Tuesday, October 28, 2014

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Unmanned NASA Antares Rocket Suffers "Vehicle Anomaly" And Explodes On Takeoff - Engulfed In A Fireball Over The Wallop Island Facility In Virginia; Was Bound For The International Space Station! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

October 28, 2014 - VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES - An unmanned rocket exploded shortly after takeoff Tuesday evening on Virginia’s eastern shore. Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket was carrying thousands of pounds of equipment to restock the International Space Station.

The launch was supposed to be the third of eight planned Orbital missions to ferry gear and food to astronauts aboard the ISS.

The rocket had some 5,000 pounds of food, supplies and science experiments, which all were engulfed in a fireball just above NASA’s Wallop’s Island facility.

Antares Rocket blows up on liftoff

The launch of the Orbital Sciences' #Antares Rocket has failed immediately after launch

The team on the ground has confirmed there are no injuries, although because of “classified crypto equipment” onboard, it is in the process of securing the surrounding area, chatter on the livestream of the launch said.

Orbital called the enormous blast a “vehicle anomaly” on Twitter.

The Antares was originally supposed to lift off on Monday, but the launch was postponed 10 minutes before take-off because a sailboat ended up in the restricted danger zone south of the Virginia complex, the Associated Press reported. Controllers promptly halted the countdown.

WATCH: NASA rocket explodes seconds after launch.



Each delivery by Orbital Science’s unmanned Cygnus capsule honors a deceased person linked to the company or a commercial spaceflight. Tuesday’s mission was a tribute to Mercury astronaut Deke Slayton, who led a rocket company until his death in 1993. As a retro-style homage, Orbital Sciences flight controllers wore short-sleeved white shirts and skinny black ties.

Along with 32 mini-research satellites, a meteor tracker and a tank of high-pressure nitrogen to replenish a vestibule used by spacewalking astronauts, the company stowed a post-Halloween surprise for the two Americans, three Russians and one German aboard the ISS, Orbital said at a prelaunch news conference Sunday.

Orbital Sciences, a US-based company designing and manufacturing small- and medium-sized rocket systems, has been contracted by NASA to resupply the ISS.

Also onboard the rocket was Planetary Resources’ Arkyd 3 telescope prototype, which is being developed to explore space and identify natural resources from asteroids. The project was privately funded and raised $1.5 million in a 2013 Kickstarter campaign.

The prototype destroyed in the explosion was only a demonstrator, meant as a stepping stone to the first Arkyd 100 telescope, which the company plans to launch in 2015, Popular Mechanics reported. - RT.




CONTAGION: "The World's Medical Backstop" - U.S. State Department Plans To Bring Foreign Ebola Patients To The United States?! UPDATE: The Latest Reports On The Response To The Deadly Virus Outbreak!

A hazmat worker looks up while finishing up cleaning outside an apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care
worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive
for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

October 28, 2014 - THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
- The State Department has quietly made plans to bring Ebola-infected doctors and medical aides to the U.S. for treatment, according to an internal department document that argued the only way to get other countries to send medical teams to West Africa is to promise the U.S. will be the world’s medical backstop.

Some countries “are implicitly or explicitly waiting for medevac assurances” before they will agree to send their own medical teams to join U.S. and U.N. aid workers on the ground, the State Department argues in the undated four-page memo, which was reviewed by The Washington Times.

“The United States needs to show leadership and act as we are asking others to act by admitting certain non-citizens into the country for medical treatment for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) during the Ebola crisis,” says the four-page memo, which lists Office of International Health and Biodefense Deputy Director Robert Sorenson as its author.

More than 10,000 people have become infected with Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and the U.S. has taken a lead role in arguing the pandemic must be stopped over there. President Obama has committed thousands of U.S. troops and has deployed American medical personnel, but other countries have been slow to follow.

In the memo, officials say they would prefer patients go to Europe, but there are some cases where the U.S. is “the logical treatment destination for non-citizens.”

The document has been shared with Congress, where lawmakers were already nervous over the administration’s handling of the Ebola outbreak. The memo even details expected price per patient, saying transport costs come to $200,000 and treatment is estimated at $300,000 per case.

A State Department official denied there are plans to bring non-citizen patients to the U.S., saying instead that officials are considering using American aircraft equipped to handle Ebola cases to transport non-citizens to other countries, but “there are absolutely no plans to medevac non-Americans” to the U.S.

“We have discussed allowing other countries to use our medevac capabilities to evacuate their own citizens to their home countries or third-countries, subject to reimbursement and availability,” the department official said in a statement. “But we are not contemplating bringing them back to the U.S. for treatment. Allegations to the contrary are completely false.”

The internal State Department memo is described as “sensitive but unclassified.” A tracking sheet attached to it says it was “cleared” by offices of the deputy secretary, the deputy secretary for management, the office of Central African affairs and the medical services office.

A call to the number listed for Mr. Sorenson wasn’t returned Tuesday.

Mr. Obama has been clear in his desire to recruit medical and aide workers to fight the disease in Africa.

“We know that the best way to protect Americans ultimately is going to stop this outbreak at the source,” the president said at the White House on Tuesday, praising U.S. aide workers who are already involved in the effort. “No other nation is doing as much to make sure that we contain and ultimately eliminate this outbreak than America.”

More than 10,000 people have contracted Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with about half of those cases proving fatal.

Four cases have been diagnosed in the U.S. — and three of those were health workers who were trying to aid infected patients. Two of those, both nurses at a Dallas hospital, have been cured.

In addition, the U.S. has treated several American aide workers who contracted the disease overseas but who were flown here for treatment. - Washington Times.


Lawmaker claims plans may be in pipeline to bring non-citizens to US for Ebola treatment

A top Republican congressman claims the Obama administration is exploring plans to bring non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola to the United States for treatment.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News that his office has received "information from within the administration" that these plans are being developed. So far, only American Ebola patients have been brought back to the U.S. for treatment from the disease epicenter in West Africa.

Goodlatte warned that expanding that policy could put the country at more risk.

"Members of the media, my office have received confidential communications saying that those plans are being developed," Goodlatte said Monday night.

"This is simply a matter of common sense that if you are concerned about this problem spreading -- and this is a deadly disease that we're even concerned about the great health care workers when they come back not spreading it -- we certainly shouldn't be bringing in the patients."

