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MSF Protocols for Staff Returning from Ebola-Affected Countries

DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS/MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERE                                      OCT. 23, 2014

Doctors without Borders (MSF)  describes its specific guidelines and protocols for staff members returning from Ebola assignments. The guidlines were posted following the hospitalization of Dr. Craig Smith, one of its workers, in New York City yesterday.

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U.S. considering quarantine for returning Ebola health workers: CDC

REUTERS                                         OCT. 24, 2014

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON  - The Obama administration is considering quarantining healthcare workers returning to the United States from the Ebola hot zone of West Africa, after a New York doctor who treated Ebola patients there tested positive for the virus.

Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Reuters on Friday that quarantine is among a number of options being discussed by officials from across the administration.

Staff of the emergency medical services in France (SAMU) wear Ebola virus protection outfits during a press presentation at the Necker Hospital in Paris, October 24, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

"There are a number of options being discussed pertaining to the monitoring and mobility of healthcare workers who are returning to the United States from affected countries," Skinner said.

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Structural Adaptivity, Rebalancing by Watersheds - Part II

Here is the second part of my Rebalancing by Watersheds Exercise.  I presented the background work recently in my Part I post.  Part II contains a Concept Plan Map and a discussion of the more particular information and data that led me to the Plan. 

 

Both Parts I and Part II are only a condensed version of the full text I prepared.  Within the portions I left out for this version is a considerable amount of technical information that some readers may want to see.  I will provide more of it upon request. 

 

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WHO statement on the third meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee regarding the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa

 

WHO    GENEVA                                                                         Oct. 23, 2014

 The WHO Ebola Emergency Committee statement issued today, following its meetings this week, said exit screening in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone remains critical for reducing the exportation of Ebola cases.

The statement said "States should maintain and reinforce high-quality exit screening of all persons at international airports, seaport, and major land crossings, for unexplained febrile illness consistent with potential Ebola infection. The exit screening should consist of, at a minimum, a questionnaire, a temperature measurement and, if fever is discovered, an assessment of the risk that the fever is caused by Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). States should collect data from their exit screening processes, monitor their results, and share these with WHO on a regular basis and in a timely fashion. This will increase public confidence and provide important information to other States."

The report also encouraged States that have recently introduced entry screening measures to should share their experiences and lessons learned.

...The Committee reiterated its recommendation that there should be no general ban on international travel or trade.

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Structural Adaptivity, Rebalancing by Watersheds - Part I

 

One of the applications of structural adaptivity that I have presented is re-balancing our nation by major watersheds.  The benefits would be two-fold:  (1) growing our nation into urban regions where each would have resilient economic and adaptivity capacities; and (2) tying the regions to ample sources of fresh water by linking them to regional U.S. watersheds.

 

Because it would be such a large departure from recent trends and because I could discover no literature showing its possibility or desirability, I sought to perform an exercise to demonstrate its possibility.  In doing this, I am setting aside my own considerable shortcomings.  I am assuming that criticism of my arrogance in attempting such an exercise is less important than taking a step in a much-needed new direction.

 

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Red Cross: Ebola Could Be Contained Within 6 Months

Health workers bury the body of a woman who is suspected of having died of the Ebola virus in Bomi county, on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Oct. 20, 2014.

VOICE OF AMERICA                                                                            Oct.22, 2014

The head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa could be contained within four to six months if the right steps are followed.

Elhadj As Sy told reporters Wednesday in China that the time frame was possible with good isolation and treatment for those with confirmed cases of Ebola, along with proper burials for those who died from the virus.

His comments come as the World Health Organization convenes a meeting of its Emergency Committee on Ebola to discuss the latest developments in the outbreak and whether to alter its recommendations.

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Neighboring countries shore up anti-Ebola defenses

DEUTSCHE  WELLE                                                                             Oct. 21, 1914

 By Philipp Sandner and Ibrahima Bah

West African countries that have escaped the Ebola outbreak intend to stay free of it by preparing for the worst. It is a strategy that can work as events in Senegal and Nigeria have shown. 

Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau are countries that border on the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic that encompasses Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. All these nations wish to protect themselves.

A health worker takes the temperature of man entering Mali from Guinea

One of the more obvious measures is to screen people entering the country. "We are using thermal imaging cameras to detect people at airports and borders who are running a temperature," said Malian physician Adamas Daou. He works at Mali's National Action Center for the fight against Ebola. Medical personnel are also on duty urging Malians to practice good personal hygiene. "This includes washing their hands in chlorinated water" Daou said.

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Ebola vaccine trials could start in Africa in January

UPDATE: Drugmakers to join forces to make millions of Ebola vaccine doses

REUTERS                                                                     Oct 22, 2014

By Ben Hirschler

LONDON -- Leading drugmakers plan to work together to speed up the development of an Ebola vaccine and hope to produce millions of doses for use next year.

U.S. firm Johnson & Johnson said on Wednesday that it aims to produce at least 1 million doses of its two-step vaccine next year and has already discussed collaboration with Britain's GlaxoSmithKline, which is working on a rival vaccine.

The economics of an Ebola vaccine are still unclear but drug companies with an eye on their reputations are under pressure to respond to the major international health crisis now ravaging one of the poorest corners of Africa.

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Fighting Ebola, and the Mud

NEW YORK TIMES                         Oct. 21, 2014

Op-ed in Today's New York Times by Karen Huster, a nurse working in Liberia for Last Mile Health says that Liberia’s dysfunctional transportation system is standing in the way of fighting the Ebola epidemic and suggests some solutions
 

"Patients have died on grueling journeys to treatment units. Blood samples have sat waiting for days, eventually becoming invalid....

 "The best solution is removing the need to travel altogether by building more easily accessible treatment centers all over the country, where patients with confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola can be housed and treated. The United States military is building these structures, but it is taking time. Nimbler nongovernmental organizations must also step in. Save the Children has already done so and is also building smaller community care centers — sort of homes away from home, where families can continue to care for their sick loved ones safely removed from the community. A makeshift center with tents instead of permanent structures could be set up within a week.

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Ebola crisis: Worst-hit African nations get key supplies

BBC                                                                                   Oct. 20, 2014

Vital supplies and resources to tackle Ebola are beginning to arrive in the three worst-hit West African countries, Ghana's President John Mahama has said.

Mr Mahama, who heads the regional bloc Ecowas, also told the BBC that treatment centres were being set up in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. But he called for proper co-ordination between agencies to avoid duplication.


Red Cross workers are among those fighting the outbreak in Sierra Leone

Mr Mahama told the BBC that the World Food Programme was airlifting humanitarian aid to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

"Vehicles, motorcycles and other means of transport are going in there. There's more protective clothing being provided," he said.

"But there's no need for us to duplicate each other and have more treatment centres when we do not have volunteers and health workers to treat the people in the treatment centres.

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