Tag Archives: ebola

Ebola diagnosis for 2nd Texas hospital worker raising questions over virus battle plan

Confirmation that a second Texas health care worker has tested positive for Ebola is raising questions over whether the hospital and federal health officials really have a handle on containing the virus.

Top Obama administration health officials on Wednesday acknowledged that federal agencies should play – and should have played — a bigger role in checking the spread of Ebola in Texas.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings also warned the situation “may get worse before it gets better” — while assuring it ultimately will get better.

Such statements are a departure from the confident Obama administration claims just days ago that they would stop Ebola “in its tracks.”

“The president, he’s about two steps behind on everything, and then he just sort of does the Heisman,” Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., told Fox News on Tuesday regarding the Ebola developments, before the latest diagnosis.

He added: “I don’t care what protocols we have and the strain we are now putting on our health care system, all hospitals. You have human error.”

Roberts is among the lawmakers calling for a travel ban for affected West African countries, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies say that would be counterproductive.

CDC Director Tom Frieden, though, rejected the notion that his agency has bad information.

“Our information is clear and correct,” he told Fox News on Tuesday. “But we do look at what happens and we adjust as we need to. We know how Ebola spreads. We know how to stop it.”

Frieden earlier in the week warned there may be additional cases in the U.S., after the first Texas hospital worker tested positive for the virus.

Asked Tuesday whether President Obama retains confidence in Frieden, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said: “He does.”

“[Frieden] is somebody who, in the last few months here, has been working almost around the clock to ensure that our response is commensurate with the challenge that is posed here. And the challenge that’s posed is significant,” Earnest said.

However, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said Wednesday that the federal government could have performed “much better oversight” of the Dallas hospital where two health care workers caught Ebola after treating the first U.S. patient with the disease.

Burwell told NBC News that the government is taking more steps to help prevent the spread of infection at the hospital, including more intensive training for workers and a 24-hour site manager to oversee how equipment is being put on and taken off.

She sidestepped questions about whether she had complete confidence in Dallas’ Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and whether the two infected workers should be transferred to one of four specialized hospitals. “We will keep all options and considerations right now,” she said.

Anthony Fauci, director of the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also said Wednesday: “What happened there [in Dallas], regardless of the reason, is not acceptable. It shouldn’t have happened.”

Fauci told MSNBC he envisioned the CDC taking “a much more involved role” in establishing the proper training protocols for Ebola cases.

According to officials, the worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital reported a fever Tuesday and was put in isolation within 90 minutes.

Health officials said the worker was among those who took care of Thomas Eric Duncan, who was diagnosed with Ebola after coming to the U.S. from Liberia. Duncan died Oct. 8.

Meanwhile, nurses at the Dallas hospital are claiming that a haphazard and sloppy care system was maintained during the treatment of Duncan. The nation’s largest nurses’ union described how Duncan was left in an open area of the emergency room for hours. National Nurses United, citing unidentified nurses, said staff treated Duncan for days without the correct protective gear, that hazardous waste was allowed to pile up to the ceiling and safety protocols constantly changed.

RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of Nurses United, refused to say how many nurses made the statement about Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, but insisted they were in a position to know what happened.

Richard Carmona, former U.S. surgeon general, said nurses are often the “barometer” for how a hospital functions.

“We need to listen,” he told Fox News, “and take appropriate action.”

He voiced confidence in the information that the CDC is using to address the crisis, but acknowledged that skill sets may have faded in the lull before the outbreak. “You get a little complacent,” Carmona said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The US Military No Longer Fights

The only boots on the ground are apparently going to be military serving outside their training taking care of Ebola patients.  While the President does not believe ISIS or terrorism are imminent threats to our national security, and his people assure us we have nothing to fear from Ebola, it is apparently a national threat worthy of troops?

When I was in the military, we were all taught how to kill.  Basically, our job was to kill the enemies of the United States.  This is the Oath I swore to:

“I,Michael Bradley, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

There is no expiration date on that oath by the way.  It does not end, “Until such time as I am separated from service…”  We were taught simply to have the enemy die for THEIR cause, and to live for ours.  Several times I was nearly in combat and I did suffer a service related disability which I still have.  As a volunteer, disabled veteran and patriot, it disturbs me that our military no longer fights.  Thank God President Reagan was my Commander-in-Chief.  In fact, the recent administrations seem committed to never having our troops fight, with the dreaded “boots on the ground” bs.  Instead, they nation build, school build, do humanitarian work, police work, and basically do everything they are NOT trained to do.  They are trained to kill the enemy, not be social workers and the Peace Corps.

