#AceBreakingNews – NIGERIA(Abuja) – October 20 – The World Health Organization declared on Monday that Nigeria is free of Ebola, a rare victory in the months-long battle against the fatal disease.
Nigeria’s containment of the lethal disease is a “spectacular success story,” WHO Country Director Rui Gama Vaz told a news conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Nigeria reported 20 cases of Ebola, including eight deaths.
One of those who died was an airline passenger who brought Ebola to Nigeria and died soon after.
#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN – October 10 – The Warwick district is playing a role in helping those caught up in the world’s biggest ever Ebola disasters.
Not only will that involve help from here in Leamington Spa, but it will also include first hand aid from a former doctor.
Dr Paul Gully has volunteered to go into the epicentre of the Ebola crisis to see what he can do to help those.
So far, hundreds of thousands of people have died from Ebola, which has swept across countries in West Africa.
One of the countries most affected is Sierra Leone, where Leamington has enjoyed strong links during its 30-year partnership with the town of Bo through the One World Link (OWL).
One of the OWL’s founder members back in the early eighties was Dr Gully, who brought up his young family in Farley Street, Leamington Spa.
Now it has emerged that he has volunteered to the country’s captial city, Freetown, as a field co-ordinator for the World Health Organisation.
As the Courier went to press, Dr Gully was due to land in Sierra Leone.
#AceNewsServices – CHINA (Beijing) – October 6. /TASS/. The number of people infected with dengue fever is rising alarmingly in South China with 1,431 new cases reported in Guangdong Province, Xinhua news agency said on Monday.
A total of 21,527 people have been diagnosed with dengue fever in 20 out of 21 prefecture-level cities in Guangdong so far, the agency quoted local health authorities as saying.
One new fatality case was reported by the provincial health and family planning commission on Sunday, bringing the death toll in the province to six, Xinhua said.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne, potentially fatal disease that affects, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 100 million people in tropical and subtropical regions every year, causing fever combined with muscle and joint aches.
The outbreak of dengue this year is believed to be the worst in 20 years, Xinhua said, adding that health authorities attributed the outbreak to high temperatures and wet weather in Guangdong, where the mosquito population was five times the normal level.
Apart from Guangdong, some other southern provinces and regions, including Fujian, Hunan and Guangxi, also reported dengue cases lately, the agency said.
#AceNewsServices – October 04 – The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that 3,439 people have been killed in the world’s worst Ebola outbreak on record, Reuters reports.
According to the UN body’s figures, Guinea tops the list with 739 deaths, followed by Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria.
Overall, 7,492 cases of the virus have been recorded, the WHO said.
#AceWorldNews – WEST AFRICA – September 23 – New estimates by the World Health Organization and the U.S. health agency are warning that the number of Ebola cases could soar dramatically – the U.S. says up to 1.4 million by mid-January in two nations alone – unless efforts to curb the outbreak are significantly ramped up.
Since the first cases were reported six months ago, the tally of cases in West Africa has reached an estimated 5,800 illnesses and over 2,800 deaths.
But the U.N. health agency has warned that tallies of recorded cases and deaths are likely to be gross underestimates of the toll that the killer virus is wreaking on West Africa.
“As of 12 September, we are at 4,784 cases and more than 2,400 deaths,” AFP quoted the head of the UN health agency, Margaret Chan, as saying in Geneva.
Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of Congo
Disease outbreak news
10 September 2014
Between 2 and 9 September 2014, there have been 31 more cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), increasing the cumulative number of cases to 62 (14 confirmed, 26 probable, and 22 suspect). In total, 35 deaths have been reported (9 confirmed and 26 probable).
No deaths have been reported among suspected cases. Nine health-care workers have been diagnosed with EVD, including 7 deaths. All the cases have been localized in Jeera county. The affected villages are Watsi Kengo, Lokolia, Boende, and Boende Muke. Currently, 9 cases have been hospitalized: 4 in Lokolia; 2 in Watsikengo; 2 in Boende; and 1 in Boende Moke. A total of 386 contacts have been listed and 239 contacts have been followed-up.
All cases and contacts are linked to the initial index case reported to the World Health Organization on 26 August 2014.
#AceWorldNews – ISRAEL (Gaza Strip) – July 11 – Healthcare services in Gaza are on the brink of collapse as the death toll climbs amid a shortage of medical supplies and fuel for hospital generators, the WHO has warned. Ninety Palestinians have been killed so far, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
As Israel escalated its air-strikes on Thursday, the Gaza Health Ministry reported that the death toll had reached 90 people, while the number of injured had climbed to 500.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that Palestinian healthcare services are not able to handle the wave of people requiring medical attention.
"A hospital, three clinics and a water desalinisation centre in a refugee camp have also been damaged. More air strikes and missile attacks are likely," the WHO said in a statement.
"The recent escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip raises concern about the ability of the government and the Ministry of Health of the occupied Palestinian territory to cope with the increased burden of medical emergencies on the health system, given the high levels of shortages of medicines, medical disposables and hospital fuel supplies, and rising healthcare debt," it added.
