NIGERIA – The Nigerian government on Wednesday described the Ebola outbreak in the country as a national emergency. Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu said this at an emergency meeting convened by the House of Representatives Committee on Health over the Ebola outbreak in Abuja, the nation’s capital city. He said out of six Nigerians diagnosed with Ebola virus, one had died on Tuesday, adding that the other five patients were receiving treatment. The minister said everyone in the world now was at risk, adding that the experience of Nigeria had opened the eyes of the world to the reality of Ebola. He said there was no empirical evidence to show that bitter kola will prevent or cure the highly infectious disease. The outbreak, by far the largest in the nearly 40-year history of the disease, has infected 1,711 people and killed 932 this year in four western African countries — Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone — according to the World Health Organization.
CDC issues highest alert level: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday ramped up its response to the expanding Ebola outbreak, a move that frees up hundreds of employees and signals the agency sees the health emergency as a potentially long and serious one. The CDC’s “level 1 activation” is reserved for the most serious public health emergencies, and the agency said the move was appropriate considering the outbreak’s “potential to affect many lives.” The CDC took a similar move in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and again in 2009 during the bird-flu threat. The Ebola outbreak is believed to have killed 932 people in the African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Guinea. Two American aid workers sickened by the disease were flown back to the U.S. for treatment at a medical facility in Atlanta. The CDC is deploying additional staff to the four affected countries, and said 50 more disease-control experts should arrive there in the next 30 days. It also issued instructions to airlines that may come into contact with passengers from the affected countries designed to minimize the chance of infection.
Liberia declares state of emergency: Liberia’s president declared a state of emergency Wednesday as the World Health Organization said the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 932. The new figures come as Nigeria confirmed the death of a nurse of Ebola. It was the second death from the disease in Nigeria and a growing number of cases are being reported in Lagos, a megacity of some 21 million people. The first death in Nigeria was that of Patrick Sawyer, a 40-year-old American of Liberian descent with a wife and three young daughters in Minnesota. Sawyer, who worked in Liberia, was traveling on a business flight to Nigeria when he fell ill. Nigerian authorities acknowledge they did not treat Sawyer as an Ebola patient and failed to isolate him for the first 24 hours after his arrival in Nigeria last. The death of the unidentified nurse marks the second Ebola fatality in Nigeria, and this worries health experts as it is the Africa’s most populous country and Lagos, where the deaths occurred, one of its biggest cities. In Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared a state of emergency late Wednesday and said some civil rights may have to be suspended as a result of the crisis. “Ignorance and poverty, as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices, continue to exacerbate the spread of the disease,” she said in a televised address to the nation.” – Extinction Protocol
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