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Ebola Survivors Face Hardships, But New Programs Help

LIVE SCIENCE  by Rachel Rettner                                                                                  Dec. 12, 2014

Ebola survivors in West Africa are often shunned by their communities, and they have few possessions because many of their personal belongings are destroyed to prevent the disease from spreading.

But several organizations are working to help Ebola survivors make the transition back into their communities — for example, by providing them with bedding and other basic items, and speaking with community members to reduce the stigma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Survivors are thought to be immune to the strain of Ebola causing the current outbreak, and many now work as caregivers for those with Ebola, the report said.

Read complete story.
http://www.livescience.com/49110-ebola-survivor-support.html

A 2014 photograph of a West African Ebola treatment cente. Credit CDC

 

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2014 National Health Security Preparedness Index Report released

NHSPI                                                                                                       Dec. 9, 2014

WASHINGTON-- The National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI) for 2014 provides updated information about how well individual states and the nation are preparing for public health and other emergencies.  It was released today at a meeting at Capitol Hill by a group of government and non-government public health specialists. They included Dr. Daniel Sosin, Deputy Director of the CDC's  Office of PubLic Health Preparedness and Respopnse, and Dr. Thomas V. Inglesby, Director of the UPMC Center for Health Security.

More than 35 organizations were partners in preparing the index, which updated the initial 2013 report.

The NHSPI describes it's mission as "providing relevant actionable informtaion to help guide efforts to achieve a higher level of healh security preparedness."  The intended uses include "strengthening preparedness, informng decision makers, guiding quality improvement and advancing the science behind community resilience."

See Executive Summary and the national results.

http://www.nhspi.org/content/executive-summary

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The Rockefeller Foundation: Announcing Our Next Round of Resilient Cities!

                                     

100resilientcities.org - by Michael Berkowitz - December 2, 2014

Today we proudly announce the second group of cities selected to join 100 Resilient Cities – cities who have demonstrated a commitment to building their own capacities to navigate the shocks and stresses of an increasingly complex 21st Century.

During the our first 18 months, we've seen our first cohort of cities mature, appoint chief resilience officers, and embark on their own resilience strategy processes. No doubt this momentum contributed to the immense response we saw to the second round of the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge has been enormous, with 331 exceptional applications from cities around the world, submitted in seven languages.

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Sierra Leonean in US Sends Medical Supplies Home to Combat Ebola

voanews.com - by Deborah Block - Nov 26, 2014



On Thanksgiving day in the United States, Americans give thanks for their blessings. Among them is Bobby Smith, who emigrated to here 25 years ago from Sierra Leone. To give back, three years ago Smith began a small volunteer organization, Hope for Lives in Sierra Leone, to help the disadvantaged in his homeland -- one of the poorest countries in the world. As VOA’s Deborah Block reports, he now is sending medical supplies to help combat Ebola, which continues to devastate Sierra Leone.

http://www.voanews.com/media/video/sierra-leonean-in-us-sends-medical-supplies-home-to-combat-ebola/2535979.html

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Finding the Ebola virus’ vulnerable points

Three copies of the Ebola glycoprotein (blue) with antibodies (yellow) latched on to them. Picture by Stanfordby Shalini Saxena - Nov 30 2014 - http://arstechnica.com

We know what antibodies stop it in its tracks—we now know where they attach.

The latest Ebola outbreak has dwarfed any that have occurred since the discovery of the virus in 1976; previous outbreaks have had lethality rates of up to 90 percent. Yet no vaccines or therapies are currently approved for human use, which limits our ability to treat patients and contain the outbreak. Mixtures of monoclonal antibodies (see sidebar) are a potential treatment option that has been used experimentally.

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In Liberia, Ebola Shifts From Cities To Villages

November 30, 2014 - Rachel Martin - npr.org - Copyright © 2014 NPR

Liberia has been a death zone for those exposed to the Ebola virus. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with correspondent Kelly McEvers about what she saw on the ground, and what she will find hard to forget.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The death toll in the largest Ebola outbreak in history continues to rise in West Africa. Just this past week, the World Health Organization reported 600 new cases in the three hardest hit countries - Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Liberia had been the epicenter of the outbreak. But now the country with the largest number of victims is neighboring Sierra Leone. NPR reporters have been covering the story in both countries. NPR's Kelly McEvers is about to finish nearly two weeks in Liberia. She joins us on the line. Hi, Kelly.

Read the whole interview:

http://www.npr.org/2014/11/30/367544593/in-liberia-ebola-shifts-from-cities-to-villages

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U.N. Mission Warns That Ebola Still Poses ‘Huge’ Global Threat

A mother and child stand atop their mattresses in a classroom now used as Ebola isolation ward on Aug. 15, 2014, in Monrovia, Liberiaby Elizabeth Barber - Dec. 1, 2014 - time.com

The U.N. mission is urging that the longer the disease is allowed to storm West Africa, the more likely it is that the virus will reappear elsewhere in the world.

The head of the U.N. Ebola mission in West Africa has said there is a “huge risk” of the Ebola outbreak expanding beyond the hard-hit region.

https://time.com/3611314/u-n-ebola-global-threat-anthony-banbury-bbc/

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WHO Says Liberia, Guinea Meeting Ebola Targets

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No more Ebola cases in Mali after patient cured

DAKAR - Nov 29, 2014 - reuters.com

Nov 29 (Reuters) - Mali has no more confirmed cases of Ebola after the last patient known to be suffering from the virus was cured, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said on Saturday.

Mali has registered eight cases of Ebola - seven of them confirmed and one probable - after the virus spread from neighbouring Guinea, the World Health Organization (WHO) said this week.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/29/health-ebola-mali-idUSL6N0TJ0AC20141129

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Ebola outbreak: West Africa death toll nears 7,000

29 Nov 2014 - BBC

Protective measures are key to stopping the spread of the virusThe number of people killed by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 6,928, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

The toll has increased by over 1,000 since the WHO's last report on Wednesday, but it includes unreported deaths from earlier in the outbreak.

Experts say the infection rate is more significant that the death toll, as it reflects how the virus is spreading. Infection rates are decreasing in Liberia, but are high in Sierra Leone.

There have been over 16,000 reported cases in Guinea, Sierra and Liberia.

Latest Ebola death tolls

Liberia: 7,244 cases, 4,181 deaths

Sierra Leone: 6,802 cases, 1,463 deaths

Guinea: 2,123 cases, 1,284 deaths

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30260532

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