Pestilence Update

Long-running Ebola outbreak is now an international health emergency, say experts

Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a women experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period

… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).

… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)

… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)

… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)

Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.

Long-running Ebola outbreak is now an international health emergency, say experts

Anne Gulland. The Telegraph•February 5, 2019

The current outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is now so severe it should be declared an international health emergency, experts have warned.

In an article in the Lancet medical journal a group of international lawyers has urged the World Health Organization to declare the situation a public health emergency of international concern, which they hope would shine an international spotlight on the outbreak, currently the second largest in history.

Since the outbreak was declared last August there have been 774 cases of the disease and 481 deaths, and emergency responders have had to contend with outbreaks of violence and high levels of mistrust among the affected communities.

WHO’s emergency committee last met in October but since that time the number of cases of the disease have tripled, the outbreak has expanded into 18 health zones and governments have withdrawn personnel “fearing for their safety”, the Lancet warns. And the risk of the disease spreading across the border to Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan is also high.

Mark Eccleston-Turner, one of the authors of the Lancet paper and a law lecturer at Keele University, said that declaring an international health emergency would not give WHO any more funding but he added: “Its main function is as a signal to the international community that this outbreak is serious, it requires more effort, more resources and a coordinated international response.”

At the beginning of  the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which eventually led to nearly 30,000 cases including 11,000 deaths, the WHO came in for heavy criticism for being slow to grasp its severity and to declare an international emergency.

Dr Eccleston-Turner said that when an international health emergency was finally declared in August 2014 it triggered the involvement of the United Nations which described the outbreak as a threat to global peace and security.

He added: “WHO has learned some of the lessons of the West Africa outbreak and seems to be in a much better position now. But we cannot have complacency or hesitancy at WHO.”

But the situation in the summer of 2014 was very different: Ebola was spreading like wildfire in three countries, there was concern it would spread beyond Africa and there was no clear strategy for dealing with the disease. There was also no vaccine to control the spread of the disease or treatments for those infected.

By contrast today, international agencies have at their disposal a vaccine, four experimental treatments for patients as well as a tried and tested containment strategy.

The Lancet paper states that declaring a public health emergency would be “a clarion call to galvanise high-level political, financial, and technical support… It would provide a clear signal from the world’s global health body that UN leadership is urgent.”

Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesman, said: “WHO and our partners in DRC and neighbouring countries are watching carefully to detect any signs that we might need to call an expert committee… If and when we see those signs, the director general will call a meeting.”

Speaking to the Telegraph last week Mike Ryan, WHO assistant director general for emergencies, said the current strategy was working as the outbreak is being brought under control in the affected areas.

But while the outbreak has been largely contained in the cities of Beni and Mangina it has now moved “like a bush fire” to the city of Katwa, which has seen around two thirds of the new cases of the disease over the last month.

“The real challenge is containing the disease before it moves on to the next city. We know that’s been the pattern in the past – this is a highly mobile population which means there’s a high risk that cases will move to another city or region,” said Dr Ryan.

He added: “From the air the outbreak looks like a conflagration but it’s more like a series of bush fires.”

This is the 10th outbreak of the disease in DRC, after being identified in what was then Zaire in 1976. But it is the first time that Ebola has been in the North Kivu region in the north east of the country.

Dr Ryan said that there was much distrust of the international community and even some health workers have refused the vaccine.

He said: “Participation of the community is crucial, without it tension and misunderstanding come in. The vast majority of the responders are local and we’re doing a tremendous amount of training.”

He added that standards of care had much improved during this outbreak thanks to the work of agencies such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and US-based Alliance for International Medical Action (Alima).

“Credit to MSF and Alima – standards of care are definitely rising. We have intensive care specialists embedded in treatment centres and they provide extra assistance with managing patients. There is now improved hydration and monitoring of blood chemistry – the centres are more like intensive care units now,” he said.

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