Pentagon Plans 30-Person Team To Tackle Ebola In U.S.
The Department of Defense announced Sunday that it would create a medical team to assist U.S. doctors responding to new Ebola cases, while the government issued more stringent guidelines for protective garb for health care workers treating Ebola patients. In addition, The Wall Street Journal profiles a biologist who has been working since 1997 on an Ebola vaccine that has been proven to block the disease in monkeys.
The Washington Post: Pentagon Plans Ebola Domestic-Response Team Of Medical Experts To Aid Doctors
The Pentagon announced Sunday that it will create a 30-person team of medical experts that could quickly leap into a region if new Ebola cases emerge in the United States, providing support for civilian doctors who lack proficiency in fighting the deadly virus (Kane and Ellis Nutt, 10/19).
The Washington Post: Obama: ‘We Can’t Give In To Hysteria Or Fear’ Of Ebola
President Obama on Saturday sought to tamp down fears of an Ebola outbreak and defend his administration from Republican critics who have called for a more aggressive response to the disease, including sealing off U.S. borders to visitors from countries battling widespread outbreaks ... As Ebola fears have spread, some urgent-care clinics have taken steps to identify red flags, such as recent travel to West Africa, before patients ever set foot in the clinic. AFC/Doctors Express, a national chain of more than 130 urgent-care clinics, with facilities in Alexandria, Va., Woodbridge, Va., Edgewater, Md., and Towson, Md., fields some of its patient calls through a national call center that’s designed to screen symptoms before patients show up to see a doctor (Jaffe and Brittain, 10/18).
The Wall Street Journal: New Ebola Guidelines For Hospitals To Require Full Body Cover
New, more stringent hospital guidelines for treating Ebola patients will require full body coverings and mandate that health-care workers be monitored while putting on and taking off protective garb, a top U.S. health official said. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, said the new guidelines will be “much more stringent” and require that no skin be exposed (Barnes, 10/19).
The Wall Street Journal: Why The Work Of Dr. Nancy J. Sullivan Could Be Key To A Potential Ebola Vaccine
The world had little interest in Ebola in 1997, which is why cell biologist Nancy J. Sullivan thought she might be able to make a mark. Today, if the scientific world is to have an answer to the world’s severest Ebola outbreak, Dr. Sullivan’s work is likely to be at its center. A senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center, Dr. Sullivan has worked for years on a vaccine that has been proven to block Ebola in research monkeys. ... The vaccine is scheduled to undergo full human testing by early 2015 (Burton, 10/19).
NPR: Dallas Hospital Deals With Aftermath Of Ebola Missteps
Authorities in Texas are working to limit travel by health workers who may have been exposed to Ebola. Meanwhile, the hospital at the center of the first cases in the U.S. is trying to move forward (Goodwyn, 10/18).
Reuters: Texas Hospital Aims To Restore Image After Ebola Infections
The Texas hospital accused of mishandling care for the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States is hitting back at critics with an aggressive public relations campaign aimed at rehabilitating its battered image. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where a Liberian man was treated for Ebola and later died and where two nurses have been infected with the virus, has weathered intense criticism from the public, healthcare workers and politicians over what have been characterized as lax safety protocols. But on Thursday night, the hospital issued a strongly worded statement that says workers followed proper safety protocols and shifts some blame to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Driver, 10/17).
Reuters: Insurers To Sell Hospitals Policies Against Ebola Business Losses
Two privately owned insurance brokers have teamed up with Lloyd's of London underwriter Ark Syndicate to sell hospitals a product that insures against any loss of profit from Ebola quarantine shutdowns. British broker Miller Insurance Services LLP said the product it created with U.S. broker William Gallagher Associates would also protect hospitals against any potential losses to revenue in the aftermath of a quarantine. The policies, which Ark began underwriting on Friday, are the first of their kind. There has been "considerable interest" in the product throughout the United States, Mark Sleet, Professional Risks broker at Miller, told Reuters. The news comes as U.S. health officials said they were monitoring 16 people in Ohio, including one in quarantine, who had close contact with Ebola-infected Texas nurse Amber Joy Vinson (Naidu, 10/17).
Kaiser Health News: What CDC Can Do To Fight Ebola
The Ebola epidemic in Africa and fears of it spreading in the U.S. have turned the nation’s attention to the federal government’s front-line public health agency: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But as with Ebola itself, there is much confusion about the role of the CDC and what it can and cannot do to prevent and contain the spread of disease. The agency has broad authority under federal law, but defers to or partners with state and local health agencies in most cases (Rovner, 10/20).