Instant Library - Jul-Sep 2014
World - Ebola outbreak
Story No.: G11526
Source: AP Television
Date: 26/09/2014 00:00 AM
Official claims virus is worse than rebel war; road blocks to test infected
Kenema - 27 July 2014
1. Various of doctors and nurses testing people for the Ebola virus
2. People lining up to take a mandatory Ebola test before leaving Kenema by bus
Streets quiet in Freetown as people mourn those who have died from the Ebola virus
Freetown - 4 Aug 2014
3. Wide of empty street
4. Woman walking next to empty supermarket
Virologist and Ebola expert at Britain's University of Reading explains the virus
Reading - 6 Aug 2014
5. Various of Dr Ben Neuman, Ebola expert at University of Reading, at desk
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Ben Neuman, Ebola expert, University of Reading:(++includes questions++)
(Reporter: Why is this outbreak so virulent?)
" the virus seems to be spreading because of fear, because people are moving away from doctors rather than taking doctors' advice. The virus is certainly very bad but it's very preventable as well."
Man left lying in street for hours as people fear Ebola infection
Conakry - 6 August 2014
7. Man standing over a man lying on ground
8. Man on the ground trying to move
Funeral of Spanish priest who contracted Ebola virus in Liberia
Madrid - 13 August 2014
9. Chapel at San Rafael Hospital during funeral mass for Father Miguel Pajares
10. Urn containing ashes of Pajares
Shantytown demolished as part of president's emergency measures
11. Various of security personnel destroying shacks in shantytown as part of public health emergency imposed by the president
12. Demolition of shacks
Residents frustrated by slow response after medical officials take days to remove body off the street
Monrovia - 16 August 2014
13. Men dressed in protective clothing lifting body, putting it into body bag, sealing bag then putting body into car
Patients treated with ZMapp vaccine allowed to leave treatment centre
Monrovia - 30 Aug 2014
14. Congolese Doctor Senga Omeonga and Kyndy Kobbah, a Liberian physician's assistant at the CH Rennie Hospital in Kakata, Margibi County leaving treatment centre in Monrovia to applause
Tensions diminish after blockade that sparked unrest is lifted
Monrovia - 30 Aug 2014
15. local residents dancing on street, celebrating and chanting, UPSOUND (English): "No Ebola!"
Health workers go door to door in search of Ebola cases as nation goes into lockdown
Freetown - 19 Sept 2014
16. Wide of empty street
17. People on a balcony looking at an empty street
18. Medium of medical team visiting homes
19. Medium of doctor counselling a woman
Neighbours of Ebola treatment centres afraid, survivors stigmatised as death toll in West Africa passes 3000
Monrovia - 26 Sept 2014
20. Health workers in protective suits, at gates of Island Clinic Treatment Centre in Monrovia
21. Low angle of isolation centre
22. Women on porch with children
A regional coordinator for the fight against the Ebola virus claimed the disease was worse than a "rebel war."
Ayoub Ishmeal, regional coordinator for the fight against Ebola, said on July 27th 2014 that unlike gunshots you cannot run away from the deadly virus.
"Yesterday when there was fighting, when they were shooting you hear the gunshots and run away to Moyamba Junction. But if I have Ebola, the boys around me will not know and they will be happy to see me and then I could infect them," said Ishmeal.
Ebola is one of the most contagious and deadly diseases in the world.
The World Health Organisation said that this year's outbreak has killed more than 670 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
There is no known cure for Ebola, which begins with symptoms including fever and sore throat and escalates to vomiting, diarrhoea and internal and external bleeding.
In Kenema, residents were being tested at a local hospital and road blocks were erected to test motorists for the virus before they left the city.
John Oponjo Benjamin, the leader of the main opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), said part of the battle was a lack of education with many people still in denial about the virus.
While he admitted Ebola is "a killer disease" Benjamin said there was still hope for people who have become infected.
"Somehow some people who have been suspected of having Ebola, they are going to the treatment centres and they are coming out alive," he added.
Benjamin said many communities are now attempting to stop the virus by washing their hands with water and disinfectant and increasing their levels of hygiene.
The streets of Freetown were quiet and empty on August 4th, as people in Sierra Leone were mourning those who have died after being infected with the Ebola virus.
Traffic was restricted and offices and businesses were shut down, as most of the people spent their day at home.
The government of Sierra Leone, non-governmental organisations, leaders, artists and others were involved in a joint nationwide campaign to inform people about the Ebola virus.
