How in the world is it possible that more than 170 health workershave been infected by the Ebola virus? That is the one question about Ebola that nobody can seem to answer. The World Health Organization is reporting this as a fact, but no explanation is given as to why this is happening. We are just assured that Ebola “is not airborne” and that getting infected “requires close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person”.
If this is true, then how have more than 170 health workers caught the disease? These workers are dressed head to toe in suits that are specifically designed to prevent the spread of the virus. So how is this happening? I could understand a handful of “mistakes” by health workers, but this is unlike anything that we have ever seen in the history of infectious diseases. These health workers take extraordinary precautions to keep from getting the virus. If it is spreading so easily to them, what chance is the general population going to have?
Overall, more than 1,700 people have been officially infected and more than 900 people have officially died so far. But an official from Samaritan’s Purse says that the real numbers are probably far, far higher…
Ken Isaacs, the vice president of Program and Government Relations for Samaritan’s Purse, painted an even bleaker picture. According to the World Health Organization, West Africa has counted 1,711 diagnoses and 932 deaths, already, which could represent only a small fraction of the true number. “We believe that these numbers represent just 25 to 50 percent of what is happening,” said Isaacs.
In a six-hour meeting with the president of Liberia last week, Isaacs said workers from Samaritan’s Purse and SIM watched as the “somber” officials explained the gravity of the situation in their countries, where hundreds lie dead in the streets. “It has an atmosphere of apocalypse,” Isaacs said of the Liberia Ministry of Health’s status updates. “Bodies lying in the street…gangs threatening to burn down hospitals. I believe this disease has the potential to be a national security risk for many nations. Our response has been a failure.” Isaacs says that the epidemic is inciting panic worldwide that, in his opinion, may soon be warranted. “We have to fight it now here or we’re going to have to fight it somewhere else.”
In an official statement released on Monday, the World Health Organization even admitted that some potential Ebola patients “are being turned away”…
The recent surge in the number of cases has stretched all capacities to the breaking point. Supplies of personal protective equipment and disinfectants are inadequate. The outbreak continues to outstrip diagnostic capacity, delaying the confirmation or exclusion of cases and impeding contact tracing.
Some treatment facilities are overflowing; all beds are occupied and patients are being turned away.
Like I have said before, this has the potential to become the greatest health crisis that any of us have ever seen.
Up until this point, the outbreak has been primarily limited to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
But now it is starting to pop up in more countries around Africa.
For example, the number of confirmed cases in Nigeria has reached ten…
Nigeria on Monday confirmed a new case of Ebola in the financial capital Lagos, bringing the total number of people in the country with the virus to 10.
Health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said the latest confirmed case was a female nurse who came into contact with a Liberian-American man, Patrick Sawyer, who died of Ebola in a Lagos hospital on July 25.
In addition to Sawyer, another nurse who had contact with him died last week, while seven other people have been confirmed to have the virus in the city, he added.
And it looks like we may now have our first case of Ebola in Rwanda…
Rwanda’s health officials have placed a man suspected of suffering from Ebola in isolation at King Faisal Hospital Kigali. A statement by the Ministry of Health released on Sunday indicates that the patient had been tested with results still expected. Samples from the suspected case have been sent for testing to an international accredited laboratory, and results will be available in 48 hours, the statement said. The suspected case is a European medical student, according to the statement. It is the first suspected Ebola case in Rwanda since the outbreak of the virus in West Africa. The government urged the public to remain calm and vigilant, as the ministry is closely monitoring the situation.
All the preventive measures needed in line with national standards are already in place, including surveillance systems and emergency management systems, it assured, adding “Health workers have been trained across the country and are vigilant.” This will enable timely detection, notification and appropriate management of any suspected cases to safeguard Rwandans, the statement concluded.
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