And a whole lot more, so let’s get right to it, first with Reuters:
Senegalese WHO doctor with Ebola arrives for treatment in Germany
A Senegalese doctor who contracted Ebola while working for the World Health Organisation (WHO)in Sierra Leone arrived in Hamburg on Wednesday for treatment at a tropical medicine unit, becoming Germany’s first patient with the disease.
At a news conference on Wednesday the clinic’s tropical medicine specialist said the man would not be given new experimental drugs such as ZMapp but that his treatment would at first focus on managing his symptoms.
The Senegalese doctor arrived in Germany on a specialist plane and was transferred to the university clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf in a special isolation ambulance, accompanied by a police guard.
CBC News adds more:
Ebola-infected WHO scientist in Sierra Leone goes to Germany, Canadians pulled
- Public Health Agency of Canada pulls its team of 3 from Sierra Leone as precaution
The World Health Organization announced it has shut down a laboratory in Sierra Leone after a Senegalese health worker was infected with the Ebola virus.
Three Canadians from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg are among the six workers who have withdrawn to Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, Christy Feig, a WHO spokeswoman in West Africa, told CBC News.
Feig said the Canadian government made the call to withdraw its workers in consultation with the WHO.
The WHO has sent in a team to see if this was a routine, straightforward infection or if structural changes need to be made to keep health-care workers safe.
Sky News tracks contagion:
Ebola Nurse ‘May Have Caught Virus From Child’
- William Pooley, who is being treated in a London hospital, formed a bond with a boy whose mother died from the disease
A British nurse infected with ebola in Sierra Leone might have caught it while playing with a toddler whose mother had died of the deadly disease, a colleague has said.
William Pooley was flown home at the weekend and admitted to an isolation unit at the Royal Free hospital in Hampstead, where he has been given the experimental drug ZMapp.
While working as a volunteer at a clinic in eastern Sierra Leone the 29-year-old developed a bond with a baby boy named Sellu Borbor, according to his supervisor Finda Josephine Sellu.
As does Uganda’s own Daily Monitor:
Man steals phone from Ebola patient, gets infected
Security and medical officials in Kibaale District have registered a case in which a man allegedly went in an isolation ward at Kagadi Hospital and stole a cellular phone from one of the Ebola patients.
The 40-year-old resident of Kyakabugahya LCI in Kagadi Town Council travelled about three kilometers to the hospital to apparently obtain a phone estimated to be valued at Shs60,000 more than two weeks ago.
The suspect allegedly broke into the isolation ward on the night of Tuesday August 14, undetected by hospital guards. The patient, who has since succumbed to the deadly hemorrhagic fever, then reported the theft to the hospital security that then embarked on tracing the alleged thief.
Police detectives began tracking him after he apparently began communicating to his friends using the phone. But as police zeroed in on him, he developed symptoms similar to those of Ebola and sought medication at the hospital.
From the Guardian, another casualty:
Ebola claims life of third doctor in Sierra Leone
- Dr Sahr Rogers was working in Kenema when he contracted the virus, raising fresh concerns over the country’s ability to fight it
A third top Ebola doctor has died in Sierra Leone, a government official in the west African nation has confirmed. The news came as another scientist, who also contracted the disease there, began treatment in Germany on Wednesday.
Health workers are trying to work out how the scientist, whose identity and condition are being withheld for privacy reasons, contracted Ebola before his overnight evacuation to a Hamburg hospital, it has been reported.
“The international surge of health workers is extremely important and if something happens, if health workers get infected and it scares off other international health workers from coming, we will be in dire straits,” said World Health Organisation spokesman Christy Feig.
Next, a video report from Agence France-Presse:
Liberian medical crew collects suspected Ebola victims
Ambulance workers in the Liberian capital don protective clothing to pick up people suspected of being infected with Ebola.
BBC News announces a shutdown:
Ebola outbreak: Nigeria closes all schools until October
All schools in Nigeria have been ordered to remain shut until 13 October as part of measures to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
The new academic year was due to start on Monday.
But the education minister ordered the closures to allow staff to be trained on how to handle suspected Ebola cases.
Reuters covers economic costs:
Ebola travel bans threaten Ivory Coast cocoa crop forecasts
International cocoa exporters in Ivory Coast are restricting staff movements due to the worsening Ebola outbreak on the top grower’s western borders, risking leaving traders and exporters without accurate output forecasts for the upcoming season.
