Friday, January 15, 2016

West Africa Still NOT Ebola Free (Updated)

Yesterday (Jan. 14), WHO declared West Africa to be Ebola-free, although warning of the potential for additional small outbreaks. West Africa was only Ebola-free for about 24 hours before another a death in Sierra Leone was declared to be due to Ebola.
The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed a new Ebola case in Sierra Leone today, Jan. 15. The news comes just one day after the WHO declared West Africa Ebola-free. 
Health officials in Sierra Leone announced today that a woman’s body had tested positive for the Ebola virus, reported the New York Times. The finding sent health workers into a flurry to find people she had interacted with. Ebola, a lethal virus, is transmitted through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids and can be passed from a corpse to the living. 
Yesterday was the first time that Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea—the three countries hardest hit by the virus outbreak that began two years ago—had gone 42 days without any new Ebola cases. Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free on Nov. 7, 2015, and Guinea hit that mark on Dec. 29, 2015. Liberia was the last to be cleared.
WHO maintains that these small outbreaks will gradually become less frequent. We shall see: "Alarmingly for health officials, some research suggests the virus can stay in men's semen for up to a year." As I've said before, I suspect that Ebola is transforming into a STD.

Updated (Jan. 21, 2016): "WHO confirms second new Ebola case in Sierra Leone"--Deutsche Welle. "The second person to die of Ebola in Sierra Leone was, a 38-year-old woman, the aunt of the 22-year-old who died of the disease on January 12, the World Health Organization announced on Thursday. The older woman died while under observation in a quarantine facility."

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