The Ebola crisis has continued to accelerate as the WHO confirmed total deaths from the virus passed 4,000 out of almost 8,400 official cases. The outbreak has prompted greater calls for aid and caution.
Euronews The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday that 4,033 people are known to have died in the worst Ebola outbreak on record, out of 8,399 cases. It added that the virus had become “entrenched” in the capital cities of the worst affected West African countries.
The WHO also expanded the list of countries that needed to be on alert for the virus, a designation which comes with suggested actions.
Bloomberg The virus has spread to five of the seven counties in Guinea and Liberia that share borders with Ivory Coast, compared with just one county five weeks ago, according to the Geneva-based WHO. The other nations the agency is concerned may get Ebola cases are Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Mauritania, Nigeria and Togo, said Chris Bailey, a WHO spokesman. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * [Quoting Ivory Coast official Daouda Coulibaly, head of the epidemiological monitoring service] The WHO’s checklist will ask the 13 countries to ensure they have laboratories that are able to test for Ebola, enough protective equipment and staff to perform contact tracing. The countries will need to develop protocols for handling medical waste, a communications plan and other measures to ensure they’re able to rapidly contain the virus, the WHO’s Bailey said.
Several isolation centers have been established in the largest city, Abidjan, and the country’s west that will be converted into as many as 20 treatment centers in the next few weeks, Coulibaly said. The government has also sent mobile phone text messages to citizens, banned the sale and consumption of bushmeat and advised people to abandon shaking hands and the traditional three-kiss greeting.
Guinea is warning of a sharp increase in cases according to Doctors Without Borders. The problem of the virus spreading, especially towards Ivory Coast, can be seen in just one month’s difference in WHO reports.
Kenya has closed a border following a suspected case in Eastern Uganda. Nigeria is said to be ‘monitoring’ 1332 of its soldiers in Liberia after contacting a man who died of related symptoms.
The Washington Post had some more dire details on how fast the virus is spreading.
Washington Post When the experts describe the Ebola disaster, they do so with numbers. The statistics include not just the obvious ones, such as caseloads, deaths and the rate of infection, but also the ones that describe the speed of the global response. Right now, the math still favors the virus. Global health officials are looking closely at the “reproduction number,” which estimates how many people, on average, will catch the virus from each person stricken with Ebola. The epidemic will begin to decline when that number falls below one. A recent analysis estimated the number at 1.5 to 2. The number of Ebola cases in West Africa has been doubling about every three weeks. There is little evidence so far that the epidemic is losing momentum. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * More numbers came from Ernest Bai Koroma, president of Sierra Leone: The country desperately needs 750 doctors, 3,000 nurses, 1,500 hygienists, counselors and nutritionists. The numbers in this crisis are notoriously squishy, however. Epidemiological data is sketchy at best. No one really knows exactly how big the epidemic is, in part because there are areas in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea where disease detectives cannot venture because of safety concerns. The current assumption is that for every four known Ebola cases, about six more go unreported. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The U.S. military is building 17 treatment centers that can hold 100 people each, but the top military commander in Africa said Tuesday that they won’t be ready until mid-November. Liberia and Sierra Leone have a particularly keen need for more hospital beds. The two countries currently have 924 beds between them, but they need 4,078, according to the WHO.
All these revelations come as the US military has an expanded presence on the ground in Liberia. Despite prior assertions that US troops would be in no danger, it has been confirmed that they may be in contact with virus-laden material.
AP The fleet of planes that landed outside the Liberian capital of Monrovia consisted of four MV-22 Ospreys and two KC-130s. The 100 additional Marines bring to just over 300 the total number of American troops in the country, said Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, the commander leading the U.S. response. Williams joined the American ambassador to Liberia, Deborah Malac, at the airport to greet the aircraft. As vehicles unloaded boxes of equipment wrapped in green-and-black cloth, the Marines formed a line on the tarmac and had their temperatures checked by Liberian health workers. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The U.S. military is working to build medical centers in Liberia and may send up to 4,000 soldiers to help with the Ebola crisis. Medical workers and beds for Ebola patients are sorely lacking. British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said his country would provide more than 750 troops to help build treatment centers and an Ebola “training academy” in Sierra Leone. Army medics and helicopters will provide direct support. Britain will also contribute an aviation support ship. British troops are expected to arrive next week in Sierra Leone, where they will join military engineers and planners who have been there for nearly a month helping to construct medical centers. The German military, which has already been flying material such as protective clothing from Senegal to the worst-hit countries, planned to start a wider deployment of aid in mid-November. The military is expected to set up a clinic for 50 patients. Sierra Leone officials finally released a shipping container filled with medical gear and mattresses that had been held up at the port for more than a month.
Speaking of Sierra Leone, burial team workers went on a brief strike to highlight the problems in receiving their wages. Those are the last people that should be shorted during the most deadly Ebola outbreak in history.
