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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In Liberia, a Good or Very Bad Sign: Empty Hospital Beds


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The Ebola field hospital in Bong County, Liberia, which opened in mid-September, has far fewer patients than anticipated. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

NEW YORK TIMES                                                              Oct. 29, 2014

By Sheri Fink, MD

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State Department plans to bring foreign Ebola patients to U.S.


THE WASHINGTON TIMES                         Oct. 29, 2014
By Stephen Dinan- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The State Department has quietly made plans to bring Ebola-infected doctors and medical aides to the U.S. for treatment, according to an internal department document that argued the only way to get other countries to send medical teams to West Africa is to promise that the U.S. will be the world’s medical backstop.

Some countries “are implicitly or explicitly waiting for medevac assurances” before they will agree to send their own medical teams to join U.S. and U.N. aid workers on the ground, the State Department argues in the undated four-page memo, which was reviewed by The Washington Times.... (Editor's note: Australia and Canada are among the countries.)

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The whole world relies on this one U.S. company to fly Ebola patients

WASHINGTON POST                          Oct 28, 2014
By Josh Hicks
When it comes to transporting Ebola victims by air, the world relies on just one small U.S. company.

Phoenix Air has been using the isolation system below this aircraft to transport Ebola patients. (EPA/BRANDEN CAMP)

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Israeli firm ships inflatable tents for West Africa Ebola patients

Y YETNEWS                                        Oct. 27, 2014
Udi Etsion
An Israel icompany has developed and installed in Guinea special inflatable isolation tents to be used to house and isolate Ebola patients.

Special inflatable tent being used to fight Ebola

The inflatable tents have also been purchased for the treatment of Ebola patients by other countries on the continent, according to the Israeli company SYS Technologies, which specializes in the development of clean-air systems and mobile operating theaters. The company said the units can be constructed and shipped within two weels.

The units use a positive pressure technology to create an absolute clear and isolated environment and maintain the structure. The company has also developed an incubator-like stretcher for the safe transfer of patients to the isolation tents.

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Nurse's discharge leaves one Ebola case in U.S., though larger battle continues

CNN                                             Oct. 28, 2014

By Greg Botelho, Jason Hanna and Ashley Fantz,

The release today of nurse Amber Vinson  from the Emory Unversity hospital in Atlanta hospital leaves a single person in the United States now battling Ebola, though MS Vinson and others -- including President Barack Obama -- stressed the fight against the deadly virus isn't over.

Dr. Craig Spencer is now the only person in the United States being treated for Ebola. The 33-year-old was admitted to Bellevue Hospital in New York City after developing a fever on Thursday, six days after returning to the United States and over a week after leaving Guinea, where he worked for Doctors Without Borders.

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Seven people were treated and declared Ebola-free; one died.  Here is a look at the nine U.S. Ebola patients:


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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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Ebola outbreak's 'Patient Zero' identified as a two-year-old boy from Guinea named Emile Ouamouno

THE INDEPENDENT                                                       Oct. 28, 2014

By Adam Withnall

Unicef has identified the first patient to be infected at the start of the current global Ebola outbreak as a two-year-old toddler from Guinea named Emile Ouamouno.

In a study for the New England Journal of Medicine, a team of experts had traced the disease to the village in Guéckédou, in southeastern Guinea, by reviewing hospital documents and speaking to those involved.

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Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak — West Africa, October 2014

CDC   WASHINGTON                                                    Oct. 28, 2014

The CDC has released its October report on on the Ebola outbreak in West Affica.

 The updated data in this report were compiled from situation reports from the Guinea Interministerial Committee for Response Against the Ebola Virus and the World Health Organization, the Liberia Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation. Total case counts include all suspected, probable, and confirmed cases as defined by each country. These data reflect reported cases, which make up an unknown proportion of all actual cases and reporting delays that vary from country to country.

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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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Wish to Do More in Ebola Fight Meets Reality in Liberia


NEW YORK TIMES                                                                  Oct.28, 2014
By Sheri Fink, MD

"...What level of care is possible for a disease with no cure being treated in wooden huts in the middle of a forest? How do medical workers prioritize which patients and tasks to focus on when they cannot do everything they were trained to do? Will their decisions determine who lives and who dies? And how would they even know?

Ms. Gaemai Sayon, center, survived Ebola but lost her husband and their infant son to the virus. The child died in her arms while she was delirious from the disease. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

'“You always want to do more, but it has to be balanced with what’s possible, with what makes sense for the context you’re working in,” said Dr. Pranav Shetty, the medical director at the center operated here by International Medical Corps.

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Swiss Agency Approves Trial for Ebola Vaccine

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                 Oct. 28, 2014
  GENEVA-- The Swiss agency that regulates new drugs said Tuesday it has approved an application for a clinical trial with an experimental Ebola vaccine at the Lausanne University Hospital.

In this picture provided by the World Health Organization, a package of vials of the first shipment of the experimental vaccine VSE-EBOV is opened at the Geneva Cantonal hospital on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes the donation by the government of Canada of 800 vials of an experimental candidate vaccine, VSV-EBOV, against Ebola virus disease. Clinical safety trials with this experimental Ebola vaccine have already begun in healthy human volunteers in Mali, the United Kingdom and the United States after showing very promising results in animal research. . (AP Photo/WHO/Mathilde Missioneiro) 

Swissmedic said the trial will be conducted among 120 volunteer participants with support from the U.N. World Health Organization. The experimental vaccine is to be initially administered on healthy volunteers who will be sent as medical staff to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

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Texas nurse to leave Emory University Hospital free of Ebola virus

REUTERS                                          Oct. 28, 2014
By Colleen Jenkins and Doina Chiacu

A Texas nurse who contracted Ebola in the United States will be released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Tuesday after being found free of the virus, the hospital said.

An ambulance transporting Amber Joy Vinson arrives at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia October 15, 2014.Credit: Reuters/Tami Chappell

Amber Vinson was one of two nurses at a Dallas hospital who had treated Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian visiting Texas who died of Ebola on Oct. 8 and was the first patient diagnosed with the virus in the United States.

She was admitted to Emory's hospital for treatment on Oct. 15. The other nurse, Nina Pham, also was declared virus-free last week and left the Maryland hospital where she had been treated

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Seeking Unity, U.S. Revises Ebola Monitoring Rules


NEW YORK TIMES                        Oct. 28, 2014

By , and

The federal government on Monday tried to take charge of an increasingly acrimonious national debate over how to treat people in contact with Ebola patients by announcing guidelines that stopped short of tough measures in New York and New Jersey and were carefully devised, officials said, not to harm the effort to recruit badly needed medical workers to West Africa.

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Quarantine debate turning into a chaotic brawl

THE WASHINGTON POST                    0ct, 27, 2014
By Joel Achenbach, Brady Dennis and Lena H. Sun

The Ebola quarantine controversy has become a chaotic brawl involving politics, science and the law. The rules on quarantining health-care workers returning from West Africa are changing almost daily and varying according to geography and political climate.

The Pentagon announced Monday that Army personnel returning to their home base in Italy from Liberia will be held in quarantine for 21 days — even though none have symptoms of Ebola or were exposed to patients infected with the virus.

The military’s policy does not appear to track new guidelines announced Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which called for “high-risk” individuals and health-care workers without any symptoms to be directly monitored by state and local health authorities.

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