But we begin with another aspect of the crisis from the World Food Program:
Ebonomics: The Price Of Keeping The Ebola Crisis From Becoming A Hunger Crisis
WFP’s Chief Economist Arif Husain visits West Africa to analyse how the outbreak affects the overall economy, particularly the food sector, and explains what types of assistance WFP is offering to different communities depending on their needs.
From Reuters, expectations:
Americans may still see some Ebola cases, Obama says
President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that Americans may continue to see individual cases of Ebola in the United States until the outbreak in West Africa is contained.
Obama said it was essential the United States and other countries work to stop the Ebola outbreak at its source in Africa.
Until the outbreak is stopped, he said, “we may still continue to see individual cases in America in the weeks and months ahead.”
“We can’t hermetically seal ourselves off,” he said at the White House.
From the Associated Press, impasse:
Maine in standoff with nurse over Ebola safeguards
Insisting she is perfectly healthy, nurse Kaci Hickox again defied the state’s Ebola quarantine Thursday by taking a bike ride with her boyfriend, and Maine health authorities struggled to reach a compromise that would limit her contact with others.
Hickox, 33, stepped out of her home on the remote northern edge of Maine for the second day in a row, practically daring authorities to make good on their threat to go to court to have her confined against her will. On Wednesday evening, she went outside for an impromptu news conference and shook a reporter’s outstretched hand.
By evening, it was unclear whether the state had gone to court or whether there had been any progress toward ending the standoff that has become the nation’s most closely watched clash between personal freedom and fear of Ebola. The governor’s office and Hickox’s lawyers would not comment.
More form the Los Angeles Times:
Maine fails to reach quarantine compromise with nurse Kaci Hickox
It’s the type of battle made for flinty New England, where personal liberty vs. the government’s interpretation of public good has been a frequent theme. A nurse, hailed by some as a hero for helping treat Ebola patients in Africa, has defiantly rejected the power of Maine officials seeking to quarantine her in the name of protecting the public from a virus that the healthcare worker insists she doesn’t have.
Maine health authorities so far have failed to reach a compromise with nurse Kaci Hickox that would require her to keep her distance from other people. Hickox has personified the closely watched clash between personal freedom and fear of Ebola since she arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey last Friday and found herself in quarantine.
Early Thursday, Hickox stepped out of her home in Fort Kent, at the remote northern edge of Maine, and took a bicycle ride with her boyfriend. It was the second time in as many days that Hickox had flouted the state’s rules that she stay away from the public until Nov. 10, the end of the 21-day incubation period for the Ebola virus.
Complications from Reuters:
In U.S. Ebola fight, no two quarantines are quite the same
In the U.S. battle against Ebola, quarantine rules depend on your zip code.
For some it may feel like imprisonment or house arrest. For others it may be more like a staycation, albeit one with a scary and stressful edge.
If they are lucky, the quarantined may get assigned a case worker who can play the role of a personal concierge by buying groceries and running errands. Some authorities are allowing visitors, or even giving those in quarantine permission to take trips outside to walk the dog or take a jog.
A month after the first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States, state and local health authorities across the country have imposed a hodgepodge of often conflicting rules.
Politics from CNN:
State Department denies it has a secret plan to admit foreign Ebola patients
The State Department discussed plans to transport non-U.S.citizens infected with Ebola to the United States for medical treatment, but decided to shelve the proposal and insists it was never considered at senior levels.
But Congressional Republicans are seizing on an internal State Department memo outlining a possible joint State-Homeland Security department program to provide Ebola care at U.S. hospitals for non-Americans. They say the memo is evidence the Administration was working on a new plan but wasn’t being transparent about it.
The memo, obtained by CNN, is labeled “SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED – PREDECISIONAL” and drafted by State Department officials. It recommends that the two federal agencies come up with a system to admit into the United States non-citizens “as long as they are otherwise eligible for medical evacuation from the Ebola affected countries and for entry in the United States.” It outlines the steps the U.S. government would need to take to contract with a commercial aviation company that specializes in bio containment. It also mentions other non-governmental agencies the U.S. is working with to assist with medevacing health care workers out of West Africa to European countries.
More of the political from the Washington Post:
Politicians fueling Ebola fear before midterms
Polling shows the public is worried about an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. — and politicians on both sides of the aisle are feeding into the fear, just weeks away from the midterm elections.
Strategizing from the Associated Press:
Nations in Americas join in battle against Ebola
Countries from around the Americas have agreed to work together in their response to Ebola, adopting similar procedures in such things as the establishment of epidemiological monitoring centers and coordinating the transport of biological samples.
About 200 epidemiology experts and health officials from 24 countries, including the United States and Canada, met in Havana on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss their response to the epidemic.
A document from the meeting lays out “lines of action” that the countries say they’ll follow to combat the disease.
And a walkout from the Contra Costa Times:
National Nurses Union plans strike to demand greater protections against Ebola
Stepping up demands to protect nurses from Ebola, the national nurses’s union said Thursday that nurses coast-to-coast are planning a National Day of Action on Nov. 12 that includes strikes at 21 Kaiser Permanente facilities in Northern California.
