Family Of British Ebola Victim Commends Efforts

British man infected with Ebola virus is loaded into RAF ambulance after being flown home on a C17 plane from Sierra Leone, at Northolt air base outside London
The Health worker being brought out of an ambulance before he was flown to the UK.

The family of British Ebola victim William Pooley has extended their gratitude to doctors fighting to save his life for the  care he has been  given.

In their first statement since the 29-year-old volunteer nurse arrived back in the UK for emergency treatment, his family paid tribute to those who orchestrated his quick return.

“We would like to express our thanks to all involved in bringing our son back to the UK.

‘We have been astounded by the speed and way which the various international and UK government agencies have worked together to get Will home.

‘He is receiving excellent care at the Royal Free Hospital and we could not ask for him to be in a better place.

‘We would like to thank all our family and friends for their best wishes and ask everyone to remember those in other parts of the world suffering with Ebola who do not have access to the same healthcare facilities as Will.’

Mr Pooley, who contracted the deadly Ebola in Sierra Leone, is being treated at a specialist isolation ward at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London.

Royal-Free-Hampstead
The Royal Free Hospital where Mr Pooley is receiving treatment in an isolation ward.

Dr Oliver Johnson, who has been treating patients in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, said his friend Mr Pooley was an ‘extraordinary guy’ who knew the risks involved, but was prepared to take them for the sake of the patients and his colleagues.

He said: “He and I spoke about the risk together and I think he absolutely understood that there were risks involved.

“He also knew, though, that he was well trained and there were good precautions in place, so it was a measured risk.

“But where he was in Kenema a number of staff had become sick.

“He was a hugely professional nurse and a hugely dedicated one, so he understood those (risks) but was prepared to take them for the sake of the patients and colleagues he had there.”

No New Cases Of Ebola – Dr Shuaib

No New Cases Of Ebola
Dr.Faisal Shuaib

The Head, Ebola Emergency Operations in Nigeria, Dr. Faisal Shuaib on Thursday dismissed claims that there are new cases of Ebola victims in Nigeria apart from those who had contact with the primary index.

He maintained that the Ebola patients, who had primary contact with the index patient, Patrick Sawyer, still remain those reported.

” We have 12 confirmed cases of the Ebola outbreak, with five discharged patients and five deaths”, noting that “in the whole of Nigeria we have only two persons with the Ebola virus and four persons who are in isolation centre presently.

“There are two cases which had a direct primary contact of the index patient and there is no new case(s) of the Ebola Virus”, he noted.

Speaking on the Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, Dr Shuaib, reassured Nigerians that there is no evidence that persons to contract the virus after the persons have been cleared, debunking claims by the Senior Registrar of the National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi, Dr. Akindele Akintayo, on Wednesday.

“Nobody leaves the health facility in good fitting to go home when he is infectious.

“There is a discharge protocol that we follow which indicates that there is no symptoms, adding that laboratory tests are conducted and when turned to a negative form, the patient is good to go home, and will not transmit the disease.

“There is no evidence what so ever in the literature that anybody can transmit the virus to his spouse through semen, it has not been documented and I do not know where he got his fact from. this might create panic to people”, he stressed.

According to Dr. Shuaib, the agency controlling and containing the virus has a joint-solving approach for the emergency treatment of the Ebola virus.

“We have a situation where we have all partner agencies bringing all their resources both material and human into one group led by the government” adding that strategies are in place to examine and coordinate further spread of the epidemic.

” We have daily meetings twice where we have all strategies developed against Ebola outbreak. Data is anaylsed and interpreted in terms of the current stage of the Ebola outbreak and examined”, he noted.

Dr. Shuaib added that the best health care practitioners are working hard in Nigeria to curb the further spread of the virus.

“In the cases of the Ebola outbreak, the best doctors are working with Nigerian doctors, so that we could have one focus in curbing the virus and making sure all efforts are put in the same direction. This is why we are cautiously optimistic that it will bring a lot of progress”, he emphasised.

He also, noted that the Ebola Emergency Centre was currently at the Central Public Health Laboratory in Yaba Lagos.

He however encouraged States in the federation to have centres in order to curb the rise of the virus

” We encourage States to set up their emergency centres by reputing data analysis and interpretation of data so that it can define an epidemic and place strategies to curb further spread of the virus”, noting that “the obligation of the centre strategised in the country was to ensure that there is no further spread of the virus.

