And after the jump, there’s an extensive compendium of reports from African news media covering the crisis day-to-day.
First, a warning from South China Morning Post:
Ebola outbreak will hit China, virus pioneer Peter Piot warns
- Number of workers in Africa raises threat, says Peter Piot, who also dismisses HK screening
One of the scientists who discovered Ebola has warned that China is under threat from the deadly virus because of the huge number of Chinese workers in Africa.
Professor Peter Piot also made the grim prediction that Ebola would claim thousands more lives in the months ahead.
“It will get worse for a while, and then hopefully it will get better when people are isolated,” said Piot, who is in Hong Kong for a two-day symposium. “What we see now is every 30 days there is a doubling of new infections.” He estimated the epidemic would last another six to 12 months.
“In Africa, there are many Chinese working there. So that could be a risk for China in general, and I assume that one day [an outbreak of Ebola in China] will happen,” said Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
More from the New York Times:
As Ebola Spreads, Asia Senses Vulnerability
“What happened in the [United] States took us by surprise,” said Louis Shih, the president of the Hong Kong Medical Association. “We were sort of feeling like, ‘Oh, don’t worry’ — the medical sector is now quite alarmed.”
An analysis published online last week by The Lancet, a medical journal, reviewed International Air Transport Association data for flights from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 this year, as well as data from 2013, out of the three countries in West Africa with the biggest outbreaks of Ebola virus: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It found that six of the top nine estimated destinations for travelers from these countries were elsewhere in Africa. The others were in Europe: Britain, France and Belgium.
But the 10th-largest destination was China. India was 13th. (Mali, a West African country that reported its first Ebola death on Friday, was 11th, and the United States was 12th.)
And another warning from the NewDawn in Monrovia, Liberia:
Ebola’s Next Frontier
Which countries, beyond those in West Africa, are most susceptible to the Ebola epidemic? Most epidemiologists do not fear much for the developed world, with its effective quarantine measures and tracking procedures, or even for sparsely populated developing countries. An outbreak could easily be contained in both groups of countries. But large, densely populated areas, lacking the proper containment mechanisms are highly vulnerable.
India, with its large emigrant population (the second largest in the world), high urban density, and inadequate public health-care infrastructure, potentially has the most to lose if the Ebola virus spreads. Links to West Africa are close and go back over the last century, with almost 50,000 Indians or people of Indian origin living in the region.
Indeed, scores of people fly between Accra, Lagos, Freetown, Monrovia, or Abidjan and New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, or Chennai on a daily basis, transiting through the Middle East or Europe. While exit controls are in place in all of the international airports in the affected regions, the virus’s incubation period (which averages eight days in the current outbreak but can be up to 21 days) means that someone with no symptoms from a recent infection could make the trip to India without triggering alarms.
The Los Angeles Times has the domestic scare de jour:
Child is being tested for Ebola in New York; mother in quarantine
A child who had recently been in the Ebola-affected nation of Guinea took ill in New York City on Sunday night and is being isolated at a hospital, health officials said Monday.
The child was being tested for Ebola, and results were expected by the afternoon, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a statement.
The patient was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan and did not have a fever when first examined there but developed one around 7 a.m., the department said.
The child’s mother is being quarantined at Bellevue and has “no symptoms whatsoever,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a Monday news conference.
The McClatchy Washington Bureau covers the denouement:
New York 5-year-old tested negative for Ebola
An unidentified minor who recently arrived in the United States from West Africa and was placed in isolation over concerns that he might have contracted Ebola tested negative for the virus Monday, New York City health officials said.
“Out of an abundance of caution, further negative Ebola tests are required on subsequent days to ensure that the patient is cleared,” according to a statement from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “The patient will also be tested for common respiratory viruses. The patient will remain in isolation until all test results have returned.”
Once positive, now negative, via the Los Angeles Times:
Nurse quarantined in New Jersey tests negative for Ebola, can go home
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Monday that a nurse who was quarantined in Newark after returning from treating Ebola-afflicted people in West Africa would be released and allowed to go home after she tested negative.
Christie’s move followed a barrage of criticism from civil rights groups, aid agencies and White House officials, who said the quarantine measures announced Friday would discourage much-needed medical personnel from going to fight the Ebola outbreak in Africa.
