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Ebola Tag

S--t just got real. The call up will assist the military force fighting Ebola as part of Operation United Assistance. The Executive Order appears to be part of sending the National Guard to Liberia. Here's the Order, via Zeke Miller: Obama Ebola Executive Order October 16 2014 Here's the key portion of the Order:

A press release issued today by the Texas Department of State Health Services:
Second Health Care Worker Tests Positive for Ebola News Release Oct. 15, 2014 A second health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States has tested positive for the disease. The health care worker reported a fever Tuesday and was immediately isolated at the hospital. Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored. The type of monitoring depends on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus. The worker was among those who took care of Thomas Eric Duncan after he was diagnosed with Ebola. The preliminary Ebola test was run late Tuesday at the state public health laboratory in Austin, and results were received at about midnight. Confirmatory testing on a separate specimen will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to contaminated objects such as needles. People are not contagious before symptoms such as fever develop.
Officials continue to suggest worker error, something the nurses union denies, via CNN:

I was talking with biologists yesterday, as part of a work project, and we all were becoming increasingly alarmed at the bureaucratic response to the reports that nurses in Dallas and Spain were stricken with Ebola. I stated that the "tipping point" would be reached if one of the nurses spread the disease to someone else outside of the hospital setting. Presently, 76 Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital workers being monitored for potential infection with Ebola. Once someone outside the healthcare setting was infected, then the chances of this being a more serious health threat to the nation escalate. We are coming perilously close to the tipping point, as it looks like an Alcon employee who is "closely associated" with the Dallas nurse, Nina Pham, is in isolation and under observation to determine if he displays "Ebola symptoms". The CBS Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate offers a video report and post.
Dallas nurse Nina Pham tested positive for the Ebola virus over the weekend. Pham was one of the medical workers who administered treatment to Ebola patient Thomas Duncan, who died from the virus last week. Pham first noticed that she had some of the symptoms on Friday, and her diagnosis was confirmed on Sunday.

A progressive organization called the Agenda Project Action Fund has produced a new ad which attempts to politicize Ebola by blaming its spread on Republicans and budget cuts. Sahil Kapur of TPM reports:
Brutal New Ad Blames GOP Spending Cuts For Ebola Deaths (VIDEO) The one minute ad, called "Republican Cuts Kill," splices grueling images of body bags and workers in hazmat suits with footage of top Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (OH) calling for spending cuts. It also features 2014 Republican Senate candidates Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Pat Roberts of Kansas. The spot was produced by the Agenda Project Action Fund, the same progressive group that has made controversial anti-Republican ads such as "Granny Off the Cliff." The group's spokeswoman, Erica Payne, said Monday the ad would air in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Dakota and Kansas — all of which feature competitive Senate races that could swing the majority.
Here's the ad: Oh, where to begin?

As the news of the first Ebola case contracted within the country rivets the nation, Enterovirus-D68 continues infecting our children. Now it has claimed the life of a Michigan toddler:
A Michigan toddler has died of enterovirus D68, another reminder of the deadly potential of a disease that has infected hundreds nationwide in two months. Madeline Reid died at Children's Hospital of Michigan, where she had been transferred "for advanced services," according to the Detroit hospital's chief medical officer, Dr. Rudolph Valentini. "The CDC confirmed EV-D68 after her arrival here, and she subsequently succumbed to her illness," Valentini said.
News 8 Wood TV files this video report on Madeline's death. A little closer to my home, there has been a jump in the number of cases recorded.
California health officials Friday said they've now identified 32 cases of enterovirus D-68 statewide, a number that's jumped quickly in recent days. In Southern California, four cases were in L.A. County, three in Orange County and one in Ventura County, according to the California Department of Public Health. All 32 patients were identified as children ranging in age from a week old to 15 years old.

No, of course not, because we have it under control. Oh, wait, 'Heroic' Health Worker Becomes Second U.S. Ebola Case:
A Texas health care worker who cared for Liberian Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at a Dallas hospital has tested positive for the disease, hospital officials said Sunday. The worker became infected despite wearing full protective gear while treating Duncan, who later died from the disease, during his second visit to the hospital. If the preliminary diagnosis is confirmed by the Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, it would be the first known case of the disease being contracted or transmitted in the U.S. "That health care worker is a heroic person who provided care to Mr. Duncan," Dallas Judge Clay Jenkin said at a news conference Sunday morning.
No need to worry, NIH official: 'The system worked':

Spain's Ebola patient zero is a nurse's assistant. No one can say she kept mum about the fact that she'd been near an Ebola patient recently. Authorities were well aware of her exposure, because she was on the team that cared for a Spanish missionary and a Spanish priest, both of whom were shipped back to Spain after they contracted Ebola in Africa. Both of them have died. But although health workers in Dallas did not originally know that America's patient zero, Thomas Duncan, had been recently exposed to Ebola, there is a similarity between the unnamed nurse's disease trajectory and that of Duncan. As with him, there also was a delay in her hospitalization and diagnosis. She is said to have reported her first symptom, a fever, on September 30, and yet she was only hospitalized this week. Since authorities knew in advance that she'd been exposed, why the delay, which put many more people at risk? Should they not have erred on the side of caution? There are various possibilities. Perhaps the authorities had such faith in their isolation and protection techniques that they thought it impossible that a health worker could contract Ebola while working under state-of-the-art conditions in a Western hospital, as opposed to in Africa. Or perhaps (as I'm beginning to suspect) the diagnostic criteria for Ebola aren't rigorous enough. One of the first symptoms of Ebola is a fever, defined as above 101.5. But see this [emphasis mine]:

