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CHRONOLOGY-Worst Ebola outbreak on record tests global response
September 18, 2014 / 10:58 PM / 3 years ago

CHRONOLOGY-Worst Ebola outbreak on record tests global response

Sept 18 (Reuters) - International agencies and governments
are fighting to contain the world's worst Ebola epidemic since
the disease was identified in 1976. The fever, which causes
external and internal bleeding, has killed at least, 2,630
people in West Africa. 
    Here is a timeline of the main developments in the outbreak:
        
    March 22: Guinea confirms that a previously unidentified
hemorrhagic fever, which killed over 50 people in its
southeastern Forest Region, is Ebola. One study traces the
suspected original source to a 2-year-old boy in the town of
Gueckedou. Cases are also reported in the capital, Conakry.
    March 30: Liberia reports two Ebola cases; suspected cases
are reported in Sierra Leone.
    April 1: Noting the spread, medical charity Medecins Sans
Frontieres (MSF) warns it is "unprecedented," but a World Health
Organization (WHO) spokesman calls it "relatively small still."
    April 4: A mob attacks an Ebola treatment center in
southeastern Guinea. Healthcare workers in Guinea, Sierra Leone
and Liberia face growing hostility from fearful, suspicious
local people, many of whom refuse to believe the disease exists.
    May 26: WHO confirms the first Ebola deaths in Sierra Leone.
    June 17: Liberia says Ebola has reached its capital,
Monrovia.
    June 23: With deaths above 350, making the West African
outbreak the worst Ebola epidemic on record, MSF says the
outbreak is "out of control" and calls for massive resources.
    July 25: Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy, confirms its
first Ebola case, a Liberian-American man who died in the 
commercial hub, Lagos, after traveling from Monrovia.
    July 29: Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, who was leading Sierra Leone's
fight against the epidemic, dies of the virus.
    July 30: Liberia shuts schools and orders the quarantining
of the worst-affected communities, using troops to enforce it.
    July 31: The U.S. Peace Corps withdraws all volunteers from
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, citing Ebola risks.
    Aug 2: An American missionary aid worker infected with Ebola
in Liberia, Dr. Kent Brantly, is flown to Atlanta in the United
States for treatment at Emory University Hospital.
    Aug 4: The World Bank announces up to $200 million in
emergency assistance for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
    Aug 5: A second U.S. missionary infected with Ebola, Nancy
Writebol, is flown from Liberia to the Atlanta hospital.
    Aug 8: WHO declares Ebola an "international public health
emergency" but stops short of calling for a ban on international
trade or travel.
    Aug 12: WHO says death toll from the outbreak has risen
above 1,000, and approves use of unproven drugs or vaccines.
    A Spanish priest with Ebola dies in a Madrid hospital.
    Aug 14: WHO says reports of Ebola deaths and cases from the
field "vastly underestimate" the scale of the outbreak.
    Aug 15: MSF compares the Ebola outbreak to "wartime," says
it will take about six months to control.
    Aug 20: Liberian security forces in Monrovia fire live
rounds and tear gas to disperse crowd trying to break out of
Ebola quarantine. One teenager dies of gunshot wounds. 
    Aug 21: The two American missionary aid workers treated in
Atlanta are released from hospital free of the virus. They
received an experimental therapy called ZMapp.
    Aug 24: Democratic Republic of Congo declares an Ebola
outbreak in its northern Equateur province, apparently separate
from the larger West African outbreak.
    An infected British medical worker is flown home from Sierra
Leone for treatment.
    Aug 28: WHO puts the death toll at above 1,550, warns
outbreak could infect more than 20,000 people. The U.N. health
agency announces a strategic plan to fight the epidemic and says
$490 million will be needed over the next six months.
    Aug 29: Senegal reports its first confirmed Ebola case.
    Aug 30: The World Food Program says it needs $70 million to
feed 1.3 million people at risk in Ebola-quarantined areas.
    Sept 2: MSF President Joanne Liu tells U.N. members the
