The events in Ferguson and the shenanigans from ISIS have sucked up much of the oxygen in the news atmosphere during the past week which has obscured the rapidly deteriorating Ebola crisis. The virus has spread out of control in numerous west African countries and will continue for at least 6 months, according to Doctors Without Borders. News was released Wednesday that reported deaths jumped by 106 in a 2 day period, and Friday the World Health Organization stated the number of cases may be underestimated, while raising the death toll to 1,427.
Via Reuters INVISIBLE CASELOAD Under-reporting of cases is a problem especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone, currently the two countries hardest hit. The WHO said it is now working with Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to produce “more realistic estimates”. * * * * * * * * * * * * * Corpses are often buried without official notification. And there are “shadow zones”, rural areas where there are rumors of cases and deaths that cannot be investigated because of community resistance or lack of staff and transport. In other cases health centers are being suddenly overwhelmed with patients, suggesting there is an invisible caseload of patients not on the radar of official surveillance systems.
It is estimated that by September 1, this ebola crisis will kill more people than all other 1,548 deaths from the disease in prior history. This represents a troubling trend as the documented cases (and deaths) have risen in parabolic patterns already as Zero Hedge reported.
As we warned last week, the pace of cases reported is exploding…
The curve above has since flattened slightly but is still parabolic. Given the nature of the outbreak and recent news of underreporting, the scale may be near the New York Times graphic also highlighted by Zero Hedge.
New Quarantine Information
Geopolitical tensions have flared as countries take more extreme actions to contain the virus. The Philippines are removing their troops, Senegal has prevented a UN aid flight from landing, and Gabon has also stopped travel from the affected countries.
In a sign of spreading international alarm, Senegal, West Africa’s humanitarian hub, said it had blocked a regional U.N. aid plane from landing and was banning all further flights to and from countries affected by Ebola, potentially hampering the emergency response to the epidemic.
Gabon also announced on Friday its suspension of air and sea links to the four affected countries, following the lead of a number of regional nations who have defied WHO advice in an attempt to isolate themselves from the disease.
In addition to Senegal, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have closed their borders. Reportedly, the military in Liberia has been ordered to shoot on sight anyone crossing the border from Sierra Leone. Kenya, Zambia, and most recently South Africa have banned travelers from the affected regions. The most severe situation seems to be in Liberia, where there was initially a bit of good news as all escaped patients have been accounted for after the attack on an ebola clinic that caused many to flee. However, Liberia now has bigger problems as AFP reports that the last remaining ebola-free province now has a pocket of the virus. This follows news that troops in riot gear isolated a slum region of nearly 75,000 people in the capital city of Monrovia during a tense standoff, as residents complained of food shortages.
In the sprawling oceanfront West Point neighbourhood of Monrovia, at least four people were injured in clashes with security forces, witnesses said. It was unclear whether anyone was wounded by the gunfire, though a Reuters photographer saw a young boy with his leg largely severed just above the ankle.
Liberian authorities introduced a nationwide curfew on Tuesday and put the West Point neighbourhood under quarantine to curb the spread of the disease.
“The soldiers are using live rounds,” said army spokesman Dessaline Allison, adding: “The soldiers applied the rules of engagement. They did not fire on peaceful citizens. There will be medical reports if (an injury) was from bullet wounds.”
Witnesses said the clashes in West Point started after security forces early on Wednesday blocked roads to the neighbourhood with tables, chairs and barbed wire. Security forces also came in to escort the local commissioner out of the neighbourhood, they said.
“We just saw it (the blockade) this morning. We came out and we couldn’t go anywhere. I haven’t heard from anybody in authority what happened,” Barry, 45, who works as a money changer, told Reuters.
Residents were not warned of the coming crackdown and began to panic as RT reports also.
Locals told Al Jazeera they hadn’t been warned.
“I don’t have any food and we’re scared,” Alpha Barry, a local who has four children under age 13, said.
“It is inhumane,” resident Patrick Wesseh told AFP by telephone.
