Those fighting Ebola need to stay on their toes and continue to battle the virus until the outbreak is over, just as business continuity professionals must do with any crisis. Most business continuity professionals have not and will not ever be directly affected by Ebola, but it is a good lens through which to examine their programs.
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Even as his country registered 19 new Ebola cases over a 24-hour period, Sierra Leone's president is predicting there will be zero new confirmed cases by the end of March. President Ernest Bai Koroma also predicted that his West African country would be Ebola-free by World Health Organization standards by May.
Operators of a northeast Ohio bridal shop linked to an Ebola survivor say the store is closing because it lost significant business and has been stigmatized. Dallas nurse Amber Vinson was diagnosed with Ebola days after visiting Coming Attractions Bridal & Formal store in Akron in October.
An American health care worker who experienced high-risk exposure to the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone arrived at a Nebraska hospital for observation. The patient has been transported to Nebraska Medical Center, which has a specialized biocontainment unit.
West Africa's fight to contain Ebola has hampered the campaign against malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that is claiming many thousands more lives than the dreaded virus. In Gueckedou, near the village where Ebola first started killing people in Guinea's tropical southern forests a year ago, doctors say they have had to stop pricking fingers to do blood tests for Malaria.
Dozens of new Ebola cases have erupted in Liberia, near the border with Sierra Leone, Liberian health officials warned , marking a setback amid recent improvements. The flare-up is due to a number of factors including people going in and out of Liberia and traditional practices such as the washing of bodies, said Liberia's Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah.
One year into the world's worst Ebola outbreak, doctors are reporting an encouraging sign: About 70 percent of patients in a hard-hit area of Sierra Leone now survive. The Ebola death rate has fallen even though there are no specific medicines or vaccines to fight the virus.
Health officials are celebrating some important victories in 2014, and Time magazine even named Ebola fighters the persons of the year. Nevertheless, this was a black-eye year for public health. Some vital vaccines did not work well. Federal laboratories were careless with dangerous pathogens. And international health officials failed to stop a West Africa outbreak from exploding into the worst Ebola epidemic ever.
An Army virologist using diagnostic tools found traces of Ebola virus in patient samples in West Africa -- a region thought to be untouched by the disease -- seven years before the largest, deadliest Ebola outbreak took the world by surprise in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Officials in Ebola-stricken Liberia have postponed senatorial elections elections until the end of the week, while some urged calling off the vote for fear the results would not be credible. Ebola has killed nearly 3,200 people this year in Liberia, and many question whether elections can be held at all under such circumstances.
An American nurse who was exposed to the Ebola virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone is being admitted to the National Institutes of Health near Washington, D.C. The NIH says in a statement that the nurse was expected to be admitted to the Bethesda, Maryland, facility on Thursday.
Sierra Leone's president implored the country's traditional leaders to stop cultural practices that have been blamed for spreading Ebola, like burials that involve touching corpses. Officials have said up to 70 percent of new infections in Sierra Leone are linked to unsafe burials. The bodies of people who have died from Ebola are highly contagious and must be handled carefully.
As health officials struggle to contain the world's biggest-ever Ebola outbreak, their efforts are being complicated by another problem: bad data. Having accurate numbers about an outbreak is essential not only to provide a realistic picture of the epidemic, but to determine effective control strategies.
Medical missionary organizations have said they are concerned that the mandatory quarantines several states have put in place for medical workers returning from three West African countries will stop some medical workers from volunteering.
Officials say the emergency response to the Ebola crisis in Dallas cost the city about $155,000, including nearly $27,000 to care for the dog of a nurse infected with the virus. City officials released a statement Wednesday outlining the expenses incurred since Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in September.
Sierra Leone will soon see a dramatic increase in desperately needed Ebola treatment beds, but it's still not clear who will staff them, according to the top United Nations official in the fight against the disease. Ebola has sickened more than 16,000 people of whom nearly 7,000 have died, according to figures released by the World Health Organization.
Even before the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is brought under control, public health officials are girding for the next health disaster. Less than 20 percent of countries have reported meeting World Health Organization requirements showing they are adequately prepared to respond to emerging infectious threats.
Authorities are closely watching a new front in the outbreak, a cluster of cases in Mali linked to the death of a 70-year-old Muslim imam who was brought to Mali's capital, Bamako, from neighboring Guinea — and health officials didn't immediately recognize that he had Ebola.
What does it take to Ebola-proof a hospital? Over the past few months, U.S. medical centers have spent millions of dollars putting together a plan to treat patients with the scary, but extremely rare disease. To a large extent, it has been an exercise in improvisation.
A surgeon who contracted Ebola in his native Sierra Leone died Monday while being treated in a biocontainment unit at a Nebraska hospital, the facility said. Dr. Martin Salia died of the disease shortly after 4 a.m., Nebraska Medical Center spokesman Taylor Wilson said.
A nearly monthlong cruise that saw more than 170 passengers get sick with the gastrointestinal illness norovirus has ended in Los Angeles with a thorough cleaning of the ship. Carnival's Crown Princess docked at the Port of Los Angeles after the voyage that took more than 4,100 people from Los Angeles to Hawaii to Tahiti and back.
Chickens were being killed in the Netherlands, and Britain was preparing to kill ducks, after two cases of bird flu were discovered in Europe — but officials insisted Monday that the risk to public health was very low. British officials said they were investigating a case of the H5 bird flu virus in northern England, but noted it's not the more dangerous H5N1 strain.
As many as 18,000 nurses went on strike Tuesday and picketed in front of Kaiser Permanente facilities in Northern California to express their concerns about patient-care standards and Ebola. The nurses, who are in the midst of contract negotiations, held red and yellow "strike for health and safety" picket signs. The two-day strike was expected to affect at least 21 Kaiser hospitals and 35 clinics and lasted until 7 a.m. Thursday.
A top U.S. health official says long-anticipated clinical trials of a possible Ebola vaccine will start soon in West Africa, as the global response to the outbreak took on added urgency with new cases in Mali and reports that the death toll has surpassed 5,000.
As Ebola-related quarantine policies have arisen around the United States, some health workers are reassessing whether, or how long, they can be among the hundreds that officials say are needed to fight the outbreak, Potential volunteers are anxious about what they might come back to, especially after seeing new rules arise so rapidly.
As the biggest-ever outbreak of Ebola continues to ravage West Africa, here are a few key numbers to get a handle on the epidemic. According to an update this week from the World Health Organization, there have been 13,042 Ebola cases and 4,818 deaths since the first child died of the virus in December.
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