Nurse Kaci Hickox complained that she was put in an unheated tent on the grounds of Newark University Hospital after returning from Sierra Leone on Friday. She tested negative for Ebola, which has a 21-day incubation period.
In a statement Monday from New Jersey’s department of health, officials said Hickox “has thankfully been symptom free for the past 24 hours.”
Reuters coveys a plea:
Don’t let quarantine hysteria deter Ebola health workers: U.N.
Governments must not deter health workers from coming to West Africa to fight Ebola and quarantine decisions should not be based on hysteria, the head of the U.N. mission battling the virus said on Monday.
The U.S. states of New York, New Jersey and Illinois have issued new quarantine rules for people returning from West Africa in response to fears that U.S. federal guidelines do not go far enough to contain an outbreak centred in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone that has infected 10,000 people.
Some groups have challenged the rules as too extreme and a nurse who was quarantined after returning from Sierra Leone criticised her isolation on Sunday saying she posed no health threat.
“Anything that will dissuade foreign trained personnel from coming here to West Africa and joining us on the frontline to fight the fight would be very, very unfortunate,” Anthony Banbury, head of the U.N. Ebola Emergency Response Mission (UNMEER), told Reuters.
More from The Hill:
CDC wants tight restrictions on only high-risk Ebola workers
The Obama administration is pushing back against several states’ quarantine policies for Ebola health workers, unveiling new restrictions Monday that apply only to “high-risk” individuals returning from West Africa.
The guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stop far short of 21-day quarantines imposed by several states that have been heavily criticized by public health experts and the Obama administration.
Only individuals known to have direct exposure to the disease, such as a family member who cared for an Ebola patient without protective gear, are told to remain home under the new recommendations.
Surveillance from Reuters:
Virginia to boost Ebola monitoring, state health official says
Virginia will boost Ebola monitoring for travelers arriving from the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, state Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine said on Monday.
All travelers will be assessed for Ebola and for their health status, Levine said on a conference call. They will be required to sign an agreement to follow health care steps such as taking temperatures, she said
From Reuters, a story about one prominent political figure willing to abide by any quarantines in effect on her return to the U.S. from the hot zone:
Samantha Power will “abide” by quarantine requirements – State Dept.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power is not expected to visit any Ebola treatment centers during her trip to West Africa but will abide by any relevant quarantine requirements, the State Department says
Another quarantine development from Reuters:
U.S. isolates soldiers after Ebola response mission in West Africa
The U.S. Army has started isolating soldiers returning from an Ebola response mission in West Africa, even though they showed no symptoms of infection and were not believed to have been exposed to the deadly virus, officials said on Monday.
The decision goes well beyond previously established military protocols and came just as President Barack Obama’s administration sought to discourage precautionary quarantines being imposed by some U.S. states on healthcare workers returning from countries battling Ebola.
The Army has already isolated about a dozen soldiers upon their return this weekend to their home base in Vicenza, Italy. That includes Major General Darryl Williams, the commander of U.S. Army Africa, who oversaw the military’s initial response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Another front-line contingent from the New York Times:
For New York Crew, Fighting Ebola With Brush and Cleanser
Around the time New Yorkers started fretting over the city’s first diagnosis of Ebola last Thursday, Sal Pain began drawing up plans for four decontamination chambers, customized for a cramped Harlem hallway.
The narrow dimensions of the hallway — it was only four feet wide — outside the fifth-floor apartment Dr. Craig Spencer, the Ebola patient, shares with his fiancée was among the more difficult situations confronted by hazardous-materials workers in their efforts to contain the Ebola virus. The standard decontamination station, a bulging, inflatable unit, would not do.
So Mr. Pain, the chief safety officer for Bio-Recovery Corporation, which has cleaned Dr. Spencer’s apartment and the Gutter, a bowling alley Dr. Spencer had visited in Brooklyn, improvised. He lined the hallway walls with 6 millimeters of plastic on Friday morning, and then made a frame out of PVC pipe. About 12 hours later, after sterilizing everything from four bicycles to a cuticle cutter, the 10-member crew stood in the hallway and washed themselves with chemical and water showers.
Scapegoating from the McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Anguished and afraid, West Africans in U.S. stay clear of new arrivals
Charlotte, N.C., merchant Tonieh Ross says her heart cries for the orphaned children back home in Liberia who aren’t getting the hugs they so need, for fear of the deadly Ebola virus.