Ivory Coast produced nearly 1.45 million tonnes of cocoa last season, according to International Cocoa Organization estimates, almost 37 percent of world supply. Crop forecasts by experts who visit farms to count pods are closely watched by the market ahead of the main harvest that starts in October.
Traders said there are also concerns there could be an exodus of farmers if the disease spreads to the growing regions in the west of the country.
As does the Guardian:
Ebola epidemic takes toll on business in quarantine zones and across Africa
- Repercussions have radiated from far-flung villages to financial markets, and from rural farmers to urban dollar boys
When his neighbours began falling ill with Ebola, Sheikh Kallon felt fortunate that he was well enough to continue tending his farm deep in the forested interior of Sierra Leone. Then, one of his drinking buddies died of the disease, and Kallon’s entire family was quarantined for 21 days.
“I asked my workers to keep going to the farm, but they said they don’t want to touch money from my hands in case they get Ebola,” he said.
With his crops rotting in the fields, Kallon now spends his days sitting with his family on their porch surrounded by soldiers enforcing the quarantine. The soldiers hardly need bother: lifelong neighbours are too terrified to approach, and a few miles away an entire community that has been unable to trade altogether has run out of salt.
From People’s Daily, news of absence is not absence of news:
China reports no cases of Ebola
China’s health authorities confirmed on Tuesday that a returnee who was hospitalized as “an observation case of Ebola” has been confirmed not infected.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission told Xinhua the returnee, a translator who arrived in Beijing on Sunday from Libya, developed symptoms of vomiting and fever, and was sent to the hospital as a precaution.
The patient has since been cleared as not infected with Ebola. China currently reports no case of the disease.
From Jiji Press, absent no longer:
Japan Confirms 1st Domestic Dengue Infection since 1945
A Japanese woman under 20 has been infected with dengue fever, the first confirmed domestic infection with the tropical disease since 1945, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Wednesday.
The dengue virus is likely to have been transmitted to the woman from an infected traveler via a mosquito in Japan because she has never traveled overseas. She is in a stable condition in hospital, ministry officials said.
At a news conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government will identify the route of infection and collect more information on suspicious dengue cases.
From the World Health Organization, a plea:
WHO calls for stronger action on climate-related health risks
Previously unrecognized health benefits could be realized from fast action to reduce climate change and its consequences. For example, changes in energy and transport policies could save millions of lives annually from diseases caused by high levels of air pollution. The right energy and transport policies could also reduce the burden of disease associated with physical inactivity and traffic injury.
Measures to adapt to climate change could also save lives around the world by ensuring that communities are better prepared to deal with the impact of heat, extreme weather, infectious disease and food insecurity.
These are two key messages being discussed at the first-ever global conference on health and climate, which opens today at WHO headquarters in Geneva. The conference brings together over 300 participants, including government ministers, heads of UN agencies, urban leaders, civil society and leading health, climate and sustainable-development experts.
And from the New York Times, the political play:
Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty
The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.
In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.
To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.
Moving on to water woes with the Los Angeles Times:
Central California residents rely on bottled water as wells run dry
Extreme drought conditions have become so harsh for the Central Valley community of East Porterville, many of its residents dependent on their own wells have run out of water.
Roughly 300 homes have received a three-week supply of bottled water after Tulare County officials discovered their wells had gone dry.
In all, county officials distributed 15,552 1-gallon bottles of water, and have been filling a 2,500-gallon tank with nonpotable water so residents can flush toilets and bathe.
On a comparatively lighter note, this from Jim Morin, editorial cartoonist for the Miami Herald:
A call for clearing the air from Newswise:
Trash Burning Worldwide Significantly Worsens Air Pollution
Unregulated trash burning around the globe is pumping far more pollution into the atmosphere than shown by official records. A new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research estimates that more than 40 percent of the world’s garbage is burned in such fires, emitting gases and particles that can substantially affect human health and climate change.
The new study provides the first rough estimates, on a country-by-country basis, of pollutants such as particulates, carbon monoxide, and mercury that are emitted by the fires. Such pollutants have been linked to serious medical issues.
The researchers also estimated emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas produced by human activity.
Unlike emissions from commercial incinerators, the emissions from burning trash in open fires often go unreported to environmental agencies and are left out of many national inventories of air pollution. For that reason, they are not incorporated into policy making.
After the jump, a Reefer Madness recantation Down Under, Japanese whaling intransigence, [including dumps, price tags, and dislocation numbers], an American nuclear green light, offshore drilling anxieties in California and Spain, an Aussie coal mining investment review, water-splitting, and Superfund gentrification. . . Continue reading