“What the centre does is to cast a wide net to ensure that any body that had any contant with the Ebola patient, is brought in and observed.

” We are optimistic that they might not see new cases,we are not relenting at all; we are going out to do surveillance in communities .

Since the disease broke out early this year, at least 1,200 deaths have been recorded in West Africa.

Ebola: NBA Educate Members On Personal Hygiene Ahead Of Conference

Ebola NBAThe outbreak of Ebola disease has prompted various organizations to join the campaign to promote the washing of hands and the need to pay attention to personal hygiene.

Ahead of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Conference, the President of the Association, Mr Okay Wali, educated lawyers on the need to ensure that proper hygiene should be  maintained during the conference as delegates prepare to attend the 54th conference of the Nigerian Bar Association.

The leadership of the association gave the advice in view of the outbreak of Ebola virus in the country. He assured members that adequate measures have been put in place to safeguard delegates.

The association has, however, urged the Nigerian Medical Association and the Federal Government to sheath their swords in view of the seriousness of the disease and the need for all hands to be on deck to fight the disease

Elsewhere, the Ministry of Water Resources has also launched the campaign for personal hygiene as a means to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.

Austria Says Briton Did Not Die Of Ebola

EbolaA 48-year-old British woman who collapsed and died in Austria following a trip to Nigeria did not die from the Ebola Virus Disease.

Head of the regional health board in Austria, Franz Katzgraber, said tests had ruled out the Ebola virus but the cause of death remained unknown.

The woman had travelled from Nigeria to Germany where she then flew back to Austria to her home at Vomp, a town in the Austrian state of Tyrol.

An autopsy would be carried out to confirm the cause of death.

The W.H.O declared the West African Ebola outbreak a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ on August 8, triggering global alarm as countries stepped up precautions and testing.

The W.H.O said that the death toll had now risen to 1,229 from among the 2,240 reported cases in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

The latest figures include 84 additional deaths from 113 new cases reported between August 14 and 16.

Ebola: Catholic Diocese Bars Corpses In Churches

ebola_virusThe Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, in Benue State, has barred members from taking corpses of late relations to churches for funeral Mass.

As a measure to check the spread of Ebola virus.

The diocese directed that corpses of deceased members should be given immediate burial.

It, however, said that it would allow corpses to be brought to the churches in the area only when death certificates issued by relevant medical authorities were produced.

This is contained in a statement by the Director of Communications in the Diocese, Reverend Father Moses Iorapuu, in Makurdi on Saturday.

The statement, which was issued on behalf of the Bishop of the Diocese, Very Reverend Athanissius Usu, also announced changes in two aspects of activities during mass, including the mode of administering the Holy Communion.

According to the statement, parishioners will henceforth be served the Eucharistic feast on their hands as against the practice of putting it on their tongue by the priest.

Also, it said, the exchange of the sign of peace, involving handshakes has been replaced with other suitable gestures to avoid the possibilities of contracting the Ebola virus.

The Diocese advised priests, who conduct pastoral visitation to hospitals to be cautious and seek doctor’s permission before touching sick people with undisclosed illnesses.

It also announced the prohibition of group prayer sessions that involved touching and praying over unknown sicknesses.

According to the statement, the measures, which are in accordance with the Federal Government’s directive on ways to prevent the spread of Ebola virus, are aimed at safeguarding the health of members.

” We hope that with these preventive pastoral and standard procedures and with prayers and steadfastness in responsible behaviours, the Lord will keep this virus away from us.

“We also encourage personal hygiene, washing of hands regularly, clean environment and eating habits.

“We urge you not to ignore government’s advice and other official statements on how to prevent the outbreak of Ebola virus,”  the statement further read.

Ebola: Niger State Takes Measures To Stop Spread

ebola 2The Niger State government has set up surveillance committee across the state in a bid to cheek any occurrence of Ebola virus.

The Chief Medical Director of the General Hospital Minna, Ibrahim Kolo, said that the surveillance became imperative in order to Prevent any infected person from gaining access into the state.

He also stated that an Isolation ward had been set-up in the hospital while doctors and staff of the hospital had been trained on how to identify the symptoms of Ebola at first sight.

The first case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) was reported in Nigeria about 23 days ago when an infected Liberian-America, Patrick Sawyer flew into the country unchecked. He later died few days after.

