Tracing the Ebola Outbreak, Scientists Hunt a Silent Epidemic

NEW YORK TIMES  by Sheri Fink, MD                         May 5, 2015

(Contains new information on the origin of the Ebola epidemic.)

Scientists are using blood samples collected throughout the Ebola outbreak to map the virus’s spread from country to country by tracking tiny mutations in its gene sequences.

The picture is not yet complete, but intriguing discoveries have been made. Virus mutations first detected in Sierra Leone last spring were found later in Liberia and Mali, and scientists are examining whether this resulted from the chance movements of people across borders....

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Ebola in graphics: The toll of a tragedy

Set of graphs on the Ebola Outbreak

THE ECONOMIST   by the Graphics Team                                                                   May 5, 2015 

The outbreak continues to claim lives, but Liberia could be confirmed Ebola free on May 9th. The situation in Guinea and Sierra Leone is also improving with fewer provinces reporting cases than in previous weeks. The World Health Organisation reports that each country now has enough treatment beds to be able to isolate and treat patients with Ebola, and to bury everyone known to have died of the disease.

The chart above shows numbers from both the WHO's regular situation reports and from patient databases, which tend to be more accurate but are less complete for recent weeks.
See complete story and set of graphics.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/05/ebola-graphics

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Review: ‘Frontline’ Looks at Missteps During the Ebola Outbreak

NEW YORK TIMES  By                      May 3, 2015

(UPDATE: Scroll down for link to the PBS FRONTLINE  program on Ebola originally aired last night on American television.)

Heartbreaking stories from the Ebola outbreak are familiar by now, although that doesn’t make them any easier to hear, and a “Frontline” installment being broadcast on PBS on Tuesday night has its share. But it also has something less familiar: Officials acknowledging that they could have done a better job of responding to the crisis.

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Who controls Nepal's helicopters?

FOREIGN POLICY   by Freddie Wilson                                                         May 2, 2015
The country has just a handful of private helicopters, which are crucial to earthquake rescue operations. But are foreign trekkers the only ones who’ve benefitted?
In the wake of the earthquake, it became immediately clear that choppers would be crucial to lifesaving rescue operations. Landslides have besieged Nepal, wrecking many sections of its already tenuous road system. People are trapped in remote villages — or what remain of them — while supplies are bottlenecked at the Tribhuvan International Airport, in Kathmandu. “The planning over many years seems to have failed to take account of the fact that hard to reach places — most of those badly hit — would remain hard to reach, after the quake,” wrote John Bevan, who has worked with the U.N. in Nepal and Haiti, in an email from Kathmandu.

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Nepal Asks Foreign Rescuers to Leave as Hopes Fade

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Sierra Leone News: More work and engagement for women to end ebola

AWOKO.ORG   by  Berry Milton                             May 4, 2015

Getting ebola  to zero and staying zero is very crucial at this time, it is because of this that the women of Sierra Leone have taken the lead in the Yellow Ribbon Campaign, an initiative by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) now led by Women in the Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL).

Given a background to the campaign which was launched about three months ago, SLAJ President Kelvin Lewis said the aim was to inject new energy into the drive to get zero ebola cases as people are tired and frustrated not seeing the ending of the virus, “even though the figures were going down ebola was fighting back.”

He said the campaign is a personal commitment to be made by people which is very important as it means safe and dignified burial, to keep all sick people away from others and to speak out by calling 117 if they know of any sick person and contacts must stay in one area with food and water.
Read complete story.
http://awoko.org/2015/05/04/sierra-leone-news-more-work-and-engagement-for-women-to-end-ebola/

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Head of U.N. Ebola response stresses importance of stopping virus before rainy season

BIOPREPWATCH                                               May 4, 2015

Peter Jan Graaff, during his first week as the secretary-general’s acting special representative and head of the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, declared his commitment to stopping the Ebola outbreak.

“We have made great progress in fighting the virus, but we are not done yet,” Graaff said. “The rainy season is fast approaching, which will complicate efforts to contain the disease. We have a very small window of opportunity, and that window is closing fast. We can’t risk falling behind the virus again. We need to stay ahead of it and eliminate it before it is too late....”

If no cases present themselves by May 9, Liberia will be declared free of Ebola.

“Until we reach zero cases in every country, Ebola still poses a threat to the region, and to the world,” Graaff said. “We must keep up our efforts over the next few weeks to trace and treat every last case.”

Read complete story.
http://bioprepwatch.com/news/head-of-u-n-ebola-response-stresses-importance-of-stopping-virus-before-rainy-season/341712/

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What Happens To A Country When An Outbreak Of Ebola Ends?

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO by Linda Poon                                                         May 3, 2015

Liberia is nearing a milestone. On May 9, its Ebola outbreak will be officially declared over, assuming no new cases between now and then.

But what happens when an outbreak of Ebola ends?

