Category Archives: MSM

EbolaWatch: Marburg, U.S., European fear, Africa

Much ground to cover in the increasingly dramatic unfolding of the Ebola crisis, but we begin with that other hemorrhagic fever outbreak that is causing great concern,. From the Daily Monitor in Kampala, Uganda:

Number of Marburg suspects raise to eight

The Ministry with the support of MSF and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, on Monday trained a total of 103 health workers from Mengo Hospital in Marburg prevention, treatment and control

Eight people who earlier got into contact with the Marburg confirmed case have developed signs of the disease, according to the Ministry of Health.
Samples have also been taken from the eight suspects and are being investigated at the Uganda Virus Research Institute.

The Director General of Health Services Dr. Alex Opio said four of them are from Mpigi, two from Kasese and two from Kampala district.

“Preparations are underway to quarantine the suspects as a preventive measure for the spread of the disease. To date there is only one laboratory confirmed case that has been reported in the country. This is the first case that was reported at Mengo Hospital and has since died,” Dr Opio said in a statement issued on Monday evening by the Ministry of Health.

And on to Ebola, first with a brief video report from the Associated Press:

CDC Notes Some Progress in Ebola Fight

Program notes:

The CDC says there is some progress in the fight against Ebola. Dr. Thomas Frieden says so far no one who had contact with the Dallas patient is sick, and cases recently have ‘plummeted’ in a key region of Liberia

The Japan Times gives an update on America’s patient:

Dallas Ebola patient on ventilator and receiving kidney dialysis

The Ebola patient fighting for his life in a Dallas hospital is on a ventilator and a kidney dialysis machine to help stabilize his health, the hospital said on Tuesday.

Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the deadly virus on U.S. soil, has also been given the experimental medication brincidofovir. A hospital in Nebraska said it is using the same drug to treat an American journalist who was airlifted from Liberia and arrived Monday.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said in a statement that Duncan’s liver function declined over the weekend. It said although it has since improved, “doctors caution that this could vary in coming days.”

A question from the Christian Science Monitor:

Why didn’t Texas Ebola patient receive experimental drug sooner?

Doctors were concerned about the risks the experimental drug posed to the Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan. But a worsening condition appears to have changed the equation.

News that Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient in Dallas, is receiving an experimental antiviral drug is another chapter in a fast-moving geopolitical drama exploring, patient by patient, the frontiers of medicine and ethics.

As the global community scrambles to contain the virus, and as the cases outside Africa grow, questions have been raised about why Mr. Duncan, a Liberian war survivor who came to the United States to marry his son’s mother, hasn’t received the same experimental drug that doctors say may have played a role in the recovery of two American medical workers, Dr. Kent Brantly and aid worker Nancy Writebol.

The medical community, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is scrambling to find a medicine to stave off the disease. Two potential Ebola vaccines are now being tested on humans, but even if they’re deemed successful, it will be months before they’re available.

And from the London Daily Mail, the inevitable hyperbole:

EXCLUSIVE: First picture of Ebola victim’s quarantined ‘wife’ – as DA threatens charge of aggravated assault with a DEADLY WEAPON after he lied to get into America

  • Thomas Eric Duncan could face the charge – which carries a sentence of up to 20 years – if he survives and is charged
  • Dallas DA said it is something they are ‘taking seriously’ after Duncan lied on forms about his exposure to Ebola to get on a plane to America
  • Meanwhile, a gofundme set up for him has only raised $50 in six days
  • Commentors on the page expressed anger that he had been deceitful
  • Jesse Jackson flew into to Dallas on Tuesday to support the family
  • Duncan remains in a critical but stable condition with a slight improvement after being given an experimental drug

While the Los Angeles Times focuses on a more troubling concern:

Some Ebola experts worry virus may spread more easily than assumed

U.S. officials leading the fight against history’s worst outbreak of Ebola have said they know the ways the virus is spread and how to stop it. They say that unless an air traveler from disease-ravaged West Africa has a fever of at least 101.5 degrees or other symptoms, co-passengers are not at risk.

Yet some scientists who have long studied Ebola say such assurances are premature — and they are concerned about what is not known about the strain now on the loose. It is an Ebola outbreak like none seen before, jumping from the bush to urban areas, giving the virus more opportunities to evolve as it passes through multiple human hosts.

Dr. C.J. Peters, who battled a 1989 outbreak of the virus among research monkeys housed in Virginia and who later led the CDC’s most far-reaching study of Ebola’s transmissibility in humans, said he would not rule out the possibility that it spreads through the air in tight quarters.

More from The Hill:

CDC: Airborne Ebola possible but unlikely

The Ebola virus becoming airborne is a possible but unlikely outcome in the current epidemic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden said Tuesday.

The outbreak involves Ebola Zaire, a strain that is passed through bodily fluids, not the air. But some experts have expressed fear about viral mutations due to the unprecedented — and rising — number of Ebola cases.

Frieden sought to allay those fears during a call with reporters.

“The rate of change [with Ebola] is slower than most viruses, and most viruses don’t change how they spread,” he said. Frieden is unofficially spearheading the U.S. response to Ebola.

“That is not to say it’s impossible that it could change [to become airborne],” he continued. “That would be the worst-case scenario. We would know that by looking at … what is happening in Africa. That is why we have scientists from the CDC on the ground tracking that.”

From the New York Times, screening:

U.S. to Require Tougher Ebola Screening at Airports: Senator

U.S. health officials are preparing to require tougher Ebola screening at American airports this week to keep the deadly virus from spreading to this country, Senator Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday.

The new measures may include screening air travelers for fever when they arrive in the United States from the worst-stricken countries in West Africa, on direct or indirect flights, Schumer said in a statement.

He said U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Thomas Frieden told him the agency might adopt some of the recommendations Schumer had made on Ebola screening over the weekend.

And the Associated Press covers one measure already implemented:

Coast Guard sector issues new steps on Ebola

One U.S. Coast Guard sector says it will contact ships that have recently been to Ebola-affected countries to ask whether passengers have symptoms of the virus before they are allowed into port.

The sector, which includes parts of New York and Connecticut, issued a bulletin to the maritime community in Long Island Sound on Monday that describes protocols being put into place due to Ebola.

“We wanted to have those specific steps identified in advance so we’ve prepared the captains of these vessels doing business in our ports for the questions we’re going to ask,” said Capt. Edward J. Cubanski III, the sector commander.

Here is the full CDC briefing, via the Washington Post:

CDC holds news briefing on Ebola patient in Texas

Program note:

The CDC gives members of the media an update on the condition a man in Dallas who was diagnosed with Ebola.

The Associated Press covers belated safeguards:

US health providers expand their Ebola precautions

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 U.S., 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.

There hasn’t been a single confirmed case of an Ebola infection happening on U.S. soil; the case confirmed in Dallas involves a man who, like several health care workers treated in the U.S., contracted the virus in Liberia. But health care providers are worried enough to take a wide variety of precautions.

And then there’s this from Reuters:

Male Ebola survivors told: Use a condom

Sex could keep the Ebola epidemic alive even after the World Health Organization (WHO) declares an area free of the disease, one of the discoverers of the deadly virus said on Tuesday.

The WHO is hoping to announce later this week that Nigeria and Senegal are free of Ebola after 42 days with no infections — the standard period for declaring an outbreak over, twice the maximum 21-day incubation period of the virus.

However, it appears the disease can last much longer in semen. “In a convalescent male, the virus can persist in semen for at least 70 days; one study suggests persistence for more than 90 days,” the WHO said in an information note on Monday.

“Certainly, the advice has to be for survivors to use a condom, to not have unprotected sex, for 90 days,” said Peter Piot, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a discoverer of Ebola in 1976.

On to Spain, and Europe’s first home grown patient, via Reuters:

Four hospitalized in Spain after first Ebola transmission outside Africa

Four people have been hospitalized in Spain to try to stem the spread of Ebola after a Spanish nurse became the first person in the world known to have contracted the virus outside of Africa, health authorities said on Tuesday.

The nurse, who tested positive for the virus on Monday, her husband, who is showing no symptoms of the disease, and two other people are being closely monitored in hospital, health officials told a news conference in Madrid.

One of those hospitalized is a health worker who has diarrhea but no fever. The other is a Spaniard who traveled from Nigeria, said Rafael Perez-Santamaria, head of the Carlos III Hospital where the infected nurse treated two Spanish missionaries who contracted the disease in Africa.

More from El País:

Nurse’s assistant came into contact with 21 people at Alcorcón Hospital

  • Staff including doctors, nurses and ambulance crew will be monitored for symptoms

A day after news broke that a Spanish nursing assistant had become the first person in Europe to contract the ebola virus, health authorities were working to close the net around people with whom the 40-year-old woman could have come into contact.

The nurse’s assistant, who was part of the health team who looked after two Spanish missionaries with ebola who had been brought back from Africa for treatment in Madrid, was initially treated in Alcorcón Hospital in the southwestern suburb of the same name. The hospital has so far identified 21 members of staff with whom the patient came into contact, including an ambulance crew and doctors and nurses, according to health sources contacted by EL PAÍS.

