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Nepal Earthquake Poses Challenge to International Aid Agencies

NEW YORK TIMES  by Mark Scott                                                                          April 27, 2015

LONDON — International aid agencies and governments mobilized on Sunday to respond to the earthquake in Nepal, saying they faced challenges in getting assistance to the country and distributing it amid the widespread devastation there.

 

Displaced residents waiting in line to receive drinking water in Katmandu on Sunday. Credit Niranjan

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Watch closely and explain frequently: Liberia's Ebola lessons

REUTERS   By James Harding Giahyue and Emma Farge                                                   March 13, 2015

MONROVIA/DAKAR - Seven months after Ebola paralysed Liberia's capital, Friday marked 21 days since the country registered a case of the virus - offering lessons to its neighbors on the importance of surveillance and education in beating the deadly epidemic....

 A massive influx of international aid, including crucial U.S. military assistance, helped Liberia to turn the tide of the outbreak.

But, notes Tariq Riebl, Oxfam's Ebola response manager in Liberia, "What got us to the endgame is that communities took things into their own hands...."

Read complete story.
http://news.yahoo.com/watch-closely-explain-frequently-liberias-ebola-lessons-184507811.html;_ylt=AwrBJR6EmAVV3D0AbnTQtDMD

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UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) External Situation Report

UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER)                                                         Feb. 16, 2015

Conakry, Guinea --Statement issued by the heads of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone upon approving an operational framework designed to reduce new Ebola infections to zero within 60 days.

The framework calls for infection prevention and control, social mobilization, community engagement, surveillance, cross border collaboration. 

The leaders also "advocated for a seamless and responsible exit by international partners dictated by the epidemiology and by the adequate transfer of capacity to national institutions."

The statement includes a list of developments and responses.

Read complete statement.

https://ebolaresponse.un.org/sites/default/files/150216-_unmeer_external_situation_report.pdf

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Doctors Who Treat Ebola Feel More Socially Isolated

LIVESCIENCE.COM   by Rachael Rettner                                                                         Feb. 13, 2015

Doctors who take care of very sick Ebola patients may feel socially isolated, but surprisingly, they may not feel more stressed than usual, a new study from Germany suggests.

Researchers surveyed 46 health care workers who treated Germany's first Ebola patient in August 2014, as well as 40 health care workers who worked in the same hospital but did not treat the Ebola patient.

The researchers who did the study hypothesized that the people who treated the Ebola patient would have more symptoms of psychological distress because they were working in a challenging environment that presented a risk that they could become infected with the deadly virus.

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Ebola Clue Lurks in 10 Million Zambian Bats

BLOOMBERG       by  Matthew Hill                        Jan. 12, 2015                                    

At 4:50 a.m. at the Kasanka National Park in northern Zambia, tourists watch from a platform in a tree as the sound of millions of wings accompanies the sunrise.

Straw-coloured Fruit Bats fly in Kasanka National Park, Zambia. Photographer: Fabian von Poser/Getty Images

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In Africa, a Decline in New Ebola Cases Complicates Vaccine Development

NEW YORK TIMES      by Andrew Pollack                                                           Jan. 9, 2015

As authorities and drug companies hurriedly prepare to begin testing Ebola vaccines in West Africa, they are starting to contemplate a new challenge: whether an ebbing of the outbreak could make it more difficult to determine if the experimental vaccines are effective.

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Sierra Leone declares first Ebola-free district

THE GUARDIAN by Lisa O'Carroll                                 Jan, 10, 2015

A district in Sierra Leone has been declared Ebola-free, the first to be given the all-clear after 42 days with zero recorded cases of the virus.

Red Cross workers load a suspected Ebola case into an ambulance in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in September. Freetown still has a relatively large number of cases. Photograph: Michael Duff/AP Red Cross workers load a suspected Ebola case into an ambulance in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in September. Freetown still has a relatively large number of cases. Photograph: Michael Duff/AP

Pujehun, in the south-east of the country, was hit by Ebola in August and suffered 24 deaths from 31 cases – but it has not had a recorded case since 26 November. This means it has achieved the World Health Organisation’s benchmark for Ebola-free status.

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Ending Ebola in '15 Depends on Locals as Much as Foreign Aid

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS By MARIA CHENG and CLARENCE ROY-MACAULAY                   Jan 9, 2015

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone --

...Whether the world's worst-ever Ebola outbreak can be wiped out in West Africa in 2015 is uncertain. To a large extent, it depends as much on locals changing their practices and beliefs as it does on continued international assistance.

 One of the biggest problems is finding all contacts of confirmed cases. Teams are in place in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three worst-hit countries, to monitor suspect cases, but too little is known about where the virus is spreading. Typically, every confirmed Ebola case has about 12 to 20 possible contacts who must be monitored. In Sierra Leone, the epicenter of the current crisis, officials are reporting just eight, leading to suspicions that contact tracing is inadequate....

 Among concrete progress since the crisis gained international attention last summer, a major initiative led by the U.N. has been put into place, including:

Read complete story.
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/ending-ebola-15-depends-locals-foreign-aid-28121449?singlePage=true

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H7N9 Map


View H7N9 map in a larger map

Click on each balloon for more information on individual patients infected with the avian flu virus: blue, patients infected with the H7N9 virus under treatment; red, those infected with H7N9 who have died; and pink, those infect with the H1N1 avian flu virus.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1208847/hong-kong-standby-new-bird-flu-cases-revealed-shanghai
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