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Author: Subject: Ebola

World Class Peach





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  posted on 6/23/2014 at 05:47 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/23/health/ebola-virus-outbreak-west-africa/index .html?hpt=hp_t2

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/ebola-outbreak-tip-iceberg-expert s-say-n137081

Ebola virus causes outbreak of infectious dance tune
Trippy, electro-beat song created to help get message across about how to avoid incurable disease in Guinea and Liberia
Monica Mark in Lagos
theguardian.com, Tuesday 27 May 2014 10.30 EDT
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/27/ebola-virus-outbreak-infectiou s-dance-tune

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/guinea/

Ebola epidemic is 'out of control'
By Danielle Dellorto, CNN
updated 6:22 PM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014

(CNN) -- The deadly Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has hit "unprecedented" proportions, according to relief workers on the ground.
"The epidemic is out of control," Dr. Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders, said in statement.
There have been 567 cases and 350 deaths since the epidemic began in March, according to the latest World Health Organization figures.
Ebola virus outbreaks are usually confined to remote areas, making it easier to contain. But this outbreak is different; patients have been identified in 60 locations in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Officials believe the wide footprint of this outbreak is partly because of the close proximity between the jungle where the virus was first identified and cities such as Conakry. The capital in Guinea has a population of 2 million and an international airport.

People are traveling without realizing they're carrying the deadly virus. It can take between two and 21 days for someone to feel sick after they've been exposed.

Ebola is a violent killer. The symptoms, at first, mimic the flu: headache, fever, tiredness. What comes next sounds like something out of a horror movie: significant diarrhea and vomiting, while the virus shuts off the blood's ability to clot.
As a result, patients often suffer internal and external hemorrhaging. Many die in an average of 10 days.
"We have reached our limits," Janssens said.
Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, is the only aid organization treating people affected by the virus. Since March, they have sent more than 300 staff members and 40 tons of equipment and supplies to the region to help fight the epidemic.
Still, they warn, it's not enough.

"Despite the human resources and equipment deployed by MSF in the three affected countries, we are no longer able to send teams to the new outbreak sites."
The good news is that Ebola isn't as easily spread as one may think. A patient isn't contagious -- meaning they can't spread the virus to other people -- until they are already showing symptoms.

Health officials have urged residents to alert MSF or local physicians at the first sign of flu-like symptoms. While there is no cure or vaccine to treat Ebola, MSF has proved it doesn't have to be a death sentence if it's treated early.
Inside isolation treatment areas, doctors focus on keeping the patients hydrated with IV drips and other liquid nutrients. It's working. Ebola typically kills 90% of patients. This outbreak, the death rate has dropped to roughly 60%.
MSF says they'll continue to isolate and treat Ebola patients in West Africa with the resources they have available but urge for a "massive deployment" by regional governments and aid agencies to help stop the epidemic.
World Health Organization officials say they're planning high-level meeting for the Minister of Health in the subregion July 2 and 3 to discuss the deployment of additional resources and experts to the area.
The outbreak will be considered contained after 42 days with no new Ebola cases -- that's twice the incubation period.

[Edited on 6/23/2014 by LeglizHemp]


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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2014 at 06:54 PM
Scary sh!t.

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2014 at 07:24 PM
i just wanted to deliver the bad news 1st


 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2014 at 11:54 PM
Life sure is good in the good ol' USA.

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2014 at 05:59 PM
quote:
Life sure is good in the good ol' USA.


All it takes is one infected person to walk through a crowded airport.
Try reading "Executive Orders" by Tom Clancy

 

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  posted on 6/27/2014 at 08:12 AM
Bushmeat and the Ebola Outbreak in Liberia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XasTcDsDfMg

West Africa is being plagued by a new outbreak of Ebola — a terrifying disease that causes its victims to bleed to death from the inside out. Ebola has no cure, and the latest epidemic is spreading fast.

VICE News visited Liberia, where many feel the new outbreak began, borne from the bushmeat markets of Lofa. Western scientists feel that the consumption and preparation of meat from monkeys, fruit bats, and other forest animals is behind the transmission of Ebola, and possibly a new supervirus, which if left uncontrolled could kill a third of the world's population.

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 7/2/2014 at 08:11 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/01/ebola-deaths-west-africa_n_5548344 .html

* West Africa Ebola outbreak already deadliest

* Health ministers meet in Accra to mull solutions

* Liberia warns against illegally harboring patients (Adds Liberia comments, updated graphics link)

By Tom Miles

GENEVA, July 1 (Reuters) - The number of deaths attributed to an epidemic of Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone stood at 467 by Monday, out of 759 known cases in total, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

The outbreak of the deadly disease is already the largest and deadliest ever, according to the WHO, which previously put the death toll at 399 as of June 23, out of 635 cases.

The 17 percent rise in deaths and 20 percent jump in cases in the space of a week will add urgency to an emergency meeting of 11 West African health ministers in Accra, Ghana on Wednesday and Thursday, which aims to coordinate a regional response.

In response to the outbreak, Liberian authorities have on Tuesday warned that anyone caught hiding suspected Ebola patients will be prosecuted Some families, faith healers and traditional doctors were reported to be removing patients from hospital for special prayers and traditional medicine.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said in a statement that the crisis has become a national public health emergency, urging people to heed health guidelines.

"It is illegal under our public health law to expose the people to health hazard such as Ebola," Sirleaf said in a statement seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

"Let this warning go out, anyone found or reported to be holding suspected Ebola cases in homes or prayer houses will be prosecuted under the laws of Liberia," she said.

