Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Nurse free to move about as restrictions eased

This article was originally published on this site

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — A nurse who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone can move about as she pleases after a Maine judge eased state-imposed restrictions on her, handing officials in Maine a defeat in the nation’s biggest court case yet over how to balance personal liberty, public safety and fear of Ebola.

Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere ruled Friday that Kaci Hickox must continue daily monitoring of her health but said there is no need to isolate her or restrict her movements because she has no symptoms and is therefore not contagious.

The judge also decried the “misconceptions, misinformation, bad science and bad information” circulating about the lethal disease in the U.S.

After the ruling, a state police cruiser that had been posted outside Hickox’s home left, and she and her boyfriend stepped outside to thank the judge.

Hickox, 33, called it “a good day” and said her “thoughts, prayers and gratitude” remain with those who are still battling Ebola in West Africa.

She said she had no immediate plans other than to watch a scary movie at home on Halloween in this town of 4,300 people on the remote northern edge of Maine, near the Canadian border.

Maine health officials had gone to court on Thursday in an attempt to bar her from crowded public places and require her to stay at least 3 feet from others until the 21-day incubation period for Ebola was up on Nov. 10. She would have been free to jog or ride a bike.

But the judge turned the state down.

Gov. Paul LePage said he disagreed with the ruling but will abide by it. Officials said there are no plans to appeal.

“As governor, I have done everything I can to protect the health and safety of Mainers. The judge has eased restrictions with this ruling, and I believe it is unfortunate,” LePage said.

Later in the day, the governor lashed out at Hickox, saying: “She has violated every promise she has made so far, so I can’t trust her. I don’t trust her. And I don’t trust that we know enough about this disease to be so callous.”

Hickox was thrust into the center of a national debate after she returned to the U.S. last week from treating Ebola victims in West Africa as a volunteer for Doctors Without Borders.

She contended that the state’s confining her to her home in what it called a voluntary quarantine violated her rights and was unsupported by science. She defied the restrictions twice, once to go on a bike ride and once to talk to the media and shake a reporter’s hand.

In his ruling, the judge thanked Hickox for her service in Africa and acknowledged the gravity of restricting someone’s constitutional rights without solid science to back it up.

“The court is fully aware of the misconceptions, misinformation, bad science and bad information being spread from shore to shore in our country with respect to Ebola,” he wrote. “The court is fully aware that people are acting out of fear and that this fear is not entirely rational.”

Hickox’s quarantine in Maine — and, before that, in New Jersey, upon her arrival back in the U.S. — led humanitarian groups, the White House and many scientists to warn that automatically quarantining medical workers could discourage volunteers from going to West Africa, where more than 13,500 people have been sickened and nearly 5,000 have died from Ebola.

Hickox has been vilified by some and hailed by others. She has been getting a similarly mixed reaction from her health care colleagues.

On a popular nursing website, allnurses.com, some nurses felt the 21-day quarantine was a sensible precaution for those returning from a high-risk area, while others were more critical, accusing her of giving nurses everywhere a bad name.

Hickox has said she is following the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation of daily monitoring for fever and other signs of the disease. She tested negative for Ebola last weekend, but it can take days for the virus to reach detectable levels.

Her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, said Friday that the two of them weren’t planning to go into town in the immediate future.

“I’m just happy that Kaci is able to go outside, exercise. It’s not healthy to be inside for 21 days,” he said.

___

Associated Press writers David Sharp and Patrick Whittle in Portland contributed to this story.

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

New York doctor infected with Ebola is improving

This article was originally published on this site

The New York doctor infected with Ebola is getting better, health officials said Saturday.

Dr. Craig Spencer’s condition was upgraded to “stable” after he received a plasma transfusion from Ebola survivor and missionary Nancy Writebol, along with the experimental drug Brincidofovir, at Bellevue Hospital, according to officials.

Before yesterday, Spencer, 33, was listed as “serious but stable.”

“The patient will remain in isolation and continue to receive full treatment,” the NYC Health and Hospitals Corp. said in a statement. The corporation runs Bellevue Hospital.

Spencer, of Harlem, was diagnosed with the deadly virus Oct. 23 after he returning from a stint in Guinea working for Doctors Without Borders.

Also Saturday, officials said one of Spencer’s two home-quarantined pals can leave home, but will continue to be assessed twice daily.

