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Posts by Dark Wing

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  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    05/14/2015 3:12:56 PM PDT · 4,955 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe

    >>If Ebola can linger in serological backwaters,
    >>what other diseases can do the same?

    We don’t know, but we are going to find out.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    05/12/2015 12:02:15 PM PDT · 4,953 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe

    This is scary-strange.

    Ebola can survive in your eyes long after the rest of your body is clear of the disease.


    Doctor Who Survived Ebola Nearly Lost His Vision

    http://m.livescience.com/50773-ebola-eye-problems-ian-crozier.html

    An American doctor who recovered from Ebola developed serious eye problems months later because the virus had lingered in his eye, according to a new report of his case.

    Dr. Ian Crozier, now 44 years old, contracted Ebola in September 2014 while treating patients in Sierra Leone. Crozier’s eye problems were so serious that he nearly lost his vision, but his sight has since recovered, according to the new report, which Crozier co-authored.

    “This case highlights an important complication of [Ebola virus disease], with major implications for both individual and public health that are immediately relevant to the ongoing West African outbreak,” the researchers wrote in the report, published online today (May 7) in The New England Journal of Medicine.

    Shortly after Crozier became ill in Africa, he was evacuated to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where he received intensive treatment, including being placed on a ventilator for 12 days and undergoing dialysis for kidney failure for nearly a month.

    After more than 40 days of treatment, his condition improved. He was declared Ebola-free and was released from the hospital.

    But he soon began to experience eye problems, including a burning sensation and the feeling that there was something in his eye, according to the report. He also needed a new prescription for his reading glasses. Following an eye exam, Crozier was diagnosed with uveitis, an inflammation of the uvea, or the middle tissue layer of the eye.

    One month later, about nine weeks after he had been declared Ebola-free, Crozier had new eye symptoms, including redness, blurred vision with halos and pain, and increased pressure in his left eye. He was started on treatment with eye drops to reduce the eye inflammation, and drugs to lower the pressure in his eye. [What Are the Long-Term Effects of Ebola?]

    But his symptoms continued to worsen over the next few days, so his doctors performed a procedure to remove fluid from his eye, and tested it for the Ebola virus.

    They found that a sample from the aqueous humor — the fluid between the eye’s outer covering and the lens — tested positive for Ebola. However, samples of Crozier’s blood, tears and conjunctiva tissue (which lines the eyelid and white part of the eye), tested negative for Ebola.

    Over the next five days, Crozier’s eye inflammation continued, and he experienced some vision loss. Three days later, the inflammation improved, but he still had severe vision impairment in his left eye.

    Three months after his first diagnosis with eye inflammation, his condition had improved and he had recovered his vision, the researchers said.

    There have been previous reports of eye problems in Ebola survivors. After the 1995 Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 15 percent of survivors in a follow-up study had developed eye problems, such as eye pain and vision loss. And a recent survey of 85 Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone found that 40 percent reported eye problems.

    Crozier’s eye problems were likely a direct effect of the Ebola virus, which persisted in the eye fluid despite being cleared from most of the body, the researchers said. (Another place where Ebola can persist after recovery is in the semen.)

    It’s reassuring that the Ebola virus was not found in parts of the eye that could come into contact with others, such as tears and the conjunctiva, the researchers said. This finding “supports previous studies suggesting that patients who recover from [Ebola virus disease] pose no risk of spreading the infection through casual contact,” the researchers said.

    Future studies are needed to assess how the Ebola virus is able to persist in certain sites in the body, the researchers noted.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    05/06/2015 8:42:18 AM PDT · 4,951 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to PA Engineer; Smokin' Joe; Thud

    This is from another Freep thread.


    CDC: Woman may have gotten Ebola after sex with survivor
    Washington Examiner ^ | May 1, 2015 | Robert King
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3285577/posts

    and from the replies to the thread —

    Here is the reference:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9988181

    In the table, the 82 day seminal fluid sample contained virus that was cultured in cells, meaning it was active. Several other samples only contained RNA, but did not infect cells.

  • "What's a gyrocopter?" (DHS chief)

    04/22/2015 10:22:58 AM PDT · 46 of 47
    Dark Wing to Covenantor

    That was the Nazi Autogyro-kite.

    This from one of the links I posted above —

    “Autogyros in 1940. No.529 RAF Squadron at RAF Halton were also equipped Avro Rota Mk1s to be used to assist the new Secret Radar Sites to calibrate their equipment. The were instructed to fly out to a known distance and height. The Radar operators could then use their position to tune their equipment to make it more accurate at spotting enemy bombers and fighter approaching the South Coast of England during the Battle of Britain.”

  • "What's a gyrocopter?" (DHS chief)

    04/22/2015 10:21:08 AM PDT · 45 of 47
    Dark Wing to SandRat

    I appears that bit of information is in a lot of Gyrocopter/autogyro histories, but not _RADAR_ histories.

    See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autogyro

    http://www.global-gyro.com/Gyrocopter/History

    http://militaryanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/02/autogyro.html

  • "What's a gyrocopter?" (DHS chief)

    04/20/2015 7:48:15 PM PDT · 43 of 47
    Dark Wing to SandRat

    I have a 1980-ish IEEE book on radar up through 1945, and Louis Brown’s “Technical and Military Imperatives — A Radar History f WW2” but confess that I missed that one.

  • "What's a gyrocopter?" (DHS chief)

    04/20/2015 7:23:54 AM PDT · 41 of 47
    Dark Wing to SandRat; Thud

    >>The autogyro was used to calibrate the coastal radar
    >>stations during and after the Battle of Britain.

    I have read a great deal about the Battle of Britain and that is a new one for me.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    04/15/2015 9:44:03 AM PDT · 4,947 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud

    Good news —


    Press Release

    For Immediate Release

    April 14, 2015

    Contact: CDC Media Relations

    (404) 639-3286

    Ebola vaccine trial begins in Sierra Leone

    6,000 health and other frontline workers will receive vaccine in five districts of the country

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with the Sierra Leone College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), is now enrolling and vaccinating volunteers for the Sierra Leone Trial to Introduce a Vaccine against Ebola (STRIVE). This study will assess the safety and efficacy of the rVSV-ZEBOV candidate Ebola vaccine among health and other frontline workers.

    “A safe and effective vaccine would be a very important tool to stop Ebola in the future, and the frontline workers who are volunteering to participate are making a decision that could benefit health care professionals and communities wherever Ebola is a risk,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We hope this vaccine will be proven effective but in the meantime we must continue doing everything necessary to stop this epidemic —find every case, isolate and treat, safely and respectfully bury the dead, and find every single contact.”

    STRIVE will enroll about 6,000 health and other frontline workers. It will be conducted in Western Area Urban district, which includes Freetown, Western Area Rural district, and certain chiefdoms in Bombali, Port Loko, and Tonkolili districts. These study locations were selected because they have been heavily affected by the Ebola outbreak in the past few months.

    “We are happy to be partnering with MoHS and CDC on this important study, which may help to prevent future cases of Ebola,” said Mohamed Samai, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D., acting Provost of COMAHS and the study’s principal investigator. “It brings me hope and pride that my country can take from this devastating epidemic something that may benefit people around the world.”

    When participants enroll in the study, they will be assigned randomly to one of two timeframes for vaccination – either immediately or about six months later. All study participants will receive the vaccine and be followed closely for six months. The study will evaluate if and how well the vaccine worked by comparing rates of Ebola virus disease in those who are vaccinated to those who have not yet received the vaccine.

    Learn more about STRIVE at www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/strive/.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    04/08/2015 1:24:21 PM PDT · 4,945 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to machogirl; SmokingJoe; Thud

    >>“Science is settled”, they have deemed this vaccine safe.

    When they are distributing tens of thousands of doses for vaccinations in East Africa, without complications, I’ll believe.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    04/06/2015 9:10:50 AM PDT · 4,943 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Black Agnes; exDemMom; Tilted Irish Kilt; Smokin' Joe; PA Engineer; Thud

    I haven’t found any updates to the following.

    We should have heard of something this past week end.


    Patient evaluated for Ebola at Colorado hospital after seeing symptoms
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/02/us-health-ebola-colorado-idUSKBN0MT0TO20150402
    Apr 2, 2015

    A patient was being evaluated for Ebola in isolation at a Colorado hospital on Thursday after experiencing symptoms of the disease, health officials said.

    The patient, who was not identified and was considered low-risk, had recently traveled to an Ebola-affected country and was taken to the Medical Center of the Rockies some 50 miles (80 km) north of Denver on Wednesday evening after falling ill, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a statement.

    The department expected test results to be known later on Thursday morning, the statement said, adding that the person was also being tested for other conditions.

    Further details on the patient were not immediately provided.

    At least 10 people are known to have been treated for Ebola in the United States - four of them diagnosed with the disease on U.S. soil - during a West African epidemic that has killed more than 10,000 people, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, over the last year.

    Only two people are known to have contracted the virus in the United States - both of them nurses who treated an Ebola patient from Liberia who became sick while visiting Dallas. That man, Thomas Duncan, died in October.

    (Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    04/06/2015 9:06:39 AM PDT · 4,942 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Black Agnes; exDemMom; Tilted Irish Kilt; Smokin' Joe; PA Engineer; Thud

    A 9-year old boy apparently died of a blood transfusion in Eastern Sierra Leone.


    Eastern Sierra Leone records first Ebola case in months
    Health | Sat Apr 4, 2015 6:13pm EDT
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/04/us-health-ebola-leone-idUSKBN0MV0Q320150404

    (Reuters) - Sierra Leone’s eastern district of Kailahun, once a hotbed of Ebola, has recorded its first case in nearly four months, threatening progress made to stamp out the disease, officials said on Saturday.

    A 9-month-old boy tested positive for Ebola after dying in Kailahun, the district on Guinea’s border that recorded Sierra Leone’s first Ebola case last May and was for months the epicenter of the crisis.

    Kailahun went from recording up to 80 infections per week in June to zero cases at the end of last year. Nearly 3,800 people have died of Ebola in Sierra Leone but numbers of weekly cases are falling as steps to control the disease take hold.

    However, Winnie Romeril, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organisation, said local and foreign experts had been dispatched to investigate the case after the positive test result.

    Alex Bonapha, the Kailahun district council chairman, said it was not clear how the boy may have contracted Ebola as both his parents were healthy.

    He said the boy may have gotten the disease during a blood transfusion or there may have been a problem with the sample that was tested.

    Sources at the Nixon Hospital in Kailahun District confirmed that the boy underwent a blood transfusion before dying.

    “I am aware of the weakness in the health system which means that the blood transfused into the baby could well not have been the blood that had been donated by his uncle,” Bonapha said.

    A ministry of health official expressed serious concern over the case, which came as the focus of local and international health officials is on the north and west of the country, the latest areas affected by Ebola.

    Liberia, once the hardest hit of all the countries in West Africa, has detected no Ebola cases after the last confirmed patient died at the end of March.

    However, Guinea has imposed a 45-day state of health emergency to tackle a spike of cases in the country where the outbreak was first confirmed last year.

    As part of these measures, authorities closed all private medical clinics in Kindia, 135 km (84 miles) from the capital Conakry, after a new case of Ebola was recorded there.

    The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed nearly 10,500 people, mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    04/06/2015 9:02:53 AM PDT · 4,941 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Black Agnes; Smokin' Joe; Thud

    Ebola isn’t over.

    It isn’t contained.

    The reserves of long term Ebola(+) human semen infections has yet to really surface.

    And East Africana are still hiding Ebola’s spread from authorities.

    We are in a holding pattern due to local cultural trust issues that won’t allow good public health chain of transmission tracking to really kill off this outbreak.

    Vaccines might be able to defeat the local cultural issues...might.

    But we are not there yet.


    Ebola Proves Persistent in Guinea, Where Crisis Started
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/ebola-proves-persistent-in-guinea-where-crisis-started-1427930613
    Betsy McKay. April 2, 2015

    More than a year after Ebola began spreading in West Africa, public-health authorities are struggling most to stop it in the country where it began.

