And much, much more as events accelerate ominously. . .
First, from the Guardian:
Ebola outbreak a threat to world peace, says UN security council
- Group unanimously backs emergency resolution as UN secretary general calls for $1bn aid effort to tackle virus
The UN security council has called the Ebola outbreak “a threat to international peace and security” and urged the world to provide health experts, field hospitals and medical supplies.
A resolution adopted unanimously by the UN’s most powerful body at an emergency meeting with an unprecedented 130 countries as co-sponsors reflected the rising global concern at the outbreak.
It was only the second time that the security council has addressed a public health emergency, the first being the HIV/Aids pandemic.
The UN health chief, Dr Margaret Chan, said the “deadly and dreaded Ebola virus got ahead of us” and it was time to urgently catch up. “This is likely the greatest peacetime challenge that the United Nations and its agencies have ever faced,” she said.
The Guardian again, with context:
Ebola: government cuts to the WHO aided delays in dealing with outbreak
- Health organisation suffered from global austerity, needs urgent overhaul and sounded the alarm too late, experts say
Cuts in government funding to the World Health Organisation contributed to critical delays in responding to the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, which allowed the epidemic to spin out of control, disease experts say.
The UK, US and other European governments reduced contributions to the organisation because of global austerity, and also failed to implement much-needed structural reforms, they said. The WHO needs urgent reform, if future global health crises are to be avoided.
The first cases of Ebola occurred in December last year in Guinea, but it was not until late March that the ministry of health notified the WHO of what the Africa regional office described as “a rapidly evolving outbreak of Ebola virus disease in forested areas of south eastern Guinea”. By that time, there had been just 49 cases and 29 deaths.
It took three months to confirm the outbreak because Guinea, having never had a case before, was totally unprepared. “First of all, nobody expected Ebola to pop up in west Africa – you only find what you are looking for,” said Prof Peter Piot, head of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “Then, health information systems in Guinea are extremely poor, as they are in Liberia and Sierra Leone.”
And another alarm from BBC News:
Ebola is ‘entrenched and accelerating’ in West Africa
- US public health director Thomas Frieden: “This is controllable and this was preventable”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Ebola is now entrenched in the capital cities of all three worst-affected countries and is accelerating in almost all settings.
WHO deputy head Bruce Aylward warned that the world’s response was not keeping up with the disease in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The three countries have appealed for more aid to help fight the disease.
The outbreak has killed more than 3,860 people, mainly in West Africa. More than 200 health workers are among the victims.
The Hill sounds another warning for the U.S.:
HHS: There may be more Ebola cases
More cases of the Ebola virus could be found in the United States, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia Burwell warned Thursday.
“We had one case and I think there may be other cases, and I think we have to recognize that as a nation,” Burwell said at a news conference sponsored by the journal Health Affairs and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Burwell said her agency supports the new airport procedures, but called exit screenings that are already happening in West African airports more crucial.
“The most important place with regard to taking care of screening is actually at the point of departure,” Burwell said. Those screenings have stopped at least 80 people from boarding flights, she said.
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.”
From the Associated Press a Latin American alarm sounds:
Hagel to discuss Ebola with South America leaders
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says that he will discuss the growing threat from the Ebola virus with Central and South American leaders when they meet in the coming days.
Hagel’s comments Thursday came amid concerns expressed by the top U.S. commander for Central and South America about the potential for the Ebola virus to spread into countries there.
U.S. Marine Gen. John Kelly earlier this week said some countries in the Western Hemisphere don’t have the capabilities to deal with Ebola. If there is an outbreak, he said people may try to flee into the United States.
Hagel says the world is getting more interconnected, and the virus can travel quickly, so military leaders must plan and prepare for any possibilities.
And from Want China Times, another shrieking alarm:
Ebola could hit China within three weeks without action: US experts
American experts warn that the lethal Ebola virus could reach China in three weeks and from there spread to Hong Kong and Macau, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily.
Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control said there have been no confirmed cases in China and Taiwan and it has been exchanging information with its foreign counterparts to contain the spread of the virus, the paper said.
The experts with the Northeast University in Boston made the report after cross referencing data between airline routes around the world and Ebola’s route of transmission. The virus could spread to Hong Kong and Macau quickly from China and the thousands of airliners entering and exiting the areas, which are major international transit terminals, if the two did not adopt any preventative measures.
