The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta is reporting over 880 confirmed deaths in West Africa attributed to Ebola, a record number. The cases have been centered in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, though there are now reports that the disease has spread to Nigeria. The CDC emphasizes that there is "no significant risk to the US public."
At the same time the spread of the disease in Africa continues to grow. There is no known vaccine or cure and treatment is largely supportive. A large part of the problem is the poor state of health care in West Africa. There are reports of families of victims dumping bodies in the streets in Liberia rather than risking quarantine.
Here is the latest news on Ebola:
- A second American known to have Ebola has been brought to Atlanta. Nancy Writebol is being treated at Emory Hospital. She is described as showing "slow improvement."
- A travel advisory has been issued for West Africa and airline crews have been briefed on the identifying and dealing with potential patients.
- Several New York hospitals have identified potential cases, including Mount Sinai, Bellevue and NYU. Few details on the patients were released on the patients due to privacy concerns, and each hospital has expressed doubt that the case will be confirmed. Blood tests have been sent to CDC for analysis and the results are expected in 24-48 hours. One patient was originally detained by TSA at Kennedy airport when he showed symptoms.
- New Jersey is also reporting a suspicious case. The patient had just returned from West Africa when he developed symptoms. He is being held in isolation at CentraState Medical Center.
- A treatment has reportedly been developed. According to the CDC, "ZMapp, being developed by Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., is an experimental treatment, for use with individuals infected with Ebola virus. It has not yet been tested in humans for safety or effectiveness. The product is a combination of three different monoclonal antibodies that bind to the protein of the Ebola virus." There are some reports that the treatment has been tried on the Americans affected with the disease.
For more information about the disease and its symptoms, visit the CDC website