Zenei Cortez, co-president of the California Nurses Association, which is part of National Nurses United, said Kaiser nurses plan to strike Nov. 11-12.
When it comes to Ebola, “the message that nurses have been getting around the nation is that we are expendable,” said Deborah Burger, co-president of National Nurses United and president of the California Nurses Association. “At first there was shock, then anger — and now we want action.
“They don’t have the appropriate training and protection,” she said of nurses in her organization and nationwide, urging that hospitals provide nurses with hazmat suits, proper protective equipment and training to safeguard against Ebola. “These are human beings. We’re talking about our nurses that are heroes and take care of this country.”
Genetics from the Japan Times:
Ebola symptoms may hinge on gene functions: U.S., Japanese researchers
Ebola’s symptoms may differ depending on whether certain genes in the victim are active or not, a U.S.-based research team said in a paper published in Science magazine on Thursday.
The findings from experiments on mice are likely to help understand why Ebola manifests itself differently from one case to another. They may also aid the treatment of critical patients, the researchers said.
Led by Michael Katze of the University of Washington, the research team includes Japanese scientist Atsushi Okumura and members of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
More from the London Telegraph:
Ebola outbreak: Ebola may not be a deadly disease for everyone, scientists find
- Researchers have found that natural immunity may exist to Ebola, after discovering that some animals get over the disease quickly, without major symptoms
Ebola may not be a deadly disease for everyone, after scientists discovered that some people are likely to be naturally immune to the virus.
A study in mice showed that genetic variations govern how ill victims will get after contracting the disease.
Some completely resist the disease, while others suffer only a moderate illness. However many still succumb to bleeding, organ failure and shock.
The research was conducted in a highly secure, state-of-the-art bio lab in Montana, US.
Researchers found that all mice lost weight in the first few days after infection. However, nearly one in five of the mice not only survived, but also fully regained their lost weight within two weeks.
The Los Angeles Times covers the seriocomic:
When an Ebola joke becomes a crime
An Ohio man was arrested and jailed after he told a dealer at a Cleveland casino that he was there, ha ha, to keep his distance from his ex, who had come back from Africa with Ebola.
The charge against Emanuel Smith: “felony inducing panic.” Smith is alleged to have broken a law that in part bans “initiating or circulating a report of an alleged or impending fire, explosion, crime or other catastrophe, knowing that such report or warning is false.”
In Ohio, if a crack about Ebola causes a panic or costs a business money, you could face criminal charges.
Smith’s ex-wife, of course, didn’t have Ebola, but after the remark was reported to management, the casino cleared out the pit where he’d been gambling, which meant lost revenue, and according to the law in Ohio, the more money is lost by the “panic,” the more serious the felony.
Another joke gone bad from RT:
‘Ebola’ coffee cup puts plane on lockdown at Dublin Airport
An unidentified man who scribbled an Ebola warning on a cup of coffee caused quite a stir on a Dublin-bound flight. After putting the plane on lockdown for nearly an hour in the Irish capital, authorities determined that it was all a hoax.
The incident occurred on Air Lingus Flight EI 433, which had set off from Milan on Thursday. Upon arriving in Dublin, passengers were held onboard for roughly 50 minutes until paramedics were able to investigate the matter.
“Following a minor security incident on board an Aer Lingus flight from Milan to Dublin, passengers were held on board the aircraft after it landed at Dublin Airport just before 1pm today,” a spokesperson for Dublin Airport Authority told the Irish Independent.
From USA TODAY, harkening to the days of the “Dark Continent”:
Ebola fears spark claims of racism in Europe
Italian mothers in suburban Rome recently organized a petition drive to keep a 3-year-old black girl from attending kindergarten after her family traveled to Uganda — a country thousands of miles away from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
In Germany, soccer fans chanted “Ebola, Ebola” when Charles Atsina, a black player from Ghana, came onto the field to play.
Two British landlords refused to rent an apartment to a black Sierra Leone radio newscaster, Amara Bangura, who was moving to England to study. The landlords feared he might bring the deadly virus with him.
As Americans debate quarantining health workers returning from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone or banning travelers from those countries — as Australia has already done — fears of Ebola have also gripped Europe. And that fear is giving some people license to vent racist attitudes.
Entry not denied from Science:
Ebola researchers still welcome at European infectious diseases meetings
As ScienceInsider reported yesterday, the state of Louisiana has told researchers to stay away from the world’s biggest tropical medicine meeting next week if they have been in contact with Ebola patients in the past 21 days—or even if they’ve just visited Liberia, Guinea, or Sierra Leone, the three nations where the epidemic is raging. Many scientists object to the policy; the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), which organizes the event, disagrees but accepts Louisiana’s decision, says incoming president Christopher Plowe.
But Ebola is a hot topic at many special sessions and late breakers these days. Are scientists who may have been exposed to the virus still welcome at other infectious diseases meetings? Here’s a quick sample.