The chairman wrote a letter last week to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry asking whether such plans exist, but he says he has not gotten a response.

The details are sketchy, if such a plan even exists.

A Goodlatte aide told FoxNews.com that "someone in one of the agencies" contacted their office with the tip -- presumably, the plan would apply to non-U.S. residents. Who would pay for the transport and treatment is an open question.

In his letter last week, Goodlatte asked whether the administration is formulating such a plan, seeking details and communications among their employees.

The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch also reported, shortly before Goodlatte sent the letter, that the administration is "actively formulating" plans to bring Ebola patients into the U.S., with the specific goal of treating them "within the first days of diagnosis."

Goodlatte earlier had pushed the president to consider using his authority to impose a temporary ban on non-U.S. citizen travel to the United States from the three African countries hardest-hit by Ebola.

"We think, again, that's just plain common sense, a practical way to stop this disease from spreading," he said.

The Obama administration has pushed back on those calls, saying the most effective approach is to stop Ebola at its source in West Africa. - FOX News.


Joint Chiefs Chairman Urges 21-Day Quarantine for Troops Working in Ebola Zone

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommended to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday that all members of the armed services working in Ebola-stricken West African countries undergo mandatory 21-day quarantines upon their return to the United States.

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said that Mr. Hagel was expected to announce shortly that he would follow the recommendation.

The recommendation follows a directive from Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, who has ordered a 21-day “controlled monitoring” period for Army personnel returning from the Ebola zone in West Africa. Army officials are not using the word “quarantine,” but they said that returning soldiers would be isolated in separate buildings on American bases and would not be allowed to see their families for 21 days.

General Dempsey’s recommendation came a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance to states on how to treat civilian health workers when they return to the United States from West Africa. Officials recommended against automatic quarantines but said that health workers should be actively monitored for symptoms of Ebola.

President Obama
on Tuesday called the new guidelines “sensible, based in science” and said they would help keep Americans safe while not discouraging volunteers from traveling to West Africa to battle the disease at its source.

“This disease can be contained,” Mr. Obama said in a brief statement at the White House before leaving for a campaign rally in Milwaukee for Mary Burke, a candidate for governor in Wisconsin. “It will be defeated. Progress is possible, but we are going to have to stay vigilant.”

Of the aid workers who are in Africa, Mr. Obama said: “They are doing God’s work.” - NY Times.


Obama assails Ebola quarantines, saying they are based on fear, not facts

President Obama on Tuesday forcefully rejected the idea of a quarantine for medical­ workers returning from Ebola-affected­ countries, arguing that such an approach would undermine the broader effort to eliminate the epidemic .

Politicians in the United States, including the president, have come under increasing pressure to curtail the movements of medical personnel returning from Ebola-affected regions after Craig Spencer — a doctor who had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea — was diagnosed with the virus 10 days after he returned home to New York City.

While the president did not directly criticize New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) for imposing mandatory quarantines on health workers coming back from West Africa, he made clear that he thought those moves were a bad idea and were not based on the best medical information.

“We don’t just react based on our fears. We react based on facts and judgment and making smart decisions,” Obama said, just after placing a call to members of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which has been in West Africa since the first week of August.

The notably assertive presidential response came as the country enters the final campaign stretch before next week’s midterm elections. While the president has sometimes refrained from taking on his critics, he took the unusual step of addressing the Ebola issue with reporters just before boarding Air Force One to depart for a campaign event in Wisconsin.

Calling the DART team “the strategic and operational backbone of America’s response” in the region, Obama said the effort was starting to have an impact, especially in Liberia.

“So we don’t want to discourage our health-care workers from going to the front lines and dealing with this in an effective way,” he said. “The point is this disease can be contained. It will be defeated.”

On Wednesday, Obama will convene a meeting at the White House with doctors and public health workers who have either returned from treating Ebola patients in Africa or are on their way there. The president said he convened the session not only to thank them “but to make sure that we’re getting input from them, based on the science, based on the facts, based on experience, about how the battle to deal with Ebola is going and how our policies can support the incredible heroism that they are showing.” - Washington Post.


5,000 Ebola health care workers needed in W Africa
Sri Lankan health workers wear protective gear as they attend a preparedness program for Ebola at the Infectious Disease Hospital for fever in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Oct.28, 2014. Airports in Asia have stepped up their defenses: screening passengers who have travelled from affected countries, taking any with high temperature for observation and trying to keep contact them with for 21 days, the incubation period. According to the World Health Organization, more than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola and nearly half of them have died. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
Sri Lankan health workers wear protective gear as they attend a preparedness program for Ebola at the Infectious Disease Hospital for fever in Colombo, Sri
Lanka, Tuesday, Oct.28, 2014. Airports in Asia have stepped up their defenses: screening passengers who have travelled from affected countries, taking any
with high temperature for observation and trying to keep contact them with for 21 days, the incubation period. According to the World Health Organization,
more than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola and nearly half of them have died. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
More than 5,000 additional health care workers are needed to fight Ebola in the three most affected countries in West Africa, the president of the World Bank said Tuesday.

Jim Yong Kim said he is worried about where those health care workers can be found given the Ebola fear factor. The World Bank president spoke in Ethiopia alongside U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and African Union chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Ban said the transmission of the virus continues to outpace the international community's response. He appealed for African Union member states not to impose Ebola-related travel restrictions or close their borders.

"We need to have a steady stream of health care workers from Africa coming into the three affected countries. The head of the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, David Nabarro, has told us that we need at least 5,000 health workers from outside the region," Jim said.

"Right now, I'm very much worried about where we will find those health care workers. With the fear factor going out of control in so many places, I hope health care professionals will understand that when they took their oath to become a health care worker it was precisely for moments like this," he said.

Dlamini-Zuma said African Union states have pledged to send more than 2,000 health care workers into West Africa. She did not say when the workers would arrive.

"The disease, which is not new to the world, and its manifestations in these countries, has caught us by surprise. With the wisdom of hindsight, our responses at all levels - continental, global and national - were slow, and often knee-jerk reactions that did not always help the situation," Dlamini-Zuma said.

Ebola has hit the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea the hardest. The outbreak has killed nearly 5,000 people. - AP.


Ebola aid appeal launched by Disasters Emergency Committee

The Ebola outbreak is primarily affecting Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone
An appeal for the Ebola crisis in West Africa is to be launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee.
It is the first time the DEC - a group of 13 UK aid charities - has sought funds over a disease outbreak, which it says is "a sign of how serious the situation has become."

