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WHO: Ebola rates level in Sierra Leone

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the rate of Ebola infections might be slowing in Sierra Leone, according to a Jan. 7 report from Reuters. Although the pace of new infections may be slowing, there were still about 250 new confirmed cases reported in Sierra Leone in the last week.

‘There are signs that case incidence may have leveled off in Sierra Leone, although with 248 new confirmed cases reported in the week to 4 January 2015, it remains by far the worst-affected country at present,’ according to a quote attributed to the WHO.

More than 8,200 people have died in West Africa since the Ebola outbreak began in late 2013. There have been almost 28,000 reported cases of Ebola infections in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, the countries described as ground zero for the outbreak.

The WHO said it would attack Ebola with a new battle plan: ‘An increasing emphasis will be put on the rapid deployment of smaller treatment facilities to ensure that capacity is matched with demand in each area.’

BLU-MED Response Systems offers deployable field hospitals and Ebola isolation units that are suitable for use in the fight against the virus. Currently, two BLU-MED Mobile Hospitals purchased by a German charity are providing 44 beds in Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia.

 

Johnson & Johnson: Ebola Vaccine Heads to West Africa

Johnson & Johnson announced that it has started administering the first Ebola vaccinations to volunteers in West Africa, according to a Jan. 7 report on NJ.com. The vaccine is intended to prevent healthy people from being sickened by the potentially deadly virus.

The drug-maker and its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies reportedly produced more than 400,000 regimens of the vaccine for use by April. The same reported stated that a total of 2 million regimens would be available by the end of the year. If needed, production could be ramped up to 5 million regimens in 12 to 18 months, officials told NJ.com

 

Vatican Earmarks $3.55M for Ebola Care

The Vatican is increasing its assistance to West African countries battling the largest Ebola outbreak in history, according to a Jan. 7 Associated Press report on ABCNews.com. The $3.55 million pledge is to be used for buying protective gear for caregivers, transporting sick patients and caring for children orphaned by the outbreak.

According to the AP, most of the money will be used to help local parishes provide grassroots support to Ebola victims and help fight the stigma faced by many Ebola survivors. The Vatican also plans to use some of the money for training clergy to offer better physical, emotional and spiritual support to Ebola victims.

- See more at: Additional Resources Necessary to Stop the Ebola Outbreak

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