    The epidemic, so explosive last summer and fall, has been contained to a coastal area around and between the capital cities of Guinea and Sierra Leone. But the number of new cases is still staggering for an Ebola outbreak—82 in the week ended March 29, according to the World Health Organization. Most are in Guinea, where the first cases of the deadly disease were diagnosed in March 2014.

    Guinea closed the border with Sierra Leone this week to try to stamp out the remaining epidemic. The number of cases in Sierra Leone is declining.

    Health workers confront many of the same obstacles in Guinea now that they did last year, though this time on the other end of the country. Fearful, suspicious locals drive Ebola workers away. Some care for their sick loved ones at home, or bury highly infectious corpses with their own hands, despite warnings that the deadly virus spreads through bodily fluids.

    “There’s a lot of resistance,” said Raphaël Delhalle, field coordinator in Conakry for Doctors Without Borders, on a recent afternoon, just after the humanitarian aid group had admitted more than 10 patients for treatment. “The population is still thinking Ebola doesn’t exist, or that we are giving them Ebola.”

    Recently, he said, a woman in a Conakry neighborhood pulled a knife on a medical team, including a Doctors Without Borders staff member, forcing them to leave.

    Officials say they are confident they will rid West Africa of the epidemic. But to do that, they will have to overcome persisting resistance in communities and track down every last case. Guinea is especially important: It is the largest of the three most heavily affected countries, a gateway to much of West Africa, bordering six countries.

    Liberia appeared to have extinguished the epidemic in early March, when the person with its last known case was released from a clinic. But those hopes were shattered later in the month when a woman was diagnosed with and then died of the disease, setting off a scramble to find and monitor all those who had contact with her.

    Guinea has had far fewer Ebola cases than either Sierra Leone or Liberia, where the virus took off in capital cities. Guinea also has a more developed public-health system—one that helped prevent the virus from exploding in the capital, said Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who traveled to Guinea in March. But, he added, “paradoxically, because of that, there is less awareness and less behavior change.”

    Guinea also has some bigger challenges, including a larger, more culturally diverse population, less-developed road and radio networks and fewer nongovernmental organizations providing social support, Dr. Frieden said. Liberia and Sierra Leone also had help battling Ebola from the U.S. and British militaries, respectively, health officials note.

    Guinea has received less foreign aid than its two Ebola-affected neighbors. Of $5.1 billion made available by foreign governments, private funders and others as of the end of January, $543 million was specified for use in Guinea, compared with $1.28 billion for Liberia and $1.15 billion for Sierra Leone, according to the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy on Ebola. Another $835 million was for the region generally and an additional $1.2 billion was either for other activities such as research and development, or it hadn’t been earmarked or allocated.

    “There is a very strong case to be made for the international community to consider very seriously offering more resources to Guinea,” David Nabarro, the U.N. special envoy on Ebola, said in an interview, citing a need for infrastructure improvements and more health experts to help with the epidemic.

    Now, Guinean and international officials are redoubling their efforts to stamp out the disease. The CDC has sent fewer staff to Guinea than either Liberia or Sierra Leone over the past several months “simply because we don’t have a lot of French speakers,” Dr. Frieden said. But it now has 52 staffers in the country, up from 24 at the end of December, while 46 are currently in Liberia and 89 in Sierra Leone. Dr. Frieden said he has talked with French-speaking nations about supplying more epidemiologists.

    The WHO recently engaged social anthropologists and communications experts to draft a report on the causes of community resistance, and has been addressing them one by one, said Jean-Marie Dangou, the agency’s representative in Guinea. “Communities perceived our interventions as top down, they wanted to be part of the response,” he said. “They wanted us to explain more extensively what the disease is, what are preventive measures, and decide on their own what to do.”

    Unicef has funded 21 radio stations—along with fuel to keep them running— that reach as much as 80% of the country with information about preventing and treating Ebola, said Guy Yogo, the agency’s deputy representative in Guinea. They include a station that serves Forecariah, a town in western Guinea that has had multiple Ebola cases recently and had no station for months, he said. The stations have helped to counter rumors “and to provide a voice to people to interact and share experiences,” he said. “It has been really, really helpful.”

    Unicef has also organized door-to-door campaigns in communities, led by a community messenger, and organized forums at which local Ebola survivors speak. Such efforts to teach people how to prevent Ebola and get treated helped the forest region where it started rid itself of the disease, he said.

    “We want to replicate what we did in Conakry and surrounding districts,” he said. Already, “things are really improved.”

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    03/24/2015 2:32:11 PM PDT · 4,922 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud

    More dirty laundry from Médecins Sans Frontières on Ebola below.


    Guinea and Sierra Leone tried to cover up Ebola crisis, says Medecins Sans Frontieres
    Report by MSF also accuses US biotech company of failing to spot cases in Sierra Leone
    By Colin Freeman6:30AM GMT 23 Mar 2015
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/ebola/11488726/Guinea-and-Sierra-Leone-tried-to-cover-up-Ebola-crisis-says-Medecins-Sans-Frontieres.html

    Médecins Sans Frontières has accused the governments of Guinea and Sierra Leone and a leading US biotech firm of obstructing its early efforts to bring the Ebola outbreak under control.

    A new report by the aid agency says the governments deliberately underplayed the initial spread of the outbreak last year, and that when MSF warned it could be “unprecedented”, it was criticised for “scaremongering”.

    The accusation of scaremongering - also wrongly voiced by the World Health Organisation - slowed the international response to the crisis, which has now claimed nearly 10,200 lives.

    The report, compiled as a “lessons learned” exercise, also questions the conduct of a US medical firm, Metabiota, that was monitoring suspected Ebola cases on behalf of the Sierra Leonean health ministry.

    Not only did Metabiota apparently fail to detect any cases of the virus in Sierra Leone during the early months of the outbreak, it later refused to co-operate with MSF in providing details of “contact lists” of potentially infected people, forcing the agency to work “in the dark.”

    “For the Ebola outbreak to spiral this far out of control required many institutions to fail,” said Christopher Stokes, MSF’s general director. “And they did, with tragic and avoidable consequences.”

    MSF, whose medics handled most of the early frontline response to the outbreak, compiled the report to coincide with the anniversary of its own staff being alerted to the crisis. In mid-March last year, doctors in its Geneva office were informed of a “mysterious disease” in Guinea that had killed several people and had baffled the country’s ministry of health.

    Dr Michael Van Herp, a senior MSF epidemiologist, was struck by reports that suffers had hiccups - a typical symptom of Ebola - and warned colleagues that they should be “prepared” for an outbreak, even though one had never occurred in west Africa before.

    By the end of that month, MSF warned that Guinea was facing an Ebola epidemic “of a magnitude never before seen”, only to be directly slapped down the next day by the WHO, which said there had been only “sporadic cases”.

    In early May, meanwhile, the President of Guinea, Alpha Conde, accused MSF of talking up the threat from Ebola to raise extra funds, the report said. And in Sierra Leone, the government instructed the WHO to report only laboratory-confirmed deaths, hiding the scale of the outbreak by excluding the large number of cases of people who died before ever reaching a clinic.

    “Needless obstacles made responding more difficult for MSF teams, who were refused access to contact lists and had to start from scratch in determining which villages were affected and where and how to respond,” the report said.

    In similar vein, the report criticised Metabiota, which, along with staff from Tulane University in New Orleans, was working as a partner of Kenema Hospital in eastern Sierra Leone in investigating suspected cases for the ministry of health.

    The report said that as early as March of last year, health officials in Guinea were seeing Ebola-infected people coming in from over the porous border with Sierra Leone, but that Metabiota and Tulane continued to report no cases at all in Sierra Leone. “Their ongoing surveillance activities seem to have missed the cases of Ebola that had emerged in the country,” MSF said.

    It was not until May 26 that a case was first confirmed in Sierra Leone, at which point the government asked for MSF’s help. By then, though, “the hidden outbreak in Sierra Leone mushroomed and reignited the outbreak for its neighbours.”

    To make matters worse, MSF said that when it then started operating in Kailahun - the first major infected area in Sierra Leone - neither Metabiota nor Tulane would share information with them.

    “The Ministry of Health and the partners of Kenema hospital refused to share data or lists of contacts with us,” said Anja Wolz, an MSF emergency coordinator. “So we were working in the dark while cases just kept coming in.”

    The WHO has already acknowledging failings over its response to the Ebola crisis, and that it did not recognise “fairly plain writing on the wall’.
    Metabiota, a San Francisco-based firm that describes itself as a “global leader in pandemic threat management”, was already in Sierra Leone prior the Ebola outbreak working on other disease control projects. In December, it received a grant from the European Commission to work on testing and treatment programs for Ebola.

    Tulane was not available to comment. But Metabiota defended their work.

    “We play a supportive role to governments and we do not conduct independent investigations or surveillance in Sierra Leone,” said a spokesperson.

    “Metabiota adheres to international and national agreements and regulations and, in respect of these, is not authorised to share any results in Sierra Leone to parties other than official health authorities.”

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    03/24/2015 2:30:54 PM PDT · 4,921 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud

    Medecins Sans Frontieres names the names in the Ebola outbreak.

    See below —


    Ebola outbreak reached catastrophic scale due to slow global response: MSF
    Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press
    Published Sunday, March 22, 2015 9:42PM EDT
    http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/ebola-outbreak-reached-catastrophic-scale-due-to-slow-global-response-msf-1.2292293

    TORONTO — West Africa’s ongoing Ebola outbreak reached its catastrophic scale because of the failure of a variety of international agencies and the lack of global health rapid response capacity, a new report says.

    Medecins Sans Frontieres, which is also known as Doctors Without Borders, released the report to co-incide with the year anniversary of the recognition that Ebola had broken out in Guinea, a part of Africa that had never before dealt with the disease.

    The report notes that many observers have suggested the scale of the outbreak was due to a perfect storm-like confluence of factors. The disease appeared at the juncture of three countries with porous borders and fragile health-care systems. And it ravaged people with no prior experience with Ebola and no understanding of how it spreads.

    But the report says that analysis is “too convenient an explanation.”

    “For the Ebola outbreak to spiral this far out of control required many institutions to fail. And they did, with tragic and avoidable consequences,” says Christopher Stokes, general director of the doctors’ group.

    The report says the World Health Organization displayed a lack of leadership, downplaying the threat the outbreak posed when MSF officials were desperately trying to get the world to realize how dangerous the situation in West Africa had become.

    “Meetings happened. Action didn’t,” says Marie-Christine Ferir, MSF’s emergency co-ordinator.

    The Associated Press reported last week that the idea of declaring the outbreak a global health emergency was floated in early June, but the Geneva-based agency held off taking that step until early August. Emails obtained by the AP suggest the WHO worried the move would anger the affected countries, might restrict travel of Muslims to the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and might have economic consequences. [Isn’t that the definition of a political action, which is exactly what the WHO claimed they didn’t do?]

    But the report says the WHO is not the only agency that bears blame. “It would be a mistake to attribute full responsibility for the dysfunctional response to just one agency. Instead, the age-old failures of the humanitarian aid system have also been laid bare for the world to see, rather than buried in under-reported crises like those in Central African Republic and South Sudan,” the report says.

    MSF has taken a lead role in Ebola outbreaks for years, setting up and staffing treatment units. But as case numbers exploded across Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the organization virtually begged other non-governmental organizations to help, eventually even asking countries to send military hospitals. It was months before the world began to respond in significant ways.

    “In the end, we did not know what words to use that would make the world wake up and realize how out of control the outbreak had truly become,” says Dr. Bart Janssens, director of operations for MSF.

    The organization also criticized its own response. Though MSF had helped contain numerous Ebola outbreaks over the past 20 years, its hemorrhagic fevers team was small, comprising about 40 “Ebola veterans.” Others in the operation were initially reluctant to divert more of MSF’s people to the Ebola fight, and MSF says it should have been faster to mobilize the full capacity of the organization.

    The MSF report also questions if it might have been able to do more to improve communications in Guinea earlier in the outbreak. Deep distrust of the foreign aid responders persists in some Guinean villages to this day and still hampers containment efforts.