All of them have been contacted by the health center and told they will have to be monitored for symptoms of the disease. They will have their temperature checked twice a day, but can continue with their normal day-to-day lives, given that the virus is not contagious until symptoms, which include fever, appear.

And a video report from Deutsche Welle:

Madrid hospital staff want answers

Program notes:

Medical staff at the Madrid hospital where a nurse contracted ebola, are angry. They want to know how the woman could have become infected, despite safety measures. The nurse had treated two priests who caught the virus in West Africa.

Questions from the Los Angeles Times:

Questions raised about safety measures used for Ebola cases in Spain

Questions were raised Tuesday about the quality of the protective equipment and training received by Spanish medical personnel caring for Ebola patients as three more people were placed in quarantine for possible exposure to the virus.

Spain’s Health Ministry announced Monday that a nursing assistant at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid had tested positive for the virus, the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside Africa in the current epidemic.

Healthcare workers have been among those hardest hit in the outbreak, which has killed more than 3,400 of the nearly 7,500 suspected and confirmed Ebola patients in West Africa.  As of Oct. 1, 382 healthcare workers were reported to have developed Ebola, including 216 people who died of the disease.

The case in Spain was a reminder that medical personnel can be at risk in Western hospitals, as well as at under-resourced and overwhelmed African facilities. The Ebola virus is spread through contact with the bodily fluids of symptomatic patients.

The patient had helped care for Manuel Garcia Viejo, a 69-year-old missionary in Sierra Leone who died of Ebola on Sept. 25 after being evacuated to Spain for treatment. She entered the priest’s room twice, once to help care for him and once to collect his belongings after he died, hospital officials said.

And the Guardian covers the seemingly inevitable:

Ebola in Europe is unavoidable, says WHO as Spain rushes to contain case

  • WHO’s European director says continent remains at low risk and one of the best prepared places to respond to the infection

The World Health Organisation has said it is ready to provide support for Spain as authorities in the country scrambled to contain the first case of Ebola infection within Europe.

The WHO’s European director, Zsuzsanna Jakab, said it was “quite unavoidable … that such incidents will happen in the future because of the extensive travel from Europe to the affected countries and the other way around”.

She added: “The most important thing in our view is that Europe is still at low risk, and that the western part of the European region particularly is the best prepared in the world to respond to viral haemorrhagic fevers including Ebola.”

But the New York Times covers another angle:

Spain Is Pressed for Answers After a Nurse Is Infected With Ebola

Spain’s government came under heavy criticism Tuesday as it dealt with the repercussions of Western Europe’s first Ebola case, quarantining three more people and monitoring dozens who had come into contact with an infected nurse.

Health care workers, who have been sparring with the government over cutbacks, said they had not received proper training or equipment to handle an Ebola case. The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, asked for an explanation, according to news reports. And some opposition politicians called for the health minister, Ana Mato, to resign.

At a news conference in Madrid, officials insisted that they had taken all appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the virus. But in a sign of the government’s unease with the possible political consequences, a lower-ranking official, María Mercedes Vinuesa, director of public health, went before Parliament on Tuesday to answer questions, not Ms. Mato.

While the Guardian suggests a partial explanation:

Spanish nurse Ebola infection blamed on substandard gear and protocol lapse

  • Staff at Madrid’s Carlos III hospital say protective suits do not meet WHO standards as second nurse undergoes tests for virus

Staff at the hospital where she worked told El País that the protective suits they were given did not meet World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, which specify that suits must be impermeable and include breathing apparatus. Staff also pointed to latex gloves secured with adhesive tape as an example of how the suits were not impermeable and noted that they did not have their own breathing equipment.

The nurse was part of a team attending to missionary Manuel García Viejo, 69, who died four days after being brought to Carlos III hospital on 20 September. The same team, including the nurse, also treated missionary Miguel Pajares, 75, who was repatriated from Liberia in August and died five days later.

Staff at the hospital said waste from the rooms of both patients was carried out in the same elevator used by all personnel and, in the case of the second patient, the hospital was not evacuated.

And the Associated Press covers collateral canine damage:

Ebola escapes Europe’s defenses; pet dog must die

Health officials scrambled Tuesday to figure out how West Africa’s Ebola outbreak got past Europe’s defenses, quarantining four people at a Madrid hospital where a Spanish nursing assistant became infected. Determined to contain the spread of the deadly virus, they even announced plans to euthanize the woman’s pet dog.

The nursing assistant in Madrid was part of a special team caring for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola last month after being evacuated from Sierra Leone. The nursing assistant wore a hazmat suit both times she entered his room, officials said, and no records point to any accidental exposure to the virus, which spreads through direct contact with the bodily fluids of a sickened person.

The woman, who had been on vacation in the Madrid area after treating the priest, was diagnosed with Ebola on Monday after coming down with a fever, and was said to be stable Tuesday. Her husband also was hospitalized as a precaution.

Madrid’s regional government even got a court order to euthanize and incinerate their pet, “Excalibur,” against the couple’s objections. The government said available scientific knowledge suggests a risk that the mixed-breed dog could transmit the virus to humans, and promised to use “biosecurity” measures to prevent any such transmission.

On to an anxious Old Blighty, first with BBC News:

No Ebola screening for arrivals to UK – Public Health England

There are no plans to introduce Ebola screening for those arriving in the UK, Public Health England (PHE) has said.

President Barack Obama said on Monday that the US planned to screen incoming air passengers for the virus.

But PHE said this was not recommended by the World Health Organization and would mean screening “huge numbers of low-risk people”.

A contrarian view from the Independent:

Ebola outbreak: Britain needs to start screening for the virus, says Home Office minister

A Home Office minister has said Britain should consider introducing screening for Ebola carriers arriving at airports, after a Spanish nurse became the first person to have caught the virus in Europe.

Public Health England said it had no plans to bring in screening for the disease, which has already claimed 3,400 lives in West Africa. Rates of infection are set to increase dramatically.

The Home Office also insisted there would be no change of policy. But Norman Baker, a Liberal Democrat minister in the department, described Ebola’s arrival in Europe as a “very concerning development” and said the case for increasing screening in airports had to be examined. He told The Independent: “We need to consider whether existing controls are adequate.”

And the London Telegraph covers preparations:

Ebola: NHS hospitals put on standby

  • Hospitals on standby as health officials admit ‘real risk’ Ebola could reach British shores and Prime Minister convenes emergency Cobra committee to discuss the threat

Major NHS hospitals across the country have been put on standby, as health officials warn of a “real risk” that the deadly Ebola virus could spread to Britain.

The Prime Minister will convene a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee on Wednesday morning to discuss the growing threat to the UK from the spread of Ebola.

Four major NHS hospitals in England have now been identified as units to take patients with Ebola if the need arises.

Next, on to Norway and other European evacuated via

Ebola virus victim arrives in Norway by special jet

The Norwegian woman, diagnosed with Ebola while working for a charity organization in Sierra Leone, will arrive in Oslo for treatment on Tuesday.

The woman, who was working for Médecins Sans Frontières, fell ill at the weekend and was placed in isolation on Sunday. On Monday she was confirmed as having contracted Ebola and is scheduled to be flown into the country on a specially constructed private jet plane. The craft, normally used for business flights, is equipped to provide medical care for the patient and ensure the airborne virus is not spread beyond the infected invidual.

Secretary general for Médecins Sans Frontières, Anne Cecilie Kaltenborn, said at a press conference in Sierra Leone on Monday: “We regrettably confirm that one of our Norwegian field workers tested positively for Ebola. The person was on a mission in Sierra Leone, where Médecins Sans Frontières has 1,200 employees. 86 of those are international aid workers.”, with a choice certain to star ethical debate:

Norway to get world’s last dose of Ebola cure

The Norwegian woman, infected by the Ebola in Sierra Leone and currently receiving treatment in Oslo, will get the last dose of the virus treatment medicine ZMapp available in the world.

The news was released by the Norwegian Medicines Agency on Tuesday, according to NTB. Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said to Dagens Medisin: “It looks like we could get the last available dose of ZMapp to Norway. The medicine is now in Canada.”

According to the professional medic’s magazine, the agency has given Oslo University hospital the authorisation to import Ebola medicines not approved of in Norway.

On to Japan and confidence from the Japan Times:

Japan could handle Ebola outbreak, health official says

The news that a nurse in Spain has become the first person to contract Ebola outside the outbreak zone in West Africa has raised concerns that it might happen in Japan.

However, the nation has a system in place that could handle potential patients safely, a senior official at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases said Tuesday.

Although Japan has not yet had to deal with an actual case of infection and therefore lacks Ebola-specific procedures to diagnose and treat it, Masayuki Saijo, head of one of the institute’s virology departments, said his team has handled suspected cases that turned out to be negative.

While the Wall Street Journal covers the Japanese corporate upside:

Fujifilm Drug Gets More Notice as Possible Ebola Treatment

An anti-influenza drug from Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp. has gathered international attention as a potential treatment for Ebola virus, helping send the company’s shares to a six-year high on Tuesday.

The Japanese camera and imaging company said Monday the governments of France and the West African nation of Guinea were considering trials of the drug, called favipiravir, beginning in November.