Ebola Task Force personnel went on the streets to offer people details about the deadly virus and how it can be avoided.
Ebola, which causes haemorrhagic fever, kills at least 60 percent of the people it infects in Africa.
The virus spreads through close contact with bodily fluids and blood, meaning it is not spread as easily as airborne influenza or the common cold.
Africa's under-developed health care system and inadequate infection controls make it easier for the Ebola virus to spread and harder to treat.
Over 200 people died of Ebola in Sierra Leone since cases emerged in March 2014 and a total of 887 people lost their lives after being infected with the virus in West Africa.
The current outbreak of Ebola is extremely serious and it will take a lot of time and money to contain it, an expert on the disease said August 6th.
Dr Ben Neuman, a virologist at the University of Reading in the UK, said the outbreak of the Zaire strain of Ebola, which has already killed 932 people in Africa, was the largest of its kind.
"In this outbreak alone, we've seen more people infected with Ebola virus Zaire (EVZ) than in all history leading up to this point," he said.
Neuman said it wasn't clear why the Zaire strain of the virus was so virulent, but suggested the high death toll was to some extent preventable because infected people weren't seeking medical advice.
"The virus seems to be spreading because of fear, because people are moving away from doctors rather than taking doctors' advice," he said.
"The virus is certainly very bad but it's very preventable as well."
Authorities across the world are battling to address the outbreak, but Neuman warned that significant resources and time would be required to combat it.
"Ebola is an extreme outbreak, it's an extreme case, and they need extreme measures to deal with it - new facilities, new equipment, new people on the ground," he commented. " That's going to take a long time and a lot of money to put in place."
Experts say Ebola is a blood-borne virus, and people infected with it can spread the disease only through their bodily fluids, such as blood and sweat.
Neuman said there was no reason for plane travellers, for example, to be unduly concerned.
He said it was highly unlikely for someone on board a plane to catch Ebola by touching an arm-rest shared with an infected person.
"It's very, very unlikely for that to happen. Ebola doesn't really come out onto the skin until right at the end of the infection. If you're about a day or two from dying, that's the point at which it would be on the outside. The virus likes to live in the blood, and it usually doesn't come out."
Anyone capable of passing on Ebola through their sweat was unlikely to be well enough to fly, he said.
Asked if it was possible that the Ebola virus could mutate into an airborne virus, Neuman said this was improbable.
"It's very difficult for a virus to completely change the way it does business, the way it lives, and for a blood-borne virus to go to an airborne virus, this would be very difficult," he said.
Neuman added he was confident that the battle against the current outbreak would be won.
"We'll sort it out the way we've sorted out every Ebola outbreak, and frankly every other outbreak in history - by quarantine and by good supportive medical practices," he concluded.
Residents of Guinea's capital Conakry have criticised emergency services for their slow response to help a man who collapsed in the street and was feared to be suffering from Ebola.
Fear of the Ebola virus - first detected in the West African country in March 2014 - has led people to be wary of close contact with anyone who might have been infected.
But they were shocked that it took almost five hours to get medical assistance to the man who lay helpless in the street while passers-by went about their daily routine.
A local mechanic, Amidou Camara, saw the collapsed man when he arrived to open his garage on Wednesday morning.
"I called the police and when they came they said they were going to call the doctors but up till now nobody has come here," Camara said.
The country is one of four West African nations gripped by the Ebola outbreak, the most serious since the disease first emerged in Africa nearly 40 years ago.
It has killed more than 932 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria since it first emerged in remote tropical forests.
Passers-by in Conakry said they were worried about the cause of the man's collapse, even though it wasn't clear if he was in fact suffering from Ebola.
"I don't know whether he was suffering from Ebola or not," said Amadou Barry, "so let them come and take him from here because we are afraid."
The identity of the man who collapsed was not immediately known.
Eventually, four and a half hours after the man's collapse was first reported, two members of the Ebola group arrived at the scene saying they were there to conduct an investigation.
"There is a special group that will come in to seal off and protect the area, but all depends on the investigation result we are going to produce and submit to them. They will then send a team with a responsibility to come and pick the man," one of the officers said.
Local media reported later that the man had been picked up and taken away by members of his own family, but this could not be verified by the Associated Press cameraman who had filmed the man earlier.
While health officials say the virus is transmitted only through direct contact with bodily fluids, many sick patients have refused to go to isolation centres and have infected family members and other caregivers.
