Ebola outbreak worse than predicted
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been highly underestimated, adding that the epidemic was far worse than previously thought. Over 1000 people in four countries, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria have died since the epidemic broke out.
"Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.
"WHO is co-ordinating a massive scaling up of the international response, marshalling support from individual countries, disease control agencies, agencies within the United Nations system, and others,” the organisation said on its website.
Ebola vaccines being developed
Due to its rarity, the rapid rise of the virus has left scientists scrambling to develop a drug or vaccine to help combat the spread as well as future Ebola outbreaks.
An untested vaccine developed in the United States, ZMapp, is in the process of being sent to Liberia as authorities try to contain the outbreak. Despite the side effects of the drug being unknown, it has already been administered to two American doctors and a Spanish priest who were infected while helping patients in Liberia.
The priest, 75-year old Miguel Pajares, died in a Spanish hospital three days ago, while the conditions of the American doctors, 33-year old Kent Brantly and 59-year old Nancy Writebol, is said to be improving after the admittance of ZMapp.
A second drug, known as TKM-Ebola, is currently being tested by Canadian firm, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals for possible inclusion.
Picture courtesy of redorbit.com
Twenty-three more South African health workers are being deployed to Ebola affected countries by government, in collaboration with the African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA), to help contain the disease in West Africa.
South Africa has deployed its first batch of trained healthcare professionals to work in Sierra Leone, in an effort to help contain the spread of Ebola Disease Virus in the country and other parts of West Africa.
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Government will vigorously implement key control measures to safeguard the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) free zone status, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana announced on Tuesday.
China has sent an additional 232 army medical workers into West Africa, in order to help the fight against the Ebola epidemic.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that two Ebola vaccines will be tested on healthy human volunteers soon.
An international team of scientists have claimed that the likely cause of the deadly Ebola epidemic could be related to a large colony of bats living in south-eastern Guinea.
International soccer stars have joined with FIFA, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and health experts from Africa, to raise awareness as well as to show communities preventative measures, in the fight against the Ebola virus.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has officially announced Equatorial Guinea as the host of the 2015 Orange African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, after Morocco requested that the competition be postponed due to fears of the Ebola virus entering their country. The tournament is expected to kick-off on the 17th of January before concluding on the 8th of February.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has said that they will not delay the dates of the 2015 Orange African Cup of Nations (AFCON), after a meeting with the Sports Council of Morocco and the Ministry of Youth in Rabat on Monday, amidst fears of the Ebola virus spreading.
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