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Preparing for the Next Ebola - The Year In Review

submitted by George Hurlburt

             

Caught off guard in 2014, health care regrouped and reorganized in 2015.  (Photo: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters)

takepart.com - by Hannah Hoag - December 14, 2015

As horrific images of bodies piling up in West Africa and stories of children orphaned by Ebola filled American media over the summer and early fall of 2014, many feared someone with the virus would arrive undetected in the U.S. and spur a major outbreak. But experts considered the risk of that happening to be very low, says Kamran Khan, an infectious disease physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and the founder of BlueDot, a social enterprise that uses big data to mitigate the impacts of global infectious disease. . . .

. . . Yet in October 2014, Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted to a Dallas hospital with Ebola shortly after arriving in the U.S. from Liberia.

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NOAA: Salt Marshes Combat Climate Change

             

Shorebirds feed in the shallows of Estero Bay State Preserve.  In the background are black mangroves, which are part of a salt marsh, which absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide.  (Photo: File photo by Andrew West)

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - PLOS One - Living Shorelines: Coastal Resilience with a Blue Carbon Benefit

news-press.com - by Chad Gillis - December 24, 2015

Natural, living shorelines in areas like the Gulf of Mexico absorb a lot of carbon dioxide and will help blunt the effects of climate change.

And coastal wetlands store several times the amount that can be absorbed by mature tropical forests, the research shows.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration studied wetlands in North Carolina and reports that plants, sand and rocks are better for the environment than man-made features like concrete sea walls and high-rise condominiums.

The report, published earlier this month in the journal PLOS One, shows that natural features in coastal areas help keep atmospheric carbon dioxide levels lower.

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US Ebola Survivors Can Experience Hair Loss, Joint Pain, And Other Health Problems Without Proper Monitoring

Volunteer Andrew Matzen receives a trial Ebola vaccine at the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine in Oxford, southern England January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

submitted by George Hurlburt

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Post-Ebola Signs and Symptoms in U.S. Survivors

medicaldaily.com - by Jaleesa Baulkman - December 20, 2015

The road to recovery is long and bumpy for many survivors of the Ebola virus in the United States, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Secretary-General Appoints David Nabarro of United Kingdom Special Adviser on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

                                                                 

un.org - December 3, 2015

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of David Nabarro of the United Kingdom as Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  The Special Adviser will work with Member States and other relevant stakeholders to galvanize action on implementation of the Agenda, while also overseeing the Secretary-General’s special initiatives, for example, “Every Woman Every Child”.

Dr. Nabarro has more than 30 years experience in public health, nutrition and development work at the national, regional and global levels, and has held positions in non-governmental organizations, universities, national Governments and the United Nations system.

Since September 2014, he has served as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Ebola, providing strategic and policy direction for the international response.  From 2005 to 2014 he was Senior Coordinator for Avian and Pandemic Influenza.  From 2011 to 2015, he served as Coordinator of the Movement to Scale Up Nutrition, and since 2009 he has been the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Food Security and Nutrition, a position he will continue to hold.

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Bill Gates Launches Multi-Billion Dollar Clean Energy Fund

             

Bill Gates has pulled together a multinational band of investors to put billions into clean energy.

money.cnn.com - by Jackie Wattles - November 30, 2015

The Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist announced his latest endeavor, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, at the climate change summit in Paris. . . .

. . . The new Gates fund will be fed by a group that spans more than two dozen public and private entities -- including national governments, billionaire philanthropists, investment fund managers and tech CEOs.

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CLICK HERE - Breakthrough Energy Coalition

 

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'No Planet B', Marchers Worldwide Tell Leaders Before U.N. Climate Summit

          

reuters.com - by Megan Rowling - November 29, 2015

Hundreds of thousands of people from Australia to Paraguay joined the biggest day of climate change activism in history on Sunday, telling world leaders gathering for a summit in Paris there is "No Planet B" in the fight against global warming.

In the French capital, where demonstrations were banned by the authorities after attacks by Islamic State militants killed 130 people on Nov. 13, activists laid out more than 20,000 shoes in the Place de la Republique to symbolize absent marchers on the eve of the summit.

Among the high heels and sandals were a pair of plain black shoes sent by Pope Francis, who has been a vocal advocate for action to prevent dangerous climate change, and jogging shoes from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

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U.N. Study: Natural Disasters Caused 600,000 Deaths Over 20 Years

CLICK HERE - STUDY - The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters

Extreme weather caused nearly $2 trillion in economic losses

time.com - by Melissa Chan - November 23, 2015

Natural disasters have killed more than 600,000 people and left behind trillions of dollars in damages in the last two decades, the United Nations said Monday.

Hundreds of floods, storms, heat waves and droughts have left about 606,000 people dead and 4.1 billion injured or homeless around the world since 1995, according to a U.N. report.

The extreme weather-related calamities also caused nearly $2 trillion in economic losses.

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Another American Ebola Survivor Had Eye Problems

Ebola survivor Dr. Richard Sacra experienced eye problems, including vision loss, pain and redness, shortly after he recovered from the disease.

Credit: Chancellor JR, Padmanabhan SP, Greenough TC, Sacra R, Ellison RT III, Madoff LC, et al. Uveitis and systemic inflammatory markers in convalescent phase of Ebola virusdisease. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016 Feb

CLICK HERE - STUDY - CDC - Uveitis and Systemic Inflammatory Markers in Convalescent Phase of Ebola Virus Disease

livescience.com - by Rachael Rettner - November 25, 2015

Ebola survivor Dr. Ian Crozier wasn't the only American to experience eye problems following the disease — a new report describes eye problems in another American doctor who lived through the disease.

Dr. Richard Sacra, who works for the Christian mission organization SIM USA, contracted Ebola last year while caring for pregnant women in Liberia during the rise of the Ebola outbreak there. He was evacuated to the United States for treatment in early September 2014, and was declared Ebola-free after spending about a month in the hospital.

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Worldwide Travel Alert | U. S. Department of State

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats.

travel.state.gov - November 23, 2015

Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions.  These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests.  This Travel Alert expires on February 24, 2016.

Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da’esh return from Syria and Iraq.  Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis.  Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services.  In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali.  ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt. 

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World Leaders Seek New Path to Slow Warming of Planet

             

The Eiffel Tower is seen at sunset in Paris, France, November 22, 2015. The capital will host the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) from November 30 to December 11.  REUTERS/CHARLES PLATIAU

CLICK HERE - Paris 2015 - COP21/CMP11 - UN Climate Change Conference - INDCs

reuters.com - by Alister Doyle - November 23, 2015

Next week, in the waning days of what is set to be the hottest year on record, world leaders meet on the outskirts of Paris for a summit that seeks nothing less than to steer the global economy away from its ever-growing reliance on fossil fuels.

The challenge is enormous and has proven elusive in the past. The U.N.-sponsored talks are aimed at getting 195 countries to agree on a path for cutting the greenhouse gas emissions which scientists say have raised global temperatures and begun upending the earth's climate.

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