Tag Archive: Apocalypse


Ebola in Africa

Inside the Ebola quarantine in Liberia

Monday, August 25, 2014

A man lies under a car after being put there in detention by the Liberian army on the second day of the government’s Ebola quarantine on their neighbourhood of West Point on August 21, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. An army officer said that he was showing symptoms of Ebola and was caught trying to escape from West Point. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Listen

The quarantine in the slum of West Point is driving street prices sky high, making an already bad situation worse. But the government says its necessary in its attempts to get ahead of the Ebola outbreak. Today we get an insiders look at West Point, and talk about the ethical implications of sealing 75,000 people in a cramped area that’s rife with the deadly Ebola virus.

john-moore-insert.jpg

A West Point resident looks on from closed gates on the second day of the government’s Ebola quarantine in Monrovia, Liberia. The government delivered bags of rice, beans & cooking oil to residents. (John Moore/Getty Images)

"The government love their people and they want to see their people doing well and to stay healthy and to make sure that this disease is serious."

Meata Flowers, West Point Commissioner

Last week, Liberian authorities implemented a nation-wide curfew and put the entire West Point district under quarantine. That’s roughly 75,000 people, sealed into a densely-packed slum. No one gets in. No one gets out.

Ebola outbreak: Why Liberia’s quarantine in West Point slum will fail — CBC News

Since the outbreak was identified in March, Ebola has taken more than 1,400 lives in the West African countries of Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. But Liberia has been hardest hit, with at least 1,000 cases and 624 deaths recorded so far.

The few images that are emerging from quarantined West Point are especially harrowing. They show a frightened, confused population trapped with little access to food and water. This forced containment suggests that Liberia is becoming increasingly desperate in its effort to limit the spread of Ebola — a disease that, while difficult to get, is fatal up to ninety per cent of the time, according to the World Health Organization.

John Moore is a staff photographer with Getty Images who’s had rare access to the community of West Point since the quarantine has been put in effect. The pictures he’s taken there show the raw emotion of the situation. John Moore joined us earlier, on the line in Monrovia.

Putting entire neighborhoods under quarantine may seem like a drastic measure, but as the Ebola outbreak continues to devastate Liberia and the region, finding a solution to the spread is paramount. A key part of that solution is reaching out to those communities most affected, urban and rural.

Aphaluck Bhatiasevi is with the World Health Organization. She works with communities to determine the best way to fight against Ebola, and how people can best help each other with information and resources. We reached her in Montrovia, Liberia.

Health professionals around the world are watching the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, and how local authorities deal with it. Dr. Kamran Khan is a scientist and physician who specializes in infectious diseases. He has been a policy advisor for the Canadian government, the World Health Organization and the US Centres for Disease Control.

Have thoughts you want to share on this discussion?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current’s Naheed Mustafa and Howard Goldenthal.

***********************************************

Ebola Outbreak: Why this time is different

Monday, August 18, 2014

  

Workers prepare the new Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Ebola treatment centre near Monrovia, Liberia. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,000 people in four African countries, and Liberia now has had more deaths than any other country. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Listen

Experts say the Ebola outbreak is potentially more dangerous then ever before because it’s in countries that have never seen this. Now the outbreak is seriously depleting health care resources. We’re heading to the front lines in Liberia today.

ebola-outbreak-500insert.png

Hanah Siafa lies with her daughter Josephine, 10, while hoping to enter the new Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia. The facility initially has 120 beds, making it the largest such facility for Ebola treatment and isolation in history,

and MSF plans to expand it to a 350-bed capacity. (John Moore/Getty Images)

"The disease is not contained and it is out of control in West Africa. The international response to the disease has been a failure."

Ken Isaacs, the Vice President of the Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse testifying at a US congressional hearing earlier this month

    The much-dreaded and deadly Ebola virus is back with a vengeance. Over the weekend the World Health Organization reported over 150 new cases of the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

    Here’s a little background about the health crisis threatening Africa today:

  • The Ebola virus first appeared in 1976 in simultaneous outbreaks — in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan.

  • It’s not known for certain but fruit bats are the most likely host of the virus.

  • Researchers believe that the first case of Ebola in the current outbreak was that of a 2-year-old boy in Guinea who died early last December.

  • Over the next few days his mother, sister and grandmother all died as well.

  • The infection was carried by two mourners at the grandmother’s funeral to another village, where a health worker picked it up.

  • People who come into close contact with a patient — like family, friends and health care workers are most likely to be infected.

  • Ebola is transmitted through direct contact of broken skin or mucus membranes with bodily fluids.

  • It takes Ebola between 2 and 21 days to develop.

  • Symptoms are typically a rapid onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and sore throat.

