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Ebola kills, but it may be immunizing others at the same time

HOMELAND SECURITY NEWS WIRE                                         Oct. 22, 2014

Two Ebola researchers suggest that as Ebola continues to spread in West Africa, it may be silently immunizing large numbers of people who never fall ill or infect others, yet become protected from future infection. If such immunity is confirmed, it would have significant ramifications on projections of how widespread the disease will be and could help determine strategies that health workers use to contain the disease, according to a letter published last week in The Lancet medical journal.   http://download.thelancet.com/flatcontentassets/pdfs/PIIS014067361461839...

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U.S. tightens Ebola monitoring for West African visitors

NEW YORK -- U.S. health officials imposed fresh constraints on Wednesday on people entering the country from three countries at the center of West Africa's Ebola epidemic, mandating that they report their temperature daily and stay in touch with health authorities.

U.S. Coast Guard Health Technician Nathan Wallenmeyer (L) and Customs Border Protection (CBP) Supervisor Sam Ko conduct prescreening measures on a passenger arriving from Sierra Leone at O’Hare International Airport's Terminal 5 in Chicago, in this handout picture taken October 16, 2014.

The move announced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) marked the latest precautions put in place by the U.S. government to stop the spread of the virus, but stopped short of a ban on travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea as demanded by some lawmakers.

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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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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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DHS requires West Africa travelers to arrive at five airports

USA TODAY                                                                                     Oct. 21, 2914By Bart Jansen

WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that all travelers from Ebola outbreak countries in West Africa will be funneled through one of five U.S. airports with enhanced screening starting Wednesday.

                                                                       (Photo: Melissa Maraj, AP)

Customs and Border Protection within the department began enhanced screening — checking the traveler's temperature and asking about possible exposure to Ebola — at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Oct. 11.

Enhanced screening for travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea was expanded Oct. 16 to Washington's Dulles, Chicago's O'Hare, New Jersey's Newark and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson international airports.

Those airports were supposed to screen 94% of the average 150 people per day arriving from the three countries. But lawmakers from other states asked for enhanced screening at their airports, too.

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CDC releases revised Ebola gear guidelines

UPDATED WITH MORE DETAILS      

WASHINGTON POST                                                 Oct. 20, 2014

During a media briefing late Monday, CDC Director Thomas Frieden said the updated guidelines give a greater margin of safety to health-care workers. They are modeled closely on those used by Doctors Without Borders, the aid group that has worked most extensively in West Africa... The guidance also reflects the consensus of specialists at Emory University Hospital, Nebraska Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health, which are currently treating Ebola patients.

UCLA Health System doctors and staff participate in a preparedness exercise on diagnosing and treating patients with Ebola virus symptoms. On Oct. 20, the CDC tightened protocols for health-care workers explicitly recommending that no skin be exposed. (Reed Hutchinson/AP)

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The Bigger Picture: Ebola - Dr. Michael D. McDonald

RT – Thom Hartmann - The Bigger Picture: Ebola – October 17-18, 2014

Dr. Michael D. McDonald, Robert Walker and DeAnn McEwen – A Discussion on Ebola

To stop Ebola from spreading in West Africa, Dr. Michael D. McDonald, Executive Director of Health Initiatives Foundation Inc. and the Global Resilience System talks about the need to have community strategies where we set up Resilience Capacity Zones to reduce the transmission and the translocation of Ebola. He states we need to create behavioral and social immunity around Ebola-affected areas to reduce the transmission and translocation. We need to create Ebola-resistant, and Ebola-free zones in ring-like fashion.

CLICK HERE - The Bigger Picture: Ebola

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZlUp_aVgxc

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Pentagon building rapid-response Ebola team

USA TODAY                                                     Oct. 19, 2014

BY Gregg Zoroya and John Bacon

The Pentagon will build a 30-person, rapid-response Ebola medical support team to aid civilian health care workers should additional cases of the virus be diagnosed in the U.S., officials said Sunday.

The effort was requested by the Department of Health and Human Services "as an added prudent measure to ensure our nation is ready to respond quickly, effectively and safely in the event of additional Ebola cases," a Pentagon statement said.

http://www.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=16986

The Pentagon said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered his Northern Command Commander, Gen. Chuck Jacoby, to prepare and train the team. It will include 20 critical-care nurses, five doctors trained in infectious disease and five trainers in infectious-disease protocols...

Team members will remain in a "prepare to deploy" status for 30 days after training. They will not be sent to West Africa or elsewhere overseas and "will be called upon domestically only if deemed prudent by our public health professionals," the statement said.

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