Ebola

News & Information About Ebola

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Ebola Update – 28 October 2014

The five year old boy who was hospitalized in New York after a family trip to Guinea has tested negative for the virus. At the same medical center, Bellevue Hospital, Dr. Craig Spencer is reported to be in a serious but stable condition. Here is a round-up of the day’s news:

 

  • The Texas nurse, Amber Vinson, whose family spoke to media last week declaring that Doctors could no longer detect Ebola has been given the official all clear and will be released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Reuters reports.
  • The United States which sent military and financial aid to Liberia has announced that 12 out of 17 Ebola treatment units are near completion or have already been completed. The Liberian House of Representatives also approved loan agreements totaling US $62.31 million for the fight against Ebola, the Liberian Observer reports. The People’s Republic of China has also announced a US $82 million investment for the fight against the virus.
  • President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, said 5000 health care workers are needed to address the outbreak in the three worst affected countries, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Kim spoke from the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa. The United Nations has set the target of 70% of all cases being treated in medical facilities as well as 70% of all burials being in line with Ebola protocols. There was also concern that excessive isolation policies could deter people from volunteering.
  • A potential Ebola patient who had been taken to the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore has tested negative for the virus.
  • In Japan, a Canadian journalist who showed symptoms of Ebola when he arrived at Haneda Airport yesterday afternoon has also tested negative for the virus. Japan recently implemented a policy to check recent travel histories of all international travelers.

Ebola Update – 15 October 2014

Ebola has once again come to the forefront of the news cycle. President Obama has cancelled trips to organize a meeting with Officials to discuss the Ebola strategy. Here is a round-up of the day’s news:

The World Health Organization released an official situation report update today.

  • A second US health care worker that was infected with Ebola was on a plane the day before her diagnosis:
    • Passengers are advised that Frontier Airways flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Monday 13 October 2014 was affected and all passengers should contact the CDC.
    • The crew said that the woman did not display any symptoms while on the flight, but Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC confirmed that she had a fever of 99.5 Fahrenheit or 37.5 Celsius.
    • The health care worker has been named as Amber Vinson, according to Reuters.
    • The Airline said she flew to Cleveland on Frontier Airlines flight 1142 on October 10 2014.
    • Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has received scathing criticisms over the last few days, but denies that there is any institutional problem, according to CNN.
    • Amber was vigilant and was isolated within 90 minutes after reporting a fever.
    • The CDC said that they would trace all 132 passengers that were on board.
    • Frieden also said that she was not allowed to travel on a commercial plane due to the nature of her work. But it later emerged that she had phoned the CDC to confirm and was given the all clear as her fever was considered ‘low grade’.
    • Meanwhile the condition of the first health care worker infected, who received a blood plasma transfusion from Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, has been listed as good. The antibodies transferred are believed to help fight the Ebola Virus.
  • A woman who displayed signs of Ebola while giving birth in Belgium yesterday has tested negative for the virus. The woman was rushed from the hospital where she gave birth to Antwerp University Hospital based on its ability to better deal with a potential Ebola case. She and the baby were isolated separately and have both tested negative. She had recently been in Sierra Leone.
  • Ebola panic in the United Kingdom has led to negative social consequences. The Huffington Post UK reports that a student from Sierra Leone spent weeks looking for accommodation after being refused twice over Ebola fears. In a separate story from The Daily Mail it is claimed that workers at the BBC are afraid of guests who come from affected countries. Anyone who displays Ebola-like symptoms will not be allowed in the building, the publication reports. Across the pond in the United States, two students from Nigeria were rejected from Navarro College in Texas. Nigeria has not reported a single case since the 8th of September 2014, Texas reported a new case today.

 

Third USA Ebola Case Emerges

A second health care worker has reportedly been isolated at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Initial testing has been positive for Ebola and the samples will be verified with the CDC in the coming hours. A press release from the Texas Department of State Health Services confirms that the worker developed a mild fever on Tuesday.

Texas state officials have confirmed that the health care worker was involved in the care of Thomas Eric Duncan. The CDC has been vocally concerned about the infection risk for health care workers in the USA. In the worst affected West African countries as many as 400 health care workers have been classified as suspected or confirmed cases in the last year.

