By Agence France-Presse
A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus has been put in isolation at a hospital in Sacramento, California, health group Kaiser Permanente announced Tuesday.
“We are working with the Sacramento County Division of Public Health regarding a patient admitted to the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus,” said Stephen Parodi, an infectious disease specialist.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be testing blood samples to rule out the presence of the virus, he said.
“To protect our patients, staff and physicians, even though infection with the virus is unconfirmed, we are taking the actions recommended by the CDC as a precaution, just as we do for other patients with a suspected infectious disease,” Parodi said.
“This includes isolation of the patient in a specially equipped negative pressure room and the use of personal protective equipment by trained staff, coordinated with infectious disease specialists. This enables the medical center to provide care in a setting that safeguards other patients and medical teams.”
Two US patients infected with the virus, a health care worker and a doctor, returned to the United States from Africa for treatment in late July.
Currently there is no approved antiviral treatment or vaccine, only experimental phase treatments.
The global death toll from Ebola stands at 1,229, with the bulk of cases in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Four people were injured in clashes when soldiers opened fire and used tear gas on demonstrators in the quarantine zone in the Liberian capital, Monrovia. It’s as the world tries to contain the fatal outbreak and to find a cure for the deadly disease – READ MORE http://on.rt.com/x5mi05
By Agence France-Presse
It has laid waste to the tribal chiefdoms of Sierra Leone, leaving hundreds dead, but the Ebola crisis began with just one healer’s claims to special powers.
The outbreak need never have spread from Guinea, health officials revealed to AFP, except for a herbalist in the remote eastern border village of Sokoma.
“She was claiming to have powers to heal Ebola. Cases from Guinea were crossing into Sierra Leone for treatment,” Mohamed Vandi, the top medical official in the hard-hit district of Kenema, told AFP.
“She got infected and died. During her funeral, women around the other towns got infected.”
Ebola has killed more than 1,220 people since it emerged in southern Guinea at the start of the year, spreading first to Liberia and cutting a gruesome and gory swathe through eastern Sierra Leone since May.
The tropical pathogen can turn people into de facto corpses with little higher brain function and negligible motor control days before they die.
The virus attacks almost every section of tissue, reducing organs and flesh in the most aggressive infections to a pudding-like mush which leaches or erupts from the body.
The virus is highly infectious through exposure to bodily fluids, and its early rapid spread in west Africa was attributed in part to relatives touching victims during traditional funeral rites.
The herbalist’s mourners fanned out across the rolling hills of the Kissi tribal chiefdoms, starting a chain reaction of infections, deaths, funerals and more infections.
A worrying outbreak turned into a major epidemic when the virus finally hit Kenema city on June 17.
An ethnically-diverse, Krio-speaking city of 190,000, Kenema already has the highest incidence of Lassa fever — another viral haemorrhagic disease — in the world.
But the brutality and cold efficiency of the Ebola virus — described in medical literature as a “molecular shark” — caught the city’s shabby, chaotic hospital off-guard.
– ‘Deadly and unforgiving’ –
Crumpled photographs of dead nurses cover noticeboards on the flaking walls outside the maternity unit and in the administration block.
Twelve nurses have been among 277 people to die since the first case showed up in Kenema hospital. A further ten have been infected with Ebola and survived.
“The nurses who lost their lives and those who got infected would never have gone in knowing that they would get infected,” Vandi, the district medical officer, told AFP.
“We are fighting a battle that is new. Ebola is new here and we are all learning as we go along.”
The first case at the hospital was a woman who had partially miscarried, having probably passed the virus to her unborn child.
The facility boasts the only Lassa fever isolation unit in the world, set apart from the main building, and a makeshift Ebola unit was quickly set up there.
View galleryA woman looks at the obituary notices for medical staff …
A woman looks at the obituary notices for medical staff who have died from the Ebola virus at the Ke …
It was then that the nurses began dying.
As head sister of the Lassa fever ward for more than 25 years, Mbalu Fonnie was credited with attending to more haemorrhagic fever patients than anyone in the world.
She had survived Lassa fever herself, but was no match for the Ebola virus when it got into her bloodstream from a patient in July.
She was dead within days, along with fellow nurses Alex Moigboi and Iye Gborie, and ambulance driver Sahr Niokor.
The deaths prompted a strike of 100 nurses, who complained of poor management of the Ebola centre.
“Wherever the Ebola virus strikes for the first time, there is a heavy toll on healthcare workers because they don’t have experience with it,” Vandi told AFP.
An ambulance is parked in front of the Kenema government …
An ambulance is parked in front of the Kenema government hospital, in Sierra Leone, on August 16, 20 …
“The Ebola virus is deadly and unforgiving. The slightest mistake you make, you will get infected.”
Umar Khan, a hugely admired doctor and the country’s leading Ebola specialist, died after saving more than 100 lives, and at least nine nurses have died since.
– Inadequate protection –
There are 80 beds in the hospital’s Ebola centre, almost double its capacity.
Shifts are voluntary, and many nurses have refused to work in the unit, while those who remain are overworked and exhausted.
Some staff say they have gone weeks without a day off, and 12-hour shifts are par for the course.
Sister Rebecca Lansana was quoted by the Guardian newspaper as saying she was nervous about the high number of staff deaths.
“My family do not want me to come here anymore. They think I will die, they don’t want to be around me in case I give them Ebola,” she told the London-based daily.
By the time the article came out on August 9, Lansana had already been dead five days, aged just 42.
Her husband Emmanuel Karimu, 45, told AFP she was moved from maternity to the Ebola unit after a crash course of just one week.
One day after work, she began to feel feverish and feared the worst, checking herself in for tests which came back positive.
“They transferred her to the Ebola ward that day and four days later she died,” Karimu said, accusing the hospital of providing inadequate protective clothing.
The hospital told AFP staff training had hugely improved in recent weeks, with the help of global aid agencies and the World Health Organization.
The Ebola outbreak has infected 848 people and claimed 365 lives in Sierra Leone since the herbalist began inviting clients across the border with promises of salvation.
“These figures tell us one thing: Ebola is here with us and its impact on us is real,” Maya Kaikai, the government minister for the eastern region, told a news conference in Kenema on Saturday.
“It is a disease that spreads very fast, without regard for academic or economic status, political affiliation, age, ethnic grouping, gender or religion.”
BREAKING NEWS – In approximately 15 days, US doctors based out of Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia have admitted for treatment, treated, evaluated and released Ebola patient Nancy Writebol. Additionally, today Dr. Kent Brantly is similarly being discharged after approximately 18 days since being admitted to the hospital.
The CDC has indicated that both patients are “cleared of Ebola”. As such, they have been deemed suitable for discharge.
Initially, Americans were largely apprehensive to the idea of Ebola patients being imported to our soil. Now after 15-18 days of treatment in a Level 2 rated medical facility, they have been “cleared of Ebola”. Thus, American doctors are claiming the ability to cure a disease that has been portrayed as one of the worst in human history… in as little as 15 days of treatment! I’m sorry, but does this make anyone else nervous? I was nervous about bringing Ebola patients intentionally to US soil. Nervous about these patients being treated at a Level 2 grade medical facility rather than a Level 4. Nervous about the claims of their progress and the use of “Experimental Treatments” that have never been specifically identified. And NOW I’m nervous about 2 people who have certifiably been infected with the Ebola virus to be released into society after ONLY 18 days of treatment AND observation… AT MOST! These are the first Ebola patients ever treated in the US. Why are we so confident in our ability to cure this horrible disease? Why have officials seemingly thrown caution to the wind in favor of a speedy treatment and discharge? Who are they trying to impress? The risk is so severe, how can you weigh the health and lives of millions of Americans against taking extra precautionary steps such as an additional month of quarantine AFTER doctors believe them to be cured? Am I crazy?
Secondly, if US doctors have been able to treat the Ebola virus with such success, why are the details of this amazing new treatment not front page news? Have they not wrapped up the necessary details and patents meant to secure the methods and materials financially for someone to profit from its deployment? People are dying in Africa as we speak and America is claiming the ability to cure Ebola in as little as 15 days! This information needs to be shared IMMEDIATELY, not withheld and kept secret. This is a humanitarian issue and one should not be willing to risk the lives of the innocent for the sake of profit.
What makes me EXTRA nervous is the story of a Nigerian doctor who had been infected with Ebola, treated and released upon being cleared by the Centre for Infectious Disease Control. She died from Ebola AFTER being released and cleared. This has prompted doctors and researchers to suspect that the virus has the ability to incubate and show signs of recovery while it is in fact a FALSE recovery!
“Ebola is unpredictable at the best of times, presenting a wide variety of symptoms, and incubating anywhere from two days to 21 days. As a virus, Ebola is able to mutate and change just like any other replicator virus can, let’s hope that’s not the case.”
So to conclude, I believe it is incredibly reckless of the doctors involved, the CDC and anyone else who has had a part in importing the Ebola Virus to America, to release these patients after such a short stay in a facility that is not technically rated to treat patients with this category of disease. There have been highly risky, highly suspect decisions made throughout this whole process and I sincerely pray to GOD for the safety of innocent Americans, that these Doctors are right..
Homeland Security News Wire
Ebola has infected nearly 2,000 people in West Africa because the disease is spreading in populated areas with poor public health infrastructure, and where health workers might not be taking proper infection control procedures, such as wearing gloves, experts say. These experts note that Ebola can be contracted only from patients who have the symptoms, not those who are infected, and even then infection occurs only when coming into contact with bodily fluids. They say that SARS and the flu are more contagious than Ebola.
Dr. Diane Weems, the acting director of the East Central Health District, at last week’s meeting with the Richmond County Board of Health, acknowledged that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been of serious concern to American health workers, but she explained that it takes more than casual contact to cause an infection, adding that Richmond County has faced far bigger public health threats in the past and will likely deal with worse in the future.
Ebola has infected nearly 2,000 people in West Africa because the disease is spreading in populated areas with poor public health infrastructure, and where health workers might not be taking proper infection control procedures, such as wearing gloves. “We know it is not passed through the air, like a cold or like the flu,” Weems said. “It’s by infected body fluids. Health care workers who are not using good infection control, not wearing gloves, are disproportionately being impacted there, in those communities.”
Health workers in the United States are not at risk. “Here, we know how to protect ourselves,” Weems said. Hospitals with travelers from West Africa are being advised to take precaution if patients show up with a fever. The Augusta Chronicle reports that in Georgia, the points of entry, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and the ports in Savannah and Brunswick have screening stations to check travelers and crewmen coming from West Africa, said Weems, who is also Coastal Health District director in Savannah.
Dr. Keith Woeltje, a professor of infectious diseases at Washington University in St. Louis and the former hospital epidemiologist at Georgia Regents Medical Center, distinguishes the risk of contracting Ebola from those who are infected and those who show symptoms. “SARS is actually way more contagious than Ebola,” he said. “The people who have gotten Ebola really have had direct contact with blood and body fluids. So casual contact is really unlikely to spread Ebola.”
Patients with Ebola are not contagious until they start showing symptoms. The flu is more contagious and cause more damage than Ebola, Woeltje said. “In terms of deaths, every year the flu season causes way more deaths worldwide than Ebola does,” he said. “And we have a vaccine for it, which granted is not perfect. But it’s still effective and we can’t get people to take the vaccine.”
Ebola poses little risk to U.S. public health. “(Mosquito control) would tell you we have more to worry about with chikungunya,” a mosquito-borne virus that causes joint pain and can persist for years, Weems said. “There is a concern that chikungunya will start to spread in the U.S. like West Nile (virus) did,” Woeltje said, warning that the current attention on Ebola have struck fear in the American public. “People are not good assessors of risk, really,” he said.
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