Ebola

Gregg Gonsalves took a wild, meandering path to the Ivory Tower. His route to becoming a professor at Yale started in street protests and spanned the globe.

On Thursday he was honored with a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.

Gonsalves is one of this year's MacArthur "geniuses." The award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation comes with a $625,000 no-strings-attached stipend.

Congo's health minister says a nurse has died from Ebola in Bikoro, the rural northwestern town where the outbreak began, as the country begins a vaccination campaign.

Congo's Ebola outbreak has spread to a city, the capital of the northwestern Equateur province, a worrying shift as the risk of infection is more easily passed on in densely populated urban areas.

Abraham Haileamlak is a professor of pediatric cardiology at Jimma University in Ethiopia. He's also the editor-in-chief of the Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences, a peer-reviewed journal.

Dr. Haileamlak does research on children's health and rheumatic heart disease. But when he shares his studies with journals based in high-income countries, he's often greeted with surprise.

"They say they do not expect such quality research from a low-income country," he says.

How Fast Can An Outbreak Be Detected?

Mar 23, 2018

How do you stop an outbreak from becoming an epidemic?

You catch it early, of course – a task that requires rapid response and coordination. That's a tough mission in any country, especially a nation lacking in resources.

Uganda is proving that it's absolutely doable, even in a low-income country.

The Ebola virus doesn't always make people incredibly sick, and some people who are infected don't even know they have it, according to research published Tuesday in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

CDC Using New Rapid Response Teams To Fight Zika

Sep 14, 2016
CDC

It was a call that public health officials were dreading, but for which they had prepared. An elderly man in Salt Lake City died after contracting the Zika virus, the first fatality from the disease in the continental United States. His son, who had been a caregiver, also had become sick, but health officials did not know how.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named 36 hospitals in the United States as Ebola treatment centers and none are in Florida, despite campaign promises from Gov. Rick Scott to make preparing for the disease a top priority, the Miami Herald reports. In a statement released Friday, the Florida Department of Health said the state is prepared if an Ebola patient arrives at a hospital.

School Shootings Need Ebola-Like Attention

Nov 17, 2014

Dear Editor,

I am a  heartbroken mother, grandmother , aunt, teacher, and member of my community, because of school shootings; the mass murder of our future hopes and dreams, and our nation’s lack of outrage and a moral fiber  to stop the sociopathic  national quality that doesn’t know or care enough to stop wholesale slaughter of our beloved babies.

Top medical experts studying the spread of Ebola say the public should expect more cases to emerge in the United States by year's end as infected people arrive here from West Africa, including American doctors and nurses returning from the hot zone and people fleeing from the deadly disease.

But how many cases?

The U.S. health care apparatus is so unprepared and short on resources to deal with the deadly Ebola virus that even small clusters of cases could overwhelm parts of the system, according to an Associated Press review of readiness at hospitals and other components of the emergency medical network.

Experts broadly agree that a widespread outbreak across the country is extremely unlikely, but they also concur that it is impossible to predict with certainty, since previous Ebola epidemics have been confined to remote areas of Africa.

Senior Airman Cory D. Payne / U.S. Air Force

Six people who recently traveled from Ebola-affected regions are under twice-daily monitoring by the Florida Health Department. The state continues preparing in case someone tests positive.

No cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Florida, and all six of the people being monitored are considered low-risk. Gov. Rick Scott says just under 100 hospitals have completed special Ebola training, and he hopes more will do so.

Associated Press

Gov. Rick Scott defended his decision to monitor anyone coming from Ebola-affected countries, saying Monday it's "the right thing to do" to protect Floridians. 

Appearing beside New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a campaign event in Wellington, Scott said his executive order would ensure that the state wards off an outbreak and goes beyond actions by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I want to make sure that ... we don't do what CDC did — they got behind," he said. "We're not going to get behind. We're going to be prepared."

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

For Americans wondering why President Barack Obama hasn’t forced all states to follow a single, national rule for isolating potential Ebola patients, the White House has a quick retort: Talk to the Founding Fathers.

State leaders in New York and New Jersey are at odds with scientists over Ebola as the states' governors back 21-day quarantines for medical workers returning from West Africa, while the nation's top infectious-disease expert warns that such restrictions are unnecessary and could discourage volunteers from aiding disease-ravaged countries.

University of Texas at Arlington

The health care worker who was quarantined at a New Jersey hospital because she had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa is sharply criticizing the way her case has been handled.

