The official Ebola death toll is now at 932 with over 1,700 reported cases but as the WHO reports, in the last 48 hours, deaths and cases have exploded (48 and 108 respectively). As the charts below show, this epidemic is going exponential. What is perhaps most worrisome is, while playing down the threat in Nigeria (most especially Lagos - which the CDC Director is "deeply concerned" about), officials have formally asked the US for the experimental Ebola drug, which suggest things are far worse than the 3 deaths reported so far in Nigeria would suggest. Finally, as we warned yesterday, Saudi Arabia is suffering too as the main who was hospitalized yesterday with symptoms has died - the first reported casualty in the Arab world.
It is the world's deadliest outbreak to date and has centred on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Eight people are currently in quarantine in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, and two have died there.
The Saudi man died after showing Ebola symptoms when he returned from a business trip to Sierra Leone, the Saudi health ministry said.
The Ebola outbreak has gone exponential...
And then there is this...
- *NIGERIA FORMALLY REQUESTS EXPERIMENTAL EBOLA DRUG FROM U.S.
- *NIGERIA HEALTH MINISTER IN TOUCH WITH U.S. CDC DIRECTOR
Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu has sent request to director of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he tells reporters in capital, Abuja.
“We have been in communication in the last 36 hours”
“We are getting reports that the experimental drug seems to be useful”
Which suggests things are far more serious in Nigeria than officials are letting on. As The BBC reports,
But it is not clear if the ZMapp drug, which has only been tested on monkeys, can be credited with their improvement.
Prof Peter Piot, who co-discovered Ebola in 1976, Prof David Heymann, the head of the Centre on Global Health Security, and Wellcome Trust director Prof Jeremy Farrar said there were several drugs and vaccines being studied for possible use against Ebola.
"African governments should be allowed to make informed decisions about whether or not to use these products - for example to protect and treat healthcare workers who run especially high risks of infection," they wrote in a joint statement.
The WHO, "the only body with the necessary international authority" to allow such experimental treatments, "must take on this greater leadership role", they said.
As CDC's Director warned...
Deeply concerned about Ebola spread in Lagos, Nigeria. Urgent emergency response needed.
— Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrFriedenCDC) August 5, 2014
A Saudi man, who was hospitalized for suspected Ebola infection, died on Wednesday.
The man, in his 40s, had returned recently to Jeddah from a business trip to Sierra Leone, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. He was admitted to hospital on Monday and showed symptoms of Ebola virus infection.
His death marks the first reported casualty of the Ebola epidemic in the Arab world and comes as an emergency World Health Organization summit was being held in Geneva to discuss measures to tackle the epidemic.
And finally - some humor from Michael Ramirez at Investors.com