.

i read today that the sierra leone ministry of health reported 9 ebola hotspots in freetown. it is still far worse in the rural epicenters of kailahun and kenema, but for things to get this bad in the capital is scary indeed. liberia is in a similar situation. there are several hotspots in monrovia, particularly (but not only) in the slums. guinea also have hotspots in conakry, as well as bogfa, dabola, dinguiraye, gueckedou, kissidougou, kouroussa, macenta, pita, siguiri, telimele and yamou.

yesterday i read that apart from the cases in lagos, nigeria, there is a new outbreak in port harcourt that is predicted to be far worse than the one in lagos.
By bubudi
#35192
update: senegal's only known case of ebola has recovered, so at this stage there is no indication of any spread beyond the 4 countries (guinea, sierra leone, liberia, nigeria). liberia remains the worst affected, with continued reports of corpses of ebola-victims being left to rot on the streets, and no treatment centers open, as well as ebola victims taking shared taxis to look for treatment centers, spreading the virus further. in sierra leone the cases also continue to grow at a fast rate, but there are reports of enforced quarantines of 21 days at the houses of contacts of victims, guarded by police and military. there is still a shortage of health staff and also ambulances, leading to bodies lying up to 24 hours until pickup. a loan of 5 ambulances was just provided by the u.s. govt but more are needed. in guinea, there has been little improvement, with a lot of the population still denying that ebola exists there, thinking the west is importing it into africa. when suited health workers came to nzerekore recently to spray market stalls with disinfectant, they were accused of trying to contaminate the community further, and armed riots broke out, causing 60 people to be wounded by gunfire, half of them being military personnel who tried to stop the riots and let the health workers do their job.

so far no spread to western countries. the girl in gatineau, canada, and man in gold coast, australia, have both been cleared.
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By djembefeeling
#35194
I've just read something really scary:

According to Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, a virologist of the Hamburg based Bernhard-Nocht-Institut for tropical medicin, one of the leading Instituts in all Europe, Liberia and even Sierra Leone might be beyond rescue.
He expects that the virus will "burn out" itself in both countries, meaning almost everyone will get infected there and roughly half of the population, about 5 million people, will die.
Officials of some aid organizations and from the WHO are angered because of the effects such frank speach might have but do not seem to be convinced the virologist is completely wrong in his estimate.
The Liberian minister of denfense Brownie Samukai said on Tuesday to a committee of the UN that the national existence of Liberia is threatened.

http://www.dw.de/ebola-threatens-to-des ... a-17915090

this is in German, but very good and it provides a map where you can follow the srpead of the virus on a map on different dates:

http://www.zeit.de/2014/38/ebola-westaf ... rforderung

It seems that in Westafrica more people survive the virus, about 40%, but that seems to be one of the reasons why it spreads through so many areas...
By bubudi
#35209
the german virologist's claim attracted a lot of criticism, including the organisations who are at the very battlefield of the ebola crisis in west africa. i think it's a good wake up call to the need to put all resources and energies toward preventing the spread and increasing treatment centers (which are virtually non-existent in liberia). but the battle is not lost. i tend to agree with u.s. researchers' assessment of the situation, since 9-12 months is more realistic at this stage for a full blown assault on ebola (w.h.o. still stand by their 6 month projection but from now, rather than 6 weeks ago when they first said it. most organisations say it's a little too optimistic), but considering all the shortcomings that are still being faced in the region, it will likely take twice that long.

the 50% death rate (60% in liberia) is, as i explained, considered not to be accurate. researchers generally agree the west african strain has had less mortality (than up to 90% in the congo), however the true mortality stats may come out later and are probably significantly higher than reported. if doctors and nurses are continuing to be infected despite meticulous precautions, we need to start reevaluating if this strain of ebola may spread via other routes other than just direct contact with bodily fluids, as virologists have claimed. viruses have the ability to mutate as we have seen with flu and others. so i think they may have been premature in ruling out airborne infection.

a very sad and telling thing is that doctors and nurses continue to die when they are already in such short supply and the governments are doing nothing to save them. when the western doctors/nurses were rushed home for treatment and even given the experimental drug zmapp, it happened very quickly. the governments of the ebola struck countries aren't working in the best interest of their countries by advocating to save their medical staff. recently for the first time, permission was sought to bring a sick sierra leonean doctor to an ebola clinic in hamburg for treatment (at w.h.o.'s expense). sierra leone has been given hundreds of millions in the anti-ebola campaign. the w.h.o. decided therefore to provide best possible care within sierra leone. a day later the doctor died in freetown.
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By djembefeeling
#35240
In Guinea, a mob killed a delegeation of 8 people trying to sensitize the local population about Ebola. The residents were instead accusing them to bring and spread the disease:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/19/world ... ref=health

Residents tend to think that government officials and white people are responsible and bring this new desease to them. This might be a major problem in what seems to come: military secured international rescue teams. The incident shows how important the security aspect is, while at the same time it will foster those suspicions, I am afraid.

The UN declared the Ebola epidemic it's most serious peacetime challenge, a threat to international peace and security:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/19/world ... ref=health
By bubudi
#35251
according to w.h.o. the stone-throwing that health workers meet in the villages also happens in sierra leone. it is the belief of the villagers that since the health workers may come into contact with ebola victims, they pose a danger of spreading the disease to the rest of their village and are therefore not welcome. in sierra leone the health workers/epidemiologists have been able to run back to the cars and speed off. for some reason (ambush?) the workers in guinea weren't able to do the same.

the three day lockdown has largely gone well. in freetown it has been peaceful and cooperative and i haven't heard any more reports of violence in the villages, except for matainka, not far east out of freetown, where a burial team had to flee an attack by angry youths, leaving 5 bodies in the street for a short time until they returned with police. this appears to be an isolated incident. to have been an isolated incident.

there were concerns that the last-minute scramble for food and supplies at busy markets was a high-risk affair (contact with sweat while squeezing past crowds). also, there were independent reports that some of the staff visiting homes were poorly trained and did not give adequate education to members of the households they were visiting. photos have been circulating in social media showing sick people taken from their homes for testing and treatment. it is expected many new cases will be uncovered from households that did not present for testing/treatment before out of fear. there is only one day left. clearances were given to certain groups of people to travel to work or get water. at least one other case of people defying lockdown orders and roaming the streets were also reported. for those staying at home, social media has been a popular way to spend time in between radio news broadcasts, meals and usual business at home.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/as-sierra-l ... 0jw8x.html
By bubudi
#35262
the lockdown is expected to go beyond the three days as the teams did not complete all visits in larger cities such as freetown and kenema. in just the first 2 days, 123 new cases presented themselves voluntarily, 56 confirmed, 33 awaiting result and the remainder negative. also, 92 corpses were discovered, 54 had been buried at that time.

a massive shipment of supplies from usa arrived on saturday. more help should be on the way. it's clear better enforcement of protocol is needed, particularly in guinea and liberia where the violent roots have occurred. there were talks of sending military personnel from usa to the epicenters.
By bubudi
#35267
lockdown is over in sierra leone with total of 130 new cases, 39 awaiting results. many houses were left unvisited by the sensitization teams. it seems the government bowed to protests of hardship from the people, fearing riots of the kind seen in liberia. meanwhile, a 2nd fleet of u.s. troops were sent in to liberia, and number of beds in treatment centers has been increased from 250 to 1000.
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By djembefeeling
#35294
I don't know what prospect is more horrific: ebola raging through the population like a bush fire or ebola becoming endemic. both prospects are horrific. so many people die because of ebola but not on ebola now that the health care system collapsed. why did nobody react when doctors without borders anounced that ebola is out of control in westafrica? we need a permanent UN humanitarian intervention unit, I think...
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By djembefeeling
#35358
Just read a good article, unfortunately for most of you in German. A Washington based French virologist thinks Ebola cases will slowly drop starting mid January. He studies the virus for decades and says it's phenotype is very stable, there is little risk of mutating into a form that can survive in the air and that such a mutation youl need decades:

http://www.welt.de/gesundheit/article13 ... gehen.html