Friday, October 10, 2014

Ebola Update: Probable Cases In Brazil And Paris, 7 More Isolated In Spain, WHO Warning, Anti-Semitism In 21st Century

Despite claims of containment, Reuters reports seven more people turned themselves in late on Thursday to an Ebola isolation unit in Madrid; but following a visit by PM Rajoy, Spanish citizens can relax as the government is setting up a special Ebola committee. Following yesterday's scare in Paris, The Independent reports authorities are investigating a 'probable' case of a French national who may have contracted the disease in Africa. The World Health organization has warned that East Asia is at risk of becoming a "hot spot" for diseases - but is well prepared after SARS and avian flu but it is the appearance of a confirmed case in Brazil that is most concerning. A 47-year-old man, originally from Guinea, is LatAm's first case and suggests SOUTHCOM's "nightmare scenario" is closer than many would care to believe. Finally, the CDC has issued special guidance to 911 operators on dealing with suspected Ebola cases across America.

Spain continues to escalate (as Reuters reports)

Seven people turned themselves in late on Thursday to an Ebola isolation unit in Madrid where Teresa Romero, the nurse who became the first person to contract Ebola outside Africa, lay gravely ill.


In Spain, recriminations mounted over Romero, who was infected in hospital as she treated two Spanish missionaries who had caught the hemorrhagic fever in West Africa -- where Ebola has already killed around 4,000 people -- and remained undiagnozed for days despite reporting her symptoms.

The seven new admissions included two hairdressers who had given Romero a beauty treatment before she was diagnosed with Ebola, and hospital staff who had treated the 44-year-old nurse. The Carlos III hospital said they had all turned themselves in voluntarily to be monitored for signs of the disease.

A hospital spokeswoman said there werenow 14 people in the isolation unit on its sealed-off sixth floor, including Romero, her husband, and health workers who had cared for Romero since she was admitted on Monday.

Following yesterday's false alarm, The Independent reports that France appears to have its first case...

Authorities in Paris are investigating a “probable” case of Ebola in a hospital,according to local reports.

Doctors are expected to receive results from medical tests on a woman who may have contracted the virus and is currently being treated in hospital on Friday, Europe 1 has reported.

They fear the woman may have contracted the virus in Africa. She is understood not to be a French national

Brazil becomes the first South American country with a confirmed Ebola infection (as The Independent reports)

Brazil is treating a 47-year-old man who has become the country’s first suspected case of the deadly Ebola virus.

The man, originally from Guinea in West Africa, has been placed into isolation at a hospital in the city of Cascavel, where Brazil’s ministry of health have sent specialists to provide additional help and care.

He arrived in Brazil on 19 September and isbelieved to have travelled from Guinea.

On Thursday afternoon the man went to the emergency department at the hospital with a fever. His case is being treated by medics as suspicious as his symptoms have developed within the maximum incubation period for Ebola, which is 21 days.

Brazil’s ministry of health has reminded people that Ebola is transmitted through the contact with the blood, tissues or bodily fluids of sick individuals, or through the contact of contaminated objects or surfaces

And finally, the World Health Organization is warning about risk in East Asia... (China Daily)

East Asia, with its trade and transport hubs and armies of migrant workers, is at risk from Ebola but is improving its defenses and may be more ready than other areas to respond if cases are diagnosed, World Health Organization officials said Friday.

Shin Young-soo, the WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, said East Asia has been a "hotspot" for emerging diseases in the past and has dealt with SARS and avian flu, so it is more prepared than other regions to respond after learning the importance of public education, strong surveillance and transparency.

"All these travel, economic trade, and we have global hubs like Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines is sending a lot of work forces all over the world," make it a possibility for the virus to reach East Asia, Shin said.

A BRITISH man suspected of having Ebola has died in the Macedonian capital of Skopje, with fears that more Brits may have contracted the virus.

If confirmed, the unidentified man will be the first Briton who has died from the Ebola outbreak that has killed thousands in West Africa and has spread to North America and Europe.
The man’s travelling companion, also British, said they had not visited a country known to have Ebola outbreaks. However authorities said the second man has shown signs of the disease.
The Macedonian Health Ministry said the Britons had travelled to the country from the UK, raising fears that they might already have passed it on to friends or family.

Fears of a global Ebola outbreak spread yesterday as French officials sealed off a building with 60 people inside, an Australian nurse was tested for the disease and airplane cleaners went on strike in New York.
In France, police imposed a lock-down on a social services centre in a town near Paris after four people who arrived from Guinea this month fell ill with headaches and fever.
Officials in Cergy Pontoise, northwest of the capital, later said that the fears that the four were suffering from Ebola were a false alarm and the nearly 60 others inside were allowed to leave.
But the drastic reaction of the authorities in France, which has not reported any cases of Ebola, indicated the scale of concerns gripping officials across several continents.
There were also fears that the disease may have reached the far side of the world after an Australian nurse who treated Ebola patients while working for the International Red Cross in Sierra Leone developed a fever following her return.

On Tuesday, Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States, Jeremiah Sulunteh, confirmed in an interview with the BBC that his country is “close to collapse” as a result of this unprecedented Ebola outbreak.
Experts fear that the West African nation, which suffered 14 years of civil war in which a quarter of a million perished, is on the brink of a disaster from which it may never recover. Some believe that the country which toppled the dictator Charles Taylor just a few short years ago could again descend into chaos and violence.
“We have a lot to worry about. If we have thousands or tens of thousands more deaths, that’s going to have a very destabilizing effect,” said the International Medical Corps’s director of anti-Ebola operations in Liberia, Sean Casey.
“The country’s night-time streets – deserted between 9pm and 6am due to a nationwide curfew – hint at the vacuum in a country where daily norms are swiftly vanishing,” The Huffington Post U.K.’s Louise Ridley reported.

Islamic State (ISIS) could be planning to use biological warfare against the West, a military expert stated earlier this week - by introducing theEbola virus into the camps of its enemies.
While the theory sounds like it was ripped from the script of the 2002 horror classic 28 Days Later, it is feasible, experts say.
According to Captain (ret.) Al Shimkus, a Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College, spreading the virus would be remarkably simple.
“The individual exposed to the Ebola Virus would be the carrier,” Shimkus told Forbes earlier this week.  “In the context of terrorist activity, it doesn’t take much sophistication to go to that next step to use a human being as a carrier.”
Shimkus, who teaches a course in biowarfare, stated that ISIS would simply need to send "a half dozen operatives" into any West African country battling the epidemic to create a carrier - then intentionally infect as many people as possible in a target country. 

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.

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