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Sierra Leone declared Ebola public health emergency

Aug 1, 2014 11:32 IST

President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma on 30 July 2014 declared a public health emergency in Sierra Leone to curb the deadly Ebola outbreak. Almost 233 have died in Sierra Leone because of Ebola.

As per the UN estimates 729 people in West Africa have died of Ebola since February 2014. The outbreak is now the largest recorded in world history, and has infected three African capitals of Monrovia (Liberia), Freetown (Sierra Leone) and Conakry (Guinea) with international airports.

Ebola cases first emerged in the nation of Guinea back in March 2014.  It spread across the borders to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

WHO to announce 100 million US dollar response plan

Meanwhile, the head of the World Health Organization and leaders of West African nations affected by the Ebola outbreak decided to announce a new 100million US dollar response plan.

The scale of the Ebola outbreak and the persistent threat it poses, required WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level.  This will require increased resources, in-country medical expertise, regional preparedness and coordination.

Key elements of the WHO's new plan are:

•    Stopping transmission in the affected countries through scaling up effective, evidence-based outbreak control measures,
•    Preventing the spread of Ebola to the neighbouring at-risk countries through strengthening epidemic preparedness and response measures

In other developments:

•    Seychelles have cancelled 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone because of fears over the Ebola virus
•    Nigeria has ordered the temperature screening of passengers arriving from places at risk from Ebola while simultaneously suspending pan-African airline Asky for bringing the first Ebola case to Lagos
•    Moreover, the National Institutes of Health in the US has said it will begin testing a possible vaccine in September 2014.

Ebola – The Virus

•    Ebola is spread through human contact with an infected person's bodily fluids.
•    Initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external haemorrhaging from areas like eyes and gums, and internal bleeding which can lead to organ failure.
•    Fatality rate can reach 90%
•    Incubation period is two to 21 days
•    There is no vaccine or cure
•    Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
•    Fruit bats are considered to be virus' natural host

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