10 August 2014

Africa: Ebola - North Carolina to Quarantine Africa Missionaries

Officials in North Carolina will quarantine missionaries returning to the US from West African nations afflicted during the current Ebola outbreak. A Sierra Leonean in Germany tested negative after being quarantined.

The 21-day quarantine represents the longest duration of Ebola incubation - though the average period runs just 10 days - between subjects' last potential contact with someone infected and the onset of the illness.

"Quarantine is a public health measure to protect the public that requires healthy people who were exposed to a disease to be prevented from contact with others until it is certain that they are not infected," Dr. Stephen Keener, medical director in Mecklenburg County, said Sunday.

Missionaries from the North Carolina-based Christian aid groups SIM USA and Samaritan's Purse have worked to help combat the widest outbreak of the disease on record. However, at least two of the relief workers have contracted the virus so far and doctors have placed them in isolation at Emory University in the state of Georgia, where their condition has improved with the help of an experimental drug.

Germany had also quarantined at least one person (scene pictured at top of article) in the north of the country. Hamburg doctors released a Sierra Leonean after he tested negative on Sunday. They quarantined him on Saturday afternoon with a fever and vomiting.

International measures

In Nigeria, where health authorities are overwhelmed by the virus, a newspaper reported Sunday that the bodies of Ebola victims could no longer be transported for burial. Two people have died in Nigeria of Ebola, where seven patients are currently infected and 70 are under surveillance.

Ebola spreads through contact with the bodily fluids of infected people and has a historical fatality rate of 90 percent, though the current outbreak has run 55-60 percent. The virus has killed 900 people this year in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Ebola has no vaccine or treatment, though the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline hopes to begin clinical tests on a new vaccine this year.

In Madrid, doctors will treat the priest Miguel Pajares - infected in Liberia and the first known Ebola carrier on European soil during the current outbreak - with the experimental drug ZMapp, Spain's Health Ministry announced on Sunday. Doctors have determined that the 65-year-old Spanish nun Juliana Bonoha Bohe, who worked at the same hospital as Pajares in Liberia, does not have Ebola.

(Reuters, AFP, AP)


'Unity of Regional Trading Blocs Crucial to End Fake Products'

Uniting the East African Community (EAC), the Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern… Read more »

Copyright © 2014 Deutsche Welle. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 1,200 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.