  • It can progress to vomiting and diarrhea, organ failure and in some cases both internal and external bleeding.

  • Ebola is fatal in up to 90% of cases.

"It is like a war time. General fear. All over. And they need help. They need leadership, co-ordination … they will not be able to over come this by themselves."

Dr. Joanne Liu, head of Medicines Sans Frontier

    On Friday, Joanne Liu, the head of Medicines Sans Frontier said the key to bringing the outbreak under control is to limit and reduce its spread in Liberia. That country had its first outbreak of Ebola in April and in June it resurfaced. What little healthcare resources Liberia has are being seriously depleted fighting the outbreak.

    The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that this Ebola outbreak is on track to infect more people than every other Ebola outbreak combined. A grim forecast.

    To understand how and why this outbreak is different, we spoke to three people.

  • Tarnue Karbbar is program unit manager for Plan International in North and Western Liberia. He’s been working in Lofa in northern Liberia since January and now he’s helping co-ordinate the government and international response to the Ebola outbreak.

  • Nyka Alexander is the WHO’s Outbreak Coordination Center’s spokesperson. In July, the World Health Organization set up the Sub-regional Outbreak Coordination Centre in Conakry, Guinea. It functions as a hub for coordinating technical support and mobilizing resources needed by field staff in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

  • Tara Smith is an Epidemiologist at Kent State University.

    Have thoughts you want to share?

    Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

    This segment was produced by The Current’s Gord Westmacott, Naheed Mustafa and Sujata Berry.

    ******************************************

    Why is West Africa’s Ebola outbreak so hard to contain?

    Friday, August 1, 2014

    The head of the WHO has planned to meet with leaders of several West African nations in Guinea to launch a $100-million campaign to help fight the Ebola outbreak. (Reuters/Tommy Trenchard)

    Listen

    As the Ebola virus continues to spread, it’s becoming clear that a lack of knowledge about the disease and cultural factors are hindering treatment and containment.

    Tomorrow, the head of the WHO meets with leaders of several West African nations in Guinea to launch a $100-million campaign to help fight the Ebola outbreak. The WHO says that the scale of the outbreak and its continued growth make it necessary to take the fight to a new level.

    Dr. Kent Brantly was flown back to the U.S. for treatment after contracting the virus while helping patients in Liberia.

    If even the doctors who take elaborate precautions still manage to catch the lethal disease, it’s no wonder many Ebola patients and their families fear hospitals. Health workers say it’s often hard to convince patients infected with Ebola to seek treatment, and many are suspicious of health workers who show up during an outbreak.

    And the oubreak spreads across West Africa, many wonder if it can remain there. We asked Dr. Jay Keystone, a Senior Staff Physician at Toronto General Hospital’s Tropical Disease Unit, if Canadians should worry.

"Certainly if you look at the news media, and the pictures, I would be afraid, but my answer is no…in terms of spread to the community, and in Canada, it’s highly highly unlikely."

Dr. Jay Keystone

To find out more, we were joined by three guests:

– Jean-Pierre Taschereau is the Head Emergency Operations for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. He returns to West Africa next week.

– Reine Lebel is a psychologist who worked with Ebola patients and their families in Dikidou, Guinea.

Melissa Leach is Director of the Institute of Development Studies and the Leader of the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium.

Have thoughts you want to share?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current’s Sujata Berry, Catherine Kalbfleisch and intern Wanyee Li.

*************************************

Are drugs the best way to curb the Ebola outbreak?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

As health care officials remind us, there is no proven cure for Ebola. But the WHO has ruled that experimental treatments should be made available to those who are suffering.(Reuters/Thomas Peter)

Listen

The World Health Organization has ruled that experimental drugs should be made available to countries dealing with the outbreak. We look at the science and ethics of using an unproven Ebola treatment, and if focusing on drugs is the best way to curb the outbreak.

"Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own. Our collective health security depends on support for containment operations in these countries.

Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization

More than 1000 people have now died during this outbreak, and that number is growing.

This morning, a Spanish priest with the Ebola virus has died. He had received an experimental drug called Zmapp — the same drug used to treat two American relief workers who contracted Ebola in recent days. They are now in the United States recovering.

As health care officials remind us, there is no proven cure for Ebola. But some say that if the West has therapies that might work, it should move to mass produce the experimental treatment and get it to those who are suffering. Others caution that rushing ahead with unproven treatments is a serious mistake.

To discuss the ethics and effectiveness of using drugs to curb the outbreak, we were joined by two guests:

Dr. Michael Osterholm is the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

Ubaka Ogbogu is the Katz Research Fellow in Health Law at the University of Alberta.

What do you think?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current’s Idella Sturino, Naheed Mustafa and intern Wanyee Li.

