Obama Requests $6.18 Billion in Emergency Funds to Fight Ebola

 

President Barack Obama has reportedly asked to use $6.18 billion in emergency funds to fight the international Ebola outbreak.
The Obama administration said, “The funding is needed immediately to strengthen and sustain our whole-of-government response to strengthen preparedness in the U.S. and to help end the Ebola epidemic at its source in West Africa, and to prevent disease outbreaks, detect them early, and swiftly respond before they become epidemics that threaten the American people.”
“It’s in situations like this one, when activities surpass the current level of funding, that the request is deemed an emergency,” the administration added.
In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, the White House wrote, “Because of our skill, our determination, and our passion, Americans are uniquely suited to lead this international response. The emergency funding will ensure that we can fulfill our leadership role and also ensure that we are taking important steps to strengthen preparedness here in the U.S.”
Boehner has said that Obama’s request would be considered.
According to The Christian Post, the U.N. has announced that it does not have the funding to combat the virus.

WHO Reports Nigeria Cleared of Ebola as Dozens of Americans Released from Isolation

The World Health Organization announced today (Oct. 20) that Ebola is no longer a threat in Nigeria.
According to the AP, health officials were able to monitor every person that came in contact with infected individuals. Isolation wards were constructed quickly and it has now been 42 days (twice the Ebola incubation period) since anyone in Nigeria has tested positive for the deadly virus.
At the same time, almost all of the people who have been quarantined after coming in contacted with Dallas Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan have been released from isolation. The 43 people who were released completed the 21-day incubation watch period and did not show any symptoms during that time.
The AP reports that one more person will be released later today, bringing the total of people declared in the clear of the virus to 44. Four more health care workers who cared for Duncan while he was a patient at the Dallas hospital will be released in few days.
Duncan’s family and fiancee Louise Troh were among those cleared of the disease.
Dallas City Administrator Clay Jenkins confirmed, “After 21 days of being on this watch list, there is zero chance that any of those young men or Louise carry the Ebola virus.”

Ebola Claims First American Victim

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Thomas Eric Duncan has become the first American to die from the Ebola virus. Duncan passed Wednesday (Oct. 8) morning while receiving treatment at a Dallas hospital.
Hospital spokesman Wendell Watson wrote the following statement upon Duncan’s death: “It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51 a.m.”
Duncan became infected with the Ebola virus while in Liberia; there were no apparent symptoms until Duncan arrived in the United States.
Officials believe that Duncan came in contact with up to 48 people. Those who came in contact with Duncan are being monitored for signs of the virus; the 10 people who are at highest risk of developing the illness are quarantined.
David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services said in a statement, “The past week has been an enormous test of our health system, but for one family it has been far more personal. Today they lost a dear member of their family. They have our sincere condolences, and we are keeping them in our thoughts.”