So far, two deaths have been recorded, including Mr Sawyer, while over 100 persons are under surveillance.

The Federal Government on Tuesday, directed commercial drivers to demand medical reports from sick passengers before conveying them to their destinations.

In an effort to contain the spread of the Ebola virus disease, the Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Monday, directed commercial drivers to demand medical reports from sick passengers before conveying them to their destinations.

Road transport owners have also been advised to seek for a certificate of waiver for corpses before being transported from one part of the country to another.

To further strengthen the on-going steps to contain the virus, President Goodluck Jonathan approved a Special Intervention Plan and the immediate release of 1.9 billion Naira for its implementation.

This newly introduced effort at managing the spread of the Ebola virus through land transport is described as a welcomed development.

Over 1,100 persons have died in West Africa since the outbreak of the disease in the region in February.

On Tuesday, The World Health Organization approved the  use of untested drugs for the treatment of patients with the disease, one of which is the Zmapp believed to be effective in the treatment of the disease.

 

Ebola : Canada Donates Vaccine To WHO For Use In Africa

Ebola virus diseaseThe Health Minister of Canada, Rona Ambrose,has  said that the Canadian Government would donate a small quantity of an experimental Ebola Vaccine developed in its government lab, to the World Health Organization (WHO) for use in Africa.

The Health Minister Rona Ambrose, said on Tuesday that she had offered the vaccine to Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director General of the WHO. The decision to donate the vaccine came after the WHO said on Tuesday that it was ethical to offer untested drugs to people infected by the virus.

The Canadian government would donate between 800 to 1,000 doses of the vaccine, with the final number given dependent on how much Canada holds back for research and clinical trials. The government will also keep a small supply in case it is needed domestically.

In an interview with Reuters, the Deputy Chief, Public Health Agency, Dr. Greg Taylor, said that the United State was also working on a vaccine and the WHO and governments involved were discussing possible use in Africa.

Canada only have about 1,500 animal doses of the vaccine, which it invented a few years ago, and would need four to six months to make a large quantity, he said. The government’s vaccine is separate from the treatment being developed by Canada’s Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp.

“We see this as a global resource, something we need to put on the global table, how can we make best use of this asset? “We’re looking to do that as fast as we can,” Taylor said, speaking from Ottawa.

The Ebola outbreak is the world’s largest and deadliest. So far, 1,013 people have died, the vast majority in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The Canadian vaccine, which the agency licensed for commercialization to U.S. firm BioProtection Systems, a unit of Newlink Genetics, has proven effective in animals but has never been tested in humans, Taylor said.

Last week, Iowa-based NewLink said that BioProtection had a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense for studies to bring the Canadian Ebola vaccine closer to human testing.

“We’ve been trying to figure out how we can make a contribution in the fight against this disease and get our vaccine into the clinic,” Brian Wiley, NewLink vice-president of business development, told Reuters on Tuesday. “A large amount of work still needs to be done, but when there is a dire need the powers that be move at a quicker pace.”

Canada’s Taylor did not specify which of several U.S. vaccines in development he was referring to that may be used in Africa along with the Canadian vaccine.

Profectus BioSciences of Tarrytown, New York, has tested its Ebola vaccine in monkeys with good results, its chief science officer John Eldridge said on Tuesday.

Still, deciding whether to use an experimental drug on humans is “very difficult,” Taylor said.

“You really don’t know how safe it is, you don’t know what the side effects are going to be. But in this extraordinary circumstance in Africa right now, we’re trying to do everything we can to assist.”

The first doses in Africa would likely be available to health care workers, Taylor said.

The Public Health Agency of Canada was also involved in the development of ZMapp, an experimental Ebola treatment licensed by U.S. firm Mapp Biopharmaceutical that has been used to treat two infected American aid workers. Liberia said on Tuesday it will get Mapp’s drug to treat two doctors.

Ebola: WHO Okays Use Of Untested Drugs

EbolaThe World Health Organization (WHO) says it is ethical to use the Ebola untested drugs to treat patients in light of the scale of the outbreak and high number of deaths in the West African region.

The statement is seen as important, as West African countries try to contain the spread of the virus that has claimed the lives of over 1,000 people. It has even started spreading to countries within the region.

The WHO made the statement after its medical experts met in Switzerland on Monday to discuss the issue.

