Professor Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who named Ebola and was part of a team of scientists who discovered the virus in Kinshasa, formerly Zaire, in 1976, says the Ebola outbreak is no longer an epidemic but a "human catastrophe" he never thought "could get this bad."
"It should be clear to all of us: This isn't just an epidemic any more. This is a humanitarian catastrophe. We don't just need care personnel, but also logistics experts, trucks, jeeps and foodstuffs. Such an epidemic can destabilize entire regions. I can only hope that we will be able to get it under control. I really never thought that it could get this bad," said Piot when asked if the world had lost control of the Ebola epidemic in an interview with The Guardian.
"I have always been an optimist and I think that we now have no other choice than to try everything, really everything. It's good that the United States and some other countries are finally beginning to help. But Germany or even Belgium, for example, must do a lot more," he explained. more >>
Militants from terror group Boko Haram reportedly beheaded seven people in revenge attacks on Monday in the remote northeast town of Ngamdu in Nigeria.
Resident Musa Abor said that when Ngamdu locals awoke they found seven people that had been brutally killed. The gunmen "slit their (victims) throats just the way people slaughter goats," the resident added.
The terror group is apparently carrying out revenge attacks against locals who have aided Nigeria's military and have formed vigilante groups that have fought back against Boko Haram's raids. more >>
American charity Operation Blessing International has announced it's sending a team of aid workers with multiple chlorine generators and a shipping container full of critically needed hospital supplies to Liberia, one of the countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak.
The faith-based relief group is the latest to join in the fight against the deadly virus, which has killed over 3,400 people throughout West Africa, and has reached the United States.
"Chlorine is one of the most important tools in the fight against Ebola because it kills the virus on contact," OBI president Bill Horan explained in a press release. more >>
A team of scientists has traced the spread of AIDS and the HIV virus to the city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1920s. Its report states that a growing sex trade, along with rapid population growth and unsterilized needles used in health clinics facilitated the spread of the deadly virus.
Published in Science Magazine, the report describes that the HIV virus originated in chimpanzees in the early 20th century and spread to humans, likely because central African hunters ate infected meat. This occurred on a number of occasions, which placed into circulation different HIV viruses, including the HIV-1, which would go on to infect millions of people around the world.
A BBC News summary of the report states that scientists traced the source of the spread of HIV to the city of Kinshasa in 1920s, then part of Belgian Congo, which was undergoing rapid population growth at the time. more >>
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau appeared in a new video Thursday where he dismissed claims that he had been killed, and announced that he is implementing strict Sharia law on towns in Nigeria that have been captured by the terror group.
"Here I am, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath," Shekau says in the video that was obtained by AFP. He adds that he is "running our ... Islamic caliphate" and administering strict Sharia punishments.
The video puts an end to hopes that Shekau might have been killed by anti-terror efforts, as the Nigerian army had earlier suggested. more >>
Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic runner dubbed the "Blade Runner," will be facing sentencing in October, after his trial regarding the fatal shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide instead of murder on Sept. 12.
His sentence will be carried out on Oct. 13 later this month.
Pistorius had been initially acquitted of murder but he had told authorities that he thought an intruder had breached his home and was hiding behind the bathroom door. Pistorius had shot his girlfriend four times. The sentence will be carried out by Judge Thokozile Masipa and will range from a timed suspension and a fine, or up to 15 years in jail. Judge Masipa was also the one who carried out the verdict. more >>