So now, we have our military going to West Africa, not to fight terrorists, but to be health aid workers.  They get to build and staff clinics for Ebola patients.  I remember fondly the portion of my military training on treating deadly viruses (sarcasm).  My real training was on firing pistols, automatic rifles and learning how to fix planes to bomb the hell out of the enemy.  Yep, can’t risk boots on the ground for the military to fight like they are trained to, as the best fighting force in the history of the planet.  Nope, let’s have them do blood samples.  Read for yourself…

US military personnel on Ebola mission to handle blood samples

According to officials, a small group of trained military medical technicians on the ground will not be required to make direct contact with patients infected with the Ebola virus. However, they will have to handle infected blood samples, which Pentagon officials acknowledged Tuesday could be just as dangerous, if not more.

The Ebola Virus

The Ebola Virus

Already, three mobile-testing labs, staffed by three or four technicians each, have been deployed in Liberia as part of Operation United Assistance, the U.S. military’s effort to combat the Ebola virus. Four more labs have been requested.

Pentagon officials say the servicemembers on these small teams are the only individuals who will be intentionally handling any raw material that could be infected.

Gen. David Rodriguez, the head of U.S. Africa Command, told Pentagon reporters on Tuesday that these teams are trained to take all the necessary precautions.

“Those people are trained to the very highest level of operating in a nuclear, biological, and chemical arena, and they are tested continually,” Rodriguez said. “The [team] from Walter Reed has been operating there for many years, for example.”

Nevertheless, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said even handling the blood samples comes with serious risk, “if not more risk” than actually coming in contact with patients.

Early stages

Early stages

Both Rodriguez and Kirby stressed that while a small team will be required to handle blood samples, most of the force is composed of engineers and logisticians who will not be dealing with patients.

“Let me assure you,” Rodriguez said, “by providing pre-deployment training, adhering to strict medical protocols while deployed, and carrying out carefully planned reintegration measures based on risk and exposure, I am confident that we can ensure our servicemembers’ safety and the safety of their families and the American people.”

The Pentagon had to clarify some of the general’s remarks after the briefing on Tuesday. Rodriguez had said repeatedly that these laboratory workers would have to come in contact with the patients to take blood samples.

But that was not correct — the samples will be provided to the lab workers.

On Tuesday afternoon, Rodriquez issued the following statement:

“In response to comments I made today about U.S. military personnel potentially coming in direct contact with Ebola infected individuals, specific to lab testing, I want to clarify  my remarks. U.S. military personnel working in the labs are not interacting with patients, only samples. The testing labs are manned by highly skilled and trained personnel from the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center. These labs provide 24-hour turnaround results on samples received from area clinics and healthcare providers, with the capability to process up to 100 samples per day.”

So far, nearly 300 U.S. troops have deployed to Liberia, with another 50 going to Senegal, where they’ll provide a staging base for the movement of equipment and personnel.

After liver and kidneys liquefy and the patient bleeds out from every opening.

After liver and kidneys liquefy and the patient bleeds out from every opening.

The troops in Liberia, which are still flowing in and could total as many as 4,000, are responsible for setting up 17 field hospitals, each capable of holding 100 beds. Those hospitals will be staffed by civilian aid workers, many from USAID.  The most sophisticated hospital they’ll build will be located in Monrovia, Liberia, a 25-bed operation designed only to treat caregivers who may become infected with the virus.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez said the mission could last for up to one year. He said $750 million already has been budgeted for the first six months.

He said containing the spread of the virus is a national security priority for President Obama.

Obama is expected to visit the Pentagon Wednesday, only his second visit inside the building since taking office in 2009.

The president will meet with senior military leaders to talk about Ebola as well as the Islamic State.

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Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million in 4 Months, C.D.C. Estimates

I hope the stupid memes mocking people like myself for being worried about Ebola will now stop for good…

Members of a Red Cross team removed the body of a woman who was believed to have died of Ebola from a home in Monrovia, Liberia, last week.  Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

In the worst-case scenario, Liberia and Sierra Leone could have 21,000 cases of Ebola by Sept. 30 and 1.4 million cases by Jan. 20 if the disease keeps spreading without effective methods to contain it. These figures take into account the fact that many cases go undetected, and estimate that there are actually 2.5 times as many as reported.

The report does not include figures for Guinea because case counts there have gone up and down in ways that cannot be reliably modeled.


What You Need to Know About the Ebola Outbreak

Questions and answers on the scale of the outbreak and the science of the Ebola virus.


“My gut feeling is, the actions we’re taking now are going to make that worst-case scenario not come to pass,” Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the C.D.C. director, said in a telephone interview. “But it’s important to understand that it could happen.”