Spencer is the only confirmed Ebola patient in New York.

His case prompted New York and New Jersey governors to set mandatory quarantine periods for travelers exposed to Ebola in West Africa.

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Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Scientists try to predict number of US Ebola cases

This article was originally published on this site

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — 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?

No one knows for sure how many infections will emerge in the U.S. or anywhere else, but scientists have made educated guesses based on data models that weigh hundreds of variables, including daily new infections in West Africa, airline traffic worldwide and transmission possibilities.

This week, several top infectious disease experts ran simulations for The Associated Press that predicted as few as one or two additional infections by the end of 2014 to a worst-case scenario of 130.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a huge outbreak here, no,” said Dr. David Relman, a professor of infectious disease, microbiology and immunology at Stanford University’s medical school. “However, as best we can tell right now, it is quite possible that every major city will see at least a handful of cases.”

Relman is a founding member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advisory board for biosecurity and chairs the National Academy of Sciences forum on microbial threats.

Until now, projections published in top medical journals by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control have focused on worst-case scenarios for West Africa, concluding that cases in the U.S. will be episodic, but minimal. But they have declined to specify actual numbers.

The projections are complicated, but Ebola has been a fairly predictable virus — extremely infectious, contagious only through contact with body fluids, requiring no more than 21 days for symptoms to emerge. Human behavior is far less predictable — people get on airplanes, shake hands, misdiagnose, even lie.

Pandemic risk expert Dominic Smith, a senior manager for life risks at Newark, California-based RMS, a leading catastrophe-modeling firm, ran a U.S. simulation this week that projected 15 to 130 cases between now and the end of December. That’s less than one case per 2 million people.

Smith’s method assumes that most cases imported to the U.S. will be American medical professionals who worked in West Africa and returned home.

Smith said the high end may be a bit of an overestimate as it does not include the automatic quarantining measures that some areas in the U.S. are implementing.

Those quarantines “could both reduce the number of contacts for imported cases, as well as increase the travel burden on — and perhaps reduce the number of — U.S. volunteers planning to support the effort in West Africa,” he said.

In a second simulation, Northeastern University professor Alessandro Vespignani projected between one case — the most likely scenario — and a slim chance of as many as eight cases though the end of November.

“I’m always trying to tell people to keep calm and keep thinking rationally,” said Vespignani, who projects the spread of infectious diseases at the university’s Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Socio-Technical Systems.

In an article in the journal PLOS ONE, Vespignani and a team of colleagues said the probability of international spread outside the African region is small, but not negligible. Longer term, they say international dissemination will depend on what happens in West Africa in the next few months.

Their first analysis, published Sept. 2, proved to be accurate when it included the U.S. among 30 countries likely to see some Ebola cases. They projected one or two infections in the U.S., but there could be as many as 10.

So far, nine Ebola patients have been treated in the U.S., and one has died. Seven became infected in West Africa, including Thomas Eric Duncan, the first to arrive undiagnosed and the first to die. He was cared for at a Dallas hospital, where two of his nurses were also infected.

Duncan, who was initially misdiagnosed and sent home from the emergency room, is Vespignani’s worst-case scenario for the U.S.

A similar situation, if left unchecked, could lead to a local cluster that could infect, on the outside, as many as 20, he said.

The foreseeable future extends only for the next few months. After that, projections depend entirely on what happens in West Africa. One scenario is that the surge in assistance to the region brings the epidemic under control and cases peter out in the U.S. A second scenario involves Ebola spreading unchecked across international borders.

“My worry is that the epidemic might spill into other countries in Africa or the Middle East, and then India or China. That could be a totally different story for everybody,” Vespignani said.

Dr. Ashish Jha, a Harvard University professor and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said he’s not worried about a handful of new cases in the U.S. His greatest worry is if the disease goes from West Africa to India.

“If the infection starts spreading in Delhi or Mumbai, what are we going to do?”

Dr. Peter Hotez, founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, pegs the range of cases in the U.S. between five and 100.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prefers not to focus on a particular number. But spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said Ebola will not be a widespread threat as some outside the agency have warned.

“We’re talking about clusters in some places but not outbreaks,” she said.

The CDC is using modeling tools to work on projections in West Africa, but “there isn’t enough data available in the U.S. to make it worthwhile to go through the exercise.”

