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DHS Successfully Transitions Search and Rescue Tool That Pinpoints Buried Victims

dhs.gov - May 7, 2015

Washington, D.C.– The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, announced today the transition of the final prototype of the Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER) technology to the commercial market.  FINDER is a radar technology designed to detect heartbeats of victims trapped in wreckage. Two commercial partners have been licensed to manufacture the device: R4 Inc. of Eatontown, N.J. and SpecOps Group Inc. of Sarasota, Fla.

Earlier today, S&T and NASA demonstrated its newest capabilities at the Virginia Task Force One  (VA-TF1) Training Facility in Lorton, Va., finding “survivors” in a simulated disaster. This is thanks to the new locator feature, which can help pinpoint the location of the victim to within about five feet – depending on the type of rubble. This key change saves rescuers time, increasing chances for locating survivors.

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Home > Health Ebola Is Found in Doctor's Eye Months After Virus Left Blood

ASSOCIATED PRESS by MARILYNN MARCHIONE AP Chief Medical Writer                                      May 7. 2015

(Scroll down for full study and American Academy of Ophtalolgy statement.)

For the first time, Ebola has been discovered inside the eyes of a patient months after the virus was gone from his blood.

Ebola has infected more than 26,000 people since December 2013 in West Africa. Some survivors have reported eye problems but how often they occur isn't known. The virus also is thought to be able to persist in semen for several months.

The new report concerns Dr. Ian Crozier, a 43-year-old American physician diagnosed with Ebola in September while working with the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone.

He was treated at Emory University Hospital's special Ebola unit in Atlanta and released in October when Ebola was no longer detected in his blood. Two months later, he developed an inflammation and very high blood pressure in one eye, which causes swelling and potentially serious vision problems.

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Fund Disease Surveillance Network in Africa and Asia to Prevent Childhood Mortality and Help Prepare for the Next Epidemic

PR NEWSWIRE                                                                                                  May 7, 2015

(Scroll down for interview with Bill Gates)

At its Global Partners Forum, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will announce the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance Network (CHAMPS), a network of disease surveillance sites in developing countries. These sites will help gather better data, faster, about how, where and why children are getting sick and dying. This data will help the global health community get the right interventions to the right children in the right place to save lives. The network will also be invaluable in providing capacity and training in the event of an epidemic, such as Ebola or SARS. The Gates Foundation plans an initial commitment of up to $75 million on the effort.

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Ebola Virus Lives on Hospital Surfaces for Days

LIVESCIENCE  by Rachel Rettner                                                          May 6, 2015

The Ebola virus can live on surfaces in hospitals for nearly two weeks, a new study suggests.

Researchers tested how long the Ebola virus could survive on plastic, stainless steel and Tyvek, a material used in Ebola suits. The researchers also simulated different environmental conditions, including a climate-controlled hospital at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) and 40 percent humidity, and the typical environment of West Africa, at 80 F (27 C) and 80 percent humidity.

In general, the virus survived on surfaces for a longer time when in the climate-controlled conditions than in the West African environment, the study found. Under hospital-like conditions, the virus lived for 11 days on Tyvek, eight days on plastic and four days on stainless steel. The longest the virus was able to survive in the tropical conditions of the West African environment was three days, on Tyvek.

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http://www.livescience.com/50758-ebola-virus-survival-surfaces.html

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Review: ‘Frontline’ Looks at Missteps During the Ebola Outbreak

NEW YORK TIMES  By                      May 3, 2015

(UPDATE: Scroll down for link to the PBS FRONTLINE  program on Ebola originally aired last night on American television.)

Heartbreaking stories from the Ebola outbreak are familiar by now, although that doesn’t make them any easier to hear, and a “Frontline” installment being broadcast on PBS on Tuesday night has its share. But it also has something less familiar: Officials acknowledging that they could have done a better job of responding to the crisis.

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California Gov. Jerry Brown Orders Aggressive Greenhouse Gas Cuts By 2030

Governer Jerry Brown.

Image: Governer Jerry Brown.

huffingtonpost.com - April 29th 2015 - Kate Sheppard

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order Wednesday directing the state to cut is greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, the toughest proposed cuts of any state in the nation.

The 2030 target will ensure that California can meet its emissions target for the middle of this century, which calls for an 80 percent cut by 2050, Brown said. The state is already on pace to meet its goal of bringing heat-trapping emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020, a target set under a 2006 state law.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Three in every four extremely hot days linked to climate change

Three out of four hot days could be due to climate change (Image: Guy Corbishley/Getty)Image: Three out of four hot days could be due to climate change (Image: Guy Corbishley/Getty)

newscientist.com - April 28th 2015 - Aviva Rutkin

If climate change was a game, we'd have racked up quite a score. A fresh study suggests that humans are responsible for a hefty number of today's extreme hot days and rainstorms.

Weather extremes, such as a Russian heatwave in 2010 and a drought in Texas in 2011, have been blamed on climate change before – but the attribution of individual events to it is still hotly debated.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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US Shuts Down Ebola Treatment Center in Liberia

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                          April 30, 2014

MONROVIA -- American officials are shutting down a special treatment unit they set up in Liberia at the height of the Ebola crisis last year.

It's the latest sign that life is returning to normal in the West African country where more than 4,600 people have died from Ebola.

 Liberia has gone 32 days now without a new Ebola case. If it stays that way until May 9, the World Health Organization could declare the country Ebola-free.

The United States government last year deployed more than 2,000 troops to fight Ebola in Liberia, setting up about 15 treatment centers. Six of them are still being actively used by local health workers for various purposes.

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http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/us-shuts-ebola-treatment-center-liberia-30703643

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The Ebola Outbreak of 2013–2014: An Assessment of U.S. Actions

THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION Study  by, and

Executive Summary

 This report presents the observations, findings, and recommendations of a task force formed to examine the global response and the response of the U.S. government (USG) to the 2013–2014 Ebola outbreak and global transmission. Specifically, the task force sought to derive lessons learned and insights from the USG response to the Ebola outbreak both internationally and domestically with the goal of crafting recommendations to improve the government’s ability to respond to natural disasters, acts of bioterrorism, and various public health crises related to significant outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics....

The report’s major recommendations include:

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As Sierra Leone emerges from Ebola crisis, new innovations are helping poor villages

DESERET NEWS  by Kimberley Curtis                                                                       April 29, 2015

Thirteen years after civil war devastated the country, basic infrastructure and services are still lacking in many parts of Sierra Leone. This means transporting food throughout the country is prohibitively expensive and staple foods are out-priced for many of the roughly 60 percent of the population that lives in poverty. 

 

     HESE AFFORDABLE GREENHOUSE

In particular, basic vegetables such as carrots and tomatoes are in short supply in the country for most of the year as they are only grown in a few regions with a limited season. You can’t eat your vegetables if you can’t afford to buy them, which is one of the reasons why Sierra Leone has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world.

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