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Who Will Pay Ebola Patients' Medical Bills in the U.S.?

THE NATIONAL JOURNAL   By Maria Koren           Nov. 24, 2014

...Nine people have been treated for the virus in the U.S. since August. Seven recovered. The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, which treated one of them, estimates treatment for patients diagnosed with Ebola costs $50,000 a day. Officials at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, which cared for two patients, put the daily cost at $30,000, and the totalat $1.16 million for a single patient. Most patients have been hospitalized for more than two weeks.

The U.S. has shown it can beat Ebola. But who will pay for the expensive care it takes to do it?

It's a tough question, and one that the people holding the bills seem reluctant to answer. Hospitals that have treated patients in Georgia, Nebraska, New York, and Texas did not respond to requests for comment, nor did the governors' offices of these states. NIH was forthcothcoming about cost of care, but the feds pick up the tab for treatment there.

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Ebola becomes latest stock scam, U.S. SEC says

REUTERS                                                                                                 NOV. 20, 2014
By Sarah N. Lynch

U.S. regulators on Thursday suspended trading in four small over-the-counter stocks of companies that they said have been touting the development of products to prevent or treat the Ebola virus, and warned investors to beware of similar scams.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it had suspended trading in the shares of New York-based Bravo Enterprises Ltd, California-based Immunotech Laboratories Inc, Canada-based Myriad Interactive Media Inc and Wholehealth Products Inc, which is also located in California.

The SEC also issued a warning that "con artists" may be soliciting investors and claiming to be developing treatments or medicine to prevent the deadly virus.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/20/us-sec-ebola-scams-idUSKCN0J41V820141120

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Ebola's impact on Africa economy might be less than feared

REUTERS                                                                                                                             nOV. 19, 2014         
By Joe Brock
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The cost of the Ebola epidemic for Sub-Saharan Africa's economy is likely to be closer to $3 billion-$4 billion and not the worst-case scenario of $32 billion, the World Bank's chief economist for the continent said on Wednesday.

Francisco Ferreira said at a lecture in Johannesburg that successful containment of Ebola in some West African countries made the gloomiest forecasts less likely, but the economic damage could still escalate if there was any complacency.

"The risk of the highest case of economic impact of Ebola has been reduced because of the success of containment in some countries. It has not gone to zero because a great level of preparedness and focus is still needed," Ferreira said.

"I would say the outlook has moved closer to the lower case of $3-$4 billion, than the upper case," he said.

In a report in October, the World Bank said that if the Ebola epidemic spread significantly outside the epicentre states of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the potential cost for Africa in disrupted cross-border trade, supply chains and tourism could amount to tens of billions of dollars.

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West African Mining Projects Take Hit From Ebola Crisis

Epidemic Delays Rollout of Jobs Meant for Residents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone

WALL STREET JOURNAL                                                                                             Nov. 19, 2014
By Patrick McGroarty in Liberia, David Gauthier-Villars in Guinea
and Alex MacDonald in London

...a promising corner of the global economic frontier is pocked with stalled mining projects. The Ebola epidemic has scared off ships and planes; prompted expatriates to abandon their posts; and delayed the rollout of thousands of jobs meant for residents of the three poor West African countries hardest hit by the virus: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A three-story steel shiploader at ArcelorMittal’s port in the Liberian city of Buchanan is part of a $1.7 billion expansion delayed by Ebola. Patrick McGroarty/The Wall Street Journal

“All the projects are at a standstill,” said Mr. Foulah, chief executive of the mining-explosives firm ECP Guinée.

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EU boosts anti-Ebola aid after Commissioners' mission to worst-hit countries

EUROPEAN COMMISSION HUMANITARIAN AID DEPARTMENT   Nov. 17, 2014

The European Union is continuing to scale up its response to the Ebola epidemic as its Coordinator for the emergency, Commissioner Christos Stylianides together with Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health, return from a four-day mission to the affected countries.