Kaci Hickox, the first traveler quarantined under Ebola watches in New Jersey and New York, gave a first-person account to the Dallas Morning News, which was posted on the paper's website Saturday.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is ordering twice daily monitoring for anyone returning from places the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates as affected by Ebola.

Scott signed the order Saturday, giving the Florida Department of Health authority to monitor individuals for 21 days. Scott said in a press release that his administration had asked the CDC to identify risk levels of returning individuals from specific parts of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, requesting information specifically about the risk level for four people who had already returned.

Megan Milanese

Hillsborough County's Health Department director is going of the offensive to combat fears about Ebola.

Douglas Holt said that concerns have grown since two health care workers in Texas tested positive for the disease after treating a man who died from it. 

But the real threats to U.S. safety in regard to Ebola are fear and panic, he said. The key to controlling the outbreak is early identification, isolation, and identification.

Most Americans have some confidence that the U.S. health care system will prevent Ebola from spreading in this country, but they're not so sure their local hospital can safely handle a patient, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

Amid worry here, most Americans say the U.S. also should be doing more to stop Ebola in West Africa. Health authorities have been clear: Until that epidemic ends, travelers could unknowingly carry the virus anywhere.

The Poynter Institute

The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg will host a group of African journalists after their original hosts, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg's Department of Journalism and Media Studies, canceled over concerns of the spread of the Ebola virus. 

The visit is part of the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists, which brings 100 international journalists to the United States each year. 

Rubio Proposes Ebola Visa Ban

Oct 22, 2014
AP

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, will propose legislation to temporarily ban visas into America for people coming from African nations known to have Ebola.

Under the Florida senator’s plan, citizens of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia could not obtain a visa to come to the United States until those countries get the virus under control.

Rubio pointed to recent success in Nigeria, which has been declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The current Ebola threat has called attention to cuts in public health programs essential for preventing such an emergency in the first place, the Tampa Bay Times reports. 

Gov. Rick Scott has demanded federal aid to prepare for the disease, but has also overseen a 13 percent cut in staff at the Florida Department of Health since 2010, the Times reports.

University of South Florida

Officials at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg have canceled a five-day visit by 14 African journalists that was to begin Oct. 31, because of fears of the Ebola virus.

In a letter today written by Han Reichgelt, regional vice president for academic affairs (see below), he says they're doing so out of an abundance of caution.

 Officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will hold a conference call today on Ebola preparedness and training with Florida hospitals.

Gov. Rick Scott said Saturday that the call scheduled Monday afternoon will provide guidance for proper use of personal protective equipment, safe handling of medical waste and effective clinical strategies within hospitals.

 Gov. Rick Scott opened fire on the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Lauderdale on Friday, accusing the agency of starving Florida of the information, equipment and even the testing kits the state needs to be safe from the deadly Ebola virus.

"The CDC has not fulfilled any of Florida's requests," Scott said angrily. "We are now asking publicly to support us in these important efforts for our state."

Questions Help Hospitals Guard from Ebola

Oct 19, 2014

Step inside All Children's Hospital and you're greeted with three things: hand sanitizer, tissues and masks decorated with little cartoon Band-Aids with legs, feet and smiles. "Dirt Squirt Alert!" a sign says. "Stop the spread of germs that make you and others sick!"

A sign at the check-in counter calls on people to immediately tell the triage nurse if 

Nurses Union Demands Better Ebola Training

Oct 16, 2014
Bay News 9

Nurses from National Nurses United gathered in Tampa's Ybor City on Wednesday to stage a "die-in."

It was a dramatic way to get the public's attention with the hope that hospitals would get the message that the time to prepare to fight Ebola is now.

Pasco County ICU nurse Louise Easty said she thinks some hospitals are making efforts to get up to speed, to where they need to be. 

The nation's Ebola crisis has yet to reach Florida, but state officials want to spend millions to prepare for a possible outbreak.

This week, top health official asked for permission to redirect money from federal grants to buy full body suits for health care workers who may have contact with any potential victims of the virus.

Jacksonville’s Baptist Medical Center initiated federal Ebola protocols on Monday after a patient who reported recent contact with a West African traveler was admitted with flu-like symptoms, according to the Florida Times-Union.

After a full screening, the case turned out to be a false alarm, the Times-Union reports.

Gov. Rick Scott says Florida officials continue to work with health care providers and the Center for Disease Control in an effort to prepare Florida for any possible Ebola cases.

And hospitals across Florida on alert already are responding to suspicious cases.

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