US, China Set Carbon Pollution Goals

Image: President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping. Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White HouseImage: President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping. Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White House

environmentalleader.com - November 13th, 2014

The US and China set ambitious climate change goals on Wednesday, with President Obama pledging to cut US greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Chinese president Xi Jinping announced targets to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 or sooner and to increase China’s non-fossil fuel share of energy to around 20 percent by 2030.

The announcement was met with praise from environmentalists and business groups.

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New Ebola Patient in Nebraska in Critical Condition

Martin Salia Treated After Being Transported From Sierra Leone

WALL STREET JOURNAL                                     Nov. 16, 2014 ByBetsy McKay and Scott Calvert

A surgeon under treatment for Ebola in Omaha, Neb., is in extremely critical condition, the hospital said early Sunday.

Martin Salia was admitted on Saturday to the Nebraska Medical Center’s biocontainment unit after a medical evacuation from Freetown, Sierra Leone.

 

Dr. Martin Salia poses for a photo in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in April. Associated Press

“This is an hour-by-hour situation,” said Philip Smith, medical director of the biocontainment unit and a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the hospital’s academic partner. “He is extremely ill. We have multiple highly-trained specialists who are experts in their fields targeting his most serious medical issues.”

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Dr. David Nabarro (UN Special Envoy on Ebola) on Ebola - General Assembly, Informal Meeting, 69th Session (13 November 2014)

webtv.un.org

13 Nov 2014 - Statement by Dr. David Nabarro, UN Special Envoy on Ebola at the General Assembly Informal meeting of the plenary briefing on the Ebola virus outbreak.

(CLICK HERE - VIDEO - Statement by Dr. David Nabarro, UN Special Envoy on Ebola)

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The Shifting Ebola Epidemic

NEW YORK TIMES                                                                                         Nov. 16, 2014

EDITORIAL

Recent gains in controlling the Ebola epidemic in West Africa have been encouraging, but they offer no reason for complacency. In Liberia, the hardest-hit country, the rate of new infections has declined in some areas, and several treatment units have been reporting empty beds for more than a month. But in adjacent Sierra Leone the number of new cases has shot upward, while in Guinea, where the epidemic started, the incidence of new cases appears to have stabilized over all, with growth in some districts and declines in others. All told, Ebola has infected more than 14,000 people in West Africa and killed more than 5,000 of them...

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U.N. scraps clinic contract as Ebola exposes Mali readiness gaps

REUTERS                                                  Nov. 16, 2014
By David Lewis

DAKAR - The United Nations mission in Mali has canceled plans to renew a contract with a private clinic providing care to its peacekeepers after a case of Ebola was missed and spread from there.

Children watch as a health worker sprays disinfectant outside a mosque in Bamako, Mali November 14, 2014.Credit: Reuters/Joe Penney

This second Ebola alarm in Mali, coming just as it seemed to have contained its first case last month, raised doubts about the country's ability to protect itself from the epidemic ...

The U.N. mission in Mali, whose peacekeepers are helping to protect the nation against Islamist rebels, reversed on Saturday a decision taken earlier in the week to renew the contract with the Pasteur Clinic in Bamako to care for sick or injured troops.

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Ebola: Democratic Republic of Congo says its outbreak is over

BBC                                                                                                              Nov. 15, 2014

A three-month Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has ended after claiming at least 49 lives, the country's health minister says.

Health workers are trained in managing Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Felix Kabange said no new cases had been registered since 4 October, though he warned against complacency.

The country's outbreak is unrelated to the one in West Africa which has claimed more than 5,000 lives.

Ebola was first detected in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30068324

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California adopts tough Ebola-protection rules for health workers

SFGATE                                                    NOV. 14, 2014

By Carolyn Jones      

California has adopted some of the nation’s strongest regulations to protect doctors, nurses and other health workers treating patients with Ebola.

The regulations, announced Friday by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, require the state’s 300 or so acute-care hospitals to provide hazardous material suits, respirators, isolation rooms and extensive training to those working with patients suspected of having the Ebola virus.

Nurses hailed the regulations as a model for the rest of the country.

 The regulations are more comprehensive than those put forth by the Centers for Disease Control, which the state’s hospitals have been following until now. California has not had any Ebola cases.

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http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/California-adopts-tough-Ebola-protection-rules-5894274.php

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New CDC report offers insight into Dallas County Ebola outbreak

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS                                                                               Nov. 15, 2014

By Sherry Jacobson

The “Ebola cluster” in Dallas County is the subject of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

...the report offers a detailed timeline of what happened, starting with Thomas Eric Duncan’s arrival in Dallas from Liberia on Sept. 20. His Ebola symptoms were misdiagnosed Sept. 25 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas as sinusitis and he was sent home with antibiotics. He returned to the hospital Sept. 28, underwent 10 days of treatment and died Oct. 8.

Two of Duncan’s caretakers, both registered nurses, were also infected and were treated successfully for the disease. Protocols required public health workers to monitor 177 people who had contact with the three Ebola patients.

A dozen people in that group, however, were tested for Ebola after developing fever or other symptoms compatible with the disease during the monitoring period. None were found to have Ebola. By last Friday, all contacts had cleared 21 days of monitoring and the county’s outbreak was declared over.

