Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Nigeria acknowledges slow response in Ebola case

By
From page A10 | August 06, 2014 |

LAGOS, Nigeria — Nigerian health authorities acknowledged Tuesday that they did not immediately quarantine a sick airline passenger who later died of Ebola, announcing that eight health workers who had primary contact with him were now in isolation with symptoms of the disease.

Ebola, which can cause victims to bleed from the eyes and mouths before a grisly death, has killed nearly 900 people across four countries in West Africa, a deeply impoverished region with severely limited medical resources.

The outbreak, which emerged in March, spread to Nigeria in late July when Patrick Sawyer, a 40-year-old American of Liberian descent, flew from Liberia’s capital to the megacity of Lagos. The announcement that Sawyer was not immediately quarantined underscores concerns that West Africa is ill-equipped to contain such a disease.

By contrast, two American aid workers who were infected with Ebola in Liberia are being treated with an experimental drug in an isolation unit at an Atlanta hospital after being flown in on chartered jets. Ebola concerns in the U.S. have led some worried people to hospital emergency rooms and prompted testing of at least four patients, according to a count kept by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts say people infected with Ebola can spread the disease only through their bodily fluids and after they show symptoms. Since the incubation period can last up to 21 days, some of the Nigerians who treated Sawyer are only now showing signs of illness that can mimic many common tropical illnesses — fever, muscle aches and vomiting.

Initially authorities told reporters that the risk of any exposure to others was minimal because Sawyer was whisked into isolation after arriving at the airport with symptoms of Ebola.

But Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris said Tuesday that the nature of his disease “was not known” the first day, and only after further investigation did they suspect Ebola. Sawyer’s sister had died in Liberia from the disease, which has no proven cure or treatment.

“They went back to the history and they were like ‘Oh, this is Liberia,’ and that’s why he was put into isolation,” he told reporters. “So even in that window period it was possible that some of these people got infected.”

A doctor who provided care to Sawyer has tested positive for the disease, and seven other health workers are now showing symptoms so have been placed in isolation. They are among 14 people who had “serious direct contact” with Sawyer, most of them at the hospital, Idris said. Authorities say they are also following the conditions of 56 other people who had “primary contact” with Sawyer — presumably less at risk than those in the first group.

Ben Neuman, a virologist and Ebola expert at Britain’s University of Reading, said doctors during an outbreak save lives “by responding bravely and quickly when someone is sick.” That involves a measure of risk, as is seen now by the exposure in Nigeria.

“The thing to watch going forward is how this changes infection control practices in Nigeria and around the world if a situation like this occurs again,” he said.

The official death toll for the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola now stands at 887, according to the World Health Organization. Most of the deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where government officials said hundreds of troops were being deployed across the country to enforce quarantines.

Three of the six missionaries in isolation at the San Jose de Monrovia Hospital in Liberia have tested positive for the virus, including Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, according to Spain’s San Juan de Dios hospital order, a Catholic humanitarian group that runs hospitals around the world.

Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous nation, has experienced only one death.

Nigerian health officials fought to keep the outbreak from spreading in Lagos, where millions of people live in densely crowded conditions. The Lagos state health commissioner acknowledged that state health authorities need volunteers to help track down the people who may have come into contact with the eight suspected cases in quarantine.

“You may have two family contacts, you may have many family contacts,” he said. “You need people who will go out and chase all these people.”

Meanwhile, an American woman who contracted the disease while working as a missionary in Liberia was flown to Atlanta for treatment in a special isolation ward alongside an American doctor who also fell ill in Liberia.

Nancy Writebol, 59, arrived at Dobbins Air Reserve Base aboard a chartered plane from Monrovia, Liberia. She was joining Dr. Kent Brantly in the isolation unit at Emory University Hospital, just downhill from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both were infected despite taking precautions as they treated Ebola patients.

While family members said both Americans have been improving after taking the experimental drug, doctors at Emory have released no details about their treatment. Writebol’s employer, the SIM charity, said Tuesday that she remains in serious but stable condition.

The serum she and Brantly were given was developed with U.S. military funding by a San Diego company, using antibodies harvested from mice that had been injected with parts of the Ebola virus. Tobacco plants in Kentucky are being used to reproduce it.

It’s impossible to know if this treatment saved these workers from the hemorrhagic fever killing at least 60 percent of the people infected by the virus in Africa. They could be recovering on their own, or for other reasons, including better medical care than many Africans get.

If this experimental treatment works, it could create political pressure to speed through testing and production to help contain the disease in Africa. Dozens of African heads of state were meeting with President Barack Obama on Tuesday at a summit in Washington. But it could take years before any treatment can be proven to be effective and safe, let alone mass produced.

 

T. Gary Ichikawa

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Celebrate the magic of Christmas

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

 
Safe streets task force work nets 3

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

Santas have busy week at schools

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
 
 
Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

 
Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California’s top utility regulator defends record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Russian sailors leaving France without warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

 
European court rules obesity can be a disability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

 
Another look at school bonds

By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
News of the day strikes a chord

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

 
Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

.

Sports

49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Raiders defense depleted by injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Dow industrials have their best day in three years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Lisa Dee McHughes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Travis Curt Price

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics