About 80 people are now being monitored for symptoms of Ebola in Texas, a Dallas County Health and Human Services spokeswoman said Thursday. The people being monitored are the 12 to 18 people who first came into contact with the infected man — which federal health officials have said include three members of the ambulance crew that took him to the hospital, plus a handful of schoolchildren — as well as others those initial people had contact with, spokeswoman Erikka Neroes said. “The number of people who are now part of the contact investigation has grown to more than 80,” she said.
Health experts all over the United States are promising us that we do not need to be worried about Ebola whatsoever. Even though one case has already been confirmed in Dallas, Texas and another potential case is being monitored, health authorities assure us that we have the greatest health system in the history of the planet and that we will be able to handle any isolated cases very easily. And all over the mainstream media on Wednesday, there were headlines declaring that the arrival of Ebola in America is a non-event.
Now that Ebola is officially in the US on an uncontrolled basis, the two questions on everyone’s lips are i) who will get sick next and ii) how bad could it get? We don’t know the answer to question #1 just yet, but when it comes to the second one, a press release three weeks ago from Lakeland Industries, a manufacturer and seller of a “comprehensive line of safety garments and accessories for the industrial protective clothing market” may provide some insight into just how bad the US State Department thinks it may get. Because when the US government buys 160,000 hazmat suits specifically designed against Ebola, just ahead of the worst Ebola epidemic in history making US landfall, one wonders:
The virus that has infected nearly 10,000 people in West Africa and killed over 3,000 so far this year may now be in America. Multiple news sources are reporting that an individual showing symptoms of the Ebola virus has been admitted to a hospital in Dallas, Texas. The patient, whose travel history suggests he or she may have been exposed to the virus, has been isolated and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas says it is following testing and quarantine procedures outlined by the Centers for Disease Control.
Federal health-care officials, hospital administrators and emergency-care doctors are preparing for the first cases of Ebola here in the United States. Experts say it’s not a question of if, but rather when it will happen. The good news is that the public health infrastructure in the United States — from the epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control to the weekend physician at the local doc-in-a-box — has been mobilized for this very eventuality.
The sudden eruption of Mount Ontake over the weekend, which is believed to have killed dozens of people, was a reminder of Japan’s vulnerability to its many active volcanoes. Gas continued to pour from the ruptured crater Monday as emergency workers tried to reach the bodies of hikers trapped on the peak when it roared into life. Ontake is one of 110 live volcanoes dotted throughout the seismically-active country, including Mount Fuji, the country’s tallest mountain and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that welcomes some 300,000 climbers each year.
The Centers for Disease Control is advising funeral homes in the United States on how to handle the remains of Ebola victims, although officials are keen to stress that the development is not a cause for alarm. A three page list of recommendations instructs funeral workers to wear protective gear while handling Ebola victims, as well as warning them not to carry out autopsies or to embalm corpses. “If the outbreak of the potentially deadly virus is in West Africa, why are funeral homes in America being given guidelines?
The global loss of species is even worse than previously thought, the London Zoological Society (ZSL) says in its new Living Planet Index. The report suggests populations have halved in 40 years, as new methodology gives more alarming results than in a report two years ago. The report says populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by an average of 52%.
An excruciating mosquito-borne illness that arrived less than a year ago in the Americas is raging across the region, leaping from the Caribbean to the Central and South American mainland, and infecting more than 1 million people. Some cases already have emerged in the United States. While the disease, called Chikungunya, usually is not fatal, the epidemic has overwhelmed hospitals, cut economic productivity and caused its sufferers days of pain and misery.
A lack of available hospital beds in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three countries at the epicenter of the worst Ebola outbreak in history, is leaving many families with nowhere to take their sick and dying. More than 80 percent of Ebola patients, in fact, are being turned away from hospitals and sent back home, where they continue to spread the disease to family members, friends and others in the community. A major shortage of beds and healthcare workers throughout the region has created an every-man-for-himself situation in which infected folks are having to basically fend for themselves.
As California’s severe drought moves into a fourth year, state and local water agencies are working on something called “allocation-based rate structures,” a kind of precursor to water rationing that’s all the rage in Sacramento and in some areas such as Santa Cruz, Irvine and Santa Monica. Here’s how it works: Your local water company, special district or city assigns you and your household a number in gallons — a daily water allocation.
Did you know that the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone is approximately doubling every 20 days? People are dropping dead in the streets, large numbers of bodies are being dumped into the rivers, and gravediggers can hardly keep up with the the number of corpses that are being delivered to the cemeteries. As you read this, life is pure hell in many areas of West Africa, and now the CDC is warning that things may get far, far worse in the very near future.
American colleges and universities are now on high alert and are being instructed to take extra precautions against the potential spread of incoming Ebola. Students traveling abroad to Ebola-stricken countries like Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria or Sierra Leone run the risk of bringing the virus back to US campuses. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now urging all US colleges to implement additional safety measures to prevent accidental spread of Ebola.
Sierra Leone wrapped up its 72-hour shutdown on Sunday, with authorities reporting that the action aimed at containing the Ebola epidemic had uncovered up to 70 dead bodies in and around the capital. Most of the West African country’s six million people were confined to their homes for a third straight day, with only essential workers such as health professionals and security forces exempt. Almost 30,000 volunteers have been going door-to-door to educate locals and hand out soap, in an exercise that was expected to lead to scores more patients and bodies being discovered in homes.
The world will soon witness a “mini-ice age” rather than global warming, as solar output has been declining in recent years, a Russian scientist told RIA Novosti Friday. “During the past 17 years global temperatures have not been rising, temperatures have stabilized. There has been no warming since 1997.
It’s worst and getting worst-er. Hundreds of domestic wells in California’s drought-parched Central Valley farming region have run dry, according to AP, leaving many residents to rely on donated bottles of drinking water to get by. With government set to regulate deeper drilling, hope is plunging that a solution to California’s drought will come anytime soon as groundwater levels plunge.