Kent Brantly Donates Blood to Another Missionary Doctor Fighting Ebola

An American physician who contracted Ebola while working in a West African hospital has received a blood transfusion from another American missionary doctor who survived the disease, hospital officials confirmed Thursday.
Physician Richard Sacra, who is being treated at the Nebraska Medical Center’s special biocontainment unit, received the blood donation from doctor Kent Brantly, who was treated for Ebola and released from an Atlanta hospital last month. Both men contracted Ebola while caring for patients in Monrovia, Liberia, while working for missionary groups.
Sacra, 51, also received an experimental therapy. Doctors have not revealed its name.
Sacra is recovering well, his wife, Debbie, and his doctor, Phil Smith, medical director of the biocontainment unit, said at a news conference Thursday (Sept. 11).
Brantly received a blood donation from a teenage survivor of Ebola while he was still in Liberia.The World Health Organization has said that such transfusions — which transfer not just blood, but disease-fighting antibodies — should be the top priority for research into new Ebola treatments.
Brantly and another missionary, Nancy Writebol, received a promising experimental drug called ZMapp that has never been formally tested in humans. Supplies of ZMapp have been exhausted, according to its manufacturer, which was in the early stages of developing the drug. The drug takes months to produce. Both recovered and returned home.
Doctors have said they don’t know what allowed Brantly to survive — the transfusion, the experimental drug or the care he received at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital.
Brantly had been in Africa volunteering for missionary group Samaritan’s Purse. His blood is the same type as Sacra’s. Brantly briefly talked to Sacra, in the special isolation unit, using video chat, according to a spokesman for Samaritan’s Purse.
Sacra and Writebol work for a different missionary group, called SIM USA. A fourth, unidentified health worker with Ebola was flown from Africa to Emory this week for care.
Across West Africa — particularly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea — Ebola has sickened more than 4,000 people and killed more than half of its victims, according to the World Health Organization. A separate outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has struck 62 people, killing 35.
Asked about the ethics of giving someone a drug that has no track record in humans, Thomas Geisbert, an Ebola expert at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, said the results of tests on animals were strong and the need great.
It will be extremely difficult to figure out whether the drug Sacra received or the Zmapp used by earlier Ebola patients contributed to their recovery. For that, Geisbert said, much bigger trials will be needed. The World Health Organization has said it hopes that five to 10 drugs that have shown promise in animals can begin widespread testing in people in the coming months.
Sacra, a family physician from Worcester, Mass., had gone to Liberia in early August to care for patients, mostly pregnant women, who did not have Ebola but were unable to get medical care.
Liberia, a country of more than 4 million people, had only a few dozen doctors before the outbreak and virtually all other medical care stopped in the country because of the epidemic.
On Friday night of Labor Day weekend, Sacra called his wife and told her he had a fever and was anxious that it might be Ebola, she said at the news conference at the Nebraska Medical Center. He stayed in isolation and began taking malaria treatment and Tylenol to lower his fever, but by Sunday he was quite concerned that he had Ebola, she said. Blood tests Monday showed that he had the disease.
Debbie Sacra said she did not hear from her husband again until late Wednesday, at which point he was too weak to talk on the phone for more than a few minutes. He was evacuated by plane the following day, Sept. 4, arriving in Nebraska the next day.
On Saturday and Sunday, Sacra had a transfusion with blood from Brantly, Smith said. Sacra has also been given the experimental drug every day of his stay, said Angela Hewlett, associate medical director of the biocontainment unit.
Sacra has had irregular heartbeats and an electrolyte imbalance, Smith and Hewlett said. He is being fed intravenously, though he has begun to eat some foods.
His wife, who has been talking to him via Skype, said he is starting to read magazines and is about 80 percent of his old self mentally after being significantly disoriented for most of the past week. The disease has weakened him considerably, she said. Doctors put an exercyle in his his room to help him rebuild his strength, but he wore himself out biking for 10 minutes yesterday, Debbie Sacra said.
“This is someone who could ride between 15 and 35 miles several times a week at the end of July, so he’s definitely lost some conditioning,” she said.
In addition to thanking God and science for his recovery, Debbie said her husband wants to make sure that the public recognizes the full extent of the tragedy unfolding in West Africa.
He hopes that in the aftermath of the epidemic, the health care system in Liberia can be built back better than before “so they’re not at risk of this kind of disaster again,” she said. “He will do everything he can from here on out to make sure this is true.”
Asked if he would return to help fight the epidemic, Debbie Sacra chuckled.
“He’s going to be ready to go back,” she said. “He loves Liberia. He loves taking care of the old people. He loves joshing with the young men. They say he is a Liberian with white skin.”
A British nurse evacuated home after contracting Ebola plans to return to Sierra Leone to fight the epidemic.
Also Thursday, Partners in Health, which has long provided medical care in Haiti and other parts of Africa, announced that it would be collaborating with two other groups to open two Ebola treatment units in rural areas, one in Liberia and one in Sierra Leone, and work to strengthen the primary health care systems in both countries.

 

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Ebola Awareness Concert

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PreciousForYou management presents an Ebola Awareness Gospel Concert on the 20th of

September, 2014 at the Jubilee Christian Centre, No. 1 Penarth Street off IIderton Road, London

SE15 1TX by 4pm.

The Concert which is expected to feature PRECIOUSFORYOU (Convener), Ms Carol Jiani, Mrs Lena

Marshall, Youth Choir, Mrs Jamesetta Taylor, Minister Amazin, Michael Agyei, Provai, Sister Mabel

& Liberian UK Band ft. Emmanuel Koffa, Harry E, Isumel – Fusion First, is a charity and awareness

campaign on the Ebola Virus Spread in some parts of the world.

Donations and contributions will be made towards the course at the venue of the event.

Refreshments and drinks will be made available to all attendees.

Human Trials Of Ebola Vaccine Begin In US, To Extend To Africa

#GoodNews: Human Trials Of Ebola Vaccine Begin In US, To Extend To Africa

 

Following successful tests of Ebola vaccine on monkeys, human trials have begun in the United States and will be extended to the United Kingdom and to Africa, according to a BBC report.

The experiments by the US National Institutes of Health showed immunity could last at least 10 months. Vaccinated monkeys have developed “long-term” immunity to the Ebola virus, raising a prospect of successful human trials, scientists say.

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 2,000 people have now died in the outbreak in West Africa.

There are several experimental treatments are to help contain the spread of Ebola including a vaccine being developed by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, reports say.

It uses a genetically modified chimp virus containing components of two species of Ebola – Zaire, which is currently circulating in West Africa, and the common Sudan species.

The viral vaccine does not replicate inside the body, but it is hoped the immune system will react to the Ebola component of the vaccine and develop immunity.

This outbreak of Ebola has claimed seven lives with 21 infections in Nigeria since the index patient, a Liberian, Patrick Sawyer brought the deadly disease to Nigeria in July 2014. Nigeria has recorded the best containment of the spread of the disease.

 

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America Warns Of Fraudulent Ebola Drug Claims

America Warns Of Fraudulent Ebola Drug Claims

The United States Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has raised alarm about some drugs being peddled online claiming to treat or prevent the Ebola virus.

The warning came after Nigeria’s minister of health, Onyebuchi Chukwu announced that 8 Ebola patients in Lagos were to be given another experimental drug, “Nanosilver’ reportedly produced by a Nigerian in diaspora.

FDA spokeswoman, Erika Jefferson did not name any of the products in her warning neither could she provide further information about the drug referred to by the Chukwu.

Reuters reports:

Silver has been used as an antibacterial for centuries. Tiny silver particles known as nano-silver have controversially been incorporated into a variety of consumer products such as socks and bedding to help block odors caused by bacteria and mold.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers nano-silver a pesticide. Manufacturers of products that contain it must register them with the agency.

Nano-silver is also sometimes sold online as a dietary supplement even though Danish researchers found in a recent study that nano-silver can penetrate and damage cells.

The FDA regulates dietary supplements and said in its statement that “by law, dietary supplements cannot claim to prevent or cure disease.”

The agency said it had received consumer complaints about the Ebola claims.

“Individuals promoting these unapproved and fraudulent products must take immediate action to correct or remove these claims or face potential FDA action,” the agency said.

The Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa has claimed 1,069 lives so far. Most have been in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Nigeria has confirmed 10 cases of the disease and four deaths.

 

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This Is What It Feels Like to Survive Ebola – Kent Brantly

This Is What It Feels Like to Survive Ebola: US Doctor Kent Brantly Writes (READ)

Ebola is ravaging West Africa like a wildfire out of control.

By noon, my temperature had increased to 101.4. I took a rapid malaria test; it was negative–not a good sign. I called our team leader, who sent physician colleagues to my home in full protective gear.

After two more negative malaria tests, I knew I would be in isolation for at least three more days. Often the blood test for Ebola will remain negative for the first three days of illness, so we had to wait a few days for an accurate result. In the meantime, I grew sicker. My fever hit 104.9. I felt nauseated and began having diarrhea. Eventually the team started an IV in my arm and gave me fluids. We all hoped it could be dengue fever.

On the fourth day the team leader came to my bedroom window with news. “Kent, buddy, we have your test results. I am really sorry to tell you that it’s positive for Ebola.” I didn’t know what to think. I just asked, “So what’s our plan?”

