Ebola continues to cause havoc in West Africa, the epicenter of the recent Ebola outbreak that has stretched health systems there beyond their capacity. According to the Red Cross, their male nurse in Sierra Leon succumbed to the virus earlier this week, adding to the number of hundreds of caregivers that have died on the Ebola frontline in Sierra Leon. Health authorities are backing efforts to accelerate development of medicines to help control the spread of the virus.
29 placed in isolation or Ebola monitoring
The latest Ebola death of a health care worker in Sierra Leon happened in a region that has not seen fresh Ebola cases in nearly a month. Following the confirmed death of the male Red Cross volunteer in the region of Kenema, health care workers have started tracing the contacts of the victim. It has not been established yet if he contracted the virus at his place of work or home. However, up to 29 people, who came into contact with him, have been isolated.
The people will be quarantined for 21 days while their health situation is monitored for Ebola symptoms. In case they don’t show Ebola symptoms after the 21 days, they will be released because that is a confirmation they didn’t contract the deadly virus.
More than 8,500 Ebola deaths
Health volunteers from around the world are trying to keep Ebola in check in West Africa, but the situation is till dire. Some 843 health care workers have already died of Ebola in Sierra Leon while a total of 3,062 deaths related to Ebola have been recorded in the country. More than 8,500 people have died of Ebola since its outbreak in West Africa in 2013. Some 21,000 people have been sickened by the virus.
Johnson & Johnson in Ebola fight
Efforts are being made to treat those that have already caught the virus and to protect those who haven’t. Johnson & Johnson, a health care company, this week announced that it will receive nearly $115 million financial boost to fight Ebola. The funds will be used to accelerate the development of its Ebola vaccine that has already shown success in animal trials.