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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:

Video - Ebola Threat - Senate - Joint Committee - September 16, 2014



Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations


Tuesday, September 16 2014, 2:30 PM


216 Hart Senate Office Building


Federal health officials and health workers testified at a joint hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the possible risk to the U.S.

UN Security Council to Hold Emergency Meeting on Ebola Crisis

15 September 2014 – The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the Ebola outbreak that has gripped West Africa, the president of the 15-member body announced today.

The outbreak, affecting Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, is unprecedented in scope – with more than 4,000 cases having been reported across the region and over 2,200 deaths. It has also dealt a major blow to the already fragile health care systems in West Africa.

“The trend lines in this crisis are grave and without immediate international action we are facing the potential for a public health crisis that could claim lives on a scale far greater than current estimates and set the countries of West Africa back a generation,” Ambassador Samantha Power of the United States, which holds the Council’s presidency for September, told reporters at UN Headquarters.

The meeting – requested by the US owing to the “increasingly grim situation,” particularly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – is expected to hear from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as senior UN officials dealing with the Ebola crisis.

Is China Finally Kicking Its Coal Addiction?

The first half of 2014 saw China's first decline in total coal consumption in over a decade.Image: The first half of 2014 saw China's first decline in total coal consumption in over a decade. - September 12th, 2014 - Matt Sheehan

It may be difficult to see through the putrid smog, but major changes appear to be taking shape in China’s coal industry. So far this year, Chinese coal consumption has hit two major milestones: Coal consumption through June and coal imports through August both dropped for the first time in over a decade.

Environmental activists aren't yet popping the Champagne, but taken together, these data points suggest that market forces and government mandates are causing China's decadelong coal binge to finally peak and potentially sputter.


Ebola surging beyond control, WHO's Margaret Chan warns

Ebola surging beyond control, WHO's Margaret Chan warns.

Image: Ebola surging beyond control, WHO's Margaret Chan warns. - September 12th, 2014

Ebola virus cases in West Africa are rising faster than the ability to contain them, the World Health Organization says, as experts warn that the exponential rise could become a worldwide disaster.

The death toll has risen to more than 2,400 people out of 4,784 cases, WHO director general Margaret Chan told reporters at the UN health agency’s headquarters in in Geneva on Friday, noting the figures could be an underestimate.



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