August 2014 – AFRICA – Armed men attacked an Ebola isolation ward in the Liberian capital Monrovia overnight, prompting 29 patients to flee the facility, witnesses said Sunday. “They broke down the doors and looted the place. The patients all fled,” said Rebecca Wesseh, who witnessed the attack and whose report was confirmed by residents and the head of Health Workers Association of Liberian, George Williams. –Standard Media
“All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients,” the official said, adding that he now feared “the whole of West Point will be infected.” Some of the looted items were visibly stained with blood, vomit and excrement, said Richard Kieh, who lives in the area. The incident creates a new challenge for Liberian health officials who were already struggling to contain the outbreak. Liberian police restored order to the West Point neighborhood Sunday. Sitting on land between the Montserrado River and the Atlantic Ocean, West Point is home to at least 50,000 people, according to a 2012 survey. Distrust of government runs high in West Point, with rumors regularly circulating that the government plans to clear the slum out entirely. Though there had been talk of putting West Point under quarantine should Ebola break out there, assistant health minister Nyenswah said Sunday no such step has been taken. “West Point is not yet quarantined as being reported,” he said. Ebola has killed 1,145 people in West Africa, including 413 in Liberia, according to the World Health Organization. Other countries across Africa are grappling to prevent Ebola’s spread with travel restrictions, suspensions of airline flights, public health messages and quarantines. Nigeria appears to be making progress in containing the disease. The country has 12 confirmed cases of Ebola, all of which stem from direct contact with the Liberian-American man who flew to Nigeria late last month while ill. He infected several health workers before dying. Since then three others have died in Nigeria from Ebola, according to figures released over the weekend. –My Health
Nigerian woman dies in UAE with Ebola-like symptoms: A 35-year-old Nigerian woman, travelling from Nigeria to India for cancer treatment, has died in the UAE after showing symptoms similar to those of deadly Ebola virus, health authorities said here Sunday. During her transit phase at Abu Dhabi international airport, the patient’s health deteriorated and despite prompt medical assistance she could not be successfully resuscitated, Xinhua quoted the health authorities as saying in a WAM report. The woman showed signs “that may be consistent with Ebola virus infection,” although her existing medical condition provided an adequate medical explanation, it added. All contacts of the patient, including her husband who was the only person sitting next to her on the plane and five medical professionals who treated her, are in isolation pending the result of Ebola testing on the patient.
Those people are, as of now, all well and have showed no symptoms, the authority said. The ministry’s statement comes amid a growing international scare as the Ebola outbreak continues to spread following a slow response from the international community to aid affected West African countries. Earlier this month, Dubai’s state-owned carrier Emirates Airline, the biggest airline in the Middle East, cancelled flights to Guinea amid Ebola concerns until further notice. –Business Standard