The company said it has also been contacted by several other nations and international organizations about providing the drug and will respond to the requests in coordination with the Japanese government.

After the jump, the latest from Africa, including a shortage of sanitation and engineering help in the Ebola fight, a plea for help, the Pentagon sets a price on its African Ebola effort and announces that U.S. soldiers will — contrary to earlier denials — be in immediate contact with Ebola patients [plus a video of the full Pentagon briefing], fears that Ebola angst will trump even deadlier healthcare woes, British Airways blasted for hampering aid flights, on to Sierra Leone and aid shipment Bureaucratic gridlock, a presidential plea for help from Ebola survivors, and epidemic-devastated villages, then on to Liberia and arriving Cuban medical teams, a strike threatened, and a press crackdown underway, and lastly, on to Nigeria and Ebola-spawned school closures ended. . . Continue reading

EbolaWatch: Marburg, U.S., Spain, Africa, more

While our focus is Ebola and its impacts, we begin with two items about an equally virulent virus making its deadly appearance in Uganda.

First, from the Daily Monitor in Kampala, Uganda:

Marburg: Five more suspects reported, 97 being monitored

The Ministry of Health yesterday sent five more samples of the suspected Marburg fever to the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) for more tests after they presented signs of the disease.

On Sunday, the ministry confirmed a health worker had succumbed to the disease following laboratory tests done on September 30.

The ministry is also awaiting results of a sample from the deceased’s brother, who has so far been listed as having developed signs of the deadly disease. He has since been quarantined and isolated for further monitoring.

According to the World Health Organisation country representative, Dr Alemu Wondimagegnehu, the five samples were drawn from people who were in contact with the deceased while at Mpingi Health Centre IV.

And a video report using earlier numbers via CCTV Africa:

Marbug in Uganda: One Confirmed Dead, 3 Suspected Cases Tested

Program notes:

Uganda has confirmed it is monitoring three people suspected of having contracted the Marburg virus, a day after the country’s Health ministry announced one person had died of the disease. The three men have all been isolated until lab results are complete. The Marburg virus is from the same family as Ebola. CCTV’S Isabel Nakirya reports.

Next up, the first transmission of the disease outside Africa from the Washington Post:

Spanish health-care worker contracts Ebola in first transmission case outside of Africa

In the first known case of Ebola transmission outside of Africa, a nurse in Spain has contracted the deadly virus after caring for a sick priest who had been flown back from West Africa for treatment, Spanish health minister Ana Mato said at a news conference Monday.

Two tests confirmed the diagnosis of the woman, Mato said. She was part of a medical team treating Manuel Garcia Viejo, the priest who died Sept. 25 of Ebola, according to the BBC.

The infected health worker’s only symptom so far is a fever and her condition remains stable, Mato said.  Authorities are trying to determine how exactly she contracted Ebola and whether the team caring for the priest observed proper medical protocols, Mato added.

A broader perspective from the Los Angeles Times:

World continues to cope with Ebola in Spain, Texas and Nebraska

Officials continued to reassure people that Ebola, which has already killed more than 3,400 people in West Africa, was containable in the West because of the superior medical system. But calls were growing for added screening as a precaution.

At a televised news conference to announce his new 17-member task force to deal with infectious diseases, Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on federal officials to implement screening procedures at all U.S. points of entry. Screeners would take travelers’ temperature and conduct other assessments to determine their overall health.

Duncan did not have a fever when he left Liberia, but developed symptoms days after arriving in Dallas. He first sought medical care Sept. 25 but was sent home with antibiotics. When his condition worsened three days later, he was rushed back to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he has remained.

From the Guardian, more concerns about the first-ever infection outside Africa:

Spanish Ebola case requires rapid response to allay western fears

  • It is important to ascertain exactly how Madrid nurse was infected to prevent inaccurate scare stories circulating on internet

The news that a nurse in a Spanish hospital has been infected with the Ebola virus by a patient she was helping to treat will greatly dismay those trying to reassure people in Europe and the US that they are safe from the disease.

This should not happen. In countries with sophisticated healthcare systems, such as Spain and the US, it ought to be almost impossible for a nurse to become infected once the hospital is aware that it has an Ebola patient.

In Dallas, ambulance workers were put at risk and are now effectively in quarantine because of ignorance: the hospital did not know that Thomas Duncan might be infected with the virus when they responded to the call to transport a sick man.

But in Spain there does not seem to be that excuse. The priest Manuel Garcia Viejo, whom the nurse was helping to treat at Madrid’s Carlos III hospital, had been repatriated from Liberia precisely because he had Ebola.

From the Associated Press, confidence:

Mayor: New York City could handle Ebola outbreak

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he’s “very confident” the city’s hospital system could handle an Ebola outbreak.

De Blasio touts the public health system in the nation’s biggest city, the ability of its first responders and its ties to the leadership of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

De Blasio said Monday his city has a “much more aggressive and coherent game plan” than other U.S. cities to fight a potential Ebola case. He says anyone who suspects he or she has Ebola should call 911 or rush to the nearest emergency room.

More from the New York Times:

New York City Steps Up Preparations to Be Ready for Ebola Cases

Taking of a travel history by 911 dispatchers is one of a series of measures the city has been using in recent months to prepare for the arrival of the virus, efforts that have been stepped up since last week, when a man traveling from Liberia was told he had the disease in Dallas.

New York officials are also reaching out to the city’s West Africans, encouraging anyone who may be sick and who has been exposed to Ebola in recent weeks to be checked out at a hospital.

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters on Sunday that fear of the virus was not a bad thing.

“For health care workers, we want them to be scared,” Dr. Frieden said. That fear, he said, ensures a healthy respect for the virus that can be channeled into being “incredibly meticulous” about infection control.

The Christian Science Monitor takes a broader perspective:

States, cities examine best practices for stopping spread of Ebola in US

Texas is setting up an infectious disease task force. 911 operators in New York are asking callers if they’ve traveled recently to Africa. And the federal government is considering extra screening of airline passengers.

According to current protocols, health officials monitor anyone who may have been exposed to the virus through a process called “contact tracing.” They try to identify all persons known to have had contact with anyone diagnosed with Ebola and then monitor those persons for 21 days. In addition to Duncan, the lone US diagnosis to date, five Americans have been flown home for treatment.

Anyone who develops Ebola-like symptoms is then isolated and tested for the virus. If positive, that person would be isolated and treated, and the contact tracing process would begin again.

But more and more, public officials are turning their attention to the nation’s ports of entry. On Sunday, New York Sen. Charles Schumer (D) called for the Transportation Security Administration to screen passengers from Ebola-afflicted countries when entering the US and to have passengers fill out health surveys before being admitted into the country.

From Sky News, look to the skies:

Obama Signals New Ebola Passenger Screening

The White House is not considering a travel ban for West Africa, but Mr Obama said extra airport measures are in the works.

Barack Obama has said his administration is working on additional protocols for screening airplane passengers to identify people who might have ebola.

The President made the announcement after meeting health and security officials who are involved in attempting to prevent an outbreak of the disease in the US.

He told reporters the chance of an outbreak in the US was “extraordinarily low”, but that there was not a large margin for error.

More concerns aloft from the Los Angeles Times:

Ebola scare: Flight attendants told to be careful with bodily fluids

As health officials continue to monitor passengers who flew on two planes with an Ebola-infected flier, a flight attendants union has urged its members to be extra cautious handling bodily fluids.

The Assn. of Flight Attendants warned its 60,000 members on 19 airlines to be on the lookout for passengers exhibiting symptoms of Ebola, which has killed thousands in West Africa.

“Persons infected with the Ebola virus may exhibit symptoms such as a high fever, severe headache, nausea and/or abdominal pain,” the notice on the union’s Web page says. “If you observe these symptoms, report any concerns of a potentially infectious passenger to the captain and follow the reporting procedures as outlined by your airline.”

“Additionally, all bodily fluids should be treated as if they are known to be contagious.”

From the Washington Post, reaping fearful political capital:

Leading Republicans press for limits on travel to prevent spread of Ebola

Leading Republicans are racing to propose strict new limits on air travel to safeguard Americans against Ebola, the deadly virus that has reached the United States and left a Liberian man battling for his life in a Dallas hospital.

The latest to adopt that public position is Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), a potential 2016 presidential candidate who is back in the national spotlight after doctors made the first Ebola diagnosis in the United States in his home state.

Unveiling a new state task force to combat infectious diseases on Monday, Perry called for federal officials to implement “enhanced screening procedures” at “all points of entry” to the United States and create “fully staffed quarantine stations” wherever people are entering the country.

From BuzzFeed, a polint and appointees:

White House Says Many Agencies Are Taking The Lead On Ebola

The White House says Lisa Monaco is the point person, but other departments are leading parts of the epidemic response.

There are a number different departments and agencies overseeing the U.S. Ebola response, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

Earnest described White House official Lisa Monaco as leading the “interagency response” to the epidemic.

From Government Executive, a serious question:

The Ebola Plan Was in Place, So Why Did It Falter in Dallas?

A patient displaying symptoms of Ebola was at large among the American public for several days last week, and it happened because of a hospital miscommunication.