University of Texas integrative biology professor Lauren Ancel Meyers said there are inherent inconsistencies in forecasting “because the course of action we’re taking today will impact what happens in the future.”

Her laboratory is running projections of Ebola’s spread in West Africa.

The U.S. simulations run for the AP had fairly consistent results with each other, she said. And they are “consistent with what we know about the disease.”

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Scientists try to predict number of US Ebola cases

This article was originally published on this site

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — 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?

No one knows for sure how many infections will emerge in the U.S. or anywhere else, but scientists have made educated guesses based on data models that weigh hundreds of variables, including daily new infections in West Africa, airline traffic worldwide and transmission possibilities.

This week, several top infectious disease experts ran simulations for The Associated Press that predicted as few as one or two additional infections by the end of 2014 to a worst-case scenario of 130.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a huge outbreak here, no,” said Dr. David Relman, a professor of infectious disease, microbiology and immunology at Stanford University’s medical school. “However, as best we can tell right now, it is quite possible that every major city will see at least a handful of cases.”

Relman is a founding member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advisory board for biosecurity and chairs the National Academy of Sciences forum on microbial threats.

Until now, projections published in top medical journals by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control have focused on worst-case scenarios for West Africa, concluding that cases in the U.S. will be episodic, but minimal. But they have declined to specify actual numbers.

The projections are complicated, but Ebola has been a fairly predictable virus — extremely infectious, contagious only through contact with body fluids, requiring no more than 21 days for symptoms to emerge. Human behavior is far less predictable — people get on airplanes, shake hands, misdiagnose, even lie.

Pandemic risk expert Dominic Smith, a senior manager for life risks at Newark, California-based RMS, a leading catastrophe-modeling firm, ran a U.S. simulation this week that projected 15 to 130 cases between now and the end of December. That’s less than one case per 2 million people.

Smith’s method assumes that most cases imported to the U.S. will be American medical professionals who worked in West Africa and returned home.

Smith said the high end may be a bit of an overestimate as it does not include the automatic quarantining measures that some areas in the U.S. are implementing.

Those quarantines “could both reduce the number of contacts for imported cases, as well as increase the travel burden on — and perhaps reduce the number of — U.S. volunteers planning to support the effort in West Africa,” he said.

In a second simulation, Northeastern University professor Alessandro Vespignani projected between one case — the most likely scenario — and a slim chance of as many as eight cases though the end of November.

“I’m always trying to tell people to keep calm and keep thinking rationally,” said Vespignani, who projects the spread of infectious diseases at the university’s Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Socio-Technical Systems.

In an article in the journal PLOS ONE, Vespignani and a team of colleagues said the probability of international spread outside the African region is small, but not negligible. Longer term, they say international dissemination will depend on what happens in West Africa in the next few months.

Their first analysis, published Sept. 2, proved to be accurate when it included the U.S. among 30 countries likely to see some Ebola cases. They projected one or two infections in the U.S., but there could be as many as 10.

So far, nine Ebola patients have been treated in the U.S., and one has died. Seven became infected in West Africa, including Thomas Eric Duncan, the first to arrive undiagnosed and the first to die. He was cared for at a Dallas hospital, where two of his nurses were also infected.

Duncan, who was initially misdiagnosed and sent home from the emergency room, is Vespignani’s worst-case scenario for the U.S.

A similar situation, if left unchecked, could lead to a local cluster that could infect, on the outside, as many as 20, he said.

The foreseeable future extends only for the next few months. After that, projections depend entirely on what happens in West Africa. One scenario is that the surge in assistance to the region brings the epidemic under control and cases peter out in the U.S. A second scenario involves Ebola spreading unchecked across international borders.

“My worry is that the epidemic might spill into other countries in Africa or the Middle East, and then India or China. That could be a totally different story for everybody,” Vespignani said.

Dr. Ashish Jha, a Harvard University professor and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said he’s not worried about a handful of new cases in the U.S. His greatest worry is if the disease goes from West Africa to India.

“If the infection starts spreading in Delhi or Mumbai, what are we going to do?”

Dr. Peter Hotez, founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, pegs the range of cases in the U.S. between five and 100.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prefers not to focus on a particular number. But spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said Ebola will not be a widespread threat as some outside the agency have warned.

“We’re talking about clusters in some places but not outbreaks,” she said.

The CDC is using modeling tools to work on projections in West Africa, but “there isn’t enough data available in the U.S. to make it worthwhile to go through the exercise.”

University of Texas integrative biology professor Lauren Ancel Meyers said there are inherent inconsistencies in forecasting “because the course of action we’re taking today will impact what happens in the future.”

Her laboratory is running projections of Ebola’s spread in West Africa.

The U.S. simulations run for the AP had fairly consistent results with each other, she said. And they are “consistent with what we know about the disease.”

DogEbol321

Ebola survivor reunited with dog

This article was originally published on this site

Nov. 1: Ebola survivor Nina Pham is reunited with her dog Bentley at the Dallas Animal Services Center in Dallas. (Reuters)

A Dallas nurse who recovered from Ebola was reunited with her dog Bentley, after it was quarantined when she was sick with the virus.

Nina Pham and Bentley were rejoined privately Satuday in a vacant residence where officers once lived at a decommissioned naval base. The King Charles Spaniel was quarantined for 21 days as veterinarians in full protective gear checked on it daily.

“I’d like to take a moment to thank people from all around the world who have sent their best wishes and prayers to me and Mr. Bentley,” said Pham, who read a statement at a news conference Saturday. Bentley, whom she called “one of my best friends,” was there on a leash.

Pham was diagnosed with Ebola last month after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan in a Dallas hospital. Duncan died of the disease Oct. 8.

Pham recovered and was released Oct. 24 from a Washington, D.C.-area hospital.

“Bentley is alive and well in the city of Dallas,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said, adding that he even kissed the dog Saturday. “There were a lot of human beings that spent a lot of time making sure this dog was safe.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Eluding Ebola: Gear Matters, But Technique Matters More

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New guidelines for the personal protective equipment that health workers should have on when treating Ebola patients make clear that what you wear counts — but even more important is how you put it on and take it off.

And the guidelines that the World Health Organization updated Friday suggest only highly trained medical professionals should be taking on the dangerous job of caring for Ebola patients, say the country’s leading doctors at the National Institutes of Health.

“Anybody could do this, but the training process is something that takes a lot of time,” Dr. Francis Collins, who heads the National Institutes of Health, told NBC News in an interview.

Treating Ebola patients does not have to be dangerous, Collins said. “But it takes a lot of time to make it safe.”

That was obvious in a demonstration given this week at the NIH clinical center, where Dallas nurse Nina Pham was cared for until she was released earlier this month. It took a full 10 minutes to gear up Kevin Barrett, a specialist nurse who helped care for Pham.

“One of the most dangerous times is when someone is doffing or taking off their gear.”

“First Kevin, please don the belt,” says Dr. Tara Palmore, hospital epidemiologist for the NIH Clinical Center. She’s spotting Barrett. Ebola veterans say having someone watch you put on — and, more importantly, take off — Ebola gear can make the difference between safely treating a patient and getting infected yourself.

“Then don the shoe covers,” Palmore adds, reading from a checklist. Barrett systematically puts on a white Tyvek full-body suit, two pairs of shoe covers, a helmet called a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR or “papper” for short), a “shroud” over his PAPR and head, a two-way radio that’s hooked to his belt, two pairs of gloves, taped on using a special trick so the tape can be pulled off easily later, and a yellow gown.

Doffing the gear takes even longer. “One of the most dangerous times is when someone is doffing or taking off their gear,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the NIH’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Palmore spots Barrett every step of the way, instructing him step by step. In a real patient care situation, she’d be suited up too, just in case something splashed off onto her.

The goal is to get all these layers off without ripping them and without carrying any possible contamination outside the room where the patient is. Experience led to the trick with the tape, said Fauci — just folding the end over itself leaves a non-sticky length that can be pulled without ripping the sleeve of the suit.

That’s one of the flaws that Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saw at the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas, where Pham and her fellow nurse Amber Vinson became infected. They layered on too many pairs of gloves and rolled on so much tape they had trouble getting the gear off safely.

The CDC released its own instructional video Friday.

Health care workers often get infected even while wearing personal protective equipment, or PPE. Hundreds have become infected and have died at the front lines in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and Pham and Vinson were infected while taking care of Thomas Eric Duncan, the only person so far to die of Ebola in the United States.

Most experts think infection was due to a gear malfunction of some type — perhaps a small mistake made when taking off contaminated PPE.

The new WHO guidelines don’t specify any particular piece of equipment. They make clear what needs to be protected — and in treating Ebola, that is every part of the body, from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet.

Ebola isn’t as contagious as influenza, measles or even the common cold. It doesn’t float in the air or live on surfaces. To get it, people have to be in close contact with someone who is actively sick or with the person’s bodily fluids, such as on a sheet covered with vomit or diarrhea. But doctors, nurses and technicians fall squarely into this risk group.

The WHO guidelines emphasize that PPE must keep virus out of the eyes, nose and mouth, as well as off the hands. It’s also important to keep it off any part of the body that someone might touch later, because the hands can carry it to eyes, nose and mouth. That’s why skin must be covered — not because the virus can infect through the skin, but because you might touch it later.

“Paramount to the guidelines’ effectiveness is the inclusion of mandatory training on the putting on, taking off and decontaminating of PPE, followed by mentoring for all users before engaging in any clinical care,” said Edward Kelley, WHO’s director for service delivery and safety.

It might seem like you can never have too many layers, but the gear is hot and hard to move around in.

“I would say categorically that unless you have rehearsed, you should not do it.”

And a hot, tired worker makes mistakes. “This process is not an easy process, and you are the most fatigued when you are taking off your material,” Fauci said. “That’s a time when you are very vulnerable.”

Fauci agrees with Collins — caring for Ebola patients is not work for amateurs. “I would say categorically that unless you have rehearsed, you should not do it,” Fauci told NBC News.

In July, Frieden said any U.S. hospital should be able to care for an Ebola patient. Fauci disagrees. “You don’t expect every single hospital in the country to be able to fully take care of an Ebola patient, but you expect the clinics and emergency rooms to be able to recognize when an Ebola patient comes through the door or is carried through the door,” Fauci said. The right thing to do is then get the patient to an appropriate facility, where staff have rehearsed how to safely care for such a patient.

“When the outbreak came we were well-trained and suited to do this,” Fauci said. The NIH clinical center, Emory University Hospital and the Nebraska Medical Center all have special biocontainment units where staff are trained to care for patients with dangerous illnesses.

Bellevue Hospital in New York is caring for Dr. Craig Spencer, a doctor infected in Guinea while treating Ebola patients. Bellevue is one of dozens of hospitals that have drilled recently in the care of such patients.

First published November 1 2014, 3:00 AM

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Days after waving to U.S. envoy, Liberian boys are Ebola free

This article was originally published on this site
Boys Solomon (C, rear) and Joe (R, rear) stand in the ''red zone'' where they are being treated for Ebola at the Bong County Ebola Treatment Unit about 200 km (120 miles) east of the capital, Monrovia, October 28, 2014.  REUTERS/Michelle Nichols

Boys Solomon (C, rear) and Joe (R, rear) stand in the ”red zone” where they are being treated for Ebola at the Bong County Ebola Treatment Unit about 200 km (120 miles) east of the capital, Monrovia, October 28, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Michelle Nichols

 

 

(Reuters) – Just a few days after Solomon, 14, and Joe, 11, stood in t-shirts and pyjama pants waving as U.S. envoy Samantha Power visited an Ebola treatment unit in Liberia, their recovery was complete — they tested negative for the hemorrhagic fever.

 

“Solomon and Joe went home,” said U.S. nurse Bridget Mulrooney on Saturday, who works with the unit run by International Medical Corps in Bong County, about 200 km (120 miles) east of Liberia’s capital Monrovia.

 

Power, accompanied by U.S. public health experts, visited the treatment unit on Tuesday but did not enter the facility. She traveled to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to assess the global response to the worst outbreak of Ebola in history.

 

From a distance, Joe and Solomon watched and waved at Power’s delegation from behind a neon orange fence at the “red zone” of the treatment unit.

 

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Espinosa delivered the news to the boys on Friday that they were better, said International Medical Corps communications officer in Liberia Stuart Sia. Both Joe and Solomon went home to their villages on Saturday afternoon to be cared for by family, Sia said.

 

Espinosa, himself a father-of-four, is the officer-in-charge of a mobile laboratory set up in Bong County a few weeks ago that has cut sample testing times to five hours from five days.

 

But Solomon’s 7-year-old ‘social sister’ Christine, who’s mother raised Solomon as her own, is still fighting the virus that has gripped Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, killing some 5,000 people and infecting thousands more.

 

“Christine is up and down. Ebola and children is harsh. We want her to pull through, but her tiny body is ravaged. She is eating and walking, and she hasn’t done much of either in weeks,” Mulrooney told Reuters in an email.

 

These improvements though in the past few days left the nurses confident that Christine will recover, said Sia in an email. Solomon and Christine both arrived at the treatment unit about two weeks ago from Joblo in Margibi County, he said.

 

However, Christine’s 10-year-old biological brother Rancy, who was admitted three days earlier than Christine and Solomon, died from Ebola within a week of being admitted for treatment.

 

“Their mother contracted Ebola from a friend in another village. She went to (the village of) Kakata to be taken cared of by family and later died,” Sia said. Their father then contracted Ebola from his wife, but after three weeks of treatment at a hospital in Monrovia he recovered.

 

In total, Sia said 14 members of their family had been infected. Joe, who comes from Weala in Margibi County, had also been in the treatment unit nearly two weeks.

 

After Power’s brief visit to West Africa, she told Reuters on Thursday that she had found some “hope and possibility” that the global response to the Ebola outbreak is working, but more resources are needed.

 

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Bernard Orr)

 

DogEbol321

Dallas nurse who survived Ebola reunited with dog

This article was originally published on this site

Nov. 1: Ebola survivor Nina Pham is reunited with her dog Bentley at the Dallas Animal Services Center in Dallas. (Reuters)

DALLAS –  A Dallas nurse who recovered from Ebola has been reunited with her dog named Bentley, who has been quarantined since she fell ill.

Nina Pham and the King Charles Spaniel were reunited privately on Saturday in a vacant residence where officers once lived at a decommissioned naval air base, where he was quarantined for 21 days. Veterinarians in full personal protective gear checked on him daily.

 “I’d like to take a moment to thank people from all around the world who have sent their best wishes and prayers to me and Mr. Bentley,” said Pham, who read a statement at a news conference Saturday. Bentley, whom she called “one of my best friends,” was there on a leash.

Pham was diagnosed with Ebola last month. She contracted the virus while caring for a Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, who died Oct. 8.

Judge rejects Ebola quarantine for Maine nurse

Pham recovered and was released Oct. 24 from a Washington, D.C.-area hospital.

Earlier this year, authorities in Madrid, Spain, caused a public uproar when they euthanized a dog belonging to a nursing assistant sickened by Ebola.

“Bentley is alive and well in the city of Dallas,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said, adding that he even kissed the dog Saturday. “There were a lot of human beings that spent a lot of time making sure this dog was safe.”

Rawlings thanked city staff and Texas A&M University veterinarians.

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Ebola-free Texas nurse, pet dog reunited after long quarantine

This article was originally published on this site
Ebola survivor Nina Pham is reunited with her dog Bentley at the Dallas Animal Services Center in Dallas, November 1, 2014.  REUTERS/Lisa Maria Garza

 

 

(Reuters) – The Dallas nurse treated for Ebola had an emotional reunion on Saturday with her “best friend”, a King Charles Spaniel, after the pet spent the last three weeks in quarantine being monitored for the deadly virus.

 

The dog named Bentley showered Nina Pham with licks at a handover ceremony near the Dallas shelter where he had been kept in isolation and cared for by kennel workers in protective suits.

 

Pham, 26, became the first person in the United States to be infected with Ebola after treating an infected man. She was released from a National Institutes of Health hospital in Maryland on Oct. 24 after being declared free of the virus.

 

“After I was diagnosed with Ebola, I didn’t know what would happen to Bentley and if he would have the virus,” Pham told reporters. “I was frightened that I might not know what happened to my best friend.”

 

Bentley has been under the spotlight after officials in Madrid put down the dog of a Spanish nurse who contacted Ebola while also caring for a patient.

 

Wearing a maroon handkerchief around his neck and a silver bone charm on his collar, Bentley licked Pham’s face and wagged his tail as he was cradled by the nurse in front of the cameras.

 

The dog was fed by decontamination crews working to clean Pham’s apartment shortly after she was diagnosed with the virus and later evacuated by a small team wearing protective gear.

 

Bentley became a minor Internet star as picture and videos of him running around his isolation call and playing with workers in space suits were released by the city – after they had first been shown to Pham.

 

Bentley was declared Ebola-free at the end of October after clearing several tests.

 

Pham said the two were now going to celebrate.