And now, the first serious indication that the virus may have reached Britain, via the Guardian:
Briton dies in Macedonia of suspected Ebola – reports
- If confirmed it would be the first death of a UK national from disease
Foreign Office officials are investigating reports that a British national has died in Macedonia of suspected Ebola.
If confirmed it would be the first death of a UK national from Ebola, although British nurse Will Pooley was cured of the virus last month.
The news came as Downing Street said enhanced screening for Ebola will be introduced at Heathrow and Gatwick airports and Eurostar terminals following advice from the chief medical officer.
The London Telegraph takes another approach:
Ebola crisis: disease may already be in Britain as man dies on business trip
- The death of a businessman in Macedonia from suspected Ebola has led to fears that the disease may already be in Britain
Ebola may already be in Britain, it was feared on Thursday night, after a businessman who had travelled to Macedonia became the first Briton to die from the disease.
Macedonian officials confirmed that the 57-year-old, who has not been named, had been suffering from fever, vomiting and internal bleeding and that his condition had deteriorated rapidly.
“These are all symptoms of Ebola, which raises suspicions with this patient,” said Dr. Jovanka Kostovska of the health ministry’s commission for infectious diseases.
And the Independent:
Ebola: ‘British man dies of deadly virus in Macedonia and one other taken ill’
Officials are urgently investigating reports that a British man has died of Ebola in Macedonia and another has contracted the disease.
The Britons, who are believed to be friends, had travelled to the country from the London on 2 October, according to a spokesman for the Macedonian Foreign Ministry who confirmed the death.
The Macedonian authorities said the dead man was 57 and his friend is 72.
The patients had been staying at a hotel in the capital, Skopje, when they fell ill. The now-deceased man was admitted to the city’s Clinic for Infectious Diseases at around 3pm local, according to a Macedonian government official. He died around two hours later.
Finally, the London Daily Mail offers a comparatively subdued take:
Briton dies of suspected Ebola in Macedonia – despite NOT having been to Africa: Armed guards outside hotel after virus ‘claims first British victim’
- The unnamed man is the first UK victim of Ebola, if disease is confirmed
- The epidemic has killed 3,800 and infected at least 8,000 so far
- Macedonian authorities confirmed the dead man’s nationality this evening
- Health officials have also quarantined his friend, who has symptoms
- The friend said the two travelled to Skopje directly from Britain
- This raises the terrifying prospect that they contracted it in the UK
- Paramedics and staff at Skopje hotel where men stayed also in quarantine
From thinkSPain, a report on the first European to catch the illness on the continent:
Ebola update: Teresa ‘critical’ as her organs start to fail
MADRID nurse Teresa Romero’s organs are failing and she is on an artificial breathing machine due to lung problems, reveals her brother.
José Ramón Romero Ramos says there is little hope and that her life is in ‘grave danger’.
“Is there a chance? It’s possible, but the doctor says there’s not much hope, it’s very complicated at the moment,” he told a Galicia TV station mid-afternoon today.
More from the Los Angeles Times:
More people quarantined after Ebola fears in Spain, officials say
Four more people have been placed under quarantine at a Madrid hospital as officials there try to stop the spread of Ebola beyond one confirmed case.
That case, a nursing assistant who was infected after helping care for 69-year-old Manuel Garcia Viejo, was the first known transmission of the disease outside of West Africa in the current outbreak.
The nursing assistant, identified in news reports as Teresa Romero Ramos, was diagnosed Monday and is being treated at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid. Her husband has also been quarantined there.
In addition to Romero and her husband, one man and one woman, both nurses, were hospitalized Wednesday and are exhibiting “mild symptoms,” officials say. The nurses were part of the team that helped treat Viejo.
A video report from euronews:
Health of Spanish Ebola patient deteriorates
The health of the Spanish nurse being treated for Ebola has deteriorated, according to the Madrid hospital where she is being treated.
Another person, the doctor who first tended to her, has been placed in isolation bringing to seven the number of people in quarantine.
The patient, Teresa Romero, is the only one to have tested positive for the virus.
Authorities insist that the contamination was a result of human error.
From El País, isolation and outrage:
ER doctor who treated Ebola victim taken into isolation for monitoring
- In his official report, Juan Manuel Parra complains that protective clothing was too small
When Spanish Ebola patient Teresa Romero was taken to her local hospital in Alcorcón on Monday, Doctor Juan Manuel Parra was in charge of her care. Before she was diagnosed with the virus and taken to the Carlos III Hospital, the 41-year-old was the sole person responsible for saving the life of the nursing assistant, who is the first person to be infected with the virus outside of West Africa.
rom 8am on Monday until after midnight the same day, the emergency room doctor took on the risk of dealing with a patient whose status got progressively worse, with symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and chesty coughing.