Ross, the owner of the Virtuous D Boutique, also frets about her younger sister in Monrovia, Eugenia, whose paycheck disappeared when her employer shuttered his business and left the disease-ravaged country. Now Eugenia is among some 20 desperate Liberians, mostly children, phoning Ross “over and over and over until something happens” – that is, until she or her friends send money or food, she said.
“I have given everything just to be available and help my country,” Ross said.
While Ross and other West Africans living in cities across America are traumatized by images of suddenly orphaned kids or children lying ill in the streets in their native lands, they also live in fear themselves.
They know they may be among U.S. residents facing the greatest risk of exposure to the deadly disease. Visitors and immigrants from Ebola-stricken Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea are likely to first visit or live among their friends and relatives, just as Thomas Eric Duncan planned to do when he flew to Dallas before taking ill with Ebola, infecting two nurses. He died Oct 8.
More from BuzzFeed:
Two Senegalese Boys Got Beat Up And Called “Ebola” In New York City
Local lawmakers called the attack a “hate crime” and warned of a “bullying crisis” stemming from misinformation about the Ebola virus. Members of New York City’s West African community complained that people are avoiding their businesses for fear of contracting the disease.
Two Senegalese-American middle school students were taken to the hospital on Friday after suffering a beating at the hands of their classmates, in an attack apparently motivated by fear of the Ebola virus that local lawmakers called a “hate crime.”
The attack took place at Intermediate School 318 in the Bronx, where the students — brothers Abdou and Amedou Drame — are enrolled in the eighth and sixth grades. The students recently arrived to the United States from Senegal. Both of the boys suffered minor injuries and were released from the hospital later on Friday.
Speaking at a Monday press conference at the Harlem headquarters of the Association of Senegalese in America, Rep. José Serrano and State Sen. Bill Perkins called the attack a “hate crime” and warned of rising discrimination and xenophobia against West Africans in the wake of the Ebola epidemic.
From the Associated Press, a very important question:
Could more have been done for Thomas Eric Duncan?
Dr. Thomas Geisbert, an Ebola expert at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, said he had trouble understanding why four days elapsed between Duncan’s confirmed test results on Sept. 30 and his first treatment. And he was surprised by the choice of experimental drug given to Duncan.
“The guys who do what I do, working in this field, find it puzzling,” said Geisbert, a professor of microbiology and immunology who has been studying Ebola since the early 1990s and was consulted on two of the U.S. cases. “It kind of came out of left field. I think the jury is still out on why this would have any activity against Ebola.”
Although treatments have varied, ZMapp and TKM-Ebola are the only drugs proven to protect nonhuman primates from Ebola, Geisbert said.
While the manufacturer of ZMapp ran out of the drug before Duncan’s diagnosis, limited doses of TKM-Ebola were available, according to Julie Rezler, a spokeswoman for the drugmaker, Tekmira.
The latter was given to Dr. Rick Sacra, an American physician who was infected with Ebola in Liberia. He was treated at a Nebraska hospital and released healthy on Sept. 25, five days before blood tests confirmed Duncan’s diagnosis.
Other survivors include American medical missionaries Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who received doses of ZMapp in Liberia before they were flown to the United States.
Quarantine at the Aussie border from BBC News:
Australia suspends visas for people travelling from Ebola-hit countries
Australia temporarily stops issuing visas to people from countries affected by Ebola, in a bid to stop the virus from entering the country.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told parliament that Australia would suspend its immigration programme for such travellers.
The restriction comes after an 18-year-old who arrived from West Africa earlier this month was admitted to hospital with a fever. She later tested negative for Ebola.
Mr Morrison said on Monday that those who have received non-permanent or temporary visas and who have not yet left for Australia will have their visas cancelled. Those with permanent visas can enter the country, but have to be quarantined for 21 days prior to arriving.
While the Guardian covers more Australian concerns:
Australia seeks hospital back-up for volunteers in Ebola-hit countries
- As Coalition signals change in policy on relief workers, minister wants to ensure that Australians can call on western-run medical treatment
The Abbott government is considering whether western-run field hospitals in west Africa would have the capacity to cater for any Australian health volunteers who contract Ebola, and what quarantine rules should apply to workers when they return home.
Australia has previously resisted calls to send medical experts to the region on the basis that it has been unable to secure iron-clad guarantees from other countries to help transfer volunteers in the event they contracted the virus.