The funeral was held on Wednesday for Father Miguel Pajares, the Spanish priest who died of Ebola in Madrid on Tuesday.
The funeral mass was held at the chapel of the San Rafael Hospital in Madrid, which is owned and run by the order of San Juan de Dios, to which Pajares belonged.
The Spanish Minister for Health, Ana Mato, and family and friends of the priest attended the service.
Father Miguel Pajares was helping to treat people with Ebola in Liberia when he became ill and was evacuated.
Ebola has killed more than 1,000 people in a West African outbreak that has hit Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.
Security forces in the capital of the west African state of Guinea demolished a shantytown on Thursday in an attempt to fight the spread of Ebola.
President Alpha Conde declared a public health state of emergency on Wednesday and said cleanliness was key to fighting the outbreak.
Conakry, where the shantytown is located, is believed to be one of the dirtiest cities in West Africa, due, in part, to a lack of education amongst its residents and a political divide that has resulted in rubbish being dumped on the streets.
Hundreds of shacks could be seen lined up next to each other covered with tarpaulin or corrugated iron.
In the pouring rain, men began to tear them apart, some using their bare hands, others with chainsaws.
The governor of Conakry, Soriba Sorel Camara said he was advising everyone to "respect the public health state of emergency."
Overseeing the operation was Presidential representative to Kaloum - the district in the centre of Conakry where the shantytown is located - Bangoura M'Makhady Camara.
She said they had been looking for a reason to rip the shantytown apart for some time as it posed all kinds of danger to women and the presidential barracks, which are located close by.
"We are so happy for the help today to destroy these houses," she said.
But the decision to tear the place down has left many homeless.
Residents gathered as many of their belongings as they could before fleeing the area.
One resident said he would rather die than have to find somewhere else to live.
"Leave us so that Ebola can kill us, but don't move us from here," he said.
In downtown Conakry, massive piles of rubbish could be seen sitting by huge puddles of sewage water made deeper by the rain.
The Ebola outbreak, which was first identified in March in Guinea and since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, has overwhelmed the already strained health systems in west Africa and raised questions about whether authorities are doing enough to respond.
Residents in the Liberian capital Monrovia were angry on Saturday that the body of a man who died of unknown circumstances has been lying on the streets of for two days as the country continues to fight an Ebola outbreak.
People accused medical authorities of reacting too slowly to the situation, despite fears that the body might be infected with the deadly virus.
Lafayette Diggs, a former Liberian Ambassador to the African Union, who lives on the street where the body was found, said he called authorities several times before health workers came to remove the body.
Men dressed in protective clothing checked the body as another sprayed the area with disinfectant.
After putting the body into a bag and into the back of their vehicle they then sprayed themselves and the area where the body had lain
Ebola has killed 1,145 people in West Africa, including 413 in Liberia, according to the World Health Organisation.
Two Ebola patients treated with the experimental drug ZMapp were allowed to leave a treatment centre in Liberia on Saturday after testing negative for the disease.
Congolese doctor Senga Omeonga and Liberian physician's assistant Kyndy Kobbah were greeted on their release by Liberia's president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
"First of all I just want to say to both of you, how happy we are that you have survived this. Thank you particularly for coming to our country and rendering service," Sirleaf said.
Kyndy Kobbah, who works at the CH Rennie Hospital in Kakata, urged Liberian people to seek medical attention as soon as possible if they suspect they have the disease.
"Report yourself early to the centre. That's one of the key things in the recovery stage, that you report yourself early to the centre if you start to experience any sign and symptom," Kobbah said.
She sought to reassure people who in her opinion misunderstood the ZMapp treatment.
"They don't spray anyone," she said. "Let me tell the Liberian people, they don't inject people, because people were calling me while I was in there, asking me plenty of funny questions."
Earlier in the week, a third medical professional who was administered with the experimental drug, Dr. Abraham Borbor, died from the Ebola virus.
Residents of the West Point neighbourhood of Liberia's capital on Saturday braved the rain and took to the streets to celebrate the lifting of a blockade that had sparked unrest last week.
Dancing and chanting "No ebola!" the locals run through the streets in central Monrovia that were closed for ten days.
West Point resident Olivia Roberts said she couldn't believe at first when she learnt the blockade has been lifted.
Liberia's president had ordered the barricade on 19 August after West Point residents stormed an Ebola health centre several days earlier.
Residents living in the area had feared running out of food and safe water on the peninsula due to the Ebola outbreak.