    MSF says the outbreak has produced a number of tragic firsts for it, including:
    — It was the first outbreak in which MSF lost so many patients, 2,547 at the time the report was written.
    — It was also the first time MSF staff became infected with Ebola. So far 28 have been infected and 14 have died.
    — For the first time ever, MSF was forced to turn patients away from Ebola treatment units. At one point, a major treatment centre in Monrovia, Liberia opened its gates for 30 minutes a day — just long enough to fill the beds emptied by the previous night’s deaths.

    Nearly 25,000 people have been infected since this outbreak began and more than 10,000 of them have died.
    _________________

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    03/24/2015 2:29:17 PM PDT · 4,920 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud

    This makes the observation most of us here have about WHO.


    World Health Organization ‘intentionally delayed declaring Ebola emergency’
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/20/ebola-emergency-guinea-epidemic-who
    Sarah Boseley 20 March 2015

    The World Health Organisation dragged its feet for two months over declaring the Ebola outbreak a global emergency for fear of damaging the economy of Guinea and other afflicted countries, leaked documents show. The internal documents obtained by the Associated Press in Geneva reveal that WHO’s Geneva headquarters was receiving emails by mid-April 2014 from staffers on the ground in Guinea calling for help with an epidemic that had already killed 100 people but was recognised to be largely hidden and spreading.

    One of the emails was from an experienced Ebola expert with WHO’s Africa office, who wrote to a Geneva official saying the situation had taken a critical turn because many health workers at the Donka hospital in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, had been exposed to the virus. “What we see is the tip of an iceberg,” wrote Jean-Bosco Ndihokubwayo. The scientist requested the help of half a dozen veteran outbreak responders, writing in all capitals in the email’s subject line: “WE NEED SUPPORT.”

    WHO official Stella Chungong said she was very worried, warning in an email that terrified health workers might abandon Donka Hospital and that new Ebola cases were coming out of nowhere. “We need a drastic ... change [of] course if we hope to control this outbreak,” she said.

    WHO sent a top Ebola expert, Pierre Formenty, to the region. But many of the other managers sent to Conakry “had no idea how to manage an Ebola epidemic,” according to Marc Poncin, who was mission chief in Guinea for Médecins Sans Frontières, the volunteer doctors who bore the brunt of the epidemic until after WHO declared a global public health emergency in early August. That, together with the publicity around the infection of two American health workers who were repatriated for treatment, brought the US, UK and other countries together in the fight against the disease.

    But in early April, WHO was downplaying concerns. Spokesman Gregory Hartl told reporters that “this outbreak isn’t different from previous outbreaks”. In a Twitter message sent by Hartl and preserved by ITV News, he is shown asking: “You want to disrupt the economic life of a country, a region, [because] of 130 suspect and confirmed cases?”

    The news worsened throughout April. Formenty said teams in Conakry had seen patients pop up all over the city with no known links to other cases. “This means there is one part of the epidemic that is hidden,” he later wrote in an internal report. “The Ebola outbreak could restart at any time.”

    In early June, there were discussions at WHO over whether to call a global health emergency. An internal document says such a declaration “ramps up political pressure in the countries affected” and “mobilises foreign aid and action.”

    But one director viewed it as a “last resort”. WHO was having to contend with other outbreaks, including polio, which has a high political priority. There were also issues with the government of Guinea, which, according to WHO documents, was reporting only confirmed Ebola cases and not those suspected or probable, in a bid to downplay the dangers and avoid alarming foreigners working in the mining industry.

    Dr Sylvie Briand, head of the pandemic and epidemic diseases department at WHO, acknowledged that her agency made wrong decisions, but said postponing the alert made sense at the time because it could have had catastrophic economic consequences. “What I’ve seen in general is that for developing countries, it’s sort of a death warrant you’re signing,” she told AP.

    On 10 June, Briand, her boss, Dr Keiji Fukuda, and others sent a memo to WHO chief Dr Margaret Chan, noting that cases might soon pop up in Mali, Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau. But the memo went on to say that declaring an international emergency or even convening an emergency committee to discuss the issue “could be seen as a hostile act”.

    But others argue that although declaring an international emergency is no guarantee of ending an outbreak, it functions as a kind of a global distress call.

    “It’s important because it gives a clear signal that nobody can ignore the epidemic any more,” said Dr Joanne Liu, MSF’s international president.

    In a meeting at WHO headquarters on 30 July, Liu said she told Chan: “You have the legitimacy and the authority to label it an emergency ... You need to step up to the plate.”

    After WHO declared an international emergency on 8 August, Barack Obama sent 3,000 troops to west Africa and promised to build more than a dozen 100-bed field hospitals. Britain and France also pledged to build Ebola clinics, China sent a 59-person lab team, and Cuba sent more than 400 health workers.

    Dr Bruce Aylward, WHO’s top Ebola official, maintains however that labelling the Ebola outbreak a global emergency would have been no magic bullet. “What you would expect is the whole world wakes up and goes: ‘Oh my gosh, this is a terrible problem, we have to deploy additional people and send money,’” he said. “Instead what happened is people thought: ‘Oh my goodness, there’s something really dangerous happening there and we need to restrict travel and the movement of people.’”

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    03/02/2015 11:31:29 AM PST · 4,916 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud

    Texas Presby violated Nina Pham’s HIPA (sp?) rights in releasing her medical information.

    That is a seven figure ouch for Texas Presby, if it gets to Federal Court.

    It might be more if she finds out through the discovery that it was the CDC or other Federal government officials involved with directing the Texas Presby information release.

    The feds have immunity, but Texas Presby does not and by indemnifying Texas Presby, the Federal government pays the tab regardless.

    Local Texas jurors will be informed of this by Pham’s lawyers at trial, if there isn’t an out of court settlement first.

    The Feds acted to indemnify Texas Presby for its actions, so


    Free of Ebola but not fear
    Nurse Nina Pham to file lawsuit against Presby parent, worries about continued health woes
    By Jennifer Emily | Staff Writer Photos by Smiley Pool | Staff Photographer
    Published on Feb. 28, 2015
    http://res.dallasnews.com/interactives/nina-pham/

    Experimental drugs and special care helped make Nina Pham Ebola free. But today she fears she may never escape the deadly disease.

    The 26-year-old nurse says she has nightmares, body aches and insomnia as a result of contracting the disease from a patient she cared for last fall at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

    She says the hospital and its parent company, Texas Health Resources, failed her and her colleagues who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person in the United States diagnosed with Ebola.

    “I wanted to believe that they would have my back and take care of me, but they just haven’t risen to the occasion,” Pham told The Dallas Morning News last week in an exclusive interview.

    Pham says she will file a lawsuit Monday in Dallas County against Texas Health Resources alleging that while she became the American face of the fight against the disease, the hospital’s lack of training and proper equipment and violations of her privacy made her “a symbol of corporate neglect — a casualty of a hospital system’s failure to prepare for a known and impending medical crisis.”

    She says that Texas Health Resources was negligent because it failed to develop policies and train its staff for treating Ebola patients. She says Texas Health Resources did not have proper protective gear for those who treated Duncan. {Too bad she can’t sue the CDC and Freidan - or can she?}

    Texas Health Resources responded Friday with a statement from spokesman Wendell Watson.

    “Nina Pham bravely served Texas Health Dallas during a most difficult time. We continue to support and wish the best for her, and we remain optimistic that constructive dialogue can resolve this matter.”

    Watson declined to address the specifics of Pham’s allegations.

    Pham wants unspecified damages for physical pain and mental anguish, medical expenses and loss of future earnings. But she said that she wants to “make hospitals and big corporations realize that nurses and health care workers, especially frontline people, are important. And we don’t want nurses to start turning into patients.”

    In her 90-minute interview, Pham described working in chaotic surroundings at the hospital with ill-prepared nurses who received little guidance on how to treat Ebola and protect themselves. She talked about her life since her diagnosis and recovery, as well as her anxiety about the future.

    Pham occasionally twisted a ring on her finger or slid a finger inside the cuff of her shirt and nervously tapped her wrist. She kept her composure except when she recalled the nurses who became “like family” to her when they cared for Duncan together and later risked their lives to treat her and Amber Vinson, another nurse at the hospital who contracted the disease from Duncan.

    I was proud of us. We fought in the trenches together, the frontline health care workers. That’s what nursing is about: putting the patient first. We did what we had to do,” Pham said.

    She remembers spending hours alone with Duncan cleaning up his bodily fluids, monitoring his vital signs and reassuring him that everything would be OK. Pham said Duncan was in a great deal of pain and frightened but always polite. He told her “he felt very isolated.” She held his hand and told him she would pray for him.

    But when Duncan tested positive for Ebola, it sent panic and fear throughout Presbyterian — and the nation. Pham, too, was frightened.

    “I was the last person besides Mr. Duncan to find out he was positive,” she said. “You’d think the primary nurse would be the first to know. … I broke down and cried, not because I thought I had it but just because it was a big ‘whoa, this is really happening’ moment.”

    Duncan, who contracted the disease in his native Liberia, died Oct. 8. A few days later, Pham tested positive for the disease. She was initially treated at Presbyterian and then the National Institutes of Health in Maryland with a series of experimental drugs and plasma from Dr. Kent Brantly, an Ebola survivor.

    She says that Texas Health Resources violated her privacy while she was a patient at Presbyterian by ignoring her request that “no information” be released about her. She said a doctor recorded her on video in her hospital room and released it to the public without her permission.

    Charla Aldous, Pham’s attorney, put it more simply: Texas Health Resources “used Nina as a PR pawn.”

    Pham said she considered not going back to care for Duncan after his diagnosis. Her colleagues said they wouldn’t blame her for not returning to her job where normal 12-hour shifts had stretched to 14 or 15. Even her mother said she didn’t care if Pham lost her job.

    Pham said that while she did not volunteer to care for Duncan, she felt that she couldn’t say no.

    “I had a duty to take care of him,” she said. “It’s not in my nature to refuse.”

    She said the extent of her Ebola training was a printout of guidelines that her supervisor found on the Web. Shocked

    “The only thing I knew about Ebola, I learned in nursing school” six years earlier, she said.

    Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer for Texas Health Resources, testified at a congressional hearing in October that the company shared an Ebola advisory it received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before Duncan arrived with its personnel and said the Presbyterian staff was trained to manage Ebola.

    “A lot is being said about what may or may not have occurred to cause Ms. Pham to contract Ebola. She is known as an extremely skilled nurse, and she was using full protective measures under the CDC protocols, so we don’t yet know precisely how or when she was infected,” Varga said in written testimony. “But it’s clear there was an exposure somewhere, sometime. We are poring over records and observations, and doing all we can to find the answers.”

    Varga also acknowledged that the communication wasn’t enough and that Texas Health Resources needed “more proactive, intensive and focused training for the frontline responders” to Ebola. He also said the hospital followed CDC and state guidelines. Rolling Eyes

    Aldous alleges that Varga misrepresented the information that the hospital system shared with its employees about Ebola and the type of protective gear Pham and others wore.

    The day Duncan moved to ICU, Pham said, she and the charge nurse went in with double gloves taped to double gowns and wore double booties and a face shield. The hospital did not have hazmat-type suits, and Pham said her neck was always exposed.

    “We’ve had nurses that I’ve worked with that worked in other states, and they worked in hazmat suits for flu and H1N1,” Pham said. “Why aren’t we wearing hazmat suits for Ebola?”

    After days of asking, Pham said, the nurses were given hazmat suits. She said all the decisions to upgrade the protective gear and precautions were made by the nurses “on the fly.”

    Meanwhile, the nurses devised their own hazardous waste area. In a room adjacent to Duncan’s, the nurses set up a place to take off their protective gear and shower after caring for him. In another nearby room, they placed bags of dirty linens, towels and other soiled items.

    The nurses and respiratory therapists poured bleach into every bag, zip-tied them and placed them in cardboard containers. Pham estimated that the waste filled half a patient room.