The outbreak in West Africa has left some of the world's poorest states, with porous borders and weak health systems undermined by war and misrule, grappling with one of the most lethal and contagious diseases on the planet.

The WHO said three key factors were contributing to the spread of the disease. One was the burial of victims in accordance with cultural practices and traditional beliefs in rural communities. Another was the dense population around the capital cities of Guinea and Liberia. The third was commercial and social activity along the borders of the three countries.

"Containment of this outbreak requires a strong response in the countries and especially along their shared border areas," the statement said.

The WHO figures include confirmed, probable and suspected cases.

 

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  posted on 7/3/2014 at 04:58 PM
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-03/tekmira-ebola-drug-trial-placed-on -hold-by-u-s-fda.html

Tekmira’s Ebola Drug Trial Placed on Hold by U.S. FDA
By Caroline Chen and Makiko Kitamura Jul 3, 2014 4:10 PM ET

Human tests of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. (TKMR)’s treatment for Ebola, one of the world’s most lethal diseases, have been put on hold by U.S. regulators due to safety concerns.

The Food and Drug Administration has requested additional information to ensure the drug is safe at higher doses, the company said today in a statement. The therapy is in the first of three stages of clinical trials usually required by regulators for approval.

Tekmira will “continue our dialogue with the FDA, provided for under our fast-track status, in order to advance the development of this important therapeutic agent,” Tekmira’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Murray said in the statement. The company didn’t say how long the hold was expected to last, and spokeswoman Julie Rezler didn’t immediately respond to a phone call requesting comment.

Shares of the Vancouver-based drugmaker fell 16 percent to $11.63 at the close in New York, the biggest single-day decline since April 14.

The Ebola virus kills as many as 90 percent of those it strikes, and the latest outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone is the worst on record, resulting in more than 450 deaths. The World Health Organization has said the outbreak may last another three to four months.

Ebola Research

Despite the deadly nature of the disease, the relative rarity of outbreaks and their confinement to primarily rural areas of poor African nations make Ebola an unattractive target for big drugmakers.

Instead, much of the research in Ebola treatments has been funded by the U.S. government. Tekmira said its drug, an RNA-based therapy, is being developed under a $140 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Among the most promising experimental drugs are antibody cocktails. One is being developed at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory, though it needs more work before it can be tested in humans, according to Public Health Canada.

Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., a closely held company in San Diego, is developing another, along with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

To contact the reporters on this story: Caroline Chen in New York at cchen509@bloomberg.net; Makiko Kitamura in London at mkitamura1@bloomberg.net

 

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  posted on 7/16/2014 at 09:29 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/16/ebola-deaths-west-africa_n_5589655 .html

Ebola Death Toll In West Africa Jumps To 603

DAKAR/HAVANA, July 15 (Reuters) - The death toll from the world's worst ever Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 603 since February, with at least 68 deaths reported from three countries in the region in the last week alone, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

WHO said there were 85 new cases between July 8-12, highlighting continued high levels of transmission. International and local medics were struggling to get access to communities as many people feared outsiders were spreading rather than fighting Ebola.

"It's very difficult for us to get into communities where there is hostility to outsiders," WHO spokesman Dan Epstein told a news briefing in Geneva. "We still face rumors, and suspicion and hostility ... People are isolated, they're afraid, they're scared."

Sierra Leone recorded the highest number of deaths, which include confirmed, probable and suspect cases of Ebola, with 52. Liberia reported 13 and Guinea 3, according to the WHO figures.

Epstein said the main focus in the three countries is tracing people who have been exposed to others with Ebola and monitoring them for the 21-day incubation period to see if they were infected.

"It's probably going to be several months before we are able to get a grip on this epidemic," Epstein added.

Ebola causes fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhea and was first detected in then Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo, in the mid-1970s. Spread through contact with blood and body fluids of infected people or animals, it is one of the world's deadliest viruses, killing up to 90 percent of those infected.

Speaking from Havana, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan called the outbreak the world's worst ever by number of cases, saying, "The situation is serious but not out of control yet."

The WHO was mobilizing political, religious and local leaders in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to create a better welcome for medical professionals attempting to treat victims, Chan said, while also coordinating responses from the three affected countries and eight neighbors that have experienced Ebola.

"Sometimes the challenge for us is countries like to do disease control their way. But I think this is one such situation where countries must come together and adopt a similar approach to deal with a very dangerous disease," Chan said.

The organization was also consulting with anthropologies to help suspend local customs such as eating bush meat or hugging and kissing Ebola victims at their funerals, which can transmit the disease, Chan said.

The outbreak started in Guinea's remote southeast but has spread across the region's porous borders despite aid workers scrambling to help some of the world's weakest health systems tackle a deadly, infectious disease.

In Sierra Leone and Guinea, experts believe scores of patients are being hidden as relatives and friends believe hospitalization is a "death sentence". In Liberia, health workers have been chased away by armed gangs. (Reporting by David Lewis and Daniel Trotta; Editing by Bate Felix, Ralph Boulton and Bernard Orr)

 

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  posted on 7/23/2014 at 08:15 AM
http://www.voanews.com/content/reu-sierra-leone-chief-ebola-doctor-contract s-virus/1963389.html

Sierra Leone's Chief Ebola Doctor Contracts Virus
Reuters
July 23, 2014 7:37 AM

FREETOWN —
The head doctor fighting the deadly tropical virus Ebola in Sierra Leone has himself caught the disease, the government said.

The 39-year-old Sheik Umar Khan, hailed as a “national hero” by the health ministry, was leading the fight to control an outbreak that has killed 206 people in the West African country. Ebola kills up to 90 percent of those infected and there is no cure or vaccine.
Across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, more than 600 people have died from the illness, according to the World Health Organization, placing great strain on the health systems of some of Africa's poorest countries.

