In an effort to condense the abundance of Ebola -related news into more digestible morsels, here is the Outbreak News Today’s version of the Ebola news round-up for today:
Antibody rich serum from Ebola survivors have arrived in Liberia for treating patients. The BBC reports doctors hope the experimental treatment could help combat the virus that has been sweeping West Africa and killing thousands of people. If a person has successfully fought off the infection, it means their body has learned how to combat the virus and they will have antibodies in their blood that can attack Ebola.A number of Liberian health care workers have been trained to give the therapy.
Dr David Hoover, the programme’s director, said: “This will empower local health care systems to become more self-sufficient and better serve their patients during this current epidemic as well as in the future.”
- “Ebola: The Grinch that stole Christmas?” The Sierra Leone Army will be out in force over the Christmas holidays to ensure there will be no Christmas and New Year gatherings in the Ebola Virus Disease hotspot. The Guardian reports the edict means those who live in the capital, Freetown, will be barred from travelling to join their extended families during the holidays.Palo Conteh, the minister of defence who heads the government’s Ebola response unit, said on Friday there would be “no Christmas and New Year celebrations this year. We will ensure that everybody remains at home to reflect on Ebola.
“Military personnel will be on the streets at Christmas and the New Year to stop any street celebrations.”
- The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has a pretty price tag, according to The World Bank. Time magazine reports the international agency estimates the two-year financial burden price tag of the current epidemic at $32.6 billion.
- A study by Yale researchers shows that fewer Ebola cases go unreported than previously thought. The New York Times reports that scientists say transmission of the Ebola virus occurs mostly within families, in hospitals and at funerals, not randomly like the flu.
- Ebola discrimination? The US Department of Justice says that government workers cannot be discriminated against because of the Ebola virus. The Huffington Post reports citing “increased reports of discrimination in the United States against people who are or are perceived to be from an African country or of African descent,” the department’s Civil Rights Division sent out non-discrimination principles for federal, state and local government agencies.
- Ebola is its 2014 Lie of the Year, according to PolitiFact. I said this on the radio show and on the website and the hysteria of Ebola ended with the November elections.
- Finally, as of Monday, there were 18,464 confirmed cases in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with 6,841 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.