The health minister, Peter Dutton, signalled on Monday that the government would “have further comments to make in relation to these matters” and was considering whether health workers would have access to “appropriate medical assistance on the ground”.
And the Italians act on theirs, via TheLocal.it:
US troops isolated in Italy over Ebola fears
US troops returning from West Africa are being placed under isolation at a base in Italy as a precaution to prevent the potential spread of the Ebola virus, the Pentagon said on Monday.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the army directed a small number of personnel, about a dozen, that recently returned to Italy, to be monitored in a separate location at their home station of Vicenza,” spokesman Colonel Steven Warren told reporters.
But he added: “None of these individuals have shown any symptoms of exposure.”
Major General Darryl Williams, who stepped down Saturday as head of the military mission in Liberia helping to fight the Ebola outbreak, and 11 members of his staff, were assigned to a separate location at the base in Italy and were being monitored by a medical team, Warren said.
From El País, a quarantine ends:
Ebola victim’s husband released from hospital after 21 days in isolation
- Javier Limón will speak to the media on Monday afternoon to discuss plans for legal action
The husband of Teresa Romero, the Spanish nursing assistant who became the first known Ebola transmission case outside of Africa, has been discharged from hospital.
Javier Limón left Carlos III Hospital in Madrid after spending 21 days in isolation because of his close contact with the infected patient. He did not develop any Ebola symptoms, health officials said.
Limón, who has been acting as a buffer between his wife and the outside world, where media interest in the couple remains huge, left in the company of his lawyer at 9.45am. He used a different entrance from the one where journalists and camera crews were waiting for him, around 400 meters away.
And fury ensues. Via TheLocal.es:
They treated us as scum: husband of Ebola nurse
The husband of Spanish nursing assistant Teresa Romero who beat the Ebola virus has slammed the handling of the country’s Ebola crisis as a “complete disaster”, saying he now plans to take Madrid’s health boss to court over comments made about him and his wife.
“They laughed at us, they treated us like scum,” said Romero’s huband Javier Limón in an interview with Spain’s El Mundo newspaper.
“They destroyed our life, they killed our dog, and they nearly killed my wife,” said an angry Limón who left Madrid’s Carlos III hospital on Monday morning after three weeks in isolation.
“On top of all that, this guy comes out and says that my wife — who volunteered (to treat two Ebola-infected Spanish missionaries who were repatriated to Spain) — is a liar, that she lied about her fever,” said Limón, referring to controversial comments by Madrid’s regional health chief, Javier Rodríguez.
A Tokyo tempest from the Japan Times:
Man arriving at Tokyo’s Haneda airport tested for Ebola
A man in his 40s who arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda airport Monday after spending two months in Liberia was found to have a fever, and officials decided to check him for Ebola, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said.
The result of the blood test at a Tokyo research facility will be known early Tuesday, the officials said.
The man, reportedly a 45-year-old journalist whose name was not released, was transported to the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Shinjuku Ward. The blood test was conducted at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo.
And the result, from Nikkei Asian Review:
Tests find no Ebola for suspected case in Japan
A viral summit from the Japan Times:
Cabinet preparing to hold Ebola prevention meeting
A select group of Cabinet ministers will meet soon to discuss countermeasures for the deadly Ebola virus, Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki said Monday.
Shiozaki told reporters about the plan after meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier in the day. Abe instructed him to hold the ministerial meeting as soon as possible, according to Shiozaki.
He also told Shiozaki to formulate thorough measures against Ebola and strengthen cooperation among the ministries and agencies, with relevant developments to be reported to the National Security Council.
After the jump, insurance companies play the Ebola policy game, a Big Pharma wager, belated approval of crucial equipment on to Africa and a regional assessment, a plea for help from afflicted nations and a European call for thousands of helpers for African work, the depleted ranks on the ground, on to Sierra Leone and new anti-Ebola measures that inflict their own hardships and high praise for burial measures, then on to Liberia and cremations aplenty spelling bad news for coffin-makers, pairing survivors with orphans, another sad impact on a devastated healthcare system, an American mission underway, movie night in an Ebola ward, aid from China and Norwegian girls, an American pledge to Guinea and Guinean survivors head back to the hot zone to help, don’t stigmatize our people pleads the Nigerian president, and preparedness in Zimbabwe. . . Continue reading