As if Dallas weren't enough of a circus already, Reverend Jesse Jackson has announced that he will be working with community leaders in Dallas to make sure that Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan receives "the best humanitarian relief" available. (Because round the clock care and rare experimental drug therapy isn't enough, I guess.) Just when the people of Dallas thought it was safe to leave the house, right? At any rate, Jackson landed in Dallas this morning and immediately began blaming a lack of health insurance for the terrible consequences of the reckless choices of Thomas Eric Duncan.
“He must be treated as a patient — with all the human rights preserved — not as a criminal,” Jackson stated. Duncan’s family believes that he may have been medically mishandled by the hospital after he was originally sent home by staffers. Days later, paramedics transported the visitor from Liberia back to the hospital, where doctors eventually confirmed that Duncan is seriously sick with the Ebola virus. “Without insurance, he was only offered a cursory examination,” Jackson said. “Thomas needs the same treatment as others. They sent Ebola back into the community.” “This is a good time for churches — black and white — to rally, and find common ground and healing,” Jackson said Tuesday morning. He plans to hold a prayer vigil outside of the hospital at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. “This is the essence of the message of Jesus.”

Earlier, I weighed in on how the media and administration are handling the Ebola epidemic, using language to minimize the fact that it is a hemorrhagic fever. It the wake of reports that Colorado children who suffered from an infection of the very aggressive respiratory pathogen, Enterovirus D-68, have also experienced limb paralysis, today's "Bio-Insurrection" research has revealed that there is a nice, new moniker associated with it: Non-Polio Enterovirus. From our Department of Health: LI #09 Non-polio enterovirus I made this discovery while I was searching for confirmation that a child's recent death was associated with an Enterovirus D-68 infection. Sadly, it was.

First Dallas, now Houston. Thankfully, Governor Perry put together a Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. The task force, "will assess and enhance the state's existing capabilities to prepare for and respond to pandemic disease, such as the Ebola virus." Perry also, "called on the federal government to immediately begin enhanced screening procedures at all points of entry, including obtaining additional information, checking temperatures and staffing quarantine stations to help prevent the disease from entering the country." According to a local ABC News affiliate:
A hospital in Cypress says it is treating a patient with an "extremely low-risk" chance of having Ebola.

The North Cypress Medical Center, located along the Northwest Freeway, says the patient was admitted Monday and is being monitored. The hospital issued the following statement about the patient's admission:

"North Cypress Medical Center is treating a patient who has not been diagnosed with ebola. He is considered to be of extremely low risk to the ebola virus. Hospital personnel are taking all precautions as prescribed by the Harris County Health Department and the U.S. Center for Disease Control. The patient is in stable condition and is showing no signs of a fever. Admitted earlier today (October 6th), he has been isolated from other patients. We are working closely with local health and CDC officials who will determine all the steps we need to take to ensure the patient's recovery and the community's safety." 

Over the weekend, it was thought a person in Katy may have had Ebola, but that turned out to be malaria. 

The health department says they've conducted two Ebola tests on patients in the Houston area. Both have come back negative.

Americans' fears about the spread of Ebola are growing, and the constant debunking of the Obama Administrations' claims regarding the severity of the situation haven't done much to gain the confidence of the public. Dan Nather of Politico doesn't seem to have a firm grasp on the reality of the current situation:
GOP 2016ers on Ebola: Panic For once, President Barack Obama and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are on the same page. At separate briefings on the Ebola crisis, Obama administration officials and Perry have delivered the same message: Don’t panic — the health authorities know what they’re doing. But for other Republicans — and conservative media outlets — it’s time for panic. The likely 2016 Republican presidential candidates — except for Perry — are practically lining up to warn that the Obama administration isn’t doing enough to keep Ebola out of the United States, now that Dallas is dealing with the nation’s first confirmed case.

One of the most troubling tendencies of the Obama Administration and their minions in the media is to relabel a problem, giving the appearance that solutions are on their way. Exhibit 1: An act of terror becomes a "man-caused disaster". Exhibit 2: The prohibition on the term "illegal alien". Now, the illness associated with a terrible pathogen is now being reclassified from "Ebola Virus Hemorrhagic Fever" to "Ebola Virus Disease". LI #08 Ebola VD This seems to be an attempt to lull people into a false sense of security, lumping it with other "Virus Diseases" like the flu and the common cold. I have taught bloodborne pathoghen safety from the early 1990's, when healthcare, security, and first-aid providers were worried about contracting AIDS. Ebola is rated as a class 4 pathogen because of its fatality rates in humans and the fact that there is no cure or treatment. It is, and remains, a "hemorrhagic fever". It did not stop being a Class 4 pathogen once it hit the Dallas hospital. The mechanism of attack, which includes destruction of the endothelial cells that weaken the blood vessels and cause excessive bleeding, has not changed. Once the blood vessels are weakened, a suite of devastating symptoms occurs, as noted in a Business Insider article published in July of this year.

As Americans become increasingly concerned about the spread of Ebola in the United States, there is a growing call to cut off flights to and from Liberia. Senator Ted Cruz has even contacted the FAA. Niels Lesniewski of Roll Call reported:
Ted Cruz Asks FAA About Ebola Flight Ban Sen. Ted Cruz is asking the Federal Aviation Administration what it’s doing to prevent the spread of Ebola after the first U.S. diagnosis, which came in his home state. “Given the severity of this virus and the fact that its spread to Texas has been associated with travel, it is imperative that the FAA take every available precaution in preventing additional cases from arriving in the United States. As you may be aware, several African nations have already restricted or banned air travel to countries with confirmed cases of the Ebola virus,” the Texas Republican wrote in a letter to FAA chief Michael P. Huerta. “British Airways, Emirates Airlines and Kenya Airways have also suspended flights due to the rising death toll and deteriorating public health situation in Ebola-stricken countries.”
One recent voice on CNN, an author named David Quammen believes doing such a thing would be wrong because of slavery. I kid you not. Brendan Bordelon of National Review has the story:
CNN Guest: ‘How Dare We’ Cut Off Liberia Flights When ‘American Slavery’ Created That Country An author on Anderson Cooper’s CNN program Thursday said the United States is uniquely obligated to maintain air links with the Ebola-ridden nation of Liberia, claiming it would be immoral to quarantine a nation created through “American slavery.”

US Ebola patient zero, Thomas Eric Duncan, recent arrival from Liberia, had to go to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital twice to get admitted. On his first go-round, the hospital sent him home with antibiotics even though a nurse had obtained information that he'd been in Liberia, and despite the fact that his symptoms were consistent with the early signs of Ebola. If Duncan had been admitted on that initial visit his diagnosis would still have been a big story and a distressing one, but nothing as awful as the situation we're currently in. That being said, it's been difficult to obtain much information about how the mistake happened. Here's the relevant section of the initial press conference with hospital official, Dr. Mark Lester:
(INAUDIBLE QUESTION) LESTER: A checklist was in place for Ebola in this hospital for several weeks. And Dr. Ed Goodman (ph), to my right, had led the implementation of that. That checklist was utilized by the nurse who did ask that question. That nurse was part of a care team. And it was a complex care team taking care of him in the emergency department. Regretfully, that information was not fully communicated throughout the full team. And as a result, the full import of that information wasn't factored into the clinical decision-making. The overall clinical presentation was not yet typical for Ebola; so as the team assessed him, they felt clinically it was a low-grade common viral disease. That was the presentation. (INAUDIBLE QUESTION) LESTER: He volunteered that he had traveled from Africa in response to the nurse operating the checklist and asking that question. (INAUDIBLE QUESTION) LESTER: I can't answer that question because that's one piece of information that would be factored into the entire clinical picture. The clinicians did not factor it in. So it was not part of their decision-making. (INAUDIBLE QUESTION) LESTER: I -- that's a question that's really not in my domain.

A man traveling from Liberia in West Africa to Dallas, Texas has been diagnosed with Ebola, becoming the first patient to present with the disease on US soil. CDC and local Texas health officials emphasized in a news conference today that they anticipate that the disease will be readily contained.
The first Ebola case has been diagnosed in the United States, but a top health official said today there is "no doubt... we will stop it here." Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the patient left Liberia on Sept 10 and arrived in the U.S. on Sept. 20. The patient sought medical help on Sept. 27 and was put in isolation on Sept. 28, Frieden said. Tests confirming the Ebola diagnosis came back today. The White House said President Obama was briefed about the patient by Frieden. Frieden stressed that the patient was not sick on departure from Liberia or upon arrival in the U.S. and the disease can only be contracted by someone exhibiting symptoms of the disease. Frieden said he was confident there would not be an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. "There is no doubt in my mind we will stop it here," he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new "ebola checklist" detailing the best practices for hospitals and health care professionals who are tasked with treating patients infected with the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD.) From the checklist:
In order to enhance our collective preparedness and response efforts, this checklist highlights key areas for hospital staff -- especially hospital emergency management officers, infection control practitioners, and clinical practitioners -- to review in preparation for a person with EVD arriving at a hospital for medical care. The checklist provides practical and specific suggestions to ensure your hospital is able to detect possible EVD cases, protect your employees, and respond appropriately. While we are not aware of any domestic EVD cases (other than two American citizens who were medically evacuated to the United States), now is the time to prepare, as it is possible that individuals with EVD in West Africa may travel to the United States, exhibit signs and symptoms of EVD, and present to facilities.
The checklist's provisions appear to have the goal of holding hospitals accountable for following protocol, training their employees in EVD detection, and being prepared to isolate patients and protect staff. It also provides a "quick resources list" that administrators and providers can use to educate staff about the disease, help answer questions from the community, and follow the status of outbreaks.
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