Inside the Ebola quarantine in Liberia

Monday, August 25, 2014

A man lies under a car after being put there in detention by the Liberian army on the second day of the government’s Ebola quarantine on their neighbourhood of West Point on August 21, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. An army officer said that he was showing symptoms of Ebola and was caught trying to escape from West Point. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Listen

The quarantine in the slum of West Point is driving street prices sky high, making an already bad situation worse. But the government says its necessary in its attempts to get ahead of the Ebola outbreak. Today we get an insiders look at West Point, and talk about the ethical implications of sealing 75,000 people in a cramped area that’s rife with the deadly Ebola virus.

john-moore-insert.jpg

A West Point resident looks on from closed gates on the second day of the government’s Ebola quarantine in Monrovia, Liberia. The government delivered bags of rice, beans & cooking oil to residents. (John Moore/Getty Images)

"The government love their people and they want to see their people doing well and to stay healthy and to make sure that this disease is serious."

Meata Flowers, West Point Commissioner

Last week, Liberian authorities implemented a nation-wide curfew and put the entire West Point district under quarantine. That’s roughly 75,000 people, sealed into a densely-packed slum. No one gets in. No one gets out.

Ebola outbreak: Why Liberia’s quarantine in West Point slum will fail — CBC News

Since the outbreak was identified in March, Ebola has taken more than 1,400 lives in the West African countries of Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. But Liberia has been hardest hit, with at least 1,000 cases and 624 deaths recorded so far.

The few images that are emerging from quarantined West Point are especially harrowing. They show a frightened, confused population trapped with little access to food and water. This forced containment suggests that Liberia is becoming increasingly desperate in its effort to limit the spread of Ebola — a disease that, while difficult to get, is fatal up to ninety per cent of the time, according to the World Health Organization.

John Moore is a staff photographer with Getty Images who’s had rare access to the community of West Point since the quarantine has been put in effect. The pictures he’s taken there show the raw emotion of the situation. John Moore joined us earlier, on the line in Monrovia.

Putting entire neighborhoods under quarantine may seem like a drastic measure, but as the Ebola outbreak continues to devastate Liberia and the region, finding a solution to the spread is paramount. A key part of that solution is reaching out to those communities most affected, urban and rural.

Aphaluck Bhatiasevi is with the World Health Organization. She works with communities to determine the best way to fight against Ebola, and how people can best help each other with information and resources. We reached her in Montrovia, Liberia.

Health professionals around the world are watching the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, and how local authorities deal with it. Dr. Kamran Khan is a scientist and physician who specializes in infectious diseases. He has been a policy advisor for the Canadian government, the World Health Organization and the US Centres for Disease Control.

Have thoughts you want to share on this discussion?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current’s Naheed Mustafa and Howard Goldenthal.

***********************************************

Ebola Outbreak: Why this time is different

Monday, August 18, 2014

  

Workers prepare the new Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Ebola treatment centre near Monrovia, Liberia. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,000 people in four African countries, and Liberia now has had more deaths than any other country. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Listen

Experts say the Ebola outbreak is potentially more dangerous then ever before because it’s in countries that have never seen this. Now the outbreak is seriously depleting health care resources. We’re heading to the front lines in Liberia today.

ebola-outbreak-500insert.png

Hanah Siafa lies with her daughter Josephine, 10, while hoping to enter the new Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia. The facility initially has 120 beds, making it the largest such facility for Ebola treatment and isolation in history,

and MSF plans to expand it to a 350-bed capacity. (John Moore/Getty Images)

"The disease is not contained and it is out of control in West Africa. The international response to the disease has been a failure."

Ken Isaacs, the Vice President of the Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse testifying at a US congressional hearing earlier this month

    The much-dreaded and deadly Ebola virus is back with a vengeance. Over the weekend the World Health Organization reported over 150 new cases of the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

    Here’s a little background about the health crisis threatening Africa today:

  • The Ebola virus first appeared in 1976 in simultaneous outbreaks — in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan.

  • It’s not known for certain but fruit bats are the most likely host of the virus.

  • Researchers believe that the first case of Ebola in the current outbreak was that of a 2-year-old boy in Guinea who died early last December.

  • Over the next few days his mother, sister and grandmother all died as well.

  • The infection was carried by two mourners at the grandmother’s funeral to another village, where a health worker picked it up.

  • People who come into close contact with a patient — like family, friends and health care workers are most likely to be infected.

  • Ebola is transmitted through direct contact of broken skin or mucus membranes with bodily fluids.

  • It takes Ebola between 2 and 21 days to develop.

  • Symptoms are typically a rapid onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and sore throat.