Doctor Parra had to put on and remove his protective clothing as many as 13 times during the day, but it was not until 5pm that he donned the highest-level protective suit available in the hospital – a suit that, what’s more, was not his size, leaving his bare skin exposed.
“At all times the sleeves were too short,” the doctor wrote in a report. The document, to which EL PAÍS has had access, covers all of the events of those 16 hours and was sent to his superiors.
More from El País:
Nursing staff resign from their posts to avoid treating Ebola cases
- Workers at Carlos III Hospital in Madrid argue safety measures are not adequate
Carlos III Hospital in Madrid, the health center where Ebola victim Teresa Romero is being treated, is having to draft in extra staff given that nurses are refusing to work with cases – or suspected cases – of the virus, claiming that safety conditions are not adequate.
A number of other patients are being monitored in the hospital after having come into contact with Romero, although none so far has been confirmed as having contracted the virus.
“There are members of staff who are canceling their contracts so that they don’t have to enter [rooms with Ebola cases],” explains Elvira González, provincial vice-secretary of the SAE nurses’ union.
Still more from the New York Times:
Spain Quarantines 3 More in Bid to Contain Ebola
The Spanish health authorities said Thursday that the condition of an auxiliary nurse infected by Ebola had worsened, three days after she became the first person to test positive for the disease in Europe.
The deterioration in the nurse’s condition came as the authorities announced that one more medical staff member had been quarantined, in addition to three others who were isolated overnight at the same hospital.
Altogether about 80 people are being monitored to see if they develop symptoms of Ebola as Spain seeks to prevent the virus from spreading. Seven people are now quarantined at the hospital, Carlos III, that Spain has designated to handle Ebola cases.
And from TheLocal.at, another virus, this one mental:
‘Increase in racism’ due to Ebola fear
The Austrian Red Cross is warning that black people are being unnecessarily stigmatised in Austria because of fears of an Ebola outbreak.
It points to anecdotal evidence such as black children being sent home from school if they have a cough, or neighbours panicking if a black person in their apartment block complains of a fever, according to Die Presse newspaper.
Gerry Foitik, an Austrian Red Cross rescue commander, said their fears are completely unfounded as the virus is transmitted by direct contact with infected blood, bodily fluids or organs, and people are only at risk of catching it if they have been in West Africa or had contact with someone who had Ebola. The incubation period can last from two days to three weeks.
More on the lack of urgency in the initial global response from Al Jazeera English:
Ebola-hit states say world response is slow
- World Bank chief says “perhaps even Africa” is at risk, as more cases of infection are diagnosed worldwide
Leaders of West African nations plagued by Ebola said the deadly virus is outpacing the world’s response to it, jeapordising the future of “perhaps Africa.”
“Ladies and gentleman, unless we quickly contain and stop the Ebola epidemic, nothing less than the future of not only West Africa – but perhaps even Africa is at stake,” Jim Yong Kim, President of World Bank, said on Thursday at a meeting on the Ebola response.
“Our people are dying,’‘ Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma said on Thursday by videoconference at the meeting. Koroma said the world is not responding fast enough as doctors and nurses continue to die.
A Uganda-born doctor, John Taban Dada, died early on Thursday of Ebola at a treatment centre on the outskirts of Liberian capital, Monrovia. He is the fourth doctor to die in the West African country since the outbreak. Over ninety health workers, including nurses and physician’s assistants, were killed by the virus.
And from Associated Press, stating the need:
UN chief: 20 times more Ebola aid needed
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a 20-fold surge in international aid to fight the outbreak. “For those who have yet to pledge, I say please do so soon,” Ban said. “This is an unforgiving disease.”
At the meeting here, President Alpha Conde of Guinea asked for money, supplies, medicine, equipment and training of health care workers.
“Our countries are in a very fragile situation,” Conde said through a translator. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia also appeared by videoconference to seek a rapid increase in aid.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim praised pledges from the United States and the European Commission to evacuate health care workers who become infected while responding to the crisis in West Africa, to encourage doctors and nurses to risk their lives to help.