Appeals will be made by all the main UK broadcasters on Thursday.

Ebola has killed almost 5,000 people and infected more than 10,000 in West Africa since the start of the year.

In its 50-year history, the DEC has launched appeals for humanitarian disasters caused by floods, famines, earthquakes, typhoons and conflicts, but not previously for a disease outbreak.

Chief executive Saleh Saeed said: "In West Africa today we are seeing a disease create not just a medical crisis but a humanitarian emergency.

"Without urgent action to stop the spread of Ebola and to help those affected by the crisis, parts of West Africa face catastrophe within 60 days."

Of the 13 DEC charities, 11 are currently supporting work or planning to respond to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, with the majority of work focused on stopping the spread of the disease and providing support to those affected.

The committee says £25 can provide cleaning kits including bleach, soap and a bucket for three families at risk from Ebola.

Basic protective clothing for three volunteers supporting people under quarantine can be provided for £50 and £100 can buy training for a community on how to keep itself safe from Ebola.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there could be 5,000-10,000 new cases of the deadly virus every week in the worst affected countries by December. Infection rates continue to grow in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. - BBC.


Ebola-free nurse Amber Vinson to leave Atlanta hospital

Amber Vinson photographed in her Atlanta hospital room last week. (AP/Amber Vinson)

Amber Vinson, one of two Texas nurses to contract Ebola while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, will be released Tuesday from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, officials said.

Vinson, 29, was admitted to the hospital’s Serious Communicable Disease Unit on Oct. 15 and was declared free of the deadly virus last week.

She is expected to make her first public statement during a national news conference at 1 p.m. ET, according to the hospital.

Vinson was diagnosed with the virus on Oct. 14. A day later, the Dallas resident was flown by air ambulance to Atlanta for treatment at Emory, which has a specialized unit trained in treating Ebola.

“Amber is steadily regaining her strength and her spirits are high,” her family said in a statement last week. “We appreciate everyone for keeping Amber in your thoughts and prayers.”

Vinson's diagnosis prompted Ebola worries from Dallas to Cleveland, when it was revealed that she had flown commercially in the days before being hospitalized. Her family fended off critics by pointing that health officials had approved her travel plans.

Vinson and her colleague, Nina Pham, were among 50 to 70 health care workers involved in the treatment of Liberian citizen Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas from Sept. 28 to Oct. 8

Duncan arrived in Texas from Ebola-ravaged Liberia on Sept. 20. The disease, which kills more than half the people it infects, has claimed the lives of nearly 5,000 people in West Africa in 2014, the World Health Organization estimates. There is no known cure.

Duncan, 42, was the first person to ever be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. Investigators have not determined how Pham and Vinson specifically contracted the disease from Duncan, who died on his 10th day of intensive care at Texas Health Presbyterian. Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids and secretions, including blood, mucus, feces, and vomit of an ill or deceased person.

Pham, 26, fell ill two days after Duncan's death. After two weeks of treatment, she was given a clean bill of health and released from the National Institutes of Health in Maryland last Friday.

According to Dallas officials, fewer than 100 people — most of them hospital staffers who were involved in caring for Duncan, Pham or Vinson — continue to be monitored for Ebola symptoms.

The incubation period — the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms — is 2 to 21 days, according to the World Health Organization. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms.
Provided that no new cases are confirmed, monitoring in the Dallas area will end on Nov. 7. - Yahoo.


Bellevue Hospital ICU patients head to NYU Langone to free up staff for Ebola cases: sources

New York University Langone Medical Center will be taking on some of Bellevue Hospital's ICU patients as the latter deals with one confirmed
Ebola patient and prepares for the possibility of more.  Richard Harbus for New York Daily News
Bellevue has started transferring some of its patients to a sister Manhattan hospital so it can free staffers to deal with the Ebola crisis.

So Bellevue has worked out a deal to move patients from its 50-bed intensive care unit two blocks north to NYU Langone Medical Center, sources said Monday.

“We’ve taken two patients over the weekend from the ICU and we anticipate that there could be more,” a hospital source told the Daily News.

Both of those transferred patients were critically ill.

Dozens of specially trained staff are required to man Bellevue’s Ebola ward, which is on the seventh floor and has four beds. And with some 20 nurses and ancillary staff rolling through during a 24-hour shift, that meant pulling staff from the 10th floor ICU.

“NYU will lessen some of the burden on Bellevue’s critical care staff so they can focus on the issues at hand, and relieve staff of caring for other patients,” the hospital source said.

Word of the arrangement was first reported Monday by NYDailyNews.com.

NYU has a longstanding affiliation with Bellevue to provide the city’s flagship public hospital with doctors and residents.

“We are prepared for this at Bellevue,” said a veteran infectious disease doctor. “We’ve been doing this forever.”

Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, who contracted the virus while treating Ebola patients in Guinea, remains the city’s only confirmed case. - NY Daily News.


5-Year-Old Boy Tests Negative for Ebola at NYC Hospital

A 5-year-old boy who returned home from Guinea on Saturday has tested negative for Ebola at New York City's Bellevue Hospital where he is in isolation with his mother, officials said this evening.

"Out of an abundance of caution, further negative Ebola tests are required on subsequent days to ensure that the patient is cleared," the city's Health and Hospitals Corp. announced in a statement. "The patient will also be tested for common respiratory viruses. The patient will remain in isolation until all test results have returned."

The boy was transported to Bellevue Hospital on Sunday night because of his travel history and initial reports that he had a fever, but he actually had no symptoms when he first arrived at the hospital, officials said. The mother has shown no Ebola symptoms.

It was unclear what the child's symptoms indicate, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier today. "We did the cautious thing," de Blasio said. "It may turn out we have something here or it may turn out to be something different."

The boy, whom authorities have not named, developed a fever this morning, prompting the Ebola test, officials told ABC News.

Meanwhile, Dr. Craig Spencer, who tested positive for Ebola on Thursday, is in an isolation unit at the same Manhattan hospital. After Spencer's diagnosis, his fiancee remains under quarantine at home, as are two friends. None has shown symptoms of the virus.

Spencer has gastrointestinal symptoms, which health officials said were "anticipated." He was described as awake and communicating.