Khan, a Sierra Leonean virologist credited with treating more than 100 Ebola victims, has been transferred to a treatment ward run by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, according to the statement released late on Tuesday by the president's office.

A Health Minister Miatta Kargbo called Khan a national hero and said she would “do anything and everything in my power to ensure he survives.”

Khan told Reuters in late June that he was worried about contracting Ebola. “I am afraid for my life, I must say, because I cherish my life,” he said in an interview, showing no signs of ill health at the time.

“Health workers are prone to the disease because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened by disease. Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk.”

Three days ago, three nurses working in the same Ebola treatment center alongside Khan died from the disease.

The Ebola outbreak started in Guinea's remote southeast in February and has since spread across the region. Symptoms of the highly infectious disease are diarrhea, vomiting and internal and external bleeding.

 

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  posted on 7/24/2014 at 04:13 PM
Ths is a nassty bug. Hope they can get a handle on it soon. Thanks for keeping track of this story.

 

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  posted on 7/24/2014 at 04:53 PM
no prob. i've been following it since march but hoped it would die out. i saw on a nigerian website this morning that the 1st case may have showed up there but waiting for confirmation. even though its hard to transmit, things don't seem to be getting better.
 

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  posted on 7/24/2014 at 08:40 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/24/opinion/garrett-ebola/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

Why an Ebola epidemic is spinning out of control
By Laurie Garrett, Special to CNN
updated 2:03 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014

Editor's note: Laurie Garrett is senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

(CNN) -- The Ebola epidemic now raging across three countries in West Africa is three-fold larger than any other outbreak ever recorded for this terrible disease; the only one to have occurred in urban areas and to cross national borders; and officially urgent and serious. At least 1,090 people have contracted the awful disease this year, though the epidemic's true scope is unknown because of widespread opposition to health authorities in afflicted Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

This week, 39-year-old physician Sheik Umar Khan -- labeled the country's hero for his brave leadership of the epidemic fight -- was hospitalized with Ebola, adding yet another public fear: that even the doctors cannot escape the disease.

But as terrifying as Ebola is, the virus has been controlled in the past, and can be again. The current crisis, which threatens an 11-nation region of Africa that includes the continent's giant, Nigeria, is not a biological or medical one so much as it is political. The three nations in Ebola's thrall need technical support from outsiders but will not succeed in stopping the virus until each nation's leaders embrace effective governance.

As was the case in Kikwit, Zaire, in 1995 -- an Ebola outbreak I personally was in as a journalist -- there is no vaccine or cure for the disease. The key to stopping its spread is rapid identification of the sick; removal of the ailing and deceased from their homes; and quarantine and high hygiene measures to prevent transmission of the virus to family members and health care workers.

In the absence of such measures, Ebola will kill upwards of 70% of those it infects, as the virus punches holes in veins, causing massive internal hemorrhaging and bleeding from the eyes, ears, mouth and all other orifices.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are among the poorest, least governed states in the world. About half of the nations' adults are illiterate. The 11.75 million people of Guinea have a per capita annual income of merely $527, and their combined male/female life expectancy is 58 years. In 2011, the government of President Alpha Conde spent $7 on average per capita on health.

Life is no better for the 4.2 million people living in neighboring Liberia, where per capita income is $454, life expectancy is 62 years and the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf spends $18 per capita on health. In Sierra Leone, the 6 million residents have a per capita income of $809 per year, life expectancy is merely 46 years, and the government of the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, spent $13 per capita last year on health.

Since Ebola first broke out in March in Guinea, fear has gripped the region, coupled with suspicion and wild rumors. Some have proclaimed the epidemic "divine retribution" for past sins. In April, Guinean health officials failed to quarantine an Ebola patient who reportedly spread the virus from a remote area to the capital -- a lapse that undermined government credibility.

In April, a mob claiming that foreigners were spreading diseases attacked a Doctors Without Borders clinic in rural Guinea and forced the Nobel Peace Prize-winning group to abandon its mission. The charity returned only after it had negotiated its safety with local religious leaders. In the capital city of Conakry, families have been hiding their ailing relatives.

Even the local Red Cross was forced to abandon a part of the country after men brandishing knives surrounded them. And in one district, police fired tear gas at a mob that was trying to raid the morgue in order to give their loved ones proper burials, despite the risk of contagion.

As the epidemic spread to Sierra Leone in May, brought in by a traditional healer who tended to ailing Guineans and then returned home, similar problems surfaced. Family members defied a local quarantine, thereby spreading infection. By the end of May, authorities were losing track of Ebola sufferers amid widespread fleeing from health facilities; the toll of missing patients approached 60 by June.

Some local leaders spread rumors that "the white people" were conducting experiments, infecting Sierra Leonians or cutting off people's limbs. Doctors Without Borders warned that widespread belief that Ebola does not exist threatened to spread the disease regionally. Today the word "Ebola" carries so much stigma that few ailing individuals even seek diagnosis.

By the end of June, the epidemic was exploding in Liberia, fueled by the same sorts of denial and wild rumors that were rampant in Sierra Leone and Guinea. In one county, men with weapons chased off government health workers.

Today, the World Health Organization is officially loath to say so, but under these circumstances, this epidemic is beyond anybody's control.

Nobody, in any culture, relishes having their ailing loved ones removed from a family's care, or their bodies hauled off to ignominious mass graves. But the violent reaction to such measures in West Africa is far more extreme than anything that has occurred in other Ebola crises since the virus's first appearance in Zaire in 1976.

