Ebola Outbreak Still Ahead of Efforts Says WHO


Efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has killed thousands, are still running behind the virus, according to the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO).  Director General Margaret Chan said that while the situation had improved in some parts of the region, complacency was something to be wary of. She added that the WHO and the international community failed to act quickly enough when the outbreak began and the risk to the wider world ‘is always there’ while the … [Read more...]

UN Says Ebola ‘Winning the Race’


According to the UN’s Ebola missions chief, the world is losing the race to contain the deadly disease.  Thousands of new cases are being predicted by December leaving Anthony Banbury to tell the UN Security Council that ‘it is running faster than us and winning the race’. Figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) say that 4,447 people have died from the disease in this outbreak, which began in December 2013 but was officially confirmed in March.  Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia … [Read more...]

Obama: Global Security Threat from Ebola


President Barack Obama has announced the US is to take a larger role in the fight against the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, calling it a threat to global security.  The measures include sending 3,000 US troops to the region and the building of new healthcare facilities. Mr Obama said that the world was looking to the United States but that a global response was also needed in the fight to stop the spread of the virus.  The outbreak has so far killed 2,461 people this year, around half … [Read more...]

Gates Foundation Offers $50m to Fight Ebola


The Gates Foundation, set up by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, has announced it is committing $50m to help efforts to deal with the spread of Ebola in West Africa.  This follows announcements from the UK and the US as well as from European governments, all providing money to help deal with the disease. However, some aid charities are saying that the most urgent need in the area at the moment is expert biohazard containment teams. Supplies The Gates Foundation is … [Read more...]

Treatments May Be Useful Against Ebola


The World Health Organization has released a statement that the further use of experimental drugs and treatments is encouraged in order to stem the most recent Ebola virus epidemic. Previously, the experimental drug ZMapp was given to six patients, three foreign healthcare workers and three Liberian doctors. While this treatment had some success, with two of the foreign healthcare and two of the Liberian doctors workers surviving the disease, these four rescues depleted the existing ZMapp … [Read more...]

Ebola Will Last Six Months


The Ebola outbreak affecting parts of West Africa could take as long as six months to contain and control, according to medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).  The charity’s president Joanne Liu, speaking in Geneva, admitted the situation was deteriorating faster and the disease was moving faster than authorities can respond to. This follows a statement from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that the outbreak was being ‘vastly underestimated’.  It also said that extraordinary … [Read more...]

WHO Decides on Ebola Drug Ethics


This week the WHO gathered a panel of medical ethicists and medical experts to discuss whether the use of unproven, and largely untested, drugs should be given to victims of the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The outbreak has claimed at least 1000 lives in the last few months and is now considered to be one of the deadliest in history. As of yet only three people have received experimental treatments after being diagnosed with Ebola, historically patients have only received palliative … [Read more...]

Chikungunya Fever Symptoms and Cases Found

Chikungunya virus

The tiny island of two nations, St. Martin/St. Maarten, shared by France and the Netherlands for over 350 years, is facing an outbreak of Chikungunya fever; a painful, tropical, mosquito borne virus. According to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), locally-acquired cases of Chikungunya were detected in the Caribbean. On Dec. 17, the Agency reported notification of 10 confirmed cases and an additional four probable cases of the Chikungunya virus infection on the French side of St. … [Read more...]