world is "losing the battle" to contain the Ebola outbreak and
slams "a global coalition of inaction."
    Sept 3: Pace of epidemic accelerates; deaths top 1,900.
Officials say there were close to 400 deaths in the past week.
    A third U.S. missionary infected with Ebola, Dr. Rick Sacra
of Boston, is flown out of Liberia for treatment at the Nebraska
Medical Center in Omaha.
    Sept. 5: WHO puts Ebola deaths in West Africa at more than
2,100 out of about 4,000 people thought to have been infected.
    The European Union pledges 140 million euros (US$180
million) toward the anti-Ebola campaign.
    Sept. 6: Scientists publish map of places most at risk of an
Ebola outbreak, saying regions likely to be home to animals
harboring the virus are more widespread than previously feared,
particularly in West Africa. (To see the map, click on bit.ly/WOtGCc)
    Sept. 7: President Barack Obama says in an interview the
United States needs to do more to help control Ebola to prevent
it from becoming a global crisis that could threaten Americans.
    Sept. 8: Britain says it will send military and humanitarian
experts to Sierra Leone to set up a treatment center, while the
United States says it will send a 25-bed military field hospital
to Liberia to care for health workers.
    A fourth Ebola patient will be flown to the United States
for treatment, says Atlanta's Emory University Hospital.
    Sept. 9: WHO says the death toll jumped by almost 200 in a
single day to at least 2,296 and is already likely to be higher.
WHO says it has recorded 4,293 cases in five West African
countries, but it did not have new figures for Liberia.
    Sept. 10: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledges $50
million to support emergency efforts to contain the disease. 
    Sept. 11: Doctors treating Sacra at University of Nebraska
Medical Center say he is showing "remarkable improvement" after
receiving an infusion of plasma from U.S. Ebola survivor Brantly
and an undisclosed experimental drug.
    Sept. 12: WHO says new Ebola cases in West Africa are
growing faster than authorities can manage them and renews call
for healthcare workers from around the world to go to region.
    Sept. 13: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appeals
to Obama for urgent aid in tackling Ebola, saying that without
it her country will lose the fight against the disease.
    Sept. 14: Johnson Sirleaf's office says she has dismissed 10
senior officials because they failed to heed a warning to return
from overseas to help the government's fight against Ebola.
    Sept. 15: Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama calls for
the easing of restrictions on West African nations fighting
Ebola, saying "panic" measures have led to isolation and
undermined the battle against the disease.
    Sept. 16: The United States promises to send 3,000 military
engineers and medical personnel to West Africa to build
treatment clinics and train healthcare workers to halt the
spread of the disease.
    A senior WHO official says Ebola has killed 2,461 people,
about half of the 4,985 people infected, a doubling of the death
toll in the past month.
    Sept. 17: Johnson Sirleaf says she hopes Obama's decision to
send troops to West Africa to battle the epidemic will spur
other countries to help.
    MSF says a French nurse volunteering for the medical charity
in Liberia has Ebola. It says seven of its local staff have the
disease, and three of them have died.
    U.S. House of Representatives approves $88 million to help
fight the outbreak.
    Sept. 18: The WHO updates its tally of Ebola's toll: 2,630
dead out of 5,357 infected.
    Eight bodies, including those of three journalists, are
found after an attack on a team trying to educate local people
in a remote region of Guinea about Ebola, the government says.
    The United Nations says it will create a special mission to
combat Ebola, deploying staff in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra
Leone. U.N. Security Council adopts a U.S.-drafted resolution
calling on countries to lift travel and border restrictions.
    French President Francois Hollande says a military hospital
will be deployed in the Forest Region of southeastern Guinea,
where the virus was first detected in March.

 (Writing by Pascal Fletcher and Jonathan Oatis; Editing by Toni
Reinhold)

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