The move came as Liberia said it was getting an experimental drug, Zmapp, after requests to the US government.

The WHO said where experimental treatments are used there must be informed consent and the results of the treatment collected and shared.

In a statement, it said: “In the particular circumstances of this outbreak, and provided certain conditions are met, the panel reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention”.

But the organisation conceded there were still many questions to be answered including how data could be gathered effectively while the focus remained on providing good medical care.

It was also unclear where the funding for the treatment would come from.

Last week the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak was a global health emergency.

Vaccines To Protect

Meanwhile, the Liberian Government said experimental drugs will be brought into the country later this week – although manufacturer Mapp Biopharmaceutical warned supplies are limited.

Zmapp has been used on two US aid workers who have shown signs of improvement, although it is not certain what role the medication played in this.

A Roman Catholic priest, infected with Ebola in Liberia, who died after returning home to Spain is also thought to have been given the drug.

However, the drug has only been tested on monkeys and has not yet been evaluated for safety in humans.

The BBC reports that the drug, Zmapp, requested by the Liberian government, is one of the drugs that have been shown to work well in animals.
This contains a cocktail of antibodies that attack proteins on the surface of the virus.

Only one drug has moved onto early safety testing in humans. Known as TKM-Ebola this interrupts the genetic code of the virus and prevents it from making disease causing proteins.

The drug was trialled in healthy volunteers at the beginning of 2014 but the American medicines regulator asked for further safety information. The manufacturer says human studies may soon resume.

Vaccines to protect against acquiring the disease have also been shown to work in primates. American authorities are considering fast-tracking their development and say they could be in use in 2016.

But experts warn ultimately the only way to be sure a drug or vaccine is effective is to see if it works in countries affected by Ebola.

There is no cure for Ebola, which has infected at least 1,779 people since the outbreak was first reported in Guinea in February.

The disease spread to Nigeria, after a Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, was diagnosed of the disease and died after few days.

So far, two deaths have been reported, including the Liberian while ten persons have further been diagnosed of the virus and have been isolated.

Over 100 persons that had primary and secondary contacts with the index patient has been put under surveillance.

The Nigerian government had requested for the Zmapp from the American government but the request had not been approved, as the American government said the drug had not been scientifically confirmed to cure Ebola.

The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan had declared the Ebola outbreak a National Emergency and approved an intervention fund of 1.9 billion Naira to contain the disease and stop the spread.

Nigerians Should Not Panic Over Ebola Virus -Dr Olukayode

Oguntimehin OlukayodeThe permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Oguntimehin Olukayode, has said that Nigerians are panicking a lot over the deadly virus, emphasising that “people who contract Ebola do not walk or work healthy with the virus”.

Speaking on Channels Television program, Sunrise Daily, on Thursday, he said that the response from the public on the awareness of the deadly Ebola virus was tremendously impressive, but expressed worries over the rate Nigerians panic over  the deadly virus.

“What is worrisome to me, is that we are panicking. People come in to ask all sort of questions like; do you stop people from going into mass transit bus? Do you ban Okada (commercial Motorcycle)? Do you need to stop football matches?  Yes we know it is a disease that is brought in by body contact, but what is more important is this; the person who is going to transmit it to you, must be sick. If you are not sick you will not transmit it”, he pointed out.

Dr. Olukayode dismissed claims that people could get the virus through close contact with people,  pointing out that anyone that is hale and healthy cannot transmit the Ebola virus. “It is only transmitted when the person that has contracted it is sick,” he stressed.

“No Asymptomatic Carrier”

He emphasised the need for people to be  educated on the Ebola Virus and explained the symptom of the virus.

“When contracted, the first day it is followed with a high fever and during the second and third day, where the transition really starts, the person must probably be  moribund”, he said.

Dr Olukayode said that the symptoms could not be hidden and thereby assured all  Nigerians that they should not Panic over the Ebola Virus.

“There is no asymptomatic carrier of the Ebola virus,” if you are ill you are ill and if you are not ill, you are not ill”, he emphasised.

He therefore appealed to health practitioners to treat and attend to patients without the assumption of having the virus.

Its been 22 days since the deadly virus entered Nigeria through a late Liberian-America, Patrick Sawyer. So far, two deaths have been recorded, including Mr Sawyer, while over 100 persons are under surveillance.

