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Ebola: Death toll in three West African countries rises to 7,373 'WHO

Published by Tribune on Sun, 21 Dec 2014

Nigeria, Ghana, others to get Ebola trial vaccineInformation from the World Health Organisation (WHO), released on Saturday, revealed that the death toll as a result of Ebola outbreak has risen to 7,373, among the 19,031 cases known to date.Subsequent to the figures posted on December 17 on the WHO website, the data, posted yesterday, indicated about 500 new deaths from the worst ever outbreak of the virus.While Sierra Leone accounts for the most cases with a figure of 8,759, as against 7,819 for Liberia, it has a lesser death toll figure of 2,477 against 3,346 recorded in Liberia.According to information from the WHO website, 'The Western Area of Sierra Leone is the 'hot spot' in this Ebola outbreak at the moment, with the highest transmission of any of the three most affected countries. The government of Sierra Leone, WHO and partners are sending in a massive surge of staff and resources to this area to intensify efforts to curb the spread of Ebola disease.'It will be recalled that Sierra Leone, where more than a quarter of its six million people are Christians, recently announced the ban on public celebrations of Christmas.According to the country's Defence Minister, Palo Conteh, 'There will 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.'Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma, said on national television recently that movement across parts of the country had been restricted as part of 'Operation Western Area Surge' and appealed to tribal leaders to stop any rituals that might risk an increase in the spread of the virus, just as he stated that public gatherings would be strictly controlled in the days leading up to Christmas.Last week, Sierra Leone's leading doctor, Victor Willoughby, died of Ebola, hours after the arrival in the country of an experimental drug that could have aided his treatment and the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, praised health care workers directly involved in the fight against the Ebola virus as he paid his first visit to Liberia and Sierra Leone following the outbreak.Nigeria, Ghana, others to get Ebola trial vaccineTRIALS of GlaxoSmithKline's experimental Ebola vaccine are likely to move to a second phase in February, later than previously suggested, after a meeting of national regulators said they needed more information, Reuters reported on Saturday.The World Health Organisation (WHO), which hosted a meeting of national regulatory authorities and ethics committees earlier this week, said they had thoroughly discussed all aspects of the proposed trials at the two-day meeting.'Reviewing countries requested additional documentation from the manufacturer of the vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline, before authorisation of the trials,' the WHO was quoted by Reuters as saying in a statement.Countries where the trials are planned ' Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal ' should receive and review the additional information by the end of January.
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