Cholera kills 20 in Nigeria

A cholera outbreak in southern Nigeria’s Rivers State has killed 20 people and infected scores more, the state health commissioner, Sampson Parker, said Wednesday.

Parker, a physician, said the outbreak was recorded in 11 communities in the Andoni local government (municipality) of the oil-rich state.

“So far, 171 cases have been recorded, with 20 deaths, in the outbreak which was reported on January 5,” he said.

Parker said two treatment centres had been opened in the affected communities to manage cases.

“Emergency drugs and rehydration fluids have been provided,” he said, adding that the outbreak has been put under control.

World Health Organisation physician Sylvester Malemi said his agency would provide technical support to the state to tackle the outbreak.

He advised residents of the affected areas to boil their water before drinking and maintain good hygiene.

Cholera, a highly contagious intestinal infection, is transmitted by water soiled by human waste. The disease leads to diarrhoea, dehydration and death if untreated.

Photo Credits : AFP

Mali places almost 600 under Ebola surveillance

Fearful of a surge of Ebola cases, Mali placed nearly 600 people under surveillance, as the country battles to contain the spread of the deadly tropical virus.

Malian officials met on Monday to consider increasing security at its border following two confirmed cases of Ebola due to infection in neighbouring Guinea.

US airports also announced plans to begin enhanced screening of travellers from the west African nation.

Mali has been scrambling to prevent a minor outbreak from turning into a major crisis after the deaths of a Guinean imam and the Malian nurse who treated him in the capital Bamako.


Ebola outbreak: Cases pass 10,000, WHO reports

The number of cases in the Ebola outbreak has exceeded 10,000, with 4,922 deaths, the World Health Organization says in its latest report.

Only 27 of the cases have occurred outside the three worst-hit countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Those three countries account for all but 10 of the fatalities.

Mali became the latest nation to record a death, a two-year-old girl. More than 40 people known to have come into contact with her have been quarantined.

The latest WHO situation report says that Liberia remains the worst affected country, with 2,705 deaths. Sierra Leone has had 1,281 fatalities and there have been 926 in Guinea.

Nigeria has recorded eight deaths and there has been one in Mali and one in the United States.

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Ebola death toll edging to 4,900 mark – WHO

The death toll in the world’s worst-ever Ebola outbreak has edged closer to 4,900, while almost 10,000 people have now been infected, new figures from the World Health Organization showed Wednesday.

In its latest update, the UN health agency said as of October 19, 4,877 people had died of Ebola out of a total of 9,936 cases registered in seven countries.

The previous WHO toll, running to October 14, had shown 4,555 deaths out of9,216 registered cases.

The WHO has repeatedly underlined that substantial increases in the number of registered deaths and cases do not mean that they have surged over the period in question.

Instead, they reflect delayed counting, given the extremely difficult conditions in the hard-hit west African nations.

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Nairobi sets up ebola ward at Mbagathi hospital

The Nairobi County Government has set up an Ebola outpatient ward at Mbagathi District Hospital.

This is the second such facility in the capital city after they set-up a 21-bed isolation ward at Kenyatta National Hospital.

The county government has also bought protective gear, drugs and other equipment worth Sh4.8 million.

There have been  a total of 18 suspected Ebola cases in Nairobi ever since the outbreak. Nairobi County chief health officer Robert Ayisi has however confirmed that all cases tested negative.

Speaking at city hall Nairobi Ayisi said,” Nairobi as a transport hub in East AFrica, has to be prepared to handle the epidemic.”

99 in Uganda in isolation after Marburg virus death

Three days after a fatal case of Marburg hemorrhagic fever was diagnosed in Uganda, 99 people are under isolation, as field epidemiologists and surveillance officers continue to closely monitor all people who got into contact with only victim.

More than 60 health workers form the bulk of people under isolation after they were identified as having contact with a 30-year old male health worker who died September 28 of Marburg — an Ebola-like hemorrhagic fever.

“As of today, a total of 99 contacts are under follow up. All the contacts are still in a healthy condition,” Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, director general for health services in Uganda, said in the latest update on the outbreak on Tuesday.

“The National Taskforce through the field epidemiologists and surveillance officers continues to closely monitor all people who got into contact with this confirmed case,” she noted.

The dead health worker was a radiographer in a hospital in the capital of Kampala and also at Mpigi District Health Center IV, places where authorities say he made contact with colleagues.

Aceng revealed that at least 11 people have tested negative after results from Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) indicate that although the suspects had developed signs and symptoms similar to that of the disease, they did not contract the virus.


Ebola claims another top doctor in West Africa

                                                                                                                                                                                               Photo courtesy of  CBS News

A second senior doctor has died from the deadly Ebola virus that has so far killed more than 670 people in west Africa. Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan who risked his own life to treat dozens of Ebola patients died on Tuesday in Sierra Leone.

His death follows that of prominent Liberian doctor Samuel Brisbane at the weekend where two American health workers are currently hospitalized with the disease.

The outbreak is described as the largest in history with deaths also reported in Guinea and Nigeria.

Meanwhile a major West African airline has stopped flying to Liberia and Sierra Leone amid growing concerns over the outbreak. Asky said it took the decision to keep “its passengers and staff safe during this unsettling time”.