Ebola nurse to sue Dallas hospital parent company over training, privacy concerns

WASHINGTON POST   by

A 26-year-old nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a patient says she plans to sue, alleging privacy issues and a failure to properly train the Texas hospital’s staff, the Dallas Morning News reports.

“I wanted to believe that they would have my back and take care of me, but they just haven’t risen to the occasion,” Nina Pham told the newspaper.

The Morning News reports that Pham on Monday will file suit against Texas Health Resources, the parent company of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. She claims that personnel at the hospital didn’t have the gear or resources to deal with Ebola and didn’t get enough instruction for care or treatment.

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ZMapp Ebola Trial Starts In Liberia: Is It Too Late?

FORBES   by   David Kroll                                                                                          March 1, 2015

The widely-discussed antibody cocktail, ZMapp, is finally going to be tested under standardized, controlled conditions for its safety and efficacy in Ebola virus disease-infected patients in Liberia and, potentially, the United States.

Late Friday, the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) announced the launch of a randomized trial in up to 200 patient volunteers with confirmed Ebola virus infections.

The two-arm study will compare supportive standard of care with or without three intravenous infusions of ZMapp spaced three days apart. This is the same dosing regimen published in Nature that protected 18 of 18 monkeys when given up to five days after experimental infection.

LeafBio, the commercial arm of San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical, announced concomitantly that the FDA had approved their IND for this trial. The three antibodies that comprise ZMapp target both distinct and overlapping parts of the Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP) that it uses to infect humans.

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Nearly halted in Sierra Leone, Ebola makes a comeback by sea

NEW YORK TIMES     by Sheri Fink                                                                     March 1, 2015

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — It seemed as if the Ebola crisis was abating.

New cases were plummeting. The president lifted travel restrictions, and schools were to reopen. A local politician announced on the radio that two 21-day incubation cycles had passed with no new infections in his Freetown neighborhood. The country, many health officials said, was “on the road to zero.”

Then Ebola washed in from the sea.

A resident of Tamba Kula, a small fishing community in the Aberdeen district of Freetown, bathing at the shoreline as boats sit idle. Bryan Denton for The New York Times

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The fear of Ebola led to slayings — and a whole village was punished

Detailed account of the aftermath of murder by local villagers in Guinea of eight persons who came to teach about Ebola

WASHINGTON POST  by Amy Brittain                                                                             March 1, 2015
WOMEY, Guinea — The lecture about the dangers of Ebola had just begun, but the village had heard enough. A group of women started chanting, to warn the others against the visitors, “They are coming to kill you.” A mob of men masked their faces, waved machetes and rushed toward the speakers. Stones began to fly.

 

Thousands of Womey residents fled after the killings when Guinea’s military invaded and looted the vllage. More than a dozen died from malnutrition after living for months in the surrounding bushland. (Jane Hahn/For The Washington Post)

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Interaction of Atlantic and Pacific Oscillations Caused 'False Pause' in Warming

Ocean and sky (stock image) / Iakov Kalinin / Fotolia

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Atlantic and Pacific multidecadal oscillations and Northern Hemisphere temperatures

sciencedaily.com - February 26, 2015

The recent slowdown in climate warming is due, at least in part, to natural oscillations in the climate, according to a team of climate scientists, who add that these oscillations represent variability internal to the climate system. They do not signal any slowdown in human-caused global warming.

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Ebola: World Bank and Liberia to Work with Japan to Launch a Psychological Support Project

Some 18,000 Beneficiaries to Receive Mental Health and Psychosocial Support to Alleviate Consequences of Epidemic

worldbank.org

MONROVIA, February 25, 2015 – The Liberian Government and the World Bank Group in partnership with the Government of Japan, today launched a new $3 million project to address the psychological effects of Liberia’s Ebola crisis and to promote psychosocial health in the country. The ceremony was held at the World Bank Liberia Office.

The project, Supporting Psychosocial Health and Resilience in Liberia, is funded by Japan through the Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF), a trust fund administered by the World Bank. The Carter Center will implement this three-year project, which is expected to reach approximately 18,000 beneficiaries in Montserrado (hosting Monrovia) and Margibi counties.

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Sierra Leone vice president places himself in Ebola quarantine

REUTERS    Feb. 28, 2015

FREETOWN --Sierra Leone's Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana said on Saturday that he had placed himself in a 21-day quarantine after one of his bodyguards died of Ebola amid a worrying recent surge in new infections in the West African nation....

Sam-Sumana's bodyguard John Koroma died early this week.

"I have decided to be put under quarantine because I do not want to take chances and I want to lead by example," the vice president told Reuters. "I am very well and showing no signs of illness."

Sam-Sumana said his entire staff will also be placed under observation and anyone showing symptoms of the disease would be tested.

The vice president is the country's first senior government figure to subject himself to a voluntary quarantine. However, officials in neighboring Liberia, including the chief medical officer and transport minister, were placed under observation late last year.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/28/us-health-ebola-leone-idUSKBN0LW0WQ20150228

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Liberia’s President Urges U.S. to Continue Ebola Aid

NEW YORK TIMES  by Helene Cooper                     Feb. 27, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia on Friday urged the United States to maintain its assistance to her country as it continues to fight to recover from the Ebola outbreak, which began about one year ago.

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Thoughts turn to recovery as Ebola slowly ebbs in West Africa

 REUTERS By Daniel Flynn, James Harding Giahyue and Saliou Samb                              Feb. 27, 2015

 DAKAR/MONROVIA/CONAKRY - In the marble atrium of the Mammy Yoko hotel in Freetown, manager Nuno Neves has spotted something he has not seen since the Ebola virus struck Sierra Leone nine months ago: foreign businessmen.

The Radisson Blu chain opened the four-star hotel in April to cater for investors in one of Africa's fastest-growing economies. A month later, Ebola crossed the border from Guinea and those investors fled....

For months, Sierra Leone was cut off from the world amid panic at the worst recorded outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, which has killed more than 9,500 people in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia and infected over 23,500.

But with infection rates slowly declining, investors have begun to talk about post-Ebola reconstruction. Neves has noted the return of businessmen not seen since the hotel opened.

"They don't bring their teams. They just come to see what is going on and then they leave," he said, adding that 'business as usual' remains far off. "This will be a year focused on Ebola. First the fight to end Ebola and then reconstruction...."

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FDA approves Corgenix's Ebola test for emergency use

REUTERS                                                           Feb. 26, 2015

Diagnostics company Corgenix Medical Corp said on Thursday U.S. health regulators had approved its rapid Ebola test for emergency use, in response to the world's worst outbreak of the virus that killed more than 10,000 so far.

The company's ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test, which involves putting a drop of blood on a paper strip and waiting for at least 15 minutes for a reaction, was cleared by the World Health Organization last week.

The test is less accurate than the standard test, which has a turnaround time of 12-24 hours, but is easy to perform and does not require electricity. It is able to correctly identify about 92 percent of Ebola-infected patients and 85 percent of those not infected with the virus, the WHO said.

The WHO is still assessing four or five other rapid test candidates.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/26/us-health-ebola-testing-idUSKBN0LU1OO20150226

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It Kills Germs For Up To 6 Hours. Can It Wipe Out Ebola?

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO  by Emily Sohn                                                              Feb. 27, 2015

Clean hands go a long way toward preventing the spread of many illnesses, including Ebola. But finding the right hand-wash to impede deadly germs is tricky.

           A health worker in Liberia washes up after leaving a clinic's Ebola isolation area. Tommy Trenchard for NPR

A squirt of alcohol-based sanitizer like Purell kills or denatures many microbes on contact. In the case of bacteria, essentially poking holes in their cell membranes, causing them to shrivel up like water balloons. For viruses, the mechanism is not well-understood. But alcohol evaporates after 15 seconds, allowing for rapid recontamination...

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Rapid Response to Ebola Outbreaks in Remote Areas — Liberia, July–November 2014 Weekly

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)

 CDC                                                                        Feb. 27, 2015

Outbreaks in remote areas posed a significant challenge to CHTs to mount an effective investigation and rapid response because of limited resources, personnel, and means to reach remote areas.

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http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6407a7.htm?s_cid=mm6407a7_x

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The world should learn from the Ebola crisis to combat MERS in Saudi Arabia

EDITORIAL, THE WASHINGTON POST                                                                      Feb. 27, 2015

A DISEASE outbreak has a source and a pathway for transmission, but both can be exceedingly difficult to discover. Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, is surging anew in Saudi Arabia and raising familiar questions: Where is this coronavirus coming from and how is it spreading?

 

A man wearing a mask looks on as he stands in front of camels at a camel market in the village of al-Thamama near Riyadh May 11, 2014. Saudi Arabia said people handling camels should wear masks and gloves to prevent spreading Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), (Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters)

There is growing evidence that the natural reservoir of MERS, which first appeared in 2012, is dromedary camels, and last year’s peak in the spring seemed to coincide with the weaning period of camel calves. A new seasonal oscillation may be starting now. But there are worrisome and unexplained gaps in recent case reports.

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Ebola: Sierra Leone village in lockdown after 31 new cases recorded

THE GUARDIAN by Lisa O'Carroll                         Feb. 27, 2015

Efforts to beat Ebola in Sierra Leone have been dealt a setback after 31 new cases were recorded in one village.

                            Red Cross healthcare workers. 

The community of 500 just outside the town of Makeni has now been put in lockdown by the army amid fears that more could be infected.

The World Health Organisation said cases have been linked to one man who escaped a quarantine in Freetown to go home to his village to get treatment from a traditional faith healer.

The quarantine area is a fishing community, yards from the hotel where many of humanitarian agencies have stayed.

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http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/27/ebola-sierra-leone-village-lockdown-31-new-cases

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Ebola halts HIV progress in Sierra Leone, says UN

Thomson Reuters Foundation by Misha Hussain                                                        Feb.27, 2015

 DAKAR -- The West African Ebola outbreak has halted progress in tackling HIV in Sierra Leone, shutting health clinics and scaring patients from being tested or seeking treatment, the United Nations has said.

In an internal document seen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) raised concerns that HIV prevalence and drug resistance in the country could increase as a result.

"Hospitals have closed down because they have been overrun by Ebola patients and non-Ebola patients are too afraid to go to them for fear of catching the virus," said Hakan Bjorkman, who manages UNDP's AIDS programme.

"HIV prevention activities in schools and awareness raising for the general population has been suspended due to the restriction of movement, the closure of all education institutions and the overall ban on public gathering."

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