Ebola

Ebola466 posts

Ebola is a disease caused by an ebolavirus. Symptoms start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches. Vomiting, diarrhea and rash follow, along with decreased function of the liver and kidneys. Victims bleed both within the body and externally. From 1976 through 2013, the World Health Organization reported a total of 1,716 cases. In 2013 an outbreak started in Guinea, spreading to neighboring African countries and infectied doctors, some of who were transported back to the US for treatment. The virus continues to claim victims as it spreads to more countries.

24 Oct, 2014

Liberians avoid treatment due to cremation rule

AP reports that a Liberian analysis of bed space at Ebola treatment units concludes that of 742 spaces, 351 were occupied and 391 were vacant. It cites Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah, who heads the government’s Ebola response. The main problem is the traditional practice of honoring the dead with burial ceremonies. Nyenswah:

For fear of cremation, do not stay home to die… We know cremation is not our culture in our country. But now we have disease, so we have to change the way we used to do business.

 

Ebola response team in NY

The CDC says its Ebola response team is arriving in the city to offer support. It adds that Spencer cleared enhanced screening on Oct. 17 at JFK. He wasn’t showing symptoms at the time.

Ebola free

The National Institutes of Health says in a statement that Nina Pham is being released Friday from its hospital near Washington. Pham will make a brief statement during a news conference late this morning.

‘Fortunate and blessed’

Pham makes a statement after her release, thanking her doctors, family and friends. Pham also asks for privacy so she can could get back to normal life and reunite with Bentley.

I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today. I would first and foremost like to thank God, my family, and friends.

Texas Nurse Nina Pham is Ebola Free, Headed Home From Hospital

Flight grounded in Columbia

United Flight 5732 from Dulles is grounded on the ramp at Columbia Metropolitan after a passenger reports a nosebleed. The chances that the passenger has the virus are ‘very, very low’. Spokeswoman:

Emergency crews are meeting the plane. We are taking precautionary measures.

Ebola doctor flew through JFK

Bucks is reported to have flown in Thursday night on a Royal Moroccan Airlines flight after treating patients in west Africa. He stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Jamaica, Queens, near the airport, where CDC workers also stay, after missing a connecting flight. On Friday, he was cleared to travel home to northern California, where he will be monitored by the CDC. Source:

He is asymptomatic and he’s being allowed to leave the hotel and fly home

‘Epidemic of fear’

The Department of Health and Human Services says public fear is worse than the virus. Testimony to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee:

Ebola is a dangerous disease, but there is hardly a reason for panic. There is an epidemic of fear, but not of Ebola, in the United States.

Mandatory quarantine stepped up

New York and New Jersey have introduced stricter rules under which state officials will establish a risk level by considering the countries that people have visited and their level of possible exposure. Patients with the highest level of possible exposure will be automatically quarantined for 21 days at a government-regulated facility. They include anyone having direct contact with a person infected with Ebola while in Liberia, Guinea, or Sierra Leone. Those with a lower risk will be monitored for temperature and symptoms. City health departments will determine their own specific procedures for hospitalization and quarantine, and will provide a daily recap to state officials on the status of screening. Gov. Cuomo:

We believe it’s appropriate to increase the current screening procedures from people coming from affected countries … We believe it within the State of New York and the State of New Jersey’s legal rights.

Quarantined

The health worker is quarantined at University Hospital after recording a high temperature. She doesn’t show Ebola symptoms but is isolated under the mandatory isolation rules after revealing that she has been in Sierra Leone and had contact with Ebola patients. She is the first person to be quarantined under the rules.

Temperature 100.3, not 103

Gov. Cuomo says Spencer’s temperature was 100.3 degrees, not 103 degrees as previously reported. When he went out bowling and to a restaurant, he:

obviously felt he wasn’t symptomatic

Cuomo also says Spencer ‘went out in a limited way’.

Staffers call in sick

A high number of staffers Bellevue call in sick after Spencer tests positive, and those who do show up are too terrified to enter the isolation chamber. Source:

The nurses on the floor are miserable with a ‘why me?’ attitude, scared to death and overworked because all their co-workers called out sick.