This should come as no surprise to anybody with a modicum of knowledge of recent history.
The nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have a shared, brutal history of civil wars that since 1989 have left more than 400,000 people dead, displaced half a million people from their traditional homes, seen rape used as a weapon against tens of thousands of girls and women, and put Liberia's former President behind bars as a war criminal.

One of the most heinous features of the 1989-to-2005 wars was public amputation, typically carried out by child soldiers. The violence began in 1980 when Samuel Doe killed President William Tolbert and then tyrannized Liberia for a decade, growing rich off its diamond trade.

In 1990, rebels invaded the country from Ivory Coast, captured Doe, tortured him, dragged him naked through the streets of Monrovia, and then executed him. Charles Taylor took over the nation, running it until 2003. Taylor, in turn, helped his comrade Foday Sankoh seize control of Sierra Leone, and they systematically exploited their nations' mines, leading to the United Nations term "blood diamonds."

What you need to know about the deadliest ever outbreak

With help from Guinea, a second civil war started in 1999 in Liberia, eventually engaging multiple warring factions, each more brutal than the other. It spilled over into Sierra Leone and was egged on by military elements in Nigeria. By 2000, all three of the now-Ebola-torn countries were embroiled. Taylor fled into exile in Nigeria in 2003, and both he and Sankoh faced U.N. war crimes trials. Sankoh died of a heart attack before his trial; Taylor is now imprisoned.

In these three nations, few families have not experienced murders, rapes, torture, maiming, loss of homes and death. Fear, suspicion, poverty, pain and superstition are the norm, the noise that everybody lives with, every minute of their lives. Ebola is simply a new scream heard above that terrible background din.

The challenge today in these barely functioning states is to find ways to lower the overall noise, focus on stopping the Ebola virus, and bring governance and peace to three countries that have rarely experienced either.

 

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  posted on 7/25/2014 at 08:24 AM
this still isn't confirmed yet

http://www.nairaland.com/1828813/ebola-really-nigeria-what-it

Is Ebola Really In Nigeria? What If It Is

So far all we have heard is, its possibly true ... what if its true? The only way to kick it back out of this country is knowledge, so this article is basically going to give you insight on how to deal with the Ebola epidemic

Ebola virus is basically a virus picked up from infected monkeys and fruit bats by coming in contact with their body fluids(blood, mucus and saliva). Human to human infection can also be transferred by coming in contact with Infected individual's body fluids.

THE LIBERIAN....

This guy came into the country 5 days ago probably shook and hugged a number of people on his way here and the air plane he entered? I don't even want to think about what went on there so the point is if ONE person is suspected to have EBOLA we all should be on guard.

http://www.nairaland.com/1828664/liberian-man-first-ebola-case

Mr. Patrick Sawyer, a WASH consultant at the Ministry of Finance, who had been quarantined since arriving Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday, July 20, 2014 with symptoms of the Ebola virus, has died .

A Liberian government official, speaking on condition of anonymity said the news of Sawyer’s death was relayed to Liberia by the Nigerian embassy, in the early hours of Friday, July 25, 2014.

The Lagos government health authorities announced on Thursday, July 24, 2014 that Sawyer was being tested for the deadly Ebola virus.

Sawyer’s death is the first recorded case of one of the world’s deadliest diseases in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation, with 170 million people.

Ebola has killed 632 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since an outbreak began in February, straining a string of weak health systems despite international help.

 

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  posted on 7/25/2014 at 08:28 AM
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/07/25/us-health-ebola-africa-idUKKBN0FU1 DB20140725

First Ebola victim in Sierra Leone capital on the run
By Umaru Fofana
FREETOWN Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:15pm BST

(Reuters) - Sierra Leone officials appealed for help on Friday to trace the first known resident in the capital with Ebola whose family forcibly removed her from a Freetown hospital after testing positive for the deadly disease.

Radio stations in Freetown, a city of around 1 million inhabitants, broadcast the appeal on Friday to locate a woman who tested positive for the disease that has killed 660 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since an outbreak was first identified in February.

"Saudatu Koroma of 25 Old Railway Line, Brima Lane, Wellington," the announcement said. "She is a positive case and her being out there is a risk to all. We need the public to help us locate her."

Koroma, 32, a resident of the densely populated Wellington neighborhood, had been admitted to an isolation ward while blood samples were tested for the virus, Health ministry spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis. The results came back on Thursday.

"The family of the patient stormed the hospital and forcefully removed her and took her away," Tunis said. "We are searching for her."

Fighting one of the world's deadliest diseases is straining the region's weak health systems, while a lack of information and suspicion of medical staff has led many to shun treatment.

DOZENS UNACCOUNTED FOR

Earlier this year, a man in Freetown tested positive for Ebola although he is believed to have caught it elsewhere.

According to health ministry data and officials, dozens of people confirmed by laboratory tests to have Ebola are now unaccounted for in Sierra Leone, where the majority of cases have been recorded in the country's east.

While international medical organizations have deployed experts to the field in an attempt to contain the outbreak, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said poor health infrastructure and a lack of manpower were hindering their efforts.

"We're seeing many of these facilities simply don't have enough people to provide the constant level of care needed," WHO spokesman Paul Garwood told a news briefing in Geneva on Friday.

There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola, which causes diarrhea, vomiting and internal and external bleeding. It can kill up to 90 percent of those infected, although the mortality rate of the current outbreak is around 60 percent.

The West African outbreak is the first time that Ebola, which was first discovered in what is now Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976, has appeared in heavily populated urban areas and international travel hubs.