    No one would collect the waste or clean up, Pham said. At one point, the toilet the staff used stopped working and no one came to fix it.

    “We were mopping floors with bleach and doing janitorial work and dealing with hazardous, lethal waste,” Pham said. “It was very physically and emotionally draining.”

    Because of their long shifts, Pham took four days off. When she returned, she said, Duncan was “so very sick.”

    By then, four nurses were assigned to Duncan each shift, Pham said: two inside his room and two outside. They traded places every two hours.

    Pham was outside watching Duncan’s monitors when his heart rate plummeted.

    “It was over in minutes,” Pham said. “It was very, very hard and devastating for all of us to have to go through all of that, to risk our lives and then we lose this patient.”

    Texas Health Resources reached a settlement in November with Duncan’s family. The company apologized for not properly diagnosing Duncan with Ebola until he returned to the hospital for a second time. The company paid an undisclosed sum to Duncan’s parents and four children.

    The day after Duncan died, Pham said she met with someone from the CDC and the hospital’s employee health manager to walk through her care of Duncan and how she protected herself.

    “They deemed me no risk,” she said.

    She went home and later had a fever of “99-point- something,” about 2 degrees above her normal temperature. Pham said she called the hospital and the Dallas County health department, and was told to monitor her temperature. But unless her temperature reached 100.4, they told her, she should not be concerned.

    She woke up early Oct. 10 with a temperature of 100.6. Pham said she called the Presbyterian emergency room and told them who she was and that she was coming to the hospital. She drove to the hospital, where she was put in isolation. Her boyfriend at the time was quarantined but remained Ebola-free. They stopped seeing each other soon after, and Pham is currently not dating anyone.

    When she was admitted to Presbyterian, Pham said, she made it clear that she did not want any information released about her medical condition.

    “I wanted to protect my privacy, and I asked several times ... to put be as ‘no info’ or at least change my name to Jane Doe,” Pham said. “I don’t think that ever happened.”

    When a test confirmed that she did have Ebola, “I broke down crying” and was in disbelief.

    “It was very scary,” she said. “My time at Presbyterian is a bit blurry just because I was in and out of having to take pain medications and just being very, very, very fatigued the whole time. One of the hardest things about having Ebola was the extreme amount of fatigue.”

    Pham said she received three experimental drugs and “one glimmer of hope” when she found out that Brantly could give her plasma. Brantly, a doctor from Fort Worth, contracted Ebola in July while treating patients in Liberia. The plasma of Ebola survivors is helpful in the treatment of others fighting the disease.

    Although Pham was always being watched and she talked with her family on the phone, she was lonely, she said.

    “Just knowing the whole world’s watching but you’re so isolated and the people that are coming [in to care for me] are risking their lives,” Pham said. “Touching me is life-threatening. It’s very lonely.”

    By the fifth day of isolation, Pham was sitting up in a chair. She thought she was doing better. But a doctor came in to talk about “end-of-life decisions” with her.

    The day Pham was transferred to NIH, a notation was made in her medical file that “she does not have the mental capability to make end-of-life decisions,” Aldous said. But PR people from Texas Health were trying to talk to her for a media release “about how much she loves Presbyterian,” Aldous said.

    Texas Health, with a PR firm’s help, developed a slogan — “Presby Proud” — aimed at restoring the community’s faith in the beleaguered hospital.

    Before Pham’s flight to Maryland on Oct. 16, she said, a doctor wearing a video camera under his protective hood came into her room and said he was filming her for educational purposes. Pham said she did not give permission for the video, which was released to the media.

    “Thanks for getting well. Thanks for being part of the volunteer team to take care of our first patient,” a man’s voice said in the video. “It means a lot. This has been a huge effort by all of you guys.”

    Pham, still lying in her Dallas hospital bed, got teary-eyed and said, “Come to Maryland, everybody.”

    Pham said she understands the reasons for making the video.

    “They had just a PR nightmare with what happened with Mr. Duncan … and then us being infected with Ebola. Not just one nurse, but two,” Pham said. “People lost faith in them, especially after we got sick.”

    Pham said that she was asked on video — although not on the part released publicly — whether she wanted to stay or go. Pham recalled that she was scared and knew nothing about NIH. She said if she was getting better, she would stay. But if the staff, which was low because some were quarantined, could not handle it, she would go. By this time, Vinson was sick, too.

    “I could tell that they wanted me to stay just because they kind of knew, they could see I was getting better,” Pham said. “They wanted that ‘yes, we cured her’ kind of attitude. They wanted a win, especially after a loss.”

    Before leaving NIH on Oct. 24, an Ebola-free Pham said, “Throughout this ordeal, I have put my trust in God and my medical team. I am on my way back to recovery, even as I reflect on how many others have not been so fortunate.”

    Pham said she was met with “radio silence” from Texas Health Resources when she returned home. No one called to ask how she was doing or offered to bring food.

    The people who cleaned her apartment to rid it of Ebola tossed her sheets but not the duvet cover on her bed. The rugs were gone but not the thermometer that she used to determine her temperature was in the Ebola danger zone.

    Now there is no such thing as a typical day for Pham. Though she still gets a regular paycheck from Presbyterian, which she joined in July 2010, she isn’t working. She spends time with her family and her now-famous Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Bentley.

    There’s also the social aspect of life that is different than before. When she meets someone, she wonders if that person knows who she is.

    “I feel like I’ve been less social, in a way. Every time you’re in a social setting, especially now, Ebola always comes up,” Pham said. “It’s very hard to talk about it.”

    Before getting sick, Pham, a Texas Christian University alum, considered graduate school to further her nursing studies.

    “I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do next. It’s been such a life-changing experience, a traumatizing experience, too,” said Pham. “I don’t feel like I’m physically but mostly mentally prepared to go back into the ICU for right now.”

    Last week, she was supposed to fly back to the NIH to donate her plasma for research. But the icy weather delayed the trip, so she plans to reschedule.

    Pham said she has a lot of anxiety about the possible long-term effects of Ebola and the experimental drugs.

    She’s been told to look out for possible sensory changes, vision loss and organ failure.

    Pham previously had complications with high levels of enzymes in her liver, and she’s concerned the problem has reappeared. She said that she can’t even have a glass of wine with dinner now without getting sick.

    Some of her hair has started to fall out. A doctor at NIH told her that was caused by Ebola, she said.

    “I don’t know if having children could be affected by this, but that’s something I worry about,” Pham said. “Just the uncertainty of it all. And if I do have a health problem in the future, is it related to Ebola or is it something else? How do we know that? ... That’s the scariest part — it’s the uncertainty.”

    Follow Jennifer Emily on Twitter @dallascourts.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    02/19/2015 2:43:23 PM PST · 4,913 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Alamo-Girl; Smokin' Joe; Thud
    This is "double plus ungood" Ebola disease data. You have to kill and burn the bodies of all pets exposed to Ebola in a low resource disease outbreak environment. ----------------- Postmortem Stability of Ebola Virus http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/21/5/15-0041_article Abstract The ongoing Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has highlighted questions regarding stability of the virus and detection of RNA from corpses. We used Ebola virus–infected macaques to model humans who died of Ebola virus disease. Viable virus was isolated 7 days posteuthanasia; viral RNA was detectable for 10 weeks. Snips: Viral RNA was detectible in all swab samples and tissue biopsy specimens at multiple time points (Figure 1). For swab samples (Figure 1, panel A), the highest amount of viral RNA was in oral, nasal, and blood samples; oral and blood swab specimens consistently showed positive results for all animals until week 4 for oral specimens and week 3 for blood, when 1 animal was negative for each specimen type. Furthermore, oral swab specimens had the highest amount of viral RNA after the first 2 weeks of sampling, although after the 4-week sampling time point, some samples from individual animals were negative. In all samples, RNA was detectable sporadically for the entire 10-week period, except for blood, which had positive results for <9 weeks. Tissue samples were more consistently positive within the first few weeks after euthanasia (Figure 1, panel B). All samples from the liver and lung were positive for the first 3 weeks, and spleen samples were positive for the first 4 weeks, at which time lung and spleen samples were no longer tested because of decay and scarcity of tissue. Muscle sample results were sporadic: a sample from 1 animal was negative at the 1-day time point and at several times throughout sampling. [snip] In summary, we present postmortem serial sampling data for EBOV-infected animals in a controlled environment. Our results show that the EBOV RT-PCR RNA target is highly stable, swabbing upper respiratory mucosa is efficient for obtaining samples for diagnostics, and tissue biopsies are no more effective than simple swabbing for virus detection. These results will directly aid interpretation of epidemiologic data collected for human corpses by determining whether a person had EVD at the time of death and whether contact tracing should be initiated. Furthermore, viable virus can persist for >7 days on surfaces of bodies, confirming that transmission from deceased persons is possible for an extended period after death. These data are also applicable for interpreting samples collected from remains of wildlife infected with EBOV, especially nonhuman primates, and to assess risks for handling these carcasses.
  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    02/19/2015 2:38:27 PM PST · 4,911 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud; All

    My news feed had a WHO article on the drop in Liberian Ebola cases.

    Breitbart had this

    “...that the distribution of cases moved from mostly already quarantined homes to entirely untouched areas almost instantly beginning February 8. Over 2,000 households are reportedly under quarantine in Western Area, Freetown.”


    SIERRA LEONE SEES ‘SHARP RISE’ IN EBOLA CASES AS MEDICAL FUNDING GOES MISSING

    by FRANCES MARTEL17 Feb 2015

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/02/17/sierra-leone-sees-sharp-rise-in-ebola-cases-as-medical-funding-goes-missing/?

    As the number of Ebola cases begin to rise for the first time in 2015, a new audit has uncovered more than $3 million in funding to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone is wholly unaccounted for. The government has vowed a prompt investigation as it begins to quarantine previously untouched neighborhoods in the capital, Freetown.

    According to Reuters, the three nations most grievously affected by the Ebola outbreak that began in March 2014– Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia– have announced new deadlines in combatting the virus. All three countries hope to reach a level of zero new cases within sixty days, beginning on February 14. The governments of the three nations, in tandem with the World Health Organization, announced this new deadline just as the WHO revealed that the number of Ebola cases in West Africa has increased in all three countries. Reuters notes that Sierra Leone hadthe most new confirmed cases last week at 76.

    Monrovia, Liberia’s The News adds that a seemingly chronic inability of medical personnel to reach many of those affected by the virus persists as a major challenge to eradicating the Ebola threat. In Guinea, the newspaper reports, workers estimate that medical personnel are the subjects of violent attacks at least ten times per month, in part due to the belief that the United States and other Western governments have deliberately planted the virus in their communities.

    Sierra Leone appears to face violent threats against medical workers with less frequency than Guinea, but the efficiency of their operation pales in comparison. The Awareness Times, the largest newspaper in Freetown, warns that the Ebola virus has begun to ravage parts of the nation that had previously appeared to survive the epidemic. Western Area, Freetown has recorded 62 of the 87 new cases in all of Sierra Leone between the days of February 8-15, for example.

    One Ebola crisis worker told the Awareness Times that those working in his facility, the British Council Command Center, were shocked to find that “new cases are coming from unexpected cases,” and that the distribution of cases moved from mostly already quarantined homes to entirely untouched areas almost instantly beginning February 8. Over 2,000 households are reportedly under quarantine in Western Area, Freetown.

    The shift in location of Ebola cases demands of medical workers increased surveillance and requires more resources to keep the virus from spreading further. Sierra Leone, in particular, appears to be facing a crisis regarding its Ebola combatting resources. In an extensive report, the Sierra Leone National Auditors have found more than $3 million– 14 million Leones– are unaccounted for by any documentation. The money, about one third of Sierra Leone’s allocated Ebola funds, has been spent with no receipts or proof that the money went to fighting Ebola.

    As The Guardian notes, the report found “hazard payments being made to hospitals with no proof the money was actually going to the health workers on the frontline and in some cases a ‘complete disregard for the law’ in procurement.” While it is believed that most of the funds went into buying ambulances and personal protective suits for health workers in the proximity of Ebola patients, some hospitals are under suspicion of paying “ghost workers” by demanding of the national government more salaries than there were workers in that institution.