25 Oct, 2014

Dines at restaurant visited by Spencer

New York City Mayor De Blasio, his wife his wife Chirlane McCray, and New York City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett dine at The Meatball Shop in West Village, a restaurant visited by Spencer before he was diagnosed with Ebola. The restaurant reopens to a packed house after being closed for a brief time following Spencer’s visit. De Blasio:

We are not only resilient, we are not only tough, we stand by each other. It’s an example of how New Yorkers deal with a challenge.

Enters next phase of illness

Spencer experiences gastrointestinal symptoms. He is awake and communicating. Bellevue:

In addition to the required supportive therapy, we initiated antiviral therapy within hours of admission. We also administered plasma therapy yesterday. These therapies have been used at Emory and Nebraska.

Race to decontaminate apartment

Decontaminate ApartmentCity officials are rushing to decontaminate the New York building where Spencer was living. Police moved people back around 9:15 am as two officers with the Sanitation Department’s Environmental Police Unit arrived on the scene and entered the building through a side entrance. They were joined by several people in plain clothes who exited a truck belonging to the Bio-Recovery Corporation, a full service crime scene cleanup and bio remediation company.

Seventh district City Council member Mark Levine:

Today we’re expecting a specialized crew [to] come in full protective gear and will clean and sterilize Dr. [Craig] Spencer’s apartment for signs of bodily fluid. [Officials will] confiscate material that might have come into contact with his body such as sheets and pillowcases and bath towels and toothbrushes.

Addressing the crowd:

We’ve had neighbors understandably concerned that live right across the street, maybe they live down the hall, maybe they’ve seen him in the local bodega and they’re worried. But the truth is and the facts they need to understand are they’re really not at risk.

ACLU: Constitutional concerns

The ACLU raises questions over the legality of the quarantine orders in New York and New Jersey after Hickox is quarantined. ACLU:

We understand the importance of protecting the public from an Ebola outbreak [but the mandatory isolation rules] raise serious constitutional concerns about the state abusing its police powers by detaining people who are exhibiting no Ebola symptoms.

Bowling alley, meatball shop face uncertainty

The businesses that Spencer visited say they are concerned over how customers will react. Todd Powers, the owner of The Gutter, has hired a cleaning crew at his own expense although the CDC said he could reopen the business immediately. Powers:

Once that’s taken care of, we’ll open the doors to the public and we hope the mayor and governor come down and bowl.

City officials visited The Gutter and The Meatball Shop, in Greenwich Village, which Spencer visited, in order to reassure the public there is no risk. He also visited the Blue Bottle Coffee on High Line park.

Frantic search for experimental drug

ebola-drug-searchCity health officials send out an email marked URGENT asking if New York area hospitals, researchers and pharmacies have supplies of the experimental Ebola drug Brincidofovir. It’s not clear if the drug was obtained. Email:

The drug would presumably be under the jurisdiction of your investigational drug or research area. If you do have this drug, please contact Dr. Scott Harper at DOHMH as soon as possible.

Writes op-ed critical of quarantine

Hickox writes an op-ed for the Dallas Morning News about her quarantine:

I am scared about how health care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa. I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, most frightening, quarantine.

26 Oct, 2014

Treatment ‘Inhumane’

In a phone call with CNN, Hickox criticizes the way she has been treated.

For the first 12 hours, I was in shock. Now I’m angry…It’s really inhumane….To quarantine everyone, in case, you know, when you cannot predict who may develop Ebola or not, and to make me stay for 21 days, to not be with my family, to put me through this emotional and physical stress, is completely unacceptable. I feel like my basic human rights have been violated. To put me through this emotional and physical stress is completely unacceptable.

She also criticizes Chris Christie:

I heard from my mother last night who called me concerned and said, Governor Christie just said in an interview that you were quote-unquote ‘obviously ill’. And this is so frustrating to me. First of all, I don’t think he’s a doctor. And secondly, he’s never laid eyes on me. And thirdly, I have been asymptomatic since I’ve been here. I feel physically completely strong and emotionally completely exhausted. But for him to say I’m ‘obviously ill’, which is even a strange thing, that, what does that mean? Someone define that for me, because I think I don’t quite understand what ‘obviously ill’ means.

