By John Vibes
The most severe Ebola outbreak in recorded history just got worse in the past week with a massive spike in infections and deaths
WEST AFRICA (INTELLIHUB) — In recent months we have been paying close attention to the developing Ebola outbreak that is sweeping western Africa. Just a few weeks ago we reported that officials with ties to Doctors Without Borders and the World Health Organization were admitting that the outbreak is out of their control.
Now new developments came this week as the World Health Organization put out a press release highlighting the increase in deaths and infections in the past few days.
The recent statement said that “as of 30 June 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the three countries stands at 759, including 467 deaths.”
Between the 25th and 30th of June 2014, 22 new cases of Ebola surfaced, and 14 deaths were reported in three countries. The WHO documented the following statistics. In Guinea there were 3 new cases and 5 deaths. In Liberia, there were 8 new cases with 7 deaths. In Sierra Leone there were 11 new cases and 2 deaths.
On Tuesday, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf issued a statement saying that Ebola has become a national public health emergency.
“It is illegal under our public health law to expose the people to health hazard such as Ebola,” Sirleaf said, Reuters reports. “Let this warning go out, anyone found or reported to be holding suspected Ebola cases in homes or prayer houses will be prosecuted under the laws of Liberia,” she said.
According to World Health Organization statistics, the highest recorded death toll from an Ebola outbreak was in Congo during the 1976 outbreak, when 280 deaths were reported. This was the also the first recorded outbreak of Ebola. Since then, Ebola has still been a serious problem in Africa, but it has not risen to epidemic levels.
However, the most current situation is getting very dangerous. According to new WHO statistics, Ebola has caused more than 467 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with a 38% increase in deaths this week.
A few months back, we reported that there have already been two cases that were suspected to have left the country.
One Canadian man traveling from the area became infected and brought the virus home to Canada. When he was sick at a Canadian hospital, health officials insisted that there was nothing to be afraid of, and that his virus was not actually Ebola, but only an “Ebola-like” virus. However, the fact that this person was recently in an Ebola outbreak area is leaving many to wonder if this is a true Ebola case that is being downplayed by health officials.
Another case appeared in Minnesota, and passed through New York City, according to the CDC.
Preliminary information indicates that the patient flew from West Africa to New York City and caught another flight to Minneapolis. “Given what we know about how Lassa virus is spread to people, the risk to other travelers and members of the public is extremely low,” said Martin Cetron, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.
Next Wednesday, health officials from eleven countries will meet in Accra, Ghana, to plan a regional response to the outbreak.
John Vibes is an investigative journalist, staff writer and editor for Intellihub News where this article originally appeared. He is also the author of an 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” and is an artist with an established record label. You can find him on his Facebook.
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