Cases have already been confirmed in Conakry and Monrovia, the capital cities of Guinea and Liberia.

On Thursday authorities in Nigeria announced that they were testing a Liberian man for Ebola after he collapsed upon arrival at an airport in Lagos, the country's commercial capital and a mega-city of 21 million people.


 

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  posted on 7/25/2014 at 10:46 AM
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-25/ebola-orphans-flee-sierra-leone-fa rms-as-cocoa-and-peanuts-rot.html

Ebola Orphans Flee Sierra Leone Farms as Cocoa and Rice Rot
By With assistance from Morgane Lapeyre Jul 25, 2014 5:10 AM ET

By Silas Gbandia

July 25 (Bloomberg) – The deadliest outbreak of Ebola on record is forcing farmers and their families to flee cocoa, rice and peanut plantations in northeastern Sierra Leone, where agriculture makes up more than half of the nation’s economy.

Output of the chocolate-making ingredient will drop this year and peanuts and rice, a staple, will be left unharvested, Edmond Saidu, district agriculture officer in Kailahun District, said in an interview last week. The area borders Guinea, where the disease was first reported in March, and Liberia, which has confirmed cases of the hemorrhagic fever that has no cure or treatment.

“Ebola has left with us with a high number of orphans who cannot take care of themselves and family plantations at this time,” Brima Kendor, a plantation owner and spokesman for the local chief in Kissi Tongi, Kailahun district, said in an interview. “This is the time to rehabilitate the cocoa farms but we can’t do that now.”

Abandoned farms threaten to curb economic growth in a country struggling to rebuild after a 10-year civil war that ended in 2002 and left the nation’s infrastructure in ruins. Agriculture makes up about 57 percent of the $4.9 billion economy, according 2011 World Bank data, the most recent figures available. The virus will probably spread for four more months in West Africa, where more than 600 people have died since the fever was reported in March in Guinea, according to the World Health Organization.

Before the outbreak, the central bank had cut borrowing costs in half since 2012, inflation had slowed to below 10 percent and the economy was poised to expand 14 percent this year. Sierra Leone started exporting iron ore, the raw material for steel, in 2011.

Ritual burial practices, poor hygiene and lack of adequate medical care has made controlling the spread of the disease difficult in the border region of dense forest between Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to WHO. Sierra Leone has recorded 146 deaths from Ebola and 435 confirmed cases, the Ministry of Health said today in an e-mailed statement.

Farmers harvest cocoa and coffee in the districts of Kailahun, Kenema and Kono. Kailahun, where most of the Ebola cases have been confirmed, is the largest producer of cocoa in Sierra Leone and agriculture is the major economic activity.

Total production of the chocolate ingredient will be about 10,000 metric tons in the 12 months that end in September, according to the The International Cocoa Organization. Ivory Coast, the largest producer in the world, has output of 1.6 million tons.

“This is the plowing season especially for swamp rice cultivation, and this is also the time for the first harvesting of cocoa in the rains,” Saidu, the agriculture officer in Kailahun, said. “But much is not happening.”

Some international companies have refused to visit the area to buy the seed, Henry Yamba Kamara, managing director of the state-owned producer and buyer Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Company, said by phone.

“The buyers have refused to go in,” Kamara said. “The outcome will be either the cocoa will rot or nobody will be there to buy which will lead to a drop in exports.”

 

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  posted on 7/27/2014 at 07:08 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/27/world/africa/ebola-american-doctor-infected/i ndex.html?hpt=hp_t2

American doctor in Liberia infected with Ebola
By Joe Sutton and Holly Yan, CNN
updated 3:41 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014

(CNN) -- An American doctor trying to quell the Ebola outbreak in Liberia is now infected with the virus, the organization for which he works said.

Dr. Kent Brantly is now hospitalized and undergoing treatment at an isolation center, the Christian humanitarian group Samaritan's Purse said.

The 33-year-old doctor had been treating Ebola patients and started feeling ill, Samaritan's Purse spokeswoman Melissa Strickland said. Once he started noticing the symptoms last week, Brantly isolated himself.

His Ebola infection was confirmed Saturday.
Brantly, the medical director for Samaritan Purse's Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia, has been in the country since last October, Strickland said.

"When the Ebola outbreak hit, he took on responsibilities with our Ebola direct clinical treatment response, but he was serving in a missionary hospital in Liberia prior to his work with Ebola patients," she said.

Deadliest Ebola outbreak

Health officials say the current Ebola outbreak, centered in West Africa, is the deadliest ever.

As of July 20, some 1,093 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are thought to have been infected by Ebola since its symptoms were first observed four months ago, according to the World Health Organization.

Testing confirmed the Ebola virus in 786 of those cases; 442 of those people died.

Of the 1,093 confirmed, probable and suspected cases, 660 people have died.
And there are fears the virus could spread to the Africa's most populous country, Nigeria.

Last week, a Liberian man hospitalized with Ebola in Lagos died, Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said.
Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria, has a population of more than 20 million people.

The man arrived at Lagos airport on July 20 and was isolated in a local hospital after showing symptoms associated with the virus. He told officials that he had no direct contact with anyone with the virus nor attended the burial of anyone who died of Ebola.
Another doctor infected
Confirmation of the death in Lagos followed news that a doctor who has played a key role in fighting the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone is infected with the disease, according to that country's Ministry of Health.

Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan is being treated by the French aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres -- also known as Doctors Without Borders -- in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, agency spokesman Tim Shenk said.

Before falling ill, Khan had been overseeing Ebola treatment and isolation units at Kenema Government Hospital, about 185 miles east of the capital, Freetown.

Ebola typically kills 90% of those infected, but the death rate in this outbreak has dropped to roughly 60% thanks to early treatment.
What is Ebola, and why does it kill?
Spread by bodily fluids
Officials believe that the Ebola outbreak has taken such a strong hold in West Africa due to the proximity of the jungle -- where the virus originated -- to Conakry, Guinea, which has a population of 2 million.

Because symptoms don't immediately appear, the virus can easily spread as people travel around the region. Once infected with the virus, many people die in an average of 10 days as the blood fails to clot and hemorrhaging occurs.

The disease isn't contagious until symptoms appear. Symptoms include fever, headache and fatigue. At that point, the Ebola virus is spread via bodily fluids.

 

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  posted on 7/28/2014 at 08:42 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/28/world/africa/ebola-epidemic-west-africa-g uinea.html?_r=0

Fear of Ebola Breeds a Terror of Physicians
By ADAM NOSSITERJULY 27, 2014

KOLO BENGOU, Guinea — Eight youths, some armed with slingshots and machetes, stood warily alongside a rutted dirt road at an opening in the high reeds, the path to the village of Kolo Bengou. The deadly Ebola virus is believed to have infected several people in the village, and the youths were blocking the path to prevent health workers from entering.

“We don’t want any visitors,” said their leader, Faya Iroundouno, 17, president of Kolo Bengou’s youth league. “We don’t want any contact with anyone.” The others nodded in agreement and fiddled with their slingshots.

Singling out the international aid group Doctors Without Borders, Mr. Iroundouno continued, “Wherever those people have passed, the communities have been hit by illness.”

Health workers here say they are now battling two enemies: the unprecedented Ebola epidemic, which has killed more than 660 people in four countries since it was first detected in March, and fear, which has produced growing hostility toward outside help. On Friday alone, health authorities in Guinea confirmed 14 new cases of the disease.

Workers and officials, blamed by panicked populations for spreading the virus, have been threatened with knives, stones and machetes, their vehicles sometimes surrounded by hostile mobs. Log barriers across narrow dirt roads block medical teams from reaching villages where the virus is suspected. Sick and dead villagers, cut off from help, are infecting others.

“This is very unusual, that we are not trusted,” said Marc Poncin, the emergency coordinator in Guinea for Doctors Without Borders, the main group fighting the disease here. “We’re not stopping the epidemic.”

Efforts to monitor it are grinding to a halt because of “intimidation,” he said. People appear to have more confidence in witch doctors.

Health officials say the epidemic is out of control, moving back and forth across the porous borders of Guinea and neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia — often on the backs of the cheap motorcycles that ply the roads of this region of green hills and dense forest — infiltrating the lively open-air markets, overwhelming weak health facilities and decimating villages.

It was in this rural area, 400 miles over bad roads from Guinea’s capital, Conakry, where the outbreak was first spotted, and where it has hit hardest. More than 80 percent of those infected have died in this region, and Guinea has recorded more than twice as many deaths as the other countries.

In Koundony, more than one-eighth of the population, including the headman, are dead; many others have fled.

There is no known cure for the virus, which causes raging fever, vomiting, diarrhea and uncontrolled bleeding in about half the cases and up to 90 percent of the time, rapid death. Merely touching an infected person, or the body of a victim, is dangerous; coming into contact with blood, vomit or feces can be deadly.

Now the fear of aid workers, principally from Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross, is helping to spread the disease, health officials say, creating a secondary crisis.

Continue reading the main story

Villagers flee at the sight of a Red Cross truck. When a Westerner passes, villagers cry out, “Ebola, Ebola!” and run away.

This month, Doctors Without Borders classified 12 villages in Guinea as “red,” meaning they might harbor Ebola but were inaccessible for safety reasons.

As recently as April, the epidemic seemed to be under control. But in the past two weeks, its center appeared to have shifted across the border to Sierra Leone, where most of the new dead were being recorded. The sick are being hidden and the dead buried, without any protection.

Last week, the Sierra Leone Health Ministry reported that its lead doctor fighting Ebola had contracted the disease, and the virus had spread to a fourth country, with a confirmed fatality in Nigeria. Over the weekend, an aid organization working in Liberia, Samaritan’s Purse, said that two Americans, a doctor who was treating Ebola patients and an aid worker on a case management team, had tested positive for the virus. And the Liberian government said Sunday that one of its most high-profile doctors had died of Ebola, according to The Associated Press.

Back in Guinea, in the village of Wabengou, residents placed a tree in the road to block outsiders. They also attacked an official delegation from Conakry, rushing its cars, banging on the vehicles and brandishing machetes, according to Doctors Without Borders.

“We don’t want them in there at all,” said Wabengou’s chief, Marcel Dambadounou. “We don’t accept their presence at all. They are the transporters of the virus in these communities.”

He was surrounded by grim-looking men from Wabengou, standing at a crossroads on the way to his village; none of them demurred.

“We are absolutely afraid, and that’s why we are avoiding contact with everybody,” he said, “the whole world.”

Doctors Without Borders has set up an emergency treatment center in the regional capital, Guéckédou, but a nurse there said the center had diminishing appeal.

“Here, if the people come in, they don’t leave alive,” said the nurse, Fadima Diawara.

It may not help win confidence that the medical teams wear top-to-toe suits and masks, burning much of the outfit after helping a patient.

The wariness against outside intervention has deep roots. This part of Guinea, known as the Forest Region, where more than 200 people have already died of the disease, is known for its strong belief in traditional religion. The dictator who ruled Guinea with an iron fist for decades, Ahmed Sékou Touré, was only partly successful in a 1960s campaign to stamp out these beliefs, despite mass burnings of fetishes.

