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Markey and Portman Introduce Legislation to Fund Domestic “Ebola Treatment Hubs”

OFFICE OF SENATOR MARKEY                                                                                               Nov. 19, 2014

 WASHINGTON – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) today introduced legislation to allocate funds to support the establishment of regional designated hospitals that can provide specialized care for Ebola patients in an isolated setting. Currently, there are only four hospitals with bio-containment facilities in the United States, and those locations have a total of 11 beds that can be used at any one time for Ebola patients or others with infectious diseases that require isolation.

“The Ebola outbreak exposed serious vulnerabilities in our national public health preparedness and it is critical that hospitals are sufficiently trained, staffed, and prepared to provide the specialized treatment for Ebola patients while also protecting themselves” said Senator Markey. “The creation of these designated Ebola treatment centers will improve our ability to treat any future domestic Ebola cases and help ensure our hospitals are prepared for the next highly infectious disease outbreak.”

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Gates Foundation, other donors launch study of Ebola drugs, survivors' blood, in Africa

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                                                                                  Nov. 18, 2014

A coalition of companies and aid groups announced plans Tuesday to test experimental drugs and collect blood plasma from Ebola survivors to treat new victims of the disease in West Africa.

This Nov. 7, 2014, photo shows the inside a mobile donation unit at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport in Raleigh, N.C. The unit was headed to Africa for use in a study of blood plasma treatment for Ebola patients. (AP Photo/Trevor Jenkins) (The Associated Press)

Plasma from survivors contains antibodies, substances the immune system makes to fight the virus. Several Ebola patients have received survivor plasma and recovered, but doctors say there is no way to know whether it really helps without a study like the one they are about to start within a month.

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Hospitals Improvise Ebola Defenses, at a Cost

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                                                                         Nov. 18, 2014

By David Caruso

NEW YORK ---What does it take to Ebola-proof a hospital?

Over the past few months, U.S. medical centers have spent millions of dollars putting together a plan to treat patients with the scary, but extremely rare disease.

To a large extent, it has been an exercise in improvisation.

A medical worker stands outside a patient care room in a new custom-built bio-containment unit for potential Ebola cases at Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York. The unit, built over two weeks, is completely separate from the main medical buildings and can house three patients simultaneously. (AP Photo/John Minchillo

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Beating Ebola Means Drinking, Last Thing Patient Wants to Do

BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK                                Nov. 17, 2014
by Jason Gale

The best medical advice for surviving Ebola right now might fit in one word: drink.

Dr. Fadipe Akinniyi Emmanuel, Ebola survivor, shows the daily dose of oral rehydration salts, or ORS, he and other survivors took to survive in Nigeria. Photographer: Andrew Esiebo/World Health Organization via Bloomberg

With targeted drugs and vaccines at least months away, doctors and public health experts are learning from Ebola survivors what simple steps helped them beat the infection. Turns out drinking 4 liters (1 gallon) or more of rehydration solution a day -- a challenge for anyone and especially those wracked by relentless bouts of vomiting -- is crucial. “When people are infected, they get dry as a crisp really quickly,” said Simon Mardel, an emergency room doctor advising the World Health Organization on Ebola in Sierra Leone. “Then the tragedy is that they don’t want to drink.”

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In Ebola fight, private foundations provide critical financial aid

Description of the way the CDC Foundation, the Allen Foundation and large donors are playing an important role in countering Ebola.

THE WASHINGTON POST                                                                                                          Nov. 17, 2014
By Ariana Eunjung Cha

"...The unpredictable nature of the Ebola virus has made the government’s partnerships with private donors critically important in the crisis response. Working outside the politically charged federal appropriations process and the sometimes sluggish bureaucracy, foundations and private individuals have been able to offer much-needed relief for those on the front lines...."

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US, China Set Carbon Pollution Goals

Image: President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping. Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White HouseImage: President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping. Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White House - November 13th, 2014

The US and China set ambitious climate change goals on Wednesday, with President Obama pledging to cut US greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Chinese president Xi Jinping announced targets to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 or sooner and to increase China’s non-fossil fuel share of energy to around 20 percent by 2030.

The announcement was met with praise from environmentalists and business groups.


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No Time for a Learning Curve: Nigeria’s Crucial Success against Ebola

AFRICA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES, Washington D.C.                        Nov. 12, 2014

Summary of lessons learned from Nigeria and Uganda in containing outbreaks of Ebola

“If a country like Nigeria, hampered by serious security problems, can do this – that is, make significant progress towards interrupting polio transmission, eradicate guinea-worm disease and contain Ebola, all at the same time,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, “any country in the world experiencing an imported case can hold onward transmission to just a handful of cases....”

"Numerous African states have identified and refined the best ways of containing the disease."

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Liberia to end Ebola state of emergency

Sirleaf said her country would not become complacent after the gains made in fight against Ebola [Getty Images]14 Nov 2014 07:54

President Sirleaf says while country has made progress against virus, more still needs to be done to end the epidemic.

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said that she would not seek an extension to a state of emergency imposed in August over Ebola.

Her announcement on Thursday is a sign of progress in the fight against the disease, which has killed more than 2,800 people in Liberia since breaking out in West Africa in March.

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Battling Ebola: The African responses that 'will win this war'

People walk past a billboard with a message about Ebola in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, on November 7. Public awareness campaigns are proving vital in the fight against the virus.

Description of African efforts to improve communications to counter the spread of Ebola

CCN                                                                                                                                Nov. 17, 2014

By Alex Court (CNN)-- "When the Ebola outbreak started, it was very terrifying for everybody," recalls Michael Chu'no Ike from Nsukka in Nigeria's Enugu State. "People were afraid it could be transmitted by air and started believing all sorts of rumors about how to boost their immunity."

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Momentum to fund Ebola vacine research is growing in Congress

FOREIGN POLICY                                                                                                           Nov. 13, 2014

By David Francis

As the Ebola outbreak continues in West Africa, momentum to change FDA restrictions to allow Congress to allocate money toward research on drugs that treat tropical diseases, including Ebola, is growing.

A bill drafted by Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) that would allow the FDA to fund Ebola treatment research will be marked up next week by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee....

 The bill, which has 17 co-sponsors, is part of a flurry of congressional activity on Ebola and the Obama administration's $6.18 billion proposal to confront the disease domestically and abroad. The Senate Appropriations Committee debated Obama's plan on Wednesday, and House and Senate panels are expected to address the White House's spending request next week.

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