Ebola Updates 29/3: Sierra Leon & Liberia Guinea Border Working to Prevent Potential Spread


Along the Liberia-Guinea border, where six suspected Ebola cases have occurred, the USAID-funded IWASH program is delivering materials to prevent potential spread of disease. These facilities are the front line in responding to the Ebola outbreak in the border area. The IWASH team, with staff from Ministry of Health and Public Works, visited clinics and the district hospital in Foya, delivering gloves, face masks, and disinfectant, soap. Materials were also delivered for launching a hygiene promotion campaign in the clinics and surrounding communities to promote healthy behaviors to prevent disease transmission. “We met with the WHO surveillance team and the District Health Officer to discuss the priorities and then began supplying facilities closest to the border,” said Piet deVries, team leader for the IWASH program. “Tomorrow we will continue and work with the community health volunteers to do community hygiene promotion work.”

WHO has alerted countries bordering Guinea about the outbreak and to heighten surveillance for illness consistent with a viral haemorrhagic fever, especially along land borders. In Sierra Leone have reported suspected cases and deaths to WHO consistent with EHF among people who had travelled to Guinea before symptom onset. To date (27 Mar 2014), WHO has received no reports of viral haemorrhagic fever from either country in individuals who have not travelled to Guinea. The 3 countries are sharing information with each other and with WHO daily. Liberia has reported 8 suspected cases of EHF, including 6 deaths, with travel histories to Guekedou district. Sierra Leone has reported 6 suspected cases, including 5 deaths. Investigations into these suspected cases are on-going.
Biohazard name: Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever (Susp.)
Biohazard level: 4/4 Hazardous
Biohazard desc.: Viruses and bacteria that cause severe to fatal disease in humans, and for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, H5N1(bird flu), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, hantaviruses, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and other hemorrhagic or unidentified diseases. When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a Hazmat suit and a self-contained oxygen supply is mandatory. The entrance and exit of a Level Four biolab will contain multiple showers, a vacuum room, an ultraviolet light room, autonomous detection system, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. Multiple airlocks are employed and are electronically secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. All air and water service going to and coming from a Biosafety Level 4 (P4) lab will undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release.
Status: suspected



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