“They can’t suddenly lock us up without any warning, how are our children going to eat?” he added.
This related video contains some graphic images of the boy’s nearly severed leg. Residents seemed to yell back at security forces as if they were responsible.
“Mystery disease” in the Congo
In Congo, officials have denied the presence of Ebola as the death toll from a mystery illness reached 70, according to Reuters.
At least 70 people have died in northern Democratic Republic of Congo from an outbreak of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, denying that the illness was Ebola. A WHO report dated Thursday and seen by Reuters said that 592 people had contracted the disease, of whom 70 died. Five health care workers, including one doctor, are among the dead. “This is not Ebola,” a WHO spokesman said in an email to Reuters on Thursday. A local priest who asked not to be named said that the illness had affected several villages and estimated that the death toll was over 100 people. * * * * * * * * * Symptoms of the two diseases are similar; they include vomiting, diarrhoea and internal bleeding. But the fatality rate for this outbreak of haemorrhagic gastroenteritis is much lower than the West Africa Ebola outbreak, at around 12 percent versus close to 60 percent. The WHO, which sent representatives to the area on Wednesday together with the Congolese team of experts, said four samples would be flown from the town of Boende on Friday to the capital Kinshasa for further testing. Medical charity MSF said it had also sent a team to Equateur province to assess the situation. MSF said it was too early to confirm what the disease was.
Either the world has another hemorraghic disease to deal with or the WHO is looking to prevent panic as they deny that Ebola has now spread to the second largest country in Africa.
Last week in Ireland, government officials denied rumors of a man with Ebola-like symptoms. Friday, the Irish Times reported that the suspected individual was found dead.
Irish Times Tests are being carried out for the Ebola virus and isolation procedures have been put in place after the death of a man in his early 40s in Co Donegal. It is understood that Dessie Quinn, from Doorin, outside Mountcharles, had been working in Sierra Leone and that a number of colleagues had contracted the virus there. It is understood he had been living with his partner in Dublin but was visiting his family in Co Donegal when he was taken ill. Fr Adrian Gavigan, of Mountcharles, said he had visited Mr Quinn, noting the dead man’s family presumed he had died as a result of malaria. Mr Quinn was found dead on Wednesday night and taken to Letterkenny General Hospital, it is understood. While the cause of death is unknown the HSE is carrying out tests to see whether it was due to exposure to Ebola.
A woman retuning from Sierra Leone was isolated at a Sacramento hospital pending Ebola test results. A woman in the UAE has died after flying in from Nigeria.
The ebola scare reached the heart of the European Union Tuesday as a woman recently returning from Africa collapsed in her office building.
Wall Street Journal BERLIN — A German woman recently returned from an African country affected by Ebola collapsed in a Berlin job center on Tuesday showing symptoms of an infectious disease, German police said, as emergency services cordoned off the center for several hours. The woman, who is aged around 30, is being tested in Berlin’s Charité hospital, fire department spokesman Rolf Erbe said, adding that emergency workers also took two people who were in contact with the patient to hospital. A fire department doctor said testing would take several hours. A spokesman for the Charité said the hospital would issue a statement later Tuesday. If confirmed, the case would be the first Ebola infection in Germany…
The Wall Street Journal reports that the woman likely did not have ebola, however the more concerning developments were the procedures implemented to contain the possible exposure.
Daily Mail As many as 600 visitors and staff at the employment office building in Berlin were also stopped from leaving for several hours as emergency services sealed off part of the street. The mass-circulation daily Bild said the woman had fainted, that she hailed from Nigeria and that she said later that she had recently been in contact with people infected with Ebola. Several people who had been with the woman inside the building in the north-eastern district of Prenzlauer Berg were later taken to hospital for testing. Berlin fire department spokesman Rolf Erbe said that because the patient came from ‘an area affected by a highly contagious disease, we took these precautions.’ ***** All 600 people quarantined within the centre were in the suspected victim’s vicinity before she collapsed.
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