#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES – RUSSIA – May 06 – Russia and the US are holding on to its remaining stockpiles of smallpox, one of the world’s most deadly diseases, because further tests should be conducted on it, researchers have said.
An opinion piece published in PLOS Pathogens says that the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organisation, should not destroy the last known remaining strains of the virus.
Smallpox is estimated to have killed up to 500 million people in the 20th century.
However, vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries led to it being eradicated in 1979.
The disease caused raised fluid-filled blisters to form over the body and led to complications including limb deformities, scarring and blindness.
Whether or not to destroy the remaining stockpiles of the disease will be decided at an upcoming meeting of the WHA.
However, despite strong arguments for its destruction, scientists from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention say lots of questions remain unanswered about the disease, with public health goals unmet.
The smallpox virus is held at two high-security laboratories in Russia and the US.
Opinion Extract in PLOS Pathogens with PDF’s
Despite significant advances, there is more work to be done before the international community can be confident that it possesses sufficient protection against any future smallpox threats. The current World Health Organization (WHO)-approved research agenda for smallpox has been tightly focused by the interpretation that research “essential for public health” equates solely to applied research related directly to the development of new antiviral drugs, safer vaccines, and better diagnostics. Despite considerable advances in this direction, we argue that the research agenda with live variola virus is not yet finished and that significant gaps still remain.
Variola virus is unique amongst the orthopoxviruses in that it is known to be a sole human pathogen. The viral and host factors responsible for this human-specific tropism remain essentially unknown to this day, although the current genomic information across orthopoxviruses makes hypothesis-driven experimental design using functional genomic approaches more feasible. Indeed, greater exploitation of current technologies may lead to additional therapeutic or diagnostic products to better respond to any future emergency situation resulting from a smallpox appearance.
Smallpox disease was declared eradicated in 1980, and today is the only human disease to be eliminated by WHO. Shortly after WHO officially declared smallpox eradicated, a decision was made to ultimately destroy the remaining stocks of live variola virus, with interim use of the virus permitted only for defined WHO-approved research projects. Variola virus stocks were then voluntarily consolidated in the early 1980s to two WHO Collaborating Centre laboratories, one in Russia and the other in the United States, which remain the only two WHO-approved sites for research with live variola virus.
In 1999, following an independent report on variola research by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a decision by WHO was made to increase the amount of research that utilized live variola virus.
The WHO Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research (ACVVR) was subsequently formed to oversee the research, and research began to generate additional virus genomic information, characterize new antivirals and therapeutics, evaluate newer generations of vaccines and biologics, develop diagnostics, better define disease pathogenesis, and generate animal models of smallpox disease. This work was further refined by the World Health Assembly (WHA) to focus on “essential public health research”
in 2005 and was subsequently comprehensively reviewed by the IOM in 2009, and the WHO ACVVR and its assembled external advisory group (called AGIES) in 2010 and 2013.
Each of the last two comprehensive reviews was prepared to summarize research advances and to recommend whether additional research with live virus would be required in order to fulfil the original WHO-mandated agenda, in advance of a WHA-wide discussion about the fate of the remaining variola virus materials stored at the two WHO Collaborating Centres.
These reviews are available online (http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/97033/1/WHO_HSE_PED_CED_2013.2_eng.pdf; http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/97034/1/WHO_HSE_PED_CED_2013.3_eng.pdf).
Ace Related News:
1. IBT By Hannah Osborne | IB Times – Fri, May 2, 2014- May 02 – http://tinyurl.com/k43y9fe
2. PLOS – May 01 – http://tinyurl.com/q6jdza6
3. CDC – Docstock – http://www.docstoc.com/docs/38924583/Variola-virus-smallpox-Past-present-or-future-tense
#AceHealthNews – SAUDI ARABIA – April 13 – (ALJ) – A foreigner has died from the deadly MERS coronavirus in Saudi Arabia, while Yemen has reported its first case of the disease.
The foreign man, whose nationality has not been disclosed, died from the coronavirus as eight others in the kingdom, including five health workers in the city of Jeddah, were infected.
The death brings the nationwide toll in the world’s most-affected country to 68, with 189 people infected.
The Saudi health ministry, which announced the death, said five health workers – two women and three men – and three other people had been infected by MERS in Jeddah.
The announcement came days after panic over the spread of the virus among medical staff led to the closure of the emergency room at the city’s main public hospital.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday said that it had been told of 212 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS infection worldwide, of which 88 were fatal.
MERS is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.
Experts are still struggling to understand MERS, for which there is no known vaccine.
A study has said the virus has been “extraordinarily common” in camels for at least 20 years, and may have been passed directly from the animals to humans.
The UAE news agency WAM said on Friday an expatriate health worker had died from the virus and five others had been infected in the Gulf state. This followed Saudi reports last week of two deaths and nine other cases of infection in the kingdom, including among hospital staff.