WORLD HEALTH ALERT – OCT 9, 2014. Marburg Virus in Uganda, World Wide Ebola Update, Demonstrations in Hong Kong, Cholera in Haiti and Dengue Fever in China.
Marburg – Kampala, Uganda
Pursuant to our alert of Oct 7, the Marburg Virus outbreak in Uganda wherein we reported that there had been one death, we have now learned that 99 people in 3 different locations who have been in contact with the deceased have been placed under quarantine. Healthcare workers comprise about one third of the group being isolated and they are being closely monitored.
The Marburg virus was first identified in 1967, when 31 people fell ill in Germany and, what was then, Yugoslavia. The origin of the virus was then traced back to laboratory monkeys from Uganda. While the virus is not prolific, it does tend to re-surface sporadically. Less is known about Marburg than is known about Ebola, although Marburg is Ebola’s even nastier cousin. Early symptoms are similar to Ebola, with fever, headache, and weakness, which eventually lead to internal and external bleeding. Reports from Uganda indicate that the disease is being well-controlled and contained at the present time.
Dengue Fever – Southern Provinces, China
Dengue Fever cases in China’s southern provinces, primarily Guangdong, Fujian, Guangxi, and Yunnan, have topped 27,000, with little sign of the outbreak relenting. This year’s Dengue outbreak breaks all records, and is now officially the worst in 20 years. All that can be done is being done, including fogging, and spraying, to keep the mosquitoes in check, during a season that has seen a record rainfall mixed with high temperatures.
The only way to protect yourself against contracting Dengue is to do everything possible to avoid a mosquito bite, including covering unprotected skin, using liberal applications of insect repellent, and steering clear of areas where stagnant water has accumulated.
Cholera – Haiti
The Cholera Epidemic which has plagued Haiti since 2010, with as many as 200,000 cases and 8500 deaths recorded in 2013, is far from being over, says UN special envoy, Pedro Medrano, from Chile. While the number of cases has fallen to 8,600 in 2014, the danger remains, and if the situation is not closely monitored, the consequences could be tragic, says Medrano. Cholera is alleged to have been introduced to Haiti by Nepalese peacekeeping forces sent to the Island in the wake of the disastrous 2010 earthquake.
Ebola -Queensland, Australia
A nurse in Cairns in Australia has been isolated and is being monitored for Ebola, after showing signs of Ebola-like symptoms. The nurse had been working for the Red Cross, helping Ebola victims in Sierra Leone.
Ebola – Screening Procedures, International
As the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa approaches 3,900, Australia, Canada, the U.K, U.S.A., France, and many others have declared increased airport screening measures to detect and isolate passengers who might be carrying the deadly virus.
Ebola – Nigeria, Senegal
The WHO – World Health Organisation – Regional Director in Africa has stated that the Ebola outbreaks in Nigeria and Senegal have, “on the whole, been pretty much contained”. Senegal has reported only one case, and all contacts have passed the 21-day incubation period, while in Nigeria just 20 cases were reported, with a total of eight deaths.
Demonstrations – Hong Kong
After weeks of street closures and protests on the part of pro-democracy demonstrators, the Hong Kong Government has called off talks that were originally scheduled to take place between Government officials and student organizers of the pro-democracy movement.
Amid allegations of corruption and payoffs, C.Y. Leung is under pressure to resign as leader. The situation in Hong Kong remains tenuous at best, but there have been no further instances of violence between protesters and police.