News from Berlin

Germany Welcomes Ebola-Infected Patients for Treatment

October 13th, 2014
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News from Berlin - Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe, fatal (if untreated) illness in humans transmitted to people from wild animals and spread through human-to-human transmission. The first outbreak occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests. This deadly virus has swept through Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea infecting over 7,000 people since March. Of those people, an estimated 3,400 have died. Poor healthcare infrastructure has contributed to this deadly impact. There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but potential candidates are undergoing evaluation. The spread of the highly contagious virus currently seems unstoppable, with Spain reporting the first case of Ebola that was contracted on EU soil and in Texas, the first patient in the US is fighting for his life.

In an effort to combat the Ebola epidemic currently ravaging West Africa, Berlin pledged last month to deploy both civilian and military personnel, where they will first set up a mobile hospital with the help of the German Red Cross and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief. German hospital staff has been receiving regular training and are taught how to work in isolation wards with highly infectious patients.

So far the country has received three patients for treatment: The first, a WHO employee arrived in Hamburg from Sierra Leone last month and has now been released following successful treatment, the second patient (a doctor from Uganda) is currently undergoing treated in Frankfurt. The last of the patients brought to Germany is a 56-year-old Sudanese man who is being treated at the St Georg Hospital in Leipzig. He had been infected with the often-deadly virus during the course of his work in Liberia and has been reported to be in a "stable but extremely critical condition," according to Chief physician, Thomas Grünewald.

The healthcare services provided in Berlin are adequate to attend to patients, with isolation unit facilities set up specifically for serious communicable diseases (in the Berlin Charité hospital) in preparation for a situation where an Ebola-infected patient might land within Berlin borders.

News from Berlin – Berlin Global