Category Archives: Human behavior

Ah, yes: The medium really is the message


From the current homepage of the San Francisco Chronicle:

BLOG Chroncap

EbolaWatch: Phobia, pols, meds, & Africa


Always Africa, though news from the continent is slow today.

First from the London Daily Mail, which gets it about right:

Ebola hysteria sweeps US schools: Teacher who visited Dallas told not to come to work as hundreds of Mississippi parents pull kids school because principal visited Zambia… 3,000 miles from countries hit by the disease

  • Maine elementary teacher stayed 9.5 miles from Ebola hospital in Texas
  • She has been ordered into isolation for 21 days amid ‘parents’ concerns’
  • In Mississippi, hundreds of parents pulled kids from middle school after principal visited Zambia – a country 3,000 miles from Ebola-hit nations
  • Parents at nearby high school also removed children to ‘avoid risk’

CNN reports on the growing American Ebolaphobia:

U.S. public ‘very worried’ about Ebola

Program notes:

The fear of Ebola is fraying nerves and ringing false alarms across the country. Ted Rowlands reports.

From AllAfrica, the silver lining in the Ebolaphobia cloud:

How Ebola Could Save Thousands of U.S. Lives

If media coverage of the three Ebola cases in the United States – some of it calling attention to the far greater danger of influenza – causes more people to ask their doctors about a flu shot, Ebola could end up saving many lives

Have you had your flu shot this year?

The highly contagious respiratory infection is linked to as many as 50,000 annual deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An estimated 20,000 children under five are hospitalized.

If media coverage of the three Ebola cases in the United States – some of it calling attention to the far greater danger of influenza – causes more people to ask their doctors about a flu shot, Ebola could end up saving many lives. Strong statements by Fox news anchor Scott Shepherd and New York Times columnist Frank Bruni (Scarier Than Ebola) are examples of what could prove to be life-saving reporting.

The Pentagon gets busy, via the Los Angeles Times:

Pentagon announces Ebola rapid-response team for U.S. cases of virus

The Pentagon announced Sunday it is putting together a 30-person rapid-response team that could provide quick medical support to civilian healthcare workers if additional cases of the Ebola virus are diagnosed in the United States.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered U.S. Northern Command Commander Gen. Chuck Jacoby to assemble the team, which was requested by the Department of Health and Human Services, said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby.

The team will consist of 20 critical-care nurses, five doctors trained in infectious disease, and five trainers in infectious-disease protocols.

CBC News covers measures to the north:

Canada’s Ebola response gets fresh test in Nova Scotia

  • One of 5 rapid response teams ready to aid local health authorities

Nova Scotia has been chosen for a second test of Canada’s response to Ebola.

On Sunday, a team from the federal Public Health Agency arrived to brief health-care providers on the techniques they will be reportedly practising on Monday should a confirmed case of Ebola arrive in Canada.

“Drills, dry runs, and practising are important to ensuring that our teams are able to respond without hesitation in the event of a case of Ebola,” Health Minister Rona Ambrose said in a news release.

The agency says if a case of Ebola is ever confirmed in Canada, one of the five Ebola rapid response teams would work with local health authorities to prevent its spread.

Each team comprises a field epidemiologist, an infection control expert, a bio-safety expert, a laboratory expert, a communications expert and a logistics expert. Aircraft are stationed in Winnipeg and Ottawa.

And a video report from the Public Health Agency of Canada:

PHAC Rapid Response Team

Program note:

Ebola Rapid Response Team practices deploying to a simulated case of Ebola

From The Hill, czarist politics:

Praise, criticism for Obama’s Ebola czar pick

President Obama’s selection to lead the administration’s Ebola response drew both praise and criticism from guests on the Sunday morning political shows.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, pushed back at GOP opposition to Obama’s new czar, Ron Klain, calling him an “excellent manager.”

Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore and later Vice President Joe Biden, will take the reins of the administration’s Ebola strategy next week. He was named to the position on Friday.

When asked if a healthcare professional would be a better choice, Fauci said “not necessarily.”

From the Washington Post, surprise, surprise:

Why Democrats are sounding like Republicans on Ebola and the GOP is moving into overdrive

Democrats are beginning to sound more like Republicans when they talk about Ebola. And Republicans are moving into overdrive with their criticism of the government’s handling of the deadly virus.

The sharpened rhetoric, strategists say, suggests Democrats fear President Obama’s response to Ebola in the United States could become a political liability in the midterm election and Republicans see an opportunity to tie increasing concerns about the disease to the public’s broader worries about Obama’s leadership.

“This is feeding into the Republican narrative that Democrats don’t know how to govern and government is too large,” said Jim Manley, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). Democrats, Manley said, “are desperate to try to demonstrate that they have tough ideas to respond to the crisis.”

Failure acknowledged, via the Los Angeles Times:

Fauci acknowledges that Ebola guidelines failed to protect caregivers

A top federal health official conceded Sunday that the government-recommended protective gear worn by nurses and doctors caring for patients sickened by Ebola has been inadequate to protect caregivers from infection.

The official, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that medical professionals need gear that would provide complete, head-to-toe coverage, shielding their skin from contact with an Ebola patient’s body or its fluids.

Serving as the Obama administration’s sole spokesman for Ebola on five national television talk shows Sunday, Fauci indicated that new guidelines for “personal-protective’‘ gear were about to be issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He acknowledged that two nurses in Dallas may have been infected by their exposure to an Ebola-infected patient that they cared for who ultimately died, Thomas E. Duncan.

The original guidelines, Fauci said, “did have some exposure of skin in the sense you had a mask—but there was some skin that was exposed and some hair that was exposed.’‘ Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,’‘ Fauci added, “we want to make sure that’s no longer the case.’‘

More failure acknowledged, via the New York Times:

C.E.O. of Texas Hospital Group Apologizes for Mistakes in Ebola Cases

The head of the group that runs the Texas hospital under scrutiny for mishandling Ebola cases apologized Sunday in full-page ads in local Dallas newspapers, saying the hospital “made mistakes in handling this very difficult challenge.”

Barclay E. Berdan, chief executive of the Texas Health Resources, which operates a network of 25 hospitals here, said in an open letter that hospital officials were deeply sorry for having misdiagnosed symptoms shown by Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who was sent home after his first visit to the emergency room of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, but was later readmitted and then died of the virus two weeks later.

“The fact that Mr. Duncan had traveled to Africa was not communicated effectively among the care team, though it was in his medical chart,” Mr. Berdan wrote. “On that visit to the Emergency Department, we did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. For this we are deeply sorry.”

And a diagnosis from the Progressive:

Top Doc Says Ebola Shows Skewed Priorities

The Ebola crisis has revealed severe deficiencies in how the American health care system works, experts say.

Dr. Walter Tsou, past president of the American Public Health Association and the former health commissioner for Philadelphia, says that the Ebola crisis shows the skewed priorities of the U.S. health care system.

“Our chronic disease-oriented health care system is ill-equipped to address an acute infectious disease outbreak,” Dr. Tsou, a board adviser to Physicians for a National Health Program, tells The Progressive. “We don’t have enough biocontainment units, sufficiently trained experts on how to control for highly infectious disease agents, trained sanitation crews who can clean up and properly handle waste disposal.”

Tsou says that the Ebola epidemic has uncovered big flaws in the global health system, too.

The Los Angeles Times covers Golden State preparations:

Gov. Brown to meet with nursing groups to discuss Ebola preparations

Leaders of two nursing organizations say they plan to meet Tuesday with Gov. Jerry Brown to call on the state to upgrade Ebola training and safety precautions for California health professionals.

The California Nurses Assn. and National Nurses United are asking state regulators to formally adopt what they called “optimal safety standards,” including requirements for Hazmat suits and accelerated hands-on training programs.

“California hospitals have been appallingly slow in moving to enact any effective protocols, much less the highest standards, in response to this virulent Ebola threat that has already infected two nurses in Dallas,” NNU and CNA Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro said in a statement.

And from the New York Times, their ship just came in:

Ebola Watch Lists in U.S. to Shrink, Cruise Passenger Cleared

Some of the dozens of people who are being watched for possible exposure to Ebola in the United States are expected to be cleared on Sunday and Monday, potentially easing concerns about the spread of the disease after two nurses were infected.

A Dallas lab worker who spent much of a Caribbean holiday cruise in isolation tested negative for the deadly virus and left the Carnival Magic liner with other passengers after it docked at Galveston, Texas, early on Sunday morning.

The precautions taken for the cruise passenger reflected widespread anxiety over Ebola in the United States, including calls from some lawmakers for a travel ban on West Africa.

The McClatchy Washington Bureau covers the post-quarantine question:

As 21-day Ebola quarantine ends, what’s to fear?

The first wave of people, including the fiance of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, will emerge from a state-ordered, 21-day Ebola quarantine Monday, which should probably spark relief in a region that desperately wants to escape the shadow of the epidemic.

But church officials are considering extra security for Louise Troh and her children amid ongoing fears about Ebola across Dallas-Fort Worth _ and throughout the United States.

Experts who study psychology say the release of 48 people from the Ebola watchlist back into society, and the expected onslaught of news coverage about them shopping at local grocery stores and returning to schools, could fuel another wave of irrational fears.

From the London Daily Mail, doubly devastated:

‘They are left with nothing’: Devastated girlfriend of Ebola patient zero Thomas Eric Duncan to be released from quarantine after Hazmat teams destroyed almost all their belongings

  • The fiancée of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan will be released from quarantine at midnight tonight – but will emerged with hardly any possession after they were destroyed by hazmat teams.
  • Louise Troh, 54, missed her boyfriend’s funeral while she was locked away for the duration of the deadly virus’s 21-day incubation period, which expires tonight.
  • During the frantic operation to seal off Duncan’s apartment in Dallas and eliminate all traces of the disease, she also lost the majority of her belongings.
  • Only a few personal documents, some photographs, and a single Bible escaped the cleansing operation.

The McClatchy Washington Bureau covers the latest form of prejudice:

In Texas, Liberian Americans weary of Ebola stigma

When Otto Williams opened his mouth last week to say that he’d be happy to work a new job installing home heating and air conditioning units, the contractor listened to Williams’s accent and asked where he was he from.

“Liberia,” said Williams, 42, an HVAC technician. Knowing the concerns some people have about the Ebola virus, he made sure to smile.

But soon, the contractor mentioned he was in a hurry, excused himself and promised to call Williams back. He didn’t.

“It’s gotten to the point where you don’t want to mention you’re Liberian,” Williams said.

More from the Washington Post:

West Africans in Washington say they are being stigmatized because of Ebola fear

Alphonso Toweh was riding a bus when a man sitting next to him politely asked where he was from.

“Liberia,” said Toweh, a writer from Monrovia who is visiting the Washington area, home to the nation’s second-largest population of African immigrants.

“At that point, the man went far from me,” he said. “He did not want to come close to me. People, once they know you are Liberian — people assume you have the virus in your body, which is not the case.”

The Japan Times covers a patient recovered:

Spain: Nursing assistant clear of Ebola virus

An initial test shows that a nursing assistant who became infected with Ebola in Spain is now clear of all traces of the virus nearly two weeks after she was hospitalized, authorities said Sunday.

Teresa Romero, 44, is the first person known to have contracted the disease outside West Africa in the current outbreak when she tested positive for the virus Oct. 6. She has been in quarantine at Carlos III hospital in Madrid since then.

A statement Sunday said a blood test revealed that Romero’s immune system had eliminated the virus from her body. The statement came from the Spanish government committee in charge of the nation’s Ebola crisis. A second test in the coming hours is needed to absolutely confirm Romero’s recovery, said Manuel Cuenca, microbiology director at Madrid’s Carlos III health care complex.

From the Associated Press, another screening program launched:

Belgium’s main airport to begin Ebola screening

Brussels Airport says it will begin screening passengers arriving from Ebola-stricken countries Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The airport operator says passengers arriving from these three countries will have their temperatures taken starting Monday.

Four flights a week from the area concerned arrive weekly at Brussels Airport. Similar measures were begun Saturday at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, where one daily flight arrives from Conakry, Guinea.

And from the Guardian, a renewed push for Aussie medical aid:

Ebola: Labor renews calls for health workers to be sent to west Africa

  • Tanya Plibersek says Australia would be in ‘big trouble’ if it waited for virus to spread to Asia Pacific before offering help

Australia would be in “big trouble” if it waited for the Ebola virus to spread to the Asia-Pacific region before acting, the opposition has said, as the government called for bipartisanship on the serious health issue.

The health minister, Peter Dutton, said on Sunday the government continued to talk with other countries about what support could be provided if Australian medical teams were dispatched to west Africa and later needed to be evacuated.

Dutton accused Labor of “playing politics with a very important issue” and indicated that Australia was “ready to rapidly deploy support” if an outbreak occurred in near neighbours such as Papua New Guinea or the Solomon Islands.

Questions from the Associated Press:

Effectiveness of Ebola travel ban questioned

A ban on travel from West Africa might seem like a simple and smart response to the frightening Ebola outbreak there. It’s become a central demand of Republicans on Capitol Hill and some Democrats, and is popular with the public. But health experts are nearly unanimous in saying it’s a bad idea that could backfire.

The experts’ key objection is that a travel ban could prevent needed medical supplies, food and health care workers from reaching Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the nations where the epidemic is at its worst. Without that aid, the deadly virus might spread to wider areas of Africa, making it even more of a threat to the U.S. and the world, experts say.

In addition, preventing people from the affected countries from traveling to the U.S. could be difficult to enforce and might generate counterproductive results, such as people lying about their travel history or attempting to evade screening.

After the jump, China and Japan mull partnerships with Washington, front line nurses speak out, the problem with bushmeat, the sorrows of surviving, a continent’s image tarnished, Washington’s military point man hails progress, the WHO plans an African meet, Nigeria to get an all-clear, troubling news for a British survivor, defenses bolstered in the Gambia, a troubling sign in Zimbabwe, and the African Union sends help, on to Liberia and a presidential cry for help, a hopeful sign, and survivors mask a plea for help — plus a suggestion we really like. . . Continue reading

From ABC Australia: Earth on fire


A chilling documentary from ABC Australia [itself the target of fossil-fuel addicted neoliberal Aussie ire and pending major budget cuts], this July documentary presents a chilling [er, scorching] vision of the future, in which vast fires sweep across landscapes around the globe.

Via Journeyman Pictures:

Catalyst – Earth of Fire

From the transcript:

NARRATION: Earth is the only planet in our solar system that burns … and there’s one main reason why. Plants.

Since they first evolved more than 400 million years ago, land plants have changed the world, from the soil to the atmosphere.

Even the origin of fire is tied to the origin of plants. Fire couldn’t exist here until the fuel and oxygen from land plants made this planet flammable. So for nearly half a billion years, the Earth has been in flames. In turn, fire shapes the patterns of life, the climate, and ultimately, our own survival. But fire is changing.

Over the past decade, every forested continent has seen an alarming surge in large, uncontrollable fires. Mega-fires.

Prof David Bowman: The sort of metaphoric equivalent of an atomic bomb, that’s what a mega fire is, it’s muscular, it’s mean, it’s big, it’s aggressive.

Prof Tom Swetnam: Really fast burning fires. And their local intensity is just amazing.… these are extraordinary fire events.

NARRATION: So extraordinary, they demolish the very ecosystems that have thrived with fire for millennia.

Anja Taylor: Here in the Southwest US, the fires have become so large and so intense that whole forests are transforming into entirely different landscapes.

NARRATION: No longer can we count on what we thought we knew about fire.

Mark Horstman: In Australia, catastrophic megafires are tearing landscapes apart. It means we all have to rethink how to live on this flammable continent.

EbolaWatch: Scares, pols, meds, Africa


And more.

We begin with a video report that lends credence to suspicions we’ve long harbored. From CCTV America:

Ebola outbreaks associated with deforestation

Program notes:

Experts have been trying to figure out what’s behind the recent rise in Ebola cases. Some have turned to nature, specifically the trees, for a possible answer. Some scientists argue that the shrinking size of forests could put people in closer contact with disease carrying wildlife and that possibility is causing global concerns. For more on the impact of global deforestation, CCTV America interviewed Susanne Breitkopf, the Senior Political Advisor for Greenpeace International.

And next to two notable and sad instances of Ebolaphobia, first from FrontPageAfrica, a Liberian paper doing an exceptional job of covering the crisis:

Georgia U. Cancels FPA Newsroom Chief’s McGill Lectures Over Ebola

The University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia has rescinded the decision of the University’s journalism school Grady College to invite FrontPageAfrica newsroom editor Wade C. L. Williams for its McGill Lecture slated for October 22, 2014.

All was set for the trip as the college had already purchased a round trip plane ticket and made hotel reservations for the journalist’s visit when it was forced to cancel last minute to time because of fear she could get sick while visiting the US thereby exposing students to the deadly Ebola virus.

The McGill Lecture, which is free and open to the public is sponsored by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and will be held October 22 at 4 p.m. in Room 250 of the Miller Learning Center but with a new speaker Antonio Mora, a prominent Hispanic journalist who is a two-time winner of the Peabody Award.

“I received a call from Georgia just days before my trip. A woman with a pleasant voice delicately told me that parents were panicking and the general public was against my coming to the university,” stated Williams in a blog post published days after the university reached the decision.

And the second incident, via the Star in Nairobi:

Parents in a British school threatens to pull children out over teachers trip to Kenya fearing Ebola

Parents from a British school have threatened to pull their children from school over a planned trip to Kenya by teachers for fear they will contract Ebola.

The Mirror reports that a 60-signature petition has been circulated at Berkeley Primary School in Crewe in Cheshire demanding that the two teachers planning the trip to Kenya for an exchange programme.

They want the teachers isolated for a three-week ebola incubation period.

But the alarm has baffled the school because Kenya is far away from the ebola danger zone of West Africa.

Now on to the gravely serious, first from the Independent:

Ebola outbreak could be ‘definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation’, warns Oxfam

Ebola is poised to become the “definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation”, Oxfam has warned, with more troops, funding and medical aid urgently needed to tackle the outbreak.

In an “extremely rare” move, the charity is calling for military intervention to provide logistical support across West Africa.

It says the world has less than two months to counter the spread of the deadly virus, which means addressing a “crippling shortfall” in military personnel.

Oxfam said troops are now “desperately needed” to build treatment centres, provide flights and offer engineering and logistical support. While Britain was leading the way in Europe’s response to the epidemic, it said countries which have failed to commit troops were “in danger of costing lives”.

Next, analysis from the Associated Press:

Mission Unaccomplished: Containing Ebola in Africa

Looking back, the mistakes are easy to see: Waiting too long, spending too little, relying on the wrong people, thinking small when they needed to think big. Many people, governments and agencies share the blame for failing to contain Ebola when it emerged in West Africa.

Now they share the herculean task of trying to end an epidemic that has sickened more than 9,000, killed more than 4,500, seeded cases in Europe and the United States, and is not even close to being controlled.

Many of the missteps are detailed in a draft of an internal World Health Organization report obtained by The Associated Press. It shows there was not one pivotal blunder that gave Ebola the upper hand, but a series of them that mounted.

Nearly every agency and government stumbled. Heavy criticism falls on the World Health Organization, where there was “a failure to see that conditions for explosive spread were present right at the start.”

WHO — the United Nations’ health agency — had some incompetent staff, let bureaucratic bungles delay people and money to fight the virus, and was hampered by budget cuts and the need to battle other diseases flaring around the world, the report says.

Al Jazeera English covers a reassessment:

WHO promises to review Ebola response

UN agency pledges to review its efforts to contain outbreak after internal document hints at its failings.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has promised to undertake and publish a full review of its handling of the Ebola crisis after a leaked document appeared to show the UN agency had failed to do enough to contain the epidemic.

The WHO said in a statement on Saturday that it would not comment on an internal draft document obtained and released by the Associated Press news agency, in which the organisation blamed incompetent staff, bureaucracy and a lack of reliable information for its allegedly slow and weak response to the outbreak that has reportedly killed more than 4,500 people since May.

“We cannot divert our limited resources from the urgent response to do a detailed analysis of the past response. That review will come, but only after this outbreak is over,” WHO said.

And the Associated Press covers te case that has Americans on edge:

Ebola lapses persisted for days at Dallas hospital

Just minutes after Thomas Eric Duncan arrived for a second time at the emergency room, the word is on his chart: “Ebola.” But despite all the warnings that the deadly virus could arrive unannounced at an American hospital, for days after the admission, his caregivers are vulnerable.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pointed to lapses by the hospital in those initial days. And Duncan’s medical records show heightened protective measures as his illness advanced. But either because of a lag in implementing those steps or because they were still insufficient, scores of hospital staffers were put at risk, according to the records.

The hospital’s protective protocol was “insufficient,” said Dr. Joseph McCormick of the University of Texas School of Public Health, who was part of the CDC team that investigated the first recorded Ebola outbreak in 1976. “The gear was inadequate. The procedures in the room were inadequate.”

While Defense One covers a regulatory disaster:

Dallas Hospital Had the Ebola Screening Machine That the Military Is Using in Africa

The military is using an Ebola screening machine that could have diagnosed the Ebola cases in Texas far faster, but government guidelines prevent hospitals from using it to actually screen for Ebola.

It’s a toaster-sized box called FilmArray, produced by a company called BioFire, a subsidiary of bioMérieux and it’s capable of detecting Ebola with a high degree of confidence — in under an hour.

Incredibly, it was present at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas when Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan walked through the door, complaining of fever and he had just come from Liberia. Duncan was sent home, but even still, FDA guidelines prohibited the hospital from using the machine to screen for Ebola.

While the Guardian covers desperate ass-covering:

Texas hospital mounts ‘#PresbyProud’ fightback as Ebola criticism mounts

  • Dallas hospital where nurses were infected engages PR firm
  • Union chief says: ‘There has been no leadership’

The hospital in Texas where two nurses became the first people to contract Ebola inside the US is mounting an aggressive public relations campaign to rescue its image, as nursing representatives call for its top executives to be held accountable for the crisis.

Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas hired Burson-Marsteller, a New York-based PR firm, to direct a fightback against sharp criticism it received after Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who was first sent home by the hospital, died there from Ebola.

It has since published slick video clips of smiling nurses praising their managers and hosted a brief “rally” of medics wielding pro-hospital placards outside the emergency room for television news cameras. Amid fears patients might stay away, the hospital has tried to flood social media with the hashtag “#PresbyProud” and issued rebuttals to allegations about its practices after nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson were infected while treating Duncan, who died on 8 October.

From the New York Times, politics as usual, with a desperate edge:

The Partisan Divide on Ebola Preparedness

After a second case of Ebola was discovered among the staff of a Dallas hospital that treated an infected patient, public concerns are likely to increase about whether the United States health care system can properly respond to an outbreak.

Data from surveys suggest, however, that those views — like so many others — are being shaped by people’s partisan affilations as much as by news about the outbreak itself.

According to a new ABC News/Washington Post survey, only 54 percent of Republicans are confident in the federal government’s ability to respond effectively to Ebola — far fewer than the 76 percent of Democrats who expressed confidence. This finding represents a striking reversal from the partisan divide found in a question about a potential avian influenza outbreak in 2006, when a Republican, George W. Bush, was president. An ABC/Post poll taken at the time found that 72 percent of Republicans were confident in an effective federal response compared with only 52 percent of Democrats.

From the Washington Post, Obama urges:

Obama: ‘We can’t give in to hysteria or fear’ of Ebola

President Obama on Saturday sought to tamp down fears of an Ebola outbreak and defend his administration from Republican critics who have called for a more aggressive response to the disease, including sealing off U.S. borders to visitors from countries battling widespread outbreaks.

“We can’t just cut ourselves off from West Africa, where this disease is raging,” Obama said in his weekly radio address. “Trying to seal off an entire region of the world — if that were even possible — could actually make the situation worse.”

Such actions would make it harder for American health-care workers, soldiers and supplies to reach stricken areas, Obama said. It could also cause residents of countries in West Africa where Ebola is still spreading to try to evade screening on their way to the United States or Europe.

The president’s main message was one of calm, coming at a time of growing worry in communities throughout the country. “We can’t give in to hysteria or fear, because that only makes it harder to get people the accurate information they need,” Obama said. “If we’re guided by science — the facts, not fear — then I am absolutely confident we can prevent a serious outbreak here in the United States.”

From the White House, here’s the address:

Weekly Address: What You Need to Know About Ebola

Program notes:

In this week’s address, the President discussed what the United States is doing to respond to Ebola, both here at home and abroad, and the key facts Americans need to know.

Making a list and checking more than twice, via the Associated Press:

More than 100 monitored for Ebola symptoms in Ohio

Health officials in Ohio are monitoring more than 100 people following the visit by a Dallas nurse who tested positive for Ebola shortly after returning to Texas from the Cleveland area.

Officials said Saturday that none of those being monitored are sick.

State officials previously said 16 people Amber Vinson had contact with were being monitored. Officials say the sharp increase is a result of the identification of airline passengers who flew with Vinson between Dallas and Cleveland and the identification of people who also visited the dress shop where her bridesmaids were trying on dresses.

Vinson’s stepfather is quarantined in his home in the Akron suburb of Tallmadge. That is where Vinson stayed during her visit. The stepfather is the only person in the state under such a restriction.

Golden State preparations from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Gov. Jerry Brown says state is working on Ebola safeguards

Gov. Jerry Brown said Friday that the state is drawing up plans to protect nurses, other health care workers and the public from Ebola, saying California must avoid mistakes made in Texas in dealing with the disease.

The governor said he has met with public health officers and spoken with national nurses representatives to devise guidelines that hospitals must follow should an Ebola patient be diagnosed in California.

“We’ve got work to do,” Brown said in an interview with The Chronicle. “It’s a fast-moving story.”

He said Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the state Department of Public Health, is heading up the effort, and that health officials will meet with Cal/OSHA on Tuesday to discuss “issues of workers’ safety.”

From the Miami Herald, preparations in another state:

CDC responds to Florida’s requests for help with potential Ebola outbreak

The federal Centers for Disease Control agreed Saturday to some — but not all — of Gov. Rick Scott’s Ebola-related requests.

The CDC will hold a conference call with Florida hospitals next week on best practices, Scott said Saturday. The organization has also given Florida the green light to spend about $7 million in federal grant funding on protective suits for health care workers.

“The CDC indicated that we will receive formal approval next week, but based on this preliminary approval, we have already begun using these funds to enhance our Ebola preparedness efforts,” Scott said in a statement.

The governor is still waiting on the CDC to contact passengers on a plane that stopped in Fort Lauderdale after carrying a nurse who was later diagnosed with Ebola.

He also has yet to receive 27 of the 30 Ebola testing kits he requested.

From the Associated Press another oversight failure:

Ebola monitoring inconsistent as virus spread

The inconsistent response by health officials in monitoring and limiting the movement of health workers has been one of the critical blunders in the Ebola outbreak. Friends and family who had contact with Duncan before he was hospitalized were confined to homes under armed guard, but nurses who handled his contagious bodily fluids were allowed to treat other patients, take mass transit and get on airplanes.

“I don’t think the directions provided to people at first were as clear as they needed to be, and there have been changes in the instructions given to people over time,” said Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, a doctor who did his residency in Dallas.

Local health authorities have said repeatedly throughout the response that their guidance and direction can change.

“Please keep in mind the contact list is fluid, meaning people may fall off the list or new people may be added to the list depending on new information that could arise at any time on any given day,” said Dallas County health department spokeswoman Erikka Neroes on Friday when asked how many people are even being monitored.

From The Hill, a case where Republicans and businesses are on the outs:

Businesses quietly push back at Ebola travel ban

Businesses are pushing back against lawmakers’ calls to impose a ban on travelers from the three West Africa nations at the center of the Ebola epidemic.

Public opposition is coming from U.S. airlines, who have seen their stocks hit because of fears the Ebola scare will lead to a drop in travel.

Other business groups are quietly telling the White House to stand firm in opposing a ban.

They echo arguments from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that a ban would isolate Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, potentially making it tougher to slow the epidemic in those countries.

From the New York Times, the first of two stories of life in limbo:

Life in Quarantine for Ebola Exposure: 21 Days of Fear and Loathing

As the Ebola scare spreads from Texas to Ohio and beyond, the number of people who have locked themselves away — some under government orders, others voluntarily — has grown well beyond those who lived with and cared for Mr. Duncan before his death on Oct. 8. The discovery last week that two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital here had caught the virus while treating Mr. Duncan extended concentric circles of fear to new sets of hospital workers and other contacts.

Officials in Texas said Thursday that nearly 100 health care workers would be asked to sign pledges not to use public transportation, go to public places or patronize shops and restaurants for 21 days, the maximum incubation period for Ebola. While not a mandate, the notices warn that violators “may be subject” to a state-ordered quarantine.

When officials revealed that one of the infected nurses had flown from Dallas to Cleveland and back before being hospitalized, nearly 300 fellow passengers and crew members faced decisions about whether to quarantine themselves. The next day, a lab technician who had begun a Caribbean cruise despite possible exposure was confined to a stateroom. Medical workers, missionaries and journalists returning from West Africa — especially from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where Ebola is rampant — are also staying home.

Dr. Howard Markel, who teaches the history of medicine at the University of Michigan, said the quarantines recalled the country’s distant epidemics of cholera, typhus and bubonic plague.

“Ebola is jerking us back to the 19th century,” he said. “It’s terrible. It’s isolating. It’s scary. You’re not connecting with other human beings, and you are fearful of a microbiologic time bomb ticking inside you.”

The second, from Bloomberg, covers another woe:

Ebola Fears Stymie Home Quest for Quarantined in Dallas

Louise Troh and the three other people in her household have spent much of their isolation on laptops and mobile phones, playing video games, tossing a football, speaking to relatives and reading the Bible.

The activities have been welcome diversions for Troh, her son and two young men she considers family — “the boys,” as she refers to her housemates. She’s the girlfriend of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die in the U.S. from Ebola.

When they are released from their 21-day, state-ordered quarantine on Oct. 20, they face an uncertain future in Dallas, owing to continued fears about their closeness to the deadly virus. A new-apartment deal busted up after Troh had already made a deposit, and Dallas’s top county official and Troh’s pastor say people are reluctant to rent to someone who was so close to Ebola.

From New York Times, another complication:

Waste From Ebola Poses Challenge to Hospitals

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assured the public this month that most American hospitals could treat cases of Ebola, it was technically correct. Hospitals routinely treat highly contagious diseases, and top-tier ones are extensively equipped to isolate patients who pose special risks.

But the infection over the past week of two Texas hospital workers betrayed what even many of the best hospitals lack: the ability to handle the tide of infectious waste that Ebola generates.

Ebola’s catastrophic course includes diarrhea, vomiting and hemorrhaging of blood, a combination difficult enough to contain in less-communicable illnesses. When they are highly contagious, disposing of the waste and cleaning up what is left behind require expertise and equipment that some specialists said are lacking even in highly regarded medical facilities.

Those shortcomings are compounded, they said, by surprising gaps in scientists’ knowledge about the Ebola virus itself, down to the time it can survive in different environments outside the body.

And from RT, an offer that’s bound to cause heartburn in Foggy Bottom:

Fidel Castro offers cooperation with US in fight against Ebola

Fidel Castro has expressed Cuba’s readiness to cooperate with the US in the global fight against Ebola. Cuba has been on the frontline of international response to the worst outbreak in the disease’s history.

In his article “Time of Duty,” which was published on Saturday, the retired Cuban leader said that medical staff trying to save lives are the best example of human solidarity. Fighting together against the epidemic can protect the people of Cuba, Latin America, and the US from the deadly virus, he added.

“We will gladly cooperate with American [medical] personnel in this task – not for the sake of peace between the two states which have been adversaries for many years, but for the sake of peace in the world,” wrote Castro.

And Sky News covers a plea for help:

Cameron Presses EU Leaders On Ebola Fund

  • The PM urges the EU to double its funding in the fight against the deadly virus, saying “much more must be done”

David Cameron has called for European Union leaders to double their contribution to help tackle ebola, demanding a combined 1bn euro (£800m) pledge.

The Prime Minister has written to the other 26 leaders and European Council president Herman van Rompuy calling for agreement to an “ambitious package of support” at a Brussels summit next week.

He made clear his frustration that other countries are failing to shoulder their share of the burden of international efforts to deal with the epidemic in West Africa which has killed more than 4,500.

Britain has committed £125m to its contribution – the second highest sum after the US. Downing Street said the total contribution from the EU is 500m euros (£400m).

After the jump, the travel industry enters a potential tailspin, cruise ship woes, French flight attendants demand an end to Paris/Conakry flights as France introduces airport screenings, ship screenings in Sweden, travel warnings in Cairo and confidence {SARS-inspired?] in China and a false alarm, a vaccine production delay, Canadian drugs dispatched, on to Africa and a chilling question, Kenyan doctors dispatched, on to Sierra Leone with food on the way, youth join the fight, a street battle with police over a corpse in the street, and an angry bureaucratic shakeup, on to Liberia an a construction shutdown, WHO offers a prescription, a plea for more aid and a promise from Washington, and a warning that things are worse than the press reports, a suicidal leap and an escape in Guinea as contagion spreads into a gold mining region, and from Nigeria, hope accompanied by a warning. . . Continue reading

Suit yourself: Now that’s real Ebolaphobia


From the web page of the London Daily Mail, linking to this article:

BLOG Ebolaphobe

EbolaWatch: Alarms, anger, aid, and Africa


We begin with a brief video report from CCTV America:

More than 8,000 Ebola cases counted, half have died

Program notes:

The number of people infected with the Ebola virus has now risen above 8,000 according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO). Nearly half of those people have died. CCTV America’s Nathan King reports.

Al Jazeera English covers fears of spread:

WHO says East Asia at risk of Ebola

  • Warning comes as the Philippines considers a request to send health workers to Ebola-hit West African countries

East Asia, with its trade and transport hubs and armies of migrant workers, is at risk from Ebola but is improving its defences and may be more ready than other areas to respond if cases are diagnosed, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

Shin Young-soo, the WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, said on Friday East Asia had been a “hotspot” for emerging diseases in the past and had dealt with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and avian flu, so it was more prepared than other regions to respond after learning the importance of public education, strong surveillance and transparency.

Shin said member countries were putting up strong infrastructure preparedness for Ebola and each had an emergency operating centre linked to the regional office in Manila and the WHO headquarters in Geneva

“All these travel, economic trade, and we have global hubs like Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines is sending a lot of work forces all over the world,” make it a possibility for the virus to reach East Asia, Shin said. But “we are in a better shape than other regions,” he added.

Form the Mainichi, a troubling statistic:

UN envoy: Ebola cases doubling every 3-4 weeks

The number of Ebola cases is probably doubling every three-to-four weeks and without a mass global mobilization “the world will have to live with the Ebola virus forever,” the U.N. special envoy on the disease said Friday.

David Nabarro told the U.N. General Assembly that the response needs to be 20 times greater.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said catching up with “the menacing exponential curve of the virus” demands a massive scale-up of financial resources, medical staff and equipment. He lamented that only one-quarter of the $1 billion that U.N. agencies have appealed for to tackle Ebola has been funded.

“I now appeal to all member states to act generously and swiftly,” Eliasson told diplomats from most of the 193 U.N. member states. “Speed is of the essence. A contribution within days is more important than a larger contribution within weeks.”

The United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response issues a warning [PDF]:

UN Ebola official: ‘No country is safe’

The UN officials leading the anti-Ebola effort in West Africa appealed Friday to the international community to move quickly to provide more resources to battle the deadly outbreak.

“The world must now act to help the people and governments of Liberia, Sierra
Leone and Guinea and, by helping them, to help the rest of the world,” said Anthony Banbury, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), in a briefing to the General Assembly in New York.

“Everyone must play their part.” UNMEER cannot do it alone, said Banbury, who called for a broad global coalition to work together to halt the spread of the disease. “A failure to act now that we have the chance could lead to unpredictable but very dire consequences” not only for the three countries most affected now, but for the rest of the world, he said.

“No country is safe.”

More from Reuters:

Fears grow in United States over Ebola’s spread outside West Africa

Fears are growing in the United States about Ebola with about 200 airline cabin cleaners walking off the job in New York and some lawmakers demanding the government ban travelers from the West African countries hit hardest by the virus.

“The nation is frightened, and people are frightened of this disease,” the U.S. cabinet secretary for health, Sylvia Burwell, said on Thursday, a day after the death in Texas of the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell told a news conference that people were frightened because Ebola “has a very high mortality rate. They’re frightened because they need to learn and understand what the facts are about that disease.”

The New York Times covers a false alarm in Sin City:

Las Vegas Sounds False Alarm as Global Ebola Fears Spread

A commercial plane was briefly quarantined on a Las Vegas airport tarmac on Friday, sending airline shares down as worldwide fears increased that Ebola could spread outside West Africa, where it has killed more than 4,000 people.

Airline and hospital officials said a Delta Air Lines plane was held at McCarran International Airport, but it turned out to be a false alarm and an all-clear was issued. A Delta spokesman said the concerns arose after a passenger on the flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport reported feeling unwell.

It was the second reported Ebola scare involving an aircraft this week. On Wednesday, a passenger on board a U.S. Airways flight from Philadelphia said he had Ebola.

Officials in the Dominican Republic investigated and cleared the aircraft, the airline said. Video from a passenger showed officials in blue-colored protective suits boarding the plane after landing and escorting a man off.

