Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In The News: Ebola, Major Quake In Central America, British MPs Vote For Palestinian State

The Obama administration has begun to acknowledge that it was unprepared for the potential emergence of Ebola in the US after a Texas nurse contracted the disease. After weeks of issuing statements that they would have no problem in containing any cases that might emerge, the CDC said that it would “rethink” its approach after the first case resulted in failure. They also acknowledged the very real possibility that others have already been infected in Texas:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday said it is starting to “rethink” its Ebola strategy after the first-ever US transmission of the virus put a “relatively large” number of healthcare workers at risk.
“We’re concerned, and unfortunately would not be surprised if we did see additional [Ebola] cases in healthcare workers who also provided care to the index patient,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said.
A nurse at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas was diagnosed with Ebola over the weekend, raising questions about the procedures that were followed when treating Thomas Eric Duncan.
The nurse’s infection “doesn’t change the fact that its possible to take care of Ebola safely, but it does change, substantially, how we approach it,” Frieden said.
This won’t surprise many health care professionals. ABC News’ medical correspondentoffered a skeptical take on the CDC’s earlier claim that regular containment protocols would suffice, and says the infection of a health-care worker raises serious questions about the agency’s ability to deal with the situation now that it has become a reality:

Healthcare experts throughout the U.S. are strongly criticizing the Centers for Disease Control for its handling of Ebola. For example:
  • Infectious disease experts say the CDC is blaming nurses for their exposure to Ebola when the CDC has given faulty instructions on how to handle Ebola patients
  • Public health experts also criticize the CDC’s statement that any hospital in the U.S. can handleEbola patients
  • And nurses are calling the CDC hypocrites for saying that cloth masks and goggles are sufficient … while CDC personnel wear respirators and full hazardous materials suits when visiting hospitals with Ebola patients

Travellers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea arriving at London's Heathrow airport terminal 1 will be screened for Ebola symptoms from Tuesday (14 October) onwards, in an attempt to find those infected with the virus, which, according to the World Health Organisation, poses “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times”.

Those who arrive from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea at terminal 1 will have to fill out a questionnaire and have their temperature taken. Similar screenings will commence later this week at other terminals at airports Heathrow and Gatwick, and to the Eurostar train station which connects Brussels to London.

In his address to MPs, Hunt acknowledged that “no screening and monitoring procedure can identify 100 people of people arriving from Ebola-affected countries”.

A British virologist raised doubts about the effectiveness of the measure in The Telegraph, however. He said that people who have the flu could be mistaken for Ebola cases.
“It would not surprise me if airport screening measures mainly caught unfortunate passengers with seasonal ailments who were unlucky enough to have recently been to Africa”, Ben Neuman was quoted as saying.

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake occurred off the coast of El Salvador at approximately 11:51 EDT Monday, according to the USGS.
The major earthquake was felt all across Central America from Mexico to Panama with the epicenter being located 42 miles (67 km) southwest of Jiquililo, Nicaragua.
Shortly after the earthquake occurred, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a statement warning that hazardous tsunami waves could impact the coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador.
The threat of a tsunami in this area has since passed, according to the latest report from the PTWC.
A destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected elsewhere in the Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii and Alaska.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 7.3
Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown
GMT/UTC Time : 2014-10-14 03:51:39
Depth (Hypocenter) : 80 km

Update 05:25 UTC: There are reports of minor to moderate damage in some cities of El Salvador.
- 12 homes were damaged in La Peña de Alegria.
- Some walls as high as 4 meters fell in San Miguel.
- The National Hospital San Juan de Dios was damaged.
- Landslides happened in various locations.
Update 05:18 UTC: The mayor of San Miguel, Luis Salgado,  is reporting at least 1 death due to a falling lamp post.

MPs including the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, have voted to recognise Palestine as a state in a symbolic move that will unnerve Israel by suggesting that it is losing a wider battle for public opinion in Britain.
The vote of 274 to 12, a majority of 262, on a backbench motion has no practical impact on British government policy and ministers were instructed not to vote. Labour decided to impose a one-line whip, and the Liberal Democrats, like the Conservatives, gave their backbenchers a free vote.
In possibly the single most important contribution in an emotional debate, Richard Ottaway, the Conservative chairman of the foreign affairs select committee, said the recent annexation of West Bank land by the Israeli government had angered him like nothing else in politics.
The Conservative MP said he had been a supporter of the state of Israel before he became a Tory and had close family connections with the generation that formed the Israeli state. He explained: “The Holocaust had a deep impact on me growing up in the wake of the second world war,” adding that he had been a strong supporter of Israel in the six day war and subsequent conflicts.

He said he was not yet convinced that Palestine was fit to be a state due to its refusal to recognise Israel, adding that “in normal circumstances” he would have opposed the motion. But, he said, “such is my anger with the behaviour of Israel in recent months that I will not be opposing this motion. I have to say to the government of Israel: if it is losing people like me, it is going to be losing a lot of people.”
The former foreign secretary, Jack Straw, said the vote was not simply a gesture, because if it were, the Israeli government would not be as worried by the vote.

Also see:


Caver said...

Guess things could cool off but, this certainly has the breadth, seriousness, and feel of the beginning of the end here. Guess lots of us have been waiting with very mixed emotions for this.

Numerous financial gurus say it appears both international and US economics are at the tipping point of starting a "free fall". MSM internationally is now whipping the EBOLA thing into a frenzy instead of covering it up. The ME is moving in ways that will soon either result in map changing ways or "dictate" more extreme responses on many fronts.

All of this while the Church seems completely occupied with business as usual at the alter in the church of Laodicea.

Scott said...

Yep. Agree on all counts Caver. Time to be looking up according to luke 21:28-31

foretastes said...

It's the last thing you said, Caver, that gets to me the most... the sleeping church, as well as so many others that don't know the Lord that remain asleep. It's become beyond wearisome.

So here we are: "I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." (Rev.3:8) I am grateful that the Lord recognizes how we feel. I'm just at a loss many days with knowing how to best "occupy" the time. It's such tiring business.

Mrs.C said...

Jesus tells us what we should be doing when He describes the Faithful Servant waiting, and the evil Servant in Matthew 24.

Matthew 24:45-47
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.