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Are Hospitals Prepared for Ebola?

cnn.com - October 1, 2014

CNN's Jake Tapper speaks to Gavin Macgregor-Skinner and Jeffery Stern. With the first Ebola diagnosis in the U.S., is the country prepared to handle a potential outbreak?

http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2014/10/01/only-four-u-s-hospitals-prepared-for-outbreak/

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Why I'll risk my life for Ebola patients

Hundreds of foreign aid workers are in West Africa treating people with Ebola. One of them is Cokie van der Velde who has just flown from the UK to Liberia. She explains why she has left the safety of her home to face the deadly virus.

I was first in Liberia five weeks ago and I believe the situation is now much worse. Back then, our treatment centres had already run out of room and we were starting to put people in corridors.

In the centre, people groan and cry out - the smell of blood, diarrhoea and vomit is awful - unfortunately there is also a very pervading smell of dead bodies.

I can only leave it to your imagination to understand what a pile of bodies smells like after a week in very hot, moist surroundings - it makes you feel sick quite a lot of the time.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29245149

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MSF chief: World losing battle with Ebola now

 

rt.com - Sep 22, 2014

While the world is preoccupied with Islamic State or political games around Ukraine, there’s another threat emerging from the West Africa - where people are dying by hundreds, reaped by the deadliest Ebola epidemic to be ever known to mankind. Efforts to contain it end in a failure, and the vaccine is nonexistent yet. Are we seeing another pandemic slowly growing up to strike at mankind? What should be done to stop it? What does it mean to be a doctor in a place where death reigns? We try to find out this together with the head of the Médecins Sans Frontières - Doctors Without Borders. Dr. Joanne Liu is on Sophie&Co today.

http://rt.com/shows/sophieco/189516-west-africa-ebola-threat/

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The Liberian Church Stopping Ebola With Gospel and Chlorine

 Dr. Mosoka Fallah, an epidemiologist and immunologist, speaks with residents during a neighborhood Ebola training session in Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 30, 2014. Daniel Berehulak—The New York Times/Redux Aryn Baker - Sept. 22, 2014 - time.com

The Free Pentecostal Global Mission Church in the Chickensoup Factory district of Monrovia uses the pulpit to teach about the deadly virus, one sermon at a time

“Lord,” shouts the Reverend Joseph T.S. Menjor into a microphone. “We are tired of this situation. We are calling on you to cast this abomination from our country. Jesus, we want our land to be free of Ebola. Cast out this disease!”

The pastor is leading his people in prayer, but it is not a moment of quiet reflection. No, his congregation is on its feet, swaying to a gospel hymn, eyes closed and hands raised in supplication. At Menjor’s call, the 600 or so congregants of the Free Pentecostal Global Mission Church in the Chickensoup Factory district of Monrovia, Liberia chant a chorus of amens and launch into a cacophony of individual prayers, symbolically casting the evil of Ebola to the ground with repeated downward thrusts of their hands.

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U.S. Military Arrives in Liberia, Slow Start

Wall Street Journal     Sept. 28, 2014 8:10 PM

By Drew Hinshaw in Robertsville, Liberia, and Betsy McKay in Atlanta

 

The American military effort against history's deadliest Ebola outbreak is taking shape in West Africa, but concerns are mounting that the pace isn't fast enough to check a virus that is spreading at a terrifying clip.

On Saturday, a handful of troops from the Navy's 133rd Mobile Construction Battalion led a bulldozer through thigh-high grass outside Liberia's main airport, bottles of hand sanitizer dangling from their belt loops.

They had been digging a parking lot in the East African nation of Djibouti this month when they received a call to build the first of a dozen or more tent hospitals the U.S intends to construct in this region. The soldiers started by giving the land a downward slope for water runoff—"to keep out any unwanted reptiles," said Petty Officer Second Class Justin Holsinger.

While this team levels the earth, superiors hash out the still-uncertain details of the American intervention here.

