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DRC Ebola outbreak 'distinct and independent event,' say WHO

BWHO state that "the virus in the Boende district is definitely not derived from the virus strain currently circulating in West Africa."y Catharine Paddock PhD - Medical News Today - Updated: 3 Sep 2014 3am PST

The World Health Organization have announced that the Ebola virus in the new outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is not derived from strains circulating in the current outbreak in West Africa. 

"Results from virus characterization, together with findings from the epidemiological investigation, are definitive: the outbreak in DRC is a distinct and independent event, with no relationship to the outbreak in West Africa," says a situation statement the World Health Organization (WHO) released on Tuesday.

U.N. Leader Plans Stronger Presence in Ebola Zone

submitted by Mike Kraft


A burial team on Wednesday collected the body of a person who was thought to have died from Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times - By SOMINI SENGUPTA, RICK GLADSTONE and SHERI FINK - September 17, 2014

The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said on Wednesday that he planned to establish a new on-the-ground mission in West Africa to coordinate the struggle against Ebola, a move that signaled his concern with the response so far and the limitations of the World Health Organization’s abilities.

In an interview with the editorial board of The New York Times, Mr. Ban said that he intended to ask the General Assembly to support his plan in order to demonstrate the unanimous global concern about Ebola, the deadly virus that is spreading at exponential rates in three Western African countries.

Ebola Training for Health Care Workers to Begin in Northeast Alabama - by Mike Oliver - September 15, 2014

ANNISTON, Alabama -- Everything you need to know about treating Ebola -- and staying alive doing so -- will be taught in training sessions which kick off with a pilot program Sept. 22 in this northeastern Alabama town.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is behind this series of 3-day training sessions for health care workers who may deploy to Africa's hotspots, said CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund.

"This is something new we are doing for the outbreak," she said.

According to a sample syllabus, topics range from laboratory and diagnostic testing to simulating drawing blood from an Ebola patient (no real Ebola patients will participate.)

Participants will also learn how to transport or move patients, proper ways to dispose of waste and burial procedures.


CLICK HERE - CDC Safety Training Course for Healthcare Workers Going to West Africa in Response to the 2014 Ebola Outbreak

Very Few Aircraft Equipped to Evacuate Ebola Patients

submitted by Mike Kraft


Phoenix Air, which has equipped two Gulfstream III planes to accommodate Ebola patients, has so far transported 5 such patients.  Photo - Phoenix Air Group - by Robert Roos - September 16, 2014

With West Africa's burgeoning Ebola epidemic expected to last at least 6 to 9 more months, the demand for evacuations of visiting medical workers who get infected seems likely to grow. That demand might well collide with a shortage of aircraft that are equipped to safely transport Ebola patients.

The four Ebola patients who have been evacuated from West Africa to the United States have all been flown by Phoenix Air of Carterville, Ga., which has two Gulfstream III business jets that are specially equipped to carry such patients at minimal risk to others on the plane.

Other aircraft that are properly equipped to transport Ebola patients are very scarce, according to US mission organizations that have arranged evacuations for a few of their workers in West Africa.


Hell in the Hot Zone


DON'T TOUCH Health workers in protective gear prepare to see patients at the Ebola-treatment center in the courtyard of Donka hospital, in Conakry, Guinea.  Photo: by Jeffery E. Stern - by Jeffery E. Stern - October 2014

As the Ebola epidemic rages, two questions have emerged: How did the deadly virus escape detection for three months? And why has a massive international effort failed to contain it? Traveling to Meliandou, a remote Guinean village and the likely home of Patient Zero, Jeffrey E. Stern tracks the virus’s path—and the psychological contagion that is still feeding the worst Ebola outbreak in history.


Subcommittee Hearing: Global Efforts to Fight Ebola - September 17, 2014


House Committee on Foreign Affairs - Subcommittee Hearing: Global Efforts to Fight Ebola

2172 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | Sep 17, 2014 10:00am to 1:00pm

Chairman Smith on the hearing: “This latest outbreak of the Ebola virus has far outpaced all previous outbreaks.  Because of various challenges heretofore unseen, such as urban infections, cross-border transmissions and increasing infections and deaths of health care workers, the current outbreak is expanding exponentially.  This hearing will examine the problems faced by the global coalition to fight Ebola. We will hear directly from the National Institutes of Health, the FDA and an American doctor who contracted and survived Ebola, and other witnesses.”


Panel I

Ebola Outbreak “Out of All Proportion” and Severity Cannot Be Predicted

submitted by Mike Kraft - September 17, 2014

A mathematical model that replicates Ebola outbreaks can no longer be used to ascertain the eventual scale of the current epidemic, researchers find. When applying the available data from the ongoing 2014 outbreak to the model, it is “out of all proportion and on an unprecedented scale when compared to previous outbreaks,” says the model developer.

A mathematical model that replicates Ebola outbreaks can no longer be used to ascertain the eventual scale of the current epidemic, finds research conducted by the University of Warwick.

Dr. Thomas House, of the University’s Warwick Mathematics Institute, developed a model that incorporated data from past outbreaks that successfully replicated their eventual scale.

CDC Issues Ebola Checklist: 'Now Is the Time to Prepare'

submitted by Mike Kraft - by Paul Bedard
September 15, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warning hospitals and doctors that “now is the time to prepare,” has issued a six-page Ebola “checklist” to help healthcare workers quickly determine if patients are infected.

While the CDC does not believe that there are new cases of Ebola in the United States, the assumption in the checklist is that it is only a matter of time before the virus hits home.


CLICK HERE - CDC - Information for Healthcare Workers

CLICK HERE - Detailed Hospital Checklist for Ebola Preparedness (6 page .PDF file)

U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa - Fact Sheet - September 16, 2014

As the President has stated, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the humanitarian crisis there is a top national security priority for the United States.  In order to contain and combat it, we are partnering with the United Nations and other international partners to help the Governments of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal respond just as we fortify our defenses at home. Every outbreak of Ebola over the past 40 years has been contained, and we are confident that this one can—and will be—as well.

Our strategy is predicated on four key goals:


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