 

“Right now, I’m just excited to take Bentley home so we can start picking out his gifts for his 2 year birthday party this month,” Pham said.

 

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Gareth Jones)

 

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Ebola: Windfall for Military-Industrial Complex

This article was originally published on this site
On October 31, Profectus BioSciences, Inc. announced it has received millions of dollars to develop an Ebola vaccine.

The Pentagon awarded the contract through its Medical Countermeasure Systems-Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program, a program that develops and stockpiles vaccines to be used on soldiers.

“The $9.5 million award has been made with Battelle Memorial Institute through the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, & Nuclear Defense Information Analysis Center,” a PRNewswire released on Friday states.

CBRNIAC is part of the Pentagon’s Defense Technical Information Center. DTIC provides a “suite of services” to defense contractors and academic institutions. It also provides services of the Homeland Security “community.”

“We are continuing to develop a trivalent vaccine that will protect our service members and DoD civilians against the major filovirus threats: Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan, and Marburg viruses,” said the manager of the Pentagon’s Medical Countermeasure Systems-Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program. “The DoD is optimistic that its long-term commitment to identifying and supporting safe and effective trivalent filovirus vaccines is coming to fruition and remains supportive to advancing the Profectus BioSciences trivalent Ebola/Marburg vaccine into human clinical trials as rapidly as possible.”

Earlier in the week, the Medical Countermeasure Systems-Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program awarded Colorado State University’s Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing and Academic Resource Center $2 million to work on an Ebola and Marburg vaccine. “Among MCS-JVAP’s requirements is to develop a vaccine to protect soldiers from exposure to filoviruses, which cause several types of hemorrhagic fever,” Global Biodefense reports.

From Military Guinea Pigs to Civilians

The move by the Pentagon represents the militarization of Ebola vaccine effort. “While the primary purpose of the Ebola vaccine would be to protect U.S. soldiers, it is possible that such a vaccine could be used for endemic outbreaks of filovirus infection,” the website notes.

Soldiers will become guinea pigs for a vaccine destined for public application. On October 27, USA Today reported the center at CSU “develops and stockpiles vaccines and countermeasures that can be used to protect soldiers, but the research ultimately will benefit civilians.”

The link between the Pentagon and defense contractors raises serious questions, writes Julie Lévesque. “This link between the U.S. military and pharmaceutical companies in the production of flu vaccines raises serious questions, especially since the H1N1 pandemic has been exposed as a multibillion dollar fraud instigated by Big Pharma and the World Health Organization (WHO),” Lévesque wrote after Medicago, a corporation owned by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. and Philip Morris, began work on an Ebola antibody. In 2012, Medicago partnered with the Pentagon on the development of an influenza vaccine.

On October 1 Infowars.com reported on the Pentagon’s funding of an Ebola vaccine under a $140 million project with Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, a Canadian company.

“It is clear that the US government has been keeping tabs on Ebola for a while now,” writes Dave Mihalovic for Prevent Disease. “It holds the patents on a strain of the Ebola virus known as Bundibugyo (EboBun) that was found in Uganda. It is although not clear whether it is the same strain that has created the current epidemic. The patent, awarded in October 2012 to five scientists led by Jonathan S Towner, is now deposited with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Many Believe Ebola Released to Benefit Big Pharma and Military Industrial Complex

Many Africans believe Ebola was unleashed on West Africa in order to create a pandemic that would require a vaccine.

“Reports narrate stories of the US Department of Defense (DoD) funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The reports continue and state that the DoD gave a contract worth $140 million dollars to Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, to conduct Ebola research. This research work involved injecting and infusing healthy humans with the deadly Ebola virus,” writes Dr. Cyril Broderick, a former professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Liberia’s College of Agriculture and Forestry.

Broderick claims Ebola is a genetically modified organism designed by the “American Military-Medical-Industry that conducts biological weapons tests under the guise of administering vaccinations to control diseases” in Africa and other third world countries. Broderick also claims the World Health Organization and other United Nations agencies “have been implicated in selecting and enticing African countries to participate in the testing events” and are “promoting vaccinations.”

M. Durga Prasad of India’s Defense Research & Development Organization recently raised the hackles of the establishment media when he said the Ebola outbreak could be part of a biological warfare program.

As noted by Infowars.com, the Pentagon and the CIA have a long track record of releasing deadly viruses on the public.

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