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SIERRA LEONE QUARANTINES A MILLON PEOPLE

 

Restrictions affect more than a third of the country’s population, as world leaders meet at UN to discuss the Ebola outbreak

The Guardian, Thursday 25 September 2014

Sierra Leone’s government has quarantined more than a million people in an attempt to bring an end to the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Areas in the east of the country on the border of Guinea have been under quarantine for months but travel is now restricted in three more areas where an estimated 1.5 million people live. Nearly a third of the country’s population across 14 districts is now under curfew.

...

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U.S. Hospitals Unprepared to Handle Ebola waste, Experts Say

      

As Emory was treating two US missionaries who were evacuated from West Africa in August, their waste hauler, Stericycle, initially refused to handle it. Photograph: Michael Duff/AP

REUTERS      September 24, 2014

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. hospitals may be unprepared to safely dispose of the infectious waste generated by any Ebola virus disease patient to arrive unannounced in the country, potentially putting the wider community at risk, biosafety experts said.

Waste management companies are refusing to haul away the soiled sheets and virus-spattered protective gear associated with treating the disease, citing federal guidelines that require Ebola-related waste to be handled in special packaging by people with hazardous materials training, infectious disease and biosafety experts told Reuters.

...

Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, an expert on public health preparedness at Pennsylvania State University, said there's "no way in the world" that U.S. hospitals are ready to treat patients with highly infectious diseases like Ebola.

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CDC RELEASES ESTIMATES OF EBOLA CASES, COULD REACH 1.4 MILLION

 

New York Times

CDC  releases report on worst and best case estimates for Ebola cases. 

Estimates cover Liberia and Sierra Leone, based on computer modeling. Guinea not included because data  "cannot be reliably modeled."

Best case-model, which assures the dead are buried safely and 70 per cent of the patients are treated in settings that reduce the risk of transmission, suggest the epidemic could almost be ended by Jan. 20.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/24/health/ebola-cases-could-reach-14-million-in-4-months-cdc-estimates.html?emc=edit_na_20140923&nlid=12644555&_r=0

 

LINK TO THE CDC REPORT TEXT

http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/ebola-cases-could-skyrocket-by-2015-says-cdc/1337/

CDC RELEASES ESTIMATES OF EBOLA CASES, COULD REACH 1.4 MILLION
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6303a1.htm?s_cid=su6303a1_w

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WHO PLAN WOULD MOVE INFECTED PERSONS FROM HOMES TO COMMUNITY CENTERS

Washington Post  September 23, 014
by Lenny Bernstein and Lena H. Sun

MONROVIA, LIBERIA  -The Liberian government, the World Health Organization and their nonprofit partners here are launching an ambitious but controversial program to move infected people out of their homes and into ad hoc centers that will provide rudimentary care, officials said Monday.

The community centers would supplement hospitals.

However Doctors Without Borders Director of operations says "this is not going to work," saying the infected countries do not have the needed infrastructure.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/new-effort-to-fight-ebola-in-liberia-would-move-infected-patients-out-of-their-homes/2014/09/22/f869dc08-4281-11e4-b47c-f5889e061e5f_story.html?hpid=z5

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Ebola in Africa: Chaos is contagious

Illustration: Ebola virus (Photo: Thinkstock.com)courier-journal.com/The Chigaco Tribune - Sep 22, 2014

Faced with a brutal and wily adversary, President Barack Obama on Tuesday ordered a scaled-up military assault. Not on terrorists in Syria, but Ebola in West Africa.

The president dispatched some 3,000 American troops to help build 17 treatment centers. The Pentagon will establish a military command center in Liberia to coordinate the civilian response to the epidemic. American military health experts will help train thousands of African health care workers. American aid workers will help distribute supplies and information to families there.

The U.S. — and, we hope, the rest of the world — is getting serious about confronting this plague blazing through Africa. The official Ebola toll as of late Tuesday: 4,985 cases and 2,461 deaths. Some experts, however, suspect the actual death tally is much higher. And the rate of Ebola infection is growing exponentially. The number of Ebola cases could spike to 20,000 in a matter of months.

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