This wasn’t supposed to happen, and it didn’t have to. In preparation for a possible case in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been educating the health community for months on the virus and offering guidelines to hospitals for detecting and treating potential Ebola patients.

CDC called for medical facilities to be alert for Ebola-like symptoms, including high fever, severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. They were also supposed to inquire about possible exposure, through contact with a suspected victim or travel to the West African countries suffering from the Ebola epidemic. And if they found a patient who had a fever within 21 days of high-risk exposure, they were supposed to test the individual for the virus.

But CDC’s plans are only as effective as the individual hospitals and doctors tasked with carrying them out. And a mix-up in Dallas last week is a red flag for potential future cases.

Al Jazeera America covers an arrival:

5th American with Ebola arrives in Nebraska

  • American journalist and Al Jazeera contributor Ashoka Mukpo, who contracted Ebola in Liberia, lands in Omaha

A plane carrying an American journalist who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia landed Monday in Nebraska, where he will undergo treatment for the deadly disease.

The specially equipped plane carrying Ashoka Mukpo landed at Eppley Airfield in Omaha at around 7:30 a.m. on Monday, where an ambulance was waiting to take him to the Nebraska Medical Center’s specialized isolation unit.

Mukpo was working in Liberia as a freelance cameraman for NBC News when he became ill last week. Mukpo has written for Al Jazeera on the epidemic.

He is the fifth American to return to the United States for treatment since the start of the latest Ebola outbreak, which the World Health Organization estimates has killed more than 3,400 people. Meanwhile, a Liberian man with Ebola who started showing symptoms while visiting the U.S. is in critical condition at a Dallas hospital.

While the London Daily Mail goes for the fear:

‘We thought he was crazy and begged him not to go back’: Parents of NBC reporter with Ebola reveal how he refused to listen to pleas to stay in the U.S. as they meet his air ambulance in Nebraska

  • Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance cameraman from Rhode Island, is being treated at Nebraska Medical Center and is in ‘good spirits’ but tired
  • He was flown in on a medical flight from Liberia on Monday
  • The 33-year-old returned to Liberia on September 4 and had been working with NBC when he fell ill last week
  • He may have contracted the virus while spray-washing a car that had carried someone who later died of Ebola
  • His father, Dr Mitchell Levy, mother British aristocrat Lady Diana Judith Mukpo and British girlfriend Helen, traveled to Nebraska
  • Dr Levy said: ‘I’m proud of him but I told him he was crazy’

CBC News covers epidemiology in Dallas:

Ebola update: Dallas officials say ‘crucial’ week’ for containment

  • Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan in critical condition

Officials in Dallas gave an update today on their investigation and containment processes connected with the first Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S., calling it a “crucial week” for people who have had direct contact with the patient.

Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan remains in critical condition. A spokeswoman for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas said on Monday that Duncan is receiving an experimental drug for the disease. The drug, called brincidofovir, was developed by Chimerix Inc.

Dr. David Lakey, the Texas health commissioner, was asked whether Duncan would have benefited from earlier treatment with the drug. “I just can’t answer whether or not that would have helped him. We just don’t know with these experimental drugs, how well they work.”

Off to Europe and another evacuated Northerner from

Ebola virus victim to be treated in Norway

A Norwegian woman, diagnosed with the Ebola virus while working for a charity organisation out in Sierra Leone, will be treated in Oslo, it was confirmed on Monday.

The woman, who was working for Médecins Sans Frontières, fell ill at the weekend and was placed in isolation on Sunday. On Monday she was confirmed as having contracted Ebola.

Secretary general for Médecins Sans Frontières, Anne Cecilie Kaltenborn, said at a press conference in Sierra Leone on Monday: “We regrettably confirm that one of our Norwegian field workers tested positively for Ebola. The person was on a mission in Sierra Leone, where Médecins Sans Frontières has 1,200 employees. 86 of those are international aid workers.” again, with altruistic concern:

‘World needs aid workers taking Ebola risk’: Høie

Norway’s Minister for Health went on record on Monday to state those who take part in international aid work must run the risk of contracting diseases like Ebola if global society is to survive.

Bent Høie of the Conservative party hopes that Norwegian medical staff do not stop going to Ebola infected areas, even though a Norwegian aid worker was diagnosed with the disease at the weekend in West Africa.
Høie said to NTB: “Global society needs aid workers taking an Ebola risk.”

On Sunday, a Norwegian woman working for Médecins Sans Frontières in Sierra Leone was diagnosed with Ebola. On Monday she was flown to Oslo for treatment.

Høie says: “We are very thankful that Norwegian health workers are taking on the huge task of helping in these areas, and with the risk involved.”

From, an Austrian Ebola alarm:

Salzburg activates Ebola emergency plan

A young Liberian refugee whose entire family died apparently from Ebola, then escaped in an epic voyage to Austria, has been isolated in the Salzburg Regional Hospital for observation.

Late in the afternoon on Monday, the Salzburg Regional Hospital enabled the existing contingency plan for a suspected case of Ebola for the first time.

A young refugee from Liberia had been housed in Flachgau, and since Liberia is a country affected by Ebola, he was admitted for evaluation in the provincial hospital, according to regional health officer Christian Stöckl (ÖVP).

“It is absolutely too early to speak of a suspected case.  The patient must first be thoroughly examined for possible symptoms. Nevertheless, the emergency plan has been activated as a precaution. The case is being dealt with as a suspected case.”

And from the Japan Times, a corporate silver lining in a cloud of suffering:

Fujifilm share jumps as Ebola patient given drug leaves hospital

Fujifilm Holdings Corp. shares rose to their highest level in more than six years in Tokyo trading Monday after a French Ebola patient, who was given its Avigan drug with another experimental treatment, was sent home from the hospital.

The company’s shares rose 2.8 percent to close at ¥3,499.5, the highest level since July 2008. Fujifilm said last month that Avigan, its influenza drug, was being given to an Ebola patient at a French hospital along with another unidentified medicine.

With no approved Ebola therapies, doctors and international agencies have been forced to test experimental treatments to fight the deadly virus that has killed thousands in West Africa.

From the Associated Press, more belated beseeching:

Obama calls for greater foreign help against Ebola

President Barack Obama says some foreign countries are not doing enough to confront the Ebola crisis in West Africa. He says the international community has not been as aggressive as it needs to be to help contain what he’s calling a top national security issue for the United States.

Obama says he intends to put pressure on other foreign heads of state to “make sure that they are doing everything that they can to join us in this effort.”

He said the chances for an Ebola outbreak in the United States are low, but he says his administration is working on additional screening protocols for international airline passengers both in the U.S. and overseas.

From United Press International, an American false alarm:

Initial Ebola tests for South Florida teen are negative

South Florida is breathing a little easier Monday, after a teen visiting from West Africa tests negative for the Ebola virus.

Monday brought a sigh of relief to South Florida after the area went on high alert Sunday when a teen was admitted Sunday to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami Beach, Fla., showing symptoms of the Ebola virus.

The teen was visiting Miami Beach from West Africa.

On Monday, the mayor of Miami Beach, Philip Levine reported the initial test done by the Department of Health came back negative for the virus.

And from the Guardian, good news form Mecca:

Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca epidemic-free, says Saudi Arabia

  • Health chief hired thousands of health workers to protect pilgrims from Ebola and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus

The annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which drew 2 million Muslims from around the world, has been epidemic-free, Saudi Arabia’s acting health minister has said.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, engaged thousands of health workers to make sure pilgrims were protected from two deadly viruses, Ebola and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (Mers-CoV).

As pilgrims performed the final rituals of the hajj and began returning home, Adel Fakieh said: “I am pleased to announce the hajj was free of all epidemic diseases.”

After the jump, the latest from Africa, including concerns over economic impacts, an offer of help from the Fourth Estate, on to Sierra Leone and an overtaxed healthcare system, aid stalled on the docks, and workers at wit’s end, then on to Liberia, with the latest Ebola numbers, labs up and running, Healthcare workers ponder a walkout, hidden deaths, looters hit food aid for patients, flagrant violations of body handling, warnings over government tightening of media control, one orphan’s story of a double tragedy, and a defense of sending an infected man to America, plus an American Nigerian omission. . . Continue reading

The radicalization of Phil Donahue

From The Real News Network, a tree-part interview with a television talk show pioneer about his decades of experience talking with seminal figures in the American political and cultural scene.

Unlike most talk show hosts, Donahue didn’t demean guests who didn’t share his own causes and beliefs.

Beneath the pleasantly liberal facade, however, Donahue’s openness to experience was leading him through a progressive radicalization, a process he discusses in conversation with Paul Jay as part of TRNN’s ongoing Realty Asserts Itself series.

Part 1: The Radicalization of Phil Donahue – Reality Asserts Itself

From the transcript:

JAY: So here’s a little bit of introduction. Phil Donahue’s an Emmy Award-winning media personality. He’s best known as the creator and host of the Donahue Show, which ran for 29 years on cable TV and I think was the longest-running talk show on TV, or still is. Still is? That’s a funny way to phrase it. It is not on the air anymore, but it’s still the longest running. Nobody has caught up to you yet, I believe.

DONAHUE: To my knowledge. I’m not sure.