  • It can progress to vomiting and diarrhea, organ failure and in some cases both internal and external bleeding.

  • Ebola is fatal in up to 90% of cases.

"It is like a war time. General fear. All over. And they need help. They need leadership, co-ordination … they will not be able to over come this by themselves."

Dr. Joanne Liu, head of Medicines Sans Frontier

    On Friday, Joanne Liu, the head of Medicines Sans Frontier said the key to bringing the outbreak under control is to limit and reduce its spread in Liberia. That country had its first outbreak of Ebola in April and in June it resurfaced. What little healthcare resources Liberia has are being seriously depleted fighting the outbreak.

    The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that this Ebola outbreak is on track to infect more people than every other Ebola outbreak combined. A grim forecast.

    To understand how and why this outbreak is different, we spoke to three people.

  • Tarnue Karbbar is program unit manager for Plan International in North and Western Liberia. He’s been working in Lofa in northern Liberia since January and now he’s helping co-ordinate the government and international response to the Ebola outbreak.

  • Nyka Alexander is the WHO’s Outbreak Coordination Center’s spokesperson. In July, the World Health Organization set up the Sub-regional Outbreak Coordination Centre in Conakry, Guinea. It functions as a hub for coordinating technical support and mobilizing resources needed by field staff in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

  • Tara Smith is an Epidemiologist at Kent State University.

    Have thoughts you want to share?

    Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

    This segment was produced by The Current’s Gord Westmacott, Naheed Mustafa and Sujata Berry.

    ******************************************

    Why is West Africa’s Ebola outbreak so hard to contain?

    Friday, August 1, 2014

    The head of the WHO has planned to meet with leaders of several West African nations in Guinea to launch a $100-million campaign to help fight the Ebola outbreak. (Reuters/Tommy Trenchard)

    Listen

    As the Ebola virus continues to spread, it’s becoming clear that a lack of knowledge about the disease and cultural factors are hindering treatment and containment.

    Tomorrow, the head of the WHO meets with leaders of several West African nations in Guinea to launch a $100-million campaign to help fight the Ebola outbreak. The WHO says that the scale of the outbreak and its continued growth make it necessary to take the fight to a new level.

    Dr. Kent Brantly was flown back to the U.S. for treatment after contracting the virus while helping patients in Liberia.

    If even the doctors who take elaborate precautions still manage to catch the lethal disease, it’s no wonder many Ebola patients and their families fear hospitals. Health workers say it’s often hard to convince patients infected with Ebola to seek treatment, and many are suspicious of health workers who show up during an outbreak.

    And the oubreak spreads across West Africa, many wonder if it can remain there. We asked Dr. Jay Keystone, a Senior Staff Physician at Toronto General Hospital’s Tropical Disease Unit, if Canadians should worry.

"Certainly if you look at the news media, and the pictures, I would be afraid, but my answer is no…in terms of spread to the community, and in Canada, it’s highly highly unlikely."

Dr. Jay Keystone

To find out more, we were joined by three guests:

– Jean-Pierre Taschereau is the Head Emergency Operations for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. He returns to West Africa next week.

– Reine Lebel is a psychologist who worked with Ebola patients and their families in Dikidou, Guinea.

Melissa Leach is Director of the Institute of Development Studies and the Leader of the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium.

Have thoughts you want to share?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current’s Sujata Berry, Catherine Kalbfleisch and intern Wanyee Li.

*************************************

Are drugs the best way to curb the Ebola outbreak?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

As health care officials remind us, there is no proven cure for Ebola. But the WHO has ruled that experimental treatments should be made available to those who are suffering.(Reuters/Thomas Peter)

Listen

The World Health Organization has ruled that experimental drugs should be made available to countries dealing with the outbreak. We look at the science and ethics of using an unproven Ebola treatment, and if focusing on drugs is the best way to curb the outbreak.

"Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own. Our collective health security depends on support for containment operations in these countries.

Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization

More than 1000 people have now died during this outbreak, and that number is growing.

This morning, a Spanish priest with the Ebola virus has died. He had received an experimental drug called Zmapp — the same drug used to treat two American relief workers who contracted Ebola in recent days. They are now in the United States recovering.

As health care officials remind us, there is no proven cure for Ebola. But some say that if the West has therapies that might work, it should move to mass produce the experimental treatment and get it to those who are suffering. Others caution that rushing ahead with unproven treatments is a serious mistake.

To discuss the ethics and effectiveness of using drugs to curb the outbreak, we were joined by two guests:

Dr. Michael Osterholm is the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

Ubaka Ogbogu is the Katz Research Fellow in Health Law at the University of Alberta.

What do you think?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current’s Idella Sturino, Naheed Mustafa and intern Wanyee Li.

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