U.S. to issue new Ebola care guidelines, watch lists to shrink

ROUNDUP OF DEVELOPMENTS SUNDAY

REUTERS                                     Oct 19, 2014

GALVESTON Texas --(Reuters) - The United States will issue strict new guidelines telling American health workers to cover their skin and hair when dealing with Ebola patients, a top health official said on Sunday, while some of the dozens of people being watched for possible exposure to the virus are expected to be cleared.

 

 A health care worker receives protocol on the proper removal of personal protection equipment from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) instructors in preparation for the response to the current Ebola outbreak, during a CDC safety training course in Anniston, Alabama, October 6, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Tami Chappell

In Texas, a lab worker who spent much of a Caribbean holiday cruise in isolation tested negative for the deadly virus and left the Carnival Magic liner with other passengers after it docked at Galveston early on Sunday morning....

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The Bigger Picture: Ebola - Dr. Michael D. McDonald

RT – Thom Hartmann - The Bigger Picture: Ebola – October 17-18, 2014

Dr. Michael D. McDonald, Robert Walker and DeAnn McEwen – A Discussion on Ebola

To stop Ebola from spreading in West Africa, Dr. Michael D. McDonald, Executive Director of Health Initiatives Foundation Inc. and the Global Resilience System talks about the need to have community strategies where we set up Resilience Capacity Zones to reduce the transmission and the translocation of Ebola. He states we need to create behavioral and social immunity around Ebola-affected areas to reduce the transmission and translocation. We need to create Ebola-resistant, and Ebola-free zones in ring-like fashion.

CLICK HERE - The Bigger Picture: Ebola

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZlUp_aVgxc

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NEJM - Ebola Virus Disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo

nejm.org - October 15, 2014 - DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1411099

Results

The outbreak began in Inkanamongo village in the vicinity of Boende town in Équateur province and has been confined to that province. A total of 69 suspected, probable, or confirmed cases were reported between July 26 and October 7, 2014, including 8 cases among health care workers, with 49 deaths. As of October 7, there have been approximately six generations of cases of EVD since the outbreak began. The reported weekly case incidence peaked in the weeks of August 17 and 24 and has since fallen sharply. Genome sequencing revealed Ebola virus (EBOV, Zaire species) as the cause of this outbreak. A coding-complete genome sequence of EBOV that was isolated during this outbreak showed 99.2% identity with the most closely related variant from the 1995 outbreak in Kikwit in the DRC and 96.8% identity to EBOV variants that are currently circulating in West Africa. . . .

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Dozens Declared Free of Ebola Risk in Texas

UPDATE   Ebola fear ends for dozens on U.S. watch lists                        

DALLAS--Weeks of worry about Ebola infection ended on Monday for several dozen people who came off watch lists in the United States, but more than 260 others were still being monitored for symptoms as the U.S. government ramped up its response to the virus.

In Texas, 43 people who had contact with Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the disease in the United States, were cleared of twice-daily monitoring after showing no symptoms during a 21-day incubation period. The Texas health department said they included four people who shared an apartment with Duncan and had been in quarantine. It said 120 people in Texas were still being monitored.

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Long Quest for Ebola Vaccine Slowed by Science, Ethics, Politics

An experimental Ebola vaccine has been developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. Photograph by Steve Parsons, AP

Image: An experimental Ebola vaccine has been developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. Photograph by Steve Parsons, AP

news.nationalgeographic.com - October 14th, 2014 - Karen Weintraub

Ebola vaccines are so effective in monkeys that macaques can be protected or rescued even if they're injected with a hundred times the lethal dose of the Ebola virus after vaccination. But no one knows for certain whether the vaccines will work in humans; the vaccines haven't yet been rigorously tested in people.

Just developing the vaccines to test in monkeys was a grueling, decades-long process that has killed scores of macaques since the 1990s.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Global Economy Facing Environment, Sustainability Skills Deficit

environmentalleader.com - October 16th, 2014

By 2020 the world economy could be facing a skills deficit driven by mega-trends such as population growth, increasing demand for natural resources, and soaring costs of energy, coupled with the impacts of climate change and ecosystem degradation, according to a report by the Institute of Environmental Management & Awareness.

Although the transition to a sustainable economy presents significant opportunities for business, according to an IEMA survey of over 900 organizations, only 13 percent of companies are fully confident that they have the skills to successfully compete in the sustainable economy.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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NEJM - Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa — The First 9 Months of the Epidemic and Forward Projections

nejm.org - WHO Ebola Response Team

N Engl J Med 2014; 371:1481-1495 - October 16, 2014 - DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1411100

Conclusions

These data indicate that without drastic improvements in control measures, the numbers of cases of and deaths from EVD are expected to continue increasing from hundreds to thousands per week in the coming months.

(SEE COMPLETE NEJM ARTICLE HERE)

NEJM - Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa — The First 9 Months of the Epidemic and Forward Projections (15 page .PDF file)

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Pentagon building rapid-response Ebola team

USA TODAY                                                     Oct. 19, 2014

BY Gregg Zoroya and John Bacon

The Pentagon will build a 30-person, rapid-response Ebola medical support team to aid civilian health care workers should additional cases of the virus be diagnosed in the U.S., officials said Sunday.

