First Suspected Transmission outside West Africa
In late September, a Spanish missionary who contracted Ebola directing a hospital in Sierra Leone was flown to a specially prepared hospital in Madrid, where he passed away on September 25. One member of the 30 person medical treatment team has now tested positive for Ebola. The medical worker, whose name remains undisclosed, is in stable condition, and her contacts are being traced and monitored daily. The remaining medical team members are also subject to regular tests, and the hospital is investigating how the infection occurred (Wall Street Journal).
Marburg Virus in Uganda
Marburg virus is a virus with similar symptoms, modes of transmission and methods of treatment to Ebola. Like Ebola, there are no approved drugs or vaccines for Marburg (Mayo Clinic). Earlier this week a Ugandan doctor died from Marburg, and 99 people are now in quarantine as authorities monitor all of the victim’s contacts. Uganda successfully contained an outbreak of Marburg in 2012, which included 15 cases and four deaths (CNN).
Cases, Deaths and Locations
As of October 3rd, the total case count in the West Africa Ebola outbreak had reached 7,470 with 3,431 deaths. Liberia remains the hardest hit with more than half the total infections and deaths: 3,834 and 2,069 respectively (CDC). The country remains under a state of emergency and a curfew, and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has now requested for expanded emergency powers (VOA). In addition to the U.S. military’s initial intervention plan, the U.S. has sent three mobile testing labs to the country to test fluid samples from possible Ebola cases (Wall Street Journal).
There are still no new Ebola cases in Senegal or Nigeria since August 29 and September 8 respectively (CDC). Although the CDC recently issued Level 3 travel notices for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea warning against non-essential travel, Nigeria is only subject to a Level 1 travel watch (CDC), recommending “usual precautions” and Senegal is subject to no travel notice. In four Nigerian states, students and teachers are now returning to school for the 2014-2015 session (Nigerian Tribune).