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Death Toll from Ebola Outbreak Rises to 135
April 17, 2014
The World Health Organization says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to at least 135.
In a Thursday statement the WHO says Guinea's health ministry had reported a total of 122 deaths, while 13 deaths had been reported by Liberian health officials.
The WHO says officials are investigating more than 200 suspected or confirmed cases of the virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Six suspected cases in Mali tested negative and no new suspected cases have been reported.
In Gambia, Sierra Leone fights back against Ebola stigma
April 17, 2014
The newly appointed Sierra Leonean Ambassador to The Gambia Ambassador Soulay Daramy, has even before presenting his credentials to President Yayah Jammeh faced with the uphill task of defending his nation and putting the records straight against the stigma of the deadly EBOLA virus suspected of being present in his country.
….the World Health Organization announced that the outbreak has been linked to 137 deaths in the region, the majority of which have been in Guinea.
The UN health agency has identified more than 220 suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola in Guinea and its neighbouring Liberia.
Ebola aid for West Africa: Canada commits $1.3M
Money will go toward humanitarian programs, WHO
….The outbreak of a new strain of the Ebola virus has killed close to 140 people in Guinea since February.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird noted in a statement that biological threats do not recognize borders and are therefore a global problem.
Rapid Tests for Ebola Virus Detection Halted Due to Lack of Funds
….Currently, Ebola virus is spreading rapidly because the blood samples of those suspected of infection is sent to Europe for testing and it takes over 10 days for the reports to come back. By which the infection has spread to the next person or the suspected dies. The test that Corgenix has developed requires blood sample to be applied on a strip and it displays the result as positive or negative, much like a pregnancy test.
Simpson added that this rapid test will help control outbreak at the outset as soon as the patient starts showing symptoms and they can be quarantined immediately.
At the Conference of the World Affairs, Sebelius stated that the possibilities of Ebola affecting other parts of the world are higher as we are no longer separated by ocean. She stated that it is important to find funding to bring Ebola to halt. Prof of Microbiology and Immunology at the Tulane University, Robert Garry stated in an email that the seriousness of this outbreak emphasizes the pertinence of developing a rapid Ebola test. Corgenix along with nine other organizations belonging to the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, an international group is trying to get the approval for these tests.
The Ebola virus has claimed 61 lives in Guinea out of 109 laboratory-confirmed cases since January, the government said Saturday.
They were among 197 suspect cases recorded in the impoverished west African country.
"From now on, biological analysis can be done more quickly, and the toll will no longer include any non-confirmed cases," government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara said in a statement.
Gueckedou, a town in the south of the country which has suffered one of the largest outbreaks, has seen 34 deaths out of 58 confirmed cases. In the capital Conakry, with 36 confirmed cases, 15 people have died.
On Thursday the World Health Organization said there had been 101 laboratory-confirmed cases of Ebola in the former French colony, and 56 deaths. Some 24 health-care workers have contracted the virus, 13 of whom have died.
The virus has crossed into neighbouring Liberia, where the government has laboratory confirmation of six cases. The health ministry is investigating 27 cases of haemorrhagic fever, and 13 deaths, to establish whether the victims had contracted Ebola.
West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of disease: study
(Reuters) - An Ebola outbreak blamed for 135 deaths in West Africa in the past month was not imported from Central Africa but caused by a new strain of the disease, a study in a U.S. medical journal said, raising the specter of further regional epidemics.
…."It is possible that EBOV has circulated undetected in this region for some time. The emergence of the virus in Guinea highlights the risk of EBOV outbreaks in the whole West African subregion," the report continued.
….A senior health ministry official told Reuters on Thursday the government planned to stop publicly releasing the death toll to avoid causing unnecessary panic.
….The WHO said earlier this month it would take two to four months to contain the outbreak, which it said had been one of the most challenging it had ever faced.
"What is clear to us from the study is that the virus wasn't brought in from the outside, that it is indigenous," said Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the WHO, which was not involved in authoring the study.
"It means there were possibly outbreaks in the past that were just not detected," he said.
The head of health services in Guineas ministry if health, Sakoba Kéita, said that the only new positive case was reported on Thursday 1,000 kilometres away from Conakry, the Guinean capital.