He became the fourth person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States after he was hospitalized Thursday. He developed a fever that morning and alerted authorities, who transported the doctor from his Harlem apartment in a specially designated ambulance. - ABC 7 News.


State Department plans to bring foreign Ebola patients to U.S.

An image of Kaci Hickox, the nurse quarantined in New Jersey after treating Ebola patients in West Africa, is seen inset over
her isolation room, in photos provided to CBS News by Hickox.(Photo: KACI HICKOX)

A nurse who treated Ebola patients in West Africa before being briefly and controversially quarantined in New Jersey could be the focus of a new battle over state health policy as she returns to her home state of Maine.

Kaci Hickox left a Newark hospital on Monday and was expected to arrive in the northern Maine town of Fort Kent early Tuesday. Maine health officials have already announced that Hickox is expected to comply with a 21-day voluntary in-home quarantine put in place by the state's governor, Paul LePage.

However, one of Hickox's lawyers, Steve Hyman, said he expected her to remain in seclusion for only the "next day or so" while he works with Maine health officials. He said he believes the state should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that require only monitoring, not quarantine, for health care workers who show no symptoms after treating Ebola patients.

"She's a very good person who did very good work and deserves to be honored, not detained, for it," he said.

LePage defended the quarantine in a news release Monday, saying that state officials must be "vigilant in our duty to protect the health and safety of all Mainers." Adrienne Bennett, a spokeswoman for the governor, told the Portland Press Herald that authorities would take "appropriate action" if Hickox does not comply with the quarantine, though she did not specify what that action might be.

"Upon the healthcare workers' return home, we will follow the guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for medical workers who have been in contact with Ebola patients," LePage's statement continued. "Additionally, we will work with the healthcare worker to establish an in-home quarantine protocol to ensure there is no direct contact with other Mainers until the period for potential infection has passed."

A spokeswoman for Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent told the Associated Press that the facility is ready to care for an Ebola-infected patient, if necessary. Hickox and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, recently moved to Fort Kent, where Wilbur is a nursing student at the University of Maine branch in the town.

WAGM-TV
reported late Monday that school officials had offered Wilbur the option of staying in on-campus student housing for the duration of the quarantine period or suspending his studies so that he could stay with Hickox in his off-campus home during that time. A University of Maine system spokesman told the Associated Press that he couldn't confirm details of discussions with Wilbur.

Hickox, who volunteered in Sierra Leone with Doctors Without Borders, spent the weekend in a quarantine tent in New Jersey despite having no symptoms other than a slightly elevated temperature she blamed on "inhumane" treatment at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Hickox said she never had symptoms and tested negative for Ebola in a preliminary evaluation. She was the first person forced into New Jersey's mandatory quarantine for people arriving at Newark Liberty from Sierra Leone, as well as Guinea and Liberia.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo were sharply criticized for ordering mandatory quarantines. But Christie said Monday that his priority is protecting the health of people in his state.

Also Monday, Connecticut joined New York and New Jersey in announcing that anyone coming to the state after traveling from Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia would face at least 21 days of mandatory monitoring involving daily contact with state health officials. The Associated Press reported that eight people are currently being quarantined in the state who have not shown any symptoms of the virus, while a ninth person was released from quarantine Monday.

The latest controversy comes a day after the U.S. Army unilaterally imposed a mandatory 21-day quarantine on troops returning from the Ebola hot zone in West Africa and the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended that the other branches of the military follow suit. That recommendation is counter to White House policy, though spokesman Josh Earnest would not comment Monday on whether President Obama agreed with the recommendation.

Over the weekend, the White House put pressure on New Jersey and New York over their quarantine policies. But it remains unclear where the White House and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stand on applying that standard to returning U.S. service members. - FOX News.


Multnomah County, Oregon monitoring visitor from West Africa for Ebola

Multnomah County is monitoring an adult who came from West Africa and is staying with a host family for symptoms of Ebola. But health officials said the risk is very low that the person is infected with the deadly virus.

The person is "at remote or no risk" for the disease, said Paul Lewis, health officer for Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties.

The person has no symptoms of Ebola, Julie Sullivan, spokeswoman for Multnomah County, said. She said a county worker goes to the home where the person is staying twice a day and checks on the person. The visit includes checking the person's temperature.

She said the person has had no contact with any infected people. She said the person just happened to have a travel history that included being in West Africa.

It's the second person that was being monitored in the tri-county area; the first came off the 21-day period this weekend, Lewis said. The incubation period for Ebola lasts three weeks.

The monitoring is voluntary. Both of these people chose to monitor their own health conditions and report back to public health officials.

Meanwhile, health officials have designated six hospital systems as the go-to centers for treatment in case a person in Oregon is suspected of having Ebola or is diagnosed with the disease.

The hospitals systems were announced at a press conference on Monday. They are Oregon Health & Science University, Legacy Health, Peace Health, Providence Health, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, and Samaritan Health.

There have been no cases of Ebola in Oregon.

Gov. John Kitzhaber said he won't impose a mandatory quarantine on people returning from Ebola-affected regions who don't show symptoms of the disease, because it's medically unnecessary.

"The progression of the disease is clear," Kitzhaber said, referring to the fact that Ebola is contagious only when someone is symptomatic. A mandatory quarantine could also overwhelm the capacity of the state's hospitals, Kitzhaber added.

Symptoms of Ebola include fever, vomiting or diarrhea, health officials say. The virus is transmitted via bodily fluids such as sweat or saliva; it is not airborne.

Oregon is asking people who have no symptoms but who have come in contact with Ebola patients or exposed relatives to undergo a voluntary 21-day quarantine at home.

The CDC on Monday clarified it recommends voluntary, at-home quarantine for travelers from West Africa who are at highest risk for coming down with Ebola, and symptom monitoring for those at lower risk.

If a person does develop symptoms, the person would be isolated and sent to one of the six designated hospital systems or to a federally-designated facility, officials say.

New Jersey and New York announced mandatory quarantine policies last week. Over the weekend, the Obama administration condemned those policies. - KATU.


Connecticut Tries to Find Middle Path on Ebola

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut speaking in Hartford earlier this month.
Credit Jessica Hill/Associated Press

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut, seeking to avoid the public criticism over stringent and still-shifting Ebola quarantine policies that has buffeted his counterparts in New York and New Jersey, affirmed a case-by-case approach to quarantines this week that he positioned as a middle path between federal guidelines and more onerous state policies.