The Nigerian outbreak generated at least 19 cases from a single index patient most of which have been health care workers. The first health care worker infected in the USA has been reported as doing well after receiving a plasma donation from the blood of Ebola survivor Doctor Kent Brantly. Blood transfusions are only possible where there is a plasma match but provide increased survival rates by transferring antibodies to the receiver.

A scathing report in the LA Times earlier in the week pointed to a significant lack of infection controls in the hospital raising concerns that several additional cases are on the horizon. The report suggested that nurses and doctors were not sufficiently trained and may have lacked appropriate equipment.

The CDC was criticized by the general public when it blamed the first health care worker infection on “protocol breach” with many outspoken responses pointing the finger of blame towards the CDC for a lack of action and proper training. The slow CDC response to the first case and apparent lack of preparedness have been broadly criticized.

Ebola Update – 12 October 2014

Here’s a round-up of the day’s news:

  • The home of the American Nurse who tested positive after treating index patient Thomas Eric Duncan has been placed under quarantine. Director of the US CDC, Thomas Frieden, said that their was a breach in protocol with lead to her infection. Meanwhile, on the heels of the outrage after a Spanish Nurse’s pet dog, Excalibur, was put down, the Texas Presbyterian Hospital worker’s pet was found in her apartment. The public were reassured that the pet would be dealt with in a humane manner. The family of the nurse has requested privacy and we are unlikely to learn more about the patient.
  • The LA Times reports that a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last month found that 12.9% of people infected with Ebola do not have high fevers. This is reported shortly after new security measures were introduced at 5 US airports, including non-contact thermometers.
  • The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has said that he believes it is only a matter of time before Ebola comes to the UK and most likely London. He also said that screening measures at airports would not be enough as people recently infected would not be symptomatic yet. London Heathrow Airport is the third busiest in the world and handles the most international travelers globally.
  • A dispute in hazard pay in Liberia has prompted some health care workers to go on strike. Officials have pleaded with nurses to arrive for work on Monday. The workers are demanding US$ 700 monthly as hazard pay. The workers will also receive their salary which is around US$200 – 300. Currently hazard pay is below US$ 500.
  • As the situation in West Africa deteriorates many people are fleeing to countries they perceive will be safer. Among the top destinations is South Africa. The Health Minister said that caution should be exercised but warned that it should not become a catalyst for xenophobic sentiments.
  • The Spanish Nurse who is being treated at Carlos III Hospital in Madrid is said to be in good spirits. Maria Theresa Romero Ramos is still alive and Doctors believe will stand a good chance if she makes the weekend. Her body is believed to be producing antibodies which further increase her chances.
  • Chocolate producers are concerned about their yields in West Africa. Production is lower due to the effects of the Ebola Outbreak.

Ebola Update – 11 October 2014

Here is the day’s news regarding the virus:

  • The Spanish Nurse, Maria Theresa Romero Ramos, who contracted Ebola after treating a missionary, has improved after receiving the experimental drug ZMapp. She was diagnosed on the 6th of October 2014 and is currently being treated at Carlos III Hospital in Madrid.
  • The Dallas County Sheriffs deputy who had been ordered into the apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan was living has shared his story with media. Michael Monnig was suspected of having Ebola but later tested negative. He didn’t wear protective gear but said he was just following orders. He also admitted that the clothing he wore that night is still in a bag in his garage.
  • International Health Officials who have been battling the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone have said that they will send care packages to people’s homes as facilities no longer had capacity. Many have said that this is essentially admitting defeat. However it is argued by Officials that this would simply streamline the process, and that it made more sense given the lack of necessary equipment.
  • Morocco’s request to postpone the African Cup of Nations 2015 has been tabled for a meeting on the 2nd of November 2014. The Confederation of African Football said the executive committee will consider the options if it’s deemed necessary. For now though, regardless of the Ebola Outbreak, no dates or matches have been changed.
  • All crew members who worked with the NBC Cameraman diagnosed with Ebola have been ordered by New Jersey Officials into a mandatory isolation. All crew members had been on a 21 day voluntary isolation which was allegedly broken. Health Officials would not confirm who broke the order but the court order in place will likely mean it is not broken again.
  • A 14 year old teenager in Brooklyn who was hospitalized on the 10th of October 2014 after returning from a two-week trip to Sudan has tested negative for Ebola. Sudan is not currently listed as one of the countries affected by the virus.
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