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Canada imposes visa ban on three Ebola-hit countries

REUTERS                                                                                      Oct. 31,2014

OTTAWA - Canada will stop issuing visas to people from the three West African nations where Ebola is widespread--- Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone-- the government said on Friday.

Canada, which has not reported any cases of Ebola, is following in the footsteps of Australia, which on Tuesday became the first rich nation to issue such a ban. The country's official in charge of the response to Ebola said the move was medically unjustified.

Under the new regulations, which come into force immediately, Canada will not process visa applications from foreign nationals who have been in an Ebola-affected country within the previous three months.

The Conservative government's decision drew fire from Canada's opposition New Democratic Party.

"The experts we’re relying on to fight Ebola are saying this is not the right approach," the party's health critic Libby Davies said in a statement.

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 http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/31/us-health-ebola-canada-idUSKBN0IK27T20141031

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EBOLA EPIDEMIOLOGY: Strategies for containing Ebola in West Africa

SCIENCE MAGAZINE                             Oct. 30, 2014

A study to assess the effectiveness of containment strategies, using a stochastic model of Ebola transmission between and within the general community, hospitals, and funerals, calibrated to incidence data from Liberia.

ABSTRACT

The ongoing Ebola outbreak poses an alarming risk to the countries of West Africa and beyond. To assess the effectiveness of containment strategies, we developed a stochastic model of Ebola transmission between and within the general community, hospitals, and funerals, calibrated to incidence data from Liberia. We find that a combined approach of case isolation, contact tracing with quarantine and sanitary funeral practices must be implemented with utmost urgency in order to reverse the growth of the outbreak. Under status quo intervention, our projections indicate that the Ebola outbreak will continue to spread, generating a predicted 224 (95% CI: 134 – 358) cases daily in Liberia alone by December, highlighting the need for swift application of multifaceted control interventions.

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CDC Removed Info On Coughing And Sneezing From Ebola Q&A (UPDATE)

TWO ARTICLES ON THE TRANSMISSION OF EBOLA AND THE LONGIVITY OF THE VIRUS ON VARIOUS SURFACES  (Scroll down)

THE HUFFINGTON POST                      OCT. 31, 2014
By Arhur Delaney

WASHINGTON -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has quietly removed some Ebola information from its website. The changes follow claims from news outlets and conservative blogs that the agency hasn't been forthcoming about how the virus spreads, but it was not clear on Thursday afternoon whether the removal was related to the reports.

The New York Post reported Tuesday that the agency "admitted" Ebola can be contracted through casual contact with a doorknob, seemingly contrary to the CDC's insistence that Ebola is only transmissible through direct contact with bodily fluids from a person sick with the disease. The Post cited a page on the CDC's website that said Ebola spreads through droplets that can travel short distances when a sick person coughs or sneezes....

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Home> International Liberia Opens 1 of Largest Ebola Treatment Centers

 
In this photo taken Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, aid is offloaded to be used in the fight of the Ebola virus, as it arrives by air from America at the airport in Conakry, Guinea. No African countries are on the United Nations list of contributors to fight the Ebola epidemic, and angry legislators from Sierra Leone and Liberia got up to protest at a session on peace and security at the Pan-African Parliament in South Africa last "They said as far as they are concerned, nobody wants to talk about Ebola," said Jeggan Grey-Johnson, a governance expert. (AP Photo/ Youssouf Bah)

REUTERS                                                                                   Oct. 31, 2014
ByJonathan Paye-Layleh

MONROVIA, Liberia —Remembering those who have died in the world's deadliest Ebola outbreak, Liberia's president opened one of the country's largest Ebola treatment centers in Monrovia on Friday amid hopes that the disease is finally on the decline in this West African country.

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China To Send Elite Army Unit To Ebola-Hit Liberia

REUTERS                                              Oct. 31, 2014
By Megha Rajagopalan

BEIJING, -- China will dispatch an elite unit of the People's Liberation Army to help Ebola-hit Liberia, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, responding to U.N. calls for a greater global effort to fight the deadly virus in West Africa.

Washington has led the international drive to stop the spread of the disease...sending thousands of troops and committing about $1 billion, but Beijing has faced criticism for not doing enough although it is Africa's largest trading partner.

