Via CIDRAP, Lisa Schnirring has an excellent summary of a turbulent day: Ebola cases rise to 1,323; 2 African doctors die. Click through for the full, detailed report and many links. Excerpt:
In West Africa's quickly evolving Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, the illness continues to exact a heavy toll on healthcare providers and disrupt aid work, with reports of more cases and deaths and news that two top doctors in Sierra Leone and Liberia have died from their infections, according to official sources and media reports.
The outbreak in West Africa, the world's biggest and deadliest, has been an enormous challenge for affected countries and threatens other African nations.
Health officials outside Africa have said the disease threat to other regions of the world is low, because EVD is spread only by exposure to the blood and body fluids of infected patients, and infected people aren't contagious until they show symptoms. However, authorities in nations such as the United States and England have warned healthcare providers that they should be prepared to see isolated cases in travelers.
WHO: Nigeria case is significant development
The World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest update today that 122 new infections and 57 more deaths were reported in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria between Jul 24 and 27. The new cases raise the outbreak's overall total to 1,323 cases, 729 of them fatal. The largest number of new reports was from Liberia, which had 80 new cases and 27 deaths.
Sierra Leone, the country with the highest case count so far, reported 8 new cases and 9 more fatalities from EVD. Guinea added 33 more cases and 20 deaths to its total.
Today's update includes the first case in Nigeria, involving a government official from Liberia who flew through two other African countries before landing in Lagos, where his infection was detected. The man died.
"Though only one probable case has been detected so far in Nigeria, Ebola virus infection in this country represents a significant development in the course of the outbreak," the WHO said.
The man's samples were to be brought to the Pasteur Institute in Senegal for confirmatory testing, but the WHO said courier companies have refused to transport the shipment.
Nigerian health officials told the WHO that the patient arrived in Lagos on Jul 20 after making stops in Lome, Togo, and Accra, Ghana.
So far Nigerian health officials have identified 59 contacts of the man: 15 from the airport staff and 44 from the hospital. Media reports said the man vomited and had diarrhea while on the plane. The WHO said national authorities in Nigeria, Togo, and Ghana continue to work with it and other partners on contact tracing and preparing response plans.
It's startling that courier companies won't even move samples. WHO or some other agency may have to create a dedicated service of some kind.