Cases top 10,000

The WHO says cases of the virus now number more than 10,000, and 5,000 people have died. It says the true number could be higher, due to underreporting.

Illinois quarantine order

The state Department of Public Health announces a 21-day quarantine for people who’ve had direct contact with West Africa Ebola patients. Gov. Quinn:

[This is a] common sense step

‘Medical system a casualty’

Reports say the reputation of the WHO is being damaged after the organization is faulted for foot-dragging and misjudgements, while Big Pharma, the West’s aid policies in Africa, and public faith in the industrialized world’s health systems are also questioned. Commentary in The Lancet:

Failures in leadership have allowed a preventable disease to spin out of control, with vast harms to social order and human dignity

White House secures release

Pressure from the White House is reported to be behind Hickox’s release from quarantine. Administration official:

We have let the governors of New York, New Jersey, and others states know that we have concerns with the unintended consequences of policies not grounded in science may have on efforts to combat Ebola at its source in West Africa.

We have also let these states know that we are working on new guidelines for returning healthcare workers that will protect the American people against imported cases, while, at the same time, enabling us to continue to tackle this epidemic in West Africa.

Pentagon builds transport units

The Pentagon is building portable isolation units that can carry up to 12 Ebola patients for transport on military planes. It says it doesn’t expect to need them for the 3,000 U.S. troops heading to the region, as they are focused on building clinics, training personnel and testing patient blood samples.

We want to be prepared to care for the people we do have there just out of an abundance of caution

U.S. soldiers isolated in Italy

Soldiers returning from Liberia are reported to be placed in isolation in Vicenza for 21 days. Among the 11 soliders reported to be in isolation is Maj. Gen. Williams, who was the commander of the U.S. Army in Africa but turned over duties to the 101st Airborne Division over the weekend. They were apparently met by Carabinieri in full uniform. If the policy continues, hundreds of soldiers will end up in isolation. Another 30 are due to fly in to the country Monday. The Pentagon refers to the quarantine as ‘enhanced monitoring’. The soldiers are confined to a building, and can’t see their families.

Florida orders 21-day quarantine

Gov. Scott signs an order requiring twice-daily monitoring for anyone returning from places the CDC designates as affected by Ebola:

Therefore, we are moving quickly to require the four individuals who have returned to Florida already – and anyone in the future who will return to Florida from an Ebola area – to take part in twice daily 21-day health evaluations with DOH personnel

Urges states to reverse quarantine policy

The White House is pressing New York and New Jersey to reverse mandatory quarantine policies. Administration official:

[The decision is] uncoordinated, very hurried, an immediate reaction to the New York City case that doesn’t comport with science.

Toddler dies in Mali

Death

Two-year-old Fanta Kone dies after contracting the virus. Her grandmother traveled more than 600 miles from back to Mali from southern Guinea after her father died of the virus there. WHO:

The child’s symptomatic state during the bus journey is especially concerning, as it presented multiple opportunities for exposures – including high-risk exposures – involving many people.

Lied about exposure

The ER nurse says that Duncan denied contact with patients on his second visit to Texas Health Presbyterian:

I explained to him, ‘We are under the impression that you may have been exposed to Ebola.’ And I said, ‘Where are you from?’ And he told me Liberia. And I asked ‘Have you been in contact with anyone who’s been sick?’ No. He said no.