The figures in the C.D.C. report are based on data from August, but Dr. Frieden said the situation appeared to have improved since then because more aid had begun to reach the region.

The current official case count is 5,843, including 2,803 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Dying of Ebola at the Hospital Door

Monrovia, the Liberian capital, is facing a widespread Ebola epidemic, and as the number of infected grows faster than hospital capacity, some patients wait outside near death.

The W.H.O. reported on Wednesday that a new treatment center had just opened in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, with 120 beds for treatment and 30 for triage. Patients were already lined up at the door.

Though providing home-care kits may seem like a pragmatic approach, some public health authorities said they were no substitute for beds in isolation or containment wards.

But Dr. Frieden said that home care had been used to help stamp out smallpox in Africa during the 1960s. The caregivers were often people who had survived smallpox themselves and were immune to it. Some experts have suggested that Ebola survivors might also be employed to care for the sick.

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WHO shuts Sierra Leone lab after worker infected with Ebola

FREETOWN/KINSHASA Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:59pm EDT

Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) health workers prepare at ELWA's hospital isolation camp during the visit of  Senior United Nations (U.N.) System Coordinator for Ebola, David Nabarro, in Monrovia August 23, 2014.  REUTERS/2Tango

Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) health workers prepare at ELWA’s hospital isolation camp during the visit of Senior United Nations (U.N.) System Coordinator for Ebola, David Nabarro, in Monrovia August 23, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/2Tango

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FREETOWN/KINSHASA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday it had shut a laboratory in Sierra Leone after a health worker there was infected with Ebola, a move that may hamper efforts to boost the global response to the worst ever outbreak of the disease.

At least 1,427 people have died and 2,615 have been infected since the disease was detected deep in the forests of southeastern Guinea in March.

The WHO has deployed nearly 400 of its own staff and partner organizations to fight the epidemic of the highly contagious hemorrhagic fever, which has struck Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. A separate outbreak was confirmed in Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday.

Nigeria’s health minister said on Tuesday his country had “thus far contained” the Ebola outbreak.

One of the deadliest diseases known to man, Ebola is transmitted by contact with body fluids and the current outbreak has killed at least 120 healthcare workers.

The WHO said it had withdrawn staff from the laboratory testing for Ebola at Kailahun — one of only two in Sierra Leone — after a Senegalese epidemiologist was infected with Ebola.

“It’s a temporary measure to take care of the welfare of our remaining workers,” WHO spokesperson Christy Feig said, without specifying how long the measure would last. “After our assessment, they will return.”

Feig said she could not assess what impact the withdrawal of WHO staff would have on the fight against Ebola in the Kailahun, the area hardest hit by the disease. The WHO said in a later statement that staff would return after an investigation was completed, adding that testing would continue in the meantime at the Kenema laboratory.

The Senegalese medic — the first worker deployed by WHO to be infected — will be evacuated from Sierra Leone in the coming days, Feig said. He is currently being treated at a government hospital in the eastern town of Kenema.


With its resources stretched by the West African outbreak, medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Tuesday it could provide only limited help to tackle Congo’s outbreak.

A report from the U.N. mission in Congo on Tuesday said 13 people there had died from Ebola, including five health workers.

Congo said on Sunday it would quarantine the area around the town of Djera, in the isolated northwestern jungle province of Equateur, where a high number of suspected cases has been reported. It is Congo’s seventh outbreak since Ebola was discovered in 1976 in Equateur, near the Ebola river.

Congo’s Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said on Sunday the outbreak in Equateur was a different strain of the virus from the deadly Zaire version in West Africa, although further tests are planned in a German laboratory.

“Usually, we would be able to mobilize specialist hemorrhagic fever teams, but we are currently responding to a massive epidemic in West Africa,” said Jeroen Beijnberger, MSF medical coordinator in Congo. “This is limiting our capacity to respond to the epidemic in Equateur Province.”

However, the charity said it would send doctors, nurses and logistics experts to the region and would work with the government to open an Ebola case management center in Lokolia.

Louise Roland-Gosselin, deputy head of mission for MSF in Congo, said Congolese Ebola experts working in West Africa should return to their own country to assist with the local outbreak. “MSF can’t do it alone,” she added.

The WHO plans to send protective equipment for medical staff in Equateur.

A 65-year-old woman with Ebola-like symptoms died in the Equateur’s capital Mbandaka, health workers said on Tuesday, raising concerns of a possible spread to an urban center.

Health Minister Kabange Numbi confirmed the death but said the cause was not yet known.