JAY: So Wikipedia says, anyway. He also was the host of Donahue, which ran from July 2002 to March 2003, before msnbc canceled it because of his vocal opposition to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. This was despite it being the most highly rated show at the time on msnbc network. He’s also the codirector of Body of War, a documentary film about the struggles of an Iraq War veteran and antiwar activist, Tomas Young.

So, for those of you at home that don’t know, although I think most of you that watch do know, we usually start with a personal segment, and that’s what we’re going to do with Mr. Donahue, kind of more about what helped shape his view of the world. And then we’ll talk about his views on more recent events.

So you’re born in 1935 in Cleveland.


JAY: You sort of come of age, consciousness of sorts, about nine, ten years old. I think that’s about at the end of one war and the beginning of another. It’s not very long before the Cold War begins, with McCarthyism and House Un-American Activities Committee.


JAY: What was the politics of your household like?

DONAHUE: We weren’t desperately political. My parents certainly supported Roosevelt, although I recall my mother leaned Stevenson.

But I was totally American. I thought we were the best in all things. I thought I was blessed. I lived in a country that stopped Hitler’s advance in Russia. I didn’t really understand the help we had from Russian soldiers, but it was America who defeated Hitler and it was America who defeated the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. I wore a bill that said “Remember Pearl Harbor”. My uncle was in the Battle of the Bulge. And I was a member of the one true church. I was Catholic. I was not only Catholic; I was Irish Catholic. So I’m born?by accident, at birth I’m born in the greatest nation on earth that wins everything, all its wars, is all good in all things?the Marshall Plan, Lend-Lease. And I’m a member of the one true church. Holy cow.

JAY: So this is deeply part of your identity.

Part II: Corporate Media is Destroying Democracy

From the transcript:

JAY: Dayton. I’m sorry. You were born in Cleveland, but the show’s in Dayton. Sorry.

When you got picked up later, in the ‘80s, by the network, they knew the kind of show you were doing.


JAY: They knew the kind of guests you had on.

DONAHUE: Well, yeah. But we had numbers.

JAY: You had numbers.

DONAHUE: Yes. And by then, certainly, everybody was scratching their head and saying, maybe the Vietnam War was not a good idea. So it took a lot less courage.

JAY: Okay. But in 2003, you got numbers. You’re doing a show on msnbc. You’re the highest-rated show on msnbc. And in spite of having numbers, you get canceled because of the kind of guests you have, and people understand from the way you’re talking and framing questions that you’re opposed to this Iraq War. Something changes.

DONAHUE: Well, first of all, it’s less than a year after the Towers. In October 2002, both houses of Congress passed the Iraq War Resolution?a fascinating bit of material that is included in my documentary, by the way, titled Body of War, available on Netflix (thank you). Everybody, it seemed, wanted to bomb somebody.

And if you recall that I worked for msnbc at that time, the cable channel, msnbc was owned by General Electric. General Electric is one of the five largest defense contractors in the nation. General Electric’s biggest customers: the president and Donald Rumsfeld. And they got this has-been, gray-haired talkshow host on their own station criticizing all of these major players. And it was an interesting study in corporate media. Corporate media does not want to rock the boat. Corporate media is the boat. That’s what makes The Real News Network important.

You know, you can’t. When I was a reporter — if I could just take a second — when I was a reporter in Adrian, Michigan, I worked for a radio station. I was the news director, ‘cause I was the only person in the news department. And I was a reporter. I didn’t take a test. I didn’t pee in a bottle. I just said, I’m a reporter. And I was. I had a Norelco tape recorder with vacuum tubes in it and a microphone that said WABJ on it. And a very small radio, the signal went across the street. But I covered my first murder there. I covered the city hall. I played on the police softball team to cultivate my sources. You know?

And I couldn’t get over how much power I had. I could stop the mayoral boom. I was, like, 21, I must’ve looked 12, and I couldn’t you know, you saw those letters. And I began to appreciate how important journalism was, how powerful it was, how important it was. This was my nirvana. . .It made me understand that this was a very noble calling.

And the reason I was able to be a reporter without all these screenings is that because if that’s the case, then you have a lot of people reporting the news. That means that if you have a whole bunch of people, somewhere in the collective middle of this large crowd will be found the truth.

The problem today is that that middle is today occupied by five international, multinational corporations much more interested in the price of their stock than they are in making Donald Rumsfeld angry. And that is the dilemma of corporate media. And it is ruining our democracy.

And there’s a group out there. They call themselves media reform. And that is their banner. And they’ve all got their cameras and their [incompr.] They’re going to where elite media cover elite power. That’s why you never see Dennis Kucinich on Meet the Press, or Amy Goodman or Paul Jay, or anybody who’s likely to wind up in this venue.

JAY: Go back and tell the story of what happened at msnbc.

DONAHUE: Well, I was criticizing the invasion. I wanted to know why we don’t know if there’s weapons of mass [destruction there (?)]. And suddenly my executive producer would go to a meeting every morning, and then suddenly the rules: they wanted me to do more celebrities; they wanted no part of?they had to concede that I had to have some of these protesters on, but they sent the rule down I had to have two conservatives on?

JAY: Pro-war.

DONAHUE: Yeah, for every one liberal. I was considered two liberals. This is a study in how terrified they were.

Part III: Whistle Blowers, Dissenters, and Progressives are the Patriots

From the transcript:

DONAHUE: Well, I came to the realization that America has become, we are a nation of law unless we’re scared. And we’re scared. Nobody likes us. I think we’ve got our presidents–I don’t know how long it’s going to take before our president is going to have to visit a church picnic in a Bradley armored vehicle. You know, America, the ones who boast most about America are the ones turning their back on the jewel of America, which is the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. The framers were right: don’t let one man have the power to declare war. And, as you know, we haven’t done that since–. And if I’m scared, you can listen in on my phone; I’ve got nothing to hide. How many times have you heard that? Which is probably what they said in Nazi Germany, too, in advance of the rise of the Third Reich.

There is a failure to appreciate the whole purpose of the First Amendment. You know, if you can’t speak, if you can’t dissent, then stop sending our young men and women to war to protect these fabulous virtues of the American experience, which is to get a neo-Mussolini, and he’ll tell us what’s good for us, and people will make–old men will tell us what’s good for us behind closed doors. It’s amazing what you can do if you scare the people.

And in many ways the biggest defense against this kind of harvesting of power that the political elite take unto themselves is the whistleblower. But it does no good to blow the whistle if the people can’t hear it. And the only way that people are going to be able to hear it is if we have journalists brave enough to take notes, listen to these brave people, who risk, often, their careers, journalists who are respected for the work that they do and not besieged by a frightened administration who perceive this as somehow undermining their own power to protect us. Give–the Scripps Howard motto when I was a kid–the Cleveland Press Building in downtown Cleveland, big marble building, across the top was etched in stone, “Give light and the people will find their own way.” You remember? The lighthouse that would sweep around was there logo. That’s largely been lost, or the importance of it has been lost.

And I think that’s why America enters the 21st century with a lot on its mind. We are kidding ourselves. You know, the brave troops, all the wonderful troops, all those troops are just so–we can’t say enough about the–the troops come home and the VA doesn’t call them back. Pretense is palpable. We think if we say it, it’s true: we’re exceptional, we’re exceptional, exceptionalism. Well, I’m saying, easy, big fella. If we are exceptional–and I think certainly our Constitution is exceptional. It’s fabulous. But it’d be better if someone from another country said that about us. We’re beginning to look a little bit insecure.

Jerry Seinfeld: Biting that hand that fetes him

The Clios are advertising’s version of the Oscars, and since celebrities are always a crowd-pleasers, the Clio crowd decided to give one to Jerry Seinfeld.

And while we’ve never been partial to his peculiar sense of humor, we were delighted to find his remarks when he was given an honorary Clio last week.

And the fact that the audience roars approval at certain moment is ipso facto proof of the cynicism and rapacity that lie at the heart of an industry substantially shaped by Edward Bernays, a propagandist who helped sell Americans on World War I, only adds to event.

Via vlogger Affan Khokhar:

Jerry Seinfeld’s Clio Acceptance Speech

Program notes:

Last night, comedian Jerry Seinfeld deadpanned at the CLIOs: “I love advertising because I love lying…”

The 55th annual CLIO Awards, the most prestigious international advertising awards, were held in NYC. Whoopi Goldberg hosted the event, which also featured a performance by Aloe Blacc and lively acceptance speeches from CLIO Honorary winners Blondie (Debbie Harry and Chris Stein) and Jerry Seinfeld.

Quartz has posted a transcript. of the speech.

An excerpt

I love advertising because I love lying.

In advertising, everything is the way you wish it was. I don’t care that it won’t actually be like when I actually get the product being advertised because, in between seeing the commercial and owning the thing, I’m happy, and that’s all I want. Tell me how great the thing is going to be. I love it. I don’t need to be happy all the time. I just want to enjoy the commercial. I want to get the thing. We know the product is going to stink. We know that. Because we live in the world, and we know that everything stinks. We all believe, hey, maybe this one won’t stink. We are a hopeful species. Stupid but hopeful.

