L.A.S MEDIA HOUSE

Monday, 18 August 2014

GoodNews: More Ebola Patients To Be Discharged This Week – Gov Fashola


#GoodNews: More Ebola Patients To Be Discharged This Week – Gov Fashola
Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (File Photo)
Following the recovery and discharge of the first Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) patient from the isolation centre at the Mainland Hospital in Lagos, facts have emerged as to how the patients are recovering. Meanwhile, more patients undergoing medical treatment at the centre may be discharged this week, investigations revealed.
Experts, who commented on the development, said although 60-90 per cent of people infected with the Ebola virus die, some people do recover from infection.
“Doctors don’t know for certain who will survive Ebola, and there is no specific treatment or cure for the disease. But studies suggest there are some biological markers linked with a higher chance of surviving Ebola,” the experts say.

In the view of Derek Gatherer, a Bioinformatics researcher at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, who studies viral genetics and evolution, “when a person becomes infected with Ebola, the virus depletes the body’s immune cells, which defend against infection.
Gloria Tumwijuke (with microphone), Alice Ngonzi Isoke (folding hands in red dress), Diana Alinaitwe (behind Alice), Mrs Isoke (Alice’s mother), an unidentified health worker(on Gloria’s right) and a granddaughter to Mrs Isoke – all Ebola survivors narrating their ordeal at Kagaadi Hospital during the function to officially declare Uganda Ebola free. (Photo Courtesy: WHO)
Gloria Tumwijuke (with microphone), Alice Ngonzi Isoke (folding hands in red dress), Diana Alinaitwe (behind Alice), Mrs Isoke (Alice’s mother), an unidentified health worker(on Gloria’s right) and a granddaughter to Mrs Isoke – all Ebola survivors narrating their ordeal at Kagaadi Hospital during the function to officially declare Uganda Ebola free. (Photo Courtesy: WHO)
“In particular, the Ebola virus depletes immune cells called CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes, which are crucial to the function of the immune system”, Gatherer noted, arguing that “if a person’s immune system can stand up to this initial attack — meaning their immune cells are not as depleted in the first stages of infection — then they are more likely to survive the disease.
“The patients that survive it best are the ones who don’t get such a bad immune deficiency. But if the body is not able to fend off this attack, then the immune system becomes less able to regulate itself”, Gatherer said.
Markers
Another marker linked with people’s ability to survive Ebola is a gene called human leukocyte antigen-B, which makes a protein that is important in the immune system. A 2007 study found that people with certain versions of this gene, called B*07 and B*14, were more likely to survive Ebola, while people with other versions, called B*67 and B*15, were more likely to die.
Some people may be resistant to Ebola infection entirely, if they have a mutation in a gene called NPC1. Studies show that, when researchers take cells from people with the NPC1 mutation and try to infect them with Ebola in a laboratory dish, these cells are resistant to the virus.
Gatherer said in European populations, about 1 in 300 to 1 in 400 people has this mutation.
“But in some populations, this mutation is more common: in Nova Scotia, between 10 and 26 per cent of people have this mutation. But the frequency of this mutation in African populations is not known,” he said.
Also giving an insight, Lagos state Governor Babatunde Fashola remarked: “This is a virus that will run a maximum of 21 days. What we must do is people who show some signs of illness should come in very early so that we can continue to hydrate them, give electrolyte balance so that their nervous system do not go into shock and wherever it is necessary to provide antibiotics for patients; and their body can fight the virus which in the event last no longer than 21 days.”
More to be discharged this week — Fashola
Fashola, who spoke at a media briefing where he indicated that more patients were likely to be discharged this week, noted: “There is silver lining in all of this, as report reaching me shows that many of the critical patients are responding positively to treatment and are likely to be discharged next week, (this week).
“At the moment, 61 people have been certified negative and they have been freed.
“Aside the treatment for those who have full grown cases, the more important work is tracking all those who have had contact with them in order to know how far the virus has spread. It is when we have finally reach everyone that we can say that we have control over the virus. From that place we can go back to sleep

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