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
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 TheLocal.no:
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.”
TheLocal.no 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 TheLocal.at, 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