August 2014 – MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) – The World Health Organization says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is now at least 1,350 people. The latest figures Wednesday show that the deaths are mounting fastest in Liberia, which now accounts for at least 576 of the deaths. The U.N. health agency also warned in its announcement that “countries are beginning to experience supply shortages, including fuel, food, and basic supplies.” This comes after a number of airlines and shipping services have halted transport to the worst affected capitals of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
In a desperate bid to halt the disease’s spread, authorities in Liberia have quarantined off a huge slum that is home to 50,000 people. Protests erupted in West Point on Wednesday, where residents threw rocks at police. At least four people were injured in clashes with Liberian soldiers and police after the government laid barbed wire barricades around a densely populated slum in an attempt to contain the spread of Ebola. Young men surged towards the barricades and hurled stones at troops, who responded by firing live rounds of ammunition, the New York Times reports. Agence France-Presse reports that at least four people were injured in the skirmish. –Time
Amid the news that two patients– one in New Mexico and one in California– are currently being tested for Ebola in hospitals due to matching symptoms, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that there have been “at least 68 such scares in the past three weeks.”
Nigeria reports 5 new suspected cases: Doctors in Lagos were assessing five new suspected cases of the Ebola virus, a top medical official said, a day after the health minister expressed confidence the outbreak in the country may soon end. The five people were admitted to a hospital in Nigeria’s coastal commercial hub on Aug. 19 and are being monitored in isolation wards, the state’s Commissioner for Health Jide Idris told reporters yesterday. Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said that Africa’s biggest economy may be Ebola-free within a week as the number of people being treated for the virus had dropped to two. “They are not exposed to the public and the public is in no danger from the two,” Chukwu said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Trish Regan and Shannon Pettypiece. –Bloomberg
Former Ebola expert alarmed by scale of outbreak: Imagine Tomislav Prvulovic’s quandry. He has spent a lifetime fighting Ebola and other infectious diseases, and what he sees out of Africa has him frustrated. “He cannot sleep at night,” said his wife, Zivka. When her husband, an infectious-disease expert who fought the virus in Central Africa in the late 1980s, watches the news about this latest outbreak, he gets so upset he nearly cries, she said. He has specific suggestions on ways the authorities can help contain the deadly virus. But so far the only person who has paid attention has been his 12-year-old neighbor, a budding newscaster who posted an interview with him on YouTube. –NJ