    The government has promised an investigation into the funding that has not yet been accounted for.

  • Tide turning in Ebola fight after hard lessons

    02/12/2015 9:41:11 AM PST · 16 of 18
    Dark Wing to exDemMom

    Ebola is not contained, and the case count just went up for the second time in a couple of weeks.


    New Ebola cases show rise for second week in row
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31429433
    11 February 2015

    The number of new cases of Ebola has risen in all of West Africa’s worst-hit countries for the second week in a row, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

    This is the second weekly increase in confirmed cases in 2015, ending a series of encouraging declines.

    The WHO said on Wednesday that Sierra Leone had registered 76 of the 144 new cases, Guinea 65 and Liberia three.

    More than 9,000 people have died from Ebola since December 2013.

    The WHO said that the increase highlights the “considerable challenges” that must still be overcome to end the outbreak.

    “Despite improvements in case finding and management, burial practices, and community engagement, the decline in case incidence has stalled,” the UN health agency said in a statement.

    In another development, US President Barack Obama has said he will withdraw nearly all US troops helping to combat the disease in Liberia.

    Only 100 of the 2,800 troops would remain in West Africa at the end of April, according to the Associated Press news agency,

    Mr Obama said on Wednesday that the withdrawal marked a transition in the fight against the disease in Liberia but did not mean that the mission was over.

    “Our focus now is getting to zero,” he said.

    Unsafe burials
    At least 22,800 cases of Ebola have been recorded since the outbreak began, mainly in three countries in West Africa.

    In Guinea, efforts to end the outbreak are being hampered by a mistrust of aid workers, particularly in the capital city.

    “The main threat to achieving our goal of zero cases in 60 days is this resistance in Conakry,” said Dr Sakoba Keita, Guinea’s national Ebola response co-ordinator.

    Unsafe burial practices continue to be a problem in Sierra Leone. More than 40 unsafe burials were recorded in one week, according to the WHO.

    Mourners can catch the disease by touching the highly-contagious bodies of the dead.

    Ebola deaths

    Figures up to 8 February 2015

    9,177

    Deaths - probable, confirmed and suspected

    (Includes one in the US and six in Mali)

    3,826 Liberia

    3,341 Sierra Leone

    1,995 Guinea

    8 Nigeria

    Source: WHO

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    02/12/2015 9:33:01 AM PST · 4,901 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud

    Brain fart — D’oh! I meant West Africa.

  • Twists, turns, eventually lead to promising Ebola vaccine

    02/12/2015 9:32:07 AM PST · 9 of 9
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe

    Brain fart — D’oh! I meant West Africa.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    02/12/2015 9:30:09 AM PST · 4,900 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; All

    Ebola cases are going up again in East Africa.

    Containment there is still a dream, not a reality.


    New Ebola cases show rise for second week in row
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31429433
    11 February 2015

    The number of new cases of Ebola has risen in all of West Africa’s worst-hit countries for the second week in a row, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

    This is the second weekly increase in confirmed cases in 2015, ending a series of encouraging declines.

    The WHO said on Wednesday that Sierra Leone had registered 76 of the 144 new cases, Guinea 65 and Liberia three.

    More than 9,000 people have died from Ebola since December 2013.

    The WHO said that the increase highlights the “considerable challenges” that must still be overcome to end the outbreak.

    “Despite improvements in case finding and management, burial practices, and community engagement, the decline in case incidence has stalled,” the UN health agency said in a statement.

    In another development, US President Barack Obama has said he will withdraw nearly all US troops helping to combat the disease in Liberia.

    Only 100 of the 2,800 troops would remain in West Africa at the end of April, according to the Associated Press news agency,

    Mr Obama said on Wednesday that the withdrawal marked a transition in the fight against the disease in Liberia but did not mean that the mission was over.

    “Our focus now is getting to zero,” he said.

    Unsafe burials
    At least 22,800 cases of Ebola have been recorded since the outbreak began, mainly in three countries in West Africa.

    In Guinea, efforts to end the outbreak are being hampered by a mistrust of aid workers, particularly in the capital city.

    “The main threat to achieving our goal of zero cases in 60 days is this resistance in Conakry,” said Dr Sakoba Keita, Guinea’s national Ebola response co-ordinator.

    Unsafe burial practices continue to be a problem in Sierra Leone. More than 40 unsafe burials were recorded in one week, according to the WHO.

    Mourners can catch the disease by touching the highly-contagious bodies of the dead.

    Ebola deaths

    Figures up to 8 February 2015

    9,177

    Deaths - probable, confirmed and suspected

    (Includes one in the US and six in Mali)

    3,826 Liberia

    3,341 Sierra Leone

    1,995 Guinea

    8 Nigeria

    Source: WHO

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    01/09/2015 10:58:26 AM PST · 4,881 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; All

    A key development to watch:


    Ebola blood testing kit fits in a suitcase and detects the virus 10 TIMES faster
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/ebola-blood-testing-kit-fits-4946895
    Jan 09, 2015 Jasper Hamill

    German scientists have designed a super-efficient ebola testing kit which is so small it could be carried as hand luggage on an airline.

    The life-saving suitcase can detect traces of the deadly virus in just 15 minutes - which is almost 10 times faster than the current testing kit.

    It was designed by scientists at the German Primate Centre in Goettingen and is intended to be used by doctors battling the disease in rural areas of Africa.

    The suitcase works away from the mod-cons of a traditional testing lab, allowing a speedy diagnosis of the diease.

    Currently, blood samples must be transported over long distances to testing labs.

    With a death rate of up to 90% and quick treatment critical to chances of survival, any delay is likely to be lethal.

    Five of the suitcases are now being sent to Guinea, where the current outbreak is thought to have started.

    “The early detection of Ebola infected patients will lead to a more effective virus control since medical staff can identify and isolate confirmed Ebola cases more rapidly,” said Dr. Christiane Stahl-Hennig, head of the unit of infection models at the German Primate Centre.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    01/04/2015 4:22:17 PM PST · 4,878 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud; All

    It is not looking good for the UK nurse infected with Ebola.


    Hospital: UK nurse with Ebola now in critical condition

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/03/world/europe/uk-ebola-nurse/index.html

    Laura Smith-Spark January 3, 2015

    Pauline Cafferkey, 39, of Glasgow is the first person to have been diagnosed with the virus on UK soil.

    The Royal Free Hospital said her condition “has gradually deteriorated over the past two days and is now critical.”

    The hospital said Wednesday that Cafferkey had decided to have blood plasma treatment — using plasma from Ebola survivors — and to take an experimental antiviral drug.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that his thoughts and prayers are with Cafferkey.

    The Royal Free Hospital is equipped with a high-level isolation unit where access is restricted to specially trained medical staff. A specially designed tent with controlled ventilation is over the patient’s bed.

    Another British volunteer nurse, William Pooley, was treated in the unit after his return home from Sierra Leone in August after being diagnosed with Ebola.

    British media outlets have said Cafferkey is a public health nurse who was part of a 30-strong team of medical volunteers deployed to Sierra Leone by the UK government last month in a joint endeavor with the charity Save the Children.

    Cafferkey traveled back from Sierra Leone via Casablanca, Morocco, and London Heathrow Airport before arriving at Glasgow Airport on a British Airways flight late on December 28, the health agency NHS Scotland said.

    After feeling unwell, she sought medical attention and was transferred to London on a military aircraft fitted with an isolation pod.

    Amid concerns about the possible spread of the disease, authorities have been working to contact all those who may have come into contact with Cafferkey as she traveled back to Scotland.

    What to know about Ebola

    Public Health England, a government agency, said it had contacted all 101 UK-based passengers and crew who flew from Casablanca to Heathrow, while its Scottish counterpart had reached all 71 passengers and crew members who traveled from Heathrow to Glasgow.

    “Passengers given advice & reassurance. Additional 31 international passengers being contacted by international public health authorities,” Public Health England said on Twitter.

    The government has said the risk of infection to other passengers is “considered extremely low.”

    The number of deaths in the three West African countries where the outbreak is centered has climbed to 7,989 as of December 31, the World Health Organization said Friday.

    There have been more than 20,000 confirmed, probable and suspected cases in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the WHO said.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    01/01/2015 4:15:12 PM PST · 4,875 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; All

    If true, score one for Thud.

    Iraqi and Kurdish media are reporting an Ebola outbreak among ISIS forces.

    See:

    www.breitbart.com/ebola/2015/01/01/iraqi-and-kurdish-media-reports-isis-fighters-have-contracted-ebola/

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    12/30/2014 2:26:46 PM PST · 4,872 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud

    This is the BBC Take on the Glasgow Ebola case.

    Key information —

    Patient flight details - 28 December

    Flight AT596 from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to Casablanca

    Flight AT0800 from Casablanca to London Heathrow

    Flight BA1478 from London Heathrow to Glasgow, arriving 23:30

    The HCW was symptomatic on the flight.

    Now we get to see how good Algeria’s disease tracing system. is.


    Ebola case confirmed in Glasgow hospital
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-30628349
    29 December 2014

    A healthcare worker who has just returned from West Africa has been diagnosed with Ebola and is being treated in hospital in Glasgow.

    The woman, who arrived from Sierra Leone on Sunday night, is in isolation at Glasgow’s Gartnavel Hospital.

    All possible contacts with the case are being investigated, including on flights to Scotland via Heathrow.

    UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed that the woman would be taken to a specialist unit in London.

    She will be flown from Glasgow and taken to the Royal Free Hospital in north London “as soon as we possibly can,” Mr Hunt said.

    It is expected she will be transferred overnight by air ambulance.

    The hospital has a specialist isolation unit and treated William Pooley, the British nurse who contracted and recovered from Ebola.

    Low risk
    Mr Hunt said the government was doing “absolutely everything it needs to be” to keep the UK safe.

    He insisted NHS processes “worked well” after the woman starting exhibiting symptoms.

    The health secretary added: “We are also reviewing our procedures and protocols for all the other NHS workers who are working at the moment in Sierra Leone.”

    Nicola Sturgeon: Ebola risk ‘extremely low’

    Charity Save the Children confirmed the woman was an NHS health worker who was working with them at the Ebola Treatment Centre in Kerry Town, Sierra Leone.

    The organisation’s humanitarian director, Michael von Bertele, said: “Save the Children is working closely with the UK government, Scottish government and Public Health England to look into the circumstances surrounding the case.”

    At a news conference in Glasgow, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stressed that the risk to the general public was very low.

    She added that the patient was thought to have had contact with only one other person since arriving in the city, but that all passengers on the flights the woman took will be traced.

    Ms Sturgeon said: “Apart from other passengers on the flights and obviously the hospital staff since this patient’s admittance to hospital, she, the patient is thought to have had contact with only one other person in Scotland since returning to Scotland last night and that person will also be contacted and given appropriate reassurance.”

    Glasgow Ebola case

    Patient flight details - 28 December

    Flight AT596 from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to Casablanca

    Flight AT0800 from Casablanca to London Heathrow

    Flight BA1478 from London Heathrow to Glasgow, arriving 23:30

    Reuters

    Alisdair MacConachie, of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “She’s being managed in an isolation facility by staff who are comfortable managing patients in such a situation. She herself is quite stable and is not showing any great clinical concern at the minute.”

    NHS Scotland said infectious diseases procedures had been put into effect at the Brownlee Unit for Infectious Diseases at Gartnavel.

    Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with the bodily fluids - such as blood, vomit or faeces - of an infected person.

    The patient returned to Scotland from Sierra Leone late on Sunday via Casablanca and London Heathrow, arriving into Glasgow Airport on a British Airways flight at about 23:30.

    While public health experts have emphasised that the risks are negligible, a telephone helpline has been set up for anyone who was on the BA 1478 Heathrow to Glasgow flight. The number is: 08000 858531

    The woman had been admitted to hospital early on Monday morning after feeling unwell and was placed into isolation at 07.50.