Addressing villagers this month in Bawa, where a woman had just died, the regional prefect from Guéckédou, Mohammed Cinq Keita, warned: “There is no root, no leaf, no animal that can cure you. Don’t be fooled.”

Near the border with Sierra Leone this month, Doctors Without Borders discovered an Ebola patient who had been privately “treated” in the village of Teldou and then returned to his relatives in another village, possibly infecting untold others.

Continue reading the main story

Continue reading the main story

“Extremely, extremely concerning,” said Sylvie Jonckheere, the charity’s doctor on the scene. A colleague in full gear lectured the villagers of Teldou as the rain started, but was met with indifference or hostile stares; some turned their backs on him.

As the aid workers drove off, the private nurse who administered a shot to the Ebola patient defended his treatment. “I couldn’t say that he had the illness,” said the nurse, Eduard Leno. “His body was hot, that’s all.”

Asked why the patient had not been sent to the clinic in Guéckédou, he said angrily: “We are in the bush here. You can’t just send someone away. How will society view you?”

Local officials have begun a campaign to open the closed villages — there have even been some recent arrests in Kolo Bengou — but in tiny Koundony, fear is palpable.

On a recent day, a Red Cross truck drove up to the cemetery to deliver the body of Marie Condé, 14, wrapped in plastic sheeting.

As the body was carried off the truck, a high-pitched wail pierced the country stillness. “There is no cure!” a woman cried. “There is no cure!”

The gravedigger, Marie’s half brother Famhan Condé, 26, was sweating as he heaved shovels of dirt. The grave, he said, would be the 26th he had dug since the epidemic began.

“We’re all scared here,” he said. “There’s no solution. We can do nothing. Only God can save us.”

 

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  posted on 7/28/2014 at 05:33 PM
http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2014/07/28/indy-mom-son-ebola-sought-mis sionary/13282057/

An Indianapolis woman whose son contracted Ebola while working in Liberia says family members are praying for his recovery.

Dr. Kent Brantly is the medical director for the Ebola care center of the aid group Samaritan's Purse in the Liberian capital of Monrovia.

Dr. David Mcray said Brantly had been working for months when he contracted the disease. Mcray said Brantly has told him he is "terrified."

Brantly's prognosis is grave, Mcray said. The doctor is suffering fever, headache and abdominal pain in an isolation unit for Ebola patients on the outskirts of Liberia's capital.

"We're just trusting God for his life," Jan Brantly, said. "We're praying, and we're sustained by our faith."

The 33-year-old Brantly, who is married and has two children, was talking with his doctors and working on his computer while being treated, said Samaritan's Purse spokeswoman Melissa Strickland. He is in stable and very serious condition, said Samaritan's Purse Vice President Ken Isaacs.

Jan Brantly said her son had wanted to be a medical missionary from an early age. The Indianapolis Heritage Christian High School graduate began going on mission trips while young and has also worked in Uganda and Tanzania, she said.

Brantly graduated from the Indiana University School of Medicine in 2009, a school spokeswoman said. She said Brantly performed humanitarian work while still in medical school, working with impoverished, inner-city residents.

Brantly volunteered to fight Ebola in Africa soon after finishing his hospital residency in Texas.

He was being treated in the Monrovia hospital where he worked. "We are hopeful, but he is certainly not out of the woods yet," said Strickland. Early treatment improves a patient's chances of survival, and Brantly recognized his own symptoms and began receiving care immediately, she said.

There is no known cure for the highly contagious virus, which is one of the deadliest in the world. At least 1,201 people have been infected in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to the World Health Organization, and 672 have died. Besides 129 Liberian fatalities, 319 people have died in Guinea and 224 in Sierra Leone.

Medical staff are at the highest risk of contracting the virus because of their proximity to patients. Health workers attending to the patient should wear gloves, gowns and face visors to prevent contact between the patient's bodily fluids and their own mucus membranes, such as the eyes, mouth, nose and ears, said David Heymann, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who has studied Ebola since 1976.

Strickland called Brantly "meticulous," saying that's why he was given the job. "We have every confidence that those protocols were not breached," she said. The group is investigating how Brantly may have been exposed.

The Associated Press and Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

 

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  posted on 7/29/2014 at 11:38 AM
A dear friend of mine who works for the CDC is over there right now and she told me that her close friend Dr. Kent Brantly has been infected and is expected to die. I wonder what the global implication will be from this.

 

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  posted on 7/29/2014 at 02:07 PM
I find it very difficult to read about this epidemic. This is the kind of news story that should be getting top billing, but because the topic is so uncomfortable, and frankly so scary, the major news outlets are not providing coverage.

The doctors who are risking their lives are real heroes. The entire world should join in the effort to eradicate the disease and get these people help.

 

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  posted on 7/29/2014 at 03:56 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/29/ebola-doctor-dead-sheik-umar-khan_ n_5630878.html

FREETOWN, July 29 (Reuters) - The doctor leading Sierra Leone's fight against the worst Ebola outbreak on record died from the virus on Tuesday, the country's chief medical officer said.

The death of Sheik Umar Khan, who was credited with treating more than 100 patients, follows the deaths of dozens of local health workers and the infection of two American medics in neighboring Liberia, highlighting the dangers faced by staff trying to halt the disease's spread across West Africa.

Ebola is believed to have killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began in February, according to the World Health Organization. The contagious disease, which has no known cure, has symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding.

The 39-year-old Khan, hailed as a "national hero" by the Health Ministry, had been moved to a treatment ward run by the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres in the far north of Sierra Leone.