From Reuters, screening begins:

U.S. begins enhanced Ebola screening program at New York’s JFK airport

Stepped up efforts by the U.S. to halt the spread of the Ebola virus will start at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday, where teams armed with thermal guns and questionnaires will screen travelers from West African countries hit hardest by the outbreak.

JFK Airport is the first of five U.S. airports to start enhanced screening of U.S.-bound travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where most of the outbreak’s more than 4,000 deaths have occurred.

Nearly all of those traveling to the United States from those countries arrive at JFK, Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta. The new procedures will begin at the other four airports next week.

From Associated Press, enforcing isolation:

New Jersey enforces isolation order for NBC crew

New Jersey officials have issued a mandatory quarantine order for members of an NBC crew that was exposed to a cameraman with Ebola after they say a voluntary 21-day isolation agreement was violated.

The order went into effect Friday night.

Officials with the state Health Department told The Associated Press the crew remains symptom-free and there is no reason for concern of exposure to the deadly virus to the community.

The NBC crew included medical correspondent Nancy Snyderman, who lives in New Jersey. She was working with Ashoka Mukpo, a cameraman who was infected with the disease in West Africa. Mukpo is being treated in Omaha, Nebraska.

But there’s always that corporate silver lining, as in this video report from Bloomberg News:

Ebola Virus Scare Pushes Hazmat-Suit Maker to Record

Program notes:

Bloomberg’s Pimm Fox examines how the Ebola virus scare is benefitting Lakeland Industries, pushing shares to record highs for the manufacturer of hazmat suits. He speaks on “Market Makers.”

Another false alarm, via the New York Times:

Assurances Are Given and a Deputy Goes Home, but Ebola Fears Persist

DALLAS — So far, there is no evidence the Ebola virus has spread in this vast metropolitan area of 6.5 million people. But fear has.

Officials on Thursday announced that a local sheriff’s deputy examined for possible infection with the virus had tested negative and was sent home from the hospital.

None of the other 48 people who officials say had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died of Ebola at a hospital here Wednesday, have showed symptoms of infection. Because no one has been exposed in 11 days, officials say, the likelihood of a new case is diminishing.

But live images on local television of an ambulance racing the deputy to the hospital on Wednesday were enough to convince many here that Ebola was more dangerous than officials were letting on.

From the Associated Press, troubling revelations:

Ebola patient’s temperature spiked to 103 degrees

Thomas Eric Duncan’s temperature spiked to 103 degrees during the hours of his initial visit to an emergency room — a fever that was flagged with an exclamation point in the hospital’s record-keeping system, his medical records show.

Despite telling a nurse that he had recently been in Africa and displaying other symptoms that could indicate Ebola, the Liberian man who would become the only person to die from the disease in the U.S. underwent a battery of tests and was eventually sent home.

Duncan’s family provided his medical records to The Associated Press — more than 1,400 pages in all. They encompass his time in the ER, his urgent return to the hospital two days later and his steep decline as his organs began to fail.

In a statement issued Friday, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said it had made procedural changes and continues to “review and evaluate” the decisions surrounding Duncan’s care.

More from the Guardian:

Texas Ebola cases expose troubling contrasts and spark fears of race divide

The faltering response to a Liberian’s Ebola diagnosis in Texas contrasted starkly to the mobilization after the mere suspicion of the disease in a local law enforcement officer. Some wonder whether it was no coincidence

The 5,000- to 10,000-strong Liberian community in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex has noted shortcomings in the way Duncan’s case was handled. Official accounts suggest he first developed symptoms on 24 September and went to nearby Texas Health Presbyterian hospital two days later, where staff failed to take his travel history into account and sent him away with antibiotics. By 28 September he was so ill that an ambulance was called to take him back.

Without making any specific judgment on Duncan’s case, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Tom Frieden said at a media briefing on Wednesday that “the earlier someone is diagnosed, the more likely they will be able to survive.”

Three other patients hospitalised in the US after contracting Ebola in west Africa, including one man from Fort Worth, received experimental treatments and survived. On Tuesday, Dallas County commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, told a court meeting that “if a person who looks like me shows up without any insurance, they don’t get the same treatment … It’s historically what has happened in this community.”

And another false alarm, ending behind an arrest, via the Associated Press:

Ga. prisoner accused of lying about possible Ebola

Prosecutors have accused a prisoner in Georgia of lying about potentially getting Ebola while traveling in Africa, a claim that triggered an emergency response at an Atlanta area jail and hospital.

Harry Randall Withers was indicted Thursday on three counts of making false statements. He was being held without bond Friday at a jail north of Atlanta.

After his arrest for drunken driving, Withers allegedly told officials that he left the United States on Sept. 10 to see a friend in Kenya. Officials said Withers claimed that he had traveled through Nigeria, Liberia and Belgium during his trip.

Authorities said a check of Withers’ passport showed he had not left the United States since 2005.

Hints that “Britain’s first case” may not be, via Reuters:

Alcohol, not Ebola, possible cause of Briton’s death in Macedonia

Doctors in Macedonia have “serious indications” that alcohol, not Ebola, may have killed a British man visiting the Balkan country, a senior health official said on Friday.

The official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said doctors who initially treated the man suspected haemorrhagic fever, given his symptoms of fever, vomiting and internal bleeding.

“The minute they (doctors) suspected that, they alerted supervisors, who isolated the body,” preventing doctors from carrying out an autopsy, the source said.

Now, he said: “We have serious indications from several places that he consumed large amounts of alcohol, so the theory that this might be the cause of death is very much in play.”

On to Spain and what remains for now Europe’s only case contracted in Europe, via El País:

Fear and panic rise among Madrid’s medical and cleaning staff

  • Nurses are resigning over what they claim are inadequate protection measures
  • Staff are also feeling the effects of the Ebola crisis in their personal lives

The cleaning staff at Carlos III Hospital in Madrid say they were not scared about contracting Ebola until Teresa Romero, the nursing assistant who they would see on a daily basis, caught the virus. The same goes for the nurses in the center, who took care of the two Spanish missionaries with Ebola who were brought back from West Africa for treatment at Carlos III, but died soon after.

The staff explain that the “respect” they had for the virus has turned to “fear.” And that fear has spread further than the hospital, which is Spain’s “Ground Zero” for Ebola – it is also to be found in Alcorcón Hospital, where cleaning staff refused to clean up the area in the emergency room where the nursing assistant, Teresa Romero, was treated for nearly the whole of Monday, before she was diagnosed with Ebola and transferred to Carlos III.

