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Man in U.S. With Ebola Had Been Screened to Fly, but System Is Spotty

NEW YORK TIMES   Oct. 2, 2014

By Matthew J. Wald and Jad Mouawad

As he was preparing to leave Liberia for Dallas two weeks ago, Thomas E. Duncan, the man confirmed to be the first Ebola case in the United States, was checked at the airport for signs of the disease. He was determined to have no fever and allowed to board his flight, American officials say. 

Scrutiny in Texas to Detect Whether Ebola Spread


Officials: ‘About 100′ people may have had contact with the Texas Ebola patient


Texas health officials said Thursday that there are "about 100" people who may have had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the man who is being treated in a Dallas-area hospital for Ebola.

Working in Ebola areas: First rule is you don’t touch anyone


Lawrence Togbah, left, Moses Bryant, center, and Abraham Saye try to protect themselves from Ebola by covering their hands, feet and torso with plastic bags. They did not have proper protective gear like gloves or masks. (Michel du Cille/The Washington Post)

The WASHINGTON POST      OCT. 1, 2014

By Lenny Bernstein

MONROVIA, Liberia — I was goofing around with a small group of young children outside their home on a muddy, cratered road in the New Kru Town slum here. I made a scary face and the kids skittered, giggling, behind a low wall at the front of their shanty. Then they peeked out, hoping for more.

Finally the boldest of the lot, a little girl perhaps 5 years old, approached and stuck out her hand. “Shake!” she offered excitedly.

“No touching,” I responded, keeping my hands at my sides, trying to hide my sadness. “No touching.”

You don’t touch anyone in Liberia. Not kids, not adults, not other Westerners, not the colleagues you arrived with. It is the rule of rules, because while everyone able is taking precautions, you just can’t be sure where the invisible, lethal Ebola virus might be. Once the virus is on your fingers, it would be frighteningly easy to rub an eye and infect yourself.

Information Relay Failure Admitted In Texas Ebola Victim Case

A patient was diagnosed with Ebola on Sept. 30 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.(Photo: Mike Stone, Getty Images)


By Mark Berman October 1 at 3:15 PM

The man in Texas who tested positive for Ebola told hospital officials he had traveled from West Africa when he sought treatment on Friday, but that information was not relayed to everyone treating him at that time, authorities said Wednesday.

As a result, the man was diagnosed with a “low-grade, common viral disease” and sent home that day, said Mark C. Lester, executive vice president of the health-care system that includes Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the Dallas facility treating the Ebola patient.

“Regretfully, that information was not fully communicated throughout the full team,” Lester said during a news conference Wednesday. “As a result, the full import of that information wasn’t factored into the clinical decision-making.”


Updated with link to CDC statement (below)

The WASHINGTON post September 30 at 5:29 PM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the first case of Ebola that's been diagnosed in the United States.

The Texas Department of Health Services said in a statement that the patient is at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The patient -- "an adult with a recent history of travel to West Africa" -- was admitted into an isolation unit at the hospital Sunday after developing Ebola-like symptoms "days after returning to Texas from West Africa."

The test, the Texas health department said, was conducted at the state public health laboratory in Austin and later confirmed by the CDC.

The state health lab got the ability to test for Ebola only last month, according to Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman with the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Link to full story

Ebola Outbreak: How the Virus Spread

by Jason M. Breslow , Chris Amico and Evan Wexler -

Never before has the world seen an Ebola outbreak like the one currently spreading across Africa. Thousands have died, even more have become infected, and with no cure and limited resources at their disposal, health officials are struggling to keep up. From Patient Zero to today, here is a look back at how the outbreak became the worst on record.

Vectors, Hosts, Fomites and Food….The challenge of controlling Ebola in West Africa

Vectors, Hosts, Fomites and Food….The challenge of controlling Ebola in West Africa

John T. Hoffman

Colonel, USA, Retired

Senior Research Fellow

National Center for Food Protection and Defense

University of Minnesota

September 29, 2014

Control of VHF Ebola in West Africa is complicated by the fact that we know so little as to the mechanisms for the spread of the disease other than direct contact with infected persons or their bodily fluids, which local wildlife and rodents actually serve as hosts for the virus and the actual survivability of viable Ebola virus on fomites.   Given these knowledge gaps, modeling the spread and control of the disease with any probability of being close to reality is unlikely.    Potentially, these gaps suggest that the current focus on treatment and traditional control protocols have be insufficient to stop the outbreak and produce an Ebola free West Africa. 

UN Mission to Combat Ebola Opens HQ in Ghana


A C-17 U.S. military aircraft arrived in Liberia on Sept. 18, 2014, with the first shipment of U.S. military equipment and personnel for the anti-Ebola fight, which was promised by President Barack Obama in a speech September 16, 2014, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. -Associated Press - September 29, 2014

The U.N. mission to combat Ebola is opening its headquarters in Ghana, where it will coordinate aid for the West African crisis.

The head of the mission, Anthony Banbury, and his team are expected to arrive Monday in Ghana's capital, Accra. The United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, also known as UNMEER, will work to identify the biggest needs during this outbreak, especially in the three hardest-hit countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.


Update: Ebola outbreak may be over in Nigeria and Senegal--CDC


New York Times           Sept. 30, 2024

Lagos --With quick and coordinated action by some of its top doctors, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, appears to have contained its first Ebola outbreak, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

As the epidemic rages out of control in three nations only a few hundred miles away, Nigeria is the only country to have beaten back an outbreak with the potential to harm many victims in a city with vast, teeming slums.

“For those who say it’s hopeless, this is an antidote — you can control Ebola,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the C.D.C.   ....

Leading from behind the curve on Ebola

- September 15 2014 -

The nation of Liberia — founded by liberated American slaves with support from Henry Clay, Daniel Webster and James Monroe — is not unacquainted with suffering. Two civil wars in the period from 1989 to 2003 and decades of economic mismanagement caused an 80 percent decline in per capita GDP — perhaps worse than any country since World War II. Warlords reduced Liberia’s infrastructure to rubble. In the 15 years following 1991, there was no electricity in the country except for private generators.


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