But we’re happy in that moment between the commercial and the purchase, and I think spending your life trying to dupe innocent people out of hard-won earnings to buy useless, low-quality, misrepresented items and services is an excellent use of your energy.

Our takeaway: The whole event could’ve come from a Seinfeld episode.

EbolaWatch: U.S. fears, aid delays, laws, more

Lots of ground to cover, so we start with this from the Washington Post:

D.C., Maryland hospitals evaluating two patients who have Ebola-like symptoms

Two Washington area hospitals said within hours of each other Friday that they had admitted a patient with symptoms and travel histories associated with Ebola.

A patient, who had recently traveled to Nigeria, came to Howard University Hospital in the District overnight “presenting symptoms that could be associated with Ebola,” spokeswoman Kerry-Ann Hamilton said in a statement.

“In an abundance of caution, we have activated the appropriate infection control protocols, including isolating the patient,” she said. “Our medical team continues to evaluate and monitor progress in close collaboration with the CDC and the Department of Health.”

Just hours later, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, Md., confirmed that it is evaluating a patient who “presented with flu-like symptoms and a travel history that matches criteria for possible Ebola.”

Voice of America gets political:

Lawmakers Express Concern about US Readiness to Deal with Ebola

Democratic Representatives Henry Waxman, Frank Pallone and Diana DeGette asked why a Dallas hospital initially discharged the man and sent him home, even though he had told a nurse of his recent trip from Liberia.   The Democrats say the Dallas case should serve as a wakeup call of the need to address the ongoing public health crisis in Africa, and the possibility of more Ebola cases in the United States.

Republican Congressman Tim Murphy announced Friday that he will chair a hearing on the Ebola outbreak on October 16, with the two top U.S. health officials testifying:  the Director of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, Tom Frieden, and the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health, Anthony Fauci.

Murphy said the hearing would look into all aspects of the federal response, including airline passenger screening procedures by Customs and Border Control.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration, asking that every available precaution be taken to prevent additional Ebola cases from arriving in the United States.

On to Texas with the New York Times:

Health Officials in Dallas Pinpoint 10 People Most at Risk for Ebola

Health officials said on Friday that they had identified 10 people who are most at risk of contracting Ebola after coming into contact with an infected African man now in isolation in a Dallas hospital.

Among them, health officials said, are the four people who shared an apartment with the patient, Thomas E. Duncan, and medical workers who came into contact with him. Another 40 people are being monitored daily but are considered at relatively low risk, officials said. No one has developed any symptoms of the disease.

For those who have been exposed to the virus, there is nothing to do but wait.

More from the Los Angeles Times:

Dallas Ebola case: 50 under daily checks, 10 are high risk

Fifty people in Texas will be monitored daily for possible Ebola symptoms, including 10 who are considered at high risk because of their exposure to a patient now being treated for the virus, public health officials said on Friday.

The larger group includes healthcare workers and the ambulance team that brought the patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he has been in isolation and undergoing treatment since Sept. 28. Included in the smaller group are four people who were in the apartment where Duncan stayed after his arrival from Liberia on Sept. 20.

The four — a woman, her 13-year-old son and two adult nephews — have been ordered to remain in the apartment and not have contact with other people. A hazardous materials team arrived Friday morning to begin cleaning the home, a process that was expected to take three hours, officials said. The family will remain in the apartment during the cleaning, though officials said they would like to move them to better quarters at some point.

BBC News cleans up:

Ebola crisis: US patient’s flat cleaned by specialists

A cleaning crew has begun sanitising the flat in Dallas, Texas, where a man stricken with Ebola spent several days before being taken to hospital.

The private hazardous materials contractors were expected to spend about three hours there.

Thomas Duncan, who caught the disease in his native Liberia, was the first person diagnosed with Ebola on US soil. Up to 10 people who had contact with him are at high risk of contracting the disease, Texas health officials said.

An admission, via the Guardian:

US Ebola case: hospital admits ‘flawed’ initial response as officials scramble

Hazardous materials team arrives to clean Thomas Duncan’s apartment as officials work to rehouse other residents in the complex in Dallas

Officials in Texas were still struggling to implement an effective strategy to manage the close associates of the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola outside Africa on Friday, as the hospital where he first presented himself admitted a “flawed” initial response.

A hazardous materials team arrived on Friday to clean the apartment where four people are under quarantine, a day after a cleaning crew was forced to leave, lacking the appropriate permit to dispose of the waste.

Sweat-stained sheets and towels remained in the apartment for four days since the Ebola sufferer, Thomas Eric Duncan of Liberia, was placed in isolation at the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas.

The Los Angeles Times covers containment:

Dallas officials say they had to order Ebola family to stay home

Dallas officials said that relatives of the man infected with Ebola left their apartment after agreeing not to, which prompted officials to issue a confinement order overnight.

“They were noncompliant with the request to stay home,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, the county’s highest elected official, said at a news conference Thursday.

He said the individuals needed to stay home so that they could be tested at the same time daily, to ensure they have not been infected with the Ebola virus that sickened Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who traveled last month to Texas and began to show symptoms during his visit.

More from Sky News:

Ebola Patient’s Apartment Watched By Cops

  • Four people close to the infected man are ordered to stay at home as Liberian officials say he lied before leaving the country

Police and armed security guards are keeping guard at the apartment where the first man to be diagnosed with ebola in the US had been staying.

Four people close to Thomas Duncan have been quarantined, and cannot leave their home in the apartment complex in Dallas.

They were hit with a confinement order after they failed to comply with a request to stay home, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

From BuzzFeed, covering up:

Ebola Patient In Texas Lied On Travel Paperwork When He Left Liberia

  • A Liberian man diagnosed in Dallas denied that he had contact with Ebola patients when he left Liberia, according to government officials

A Liberian man who has tested positive for Ebola in Texas lied on his exit form and may face prosecution, a Liberian official has said.

Thomas Eric Duncan left Liberia for the United States, via Brussels, on Sept. 19 and developed symptoms on Sept. 24. He was isolated at a hospital in Dallas, Texas, on Sept. 28, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC confirmed an Ebola diagnosis on Oct. 1.

“False declaration is an offense here in Liberia; this man lied about his activities in a questionnaire screening form we have at the airport, so he must face prosecution,” Liberia Airport Authority Board Chairman Binyah Kesselly said at a news conference in Monrovia on Thursday.

China’s Global Times covers a consultation:

Obama discusses Ebola case with Dallas mayor: White House

US President Barack Obama called Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings Thursday afternoon to discuss the first Ebola case diagnosed on American soil and pledged full support to prevent the epidemic.

“The President called to make sure the mayor was getting the resources he needed from the federal government, including the Centers for Disease Control, to treat the patient safely, and control this case so that it does not spread widely,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

The President pledged that federal agencies will remain in close coordination and reiterated his confidence in America’s doctors and national health infrastructure to handle this case safely and effectively, Schultz said.

Reassurance, via The Hill:

White House says it has Ebola virus under control

Top White House officials on Friday worked to reassure the American public that the national response to Ebola is under control.

Leaders of the country’s health, defense and military branches stressed that they are taking the right steps to contain the spread of the deadly virus, which was first diagnosed in the U.S. on Tuesday.

“We know how to do this, and we will do it again,” Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said at a press briefing.

From Punch Nigeria, lethally gaming the system:

Ebola: Travellers take ibuprofen to beat airport screening

The infection control specialist, and President of Behavioral-based Improvement Solutions in Atlanta, Sean Kaufman, on Friday said people who contracted Ebola in West Africa could get through airport screenings and onto a plane.

Kaufman said that more must be done to identify infected travelers who could lie and take a lot of ibuprofen to beat the airport authorities.

“People can take ibuprofen to reduce their fever enough to pass screening, and why wouldn’t they?”

Doubling down with the New York Times:

White House to Discuss Broader Efforts to Contain Ebola in United States and West Africa

The United States Army announced on Friday that it will more than double the number of soldiers it is sending to West Africa, to 3,200, to help contain the Ebola virus as White House officials prepared to confront concerns about the chaotic response to the disease’s arrival in the United States.

President Obama’s senior homeland security adviser and other top White House officials will hold an on-camera briefing at the White House late Wednesday afternoon, officials said. The briefing comes amid reports that a series of mistakes were made when Thomas E. Duncan, a Liberian man, arrived in Texas and was later told he had Ebola.

Television images from Monrovia, Liberia and Dallas during the last several days have raised new questions about the adequacy of the American response on both continents.

More from Reuters:

U.S. ramps up Ebola troop deployments, total may near 4,000

The Pentagon said on Friday it may send nearly 4,000 troops to West Africa to support America’s response to the Ebola crisis, almost 1,000 above its previous estimate, and cautioned its projections may change further.

The increased Pentagon forecast came as the World Health Organization hiked the estimated death toll from Ebola to 3,439 people, and as U.S. authorities scrambled to contain the spread of the virus after the first person was diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.

Rear Admiral John Kirby said American troops preparing to deploy to West Africa would take all the necessary precautions and added the Pentagon would disclose as much information as possible about the health of deployed forces, who are mainly headed to Liberia.