    The early symptoms are a sudden fever, muscle pain, fatigue, headache and sore throat.

    This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, a rash and bleeding - both internal and external - which can be seen in the gums, eyes, nose and in the stools.

    Patients tend to die from dehydration and multiple organ failure.

    A British Airways spokesman said: “We are working closely with the health authorities in England and Scotland and will offer assistance with any information they require.

    “The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and the risk to people on board that individual flight is extremely low.”

    Ms Sturgeon has chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee (SGoRR) and has also spoken to Prime Minister David Cameron.

    Mr Hunt is to chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee on Monday evening.

    The patient had travelled from Freetown in Sierra Leone via Casablanca

    Ms Sturgeon said: “Our first thoughts at this time must be with the patient diagnosed with Ebola and their friends and family. I wish them a speedy recovery.

    “Scotland has been preparing for this possibility from the beginning of the outbreak in West Africa and I am confident that we are well prepared.”

    Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, said: “It is important to be reassured that although a case has been identified, the overall the risk to the public continues to be low.

    “We have robust, well-developed and well-tested NHS systems for managing unusual infectious diseases when they arise, supported by a wide range of experts. The UK system was prepared, and reacted as planned, when this case of Ebola was identified.”

  • There Was No Way a P-51 Could Replace the A-10

    12/17/2014 8:29:10 AM PST · 54 of 100
    Dark Wing to tanknetter

    >>There’s been considerable speculation over the years
    >>about why the USAF sent F-51s, as opposed to F-47
    >>Thunderbolts (which like the Mustang were still in
    >>service with ANG units) to Korea.

    The F-51 was cheaper to operate as a CAS plane, and the USAF Brass sold the remaining F-47N’s to the Nationalist Chinese.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    12/01/2014 1:45:08 PM PST · 4,831 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud

    A very scary report —


    Suspected Ebola patient isolated in Karachi

    http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/12/01/national/suspected-ebola-patient-isolated-in-karachi/?

    KARACHI-

    A suspected patient of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) was quarantined on Monday in Karachi’s Jinnah Hospital, private media reported,

    The patient is reported to have recently arrived from Liberia, Africa.

    According to provincial health authorities, blood samples have been obtained from the isolated patient to test for EVD.

    Last week, a man was initially suspected of dying of EVD. However, World Health Organization later clarified that he was not suffering from the deadly disease but had died of Hepatitis C and Dengue fever.

    Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated.

  • Can Oil Prices Drop to $40 a Barrel? Some Say It's Possible

    12/01/2014 7:45:44 AM PST · 38 of 63
    Dark Wing to Thud

    The Saudi’s are trying to kill Iran and Russia’s military budgets like they killed the Soviet Union’s in the late 1980’s.

    Since both are over extended in Ukraine and Syria respectively, it might even work.

  • Can Oil Prices Drop to $40 a Barrel? Some Say It's Possible

    12/01/2014 7:41:17 AM PST · 37 of 63
    Dark Wing to Thud

    The Saudi’s are trying to kill Iran and Russia’s military budgets like they killed the Soviet Union’s in the late 1980’s.

    Since both are over extended in Ukraine and Syria respectively, it might even work.

  • Saudi National Reportedly Crashes Car Containing Explosives Into US Army Post Fort Sam Houston

    11/24/2014 10:51:11 AM PST · 36 of 89
    Dark Wing to Thud

    This is too close to home.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    11/19/2014 7:33:52 AM PST · 4,806 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Dark Wing

    Okay, there seems to be a problem.

    Even auto-preview is showing a wall of text.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    11/19/2014 7:31:47 AM PST · 4,805 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Dark Wing
    Whoops... I don't know why the wall of text happened. I'll try this again -- ---- Ebola seemed out of control in Kansas City recently — not the disease itself, but rumors and anxious news reports about the deadly virus. http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article3654912.html ALAN BAVLEYTHE. 11/07/2014 On a recent Saturday, social media spread such fevered rumors of a suspected Ebola case at Research Medical Center that the hospital issued a news release the next day denying the reports. Not knowing of the hospital’s statement, the Kansas City Health Department held a news conference a day later to say the same thing: no Ebola here. A week later, rumors spread so far so fast about a patient in an isolation unit at the University of Kansas Hospital that the hospital felt compelled to hold a news conference hours after he was admitted. As a phalanx of TV crews broadcast live, the hospital’s chief medical officer said the patient was, indeed, being tested for Ebola but was at “low to moderate risk” of the disease. Within two days, tests showed he was Ebola-free. Similar false alarms have been happening across the country. Public health officials and news media are now trying to get the situation under control. The Kansas City Health Department started work this week with other local health departments on guidelines for reporting information about Ebola-related cases to the news media and public. The Associated Press recently told news organizations that it wasn’t going to routinely distribute stories about suspected Ebola cases. And on Wednesday, the Maryland health department announced that health officials and hospitals no longer will offer information or even acknowledge the presence of suspected Ebola cases until the disease is confirmed. “It’s important that we’re communicating as consistently as we can, sharing information the public needs,” said Kansas City Health Department Director Rex Archer. When misinformation spreads, it creates “inappropriate levels of fear that cause the public to overreact.” Archer met this week with area health departments to share ideas for uniform reporting guidelines. He hopes to get them all on board and then hospitals, as well. Archer said he was motivated by the “sum total of all the reporting going on around the country. It’s just a situation ripe for social media speculation and even pranks to cause the health care system to mobilize when it’s unnecessary.” Those stories started to appear as the Ebola epidemic in three West African nations began gaining international attention in recent months. But their exponential growth started last month, after Thomas Eric Duncan of Ebola-stricken Liberia was diagnosed with the disease at a Dallas hospital and two of his nurses also fell ill. Since then, unfounded stories have circulated widely: ▪ A young girl from Liberia became ill and was taken to a hospital in Dover, Del., where she was placed in isolation. She was quickly found to be free of Ebola. False alarm. ▪ The Inspira Medical Center in Woodbury, N.J., was rumored to have an Ebola patient under treatment. False. ▪ Workers at a Doritos factory tested positive for Ebola and infected thousands of bags of chips. Hoax. Maryland health officials are trying to take fuel out of Ebola combustion by limiting information they release to confirmed cases only. They’ve asked hospitals, which in some cases had been announcing patients being kept in isolation, to follow the same rules. “The public health is not served by repeated rumors about possible cases,” Albert Wu, a professor at the Johns Hopkins school of public health, told the Baltimore Sun. “I think it results only in whiplash and heightened anxiety.” But some experts say health officials and hospitals need to be more adaptable, especially now that social media can fill an information void with speculation, innuendo and false information. “You’re not looking to report out on any person being monitored or tested (for Ebola). That could be putting more fear and panic in the community than providing a public service,” said Chris Aldridge of the National Association of County and City Health Officials. “But once social media get hold of it, it takes on a life of its own. That may force you to take steps.” In such circumstances, disclosing information “shows you’re on top of things, and it can reassure the public that things are under control.” How much information gets released is a balancing act, Aldridge said, between a patient’s right to privacy and the public’s right to enough information to assess potential risks. When information about a patient is disclosed, it needs to be accompanied by a discussion of what the true risks to the public are, Aldridge said. Those risks are very small; the Ebola virus isn’t easy to catch, and infected people don’t pose a risk to others until they’ve developed symptoms, he said. Archer of the Kansas City Health Department thinks health authorities should tell the public about confirmed Ebola cases, but probably no more than the person’s sex and date of birth. It would be up to individual hospitals to disclose where patients were being treated. He also would release information about suspected cases, at least in situations where the patient may have been contagious and exposed people to the virus. Archer’s suggestions are still under discussion with other health departments. “I’m not saying we have 100 percent agreement,” he said. The Kansas and Missouri health departments have not issued specific guidelines for publicly reporting Ebola. Fraser Seitel, a partner at Rivkin & Associates, a health care communications firm specializing in crisis management, advises hospitals not to make announcements when they have suspected Ebola cases. “That could send panic through the community,” he said. “But we have to be sensitive that rumors are going to start and if news media start reporting it, you have to react. You have to staunch rumors quickly.” The University of Kansas Hospital found itself in a tough spot last month shortly after a man who had served as a medical officer on a commercial vessel off the west coast of Africa checked himself in before dawn with a high fever and other symptoms common to Ebola and other tropical diseases. Hospital officials said the patient’s family or a co-worker may have been the first to post something about him on social media that morning. By early afternoon, hospital spokeswoman Jill Chadwick had received a call from a local television station. After that, “it spread like a grass fire. It was amazing,” Chadwick said. Within minutes, the hospital’s public relations department had heard from CNN, National Public Radio and Al Jazeera. Lee Norman, the hospital’s chief medical officer, faced the assembled reporters and photographers that evening. “We had no intention to go public with this gentleman,” he said this week. “It becomes a crisis of confidence if we were to simply clam up and say, ‘No comment.’ That would just feed the fire.” Tests soon found the patient was Ebola-free. The fire was out. Karl Stark is the health and science editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer and president of the Association of Health Care Journalists. He believes that “good information is the best treatment for the anxiety caused by the media. So public health authorities should be as forthcoming as possible.” But suspected Ebola cases often aren’t worth a news story, he said. “First of all, positive results have been rare in the U.S. We had over 100 people being monitored for Ebola symptoms in Pennsylvania at one time, and none of them ended up testing positive. A steady drumbeat of stories on suspected cases would have ... needlessly stoked public hysteria.” Stark suggests that journalists “put the Ebola epidemic in perspective. Flu kills 36,000 Americans a year. ... There is so far one Ebola fatality on U.S. soil.” A clear perspective about Ebola will be essential in the months ahead. “I can only see this getting more difficult as we go into flu season, where the symptoms of flu mimic Ebola,” Archer said. Comment You can't tell people what they should or should not be worried about. That just does not work. Any perception that the authorities are hiding something will make things worse. Health departments should have a clear policy that they communicate to the public with an emphasis on providing as much information as is reasonable. For example, stating the number of people being monitored; the number who have been tested; the number who are under quarantine; the number who have been hospitalized in daily reports would do much to allay concerns about transparency. If Ebola is truly coming under control in West Africa, then the frequency of exported cases will drop, hopefully to zero. However, if we have even a single additional unannounced case, and the release of information is perceived to be slow, public confidence will be hard to regain. _________________
  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    11/19/2014 7:25:36 AM PST · 4,804 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud
    This is one of the latest post to the "Suspect or Quarantined 'New Ebola' Cases" thread at PFIF with the comment from the poster placed at the top. A comment I agree with, BTW. ----------- Comment You can't tell people what they should or should not be worried about. That just does not work. Any perception that the authorities are hiding something will make things worse. Health departments should have a clear policy that they communicate to the public with an emphasis on providing as much information as is reasonable. For example, stating the number of people being monitored; the number who have been tested; the number who are under quarantine; the number who have been hospitalized in daily reports would do much to allay concerns about transparency. If Ebola is truly coming under control in West Africa, then the frequency of exported cases will drop, hopefully to zero. However, if we have even a single additional unannounced case, and the release of information is perceived to be slow, public confidence will be hard to regain. --------------------- Ebola seemed out of control in Kansas City recently — not the disease itself, but rumors and anxious news reports about the deadly virus. http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article3654912.html ALAN BAVLEYTHE. 11/07/2014 On a recent Saturday, social media spread such fevered rumors of a suspected Ebola case at Research Medical Center that the hospital issued a news release the next day denying the reports. Not knowing of the hospital’s statement, the Kansas City Health Department held a news conference a day later to say the same thing: no Ebola here. A week later, rumors spread so far so fast about a patient in an isolation unit at the University of Kansas Hospital that the hospital felt compelled to hold a news conference hours after he was admitted. As a phalanx of TV crews broadcast live, the hospital’s chief medical officer said the patient was, indeed, being tested for Ebola but was at “low to moderate risk” of the disease. Within two days, tests showed he was Ebola-free. Similar false alarms have been happening across the country. Public health officials and news media are now trying to get the situation under control. The Kansas City Health Department started work this week with other local health departments on guidelines for reporting information about Ebola-related cases to the news media and public. The Associated Press recently told news organizations that it wasn’t going to routinely distribute stories about suspected Ebola cases. And on Wednesday, the Maryland health department announced that health officials and hospitals no longer will offer information or even acknowledge the presence of suspected Ebola cases until the disease is confirmed. “It’s important that we’re communicating as consistently as we can, sharing information the public needs,” said Kansas City Health Department Director Rex Archer. When misinformation spreads, it creates “inappropriate levels of fear that cause the public to overreact.” Archer met this week with area health departments to share ideas for uniform reporting guidelines. He hopes to get them all on board and then hospitals, as well. Archer said he was motivated by the “sum total of all the reporting going on around the country. It’s just a situation ripe for social media speculation and even pranks to cause the health care system to mobilize when it’s unnecessary.” Those stories started to appear as the Ebola epidemic in three West African nations began gaining international attention in recent months. But their exponential growth started last month, after Thomas Eric Duncan of Ebola-stricken Liberia was diagnosed with the disease at a Dallas hospital and two of his nurses also fell ill. Since then, unfounded stories have circulated widely: ▪ A young girl from Liberia became ill and was taken to a hospital in Dover, Del., where she was placed in isolation. She was quickly found to be free of Ebola. False alarm. ▪ The Inspira Medical Center in Woodbury, N.J., was rumored to have an Ebola patient under treatment. False. ▪ Workers at a Doritos factory tested positive for Ebola and infected thousands of bags of chips. Hoax. Maryland health officials are trying to take fuel out of Ebola combustion by limiting information they release to confirmed cases only. They’ve asked hospitals, which in some cases had been announcing patients being kept in isolation, to follow the same rules. “The public health is not served by repeated rumors about possible cases,” Albert Wu, a professor at the Johns Hopkins school of public health, told the Baltimore Sun. “I think it results only in whiplash and heightened anxiety.” But some experts say health officials and hospitals need to be more adaptable, especially now that social media can fill an information void with speculation, innuendo and false information. “You’re not looking to report out on any person being monitored or tested (for Ebola). That could be putting more fear and panic in the community than providing a public service,” said Chris Aldridge of the National Association of County and City Health Officials. “But once social media get hold of it, it takes on a life of its own. That may force you to take steps.” In such circumstances, disclosing information “shows you’re on top of things, and it can reassure the public that things are under control.” How much information gets released is a balancing act, Aldridge said, between a patient’s right to privacy and the public’s right to enough information to assess potential risks. When information about a patient is disclosed, it needs to be accompanied by a discussion of what the true risks to the public are, Aldridge said. Those risks are very small; the Ebola virus isn’t easy to catch, and infected people don’t pose a risk to others until they’ve developed symptoms, he said. Archer of the Kansas City Health Department thinks health authorities should tell the public about confirmed Ebola cases, but probably no more than the person’s sex and date of birth. It would be up to individual hospitals to disclose where patients were being treated. He also would release information about suspected cases, at least in situations where the patient may have been contagious and exposed people to the virus. Archer’s suggestions are still under discussion with other health departments. “I’m not saying we have 100 percent agreement,” he said. The Kansas and Missouri health departments have not issued specific guidelines for publicly reporting Ebola. Fraser Seitel, a partner at Rivkin & Associates, a health care communications firm specializing in crisis management, advises hospitals not to make announcements when they have suspected Ebola cases. “That could send panic through the community,” he said. “But we have to be sensitive that rumors are going to start and if news media start reporting it, you have to react. You have to staunch rumors quickly.” The University of Kansas Hospital found itself in a tough spot last month shortly after a man who had served as a medical officer on a commercial vessel off the west coast of Africa checked himself in before dawn with a high fever and other symptoms common to Ebola and other tropical diseases. Hospital officials said the patient’s family or a co-worker may have been the first to post something about him on social media that morning. By early afternoon, hospital spokeswoman Jill Chadwick had received a call from a local television station. After that, “it spread like a grass fire. It was amazing,” Chadwick said. Within minutes, the hospital’s public relations department had heard from CNN, National Public Radio and Al Jazeera. Lee Norman, the hospital’s chief medical officer, faced the assembled reporters and photographers that evening. “We had no intention to go public with this gentleman,” he said this week. “It becomes a crisis of confidence if we were to simply clam up and say, ‘No comment.’ That would just feed the fire.” Tests soon found the patient was Ebola-free. The fire was out. Karl Stark is the health and science editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer and president of the Association of Health Care Journalists. He believes that “good information is the best treatment for the anxiety caused by the media. So public health authorities should be as forthcoming as possible.” But suspected Ebola cases often aren’t worth a news story, he said. “First of all, positive results have been rare in the U.S. We had over 100 people being monitored for Ebola symptoms in Pennsylvania at one time, and none of them ended up testing positive. A steady drumbeat of stories on suspected cases would have ... needlessly stoked public hysteria.” Stark suggests that journalists “put the Ebola epidemic in perspective. Flu kills 36,000 Americans a year. ... There is so far one Ebola fatality on U.S. soil.” A clear perspective about Ebola will be essential in the months ahead. “I can only see this getting more difficult as we go into flu season, where the symptoms of flu mimic Ebola,” Archer said.
  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    11/19/2014 7:21:00 AM PST · 4,803 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Dark Wing