He died on Tuesday afternoon, less than a week after his diagnosis was announced, and on the same day that President Ernest Bai Koroma was due to visit his treatment center in the northeastern town of Kailahun.

"It is a big and irreparable loss to Sierra Leone as he was the only specialist the country had in viral haemorrhagic fevers," said the chief medical officer, Brima Kargbo.

Weak health systems are struggling to contain the disease despite international help ranging from doctors to safety equipment.

The West African airline Asky has suspended flights to and from Sierra Leone and Liberia as concern over the spread of the virus has increased since the first death was reported last week in Nigeria's coastal city of Lagos, home to 21 million people.

Togo-based Asky said it would no longer take on food in Guinea, where the outbreak was first identified. It said that passengers leaving the Guinean capital Conakry would be checked for signs of the disease before departure.

The airline added that medical teams would be deployed to screen passengers in transit through its Lome hub. The victim was a Liberian who traveled to Nigeria on Asky via Lome.

Nigeria's largest carrier, Arik Air, has suspended flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone because of the Ebola risk.

The fatality rate of the current outbreak is around 60 percent although the disease can kill up to 90 percent of those who catch it.

On Monday, a U.S. administration official said President Barack Obama was receiving updates and noted that U.S. agencies had stepped up assistance to help contain the virus. (Additional reporting by Emma Farge and Bate Felix in Dakar; Writing by David Lewis and Daniel Flynn; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

 

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  posted on 7/29/2014 at 07:52 PM
The area should be quarantined from travel until the outbreak is controlled; I'm sure our administration would deem that a racist action but damn - there is no way to treat this disease. Perhaps John Kerry can get his ass out of the Mid East and negotiate this one.
 

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  posted on 7/30/2014 at 03:19 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/30/health/ebola-american-aid-workers/index.html? hpt=hp_t1

Peace Corps evacuates west Africa volunteers due to Ebola threat
By Jacque Wilson, CNN
updated 3:56 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014

(CNN) -- Humanitarian agencies working in west Africa on Wednesday stepped up their precautions against the Ebola virus, with the Peace Corps announcing it was removing hundreds of its volunteers from three of the hardest-hit nations.

The Peace Corps said 340 volunteers would temporarily leave Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, as local, national and international organizations tried to contain the disease.

"The agency has been and will continue to closely monitor the outbreak of the virus in collaboration with leading experts from the (U.S.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State," the Peace Corps said.

Two American aid workers working with Samaritan's Purse who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus "have shown a slight improvement in the past 24 hours," according to that international evangelical Christian humanitarian agency.

Both remain in serious condition, the agency said.

Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, who last lived in Fort Worth, Texas, and Nancy Writebol, who is from Charlotte, North Carolina, sought treatment for exposure to the virus last week. Both were caring for patients with Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia's capital.

"We ask that people continue to pray for Kent and Nancy and all those who are affected by Ebola, and the tremendous group of doctors and nurses who are caring for them," Samaritan's Purse said in a statement.

Doctors and other medical staff are particularly vulnerable to the Ebola virus because it spreads through exposure to bodily fluids from the infected. It can also spread through contact with an object that has been contaminated by an infected person's bodily fluids.

Brantly works with Samaritan's Purse. He has been the medical director for the Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Monrovia, where he has been providing care for Ebola patients since October. After testing positive for the virus, Brantly went into treatment at ELWA Hospital.

Samaritan's Purse has been working to evacuate him for better care, said Ken Isaacs, vice president of the agency. Unfortunately, emergency medical evacuation flights in the area are not equipped to handle the "intense isolation" required for an Ebola patient.

Brantly's family had been with him in Liberia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but left for the United States before he became symptomatic; it is highly unlikely that his family members caught the virus from him, the CDC said. Out of an abundance of caution, they are on a 21-day fever watch, the CDC said.

"We have a strong family unit within a stronger faith community that has given us incredible support," the Brantly family said in a statement Tuesday. "Kent remains very physically weak, but his spirit has been determined throughout this ordeal."

Writebol works for Serving in Mission, or SIM. The missionary organization had teamed up with the staff from Samaritan's Purse to help fight the Ebola outbreak when she got sick.

It is believed one of the local staff was infected with Ebola and came to work with the virus on July 21 and 22, Isaacs told CNN.

"We think it was in the scrub-down area where the disease was passed to both Nancy and Kent," he said. That staff member died Thursday.

Because of the uptick in Ebola cases in the region, Todd Shearer, a spokesman for Samaritan's Purse, told CNN that the organization is evacuating nonessential staff out of Liberia. Serving in Mission also has recalled all nonessential personnel from Liberia, according to its website.

On Monday, the CDC issued an alert warning travelers to avoid hospitals with Ebola patients and funerals for those patients in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea due to the outbreak. The United States is considering raising the alert to discourage "nonessential" travel to those three countries, a U.S. government spokesman said.

 

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  posted on 7/30/2014 at 04:08 PM
quote:
The area should be quarantined from travel until the outbreak is controlled; I'm sure our administration would deem that a racist action but damn - there is no way to treat this disease. Perhaps John Kerry can get his ass out of the Mid East and negotiate this one.


What area are you talking about? All of Western Africa? I don't see it as being deemed racist. Just a huge infringement on several sovereign countries.

At least the outbreak is in Southwestern Africa. Traffic to and from Northern Africa from Europe is constant and heavy. When I was a migrant worker in France there were lots of folks from Africa, especially Tunisia looking for work.

I'm all for controlling the epidemic but I don't know how you can just cut off an area that size that encompasses so many countries from the rest of the world.

Would that be an act of war?

 

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