But such reassurances have not quelled public opposition, with some people concerned that an ad hoc system exposes travelers to abusive treatment.

Connecticut’s policy, which has been in effect since Mr. Malloy issued an order on Oct. 7 authorizing the state health commissioner to quarantine travelers, has already been invoked to confine nine people to their homes, though one of those orders was rescinded on Monday.

All travelers arriving in Connecticut from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone are required to undergo 21 days of mandatory active monitoring by local health officials, who contact them daily to get their temperature and determine whether they are feeling symptoms of the virus. They may be subject to a mandatory quarantine after state health officials, who identify such travelers with the help of federal authorities, gather details of their travel histories and potential exposure to the virus.

“With the news of a recent traveler with Ebola in neighboring New York, it is critical that we look at each case on an individual basis,” Mr. Malloy, a Democrat, said in a statement on Monday evening. The governor, who is up for re-election next week, added that the State Department of Public Health “will continue to err on the side of caution in each and every circumstance.”

But civil liberties groups argue that caution has pushed the state beyond its stipulated guidelines.

Ryan Boyko, a doctoral candidate in epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health who has been isolated in his apartment since Oct. 18, is among those speaking out against the policy. Shortly after returning from Liberia, Mr. Boyko had gone to the hospital after developing diarrhea and a slight fever, setting off a media frenzy over what some worried would become the first Ebola diagnosis in the Northeast.

Ebola tests came back negative, but he was handed a quarantine order. Mr. Boyko, 30, said he had not been interviewed directly by public health officials before the order was issued and did not believe he had come into contact with symptomatic Ebola patients in Liberia, where he was working on a disease-tracking system.

A New Haven Police Department cruiser now sits outside his apartment 24 hours a day, Mr. Boyko said. “It feels like I’m being treated like a criminal,” he said, adding: “I’m trying to do the right thing the whole time, both by going to Liberia and monitoring my symptoms and reporting them. And then I’m treated like I’m not trustworthy or I have to be locked away.”

Another Yale student who traveled to Liberia is also under quarantine in Connecticut, as well as a family of six who recently returned from West Africa. State officials say that all eight people are asymptomatic.

Like Govs. Andrew M. Cuomo in New York and Chris Christie in New Jersey, Mr. Malloy has described the policy as “more stringent” than the requirements issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But officials in Connecticut have emphasized that their policy averts a blanket quarantine policy that applies to all health care workers returning from West Africa.

In conversations with Connecticut officials, the Obama administration has not expressed the same reservations about the state’s policy as it has with New York’s stricter order, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Still, legal experts say the policy could expose people to needless confinement.Others worried that West African citizens will be singled out. “It’s going to promote a stigma on the community,” said Joseph Morris Kalapele, president of the Liberian Community Association of Connecticut. “It’s not as accepting as Connecticut should be.” - NY Times.


Australia slammed for closing borders to Ebola-struck W. African states


AFP Photo / Stephane De Sakutin

Australia is the first country to temporarily close its borders to people traveling from West African states battling against the Ebola epidemic. The move comes despite the fact the Ebola-free country has not sent aid workers to any afflicted regions.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told parliament on Monday, Australia has issued a blanket visa ban for those traveling from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

"This means we are not processing any applications from these affected countries,"
Morrison said.
He added that all non-permanent or temporary visa requests from residents of Ebola-afflicted nations, who had not already departed for Australia, would be canceled or refused.

The ban includes those traveling on humanitarian grounds. He added that all those who had entered Australia prior to the suspension of its humanitarian program had undergone three separate health checks prior to their departure. They also were required to undergo screening upon their arrival in Australia on top of subsequent monitoring. Other permanent visa holders from the affected nations are subject to a 21-day quarantine period before disembarking to Australia.

"The government's systems and processes are working to protect Australians,"
Mr Morrison said.

Volunteer healthcare workers in Queensland, meanwhile, have been asked to submit to voluntary quarantine upon their return home. Some local governments have considered imposing mandatory quarantines on anyone believed to be infected with the virus.

Such proposals are being generated despite the fact that Australia has yet to register one case of Ebola on its soil, though several scares have been reported.

Nineteen people are currently in home isolation in Queensland after coming to Australia under a humanitarian program this month, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. One of them, an 18-year-old woman, showed symptoms of fever but tested negative for Ebola on Monday. She will be retested on Wednesday.

According to the daily, 946 people at Australian airports had so far been identified as traveling from Ebola-afflicted countries. Two dozen travelers have been subjected to the full screening process, including being referred to human quarantine officers. No one has been quarantined in hospital.

The measure comes as the government mulls sending medics to West Africa to collect blood to help researchers develop a vaccine for Ebola, AAP reports. Australia has so far provided $18 million to the international effort to tackle Ebola, though it has committed no healthcare workers to the worst afflicted countries.

Adam Kamradt-Scott, a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney's Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, told Reuters the travel ban would do nothing to shield Australia from Ebola. He warns it could in fact backfire by creating an overall climate of fear in the country.

"This is purely just a political decision,"
Kamradt-Scott said. "There is very little scientific evidence or medical rationale why you would choose to do this, and this is the type of politics we find starts to interfere with effective public health measures.”

Graham Thom, a spokesman for Amnesty International Australia told Reuters the move made very little sense from a public health perspective.

"There are ways and means in which people can be monitored, quarantined to insure that those who come are free from the disease,"
he said.

"All it does is insure that already exceedingly vulnerable people are trapped in a crisis area and sends a signal about Australia's commitment to actually dealing with this crisis in a responsible way as a member of the international community."


The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4,922 have died so far as a result of the ongoing Ebola epidemic. Of the 10,000 plus cases, all but 27 have occurred in the West African states of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Due to its relative geographical isolation, the risk of a widespread epidemic breaking out in Australia is believed to be minimal.

Meanwhile, the US military has begun isolating soldiers returning from an Ebola response mission in West Africa.

The move followed controversial quarantine measures imposed on those traveling to four US states - New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Florida - who had had contact with the disease.

US federal health officials have resisted imposing mandatory quarantines on doctors and nurses returning to the US after treating Ebola patients in West Africa.

In one instance, a nurse detained and quarantined in New Jersey upon returning to the United States was released after threatening to sue.

