FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

25 July 2014

Liberia: Top Doctors Ailing, Nurses Abandon Posts - JFK ER Shut

Monrovia — Nurses at Liberia's premiere hospital, the John F. Kennedy Medical Center are refusing to continue work as death toll continues to climb from the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia Friday.

FrontPageAfrica has learned that the Emergency section at JFK is being shutdown and a small team of health care workers and patients are being moved to another floor in the hospital.

Sources inform FrontPageAfrica that the ER will remain closed until it is sprayed thoroughly and quarantined for 21 incubation period.

Nurses and doctors are being advised by family, friends and loved ones to stay away from the hospital until the Ebola subsides.

Leading doctors at both JFK and Phebe Hospital are currently quarantined at the ELWA Hospital in Paynesville where health practitioners from the Samaritan Purse have been working around the clock to treat serious cases.

Dr. Nelson Korkor, the lead doctor at Phebe was brought down to Monrovia three days ago and is being quarantined along with Dr. Dr, Samuel Brisbane, a former Chief Medical Doctor at the Firestone Rubber Plantation Hospital and a Physician assistant. "All three are still alive but the doctor from Phebe is the strongest of the three, they are all alive. Dr. Brisbane is vomiting occasionally but is holding up, the PA however is deteriorating, a senior hospital administrator told FrontPageAfrica on condition of anonymity.

Early Friday morning, Liberian government sources confirmed to FPA that Mr. Patrick Sawyer, a consultant at the Ministry of Finance, who had been quarantined since falling ill after arriving in the Nigerian state of Lagos for a conference last Sunday, died.

Nigerian government health authorities announced Thursday that Sawyer, 40 was being tested for the deadly Ebola virus in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos, a megacity of 21 million people. Sawyer's death is the first recorded case of one of the world's deadliest diseases in Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy and most populous nation, with 170 million people and some of Africa's least adequate health infrastructure.

In neighboring Sierra Leone, virologist Sheik Umar Khan, the lead doctor credited with helping a lot of cases, is now himself being treated by doctors from the organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).

More than a 1,000 people have been infected with Ebola in this current outbreak and there are currently 410 suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola in Guinea, 196 suspected and confirmed cases in Liberia, and 442 suspected and confirmed cases in Sierra Leone, according to the most recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than half of these cases have been fatal, with 310 suspected deaths in Guinea, 116 suspected deaths in Liberia and 206 suspected deaths in Sierra Leone.

Ebola is hard to diagnose early because, according to health experts, the very signs of Ebola, red eyes and skin rash -- can also be signs of other conditions, the CDC said.

However, if there's reason to believe a person has Ebola, there are tests that can be conducted just days after symptoms begin.

There is no cure or treatment for Ebola but there is supportive therapy, which includes maintaining proper fluid and electrolyte balance, maintaining blood pressure and oxygen levels, and treating complicating infections, the CDC said. While there are currently no treatments or vaccines against Ebola available for clinical use, there are some being tested.

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