The effort was requested by the Department of Health and Human Services "as an added prudent measure to ensure our nation is ready to respond quickly, effectively and safely in the event of additional Ebola cases," a Pentagon statement said.

http://www.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=16986

The Pentagon said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered his Northern Command Commander, Gen. Chuck Jacoby, to prepare and train the team. It will include 20 critical-care nurses, five doctors trained in infectious disease and five trainers in infectious-disease protocols...

Team members will remain in a "prepare to deploy" status for 30 days after training. They will not be sent to West Africa or elsewhere overseas and "will be called upon domestically only if deemed prudent by our public health professionals," the statement said.

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Ebola: What Should We Do Now?

Four suggestions on what we need to successfully counter Ebola

A healthcare worker mixes chlorine with water at an Ebola treatment center in Hastings, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Oct. 15. Associated Press

Suggestions include:

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Dallas hospital tried to repair reputation after a series of mishaps.

Dallas Health Presbyterian Hospital: Two stories on the aftermath of the treatment of Thomas Eric Duncan the first person to die in the U.S. of Ebola and the infection of two nurses.

Dallas hospital tried to repair reputation after a series of mishaps.

WASHINGTON POST               Oct. 18, 2014
By Lena H. Sun

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/dallas-hospital-tr...

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Ebola lapses persisted for days at Dallas hospital

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                  Oct. 18, 2014

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/ebola-lapses-persi...

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Castro offers to co-operate with US on Ebola

 
 

 

 
 
The worst Ebola outbreak on record has killed more than 4,500 people, most of them in West African countries [EPA]

 

AL JAZEERA                                           Oct, 19, 2014

HAVANA--Fidel Castro, the 88-year-old former Cuban leader, has said his country is ready to work with the US in the battle against Ebola, saying that such co-operation would be in the interest of "the peace of the world".

Cuba has already sent 165 doctors and nurses to help fight Ebola in Sierra Leone and plans to send 296 others soon to Liberia and Guinea.

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Ebola outbreak could be 'definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation', warns Oxfam

THE INDEPENDENT                                                  OCT. 18, 2014

LONDON ---Ebola is poised to become the “definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation", Oxfam has warned, with more troops, funding and medical aid urgently needed to tackle the outbreak.

In an "extremely rare" move, the charity is calling for military intervention to provide logistical support across West Africa.

It says the world has less than two months to counter the spread of the deadly virus, which means addressing a "crippling shortfall" in military personnel.

Oxfam’s call for more troops comes after UN chief Ban Ki-Moon criticised countries he said were able to provide financial support to the crisis for not doing so.
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Amid Assurances on Ebola, Obama Is Said to Seethe

NEW YORK TIMES                                                 Oct. 18, 2014

By and

WASHINGTON — Beneath the calming reassurance that President Obama has repeatedly offered during the Ebola crisis, there is a deepening frustration, even anger, with how the government has handled key elements of the response.

Those frustrations spilled over when Mr. Obama convened his top aides in the Cabinet room after canceling his schedule on Wednesday. Medical officials were providing information that later turned out to be wrong. Guidance to local health teams was not adequate. It was unclear which Ebola patients belonged in which threat categories.

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Canada to start shipping experimental Ebola vaccine on Monday

CANADIAN PRESS                                     Oct. 18, 2014

OTTAWA—The federal government says Canada will start shipping its experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization on Monday.

 

 A lab worker at the JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research centre at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. An experimental Ebola vaccine developed in Canada will be shipped to the World Health Organization in Geneva starting Monday.

The government says in a release the Public Health Agency of Canada is supplying the vaccine to the UN body in Geneva in its role as the international co-ordinating body for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It says Canada will ship 800 vials of its experimental vaccine in three separate shipments, as a precautionary measure.

The WHO will consult with its partners, including the health authorities from the affected countries, to determine how best to distribute and use the vaccine. For instance, it must take into account concerns about using an experimental vaccine in people.

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Some politicians demanding temporary travel ban

WASHINGTON POST

By Katie Zezima                               Oct. 18. 2014

WASHINGTON -Public health officials have been nearly unanimous in rejecting the idea of a travel ban between the United States and the West African countries at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.

But the drumbeat from politicians demanding Ebola-related restrictions on travel intensified Friday as a number of moderate Democrats joined the chorus, including Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, who is enmeshed in a tough reelection fight, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Michelle Nunn, who is running for Senate in Georgia....

The calls have alarmed public health experts, who said a travel ban could result in the opposite of its intention and spread the virus throughout West Africa and beyond.

“It’s an 18th-century view that you can somehow place a cellophane wrapper around a whole region of the world and expect to keep germs out. It doesn’t work that way because it’s never worked,” said Lawrence O. Gostin, faculty director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University and director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Rights.

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