Boston.com reported: “The World Health Organization announced Wednesday that the death toll from the West Africa Ebola outbreak has risen to 1,350. The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) hosted a media briefing Wednesday morning with various leaders of the city’s public health branches to outline the plans for the “very low” likelihood that the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) would make it to Massachusetts.
“While the risk to our residents is very low, it is always better to prepare so that we can appropriately identify and care for suspect cases and work with the community to prevent further illness,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) at the briefing. “We want a well-coordinated plan in place in the event a case of EVD is found in the city.”
ABC News reported: “American hospitals and state labs have handled at least 68 Ebola scares over the last three weeks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hospitals in 27 states alerted the CDC of the possible Ebola cases out of an abundance of caution amid the growing outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Fifty-eight cases were deemed false alarms after CDC officials spoke with medical professions about patient exposures and symptoms, but blood samples for the remaining 10 were sent to the CDC for testing, the agency told ABC News today.
The New England Journal of Medicine noted: “Four brief NEJM perspectives examine the current Ebola epidemic, which is the largest and longest-lived on record.”
“One of the three clinically oriented contributions describes the World Health Organization’s declaration of a public health emergency and its implications.”
“Another offers information on drugs that have shown activity against the virus; it describes the problem (and ethics) of collecting efficacy data on these treatments mid-epidemic.”
A CNN story reported: “The first two doses of an experimental serum created to treat Ebola went to American missionaries.Then the drug was sent to treat a Spanish priest.The two Americans, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, appear to be recovering. The priest, Miguel Pajares, died Tuesday morning.That’s the problem with experimental drugs that have never been clinically tested in humans: No one knows whether they’ll work — and if they do, in whom.”
“This week, the World Health Organization gathered a group of ethicists to decide whether proven medications and vaccines should be used in the current Ebola outbreak. As the death toll from the epidemic soared over 1,000, the WHO panel unanimously concluded that it is ethical to offer medications to fight the Ebola virus, even if their effectiveness or adverse effects are unknown.”
Public Health Newswire reported: “In a House of Representatives hearing Thursday, U.S. and world health leaders explained that the outbreak can be stopped — in three steps:
- finding active cases,
- responding appropriately and
- preventing future cases.”
Newsday reported: “An experimental medication with no discernible track record was administered last week to two Americans who were whisked home from the epicenter of the West African Ebola outbreak.”
“The drug, developed through a technologically advanced technique, was identified only in January as a potential treatment for the viral infection now sweeping through four African nations.”
USA Today reported “”God saved my life,” said Brantly, looking gaunt, at a press conference Thursday, at which the room applauded his appearance. He thanked his medical team and the millions of people around the world praying for his recovery. “Please do not stop praying for the people of West Africa.”
Here are the links for CDC Ebola web site and Ebola tracking maps:
CDC Ebola Web Site
Since the first report of Ebola in March, the World Health Organization has confirmed 1,603 cases and 887 deaths resulting from the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. In light of the ongoing outbreak, called the “largest in history” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the APHA Bookstore has made the Ebola-Marburg virus chapter of its forthcoming Control of Communicable Diseases Manual (CCDM), 20th Edition, available online as a free download to aid public health workers responding to the disease.
The New York Times reported: “Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every patient entering one of the city’s hospitals who has fever, headache and other symptoms associated with Ebola (as well as countless other ailments), is asked two new questions.”
“Have you traveled to or from West African countries in the last 10 days? Have you been in contact with an Ebola patient or with anyone who has been in contact with an Ebola patient?”