    This is Pixie’s first post to the new Ebola thread over on PFIF —


    There’s some evidence that authorities may have already pretty much “jumped the shark” on identifying travelers as being suspect New Ebola cases.

    A good number of people are being placed in isolation as suspect cases after traveling from the affected areas. Some of these people seem to truly exhibit symptoms which might be characteristic of the disease. Some seem to have no more than a headache and slight fever.

    For every case that reaches the media, there are likely more than a few that we will never hear about which were under investigation. Because we are hearing of cases only randomly, and because so little information is released about them, there is very little way of determining which are the most important cases or even if we are hearing about those particular cases at all.

    In order to keep the News thread focused on events, we will move reports of suspect New Ebola cases to this thread. Most (so far) will test negative. Many people being tested and even isolated do not even meet the current case definition for New Ebola at which times authorities say they are testing and isolating “out of an abundance of caution.”

    When a case tests positive, we will move it to the News thread.

    If a case seems particularly notable or authorities seem particularly disingenuous about it (I’m looking at you, Saudi Arabia..) in that case we can also copy it to the News thread as worthy of further examination and debate.

    Most suspect cases, though, will be followed up with the report that the test came back with a negative. Since that is non-news, these cases are probably better off being corralled here. The numbers of travelers tested, and the numbers of negatives, are going to rise in tandem with the increase in positive cases. What I’m trying to avoid is extra “noise” on the News thread.

    One of these cases will likely eventually prove positive, and will likely have transmitted on his or her journey. That will, (as with Mr. Sawyer), again be news.

    It will also be interesting to be able to see all these suspect cases together to see if there are any trends in speed of testing, symptoms which raise suspicion, and the treatment by medical and public health officials of the suspect cases.
    _________________

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    11/19/2014 7:19:46 AM PST · 4,802 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud

    Please note that the Pandemic Flu Information forum (PFIF) now has a separate “Suspect or Quarantined ‘New Ebola’ Cases” thread that folks here should monitor.

    See:

    http://www.singtomeohmuse.com/viewtopic.php?t=5749

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    11/19/2014 7:16:31 AM PST · 4,801 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud

    This article from the PFIF makes clear that Liberia is in no way “Bending the Curve” on Ebola.

    Outside the Liberian government’s writ in Monrovia, people are ignoring the Health Ministry and simply burying their Ebola dead in secret.

    We can expect a huge wave of new infections in Liberia after Thanksgiving.


    Liberia: Secret Night Burials - Liberia’s Health Ministry Alarms Growing

    http://allafrica.com/stories/201411190768.html
    Stephen D. Kollie

    The Ministry of Health of and Social Welfare has raise a serious alarm over the refusal of people allowing their dead ones to be buried with dignity by health officials but rather, many family members have begun carrying out secret burials at night in their various communities.

    Speaking to reporters Tuesday at the Ministry of Information regular Ebola press briefing, Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah disclosed that the time is not certified yet for Liberians to return to their usual cultural practices and that an attempt to do so will lead the nation to a dangerous trajectory.

    Said Minister Nyenswah: “People are in the night burying secretly being unsafe and they bury these people without any safety. They are not trained to do that and we have health workers that could bury safely with the dignity that is required for the family people. We regret a lot for the loved ones that we lost during this crisis and we are also feeling it to the extent that people cannot perform the rituals, the traditional practices that we all used to perform. But the time is not certified yet for us to revert to those practices when we still having active transmission of the disease.”

    The Assistant Health Minister noted that the Ministry is still recording 20-50 new Ebola suspected cases on a daily basis across the country, suggesting that there is active transmission of the Ebola virus disease in Liberia.

    Health workers infected

    The Minister expressed shock that in the past weeks there were low infections in health care workers, but of recent, the situation has changed with more health care workers beginning to get infected again with the Ebola Virus Disease. He many of the health workers that are getting infected are either treating sick patients at home or in the private health facilities in the country.

    “Common example is in Jenewonde where we visited over the weekend and we noticed that a vaccinator who was not working at the clinic in Jenewonde got infected from the Ebola virus disease, refused to come to any ETU and died in the community infecting other people in the home,” the Minister said.

    Ebola base in Monrovia

    Minister Nyenswah also revealed that the highest number of Ebola ceases is now being reported from Monrovia and that the capital is actively infecting other leeward counties. He said the current hotspots of outbreak in the rest of the fifteen counties are cases that originates from Monrovia

    Minister Nyenswah said: “We want to sound this warning especially to our people in the leeward counties that don’t take sick strangers at this time and even if somebody goes into your village, into your community or county, make sure you keep active surveillance on that individual and report that to the county health team so that we can properly follow up that person. And traditional healers also should be careful of people leaving from Monrovia going to the leeward counties for healing when we have ETUs that could accept them.”

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    11/17/2014 2:32:05 PM PST · 4,797 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud

    This is worth posting in its entirety from the PFIF.


    http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/11/14/patient-cured-ebola-in-ger
    A Ugandan man hospitalized in Germany for the Ebola virus was treated with a biofiltration device that the creators believe will change the landscape in the fight against viral pathogens.

    The Aethlon Medical team has created a device called the Hemopurifier, which works on the established infrastructure of dialysis machines already located in hospitals and clinics.

    “It works within a dialysis machine, but the mechanism selectively targets viral pathogens and immunosuppressive toxins that they release,” James Joyce, the CEO of Aethlon Medical, told FoxNews.com.

    The Hemopurifier is an extracorporeal biofiltration device that converges hollow-fiber filtration technology with immobilized affinity agents to allow for the rapid physical removal of virus and soluble viral glycoproteins from the blood. It mimics the natural immune system response for clearance of circulating virus and viral toxins before cells and organs can be infected, according to Joyce.
    The patient was administered hemotherapy treatment for more than six hours and had no adverse effects.

    The physicians measured data points related to the treatment. The patient was monitored for changes in viral load, with the hope being for a reduction. Before treatment, the viral load was measured at 400,000 copies per milliliter for the Ebola virus. At the end of treatment physicians measured a reduction to only 1,000 copies per milliliter for Ebola.

    The patient is now free of the virus.

    The FDA has approved an investigational device exemption for the Hemopurifier, which the creators see as an advancement of feasible studies in relation to use of the device in the U.S.

    “You can’t recruit patients for obvious humanitarian reasons, so you’re limited to demonstrations of safety,” Joyce said. “In our case we can conduct replicative studies to demonstrate the ability to eliminate the targeted virus in a closed loop,” he said.

    The company has run clinical trials overseas in patients with Hepatitis C and HIV.

    The creators believe what sets the Hemopurifier apart from treatments currently available is that it doesn’t add any additional drugs to a patient’s therapy.

