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Ebola update: Historic outbreak continues spinning out of control, 100 new cases reported

The West Africa Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak has now nearly tripled the previous largest outbreak (Uganda 2000-2001, which had 425 cases) and it seems that it is truly out of control. This is rather unusual as Ebola is rapidly lethal and with appropriate containment, it typically “burns itself out” pretty quickly.

Public domain image/Mondo Magic

Public domain image/Mondo Magic

The latest numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office in Africa shows between 21 and 23 July 2014, 108 new cases of EVD, including 12 deaths, were reported from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

As of 23 July 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the three countries stands at 1 201, including 672 deaths.

So what’s happening? What’s different about this outbreak? This keeps health officials scratching their heads.

About one month ago, the WHO warned of burial practices and containment in travel. The ball is in the Africans court, in my opinion. The public needs to listen attentively to health officials so this can be contained.

We can look at the recent story of the Liberian man who traveled sick to Lagos, Nigeria as an example (Although EVD has not been confirmed at this point). If he knew he was sick, why did he risk the travel? Of course travel restrictions are not the answer; however, personal responsibility is always an imperative.

At the beginning of July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued “Interim Guidance about Ebola Virus Infection for Airline Flight Crews, Cleaning and Cargo Personnel”.

How about the recent story of the infected woman in Freetown, Sierra Leone, who’s family “stormed” the hospital and caused her to be “free” on a vulnerable society? This type of action clearly doesn’t help contain the lethal virus. Despite attempts to educate the population, stories like this and others are a real cause for concern.

Health experts are seriously overwhelmed over the immensity of the outbreak. Previously, Doctors without Borders said the outbreak was “out of control”. More recently, Ken Isaacs, Vice President of Programs and Government Relations for Samaritan’s Purse asked in a NYTimes piece, “Why Are We Ignoring a New Ebola Outbreak?”

In the article Isaacs notes, “More direct medical care and emergency supplies are urgently needed. More importantly, there is a tremendous need for public awareness campaigns.”

A disaster has descended upon West Africa, and it deserves the full attention of the international community. The world’s deadliest and most contagious disease is on a collision course with millions in major population centers. The situation is urgent. There is no time to wait, Isaacs continued.

In a related article in The Lancet earlier this month, researchers from the Mercy Hospital Research Laboratory, Bo, Sierra Leone and the United States spell out what they believe is required and needed:

Access to diagnostic techniques should increase, infectious disease surveillance systems should be strengthened by adopting new data-sharing technologies, support for clinical care providers should be expanded and  improved communication with the population when developing and implementing public health responses to outbreaks are the four main areas they covered.

At The Global Dispatch and Outbreak News Today, the Ebola outbreak has not been ignored and has been covered since the beginning. In addition, some bloggers who specialize in infectious diseases have done some wonderful work concerning the Ebola outbreak (and other outbreaks!).

I would suggest Mens et Manus by PhD student, Maimuna (Maia) Majumder. Maia does an incredible job taking data and making graphs for a visual that helps put things in a different perspective and helps raise questions.

Also there is Virology Down Under by Queensland virologist, Dr. Ian MacKay. MacKay offers maps, insight and expert opinion on the Ebola outbreak and others.

Lastly, there is master news gatherer, Crawford Kilian (Crof), who’s H5N1 blog  is a one-stop source of Ebola news, in fact, more than you could imagine. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

WHO tweet

Image/Twitter

 

 

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. CFR’s Laurie Garrett talks Ebola: ‘It is, indeed, out of control’ | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] addition, this Ebola outbreak has had issues with containment due to the actions of local populations. Garrett says we have seen resistance from the populations all over these three countries, but […]

  2. ‘Ebola in Town’: Ebola awareness via music - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] As of 23 July 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola Virus Disease in the three countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) stands at 1,201, including 672 deaths. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page […]

  3. Dr. Kent Brantly reported in ‘grave condition’ as he battles Ebola - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] As of 23 July 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola Virus Disease in the three countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) stands at 1,201, including 672 deaths. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page […]

  4. ‘Ebola poses little risk to the U.S. general population’: CDC - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Ebola outbreak in west Africa.  Since the first report surface in March, there have been more than 1,201 cases reported and unfortunately 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Monroe said.  This is the largest Ebola outbreak in history […]

  5. Ebola: Health professionals put their life on the line in West Africa | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] As of 23 July 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the three countries stands at 1 201, including 672 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. […]

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