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US Envoy: 'Alarming Gaps' Remain in Fighting Ebola

VOICE OF AMERICA                                                              Oct. 31, 2014

By Al Pessin

The international community must do more to fill "alarming gaps" in the fight against the Ebola epidemic, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said to an audience in Brussels as she headed home from a visit to the three hardest-hit countries in West Africa.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power speaks during a lecture regarding the Ebola virus at the Residence Palace in Brussels, Oct. 30, 2014.

Power said the initial international response is making a difference, and has created what she called “the first tangible signs that the virus can and will be beaten.”

But, she said, many countries have not done enough, and urged them to not assume the job is done...

She called for more flexible planning, faster decision-making, and for support for the affected countries as they try to rebuild and expand their health care systems. Those systems were inadequate before the epidemic and have now been devastated by the deaths of hundreds of doctors and nurses.

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Africans Worst Responders in Ebola Crisis

ASSOCIATED PRESS                         Oct. 31, 2014
JOHANNESBURG-With few exceptions, African governments and institutions are offering only marginal support as the continent faces its most deadly threat in years, once again depending on the international community to save them.

Ebola "caught us by surprise," the chairwoman of the 53-nation African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said this week at a meeting with the U.N. secretary-general and the World Bank president in Ethiopia.

"With the wisdom of hindsight, our responses at all levels - continental, global and national - were slow, and often knee-jerk reactions that did not always help," she said.

She is a medical doctor from South Africa, where mining magnate Patrice Motsepe Tuesday announced he has donated $1 million to the fight against Ebola in Guinea, where the outbreak started.

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U.S. quarantines 'chilling' Ebola fight in West Africa: MSF

 REUTERS                                                                                     Oct. 30, 2014

(Reuters) - Mandatory quarantines ordered by some U.S. states for doctors and nurses returning from West Africa's Ebola outbreak are creating a "chilling effect" on aid work there, the humanitarian aid group Doctors Without Borders said on Thursday.

A Doctors Without Borders health worker takes off his protective gear under the surveillance of a colleague at a treatment facility for Ebola victims in Monrovia September 29, 2014. Credit: Reuters/James Giahyue

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Lack of federal authority makes fashioning coherent national Ebola policy difficult

Discussion of conflicting quarantine guidelines

HOMELAND SECURITY NEWSWIRE                     Oct. 30, 1014
Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) issued new guidelines on how states should deal with travelers from Ebola-stricken regions, but a lack of federal authority to mandate such guidelines has led to conflicting strategies, varying from state to state, which includes mandatory at-home quarantine for some travelers. Under current U.S. law, the states have the authority to issue quarantine or isolation policies, and they also control the enforcement of these policies within their territories.

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How Ebola quarantines actually work, explained

A young man, dressed in a biohazard costume, stands on the corner of 546 West 147th Street in New York City. Bryan Thomas/Getty Images

VOX                                                                       Oct. 29, 2014
By Julia Bellez
As Ebola fears wash over America, some state governors are turning to mandatory quarantines: locking up healthy workers returning from West Africa for 21 days, Ebola's incubation period. The policy in New Jersey made national headlines after it resulted in a nurse who had no Ebola symptoms — and had been fighting the disease in West Africa, no less — being isolated in a poorly heated tent with no running shower or toilet.

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Sierra Leone Leader: Change Behavior to End Ebola

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                      Oct. 29, 2014

By Clarence Roy-Macaulay

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Exclusive: New test for diagnosing Ebola goes unused

WABC NEWS                                          Oct. 28 2014
By Jim Hoffer


Report says that when a 5-year-old boy who came back from Guinea was admitted to New York's Bellevue hospital  recently,  city officials stopped the use of a a one-hour testing device although it had received the FDA's emergency approval.

As a result, it took 10 hours from the time he spiked a fever till his parents, medical staff, and the public found out, he did NOT have Ebola.

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Low HIV and Aids rates saw west Africa ‘miss out on health investment'

THE GUARDIAN                                                                                Oct. 28, 2014
By Sarah Boseley

West Africa, now in the throes of a calamitous Ebola epidemic, missed out on significant health investment over the past decade or more because it had low rates of HIV, a detailed survey of the changing health of Africa and Asia reveals.

The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power (centre), visits an ebola emergency response centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Healthcare in west Africa now has the world’s attention. Photograph: Reuters

A major project called Indepth, which has looked at the causes of death of more than 110,000 people in 13 countries shows that health improved generally in those given substantial international aid to try to turn around the HIV and Aids epidemic. But west Africa, with severe poverty and low healthcare standards but relatively little HIV, did not benefit.

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Obama Defends C.D.C.’s Ebola Rules as ‘Sensible, Based in Science’


NEW YORK TIMES                                                              Oct. 28, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday said that new Ebola guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were “sensible, based in science” and would help keep Americans safe while not discouraging volunteers from traveling to West Africa to battle the disease at its source....

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Top UN Ebola Official: New Cases Poorly Tracked

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                                                     Oct. 28, 2014

KAMPALA, Uganda--Athorities are having trouble figuring out how many more people are getting Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone and where the hot spots are in those countries, harming efforts to get control of the raging, deadly outbreak, the U.N.'s top Ebola official in West Africa said Tuesday.

"The challenge is good information, because information helps tell us where the disease is, how it's spreading and where we need to target our resources," Anthony Banbury told The Associated Press by phone from the Ghanaian capital of Accra, where the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, or UNMEER, is based.

Health experts say the key to stopping Ebola is breaking the chain of transmission by tracing and isolating those who have had contact with Ebola patients or victims. Health care workers can't do that if they don't know where new cases are emerging.

"And unfortunately, we don't have good data from a lot of areas. We don't know exactly what is happening," said Banbury, the chief of UNMEER.

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