New funding of €29 million will be made available by the European Commissionfor transporting vital aid supplies and equipment to the affected countries, evacuation of infected international aid workers to hospitals in Europe and training and deploying health workers to the ground. Money will also reinforce local health facilities.

Of this total, €12 million is for assistance to the neighbours of the affected countries, to help them prepare for the risk of an Ebola outbreak through early detection and public awareness measures.

... The European Union's total contribution is close to €1.1 billion.

Sweden has announced that it will deploy, via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, 42 doctors, nurses and other health personnel who will run a treatment centre on the ground.

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Hospitals Improvise Ebola Defenses, at a Cost

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                                                                         Nov. 18, 2014

By David Caruso

NEW YORK ---What does it take to Ebola-proof a hospital?

Over the past few months, U.S. medical centers have spent millions of dollars putting together a plan to treat patients with the scary, but extremely rare disease.

To a large extent, it has been an exercise in improvisation.

A medical worker stands outside a patient care room in a new custom-built bio-containment unit for potential Ebola cases at Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York. The unit, built over two weeks, is completely separate from the main medical buildings and can house three patients simultaneously. (AP Photo/John Minchillo

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Cost to Treat Ebola: $1 Million For Two Patients

CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY: Nebraska University cites treatment costs

NBC NEWS                                                                                               Nov. 18, 2014

It cost more than $1 million to treat two patients sent to the University of Nebraska’s Medical Center, the hospital’s chancellor said Tuesday. And it’s still not clear who will pay the bill and how.

It is  the first on-the-record estimate of what it’s cost to treat Ebola patients in the United States. So far, 10 people have been treated on U.S. soil — most recently, Sierra Leonean Dr. Martin Salia, who died Monday in Nebraska.

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International Football Stars Unite in the Fight against Ebola

THE WORLD BANK   PRESS RELEASE                                                                                           NOV. 17, 2014

WASHINGTON— The world’s top football players, including Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona’s Neymar Jr., Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and Bayern Munich’s Philipp Lahm, are joining forces with global health experts to help raise global awareness in the fight against Ebola.

In a new campaign “11 Against Ebola”, players from some of Europe’s biggest clubs come together to promote preventative measures aimed at communities affected by the Ebola virus.

Using the slogan “Together, we can beat Ebola” and the hashtag #wecanbeatebola, players share 11 simple health messages selected with the help of doctors and health experts from Africa, the World Bank Group and the World Health Organization, among the organizations tackling the outbreak in West Africa.

Each message is amplified through animated films, radio content, banners, posters and photographs of the players.

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In Ebola fight, private foundations provide critical financial aid

Description of the way the CDC Foundation, the Allen Foundation and large donors are playing an important role in countering Ebola.

THE WASHINGTON POST                                                                                                          Nov. 17, 2014
By Ariana Eunjung Cha

"...The unpredictable nature of the Ebola virus has made the government’s partnerships with private donors critically important in the crisis response. Working outside the politically charged federal appropriations process and the sometimes sluggish bureaucracy, foundations and private individuals have been able to offer much-needed relief for those on the front lines...."

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/in-ebola-fight-private-foundations-provide-critical-financial-aid/2014/11/16/b57ec57e-6109-11e4-9f3a-7e28799e0549_story.html

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The Shifting Ebola Epidemic

NEW YORK TIMES                                                                                         Nov. 16, 2014

EDITORIAL

Recent gains in controlling the Ebola epidemic in West Africa have been encouraging, but they offer no reason for complacency. In Liberia, the hardest-hit country, the rate of new infections has declined in some areas, and several treatment units have been reporting empty beds for more than a month. But in adjacent Sierra Leone the number of new cases has shot upward, while in Guinea, where the epidemic started, the incidence of new cases appears to have stabilized over all, with growth in some districts and declines in others. All told, Ebola has infected more than 14,000 people in West Africa and killed more than 5,000 of them...

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