The PLA squad, which has experience from a 2002 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), will build a 100-bed treatment center in Liberia, the first such facility in the three countries most impacted by Ebola to be constructed and run by a foreign country, said Lin Songtian, director general of the ministry's Department of African Affairs.

The center will be open for operation in a month's time, he told a briefing in Beijing. China will also dispatch 480 PLA medical staff to treat Ebola patients, he said.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/31/china-ebola-liberia_n_6080396.html

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US Envoy: 'Alarming Gaps' Remain in Fighting Ebola

VOICE OF AMERICA                                                              Oct. 31, 2014

By Al Pessin

The international community must do more to fill "alarming gaps" in the fight against the Ebola epidemic, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said to an audience in Brussels as she headed home from a visit to the three hardest-hit countries in West Africa.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power speaks during a lecture regarding the Ebola virus at the Residence Palace in Brussels, Oct. 30, 2014.

Power said the initial international response is making a difference, and has created what she called “the first tangible signs that the virus can and will be beaten.”

But, she said, many countries have not done enough, and urged them to not assume the job is done...

She called for more flexible planning, faster decision-making, and for support for the affected countries as they try to rebuild and expand their health care systems. Those systems were inadequate before the epidemic and have now been devastated by the deaths of hundreds of doctors and nurses.

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Judge rejects strict limits on U.S. nurse who treated Ebola patients

REUTERS
By Joe Page                              Oct. 31, 2014

(FORT PAGE, Maine)  Declaring Ebola fears in the United States "not entirely rational," a judge rejected Maine's bid for a quarantine on a nurse who treated victims of the disease in West Africa but tested negative for it, and instead imposed limited restrictions.

Nurse Kaci Hickox (L) joined by her boyfriend Ted Wilbur speak with the media outside of their home in Fort Kent, Maine October 31, 2014.Credit: Reuters/Joel Page

Nurse Kaci Hickox's challenge of the Maine quarantine became a key battleground for the dispute between officials in some U.S. states who have imposed strict quarantines on health workers returning from three Ebola-ravaged West African countries and the federal government, which opposes such measures.

Maine Governor Paul LePage said that while he was disappointed by the order from Charles LaVerdiere, the chief judge of Maine District Court, the New England state would abide by it.

Hickox, 33, said she was pleased with the ruling and said people need to "overcome the fear."

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U.S. quarantines 'chilling' Ebola fight in West Africa: MSF

 REUTERS                                                                                     Oct. 30, 2014

(Reuters) - Mandatory quarantines ordered by some U.S. states for doctors and nurses returning from West Africa's Ebola outbreak are creating a "chilling effect" on aid work there, the humanitarian aid group Doctors Without Borders said on Thursday.

A Doctors Without Borders health worker takes off his protective gear under the surveillance of a colleague at a treatment facility for Ebola victims in Monrovia September 29, 2014. Credit: Reuters/James Giahyue

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World Bank funding for Ebola fight hits $500 million

REUTERS                                                                                          Oct. 30, 2014

(GENEVA)- The World Bank pledged $100 million on Thursday to help recruit more foreign health workers in the fight against Ebola, taking its funding for the three worst-hit countries to more than half a billion dollars over the past three months.

 

People sit near a banner reading ''The Ministry of Agriculture, Dixinn Commune, Together to defeat Ebola,'' in Conakry, Guinea October 26, 2014.Credit: Reuters/Michelle Nichols

The latest tranche will go towards setting up a coordination hub to recruit, train and deploy qualified foreign health workers and support the three countries' efforts to isolate Ebola patients and bury the dead safely, the bank said.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/30/us-health-ebola-worldbank-idUSKBN0IJ1NV20141030

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In New York, Protections Offered for Medical Workers Joining Ebola Fight

NEW YORK TIMES                                                                     Oct. 30, 2014
By and

New York officials announced on Thursday that they would offer employee protection and financial guarantees for health care workers joining the fight against the Ebola outbreak in three West African nations.

The announcement was an effort to alleviate concerns that the state’s mandatory quarantine policy could deter desperately needed workers from traveling overseas.

Under the new protections, modeled after the rights granted military reservists, workers could not suffer any pay cuts or demotions for serving in Africa, and the state would make up any lost income if they had to be quarantined when they returned.

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