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CDC Develops Ebola Modeling Tool While WHO Trains Health Workers

HOMELAND SECURITY TODAY               Oct. 9, 2014

 By Kylie Bull, Managing Editor

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a dynamic modeling tool called Ebola Response that allows for estimations of projected cases over time in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

 The Ebola Response modeling tool can construct scenarios to illustrate how control and prevention interventions can slow and eventually stop the Ebola epidemic. Importantly, it can help public health and other planners make more informed decisions about emergency response resources to help bring the outbreak under control. The new tool allows input of data reflective of the current situation on the ground in affected countries and communities.

 The Ebola Response modeling tool is intended to help local governments and international responders generate short-term estimates of the Ebola situations in countries, districts and villages. The tool, in the form of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, is to be made freely available online.

Meanwhile, in Liberia, the World Health Organization (WHO) has established a new training program for health workers on Ebola care.

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UK to introduce Ebola screening as death of Briton reported in Macedonia

THE GUARDIAN                         Oct. 9, 2014

By Robert Booth

London --Travellers arriving at Heathrow and Gatwick airports from west Africa are to be screened for symptoms of Ebola, Downing Street announced on Thursday night after a day of confusion over the government’s response to the virus that has claimed more than 3,800 lives.

People travelling from the worst-affected countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – will face a questionnaire about their recent travel history, who they have been in contact with and their onward travel arrangements.

 People travelling from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will be screened for Ebola symptoms.Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty  Images

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In wake of Dallas patient death, health providers across US are reinforcing and testing infection control procedures

Associated Press
New York                              Oc. 9, 2014

... There hasn’t been a single confirmed case of an Ebola infection happening on US soil; the case confirmed in Dallas involves a man who, like several health care workers treated in the US, contracted the virus in Liberia. But health care providers are worried enough to take a wide variety of precautions.


    It isn’t yet clear whether these preparations are overkill, or not nearly enough. Photograph: Richard Drew/AP

It isn’t yet clear whether these preparations are overkill, or not nearly enough.

But health care experts say that at the very least, the scare is providing a chance to reinforce and test infection control procedures....

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Mobile Technology Key to Containing Ebola in West Africa


BY Kim Lewis                                                               October 09, 2014

Description of the use of contract tracing and a mobile data collection and messaging software tool that expedites vital information to people in Africa and other regions of the world, in crisis situations.


   Workers inside a call center, where people can phone to state their concerns about the Ebola virus, in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014

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West Africa: Companies Fill Gaps in Ebola Response

All Africa                                                                                    Oct. 7, 2014

New York dateline article by Tami Hultman contains a description of what some companies are doing to help counter the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.


                      ArceloMittal employee in Liberia
                                Photo: Tami Hultman/AllAfrica

The story described contacts  with various companies and said:

"The prompt corporate response is the result of a months-long preparatory process to coordinate actions that began with aggressive programs information and education programs. Since March, when the Ebola threat re-emerged in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, after a relatively small rural outbreak earlier in the year, companies with operations in the area had been preparing for an emerging crisis."

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Ebola outbreak: UK sending 750 troops to Sierra Leone

UK and Israel send additional assistance. Two stories


 British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry urged all nations to boost their response to combat the Ebola virus


BBC                                                                Oct. 8, 2014

The UK is sending 750 military personnel to Sierra Leone to help deal with the deadly Ebola outbreak, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed.

The UK will also send medical ship the RFA Argus and three helicopters. The personnel will be deployed next week.

It comes as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was "now entirely possible that someone with Ebola will come to the UK either by one route or another".

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More Ebola screening to begin at five US airports

Associated Press                          October 8, 2014 updated 3:43 PM

By Licia A. Caldwell

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government will begin taking the temperatures of travelers from West Africa arriving at five U.S. airports as part of a stepped-up response to the Ebola epidemic.

President Barack Obama said the new efforts would provide yet another tier of protection at key U.S. points of entry.

However, the focus is still on stopping the epidemic in West Africa, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Thomas Frieden, said in Atlanta.

At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest said the additional layer of screening would begin at New York's JFK International and the international airports in Newark, Washington Dulles, Chicago and Atlanta. He said the new steps would include taking temperatures and would begin Saturday at JFK.

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EU sends Ebola airlift to West Africa

AFP                           OCT. 8, 2014

Brussels (AFP) - The European Union said Tuesday it is urgently airlifting relief goods to West Africa to combat the Ebola crisis, as the disease threatened its shores with an infection in Spain.

Three 747 jumbo jet cargo planes carrying 100 tonnes of aid will be sent to the worst-affected countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, the European Commission said.

The first plane leaves on Friday for Freetown carrying personal protection equipment including masks and gloves and medicines.


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'In 1976 I Discovered Ebola - Now I Fear an Unimaginable Tragedy'

Professor Peter Piot, the Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: ‘Around June it became clear to me there was something different about this outbreak. I began to get really worried’ Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP - October 4, 2014
Rafaela von Bredow and Veronika Hackenbroch

. . . "it should be clear to all of us: This isn't just an epidemic any more. This is a humanitarian catastrophe. We don't just need care personnel, but also logistics experts, trucks, jeeps and foodstuffs. Such an epidemic can destabilise entire regions. I can only hope that we will be able to get it under control. I really never thought that it could get this bad" . . .


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Obama: U.S. Will Beef Up Airport Screenings for Ebola

UPDATED  With additional information  (Scroll below).


By Zeke J. Miller                              Oct. 6. 2014                5:24 PM

President Barack Obama said Monday that the U.S. is working on additional passenger screenings for airline passengers flying from Ebola-stricken West Africa, two weeks after a Liberian man infected with the disease entered the country.

Officials are “going to be working on protocols to do additional passenger screenings both at the source and here in the United States,” Obama said, addressing reporters following a briefing on his administration’s response to the epidemic in Africa and efforts to keep the disease from spreading to the U.S. “All of these things make me confident that here in the United States at least the chances of an outbreak, of an epidemic here are extraordinarily low.”

The president did not give specifics on the new screening measures, and Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declined to elaborate further in an interview with CNN after the meeting.



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