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

The WASHINGTON POST      OLCT. 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.

Read the Full Article

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/10/01/reportin...

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.

stripes.com -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.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

US Troops Take First Steps to Help Liberia Combat Ebola

      

Local workers look on as a team or U.S. Navy engineers prepares the ground for a 25-beds medical facility they are building next to the airport in Monrovia, Liberia, Sept. 27, 2014.

voanews.com - by Benno Muchler - September 29, 2014

Over the past two weeks, one world leader after the other has called for immediate action in the fight against Ebola in West Africa.

The United States has made the largest contribution and is sending 3,000 troops to Liberia to assist with healthcare logistics. It is the biggest military operation for America in Africa since withdrawing forces from Somalia in 1993.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

Woman Saves Three Relatives from Ebola

      

Her trash bag protection method is being taught to others in West Africa who can't get personal protective equipment.
John Bonifield / CNN

cnn.com - by Elizabeth Cohen - September 26, 2014

. . . imagine how 22-year-old Fatu Kekula felt nursing her entire family through Ebola. . .

. . . Three out of her four patients survived. . .

. . . Fatu, who's in her final year of nursing school, invented her own equipment. International aid workers heard about Fatu's "trash bag method" and are now teaching it to other West Africans who can't get into hospitals and don't have protective gear of their own.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

Overview of U.S.Defense Department activities against Ebola, including testing vaccine candidate

By Cheryl Pellerin

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2014 – The Defense Department has made critical contributions to the fight against the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and today Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel described additional ways the Pentagon is helping in the broader battle against infectious disease outbreaks of the future.

He spoke at a gathering of top government and military officials and infectious disease experts from 44 countries here to attend the Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA, Summit hosted by President Barack Obama.

Hagel said ...the department also is accelerating the manufacture of potential treatments and starting clinical trials for a vaccine candidate and it has received approval to begin safety testing for one [Ebola] vaccine candidate that will be conducted at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.”

...The DoD Cooperative Threat Reduction Program is providing unique resources and expertise to enhance detection and surveillance, Hagel said, and all department assets will help civilian responders contain Ebola's spread and mitigate its economic, social and political fallout.

For fuller description of the Defense Department's activities to counter Ebola see link to the full article:

Doctor in Liberia reports some success in treating Ebola with an HIV drug

      

CNN                           September 27, 2014

(CNN) -- A doctor in rural Liberia inundated with Ebola patients says he's had good results with a treatment he tried out of sheer desperation: an HIV drug.

Dr. Gobee Logan has given the drug, lamivudine, to 15 Ebola patients, and all but two survived. That's a 7% mortality rate. Across West Africa, the virus has killed 70% of its victims.

 ...Thirteen patients who took the lamivudine and survived received the drug in the first five days or so of their illness. The two patients who died received it between days five and eight.

"I'm sure that when [patients] present early, this medicine can help," Logan said. "I've proven it right in my center."

Logan is mindful that lamivudine can cause liver and other problems, but he says it's worth the risk since Ebola is so deadly.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation - Ebola Outbreak Coordination Conference Call

                    

uschamberfoundation.org

Event: Corporate Citizenship Center - Ebola Outbreak Coordination Conference Call
Friday, September 26, 2014 - 2:00pm

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) hosted a conference call on Friday, September 26 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Over the past six months, an Ebola outbreak has affected five countries in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone).  The current outbreak is unprecedented in scale and geographical reach: the present West Africa outbreak has a higher caseload than all other previous Ebola crises combined.  Worse yet, the United Nations reports that the outbreak continues to accelerate, with almost 40% of the total cases occurring in the past 21 days.

CCC’s Ebola coordination conference call will provide updated information on the humanitarian response and the efforts to contain the disease.  It will also detail ways that the business community can help.

CLICK HERE - Listen to the Call Archive

Field Deployable Hydrolysis System (FDHS)

submitted by Sarah Slaughter

      

The Field Deployable Hydrolysis System was designed, developed and fabricated by a government team to provide a transportable, high throughput neutralization system designed to convert chemical warfare materiel into compounds not usable as weapons.

defense.gov

The Field Deployable Hydrolysis System (FDHS) is a transportable, high-throughput modular demilitarization system designed to render chemical warfare materiel into compounds not usable as weapons. The system uses neutralization technology to destroy bulk chemical warfare agents and their precursors by heating and mixing with reagents, such as water, sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite to facilitate chemical degradation resulting in a destruction efficiency of 99.9 percent. The neutralization process generates hazardous waste in volumes of five to 14 times the volume of chemical warfare materiel treated. This hazardous waste can then be commercially disposed of in accordance with host-nation environmental laws.

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