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G20 leaders call for global action to tackle Ebola

IMF to provide additional funds to counter Ebola while NGO's criticizes the G20 statement as lacking  substance
(Two stories, scroll down.)
THE GUARDIAN                                                                                                      Nov. 15, 2014
By Patrick Wintour

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA --The G20 has welcomed a commitment from the IMF to provide $300m (£190m) in extra funding to help fight Ebola in the three worst-affected west African countries.

The IMF money for Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia will come through “a combination of concessional loans, debt relief, and grants”, according to a statement issued by the world leaders’ summit, being held in Brisbane.

U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders gather for a group photo at the G20 summit in Brisbane November 15, 2014.Credit: Reuters/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool

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MSF - Crisis Update: Ebola in West Africa

doctorswithoutborders.org

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) - November 13 at 8:00 PM EST - a special update on the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

MSF has been responding to the current outbreak since March, and the organization's response has grown to include more than 3,000 MSF staff and 600 beds throughout Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

With nearly 10,000 cases and 5,000 deaths, this Ebola outbreak is unprecedented. Despite promises of greater assistance from many quarters, MSF is still seeing critical gaps in all aspects of the response—while continuing to see and treat as many patients as possible.

The panel will include MSF aid workers recently returned from assignments in Guinea and Liberia, along with members of MSF headquarters staff. This wide-ranging discussion will include first-hand accounts of working with patients and communities, the ongoing problem of fear and stigma in West Africa and here in the US, and the challenges facing the international community going forward.

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Ebola Virus Disease Cases Among Health Care Workers Not Working in Ebola Treatment Units — Liberia, June–August, 2014

cdc.gov - Early Release - November 14, 2014

(CLICK HERE - READ COMPLETE REPORT - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

Almea Matanock, MD1, M. Allison Arwady, MD1, Patrick Ayscue, DVM1, Joseph D. Forrester,MD1, Bethany Gaddis, MPH2, Jennifer C. Hunter, DrPH1, Benjamin Monroe, MPH3, Satish K. Pillai, MD4, Christie Reed, MD5, Ilana J. Schafer, DVM6, Moses Massaquoi, MD7, Bernice Dahn, MD8, Kevin M. De Cock, MD9 (Author affiliations at end of text)

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Ebola cases plummet in Liberian hot spot as aid groups gain community trust

WASHINGTON POST                                               Nov. 14, 2004
By Lena H. Sun

WASHINGTON --The number of new Ebola patients has fallen to practically zero in one of Liberia’s hardest-hit areas because aid workers gained the trust of the community so the sick were able to be treated quickly and the dead were buried safely, according to a report released Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

                            Number of newly reported Ebola cases in Lofa County, Liberia. (CDC)

That strategy put in place in Lofa County by Doctors Without Borders has been so effective that it could serve “as a model to implement in other affected areas to accelerate control of Ebola,” the report said.

The measures are aimed at reducing fear of everything associated with the disease, from the health-care workers, who looked like astronauts in their protective gear, to the way treatment facilities are designed.

At the Ebola treatment unit in the town of Foya, for example, the facility’s high walls were replaced with transparent fences so people could see what was happening at the center....

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U.S. hospitals to be supplied Ebola protective equipment

BIOPREPWATCH                                                           Nov. 14, 2014

By Danial Daw

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday that $2.7 million worth of personal protection equipment will be sent to hospitals to assist in the care of Ebola patients.

Altogether, 50 kits have been prepared and can be rapidly sent to hospitals. The kits include five days worth of protective equipment for clinical teams to treat one Ebola patient.

The kits follow the most up-to-date guidelines issued by the CDC. While the numbers of kits are limited at the moment, the CDC said it should be sufficient to treat cases in the short-term.

Read complete story
http://bioprepwatch.com/countermeasures/medical/u-s-hospitals-to-be-supplied-ebola-protective-equipment/339963/

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Economic consequences of Ebola The ignorance epidemic

THE ECONOMIST                                                                                                        Nov. 14, 2014

NAIROBI -- Safari tents remain zipped, hotel pools are empty, game guides idle among lions and elephants. Tour operators across Africa are reporting the biggest drop in business in living memory. A specialist travel agency, SafariBookings.com, says a survey of 500 operators in September showed a fall in bookings of between 20% and 70%. Since then the trend has accelerated, especially in Botswana, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania. Several American and European agents have stopped offering African tours for the time being.

The reason is the outbreak of the Ebola virus in west Africa, which has killed more than 5,000 people. The epidemic is taking place far from the big safari destinations in eastern and southern Africa—as far or farther than the homes of many European tourists (see map). There are more air links from west Africa to Europe than to the rest of the continent, whose airlines have in any case largely suspended flights.

Moreover Ebola is hardly the biggest killer disease in Africa (AIDS and malaria are bigger). Yet, in the mind of many visitors, all of Africa is a single country.

One despairing tour operator calls it an “epidemic of ignorance”.

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For a Liberian Family, Ebola Turns Loving Care Into Deadly Risk

In-depth report on the tragedy of how Ebola has destroyed families, partly as a result of members trying to care for each other.

NEW YORK TIMES                                                                                                   Nov. 14, 2014

By

"...This destruction of families is the central tragedy of the epidemic. On a continent with many weak states, the extended family is Africa’s most important institution by far.

"That is especially true in the nations ravaged by the disease — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea — three of Africa’s poorest and most fragile countries. Ebola’s effects on the region, in undermining the very institution that has kept its societies together, could be long-term and far-reaching...."
 
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