 

Dr. Peter Piot (left) meets with Sukato Mandzomba, a nurse who contracted Ebola during the 1976 outbreak. Mandzomba now runs a makeshift hospital lab in Yambuku. Courtesy of Dr. Heidi Larson

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California Gov. Jerry Brown Orders Aggressive Greenhouse Gas Cuts By 2030

Governer Jerry Brown.

Image: Governer Jerry Brown.

huffingtonpost.com - April 29th 2015 - Kate Sheppard

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order Wednesday directing the state to cut is greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, the toughest proposed cuts of any state in the nation.

The 2030 target will ensure that California can meet its emissions target for the middle of this century, which calls for an 80 percent cut by 2050, Brown said. The state is already on pace to meet its goal of bringing heat-trapping emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020, a target set under a 2006 state law.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Dutch Citizens Are Taking Their Government To Court Over Climate Change

huffingtonpost.com - April 17th 2015 - Charlotte Alfred

A group of Dutch citizens headed to court this week in a bold effort to hold their government accountable for its inaction over climate change.

The case, which opened at The Hague on Tuesday, was first filed by the Urgenda Foundation, a sustainability group, and 900 co-plaintiffs in the Netherlands in 2013.

The plaintiffs' lawyers argue that the current policies of the Dutch government are insufficient to halt climate change, and that the government is thus illegally endangering its citizens.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Study Finds Global Warming as Threat to 1 in 6 Species

The American pika lives in rocky mountain areas and boulder-covered hillsides. In recent years, it  has been retreating to higher elevations. Since the 1990s, some pika populations along the species’ southernmost ranges have vanished. Credit Science SourceImage: The American pika lives in rocky mountain areas and boulder-covered hillsides. In recent years, it  has been retreating to higher elevations. Since the 1990s, some pika populations along the species’ southernmost ranges have vanished. Credit Science Source

nytimes.com - April 30th 2015 - Carl Zimmer

Climate change could drive to extinction as many as one in six animal and plant species, according to a new analysis.

In a study published Thursday in the journal Science, Mark Urban, an ecologist at the University of Connecticut, also found that as the planet warms in the future, species will disappear at an accelerating rate.

“We have the choice,” he said in an interview. “The world can decide where on that curve they want the future Earth to be.”

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Tourists abandon Ghana despite its successes against Ebola

HUMANOSPHERE  by Tom Murphy                                                                          May 1, 2015

ELMINA, Ghana – Each evening the fishermen set out in their hand-carved wooden boats. By nightfall, the horizon is dotted by a long row of small lights, their own constellation. Fish are caught, the haul is sold in markets and life continues. But one group is noticeably absent from Elmina and other towns along Ghana’s coast – tourists.

The near-empty Elmina Bay Resort. (Credit: Tom Murphy)

Thousands of college students embark on a trip to see the world and do a bit of learning through the Semester at Sea program. The West African countries of Senegal and Ghana are usually on the itinerary, bringing a steady flow of tourism to the two countries. But the countries are not destinations for three consecutive semesters due to concerns about Ebola.

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APAN - Nepal HADR - Community for Nepal HADR Shared Situational Awareness

 

community.apan.org/pacom-hadr/nepal_hadr

The All Partners Access Network (APAN) is the Unclassified Information Sharing Service (UISS) for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

In response to the devastating earthquake on 25 APR 2015, APAN has created the Nepal HADR Community. Join this public community now to collaborate and share information with other members supporting the response effort, including members of the U.S. Department of Defense, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), other government agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

CLICK HERE - Nepal HADR

(ALSO SEE RELATED INFORMATION IN THE LINK BELOW)
https://community.apan.org/hadr/default.aspx

 

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CFE-DMHA - 2015 Nepal Earthquake Crisis Site

submitted by Santosh Dahal

cfe-dmha.org

The CFE-DMHA Disaster Information Report provides a daily analysis of various information sources reporting on the 2015 Nepal Earthquake effort.   

CFE's Disaster Management Reference Handbooks provide a baseline of information regarding countries most prone to disasters. A standardized assessment methodology with an operational perspective provides readers a general understanding of a nation's disaster management capability and vulnerability.

CLICK HERE - Disaster Information Reports and Reference Handbooks - Additional Information

For more information on the response effort, go to the Nepal Earthquake HADR Community on APAN

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Logistics - Kathmandu Airport - Nepal

Olivier Brandner, left, loads supplies into MSF's mobile storage unit at the airport's Humanitarian Forwarding Area.
Photo: Obi Anyadike/IRIN
 
irinnews.org - by Obinna Anyadike
May 1, 2015
 
Regarding the logistics hub at Kathmandu's airport, the procedure for requesting storage space is online and simple, and even easier if you are an agency or NGO registered with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, a discreet vetting.
 
Input the details of your cargo, tonnage, and whether transport is required (WFP can provide inland delivery) - and then submit the form. Once WFP confirms it can accept the consignment, it takes over.
 
There is no concern of supplies stacking up in the forwarding area, uncollected. “This is an emergency, people want to get it out as soon as possible,” Beaumont said.
 
Inside the logistics hub at Kathmandu's airport
 
Nepal - Logistics Cluster
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