WEST AFRICA, Sierra Leone – A state of emergency has been declared in Sierra Leone, West Africa on Thursday where they will now join Liberia to impose strict measures to keep the deadly Ebola virus from spreading and will place sick patients under quarantine amid fears it could spread beyond West Africa.
As of July 31, the World Health Organization has reported that Ebola has killed 729 people in West Africa that includes the regions of Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and killing one man in Nigeria’s largest city of Lagos.
CBS News reported, schools in Liberia have been forced to shut down and have ordered all public employees to stay home in order to top the spread of the deadly virus. Hundreds of Peace Corps volunteers are being evacuated from West Africa. Samaritan’s Purse said they are also evacuating “all but the most essential personnel to their home countries,” a statement from the organization said.
Two U.S. aid workers are in grave condition after contracting the Ebola virus that kills 90 percent of its victims. Dr. Ken Brantly and Nancy Writebol who were helping patients with the Ebola virus through the U.S. organization Samaritan’s Purse have both contracted the virus.
When an experimental serum for Ebola arrived in Liberia on Wednesday, it was only enough for one patient.
“Dr. Brantly asked that it be given to Nancy Writebol,” Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, said in a statement. “However, Dr. Brantly received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who had survived Ebola because of Dr. Brantly’s care. The young boy and his family wanted to be able to help the doctor that saved his life.”
The president of Sierra Leone who declared a state of emergency on Thursday said, “”Sierra Leone is in a great fight … Failure is not an option.” Ernest Bai Koroma said. “Extraordinary challenges require extraordinary measures.”
NEW AIRPORT CONTROLS
Airports in Britain are being placed on high alert to prevent the deadly virus Ebola from spreading into their country. Passengers who arrive and depart Lungi International Airport will now be subject to body temperature scans. Ghana announced on Thursday they will be implementing body temperature screening as well that will include all travelers from West Africa.
Meanwhile airlines are beginning to cancel all flights to Freetown and Monrovia after a U.S. citizen died in Nigeria after contracting the disease in Liberia. The deputy director in charge of disease control, Kyei Faied said at a news conference that authorities have a list of 11 passengers who were on the same flight as Patrick Sawyer who was the first victim recorded as having Ebola in Nigeria. He said those people are being monitored. Since Sawyer’s sister died from Ebolla three weeks before he boarded an international flight, Faied said the government is considering whether or not to ban flights from affected countries.
Ebola was first identified in 1976 in Africa with a previous death toll of 280. The strict measure being put into place at airports are as a result of an American doctor who was working in Liberia became infected while passing through an airport.
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS
The director for “Doctors Without Borders” Bart Janssens told the Libre Belgique, the world has “never known such an epidemic.”
Other experts have warned travelers who are returning from West Africa to be on the watch for flu-like symptoms which rapidly evolves into catastrophic internal bleeding. They also predict that at least 30,000 people could become infected with the Ebola virus which has known cure.
PANIC SPARKED BY U.S. DOCTOR
A doctor at the University of Lancaster, Dr. Derek Gatherer has said the virus is as infectious as the flu raising panic. Gatherer warned that anyone infected with Ebola could spread the virus to at least two other people.
‘Anyone on the same plane could have become infected because Ebola is easy to catch,’ Gatherer said. “Anyone on the same plane as Sawyer could have become infected because Ebola is easy to catch. It can be passed on through vomiting, diarrhea or even from simply saliva or sweat as well as sexually transmitted.”
‘It can be passed on through vomiting, diarrhoea or even from simply saliva or sweat – as well as being sexually transmitted.
QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
Who is most at risk?
Those at risk during an outbreak include:
health workersfamily members or others in close contact with infected people mourners with direct contact with the bodies of deceased victims hunters in contact with dead animals.
What are the typical signs and symptoms?
Sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. That is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and internal and external bleeding.
The incubation period is between two and 21 days. A person will become contagious once they start to show symptoms.
When should you seek medical care?
If a person is in an area affected by the outbreak, or has been in contact with a person known or suspected to have Ebola, they should seek medical help immediately.
What is the treatment?
Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. They need intravenous fluids to re-hydrate them.
But there is currently no specific treatment for the disease. Some patients will recover with the appropriate care.
Can Ebola be prevented?
Currently there is no licensed vaccine for Ebola. Several are being tested but are not available for clinical use.
Is it safe to travel to affected areas?
The World Health Organization reviews the public health situation regularly, and recommends travel or trade restrictions if necessary. The risk of infection for travelers is very low since person-to-person transmission results from direct contact with bodily fluids of victims.
@ World Health Organization