With the confirmed spread of Ebola to the bustling city of Mbandaka and the number of cases spiking to 58, it's been an eventful week for Ebolites. The most interesting happening by far, however, was the escape of three quarantined Ebola patients from an isolation ward at a hospital in Mbandaka.
Apparently, it was pretty simple. When relatives of two of the patients came to take them to church, the facilities Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) officials had no authority to stop them. They were reportedly taken away on motorbikes and a search was ordered by the police. One patient was later found dead at home, the other returned to the hospital the next day and died that evening.
Another patient who was close to being discharged left on Sunday evening but was later found and returned to the hospital for monitoring.
The WHO and MSF said they could not force patients to stay in the hospital, instead banking on good old African rationality.
“This is a hospital. It’s not a prison. We can’t lock everything,” Henry Gray, the head of the MSF mission in Mbandaka.
The families and contacts of the three patients are being monitored and some have already been immunized. Which brings us to the next point of interest, this experimental vaccine the WHO won't shut up about.
The Tilting Scale
Maybe you've heard about the "new" Ebola vaccine the WHO and other international health organizations have been bragging about since the last outbreak? If not, you need look no further than the WHO's last Disease Outbreak News (DON) to see how up their own asses they are for this little experiment.
It absolutely dominates the article. They don't even give updated infection stats or cover the outbreak itself at all.
Personally, I don't think this vaccine is meant to innoculate against Ebola itself, so much as the panic that comes with an epidemic. Whatever the case, it certainly won't stop Ebola-chan.
Thing is, as of yesterday the WHO had so far vaccinated 33 people, and had hoped to raise that number to 100 in the next five days, 70 of those 100 being healthcare professionals. The vaccine itself is just a sluggish thing, requiring 7 to 10 days to create an immunity. Whereas Ebola-chan can infect immediately and manifest symptoms in as little as two days. Something the WHO really should have taken into account. It's only just starting to sink in just how behind they are.
"We are on the epidemiological knife-edge," Peter Salama, head of emergency responses at the WHO, said at a special meeting to discuss the crisis in Geneva. "The next few weeks will really tell if this outbreak is going to expand to urban areas or if we are going to be able to keep it under control."