Here in the U.S., Congress finally loosens the purse strings, via the Associated Press:
Lawmakers approve $700 million to fight Ebola
The Republican chairmen of House panels that oversee the Pentagon signed off Thursday on an additional $700 million to pay for the military mission to help fight Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak.
Thursday’s action by Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon and Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers would permit a total of $750 million in funds leftover for fighting in Afghanistan to be used to provide logistical help for health care workers in West Africa. The first $50 million was released last month.
The administration originally requested $1 billion to send up to 4,000 troops to Africa. In briefings this week, McKeon said Pentagon officials estimate $750 million would cover a six-month mission that would include airlifting personnel, medical supplies, protective suits and equipment such as tents to house Ebola victims and isolate people exposed to the virus.
And another comparison, via BBC News:
Ebola challenge ‘biggest since Aids’
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unlike anything since the emergence of HIV/Aids, top US medical official Thomas Frieden has said.
A fast global response could ensure that it did not become “the next Aids,” the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
Dr Frieden described Ebola as one of the biggest crises he had seen in his career. “I would say that in the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been Aids,” he said.
CBC News covers an advocate:
Ebola virus co-discoverer says ‘we have to push through’ on vaccine
- Canada has been Ebola research ‘pioneer’ but could do more on the ground, says Dr. Peter Piot
The co-discoverer of the Ebola virus says researchers must “push through” with the full development of drugs and vaccines even after the last patient in the current outbreak “has survived or died” and attention has faded.
Dr. Peter Piot tells CBC’s Jeff Semple he initially thought the current outbreak would remain in a small town or rural area and come under control after a couple of months. He says he knew he was wrong in June, when three countries were affected and the disease was appearing in capital cities.
“You can contain small Ebola outbreaks by isolating the patients, giving them care, quarantining all the contacts,” he says. “You can do that in a small town or so. But at the scale of a whole country, that’s far more difficult.”
A companion video report from CBC News:
Dr. Peter Piot, Ebola co-discoverer
CBC’s Jeff Semple talks to the microbiologist about the Ebola epidemic.
The New York Times covers action in Europe:
European Leaders Scramble to Upgrade Response to Ebola Crisis
When the Ebola virus was first identified in March as the cause of a series of mysterious deaths in the remote forests of Guinea, Europe moved quickly to battle a disease that has now infected more than 7,000 Africans and already killed around half of those. It mobilized more money and health workers than the United States, China or anyone else for West Africa.
But, proud of its long record as the world’s biggest donor of humanitarian aid, Europe has since suffered a blow to its self-image of can-do generosity. Its own efforts to contain the lethal virus have been overshadowed by President Obama’s announcement last month that he was sending 3,000 troops to West Africa to build hospitals and otherwise help in the fight against Ebola.
While a few left-wingers sneered at the American deployment as yet another example of Washington’s taste for military intervention — and praised Cuba for sending more than 100 doctors to West Africa — many European officials and politicians welcomed the move and wondered why what had been a European-led international effort to contain the virus had clearly not worked.
From the Guardian, following up on the nation’s most prominent fatality:
Quarantined family of Texas Ebola victim left to mourn in isolation
- Vigil for Eric Duncan at Dallas church turns to memorial after news of his death, but family members forced to stay at home
It had been planned as a vigil, but the service quickly turned into a memorial once the news broke that Ebola had killed Eric Duncan, the virus’s first victim in the US.
Before his condition worsened and he died in a Dallas hospital at 7.51am local time on Wednesday, eight days after his diagnosis was confirmed, Duncan’s last words were spoken to a nurse from the bed in his isolation room: a request to see Karsiah, the son he last saw 16 years ago when the boy was three.
That final hope went unfulfilled. A student in San Angelo, 250 miles away, Karsiah was staying in Dallas and preparing to head to Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in the hope of seeing Duncan at about 9am when his mother called him to tell him his father had died.
The sense of disconnection and distance, even from relatives in the same city, was replicated at Wilshere Baptist church on Wednesday evening at a service that was mainly for Duncan’s close friends and family, but necessarily took place without them.
And they have questions, reports the London Telegraph:
Ebola victim in US’s family: why did white patients live while black patient died?
- Dallas hospital denies allegations of racial discrimination in the treatment of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first first to die from the disease on US soil
The Dallas hospital that treated the Ebola patient who died this week tried to fend off accusations that it initially turned him away because he was a poor African immigrant without insurance.