A total of 10 persons,  who had contact with the index person, Sawyer, have been diagnosed of the disease and had been isolated in an Isolation centre in lagos State, the only state where the cases have been reported.

 

 

My Aim Is To Create Awareness On Ebola Epidemic- Seyi Taylor

Seyi TaylorCo-Founder of the Big Cabal Media, Dr Seyi Taylor on Sunday reiterated the commitment of his company to using images in creating massive awareness on the deadly Ebola Virus disease.

Joining the Rubbin Minds discussion on Channels Television, Dr Taylor said the website created by the organisation to educate people had gotten over 1.5 million hits  two weeks after it was created.

“Our idea was to communicate and give public information as quickly as we can to people in a way that they would understand,” he said, emphasising that “Ebola has no known treatment that is available publicly and so what is going to be able to contain this epidemic is education of the people and the general population”.

He further noted that the organisation was aware of the growing internet user population in Nigeria, but was quick to add that they would be printing about 20 million flyers to educate those who are not able to access the internet.

 

Jonathan Declares National Emergency On Ebola

ebola-doctorsPresident Goodluck Jonathan has declared the control and containment of the Ebola virus in Nigeria, a National Emergency, a spokesman for the President, Reuben Abati, said on Friday.

In a statement by the spokesman, President Jonathan directed the Federal Ministry of Health to work in collaboration with the State Ministries of Health, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other relevant agencies to ensure that all possible steps were taken to effectively contain the threat of the Ebola Virus in line with international protocols and best practices.

President Jonathan also approved a Special Intervention Plan and the immediate release of 1.9 billion Naira for its implementation, to further strengthen on-going steps to contain the virus.

The fund would be used for the establishment of additional isolation centres, case management, contact tracing, deployment of additional personnel, screening at borders and the procurement of required items and facilities.

The President commended the vigilance of aviation and health authorities in Lagos who identified and isolated the index case in Nigeria, the late Patrick Sawyer, an American-Liberian who flew into the country.

He also applauded the good work of health authorities at both State and Federal levels who had traced persons who had contact with him, isolated other identified cases and embarked on massive public enlightenment.

President Jonathan called for even greater vigilance and co-operation at all levels to stop the Ebola Virus from spreading further.

The effective implementation of the Federal Government’s Special Intervention Plan will require other stakeholders to take certain precautionary steps that are supportive of the government’s initiative.

Patriotic Call To Duty

The President also advised Nigerians to follow all directives by health authorities and report any suspected Ebola case to the nearest health facility for immediate medical attention.

He also enjoined the public to desist from spreading false information about Ebola which can lead to mass hysteria, panic and misdirection, including unverified suggestions about the prevention, treatment, cure and spread of the virus.

“The movement of corpses from one community to the other and from overseas into the country should be stopped forthwith. Every death should be reported to the relevant authorities, and special precautions should be taken in handling corpses.

“Religious and political groups, spiritual healing centres, families, associations and other bodies should, in the meantime, discourage gatherings and activities that may unwittingly promote close contact with infected persons or place others at risk.

“Public enlightenment agencies, including privately-owned media organs should support government’s efforts and disseminate correct information in all Nigerian languages, about preventive personal hygiene measures, the nature of the Ebola virus, modes of transmission and consequential steps that should be taken in the event of infection,” the President emphasised.

President Jonathan also appealed to State governments and private day care, nursery, primary and secondary schools owners to consider the option of extending the current school holiday until a national reassessment of the level of the Ebola threat is conducted.

To increase the awareness, the National Emergency Management Agency and similar agencies at the state level are to strengthen their public enlightenment campaigns and use their networks to distribute hand sanitisers and other protective items nationwide.

Aviation and health authorities are to embark on immediate intensification of the screening of travellers at all the nation’s borders.

The President reassured everyone that the Government of Nigeria would continue to take every step, deploy all resources, and mobilise every support and assistance to check the spread of Ebola in the country.

While the government is trying to contain the spread of the disease, there is a shortfall of health workers, as the National Medical Association has been on strike for over a month.

President Jonathan, however, urged medical workers and other health professionals to regard the declaration of the National Emergency as a patriotic call to duty and service.

The Nigerian government had earlier requested for the unapproved drug for the treatment of Ebola from the United States.

Two deaths have been recorded so far in Nigeria as a result of the Ebola Virus, with two more cases reported on Friday.