People returning from West Africa are definitely expected, and are welcome, at the European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, held next week in Stockholm. Sweden currently does not have travel restrictions for people coming from affected countries, says a representative for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which organizes the event.
From Voice of America, a map of countries placing some restrictions on trvel from the hot zone:
After a ban, back in the hot zone from FrontPageAfrica:
Back to Ebola Zone – Washington Post Duo –DuCille and Bernstein Return
Just days after he was barred from a teaching workshop class at Syracuse University over fears that he may have been infected with the deadly Ebola virus following his recent assignment to Liberia, Washington Post Photographer Michel duCille is heading back to the epicenter of the outbreak. DuCille, along with health reporter Lenny Bernstein will arrive in Monrovia Friday for a second assignment stint since the outbreak in March.
Michel DuCille, a three-time Pulitzer prize winning photographer received the shock of his life recently when he was disinvited by the university over fears that he had Ebola after covering the virus outbreak in Liberia, even though he is symptom-free and has been in the United States for more than the recommended incubation period. FrontPageAfrica’s Newsroom Chief Wade Williams received similar news the same day when she too was disinvited from a previously-arranged speaking engagement at the University of Georgia.
DuCille did not hide his disgust of the University’s decision to disinvite him when he told Time: “I am disappointed in the level of journalism at Syracuse, and I am angry that they missed a great teaching opportunity. Instead, they have decided to jump in with the mass hysteria. They missed a great teaching opportunity here for the students; to show them how to report the facts and practice good journalism Instead they went the alarmist route.”
Asian readiness from Reuters:
In Guangdong, nervy Chinese ramp up Ebola watch
Chinese authorities have identified the southern province of Guangdong, home to Asia’s biggest African population, as a frontline in their efforts to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from entering mainland China.
The province bordering Hong Kong has proven susceptible to infectious diseases in the past, shouldering a large share of SARS and bird flu cases, prompting local authorities to take no chances with Ebola.
Local authorities say they have expanded testing procedures at provincial entry ports and 27 hospitals have been designated to handle possible Ebola cases. Travelers arriving from Ebola-affected nations must leave their contact details.
“The central government has asked Guangzhou to strengthen preventative measures,” Mao Qun’an, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, told Reuters. “Of course in Guangzhou, there are many people from outside China’s borders.”
And another warning from the Japan Times:
Chinese risk of Ebola outbreak ‘not rocket science’: expert
A scientist who helped to discover the Ebola virus says he is concerned that the deadly disease could spread to China, given the large numbers of Chinese workers traveling to and from Africa.
Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said Thursday it’s not “rocket science” that with many exchanges between the two regions the disease could spread.
“The concern I have is that I don’t think you can really stop people from traveling. These patients will show up in any country in the world, but China is quite vulnerable,” Piot said.
“The issue is: What is the quality, the standard of infection control? In public hospitals in China, the ones that I’ve visited, the level of infection control is very poor,” he said.
Unprepared from NHK WORLD:
Hospitals in Japan not fully prepared for Ebola
An NHK survey shows that most hospitals in Japan designated to treat Ebola patients are not fully prepared.
NHK surveyed 45 designated medical institutions across the country, and received responses from 39. Regarding preparedness to accept Ebola patients, 32 hospitals, or 82 percent, said they are not fully prepared.
As for the reason, 75 percent cited insufficient training for doctors, nurses and other health workers. 53 percent said they have not yet carried out drills for accepting Ebola patients. 38 percent cited a lack of supplies such as protective suits to prevent secondary infections of health workers.
Channel NewsAsia Singapore takes it all the way:
North Korea orders Ebola quarantine on all foreigners
Britain, which has an embassy in Pyongyang, issued a travel advisory on its government website on Thursday (Oct 30), detailing the quarantine order which was apparently issued to all foreign missions in the North Korean capital
North Korea has announced it intends to quarantine all foreigners entering the country for 21 days, no matter what their country of origin, as a measure against the spread of the Ebola virus.
Britain, which has an embassy in Pyongyang, issued a travel advisory on its government website on Thursday (Oct 30), detailing the quarantine order which was apparently issued to all foreign missions in the North Korean capital.
According to the advisory, travellers to North Korea from regions or countries that Pyongyang considers affected by the Ebola virus, will be quarantined for 21 days “in a government-appointed hotel under medical supervision”. Travellers from any other country or region will also be quarantined in hotels appointed by the organisation hosting their visit.
After the jump, on to Africa and more World Bank loans for the hot zone, Chinese military help, Nigerian helpers bankrolled, a prescription of trust, and a sad colonial heritage, and a funereal solution prescribed, on to Sierra Leone and cremations enforced, a plea for help from a Japanese volunteer, scenes from a crisis center, a plea to end air embargoes, a campaign against misinformation, and official optimism, then on to Liberia and cremation confusion, waiting in limbo, and the plight of a the multiply victimized, thence to Guinea and ravaged agriculture, Gambia next and actors enlisted for prevention, plus a warning form the World Bank. . . Continue reading