News Updates from CLG
19 October 2014

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Mutant Ebola warning: Leading U.S. scientist warns deadly virus is already changing to become more contagious –The U.S. scientist says new strain of Ebola may burn ‘hotter and quicker’ 18 Oct 2014 The deadly Ebola virus could be mutating to become even more contagious, a leading U.S. scientist has warned. U.S. scientist Peter Jahrling of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease believes the current Ebola outbreak may be caused by an infection that spreads more easily than it did before. Dr Jahrling explained that his team, who are working in the epicentre of the crisis in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, are seeing that the viral loads in Ebola patients are much higher than they are used to seeing.

Virus ‘returning to sender?’ Ebola scare closes Pentagon entrance, keeps bus passengers quarantined for hours 17 Oct 2014 A woman who said she had recently returned from Africa vomited outside the Pentagon on Friday, prompting police to close a parking lot and entrance amid concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus. The incident occurred about 9:10 a.m., said Lt. Col. Tom Crosson, a Pentagon spokesman. The officers found the woman in the Pentagon’s south parking lot, and the Arlington County Fire Department was notified…UPDATE, 3:25 p.m.: A source familiar with the investigation told Checkpoint that the woman does not own a passport and it is not believed she left the United States. The source acknowledged the contradiction between that and the Pentagon’s previous statement that the woman told police she had recently traveled in Africa, but it is not believed that is the case.

U.S. Marines conduct ‘Vigilant Response’ full-scale pandemic outbreak drill 8 Oct 2014 Marine Corps Air Station New River on Wednesday held a full-scale pandemic outbreak drill where health officials and Marines responded to a smallpox outbreak that "occurred" aboard the installation. According to Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Kotora, the public health emergency officer for Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, the Exercise Vigilant Response drill was the first of its kind at a military installation in North Carolina. "A drill this size has never been conducted, so this is the largest pandemic exercise to my knowledge," said Kotora. Officials decided to incorporate administering inoculations during the exercise so that it would more accurately portray an outbreak situation where medical personnel would be required to screen and administer vaccinations.

Obama authorizes National Guard call-up for Ebola – reports 16 Oct 2014 President Barack Obama on Thursday authorized the call-up of National Guard reserves to address the Ebola crisis if needed, The Associated Press and Reuters reported…Federal health officials also faced Congress over how the U.S. has handled the crisis, and another person in Connecticut is exhibiting symptoms of the virus and has received an Ebola test.

Ohio hospitals conduct Ebola drills; eight people under voluntary quarantine 16 Oct 2014 State health officials recommended Thursday that Ohio hospitals conduct drills this week to practice how they would interact with a potential Ebola patient and use protective equipment such as gloves, masks and suits. They also asked that hospitals evaluate whether they have adequate supplies of such gear and reach out to the Ohio Department of Health if they need help to ensure they do. The recommendations were announced after news that eight people in northeast Ohio are under voluntary quarantine and being monitored because they had contact with a Texas nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola shortly after visiting the area last weekend.

Coast Guard picks up blood sample from cruise ship 19 Oct 2014 A blood sample taken from a Dallas health care worker who is aboard a cruise ship and being monitored for signs of Ebola was retrieved by the Coast Guard, officials said early Sunday. Petty Officer Andy Kendrick told The Associated Press that a Coast Guard crew flew in a helicopter Saturday to meet the Carnival Magic and lowered a basket of supplies. The woman provided a blood sample, which was taken to a state lab in Austin for processing.

1,000 being checked for Ebola virus in U.S. 17 Oct 2014 Whether by land, sea or air, the fear of Ebola has been spreading at a pace far faster than the growth in the number of people diagnosed with the disease. In recent days, the number of people who have been asked to monitor themselves for symptoms has been steadily growing, especially among health care workers who were involved in the original treatment of Thomas E. Duncan, the Liberian who died from Ebola on Oct. 8 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. As of Friday, a pool of about 1,000 people are being watched for symptoms, have been asked to monitor themselves or have been urged to check with a counselor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Female Virginia prisoner who recently traveled from West Africa becomes first inmate to be quarantined for Ebola symptoms –Ebola tests are pending on the unidentified inmate currently being held at Inova Loudon Hospital in Leesburg, Virginia 16 Oct 2014 A Virginia inmate is one several people isolated at hospitals across the country under suspicion for Ebola. The unidentified female inmate incarcerated at a Loundon County jail was taken to Inova Loudon Hospital after coming down with a fever. Public officials are testing the woman for Ebola out of precaution since she traveled to West Africa in recent weeks.