Lifting the quarantine Saturday morning doesn't mean there is no Ebola in the West Point area, said Information Minister Lewis Brown.
Authorities, though, are more confident now that they can work with residents to do screenings for the sick, he said.
Liberia has been the hardest hit of the five countries with Ebola cases in West Africa, reporting at least 694 deaths among 1,378 cases.
More than 3,000 cases have been reported across Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, and on Friday Senegal announced its first case.
Thousands of health workers began knocking on doors across Sierra Leone on Friday in search of Ebola cases, as the entire West African nation was locked down in their homes in an unprecedented effort to combat the deadly disease.
Wooden tables lay empty at the capital's usually vibrant food markets.
Only a few vehicles could be seen on the streets of the capital on Friday as the lockdown got underway.
Police stood guard at roadblocks in this nation of 6 million people.
Health workers planned to give each household a bar of soap during neighbourhood canvassing.
Once a house had been visited it was marked with a sticker.
President Ernest Bai Koroma urged Sierra Leoneans to cooperate.
At least 562 people are believed to have died from Ebola since the virus came to Sierra Leone from neighbouring Guinea.
Authorities hope to find and isolate Ebola patients who have resisted going to health centres, often seen only as places to die.
Some international health experts have warned there might not be enough beds at treatment centres for new patients found during the three-day lockdown which ends Sunday.
UNICEF said the measure provides an opportunity to tell people how to protect themselves.
Most seemed to be taking the order seriously, and there were no immediate reports of resistance to the lockdown.
However during this first-ever Ebola outbreak in West Africa, some people have previously lashed out at health workers, accusing them of bringing the dreaded disease, while others don't believe it exists at all.
More than 2,600 people have died across West Africa, with more than half the fatalities recorded in Liberia.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on Friday that the number of deaths linked to an Ebola outbreak in West Africa has passed three-thousand.
The new tolls showed that there were more than 150 deaths in Liberia alone in just two days.
According to the WHO even the heavy toll in this outbreak - the largest ever - may be an underestimate.
Cases are going unrecorded because people are afraid to go to hospitals, or, worse, are turned away from them because they're overflowing.
Around the perimeter of an Ebola treatment centre in the heart of a residential neighbourhood of Monrovia, the family of Ebola sufferers wait to learn the fate of their loved ones.
The news is often bad, with Ebola here killing over fifty percent of the infected.
Meanwhile, people living near the hospital are calling for more to be done to protect them from the steady stream of Ebola sufferers and their families passing their premises, sometimes vomiting and defecating at the roadside.
Their well-founded fear is that without more control measures such as area zoning and disinfectant spraying, they too will get sick.
Young mother Angie Williams says she is pleading for such help, but no-one is listening.
Health workers are struggling to contain the outbreak in busy capital Monrovia, with its population of slightly under two million inhabitants.
Ebola awareness posters cover the city.
Educating the public about the disease is a key component of the effort.
On Friday, a team of aid workers from "Save the Children" visited a community hard hit by the disease.
Scores died last month in the St. Paul Bridge suburb after a resident unknowingly got infected during a visit to neighbouring Guinea and brought the disease back home.
Those attending her funeral became infected and passed on the disease to others.
33-year-old James Sengbe says he was the only one of five Ebola sufferers from the ambulance that took him to hospital to make it back home alive.
He was at first a source of fear for others.
"People are afraid of me, some of my friends would actually shy away from me," Sengbe said on Friday.
The David sisters, Regina, 16, Esther, 17 and Agnes, 11 have been taken in by their aunt and uncle after both parents succumbed to the St. Paul Bridge outbreak.
The teenage mothers were referred to Save the Children's child protection officers who are helping them with financial and psychological support.
|Subjects:||Ebola virus , Disease outbreaks , Funerals and memorial services , Health , Hemorrhagic fever , Diagnosis and treatment , Public health , Death and dying , Accidents and disasters , Men's fashion , War and unrest , Diseases and conditions , Government and politics , Virology , Infectious diseases , General news , Disease outbreaks , Fashion , Beauty and fashion , Lifestyle , Biology , Science|
|People:||Alpha Conde , Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf , Ernest Bai Koroma|
|Organisations:||World Health Organization, United Nations|
|Locations:||Africa , West Africa , Liberia , Sierra Leone , Guinea , Monrovia , Conakry , Madrid , Freetown , Nigeria , Spain , Western Europe , Europe|