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MSF Nurse Held in Isolation in New Jersey - October 25, 2014

NEW YORK – Kaci Hickox, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) nurse who returned to the United States from Sierra Leone on October 24, 2014, is being held in a medical isolation facility at Newark University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.  

Preliminary blood tests reveal that she does not have the Ebola virus.

Upon arrival at Newark Liberty International Airport at approximately 1:00 PM yesterday, Ms. Hickox was taken aside for screening. Her temperature was measured and was shown to be normal. She was nonetheless held at the airport. After three hours her temperature was again taken with a forehead temperature reader. The device revealed a slight elevation in temperature. After being left alone in a room for an additional three hours, she was transported by police escort to Newark University Hospital by medical personnel in full protective gear.

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French scientists roll out rapid diagnostic test for Ebola

 FIERCE DIAGNOSTICS                            Oct. 23, 2014


French scientists are developing a diagnostic tool that works similar to a home pregnancy test and can quickly identify the virus through a tiny fluid sample.


  CEA's Ebola testing kit uses strips to rapidly identify the presence of the virus in fluid samples.--Courtesy of France's Atomic Energy  Commission

France's Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is teaming up with European pharma company Vedalab to roll out a user-friendly testing system than could diagnose Ebola in less than 15 minutes, the agency said in a statement. The kit, dubbed "Ebola eZYSCREEN," includes a hand-held device that reads small samples of blood, plasma or urine to detect the virus, and shows results in stripes through a window on the tool.

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Ebola crisis: Mali vows to keep Guinea border open despite child's death


REUTERS                                         OCT. 25, 2014

BAMAKO--Mali will not close its borders with neighbouring Guinea after its first Ebola-related death, president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita says.

A two-year-old girl infected with the disease was brought across the frontier by her grandmother and died in Mali this week.

Mr Keita said that the incident showed it was impossible to completely seal his country off from Ebola but said he remained calm as the girl's journey and potential contacts had already been traced.

It comes as Mauritania has closed its border with Mali after the Ebola case was confirmed in Mali's western region, two Mauritanian officials said on Saturday.There is little accurate data but border closures by West African states trying to protect themselves from the epidemic have had a crippling effect on regional economies.

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Ebola In US: President Obama Lauds CDC Response, Urges Public To Be 'Guided By Science'

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES                 Oct. 25, 2014


U.S. President Barack Obama again encouraged Americans to be “guided by the facts, not fear” in their assessments of Ebola virus disease as he discussed the first confirmed case in New York and the national response by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in his weekly address Saturday. Obama also mentioned the recoveries of Ashoka Mukpo and Nina Pham, who both tested negative for Ebola this week, and stressed the difficulty of contracting the virus.

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Most New Yorkers Aren't Freaking Out About Ebola, So You Shouldn't Either

 New York City Council District 7 Community Liason Fidel Malena hands out flyers about Ebola risk near the apartment building of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer, in New York, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Spencer remained in stable condition while isolated in a hospital, talking by cellphone to his family and assisting disease detectives who are accounting for his every movement since arriving in New York from Guinea via Europe on Oct. 17. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

THE HUFFINGTON POST                                                          Oct. 24, 2014

NEW YORK -- As news of New York City's first confirmed Ebola case spreads through the city, New Yorkers -- even those at the hospital where the patient is being treated, who rode the same subway lines he traveled on and who live in his building -- are remaining markedly calm....

Zachary Hasselbring, a New York University student riding the A train, ...said  "I think everybody's overreacting a bit," he said. "It's blown out of proportion."

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Doctors, aid workers fight Ebola in West Africa, then fear of disease in U.S.

WASHINGTON POST                                                                                   Oct. 25, 2014      
By Deneen L. Brown

Workers and volunteers face unease after flying to virus epicenters

Dr. David Schnabel, epidemic intelligence service officer with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, works with database training of Ministry of Health staff at the Bo District Surveillance Office in Sierra Leone in August. (Gbessay Saffa)

"David Schnabel, a former Army doctor who lives in Baltimore, said he hasn’t talked much with people he doesn’t know about his five-week trip to Sierra Leone. Schnabel, who was working for the CDC in the hard-hit Bo District, returned on Sept. 29.

“'I can tell you I did not broadcast where I had been before or after I returned to strangers,” said Schnabel, who trained Sierra Leoneans on Ebola safety protocols rather than caring for patients. “I understood the emotional response to Ebola. To protect myself from any stigma, I consciously was careful who I told.'”

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New Ebola Quarantine Protocol Seen as Barrier to Volunteers

NEW YORK TIMES               Oct. 25, 2014
by David W. Shin and Liz Robbins

The surprise decision by the governors of New York and New Jersey yesterday to impose a mandatory quarantine on persons who arrived at area airports and had contact with Ebola infected persons has touched off concern that it will deter people from volunteering to work in West Africa.

"Among medical professionals who have been fighting Ebola in West Africa, the restrictions only intensified the debate. While a few of those interviewed said an overabundance of caution was welcome, the vast majority said that restrictions like those adopted by New York and New Jersey could cripple volunteers’ efforts at the front lines of the epidemic."

" Dr. Rick Sacra, who contracted Ebola in Liberia and was flown back to the United States to be treated in September, said...many doctors and nurses who volunteered would spend about three weeks in Africa and then return to their regular jobs. The requirement that they be quarantined at home upon their return “will effectively double the burden on those people, on the loss of productive time,” Dr. Sacra said.

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Ebola outbreak: Cases pass 10,000, WHO reports

Liberia remains the worst affected country, with 4,665 cases

BBC                                              Oct. 25, 2014

The number of cases in the Ebola outbreak has exceeded 10,000, with 4,922 deaths, the World Health Organization says in its latest report.

Only 27 of the cases have occurred outside the three worst-hit countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Those three countries account for all but 10 of the fatalities.

Mali became the latest nation to record a death, a two-year-old girl. More than 40 people known to have come into contact with her have been quarantined.

The latest WHO situation report says that Liberia remains the worst affected country, with 2,705 deaths. Sierra Leone has had 1,281 fatalities and there have been 926 in Guinea.

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Newark Passenger Who Worked With Ebola Patients Develops Fever

UPDATE 2      U.S. nurse quarantined over Ebola criticizes her treatment and  airport temperaure reading


By Jonathan Allen                                                                        Oct. 25, 2014

NEW YORK --Kaci Hickox, a nurse, returned on Friday from working with medical charity Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone and was placed in quarantine after arriving at Newark.

Hickox, who was transferred from the airport to a hospital where she was placed in isolation, described a confusing and upsetting experience at the airport and was worried the same treatment was in store for other American health workers trying to help.

"I ... thought of many colleagues who will return home to America and face the same ordeal," Hickox wrote in an article published on Saturday by The Dallas Morning News with the help of one of the newspaper's reporters. "Will they be made to feel like criminals and prisoners?"

In her article, Hickox ...said her temperature was normal when tested orally at the hospital, but had shown a fever when she was tested using a non-contact forehead scanner, which reflected the fact she was flustered and anxious.

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DHS’s Coordinated Response to Ebola

 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY                                                        OCT. 24, 2014

WASHINGTON --In nine days of enhanced screening at five major American airports of passengers from West African countries hit by Ebola, only three of the 552 arrivals had high temperatures, according to Department of Homeland Security statistics. The passengers went through seconary screening and none of them was found to have Ebola, according to a DHS document.


The figures were in a chart contained in DHS statement describing the agency's role in helping counter Ebola with

enhanced screening at airports. The chart covered the period from October 11 when the screening started, through

October 20.

See complete statement and chart.

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