An experimental drug called ZMapp, a cocktail of three antibodies that has been used on American patients infected with Ebola while in West Africa, was not used on Duncan because it was not available, the hospital said.
A serum transfusion used on an Ebola patient airlifted from West Africa to a hospital in Nebraska was not used on Duncan either because his blood type did not match the treatment.
From USA Today, costly containment:
Bill for cleanup of Ebola-tainted apartment: over $100K
Hazardous-cleanup companies get a lot of odd requests, but nothing prepared the crew at CG Environmental for this past week.
A 15-person team spent the weekend decontaminating the Dallas apartment where Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, had stayed since coming Sept. 20 to the United States from Liberia. Duncan was hospitalized Sept. 28 but started showing Ebola symptoms four days earlier; he died Wednesday.
“We were the first in, and we really had no clue what we were getting into,” employee Dan Lee said.
Texas anxiety allayed, via Sky News:
Ebola Scare: Tests Negative For Texas Deputy
- Doctors say a deputy who entered the US ebola victim’s apartment is in good condition after being put in isolation out of caution
A sheriff’s deputy who entered the apartment where the US ebola victim was living does not have the deadly virus, health officials have said.
Michael Monnig remains in good condition a day after he was rushed by ambulance to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas out of an “abundance of caution”.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) confirmed on Thursday that Mr Monnig’s blood samples came back negative for ebola.
Preparations from the Guardian:
US hospitals sending actors with mock Ebola symptoms into emergency rooms
In wake of Dallas patient death, health providers across US are reinforcing and testing infection control procedures
Public hospitals in New York City are so concerned about Ebola, they’ve secretly been sending actors with mock symptoms into emergency rooms to test how well the triage staffs identify and isolate possible cases.
A small Ohio hospital has hung up signs imploring patients to let nurses know immediately if they have traveled recently to west Africa.
And across the US, one of the nation’s largest ambulance companies has put together step-by-step instructions for wrapping the interior of a rig with plastic sheeting.
More of the same across the pond, via the Guardian:
Ebola outbreak simulations to be tested in UK hospitals
- Department of Health confirms weekend real-time response tests in unnamed hospitals in the north and south of England
War game-style simulations to test Britain’s ability to cope with an outbreak of Ebola will be staged this weekend in hospitals in the north and south of England.
Officials at the Department of Health are drawing up details of at least two simulations which will involve people posing as victims of the deadly virus to assess the real-time response of hospitals, the ambulance service and local authorities. The exercise will take place on either Saturday or Sunday and details of which hospitals will be chosen to handle the mock cases are being kept confidential to minimise disruption to the exercise, an official said.
They may include the Royal Free hospital in north London which has an isolation unit and a dedicated team of nurses, doctors and laboratory staff specialising in dealing with infectious diseases. The Royal Liverpool, Royal Hallamshire hospital in Sheffield and the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne also have infectious disease units that are expected to receive cases. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has acknowledged that it was “entirely possible” Ebola could reach Britain.
And from Reuters, a plane old job action:
Airline cleanup crews walk off job in New York over Ebola concerns
About 200 airline cabin cleaners walked off the job at New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Thursday to protest what they say is insufficient protection from exposure to Ebola for workers whose jobs include cleaning up vomit and bathrooms.
Picket lines were set up overnight by non-unionized Air Serv cleaners outside Terminal D at LaGuardia for a one-day strike prompted by fears about the deadly virus, forcing airline crews to clean the planes themselves. Some signs read “Air Serv exposes us to vomit, blood and feces without protection” and “Air Serv puts worker safety at risk.”
The workers, who are trying to join Service Employees International Union, the largest service workers union in the United States, briefly left the strike line to attend an infectious disease training session organized by the union.
The Canadian Press watches the aerial borders:
Ebola screenings to take place at airports in 6 Canadian cities
- Screenings, more staff for Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Ottawa, Calgary
Canada will step up border screening to try to prevent an Ebola importation to this country, federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose says.
“Our government will be taking the additional step of taking targeted temperature screens,” she told the House of Commons on Wednesday, though she offered no detail about what that would mean or whether it would be only at airports or all border crossings.
The Canadian Press requested an interview with an official of the Public Health Agency of Canada to get clarification on Canada’s plans, but one was not granted. However, several hours after Ambrose made her remark in the Commons, the agency issued a press release providing some detail of what increased screening will look like.
The same, but closer to home from the Christian Science Monitor:
Ebola: Are US airport screenings more about controlling fear than disease?