Another casualty from the north, via the New York Times:

Ashoka Mukpo, NBC Cameraman With Ebola, to Return to U.S.

NBC News on Friday identified the freelance cameraman who contracted Ebola in Liberia as 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo, who had been working with Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the network’s top medical correspondent.

Mr. Mukpo is the fourth American known to have contracted the disease in Liberia.

Speaking on NBC’s “Today” show, the parents of Mr. Mukpo said their son was in good spirits. “Obviously he is scared and worried,” said the father, Dr. Mitchell Levy.

Mr. Mukpo’s mother, Diane Mukpo, said her son would be flown back to the United States this weekend for treatment. “I think the enormous anxiety that I have as a mother or that we share as parents is the delay between now and him leaving on Sunday,” Ms. Mukpo said.

More from the Associated Press:

Infection has news organizations looking at risks

For media covering the spread of Ebola in West Africa, the infection of a cameraman who works for NBC offers both a reason to emphasize precaution and to continue to bear witness.

The New York Times’ approach is emblematic of many news organizations: “We want to figure out a way to have maximum protection for people involved in the coverage and also to continue the coverage,” said Joseph Kahn, the newspaper’s international editor.

Other than NBC, no news outlet has publicly cited Ashoka Mukpo’s infection as the impetus for removing personnel from Liberia, where the freelance cameraman had been covering the disease’s rapid spread and the strains it placed on its health care system. CNN announced Friday that it was sending reporter Nima Elbagir to that country this weekend and Sanjay Gupta, its most visible medical correspondent, said he’s lobbying his bosses to send him there.

Mukpo, who previously covered Ebola for several news outlets, began working for NBC on Tuesday and fell ill the next day. NBC said Friday it was concentrating on how to get him and his colleagues out of the country before discussing future coverage plans. He was working with medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who said she and others with NBC feel fine, though the network ordered them to return to the United States and quarantine themselves until any danger has passed.

A Japanese pledge from the Yomiuri Shimbun:

Japan to extend $22 million for anti-Ebola measures

The government decided at a Cabinet meeting Friday to extend $22 million in emergency grant aid for combating the spread of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. The aid will be provided through organizations such as the World Health Organization.

The support is part of Japan’s $40 million assistance pledged by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a high-level meeting at the U.N. headquarters in September.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said at a press conference that Ebola is a threat to international security and peace and that Japan will cooperate further in efforts to contain the epidemic.

After the jump, on to Sierra Leone and an Australian effort under fire and a plea from Sierra Leone, Cuba sends doctors and aid, Muslims warned on Eid handshakes, new help for orphans, Ebola carriers criminalized, Ebola compared to terrorism, the sad story of aid delayed, on to Liberia and carriers criminalized, American military labs arrive, German aid arrives, press coverage regulated, a watchdog installed, and a look at the neighborhood America’s first Ebola fled, quarantines questioned, an Ebola scare in Denmark, and a look at the role of poverty in the epidemic’s spread. . . Continue reading

John Cleese: The science behind Fox News


Via Robert Grimsby:

John Cleese on stupidity

Program note:

Cleese explains why extremely stupid people do not have the capability to realize how stupid they are. (excerpt from…)

EbolaWatch: Numbers, aid, desperate measures

We begin with a number from Bloomberg:

70: The Magic Number That Could End the Ebola Epidemic

There are a lot of scary numbers floating around about Ebola. Take 1.4 million: the CDC’s worst-case scenario for Ebola cases in Western Africa by the end of January. Or two: the approximate number of healthy people infected by each new Ebola patient.

But perhaps the most important Ebola number right now is 70 percent. That’s the proportion of patients who need to be isolated — in treatment centers or at least in their homes — in order to put a quick end to the Ebola outbreak, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Once 70 percent of patients are effectively isolated, the outbreak decreases at a rate nearly equal to the initial rate of increase,” researchers wrote today in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. If 70 percent of the current outbreak was achieved by late December, the epidemic “would be almost ended by January 20.”

From AllAfrica, just what’s needed, another czar:

West Africa: Obama to Announce Ebola Czar As Businesses, Senators Press for More

President Obama will announce the appointment of a high-level coordinator to manage the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak when he visits Atlanta on Tuesday, administration sources have told AllAfrica.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday that the president is visiting the Atlanta, Georgia-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to receive a briefing from officials at the organization, whose director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, visited the region last month.

Obama will also discuss U.S. assistance to fight the Ebola virus and will thank the doctors, scientists and health care workers who have been engaged in the effort to stop its escalating spread. A stepped-up administration plan, which has been discussed by officials from across the executive branch for more than a month, received higher level attention this past week as the scope of the outbreak became more widely acknowledged – at least partly in response to pressure from private sector companies engaged in the most-affected countries and from members of Congress.

From Agence France-Presse, a videographic of a prototypical Ebola treatment center:

Ebola treatment centres

Program notes:

An American doctor who was exposed to the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone has been admitted Sunday to a clinic outside Washington as a precautionary measure. He had been volunteering as a physician in a unit treating those suffering from the tropical fever that has already killed more than 3,000 people in west Africa since the end of last year. Despite being trained in strict infection control practices, medical staff in the region are at constant risk of infection

The Washington Post embraces the military approach:

Will AFRICOM’s Ebola response be watershed moment for international action on human security?

On Sept. 18, the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) held an unprecedented emergency meeting on a public health crisis and officially declared the Ebola epidemic that has killed an estimated 2,803 people in West Africa a threat to international peace and security. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the creation of the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), which he tasked with treating the infected, containing the disease and preserving stability. Last week, President Obama announced the deployment of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), which will set up a joint force command in Liberia to coordinate the activity of 3,000 U.S. forces; expedite the transportation of equipment and supplies; and train an estimated 500 health-care workers per week.

Although Kim Yi Dionne, Laura Seay and Erin McDaniel raised concerns in The Washington Post last week about U.S. military forces engaging in a large-scale humanitarian operation, the deployment of AFRICOM and the creation of UNMEER are different from previous militarized humanitarian missions. The emphasis on human security, supported by the recent UNSC proclamation, shifts the policy conversation. This is a potential watershed moment for future humanitarian interventions if key actors recognize the core comparative advantages of both non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and militaries and work together in a partnership.

Shanghai Daily covers an opening:

UN opens Ebola headquarters in Ghana

THE UN mission to combat Ebola opened its headquarters yesterday in Ghana, where it will coordinate aid for the accelerating West African crisis.

The spread of Ebola has spiraled into the worst ever outbreak, and the World Health Organization says it has linked more than 3,000 deaths to the disease, although that is likely an underestimate of the true toll. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have been hit hardest. Senegal and Nigeria have also been touched, but have not reported a new case in weeks.

Some have criticized the response to the outbreak as too slow and haphazard. Ebola was first identified in March in Guinea. But more recently promises of aid have poured in, with many countries committing to sending health care workers, building hospitals or providing much-needed supplies, like protective suits for doctors and nurses.

From the Japan Times, on the ground:

Beds, staff scarce in Ebola-hit Monrovia

The Island Clinic recently opened. By the next day, its 120 beds were full.

“As of Friday, we had 206 patients,” a spokesman for the U.N World Health Organization, which runs the center, said.

Like all the NGO-run Ebola centers in Liberia, the Island Clinic is under-resourced and overrun by demand, forced to fill in for a public health infrastructure that has been decimated by 14 years of civil war and grinding poverty.

“There is supposed to be a system to allow the patients to talk to their families while keeping a distance of several meters (yards) — but apparently it’s not up and running yet,” a clearly embarrassed WHO official there says.

More from CBC News:

Ebola outbreak: Liberia’s newest, largest treatment clinic already at capacity

  • CBC News was granted access to the Island Clinic in Monrovia

Liberia’s newest and largest Ebola treatment centre was desperately needed to combat the spread of the fatal virus, yet the facility has barely helped to stop the worst outbreak in recorded history.

The centre, known as Island Clinic, was exactly seven days old when CBC News toured the “green zone,” or safe zone, of the facility on Sunday. It has almost doubled the Ebola treatment capacity in Liberia’s capital city of Monrovia, a major urban centre overwhelmed by an exponentially increasing number of cases of the deadly virus.

When it opened, there were 120 beds available. Within hours, the clinic was already stretched — every space available filled with the city’s most frightened and seriously ill. Somehow, room was made for more patients and currently, by adding beds and sofas where possible, staff estimate the total number is likely closer to 200.

AllAfrica covers another facility in another country:

Sierra Leone: President Koroma Commissions Mobile Lab and Holding Centre

As Government continues to intensify its efforts in the fight against the Ebola virus disease (EVD), President Ernest Bai Koroma on Friday 26th September 2014, commissioned the BSL-3 mobile laboratory at the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Hospital at Jui.

The occasion also saw in attendance officials from the Ministries of Health and Sanitation and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and experts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Medical team from China.

President Koroma noted that the facility will increase the response time in sample throughput, especially during this trying moment of the Ebola outbreak and also create opportunities for capacity development of health workers in the country. With this, President Koroma urged Sierra Leoneans working at the Hospital to exploit the opportunities and develop their various capacities.