Public health experts, the United Nations, and medical charities have all labeled such mandatory quarantines scientifically unjustified. - RT.


Scientists create litmus-like paper Ebola tests taking 30 minutes

AFP Photo/Vladimir Benko

US scientists have invented a paper-based test for Ebola which takes just 30 minutes. The test-papers can be freeze-dried and stored at room temperature for up to a year and rehydrated with water whenever they are needed.

Two new studies in the Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have elaborated a way to create a new synthetic gene compound and embed it onto small matrices of paper. It is activated with water which should contain bodily fluids, such as saliva or blood. If the target is present – such as a segment of Ebola RNA – the paper will change its color.

The scientists made the test in just 12 hours and it cost about $20. The method has been reported in the journal Cell.

WATCH: Mechanism of the toehold switch.



The scientists created the Ebola sensor with the help of a "toehold switch," a new system for controlling gene expression that is very flexible and highly programmable.

The toehold switch was initially designed to work inside living cells, but one of the teams succeeded to transfer its function to the freeze-dried paper method.

The toehold switch can be programmed to give visual signs when it detects certain bacteria or viruses by an RNA signature of virtually any kind. RNA signatures are sequences of genetic code that can be used to identify a broad range of infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses, yeast and parasites.

The case includes a strain-specific Ebola sensor, which produces certain proteins only if it detects a particular Ebola strain. In this case, the protein changes the color of the paper from yellow to purple in less than an hour if one of two Ebola strains is detected. There are five strains of Ebola but the researchers worked with only two main ones.

"It's a platform for a new class of diagnostics, and a very clear and important practical extension of synthetic biology, opening up a whole generation of new technologies for diagnosis," team leader Jim Collins said.





Once made the paper–based tools can be freeze dried for safe room–temperature storage and shipping, maintaining their effectiveness for up to one year. To be activated, the freeze–dried paper need simply be rehydrated with water.

"We were surprised at how well these materials worked after being freeze dried,"
Collins told the BBC.

"Once they're rehydrated, these biological circuits function in these small paper disks as if they were inside a living cell."


One of the major advantages of this innovation is the extension of synthetic biology beyond laboratories.

“We’ve harnessed the genetic machinery of cells and embedded them in the fiber matrix of paper, which can then be freeze dried for storage and transport — we can now take synthetic biology out of the lab and use it anywhere to better understand our health and the environment,”
said Keith Pardee, a colleague of Collins.

This technology is going to be inexpensive. Collins believes each slip of the detection paper would cost between 4 and 65 cents.

”This technology could truly set the stage for powerful, multiplex biological circuits and sensors that can be quickly and inexpensively assembled for transport and use anywhere in the world,”
says the press release. - RT.


Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak




MONUMENTAL DELUGE: Floodlist – The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Widespread Flooding, Sea Level Rise, And Catastrophic Storms!


October 28, 2014 - EARTH
- The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms courtesy of Floodlist.

Athens and Antalya Inundated as Floods Strike in Southern Europe

After the storm surge in northern Europe, then flooding and storms in Slovenia, Czech Republic and parts of the Balkans, the severe weather thought to be caused by the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalez, moved to parts of southern Europe on Friday 24 October 2014.

Athens, Greece
Athens in Greece was left knee-deep in water after torrential rain caused flooding in central and western parts of the city. Local media say as much as 14 cm of rain fell in just 90 minutes on Friday. Emergency services received over 600 calls as hundreds of homes and businesses were inundated. The worst affected areas were Peristeri, Ilion, Perama, Menidi, Aegaleo, Aghioi Anargoiroi, Nikaia, Piraeus and Kamatero.
Hundreds of vehicles across the city were said to have been dragged away by flood water. In the suburb of Peristeri, the flooding was so severe that parked cars were dragged along on the torrent, ending in a pile up of around 30 vehicles.

A full assessment of the flood damage is expected to be completed later today, although it is understood there have been no casualties.
The severity of the flooding has prompted the Greek government to look into flood defences around the capital. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has also announced compensation for those affected by the Athens floods.

Antalya, Turkey

Heavy rain also inundated the southern Turkish province of Antalya, according to CIHAN, the Turkish news agency.

The city of Manavgat was the worst affected by flash floods, which struck early on 25 October 2014. The heavy rain also increased levels of the Manavgat river which overflowed in some areas, which could mean more prolonged flooding in the district.


Rainfall Figures
According to WMO, in the 24 hour period between 25 and 26 October, Alanya in Antalya Province received 59 mm of rain and the city of Antalya 93.4 mm of rain.


Northeast Monsoon Floods Claim 5 Lives in Southern India

File Photo: Monsoon rainfall in Chennai. Photo: McKay Savage / Flickr
The northeast monsoon combined with a cyclonic storm in the Gulf of Mannar region of the Bay of Bengal caused heavy rain to fall in parts of Tamil Nadu since Friday 24 October 2014. Over 100 mm of rain fell in Valparai in the last 24 hours. Flood warnings were issued for many of the low-lying areas of Tamil Nadu earlier today.

Heavy rainfall has also affected parts of Sri Lanka, where 75 mm if rain fell in Anuradhapura yesterday.
Elsewhere in India, the active North East monsoon has caused flooding in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Three people have died in the flooding over the last few days – 2 in Andhra Pradesh and one in Karnataka.

According to the Regional Meteorological Department “The northeast monsoon has been vigorous over Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and south interior Karnataka and active over Tamil Nadu and Kerala”.

Karnataka
In Karnataka, one person died after he was washed away in flash floods in Kollur, Bellary district on Saturday 25 October. Around 66.8 mm of rain fell in the area on Friday, inundating homes and other buildings.

Andhra Pradesh
In Andhra Pradesh, parts of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions have been worst hit over the last 24 hours. As much as 100 mm of rain fell in Kavali rainfall in 24 hours. Nellore saw 90 mm of rain fall.
On Sunday 26 October two women were swept away in the overflowing Edduvagu rivulet, near Madgula village, Guntur district.

Tamil Nadu
Two people were killed by floods on Saturday 25 October when they attempted to cross a swollen river in the Erode district.

On Sunday 26 October the heavy rains caused flooding in the in the Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu which left 250 people stranded in a forest. The victims were returning from a temple in Saptur and were caught in flash floods after a river overflowed. All 250 were later rescued by emergency teams.