A new poll found that more than half of Americans are worried about the possibility of an Ebola outbreak. On Thursday, cabin cleaners at LaGuardia Airport walked off the job, citing Ebola fears and concerns about not having proper equipment.
New Ebola screening procedures being put in place at US airports may be designed primarily to calm a jittery public, health officials say, given the low risk of an epidemic.
Health officials have emphasized that the risk of Americans’ contracting Ebola is extremely low – more difficult than catching the flu, experts say. The virus is not airborne and is passed on only through contact with the bodily fluids of those showing symptoms of the disease, making the risk of an epidemic breaking out in the US minuscule.
But a new poll found that more than half of Americans are worried about the possibility of an outbreak. And on Thursday, cabin cleaners at LaGuardia Airport in New York walked off the job, citing Ebola fears and concerns about unsanitary conditions on airplanes.
BBC News covers Britain’s efforts:
UK Ebola screening for arrivals from affected countries
The UK is to introduce “enhanced screening” for Ebola for arrivals from affected countries.
Downing Street said passengers arriving at Gatwick, Heathrow and on Eurostar would face questions and potentially a medical assessment.
Earlier ministers had ruled out screening, saying the UK was following World Health Organisation advice.
And from the London Telegraph:
How the UK will prepare Ebola screening
Defence secretary Michael Fallon and Ebola medical experts shed light on the UK’s strategy for keeping the virus out of the country
From The Hill, congressional panic as the Midterm election nears::
Dems call for Ebola flight ban
A growing number of Democrats are pressuring President Obama to ban flights to Ebola-ravaged countries despite repeated warnings from global health leaders that closing borders could accelerate the crisis.
A group of 27 lawmakers, including three Democrats, signed a letter Wednesday urging Obama to ignore health officials and immediately halt flights from the West African countries worst-affected by Ebola.
The lawmakers accused Obama of attempting to “pass the buck” onto organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), which have advised against travel bans. Obama has said he would not ban travel unless the WHO reversed its position.
But as National Journal notes, some legislators are taking even more extreme stances:
These Politicians Want to Close the U.S.-Mexico Border Because of Ebola
Some lawmakers fear that the virus could enter through the country’s southern border
In a WIRC talk radio interview in August, Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., referenced a conversation he had with Rep. Larry Buschon, R-Ind., in which the pair discussed their concerns that migrant children from South America could bring Ebola to the U.S. In a Tuesday debate with North Carolina Senate hopeful Kay Hagan, Rep. Thom Tillis attacked his opponent for her weak stance on undocumented immigrants. Tillis claimed that “we’ve got an Ebola outbreak, we have bad actors that can come across the border; we need to seal the border and secure it.”
Some lawmakers, like Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, have called for a ban on all travel from West African countries, where the Ebola outbreak is concentrated.
The CDC has repeatedly warned that closing off the U.S. borders won’t help. “I wish we could get to zero risk by sealing off the border,” CDC Director Tom Frieden told Fox News earlier this week. “But we can’t.”
From TheLocal.fr, a false alarm:
Suspected Ebola case near Paris a false alarm
UPDATED: A building belonging to French health authorities was cordoned off on the outskirts of Paris on Thursday after a suspected case of Ebola was reported. Around sixty people were effectively quarantined but authorities later confirmed it was a false alarm.
Ditto in Italy from TheLocal.it:
Suspected Ebola victim tests negative for virus
Italy’s health minister Beatrice Lorenzin on Thursday said that a 53-year-old doctor, who is currently being treated in Rome after coming into contact with a colleague infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone in September, has tested negative for the virus.
After the jump, the crisis accelerates in Africa, UN orders food aid for hard-hit countries, a suspected case in another African country, an African country steps up, tracing the course of infection, a continent on the tipping point, Guinea under stress, on to Liberia with American planes arriving, concern over a presidential big to suspend constitutional rights, elections suspended, orphans abandoned, a battle over bodies, and the Fourth Estate marks its fallen, then on to Sierra Leone and Swedish medics promised, the world’s leaders in public health emergencies are on the scene, a DJ wages his own war on the air as teachers closed school turn to the radio to conduct classes, the UN designates its Sierra Leone point man, the diaspora pitches in, and another form of trauma care pledged, Angola calls for vigilance, Another musician cops out, a soccer player heeds his team’s fears, Silicon Valley joins the fray, and good newqs for a Japanese drug maker. . . Continue reading