RT.com The highly contagious bodies of those dead from Ebola have been left in the streets across Sierra Leone, where burial teams have gone on strike over unpaid wages, the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation has reported. The country’s deputy health minister Madina Rahman said in a Wednesday radio interview that the strike was over a week-long overdue risk allowance to burial teams, and added that the issue had been “resolved.” “The health ministry is going to investigate the delay in the health workers not receiving their money,” Rahman said, according to The Associated Press. The strike’s organizers have not yet said whether the comment meant that their walkout was over. On Tuesday, burial teams in two districts of Sierra Leone, including the capital, Freetown, announced they were on strike. “We have decided to stop working until they pay us our weekly risk allowance,” a burial worker Tamba Nyandemoh told Reuters, arguing the teams had not been paid for two weeks. Nyandemoh explained the teams, each consisting of 12 workers, bury between 17 and 35 bodies a day. Workers are paid $100 a week for the job. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * A member of a striking burial team who wished not to disclose his identity, said he did not care “if dead bodies litter all over the city” if that helps draw attention to the workers’ hardships. “All we want is our money,” he said, Reuters reported. “We have been stigmatised in our communities, so let the government try to pay us our money.”
A similar threat has been made in Liberia, one which has the danger to be more severe, particularly in light of the government banning journalists from Ebola treatment centers.
AP Health workers in neighboring Liberia also were threatening a strike if their demands for more money and personal protective gear are not met by the end of the week. The average health worker salary is currently below $500 per month, even for the most highly trained staff.
As the Financial Times reports airline cabin cleaners at New York’s LaGuardia Airport went on a 24 hour strike over Ebola fears.
Up to 200 airline cabin cleaners were expected to strike on Thursday over concerns that they might be exposed to Ebola as US authorities try to contain alarm over the virus.
Cabin cleaners who work for Air Serv walked off their shifts at La Guardia airport, according to union representatives, the day after the US said it would step up health screenings of air travellers in the coming days.
La Guardia does not receive international flights, but a union official said workers were worried about international travellers arriving at the airport via domestic flights.
A man died in Macedonia after exhibiting Ebola-like symptoms. That has had the region on edge combined with news of a Spanish nurse contracting the disease.
RT.com Macedonia said on Friday there was only a “small probability” a Briton who died in Skopje on Thursday had the Ebola virus, according to an initial analysis.
“There is a small probability he had Ebola, but we have to wait for the full results,” Dr. Jovanka Kostovska of the ministry’s commission for infectious diseases told a news conference.
Kostovska said there were no other suspicious cases in Macedonia but that the hotel where the Briton had been staying remained sealed off. Blood and tissue samples have been sent to Frankfurt for testing. (Reuters)
Eleven Australians have been tested recently.
The Dallas deputy hospitalized tested negative, there was a scare in Birmingham, AL also.
Officials have ruled out Ebola after a passenger vomited on a flight, prompting a response in Las Vegas.
Zero Hedge Six ambulances have surrounded a plane this morning at McCarran International Airport amid reports that a passenger on a Delta flight from New York is showing symptoms similar to Ebola, according to NBC3 local news.
Delta Airlines Flight 404 at Terminal 1, Gate D40 is the focus of the medical response.
UMC officials say they have been placed on stand-by to receive patients.
A passenger tweeted a chilling image that has become an increasing trend. Expect images like this to become more common.
The police state is in effect in Connecticut already (just in case).
Governor Dannel Malloy has declared Connecticut to be in a state of public health emergency, enabling the indefinite suspension of certain civil rights. State bureaucrats have been granted the broad authority to forcibly detain suspected sick people without due process. The declaration came preemptively, as Connecticut has not yet seen a single case of the virus it purports to stop.
Rationalizing his actions, the governor said in a statement: “We need to have the authorities in place that will allow us to move quickly to protect public health, if and when that becomes necessary. Signing this order will allow us to do that.”
The recipient of most of the newly-imparted power is Jewel Mullen, Connecticut’s Commissioner of the Department of Public Health (DPH). By having this measure in place, Commissioner Mullen explained, “we don’t have to scramble in the event I need to take action.”
The actions that authorities might want to “scramble” to use is the forcible quarantine of citizens — without charges or trial.
Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-131a spells out the powers that may be used during the state of public health emergency:
“[While] the emergency exists [the state] may do any of the following: (1) Order the commissioner to implement all or a portion of the public health emergency response plan developed pursuant to section 19a-131g; (2) authorize the commissioner to isolate or quarantine persons in accordance with section 19a-131b; (3) order the commissioner to vaccinate persons in accordance with section 19a-131e; or (4) apply for and receive federal assistance.”
As noted above, the Commissioner may issue an order of mass vaccination at his or her own discretion.
Section 19a-131d states that any individual who refuses to comply with any portion of the order may be punished with with fines and imprisonment for up to one (1) year.
Fending off a police state requires constant vigilance against efforts to desecrate civil liberties. As the current scenario has shown us, a climate of fear — fear of disease, terrorism, foreign threats, etc. — makes it all-too easy to suspend constitutional rights with minimal public resistance. Many people actually feel grateful to see the government absorbing greater powers; taken with the promises of keeping them safe.
The state of public health emergency will remain in effect indefinitely until lifted by the governor.
A scare in Paris saw 60 people detained briefly.
Ebola Pandemic Update: Probable Cases In Brazil And Paris, 7 More Isolated In Spain, WHO Warning
Spanish club orders player back from Africa over Ebola fears
New York Times: Some May Carry Ebola Without Showing Any Symptoms
No Ebola Humor: Joke on flight prompts Hazmat response to passenger – VIDEO
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