Runaway Ebola patients found

Posted by News Express | 19 August 2014 | 3,702 times

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Seventeen suspected Ebola patients who went missing in Liberia after a health centre in the capital was attacked have been found, the country’s information minister has said.

“They were traced and finally they turned themselves in” at a treatment centre, Lewis Brown told the BBC.

The government had previously denied they were missing. He however said yesterday that the missing patients were now at the newly expanded treatment unit opened over the weekend at the John F Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in the capital, Monrovia.

Mr. Brown also said the health of three Liberian doctors infected with Ebola had improved after they receiving the experimental drug Zmapp.

Two US missionaries, who were flown home for treatment from Liberia, are reportedly recovering from the virus after taking doses of the same medicine.

The drug was also given to a 75-year-old Spanish priest who contracted Ebola in Liberia, but he died in Spain last week.

In Nigeria, which has had four fatal Ebola cases, health officials say five people have now recovered from the virus and been discharged from hospital in Lagos. Another three are still being treated.

The attack on the quarantine centre, where 37 people were being held in Monrovia’s densely populated West Point township, took place on Saturday evening.

There are conflicting reports over what sparked the riot, in which medical supplies were also stolen.

Officials said the protesters were unhappy that patients were being taken there from other parts of the capital. Other reports suggested the protesters had believed Ebola was a hoax and wanted to force the centre to close.

New UN figures show that 1,229 people have now died since the beginning of this year in the outbreak that has also hit Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says there were 84 deaths reported between 14 and 16 August.

Ebola has no known cure, but the WHO has ruled that untested drugs can be used to treat patients in light of the scale of the current outbreak – the deadliest to date.

It is transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person. Initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external haemorrhaging from areas such as eyes and gums, and internal bleeding which can cause organ failure.

•Adapted from a BBC report. Photo shows a public awareness campaign in Liberia, where some people believe Ebola is a hoax.


Source: News Express

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