From the Guardian, a public health basic:

Media and communications: the first line of defence against Ebola

  • As well as healthworkers, journalists are on the frontline of the Ebola outbreak and have vital role in stopping the epidemic

Misinformation is hampering efforts to tackle the Ebola outbreak in west Africa as rumours and speculation exacerbate the epidemic. In such a climate, local media can help to save lives.

In recent weeks, fear and misunderstanding have claimed new kinds of victims, including the three journalists killed in Womme, Guinea, along with five health workers, after they were attacked by villagers so terrified of the disease that they feared any outsider could infect their village.

In Womme, a local policeman said villagers believe that Ebola is nothing more than an invention of white people, to kill black people.

On Monday, a Liberian official said misinformation is hampering efforts to tackle the outbreak there, citing rumours that an educational film shown to villagers is intended merely to distract people while officials literally poison the wells. encounters an obstacle:

Germany’s Ebola mission stranded in Gran Canaria

Germany’s military transport planes are causing embarrassment for yet another Bundeswehr mission. The military’s much-heralded delivery to help Ebola-stricken countries in western Africa has stalled in Gran Canaria.

The poor state of the Bundeswehr’s Transall planes led to delays last week to Germany’s delivery of arms and soldiers to northern Iraq. Two of the 50-year-old planes broke down.

And on Monday it emerged that a flight delivering medicine and field tents to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone has been stuck in Gran Canaria since Friday.

The Transall C-160 plane has a defect and technicians and a replacement plane are being flown to the Spanish island.

Star Africa News covers another aid infusion:

China grants DRC $900,000 to fight Ebola

The Chinese government has disbursed $900,000 to help the Democratic Republic of Congo’s fight the Ebola epidemic, which has ravaged the north-east of the country, an official source informs APA on Sunday.A funding agreement was signed on Friday in Kinshasa between Congo’s International and Regional Cooperation vice-minister, Dismas Mangbengu and China’s ambassador to the DR Congo, Wang Ying Wu.

President Joseph Kabila, on Thursday claimed in an address at the 69th United Nations General Assembly that the Ebola epidemic has been contained in its area of origin, located in Djera sector, about 1,200 km from Kinshasa, in Equateur Province.

About forty people have died of the disease there.

From the Daily Monitor in Kampala, Uganda, aid from closer to hand:

35 train in handling Ebola cases

A team of health workers from East Africa have completed training in prevention and control of diseases, especially epidemics such as Ebola. Majority of them will be sent to West African countries to help to manage Ebola that has killed thousands of people.

The team of 35 personnel from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Gambia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, as well as other participants from the US and UK were trained on infection prevention and control measures.

Twenty three of the participants said they were ready to be deployed in West Africa where they will be expected to train another 300 health workers.

Yet another alarm in Europe from

Fresh Ebola case investigated in Sweden

Doctors in Stockholm are checking a patient suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus.

The patient is understood to be at least the fifth case investigated in Sweden since the virus started spreading rapidly in Africa earlier this year.

They have been been transferred to the infectious diseases clinic at Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge, according to news agency TT.

“Despite the fact that there were very low suspicions, we decided to take the test. We will get the answer within a day,” Åke Örtqvist, spokesperson for doctors dealing with infectious diseases in the Stockholm region.

Science covers a lamentation:

Ebola vaccine tests needlessly delayed, researchers claim

Stephan Becker is tired of waiting. The virologist at the University of Marburg in Germany is part of a consortium of scientists that is ready to do a safety trial of one of the candidate vaccines for Ebola. But the vaccine doses he’s supposed to test on 20 German volunteers are still in Canada. Negotiations with the U.S. company that holds the license for commercialization of the vaccine—which contains a gene for the Ebola surface protein stitched into a livestock pathogen known as vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)—have needlessly delayed the start of the trial, Becker and several other scientists tell Science. “It’s making me mad, that we are sitting here and could be doing something, but things are not moving forward,” Becker says.

Today and tomorrow, Ebola scientists and representatives from companies and regulatory bodies are meeting at the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss how to speed up clinical development of vaccines, a process that normally takes years. More and more public health specialists believe that vaccines will have an important role to play in stopping the catastrophic outbreak in West Africa, which has so far caused at least 6553 cases and more than 3000 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. (Those are the reported numbers; the real toll is known to be much higher.)

Given the urgency, it’s inexplicable that one of the candidate vaccines, developed at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in Winnipeg, has yet to go in the first volunteer’s arm, says virologist Heinz Feldmann, who helped develop the vaccine while at PHAC. “It’s a farce; these doses are lying around there while people are dying in Africa,” says Feldmann, who now works at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Hamilton, Montana.

And Punch Nigeria has help anticipated:

2,000 German volunteers expected in Africa over Ebola

Over 2,000 Germans have heeded the German government’s call to register as volunteers, indicating their readiness and availability for deployment to fight against Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, said AU in a statement on Monday.

German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has informed AU Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, after the Chairperson briefed him on AU’s ongoing efforts to fight the disease.

The two officials met on the sidelines of the 69th UN General Assembly in New York, said the statement.

On to coverage of day to day life via the African media, starting with this from The Analyst in Liberia:

Bassa Ebola Toll Rises -Six Survivors Rejoin Families

Six persons who survived the Ebola virus in Grand Bassa County have been reunited with their families and communities, a county health official has disclosed. Speaking during the Ebola Task Force briefing held in Buchanan at the weekend, Joyce Garblah, a member of the County Health Team, said the six survivors who earlier tested positive with Ebola, were transferred to the Ebola Treatment Unit in Monrovia.

She said after undergoing treatment and observation, they were pronounced free of the virus and allowed to rejoin their families. Madam Garblah has disclosed that 26 confirmed Ebola deaths occurred in Grand Bassa County from July to September 26, 2014. She said out of the 26 confirmed Ebola deaths, 15 were males and 11 females, while 44 Ebola probable and suspected cases were recorded in the six districts of the county.

According to statistics, Buchanan District recorded 20, Owensgrove District six, District #One, seven; District #Two, six; District #Three, four and District #Four, one. Meanwhile, Garblah has disclosed that five samples taken to the National Diagnostic Lab in Marshall are awaiting results.

AllAfrica covers a process of elimination:

Liberia: Police Barrack Cleared

Some officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and their relatives, who were quarantined for 21 days at the Police Barracks on Camp Johnson Road as a result of the deadly Ebola virus, were last week Friday, September 26, 2014, declared free of the virus after intensive medical treatment and thorough observation by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Monrovia.

Those police officers were quarantined along with their relatives at the Police Barracks on Camp Johnson Road after one of their colleagues’ wife died there as a result of the deadly Ebola virus.

The Director of the Liberia National Police, Clarence Massaquoi, disclosed that those officers along with their relatives, who were quarantined for 21 days in the Police Barracks did not complain, but were taking the preventive measures as prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in collaboration with the WHO.

From the New Republic in Liberia, political concerns:

Cape Mount Ebola Death Toll Troubles Caucus — Sen. Dagoseh

Grand Cape Mount County Senator Edward Dagoseh says the County Legislative Caucus is concerned about the Ebola death rate in the county.

He disclosed that the caucus is formulating strategies to proffer to the County Task Force that will help avoid the further spread of Ebola and destruction of lives.

“The County Legislative Caucus is doing everything possible to seek financial and medical supplies, including PPEs and drugs, for health facilities in the county,” Senator Dagoseh told reporters in Garwular District at the weekend.

Senator Dagoseh is, meanwhile, appealing to health workers in the county to return to work so that health facilities that have been shut down as a result of the Ebola outbreak will re-open to provide services to the people.

The Analyst covers an epidemiological spread in Liberia:

1st Ebola Case Confirmed in Gbarpolu County

Gbarpolu County has registered its first case of the Ebola disease with a 14-year-old boy confirmed positive with the virus. Medical authorities in the county told the Liberia news Agency that the boy contracted the virus from his father who reportedly died of the disease in Parker Farm in Gbarma District.

The authorities said several family members of the boy, including his mother, have been quarantined in the same area by the County Ebola Task Force to avoid the spread of the disease to other parts of the county.

According to the Task Force, the boy was confirmed Ebola positive when the result from his blood specimen test was received by medical authorities working with the Task Force recently. The authorities said modalities are being worked out by the Task Force to have the boy transferred to the new Ebola Center at the old Island Clinic on the Bushrod Island for treatment.

New Republic covers help from another quarter:

Agriculture Ministry Joins Ebola Fight

The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), has disclosed that it has embarked on a nationwide Ebola awareness campaign aimed at helping to eradicate the virus.

In a statement, the Assistant Director of Communications, Ken Kumeh said the outbreak is a national disaster that requires the collective efforts of each and every Liberian regardless of status, religion or political affiliation, indicating that, “the disease does not discriminate.”

Mr. Kumeh said as part of the ministry’s campaign, it last month donated two heavy duty trucks and several food items to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

And for our final item, CCTV Africa has the not-unexpected:

Ebola: Liberians Turn To God for Healing

Program note:

A Plague from God. More Liberians have been expressing their fear of Ebola. They say it is affecting the fabric of society and despite warnings to stay away from public gatherings, Liberians are turning to religion for comfort.