Wikipedia article gets 17m views

The online encyclopedia’s article about Ebola has been viewed around the same number of times in the last month as the WHO’s Ebola fact sheet, and the Ebola pages of WebMD and the Mayo Clinic. Wikiproject Medicine founder Dr. Jacob de Wolff, who is an internist at Northwick Park Hospital in London:

It is because Wikipedia is such a recognized brand — obviously the C.D.C. is still much more authoritative than we will ever be — that people will click on that link

27 Oct, 2014

Child quarantined

An ambulance crew is full hazmat gear brings a five-year-old boy is to Bellevue after reporting a fever. He had been in Guinea, one of the three West African countries affected by the disease, in the past 21 days, While initially being examined, officials said the child did not have a fever, but later developed one around 7 a.m. Monday. After consulting with the hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Department conducted a test for Ebola. Test results are expected within 12 hours. Health officials are also looking and other causes for the child’s symptoms

Criticizes nations for failing to help

Powers criticizes the international response as she begins a tour of Ebola-affected west Africa:

The international response to Ebola needs to be taken to a wholly different scale than it is right now. [Many countries are] signing on to resolutions and praising the good work that the United States and the United Kingdom and others are doing, but they themselves haven’t taken the responsibility yet to send docs, to send beds, to send the reasonable amount of money

Modifies quarantine rules

Gov. Cuomo announces that people arriving in New York State after having contact with Ebola victims in west Africa will be required to stay at home for 21 days, a modification that is more in line with federal guidance.

It’s a home quarantine but it is a mandatory quarantine…It’s not like a terrible task is being asked of you … you stay at home

Released

Hickox is released from the tent outside University Hospital where she was being held in quarantine, and is allowed to take private transport home to Maine. Statement:

Since testing negative for Ebola on early Saturday morning, the patient being monitored in isolation at University Hospital in Newark has thankfully been symptom free for the last 24 hours. As a result, and after being evaluated in coordination with the CDC and the treating clinicians at University Hospital, the patient is being discharged.

Received Brincidofovir

Medical records show that Duncan received the experimental drug six days after doctors first suspected he had the virus, but it was unable to prevent his death. Mukpo also received the drug, and survived.

Can survive for up to 50 days

The Zaire strain of the virus survives the longest on glass surfaces stored at 39 fahrenheit, up to 50 days, and can remain alive on dry surfaces such as doorknobs and tables for several hours. The survival period is extended in moist environments, such as mucus. Researchers:

This study has demonstrated that filoviruses are able to survive and remain infectious, for extended periods when suspended within liquid and dried onto surfaces. Data from this study extend the knowledge on the survival of filoviruses under different conditions and provide a basis with which to inform risk assessments and manage exposure.

‘Quarantine is destructive’

The New England Journal of Medicine says the quarantine policies put in place by state governors are ‘more destructive than beneficial’:

We think the governors have it wrong.

Minnesota restaurant changes name

The owner of Mama Ti’s African Kitchen in Minneapolis-St. Paul is forced to tape over the ‘African’ part of the sign after customers avoid the restaurant and one asks directly if the establishment has Ebola.

This African name that brought people in before, is now hurting me. We get the jokes, the ridicule. Just putting that tape up there triggered emotions that I keep down, but that really hurt

Confusion over anti-Ebola effort

Media question the White House over the anti-Ebola effort and what Klain is doing, as confusion deepens with New York changing its mandatory quarantine rules and New Jersey keeping its rules in place, while the CDC says returning healthcare workers don’t need to be quarantined but U.S. armed forces personnel are quarantined in Italy. Reporter to White House press secretary:

What has changed since he started his job? It appears as though this week there’s more confusion than there was last week, given what we’re seeing in New York and New Jersey, and more differences between how the states are dealing with it.

28 Oct, 2014

Details of plan to bring non-citizens to U.S.

Fox obtains State Department documents showing details of the plan to bring non-U.S. patients into the country. The channel doesn’t say what stage the plan is at or how likely it is to be implemented but says the document has been seen by Undersecretary Kennedy. Reporter:

They’re documents we started hearing about in the middle of last week…It’s basically been cleared at the highest level of the State Department…allowing non-U.S. citizens to come here – be brought here, because we pay for it – for treatment

The report says the cost is estimated to be at least $500,000 per patient including multiple nurses and other healthcare workers:

That’s actually a very low estimate

The document notes that Germany is the first nation to accept a non-citizen for treatment. It says patients are anticipated to be people from:

NGOs, major American corporations, allies, and other potential friends or partners in the region … All this is to show the U.S. is committed to fighting Ebola

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