In the middle of October 2013, I had moved to Monrovia with my wife Amber and two children. We planned to serve as medical missionaries with Samaritan’s Purse for two years. The first time I heard about the Ebola outbreak was at the end of March, at a picnic for expatriates living in the area. Someone asked if I had heard about the Ebola outbreak in Guinea. I had not, but within a couple of months I was one of only two doctors in Monrovia treating Ebola patients.

Samaritan's Purse
Dr. Kent Brantly and his wife Amber and their children in Liberia before Dr. Brantly was infected with Ebola (Photo Credit: Samaritan’s Purse)

 

On June 11 our hospital, called ELWA (Eternal Love Winning Africa), received a call from the Ministry of Health. They were bringing two Ebola patients to our isolation unit. In the two hours it took for us to prepare everything, one of the patients died in the ambulance. Over the next month and a half the number of patients grew exponentially. We were overwhelmed.

On July 20, we opened a larger isolation unit and consolidated our smaller facility with the patients from another nearby hospital. That’s the same day I dropped off Amber and the kids at the airport to return to Texas for a family wedding. I was supposed to meet them a week later. But just three days after their departure, I got sick.

Even with the bad news, I felt calm. I never shed a tear when I called my wife and said, “Amber, my test is positive. I have Ebola.” Though the rest of my family wept, I felt strangely at peace. God blessed me with that peace that surpasses understanding. Since we had started treating patients with Ebola in Monrovia, we had only had one survivor. I had watched too many people die from this disease. Amber and I were both at the disadvantage of knowing how this illness ends.

At some point, I was told about an experimental drug. It had worked on monkeys, but had never been tested in humans. I agreed to receive it, but then decided that Nancy Writebol should get it first, since she was sicker. I was not trying to be a hero; I was making a rational decision as a doctor.

Over the next couple of days, though, my condition worsened. My body began shaking, my heart was racing. Nothing would bring down my temperature, and I had fluid in my lungs. I felt hot, nauseated, weak–everything was a blur. I had friends and colleagues praying outside my house–and all over the world. The doctor decided to give me the drug, and within an hour my body stabilized a bit. It was enough improvement for me to be safely evacuated to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Dr. Kent Brantly hugs his wife Amber after being discharged from Emory University Hospital in August 2014. (Photo Credit: David Morrison/ Samaritan's Purse)

During my own care, I often thought about the patients I had treated. Ebola is a humiliating disease that strips you of your dignity. You are removed from family and put into isolation where you cannot even see the faces of those caring for you due to the protective suits–you can only see their eyes. You have uncontrollable diarrhea and it is embarrassing. You have to rely on others to clean you up. That is why we tried our best to treat patients like our own family. Through our protective gear we spoke to each patient, calling them by name and touching them. We wanted them to know they were valuable, that they were loved, and that we were there to serve them.

At Emory the doctors were able to see that my potassium level was low and replenish it–something that could not be done in Liberia and could have killed me. I finally cried for the first time when I saw my family members through a window and spoke to them over the intercom. I had not been sure I would ever see them again. When I finally recovered, the nurses excitedly helped me leave the isolation room, and I held my wife in my arms for the first time in a month.

Even when I was facing death, I remained full of faith. I did not want to be faithful to God all the way up to serving in Liberia for ten months, only to give up at the end because I was sick. Though we cannot return to Liberia right now, it is clear we have been given a new platform for helping the people of Liberia.

Ebola has changed everything in West Africa. We cannot sit back and say, “Oh, those poor people.” We must think outside the box and find ways to help. People are fearful of isolation units because “that is where you go to die.” They stay home instead and infect their families. Perhaps we need to find a way to provide safe home care that protects the caregivers. The national governments of West Africa are overwhelmed. They are not capable of handling this outbreak with simply a little help from some NGOs. This is a global problem and it requires the action of national governments around the world. We must take action to stop it–now.

Kent Brantly is a American doctor who works with the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse. He contracted the deadly Ebola Virus while treating patients in Liberia in July 2014. He survived the disease.

 

 

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