    “A big challenge we will be dealing with is drug resistance,” Joyce said. “Drug resistance connotes that the patient is no longer responding to drug therapy, and we believe we can apply this treatment in combination with drug therapies and allow patients to continue to benefit from therapeutic drug therapies.”

    “Think about how fast the Ebola virus can replicate, and at a certain point in the disease there’s a great advantage to single therapy [treatment]” Joyce said.

    The World Health Organization reports that more than 5,000 people have died from the Ebola virus, and that it has infected more than 14,000.


    PFIF Comment-This sounds very promising. But I remember from previous articles that any type of dialysis puts HCW at risk of ebola transmission.

  • Lawsuit by Career ICE Attorney Exposes Obama Anti-Enforcement Campaign{Purge Law Abiding Officers}

    11/13/2014 10:34:38 AM PST · 7 of 14
    Dark Wing to Thud

    This is something to think about.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    11/12/2014 7:03:37 AM PST · 4,778 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe; Thud

    Things are getting worse in Mali, a next door state to Guinea.

    From the PFIF, with a comment from a contributor there.


    The story below indicates that a patient the nurse worked on has died and been confirmed as well. So I’m coming up with 4 deaths from this cluster so far. The imam, someone who stayed the same house as him in Bamako, the nurse, and a patient he/she treated. Also one suspected, a doctor who treated the imam.

    Mali reports 2 new Ebola deaths

    Baba Ahmed, Associated Press 8:31 a.m. EST November 12, 2014

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/world/2014/11/12/mali-ebola-deaths/18903143/

    BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Malian authorities on Wednesday reported two new deaths from Ebola that are not believed to be linked to the nation’s only other known case, an alarming setback as Mali tries to limit the epidemic ravaging other countries in the region.

    The announcement in this city of about 2 million came just a day after Malian health authorities said there had been no other reported cases — let alone deaths — after a 2-year-old girl who had traveled to Mali from Guinea succumbed to the virus in late October.

    A nurse working at a clinic in the capital of Bamako died Tuesday, and tests later showed she had Ebola, Communications Minister Mahamadou Camara said Wednesday. A patient she had treated died on Monday and was later confirmed to have had the disease as well.

    The patient — a Guinean national — came to the Clinique Pasteur on Oct. 25 late at night and was so ill he could not speak or give information about his symptoms, said the head of the clinic.

    “His family did not give us all the information that would have led us to suspect Ebola,” Dramane Maiga told The Associated Press.

    Government health officials were slow to act, Maiga said. The nurse was hospitalized on Saturday and hospital officials did not call the health ministry until Monday morning. Health officials did not arrive at the clinic until 6 p.m. and by the time the test results came back, the 25-year-old nurse was already dead, said Maiga.

    The new Ebola cases come just as public health officials started to think Mali had avoided the worst. The cases are stark reminders that the disease is hard to track and the entire West Africa region remains vulnerable as long as there are cases anywhere.

    Nearly 5,000 people have died this year in the region from the virus, which first erupted in Guinea, on Mali’s border.

    Mali’s first case initially caused alarm because officials said the toddler was bleeding from her nose as she traveled with relatives by public transport from Guinea to Mali, passing through Bamako and other towns en route to the western city of Kayes, where she died. Ebola is transmitted through the bodily fluids of people who are showing symptoms, which include bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea.

    On Tuesday, officials said nearly 30 members of a family that was visited by the sick 2-year-old girl have been released from a 21-day quarantine after they showed no symptoms of the disease. Ebola can take up to 21 days to incubate.

    About 50 other people who had possible contact with the girl remain under observation in Kayes, 375 miles from Bamako. They will be released from quarantine on Nov. 16 if they don’t show symptoms.

  • It's Over: Texas' Ebola Outbreak Has Ended

    11/08/2014 6:32:54 AM PST · 33 of 36
    Dark Wing to Oldeconomybuyer

    Five percent of those who develop Ebola do so after the 21 day monitoring period.

    That is why the WHO states it takes 43 days to officially declare an outbreak at an end.

  • Fury: The Mother of all Tank Movies

    11/07/2014 5:42:11 PM PST · 69 of 75
    Dark Wing to nascarnation
    This is the best review of DEATH TRAPS I have seen, also from “Chieftain”

    http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/395038-rants-and-death-traps/

    Here's the issue: Death Traps is a memoir, not a researched historical work. These are the recollections and perceptions as the man saw them, recited some 50 years after the fact. This leads us to two problems:

    Firstly, that of perception. The premise of the book, even the title, is that M4s were rolling coffins, and got destroyed a lot. He gets this impression by looking at all the M4s which got brought back to his maintenance shop for repair after getting knocked out. He did not get to see any of the German vehicles which were knocked out, as nobody brought them to him for repair. He did not get to see the M4s which won the battle, as nobody brought them to him for repair. As someone who saw nearly nothing but destroyed Shermans coming out of battles, it is not unreasonable to come to the perception that the tank was problematic.

    Secondly, the author makes no attempt to distinguish what he saw from what he surmised, from what he heard through the grapevine. He presents as fact things which simply were not true, demonstrably so in many cases. No attempt was made to provide a source or reference to some of the claims he makes. It is up to the reader to make his or her personal determination as to the accuracy of anything in the book.

    It is likely that the things he personally saw are somewhat close to fact. But statements about machinations seven pay grades higher than him and several hundred miles away are a little more suspect.

    Cooper's book is probably the most egregious example of citing a memoir and making more of it than one should, so I merely use it as a learning point. Less controversial memoirs, such as Carius’ Tigers in the Mud or Loza’s Commanding the Red Army's Sherman Tanks should be viewed just as much from the same lens, but in fairness to them, they suffer from far less overreach and can be taken far more at face value.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    11/07/2014 3:11:42 PM PST · 4,749 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Thud; Smokin' Joe; PA Engineer; Black Agnes; exDemMom; Tilted Irish Kilt
    >>I tend to agree with Dark Wing that Ebola might spread to
    >>the Islamic areas of Nigeria.

    I view this as a given.

    This is what Islamic terrorist death lovers go for.

    >>I do agree with him that, if it spreads to Boko Haram
    >>controlled areas of Nigeria, it likely will spread to
    >>Mali and Niger plus, worse, the ISIS-controlled areas of
    >>Syria and Iraq plus very likely the Taliban-dominated
    >>areas of Pakistan.

    There are also a number of defacto areas of Islamist control and spread in the drug and gun trade between Africa/Mid-East and South America.

    >>Given the aversion of Islamic extremists to vaccination,
    >>that should become, eventually, a self-solving problem,
    >>but not before mandatory mass anti-Ebola vaccinations
    >>become necessary in large areas outside West Africa.

    Think of South American narco-terrorists as a possible vector for Ebola or the future diseases you are afraid of, Thud.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    11/06/2014 12:52:42 PM PST · 4,726 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Thud; Smokin' Joe; PA Engineer; Black Agnes; exDemMom; Tilted Irish Kilt
    Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria and the continuing spread of Ebola in West Africa represent a unique international security threat that the West is ill suited to deal with.

    This is an issue on two levels.

    1. Boko Haram does not believe in western medicine and won't allow in any future Nigerian Ebola vaccination campaign into areas they control.

    2. While #1 seems something of a self-solving problem, the real issue is that however Boko Haram gets access. They are going to spread Ebola to both their friends and enemies.

    That threat is going to make the administration of Ebola vaccine universal in 3rd world countries that have or are adjacent to any such Muslim jihadi controlled territory.

    There are pluses and minuses to this.

    Big Pharma will make money on Ebola vaccines.

    The USA will get to use the vaccine with the least side effects to inoculate its military and as many Americans who are willing and able to pay for it, whatever the Federal Public health bureaucracy, the FDA or even the D.E.A. has to say about it.

    And we also know that the rich elites yo-yo's who are not vaccinating their kids for Polio and Whooping Cough in Deep Blue urban areas won't do so for Ebola either.

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    11/06/2014 12:33:03 PM PST · 4,724 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Thud; Smokin' Joe

    What a headline!

    And what an issue for illegal immigration hawks!


    Ebola scare on Canary Island nudist beach after migrants from Sierra Leone arrive on boat with fever and are taken away by dump truck in front of terrified tourists

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2823883/Ebola-scare-Canary-Island-nudist-beach-migrants-Sierra-Leone-arrive-boat-fever-taken-away-dumped-truck-terrified-tourists.html

  • Ebola Surveillance Thread

    11/04/2014 12:52:59 PM PST · 4,705 of 4,955
    Dark Wing to Smokin' Joe

    This is a scary graphic when you think of a sneezing Ebola sufferer.

    Ever wondered what happens when you sneeze on a plane? Alarming graphics reveal how one person can spread germs throughout the WHOLE cabin

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2820596/How-person-sneezing-middle-plane-spreads-cabin.html

  • Fury: The Mother of all Tank Movies

    11/04/2014 12:27:25 PM PST · 68 of 75
    Dark Wing to SampleMan

    For those interesting in what actual WW2 Armor officers thought of the Sherman and much else, see the following:

    Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) Libraries
    MCoE HQ
    Donovan Research Library
    Armor School Student Papers

    http://www.benning.army.mil/library/content/Virtual/Armorpapers/index.htm

    There are papers there from WW2 through Korea (with one for the French in Vietnam).

  • Fury: The Mother of all Tank Movies

    11/03/2014 2:55:09 PM PST · 55 of 75
    Dark Wing to Basil Duke

    >>Many consider the Panther to be the finest medium tank
    >>produced by any country in the entire war.

    The French opinion of the Panther versus Sherman debate can be seen in their decision to send the American military aide delivered M36 Tank Destroyers to Vietnam — to counter Soviet IS-2’s in Chinese hands on the border — rather than sending the Panther’s they had in service at the time.

    The Panther was a great mobile tank destroyer, but it had crappy operational mobility without a huge amount of support. Something that the Sherman derived, 90mm high velocity gun armed, M36 had in great measure with minimal support...just the ticket for operations in Vietnam.

  • Fury: The Mother of all Tank Movies

    11/03/2014 2:47:09 PM PST · 54 of 75
    Dark Wing to SampleMan

    >>The Tiger was a great defensive tank, but that didn’t
    >>make it a good weapon choice. It was too large and too
    >>heavy for the infrastructure of the day, making it hard
    >>to move across a simple creek.

    Umm..no.

    The Tiger 1 or Panzer Mark VI was BREAKTHROUGH TANK.

    It was designed to assault a densely packed anti-tank gun line, take hits from high velocity 50 mm and below AT guns or 76 mm medium velocity field guns on its front and side armor, and destroy the guns who took the shots with an 88mm dual purpose high velocity gun.

    It was meant as a specialist weapon to get Mark III and Mark IV panzers.

    It has a run of early 1942 through early 1944 in it intended role.

    Then the Russians deployed the 85mm high velocity gun as high velocity 100mm, medium velocity 122mmm, low velocity 152mm guns on various tanks and other AFV’s as big cat killers and it was game over for the Tiger 1.

  • Fury: The Mother of all Tank Movies

    11/03/2014 2:39:46 PM PST · 52 of 75
    Dark Wing to nascarnation

    >>Have you read “Death Traps” by Belton Cooper?

    I own it and have read it. Cooper is great in telling stories of his own service.

    Not so much regards his writing on Patton, the poor gun power of the Sherman and the delay in getting the M26 Pershing...not so much.

    See these for the “Sherman versus Panther/Big Cat scandal”

    The Chieftain’s Hatch: US Guns, German Armour, Pt 1
    http://worldoftanks.com/en/news/pc-browser/21/chieftains-hatch-us-guns-vs-german-armour-part-1/

    The Chieftain’s Hatch: US Guns, German Armour, Pt 2
    http://worldoftanks.com/en/news/pc-browser/21/us-guns-german-armor-part-2/

    See these regards the Pershing:

    Pershing Production Pt1
    http://forum.worldoftanks.asia/index.php?/topic/36449-pershing-production-pt1/

    The Chieftain’s Hatch: Pershing, Pt2
    http://worldoftanks.com/en/news/pc-browser/21/The_Chieftains_Hatch_Pershing_2/