Up to 90 percent of Ebola victims die, although the fatality rate in the current outbreak is lower at close to 60 percent.

The only treatments are extremely rare, experimental and have so far had mixed results. Of the six health workers known to have been treated with unlicensed drug ZMapp, two have died.

Still, the first Briton to have contracted the deadly Ebola virus while working in West Africa has decided to take the drug, the London hospital where he is being treated said, adding that the volunteer nurse was “in good spirits”.

Sierra Leone and Liberia — struggling to recover from a decade of civil war in the 1990s — have seen their healthcare systems overwhelmed by Ebola, the first outbreak in West Africa.

In Liberia, the country that has reported the most Ebola deaths, the health ministry has reported more than 200 new suspected, probable and confirmed cases in a three-day period. Most of them occurred in the seaside capital Monrovia, where two neighborhoods are under army-backed quarantine.

Some Liberian officials have been fleeing the country or just not turning up at work for fear of contracting the virus, prompting President Ellen Johnson on Tuesday to issue orders threatening those of ministerial rank with dismissal.

More junior civil servants would have their salaries suspended, a presidency official told Reuters. It was not clear how many officials would be affected by the presidential order.

Liberia said a ban on travel to the region imposed by neighboring countries was complicating the fight against Ebola and leading to shortages of basic goods. British Airways said on Tuesday it planned to extend a suspension of flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia until December 31 because of Ebola.

“Isolating Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea is not in any way contributing to the fight against this disease,” Information Minister Lewis Brown said. “How do we get in the kinds of supplies that we need? How do we get experts to come to our country? Is that African solidarity?”

(Additional reporting by Bienvenu-Marie Bakumanya in Kinshasa, James Harding Giahyue in Monrovia and Emma Farge in Dakar; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Gareth Jones)


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Ebola – The Nightmare Grows

I don’t know why the mainstream media and memes are mocking concerns over Ebola.  The disease has spread to several West African countries, primarily in Liberia.  (Liberia is named after liberation and its Capitol of Monrovia after President Monroe.  It was formed by repatriation of American slaves.)  As of now, over 2,000 people are known to be infected, and over 1,300 have died.  Of that number, 170 dead are hospital workers, including the leading Ebola researcher.

There are now clinics and hospitals where Ebola patients lay on their beds but they are abandoned because all the nurses and doctors have died.  Can you imagine? It’s like the opening scene of The Walking Dead.  You wake up alone in a hospital of dead people with bodies strewn about.

Hemorrhagic fever is a rare RNA virus that causes blood vessels and organs to liquefy and you bleed out every orifice including eyes, nose, mouth, etc.  Ebola has a 60-90% mortality rate and it is no fun for those who survive and suffer damage from the virus.  Unfortunately, those with Ebola can go up to 21 days before showing symptoms.


People keep saying, oh, you can only get it by touching body fluids.  If it is that hard to contract, how come all the medical specialists on Ebola are dead despite wearing protective gear?  Locals are refusing to burn the dead and everything they have contacted.  If you bury an Ebola victim, when the ground is wet or it rains, the virus will drift into the water strata, infecting wells and local water sources.  The feces, urine, sweat, coughing, clothing, items touched by victims, all have Ebola on them.

A non-symptomatic person can for three weeks touch others, contaminate everything they touch, use toilet facilities and spread the virus into the sewage system and water strata, etc.  Viruses are not removed in water purification systems as they are too small.  Now they are quarantining the most affected areas.  Experts expect that everyone within the quarantine areas will die.  As a result, military forces are setting up road blocks to shoot anyone trying to escape the area.

Two victims are being treated in the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta in the United States.  Rumors are that the husband of the nurse has already been quarantined for accidental contact with his wife.  In Spain, a Catholic Priest returned home, unaware he had been infected and died after arriving home.

The only cure for an outbreak of Ebola is quarantine and burning all exposed materials.  The treatment is simply trying to fight the symptoms of the disease.  There is an experimental RNA vaccine and treatment that uses human RNA grown in tobacco plants.  However, there is still no evidence this will work.  In fact, the top Ebola scientist died in Liberia despite taking the treatment.

So yes, be worried.  There are still people flying to and from this area who might be infected.  They are asking them questions, like, “have you been near someone infected?”  Knowing that to answer yes means being quarantined and near certain death in an area with no more health care providers alive will certainly induce most to lie to get the hell out of there.

Now, there is rioting in infected areas, where what little help they might receive is being destroyed.  (See Article below).  Please join me in praying for all those affected.  Also, join me in telling our leaders to stop allowing people to travel all over the world after being in outbreak areas.


Mob Destroys Ebola Center In Liberia Two Days After It Opens

Fear and denial of the deadly virus are pervasive in Liberia. The mob exponentially increased the risk in one of the country’s biggest Ebola hot spots. posted on Aug. 16, 2014, at 2:43 p.m.

Women beckon to the family of Makasha Kroma, who was waiting at the transit facility for confirmation she had Ebola. John Moore / Getty Images

MONROVIA, Liberia — This morning Makasha Kroma shivered with fever. Her head still hurt; that hadn’t gone away. And she was vomiting a lot.

That’s why she’d ended up here, at a holding center where people suspected to have Ebola wait, in a dark classroom, for the results of their tests. These things — headache, fever, vomiting — are the early signs.

Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids. It has no treatment, besides hydration, no cure, no proven vaccine. Since February, it’s ravaged West Africa, infecting more than 2,000 people in four countries and killing more than 1,100.

Kroma came to the West Point holding center with her sister, her three children, a cousin named Bindu, and two other family members. They are all women, or girls — most caregivers in Liberia are — and they washed Kroma’s clothes, fed her rice, wiped down her body, and cleaned up her vomit with a rag and some chlorine.

Those are the kinds of chores that give you Ebola. And the girls had no gloves. All the gloves the Ministry of Health brought this place when it opened yesterday, all 150 of them, were gone by the middle of the night.

That’s when three people escaped. Because Sam Tarplah and his staff didn’t have any gloves, they couldn’t restrain the patients who wanted to flee. They could only plead.

“We begged them, told them people are coming tomorrow to help you,” Tarplah said. “But there was no way we could fight them.”

Two escaped by climbing the back wall, according to health care workers in a clinic next door. Another, a woman with five children, simply took off, Tarplah said.

Tarplah is a registered nurse who’s worked in health care in Liberia since 1989; he opened this holding center for the Ministry of Health on Thursday, and had eight patients. On Friday, before the escape, he had 29.

West Point is becoming a hot spot in a hot spot in the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. It’s an informal community, a “slum,” with no running water or toilets. People can live seven or more to a single dwelling, and the density is dangerous: A positive Ebola patient disappearing into the maze of metal shacks can be a public health horror story.

Today, things got even worse.

A man removes a child from the Ebola holding facility in West Point. John Moore / Getty Images

A mob descended on the center at around 5:30 p.m., chanting, “No Ebola in West Point! No Ebola in West Point!” They stormed the front gate and pushed into the holding center. They stole the few gloves someone had donated this morning, and the chlorine sprayers used to disinfect the bodies of those who die here, all the while hollering that Ebola is a hoax.

They ransacked the protective suits, the goggles, the masks. They destroyed part of Tarplah’s car as he was fleeing the crowd.

Jemimah Kargbo, a health care worker at a clinic next door, said they took mattresses and bedding, utensils and plastic chairs.

“Everybody left with their own thing,” she said. “What are they carrying to their homes? They are carrying their deaths.”

She said the police showed up but the crowd intimidated them.

“The police were there but they couldn’t contain them. They started threatening the police, so the police just looked at them,” she said.

And then mob left with all of the patients.

“They said, ‘The president says you have Ebola, but you don’t have Ebola, you have malaria. Get up and go out!’” Kargbo said.

“What’s going to happen when they come to our clinic? In two to five days?” Kargbo asked, referencing the early period when newly infected patients begin to show their first symptoms. “We’re going to turn them around” and send them to a different hospital, she said.

Kargbo said the staff at the clinic have no protective gear. They were already afraid about treating possible Ebola patients, and the riot means more infections as escaped sick patients infect their families, and as looters sleep on mattresses where the Ebola-infected have died.

“We can’t let them turn around and come back and infect us,” Kargbo said. “I have four sons. I am a single mother. I’m not going to let that happen to my children. I’m not going to let anybody infect me, to die of the disease and leave my children.”

Tolbert Nyenswah, the assistant minister of health, told BuzzFeed on Thursday they intend to quarantine all of West Point, a serious measure that would require meticulous planning and heavy security.

Nyenswah could not be reached for comment on today’s riot or its effect on the quarantine plan.

Bindu, the 22-year-old who had been quarantined in the center while caring for her dying cousin, told BuzzFeed this morning that the family wouldn’t leave before Kroma got her results. They wanted to follow the rules and stay as safe as possible.

But that didn’t mean they wanted to be stuck in there — no cell phone, no electricity, no visitors, surrounded by strangers vomiting and collapsing and dying on the floor in front of them.

“We just want to go home,” she said through a window.

Now nobody knows where she, or the dying Kroma, has gone.

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