There is fear on the streets of Alcorcón too, where some residents are wearing facemasks to protect themselves from the risk of infection, as well as in healthcare centers throughout the region, which have been sent protective suits for staff. These suits, however, are the same ones used during the 2009 swine flu pandemic, and only two units have been sent to each center, where as many as 60 people can work.

One manifestation from Sky News:

Ebola Hospital Staff Throw Gloves At Spain PM

  • Questions are raised about safety measures at a Madrid hospital where a nurse with ebola is in a serious but stable condition

Angry staff have been filmed throwing medical gloves and shouting “go away” at the Spanish prime minister after his visit to a hospital where a nurse has ebola.

Teresa Romero, 44, caught the deadly disease while treating a missionary there. He had flown to Madrid after becoming infected in West Africa and later died.

Questions have been raised about safety measures at Carlos III hospital where Mrs Romero is in a stable but serious condition.

And a video report from euronews:

Amid anger, Spanish PM visits hospital where nurse became infected with Ebola

Program note:

Amid growing questions about how a nurse was able to be infected with the Ebola virus while treating patients in Madrid, the country’s prime minister has visited the hospital where it happened.

Mariano Rajoy is under pressure over the case of Teresa Romero who is now in a critical condition. Her dog has been put down and her husband is one of those hospitalised.

The prime minister spoke to the media after his visit but did not take any questions.

El País covers a political response:

Five days after Ebola case confirmed, Deputy PM takes control of crisis

  • Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría replaces Health Minister at helm of government response

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría on Friday took control of the government’s management of the Ebola crisis, which began on Monday when a nursing assistant was confirmed to have contracted the virus while caring for an infected Spanish missionary.

Five days after the news of Teresa Romero’s condition was made public, and with Health Minister Ana Mato yet to give any explanations regarding the chain of errors that have characterised the crisis, the government appeared to be taking control of the situation on Friday, announcing that it would be creating a committee of scientific experts on the virus.

Sáenz de Santamaría will take charge of the crisis committee that will be formed by representatives from the ministries of Defense, Interior, Presidency, Economy and Justice. What’s more, it will be made up of a representative from the Madrid regional health department, the president of the Scientific Committee for Ebola and a representative from Carlos III Hospital, where confirmed patients and suspected cases are being treated. The committee will meet at least once a day and a number of its members will be dedicated exclusively to the crisis.

From the Guardian, pondering precautions:

Ebola: European food safety experts to assess risk of bushmeat to EU countries

  • Scientists said risks were low in April but persistent claims that illegally smuggled meat evades controls prompt fresh evaluation

European food safety experts have been asked to assess the risk of Ebola being spread in EU member states through eating contaminated bushmeat.

The assessment is expected by the end of the month. In April, scientists said the risks were very low but also admitted high uncertainty about their estimate.

There is extremely little data about just how much bushmeat, often from primates but also other wildlife hunted in Africa, is illegally imported into the EU or how it is treated, handled and cooked.

And TheLocal.fr covers another false alarm:

American tests negative for Ebola in Paris

Testing has revealed an American woman being treated at a Paris hospital is not, as was feared, infected with the Ebola virus. It’s the second false alarm in as many days in France.

Just a day after fears a case of Ebola had been detected near Paris proved to be a false alarm, testing revealed a second suspected case was in fact not the deadly disease, French Health Minister Marisol Toraine said.

According to French media reports the American patient had been under observation because doctors considered her to be potentially infected and she was placed in an sterilized isolation room as a precaution while awaiting the results.

While Punch Nigeria reports on a Latin American concern:

Brazil records first Ebola suspect, quarantines Guinean

Brazil says it has identified a suspected Ebola case who arrived in the country on Thursday.

The patient, Souleymane Bah from Guinea, presented himself after coming down with a fever at a public health centre in the town of Cascavel in the southern state of Parana.

He has been flown to Rio de Janeiro to the National Institute of Infectology. Doctors say he no longer has a fever and blood test results are expected on Saturday.

Health Minister Arthur Chioro said the situation was under control and “all health protocols and procedures were applied efficiently and with great success.”

From the Guardian, so much for the intrepid Aussies:

Australia believes it’s still too risky to send health workers to Ebola zones

  • Julie Bishop will not let the workers go to west Africa until treatment and evacuation plans are in place

Australia will not send health workers to Ebola outbreak zones until their welfare can be guaranteed.

Despite talks with European nations, the UK and the US, Australia has been unable to shore up a treatment or evacuation plan for its personnel should they be sent to west Africa, the minister for foreign affairs, Julie Bishop, says.

“I do not have in place a guarantee that should an Australian health worker – sent there by the Australian government – contract Ebola, they would be able to be transported or treated in a hospital either in the region or in Europe,” she told reporters in Launceston on Saturday.

“And until I have that in place we will not be sending Australian health workers.”

From Sky News, not the way to leave ‘em laughing:

Ebola ‘Joke’ Sees Hazmat Crew Board Plane

  • A coughing man shouts that he recently visited Africa as his flight lands in the Dominican Republic, reports say

Officials in protective suits boarded a US aircraft after a passenger reportedly joked about suffering from ebola.

The US Airways Flight 845 from Philadelphia to the Dominican Republic remained on the tarmac for over an hour after landing as the hazmat crew in blue suits filed past passengers.

The airline said in a statement that the flight “was met yesterday by local officials upon landing due to a possible health issue on board”.

According to Fox News Latino, a passenger screamed “I’ve been to Africa!” just before the flight landed in Punta Cana. Initial reports in the Dominican press and on social media suggested the passenger had shouted: “I have ebola!”

After the jump, on to Africa and an epidemic of fear, American aid expedited, on to Sierra Leone, first with a spike in cases, saving an Ebola-free district, the deadly job of grave-digging, and a blast at Western media, on to Liberia and a rebuke to a presidential power grab, hospitals overwhelmed, another doctor falls, and a chief justice’s driver quarantined, then on to Nigeria and a reassurance to the tourism trade, vaccine trials in Mali, and wise words from Unganda. . . Continue reading

Graphic takes on emerging Ebolaphobia


First from Jack Ohman, editorial cartoonist of the Sacramento Bee::

BLOG Ebola 1

And this from Jim Morin, editorial cartoonist of the Miami Herald:

BLOG Ebola 2

And from Jeff Darcy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

BLOG Ebola 3

Finally, from Bill Bramhall of the New York Daily News:

BLOG Ebola 4