Ravages of the Ebola outbreaks continue to mount as the Peace Corps has withdrawn volunteers from Western Africa and another Doctor, this time an American with Samaritans Purse, have become infected, turning himself in at the Lagos airport on his way back to the US. His family had return to Texas several weeks earlier. (Thanks to Catte Nappe for catching this), sending chills throughout the Western African health communities. Peace Corps Pulls Volunteers Out of West Africa Amid Ebola Scare. His family continued home to Texas where they are being monitored for signs of Ebola Viral Diseases, aka EVD.
Yesterday, I reported the tragic death, of Doctor Khan, Liberia's top, and only Ebola specialist. Several weeks ago, a Doctor from Uganda died from Ebola in Western Africa after coming there as a volunteer to help out in the crisis. Several dozen nurses, and other health workers have died from exposure to the virus despite taking careful precautions, following all safety protocol, and wearing the Personal Protective Equipment.
Health officials are investigating why and how these infections are occurring so often. Fear of catching Ebola has caused health care workers in some areas to flee. Also, due to misunderstanding and suspicious health care workers have been attacked by rural villagers suspecting the health care workers are spreading the disease which seems to arrive and get dramatically worse at the same time health workers appear in response to first cases.
Liberian and Siera Leone are two of the 10 poorest areas in the world and many of the field hospitals are just tents on a mud floor and have no electricity, running water, sewage, or anything but cots. Many rural western Africans have no formal schooling at all, and are accustomed to using village "witch doctors," I apologize if this seems rude, I am not trying to be insensitive to traditions, but one such doctor seems responsible for infecting nearly everyone in a village after suggesting Ebola was spread by snakes, and conducted a ritual involving group touching.
The annual per capita health care expenditure in Liberia is apparently about $8 per person per year.
“The Peace Corps has enjoyed long partnerships with the government and people of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea and is committed to continuing volunteers’ work there,” the group’s statement reads. “A determination on when volunteers can return will be made at a later date.”
The organization currently has 102 volunteers in Guinea, 108 in Liberia, and 130 in Sierra Leone, it says. On Wednesday, CBS News reported two Peace Corps volunteers in Liberia had been quarantined after possibly being exposed to the deadly virus, though neither currently exhibits symptoms.
As of July 23, 672 people have died from Ebola during the current outbreak, which has spread between Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and other parts of West Africa. Earlier this week, a hospital in Nigeria shuttered its doors after admitting a man who had contracted and later died from the virus.
As of the WHO announcement of July 23, 672 people have died from the Ebola virus, one of the deadliest of any, usually killing 90% of those infected. For some reason, "only" 60% of those infected so far have died in this outbreak.
Airports around the world are now screening all passengers from Western African and several African airlines have canceled flights to and from the affected region.
American Dr. Kent Brantly has spent months treating Ebola patients in Liberia. He is now in an isolation unit in Monrovia, Liberia. His wife and two children who just returned to Texas are being monitored to see if they may become the first to have Ebola Viral Disease, EVD in the United States.
"I'm praying fervently that God will help me survive this disease," Brantly said in an email Monday to Mcray. He also asked that prayers be extended for Nancy Writebol, an American co-worker who also has fallen ill.
Brantly "went into Ebola exhausted" from treating Ebola patients, Mcray said after speaking with him Monday. His prognosis is grave and efforts to evacuate him to Europe for treatment have been thwarted because of concerns expressed by countries he would have to fly over en route to any European destination, Mcray said.
Brantly directed the hospital's Ebola clinic, wearing full-body protective gear in the Equatorial heat for upward of three hours at a time to treat patients.
Liberia's health ministry is investigating how Brantly contracted the virus.
"We're trying to figure out what went wrong because he was always very careful," said Tolbert Nyenswah, an assistant health minister in Monrovia.
Doctor Brantly's family returned to Texas where they are being monitored for signs of the infection. They would be the first Americans to have Ebola in the United States if infections develop.
I've been finishing the closing of our former house in Weston, Massachusetts and preparing to depart to our new home tomorrow morning with G and our three cats. I had to take G to urgent care today for fungus, yeast, and bacteriological infections in places that can't be mentioned.
So I've about had it with biological pathogens today. Please excuse the lack of pictures or deeper analysis as I have got to now be Doctor HoundDog and clean out infectious material that the doctors only prescribed medicines for but did not "clean out."
Are any of you old enough to remember the original Star Trek episodes when Doctor McCoy would proclaim indignantly to Captain Kirk, "Damn it Jim, I'm a Doctor not a &^ &^% engineer!"
Will any of you doubt my empathy and bedside manner if I now exclaim the worse, "Damn it people, I'm an engineer, not a gosh darn Doctor!"
But, when duty and love call, we are all doctors of the heart so I need to scrub up and also move our final mattress into the garage for our last night in our former home which we have to leave professionally cleaned. It all done except my bedroom which has been command central for this operation and now is a medical center.
As always our prayers and best wishes for recovery go out to Dr. Brant, and all Ebola victims their families, all West Africans, and all those suffering from infections with dreadful biological pathogens.
Also, as I wrote last night, our prayers, or humanist best wishes are with Dr. Khan may he rest in peace after his heroic efforts caring for Ebola patients throughout this epidemic.
I may be able to add pix and updates on Dr Brantlys and his family a few hours from now.
A Peace Corps spokeswoman confirmed to CBS News that the two "had contact with an individual who later died of the Ebola virus."
As a result of the growing spread of the deadly, incurable virus, Peace Corps is temporarily evacuating 340 volunteers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three worst-hit countries. ... There are at least three U.S. citizens known to have contracted the disease. Two are medical workers in Liberia, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol.
Another American citizen, Patrick Sawyer, died after flying from Liberia to Lagos in Nigeria. He had been a consultant with Liberia's finance ministry and was originally from that country.
Brantly's wife, Amber, said Wednesday he "remains very physically weak" but they "believe God will deliver" him from the deadly virus.
Amber Brantly and the couple's 3- and 5-year-old children left Liberia for a scheduled visit to the United States on July 20. Days later, Kent Brantly quarantined himself in the isolation ward of a hospital where he had been treating Ebola patients after testing positive for the disease. His host organization, Samaritan's Purse, has recalled nonessential employees from Liberia.
This is good news as the incubation delay, the time from exposure to first symptoms ranges from 2 to 21 days,
Dr. Stephan Monroe of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CBS News's Dr. Jonathan LaPook that the outbreak, which has already infected at least 1,200 people and killed nearly 700, will get worse before it gets better.
"Almost certainly those numbers are going to increase in the coming days and they probably represent an underestimate of the true number of cases because there's incomplete reporting of cases in most of the districts," he said.
6:54 PM PT: Thanks to Catte Nappe for catching error in reporting families travel. Yesterday, I had read that he and his family left Liberia and they traveled on to Texas, and incorrectly assumed they had departed together, Catte found a link indicating the family had left several weeks early. Sorry for error. .
7:48 PM PT: One extra note now that the final cleaning crew has left and all of our possessions are on trucks on their way to Florida. Now that an American doctor has been infected, we see a burst of coverage from mainstream media. Kogs can be proud that we've been covering this story from the first reports in March, Here are some recent articles I've written about Ebola since March of this year, and you can see kogs have shown great interest even from the first cases.
|Another doctor infected with Ebola, Peace Corps withdraws volunteers from Western Africa
Ravages of the Ebola outbreaks continue to mount as the Peace Corps has withdrawn volunteers from Western Africa and another Doctor, this time an American with Samaritans Purse, have ...
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Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, Photocredit: Reuters
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