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A message to the Content Management working group

We want to thank you all once again for the wonderful contributions you are making to the Resilience Systems.

We are going to take this opportunity to share a few posting highlights, and let you know that in the near future we intend to establish a link to our instruction sets within the Content Management group.

Here are a few posting highlights:

When posting older time-sensitive articles, please remember to adjust the publication date under “Authoring information” / “Authored on”. Doing so will ensure that our material is posted in chronological order according to the article publication dates. Of course if the article is not time-sensitive and is important or just as applicable today as it was on the date of publication, please feel free to use a current publication date. Ideally we would like to have current information towards the top of the Home page.

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Battling Ebola: The African responses that 'will win this war'

People walk past a billboard with a message about Ebola in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, on November 7. Public awareness campaigns are proving vital in the fight against the virus.

Description of African efforts to improve communications to counter the spread of Ebola

CCN                                                                                                                                Nov. 17, 2014

By Alex Court (CNN)-- "When the Ebola outbreak started, it was very terrifying for everybody," recalls Michael Chu'no Ike from Nsukka in Nigeria's Enugu State. "People were afraid it could be transmitted by air and started believing all sorts of rumors about how to boost their immunity."

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Epidemics of Confusion

Like AIDS before it, Ebola Isn't explained clearly by officials

People shun the infected and their contacts; some demand quarantines. Conspiracy theorists contend the virus escaped from government laboratories.

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Why mobile data to prevent Ebola has not yet been released

THE ECONOMIST                                                                                Nov.9, 2014

The number of new cases of Ebola in west Africa is decreasing, suggesting that quickly-enacted emergency precautions have so far been successful. Yet there is a valuable tool that epidemiologists would like to use to track the disease and help stamp it out: data from mobile phones.

These "call data records" identify where the device is and has been, along with its proximity to other devices, among other things. It lets experts infer, with empirical data and in real-time, where people are, and how many, and where they are probably headed. Yet despite talks among researchers, phone companies, governments—and even UN agencies and the GSMA, the mobile-industry’s trade association—the records have not yet been released. Why not?

It is not for a lack of utility. A bevvy of cases already underscore the data’s usefulness.....

If the data are so helpful, why are they not used? Several factors are to blame....

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What Employers Are Doing To Counter Ebola

FORBES MAGAZINE                              NOV. 11, 2014
By Tevi Troy, President, American Health Policy Institute

Ebola has killed over 5,000 people, roiled U.S. hospitals, and shaken the faith of Americans in the government’s ability to respond. At the same time, and below the radar, U.S. companies are responding to Ebola with a variety of steps to protect themselves, their employees, and their operations.

The most important element of communicating the threat of the Ebola outbreak for both the government and corporate leaders is to provide factual information while also preventing panic and fear. There have been 5,000 false alarm cases of Ebola as people flock to U.S. emergency rooms out of fear that their common cold or seasonal flu symptoms are early manifestations of the Ebola virus. This hysteria not only has potential mental and physical health implications, but also economic implications. Fear may incentivize some people to change their behavior, whether through cancelling flights and vacation plans or visiting the doctor and stocking up on medications. Furthermore, treating suspected Ebola patients, even if they don’t pan out, is expensive and labor intensive for hospitals.

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Mobile-phone records are an invaluable tool to combat Ebola. They should be made available to researchers

THE ECONOMIST                          Oct. 25, 2014

With at least 4,500 people dead, public-health authorities in west Africa and worldwide are struggling to contain Ebola. Borders have been closed, air passengers screened, schools suspended. But a promising tool for epidemiologists lies unused: mobile cell phone data.

When people make mobile-phone calls, the network generates a call data record (CDR) containing such information as the phone numbers of the caller and receiver, the time of the call and the tower that handled it—which gives a rough indication of the device’s location. This information provides researchers with an insight into mobility patterns...

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Ebola Advice From Atlanta and Nebraska Doctors Fails to Ease Fears


TIME MAGAZINE                                                                     Oct. 14, 2014

By Alexandra Sifferlin

Physicians who are treating patients with the Ebola virus at Emory University Hospital and the University of Nebraska Medical Center shared their advice and protocols with worried hospitals and health care providers over a phone conference on Tuesday. Whether the conference really quelled these fears, however, was not exactly clear.

The intent of the conference, which was organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was to answer health care questions related to admitting and treating a patient with Ebola. There’s growing concern among health officials that hospitals without specialized isolation units and with little experience treating serious communicable diseases may not be fully prepared to treat the disease....

Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, seen in August 2014. Jessica McGowan—Getty Images

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U.S. lacks a single standard for Ebola response

USA TODAY                                   Oct. 12, 2014

by Larry Copeland

ATLANTA — As Thomas Eric Duncan's family mourns the USA's first Ebola death in Dallas, one question reverberates over a series of apparent missteps in the case: Who is in charge of the response to Ebola?

The answer seems to be — there really isn't one person or agency. There is not a single national response.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has emerged as the standard-bearer — and sometimes the scapegoat — on Ebola.

Public health is the purview of the states, and as the nation anticipates more Ebola cases, some experts say the way the United States handles public health is not up to the challenge.

Read Full Story

CDC workers analyze Ebola details in the CDC's Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta.(Photo: David Tulis for USA TODAY)

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The Problem With Ebola In The Media


FORBES                                       Oc. 11, 2014

By Alic G. Walton

The Ebola situation in West Africa is clearly not good. The death toll is rising, and people continue to become infected.....

But the reality is that for people in America and other places outside of West Africa, the risk is still quite low. Caution is important, obviously, and airports and hospitals are taking measures to screen people and protect the public.

 The real issue is a different one: Our fear of Ebola has become many times worse than the problem.

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Mobile Phones, Social Media Aiding Ebola Fight

 U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT         Oct. 20, 2014

By Tim Risen

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CDC Develops Ebola Modeling Tool While WHO Trains Health Workers

HOMELAND SECURITY TODAY               Oct. 9, 2014

 By Kylie Bull, Managing Editor

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a dynamic modeling tool called Ebola Response that allows for estimations of projected cases over time in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

 The Ebola Response modeling tool can construct scenarios to illustrate how control and prevention interventions can slow and eventually stop the Ebola epidemic. Importantly, it can help public health and other planners make more informed decisions about emergency response resources to help bring the outbreak under control. The new tool allows input of data reflective of the current situation on the ground in affected countries and communities.

 The Ebola Response modeling tool is intended to help local governments and international responders generate short-term estimates of the Ebola situations in countries, districts and villages. The tool, in the form of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, is to be made freely available online.

Meanwhile, in Liberia, the World Health Organization (WHO) has established a new training program for health workers on Ebola care.

 Read full story

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