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Guest Blog: Calling all Innovators to Help Fight Ebola

Categories: Health Protection

Posted by  on Thursday, October 9th 2014

Ed. note: This is cross-posted on “USAID From the American People Blog.” See the original post here.External Web Site Icon

Saving lives at birth. Powering clean energy solutions in agriculture. Inventing new tools to teach a child to read. Across development, we’re calling on the world’s brightest minds to tackle our toughest challenges. In the last few years, we have helped launch five Grand Challenges for Development that have rallied students and scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs to tackle some of humanity’s toughest problems.

Today, we face just that kind of challenge—a global health crisis that is in dire need of new ideas and bold solutions. From Guinea to Liberia to Sierra Leone, Ebola is devastating thousands of families, disrupting growth, and fraying the fabric of society. The United States is helping lead the global response to the epidemic, but we cannot do it alone. That is why President Obama launched our sixth Grand Challenge. Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development is designed provide health care workers on the front lines with better tools to battle Ebola.

Guest Blog: The President Meets with Senior Staff to Discuss the U.S. Response to Ebola

Categories: Health Protection

 

By: David Hudson, Associate Director of Content for the Office of Digital Strategy, White House

Ed. note: This is cross-posted on “The White House Blog.” See the original post here.

This afternoon, President Obama met with his senior health, homeland security, and national security advisors to review the United States’ response to the Ebola epidemic.

The participants discussed the Ebola case in Dallas, Texas; the United States’ broader preparedness plans; and both domestic and international efforts to contain and end the epidemic. Participants also discussed options to enhance airport screening in the United States and the need to tackle Ebola at its source in West Africa, where the United States has launched a civilian-led whole-of-government effort that leverages the unique capabilities of the U.S. military to help bring the epidemic under control.

Preparing America’s Hospitals, Health Care Facilities, and Health Care Providers for Ebola

Categories: Health Protection

Safety GearSince the first appearance of Ebola in West Africa earlier this year, CDC has been working to prepare the American health care system for the diagnosis and safe care of a patient with Ebola here on our shores.

We have learned immensely from this first U.S.-diagnosed case and we are implementing additional actions to make sure health care workers and hospitals around the nation are as prepared and informed as possible.

CDC is committed to making sure every U.S. health care system and health care worker is prepared for Ebola. Key is first noting if the patient exhibits symptoms consistent with Ebola, and if so, working with that patient using the most meticulous infection control procedures, and then taking a careful and complete travel history of each patient who comes in their door.

Letter to the Editor of The Financial Times

Categories: Health Protection

Reposted from Letter to the Editor of The Financial Times, October 3, 2014

 

Sir, The Ebola epidemic is a problem not just for west Africa, but for the world. The longer the epidemic continues, the greater its economic, political and social impact. As you say in your editorial “The Ebola disaster is yet to be truly confronted” (September 26), the epidemic threatens public welfare and social stability, and had already had an impact on travel and trade to affected countries; in some instances, borders have even been closed.

This week I announced the first Ebola case diagnosed in the US. I have been asked whether we should stop travel to Liberia. The answer is no: to keep Americans and people in non-affected countries safe, we must continue to work to support efforts to stop the spread of Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. One strategy that won’t stop this epidemic is isolating affected countries or sealing borders. When countries are isolated, it is harder to get medical supplies and personnel deployed to stop the spread of Ebola. And even when governments restrict travel and trade, people in affected countries still find a way to move and it is even harder to track them systematically.

Why U.S. can stop Ebola in its tracks

Categories: Health Protection

Tom Frieden is the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tom Frieden

(CNN) — The U.S. health system has been preparing since late March for the news we announced Tuesday: the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States.

In this age of global travel, we anticipated that a traveler from a country with an Ebola outbreak would come to the United States and develop symptoms once they arrived. But from everything we know now, there appears to be no risk that anyone on this patient’s flights from Liberia to the United States was exposed to the virus.

Can you catch Ebola on a plane?

Clinicians on the front lines have been one key to our safety: identifying patients with both a history of travel and symptoms indicating they might have Ebola, immediately isolating them, consulting their local or state health departments, and getting the patients tested as needed. Indeed, since the outbreak began in Africa, CDC has consulted with state and local health departments on almost 100 cases in which travelers had recently returned from West Africa and showed symptoms that might have been caused by Ebola. Of those cases, 14 were considered to be truly at risk. Specimens from 13 were tested and Ebola was ruled out in all 13 cases.

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