The heavy rainfall continued into Monday 27 October. Flooding in Tirupur caused at least 5 houses to collapse and between 200 to 300 people marooned. All were later rescued.



Heavy Rain Prompts Flood Warnings for Norway And Sweden
File Photo: Heavy rain in Hordaland, Norway. Photo: Jill / flickr
Heavy rainfall has left parts of western Norway suffering from flooding and power outages. Roads have been blocked and traffic disrupted. However, so far the flooding has not caused any significant damage, despite flood warnings from MET Norway.

Mid to high level Flood warnings were issued for parts Sogn og Fjordane, Hordaland and Rogaland. Voss and around Vossovassdraget lake in Hordaland were thought to be at particular risk of flooding. A high level flood warning remains in place for this area.
Rainfall figures for the 24 hour period between 26 and 27 October 2014:
  • Mjolfjell (near Voss), Hordaland – 65.4 mm
  • Stryn, Sogn og Fjordane – 60.6 mm
  • Sauda, Rogaland – 68.7 mm
Further heavy rainfall is expected until late Tuesday.

Parts of Rogaland county saw severe flooding in August this year after a period of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms.

Sweden
Some heavy rainfall has also affected parts of Sweden. Local media report that floods inundated the small village of Sälen in in Malung-Sälen Municipality, Dalarna County, after the Västerdal River burst its banks on Saturday 25 October 2014. River levels were thought to be about 1.5 to 2 metres above normal.

On Saturday 26 October, heavy rain in western Sweden flooded some towns around the coast. According to local media Northern Bohuslän suffered most from the heavy rainfall which pushed from the North Sea on Friday and Saturday night. A number of buildings were evacuated in the small town of Skee close to Strömstad.


2,500 Evacuated after Shabelle River Overflows in Somalia

After the flood predictions last week, the Shabelle River has burst its banks in Beledweyne, Hiran province, Somalia, forcing 2,500 from their homes.

The heavy rainfall in river catchment areas last week increased river levels of the Shabelle and Juba. In a report on 24 October, Somalia Water and Land Information Management said that the rivers were already at flood stage. Local media are now reporting that floods have forced 2,500 people to seek safety on higher ground away from the riverbanks.

According to Radio Ergo, “The affected families are reported to have camped at Eljale area, 3 km north east of Beledweyne”.


The same areas was hit by flooding in 2012 when over 3,00 families were displaced.

Further flooding is likely should river levels increase, especially in lower areas of the two rivers. SWALIM warns that the Shabelle could overflow at Balcaad and Kurtunwaarey and the Juba at Jamaame and Jilib.


Floods Damage Banana Crops as Honduras Awaits Tropical Storm Hanna



Heavy rainfall in the department of Colón on 25 October 2014 caused flooding in the municipalities of Balfate, Sonaguera and Iriona. River levels in the area are high and several families have been evacuated.

And things are about to get a lot worse in the next 48 hours as Tropical Storm Hanna moves inland over Honduras and Nicaragua. According to NOAA:
The deep convection associated with the remnants of Tropical Depression Nine have persisted and become better organized since yesterday so advisories have been re-initiated, with the system being upgraded to Tropical Storm Hanna. The main hazard associated with Hanna will be very heavy rainfall. Hanna could produce 10 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches across Honduras and northern Nicaragua. These rains will likely produce flash flooding and mud slides. This image was taken by GOES East at 1415Z on October 27, 2014.

Recent Rainfall in HondurasIn a 24 hour period between 25 and 26 October, 60 mm of rain fell in Roatan, Bay Islands. Between 26 and 27 October, 52.4 mm of rain was recorded in Yoro, department of Honduras.

Mosquito Increase

After the floods – Mosquito control begins in honduras. Image: COPECO
COPECO (Comision Permanente de Contingencias), the country’s disaster management agency, have now turned their attentions to controlling the mosquito population. It is feared that the prolonged floods would lead to an increase in mosquito numbers and therefore a higher risk of mosquito-borne disease

400 Hectares of Banana Crops Lost

Local media
are reporting that so far the flooding, which initially began around 10 days ago, has damaged or destroyed at least 400 hectares of banana crops, causing considerable economic losses.

Jacobo Paz , head of the country’s ministry of agriculture (Secretaría de Ganadería y Agricultura – SAG), said that banana crops are particularly susceptible to floods. The ministry’s initial assessments indicate that banana farmers in the north of the country have been hardest hit.

- Floodlist.




CONTAGION: CDC Now Admits Ebola Can Spread Through The Air Up To THREE FEET AWAY - The Deadly Virus Can Survive On Surfaces For Almost TWO MONTHS; Tests Reveal Certain Strains Survive For Weeks When Stored At Low Temperatures!


October 28, 2014 - THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
- When it comes to trusting the Obama Administration and, increasingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no one is making it harder for Americans to do so than the White House and the bumbling gaggle of bureaucrats and political hacks that it employs.

For weeks now, the CDC chief, Dr. Thomas Frieden, has said that Ebola cannot be spread through casual contact -- even as he also stated that persons suspected of being infected should avoid public transportation. President Obama has made similar statements.

Now, after a pair of northeastern state governors imposed (and then rescinded) 21-day quarantines for anyone returning from assisting infected patients in West Africa, word comes from the CDC that the virus can, in fact, be spread to others up to 3 feet away. In a new Ebola-related post that appears to be splitting hairs between "airborne" and "droplet" spread, the health agency claimed:

Airborne spread happens when a germ floats through the air after a person talks, coughs, or sneezes. Germs may land in the eyes, mouth, or nose of another person.

If a germ is airborne, direct contact with the infected person is NOT needed for someone else to get sick. Airborne spread diseases include: chickenpox, tuberculosis.


'Well, at least the CDC is starting to move the narrative'

"Droplet spread," the agency said, "happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose, or mouth of another person. Droplets travel short distances, less than 3 feet (1 meter) from one person to another.

"A person might also get infected by touching a surface or object that has germs on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

"Droplet spread diseases include: plague, Ebola."

The online flyer went on to insist that, no, Ebola is not "airborne," but it also made clear that, yes, it can certainly be spread through droplets -- the manner in which people riding close to each other on, say, a NYC subway or in a cab or Uber ride-share car, or in a bowling alley, might be exposed (Dr. Craig Spencer, the Ebola-infected physician just back from treating patients in West Africa, did all of these things).

"Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids of sick patients," the online informational flyer states.


Some experts are already raising eyebrows of suspicion.

"Well, at least CDC is starting to move the narrative," said Meryl Nass, M.D., an infectious disease physician, on her blog. "Maybe tomorrow it will be 5 feet. Then 10. Maybe next month they will tell us why all the victims' possessions are being incinerated and apartments fumigated.

"Just remember: historically, Ebola spread fast in healthcare facilities."

Spread via aerosol more likely in colder environments?

Dr. Nass had earlier focused on anthrax and the dangers it poses.

Also, in 1995, the U.S. Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases reported in the International Journal of Experimental Pathology (see it here [PDF]) that the deadly virus actually spreads faster in colder environs, not the hot, steamy climate in much of Africa [emphasis added]:

We also demonstrated aerosol transmission of Ebola virus at lower temperature and humidity than that normally present in sub-Saharan Africa. Ebola virus sensitivity to the high temperatures and humidity in the thatched, mud, and [wattle] huts shared by infected family members in southern Sudan and northern Zaire may have been a factor limiting aerosol transmission of Ebola virus in the African epidemics. Both elevated temperature and relative humidity (RH) have been shown to reduce the aerosol stability of viruses (Songer 1967). Our experiments were conducted at 24°C [75°F] and [such as Ebola], aerosol transmission is a greater threat in modern hospital or laboratory settings than it is in the natural climatic ranges of viruses.

But remember, you can't get the disease sitting next to an infected person on a bus, in a subway or in a cab. The CDC and the Obama Administration have said so. -
Natural News.


Ebola can survive on surfaces for almost TWO MONTHS: Tests reveal certain strains survive for weeks when stored at low temperatures
The left-hand charts plot survival rates of Zaire strain of Ebola (Zebov) and Lake Victoria marburgvirus (Marv) on glass (a) and plastic (b) at
4° (39°F) over 14 days. The right-hand charts reveal the survival rate under the same conditions over 50 days.
Both viruses survived for 26 days, and Ebola was extracted after 50 days
The number of confirmed Ebola cases passed the 10,000 mark over the weekend, despite efforts to curb its spread.

And while the disease typically dies on surfaces within hours, research has discovered it can survive for more than seven weeks under certain conditions.

During tests, the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) found that the Zaire strain will live on samples stored on glass at low temperatures for as long as 50 days. 

The tests were initially carried out by researchers from DSTL before the current outbreak, in 2010, but the strain investigated is one of five that is still infecting people globally.

The findings are also quoted in advice from the Public Agency of Health in Canada. 

Ebola was discovered in 1976 and is a member of the Filoviridae family.

This family includes the Zaire ebolavirus (Zebov), which was first identified in 1976 and is the most virulent; Sudan ebolavirus, (Sebov); Tai Forest ebolavirus; Ebola-Reston (Rebov), and Bundibugyo ebolavirus (Bebov) - the most recent species, discovered in 2008.

For their 2010 paper, ‘The survival of filoviruses in liquids, on solid substrates and in a dynamic aerosol’, Sophie Smither and her colleagues tested two particular filoviruses on a variety of surfaces.
Ebola (pictured) was discovered in 1976 and is a member of the Filoviridae family. This family includes the Zaire ebolavirus (Zebov), which was first identified
in 1976 and is the most virulent; Sudan ebolavirus, (Sebov); Tai Forest ebolavirus; Ebola-Reston (Rebov), and Bundibugyo ebolavirus (Bebov)
These were the Lake Victoria marburgvirus (Marv), and Zebov.

Each was placed into guinea pig tissue samples and tested for their ability to survive in different liquids, and on different surfaces at different temperatures, over a 50-day period.

When stored at 4° (39°F), by day 26, viruses from three of the samples were successfully extracted; Zebov on the glass sample, and Marv on both glass and plastic.

By day 50, the only sample from which the virus could be recovered was the Zebov from tissue on glass.
‘This study has demonstrated that filoviruses are able to survive and remain infectious, for extended periods when suspended within liquid and dried onto surfaces,’ explained the researchers.

‘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.’

The researchers do stress that these tests were carried out in a controlled lab environment, and not in the real world, but published their findings to highlight the survival rates. 

Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its Ebola guidelines following the rise in infections.

The centre explained that Ebola is not spread through the air, water, or food and a person infected with Ebola can’t spread the disease until symptoms appear.
Ebola was once thought to originated in gorillas, because human outbreaks began after people ate gorilla meat. But scientists now believe that bats
are the natural reservoir for the virus, and that apes and humans catch it from eating food that bats have drooled or defecated on

The time from exposure to when signs or symptoms of the disease appear, known as the incubation period, is two to 21 days, but the average time is eight to 10 days.

Ebola is spread through direct contact, through broken skin or through eyes, nose, or mouth, via blood and body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola, or objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola. 

Signs of Ebola include fever and symptoms like severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising. 

Dr Tom Fletcher of the Royal Army Medical Corps, who has treated victims in Guinea and Sierra Leone, says: ‘The initial symptoms are quite non-specific and similar to a flu-like illness. 

'They include fever, headache and lethargy. This progresses to severe diarrhoea and vomiting.’ 

Officials have emphasised there is no risk of transmission from people who have been exposed to the virus, but are not yet showing symptoms.  

But, specialists at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta found that the virus is present on a patient’s skin after symptoms develop, underlining how contagious the disease is once symptoms set in.

According to the CDC, the virus can survive for a few hours on dry surfaces like doorknobs and countertops and can survive for several days in puddles or other collections of body fluid. 

However, bleach solutions, including household bleach, can kill it.

There is no FDA-approved vaccine available for Ebola, but experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development.

The CDC advises people wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, to protect themselves. 

It warns to not touch the blood or body fluids, including urine, faeces, saliva, vomit, sweat, and semen of people who are sick. 

Ebola was once thought to originated in gorillas, because human outbreaks began after people ate gorilla meat.

But scientists now believe that bats are the natural reservoir for the virus, and that apes and humans catch it from eating food that bats have drooled or defecated on, or by coming in contact with surfaces covered in infected bat droppings and then touching their eyes or mouths. 

The current outbreak seems to have started in a village near Guéckédou, Guinea, where bat hunting is common, according to Doctors Without Borders. - Daily Mail



Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak