Ebola Health Care Risks
By admin October 8, 2014

Ebola 1


The World Health Organization (WHO) has emphasized the impoverished health care systems of the countries hardest hit by the Ebola virus: Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. The WHO has stressed the importance of health care professionals treating those infected with Ebola follow strict guidelines and protocols when dealing with infected patients. Professor Piot, a world specialist in Ebola now brought in by the WHO as a scientific advisor, warned that even the simplest movement, like rubbing your eyes, is a risk. “The smallest mistake can be fatal,” he said. “For example, a very dangerous moment is when you come out of the isolation unit you take off your protective gear, you are full of sweat and so on and you take off your glasses and do like this – and that can be the end.” Growing concerns of Ebola spreading come in the wake of a nurse’s assistant that contracted Ebola after treating two patients infected with the virus in the capital of Spain. The nurse was a member of a medical team that treated a Spanish priest who earlier died from Ebola, but it’s believed she contracted the virus from the second patient who died on September 25th, Mr. Garcia Viejo. The nurse has been identified in media reports as Teresa Romero, and it is said she looked after the pair after they were repatriated from West Africa. In August, Miguel Pajares, 75, was flown from Liberia to Madrid after contracting Ebola and treated with the experimental drug Zmapp before he died. Mr. Garcia Viejo, 69, died at the hospital on September 25th after catching Ebola in Sierra Leone. Both were members of a charity group dealing with victims of Ebola in West Africa.

Mrs. Romero only went into Viejo’s room twice — once to directly assist in his care, another time to clean his room after he died. On both occasions she was wearing special protective clothing. She went on vacation the day after Viejo died. On Sunday, she checked into a public hospital in the suburb of Alcorcon with a fever and was placed in isolation. She was diagnosed with Ebola on Monday. The nurse’s husband and a second nurse are being quarantined. A man who arrived on a flight from Nigeria has also been quarantined, Spanish health authorities said. The Carlos III hospital in Madrid was reported to have had extreme protective measures in place including two sets of overalls, gloves and goggles. However, health workers told El Pais newspaper that the clothing did not have level-four biological security, which is fully waterproof and with independent breathing apparatus. Madrid’s regional government said it would additionally kill the pet dog of the nursing assistant, overcoming the family’s objections on Tuesday with a court order. There is some evidence that dogs can get Ebola, and that people can be infected by animals. In Africa, the virus has been thought to spread as a result of handling bush meat, wild animals hunted for food, and through contact with infected bats. “There is one article in the medical literature that discusses the presence of antibodies to Ebola in dogs. Whether that was an accurate test and whether that was relevant we do not know,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said at a news conference Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the experimental drug Zmapp has run out, and pharmaceutical companies are rushing to develop it, as Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said to Dagens Medisin: “It looks like we could get the last available dose of ZMapp to Norway. It must be said it is lucky that Norway will get the last dose of ZMapp. There are no more doses in the world and it takes a long time to produce. It is the hospital pharmacy that gets the medicine through contact networks all over the world, while the Norwegian Medicines Agency gives the necessary approval,” said Madsen. She also added: “Of those who have taken ZMapp, the majority have survived. Another person has survived with TKM-Ebola, a Canadian experimental drug for Ebola, but the medicines are used on a small number of patients.”


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