Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola updates .... October 18 .... Cuba at forefront combating Ebola

If you like thinking for yourself, you gotta wonder how the almost 200 Cuban doctors and assistants have managed not to get infected themselves while in the land of the mighty Americans, medical staff don't have enough knowledge to keep themselves and others around them safe from the plague.

From ABCNews:
A leftist Latin American summit next week should generate more aid to fight Ebola, including additional Cuban doctors and support staff from other nations, the head of Cuba's effort to slow the disease said Friday.

Jorge Perez, the head of Cuba's top tropical medicine institute, said he expects the meeting of the socialist ALBA bloc hosted by Cuba and Venezuela in Havana on Monday to result in pledges of financial and human resources that can be sent to African nations trying to contain the Ebola outbreak.

Cuba has sent 165 doctors to Sierra Leone and plans to send 296 more to Liberia and Guinea, the largest commitment of medical personnel so far. Perez said Cuba is ready to send more doctors as long as there is enough funding and infrastructure to support them.

"What do I expect as a scientist from the summit? That the countries in attendance join the international effort against Ebola, for the protection not just of their countries but also to see how they can help those countries experiencing such difficult situations," he said.

"There are countries that have resources and can send money, but there are also those who can send human resources. It's not just doctors. We also need nurses, technicians."

He said he was certain that if there was money to fund the effort, Cuba could send more doctors, but he also called on other countries to send more of their own doctors and medical staff, and not just money and equipment.

Perez said the Cuban doctors were receiving their ordinary salaries from the communist government, while extra expenses such as the costs of lodging and transportation in Africa were being borne by the World Health Organization......

From YahooNews:
Cuba stands ready to cooperate    with the United States in the battle against Ebola, former leader Fidel Castro said in an article published Saturday.
Cuba is sending about 460 doctors and nurses to West Africa to help fight Ebola, an effort that was praised on Friday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry......
......"With pleasure we will cooperate with U.S. personnel in that task," the 88-year-old ex-leader wrote in the Communist Party daily Granma. He said it would not be to seek peace between two countries long at odds, but "for the peace of the world."......

From GovtOfCanada NewsRelease:
Government of Canada ships Ebola vaccine    to World Health Organization
October 18, 2014 - Ottawa, ON -Public Health Agency of Canada
The Government of Canada will ship 800 vials of its experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, beginning with its first shipment on Monday, October 20, 2014.
The vaccine vials are being sent in three separate shipments, as a precautionary measure, due to the challenges in moving a vaccine that must kept at a very low temperature at all times.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is supplying the vaccine to the WHO in its role as the international coordinating body for the Ebola outbreak, so that the vaccine can be made available as an international resource......

From TelegraphUK:
France introduces Ebola screening at airport 
French authorities start checking the body temperatures of passengers arriving from Guinea as Air France staff demand the suspension of flights to the west African nation hit by the Ebola epidemic....

And, the most promising news of all is from ComputerWorld:
Researchers to meet with aid workers  to build Ebola-fighting robots
Nov. 7 meeting would explore use of robots to transport food, act as interpreters and even bury the dead
Robotics researchers from around the country are working together to come up with technology that could help fight the deadly Ebola outbreak.

Scientists are considering telepresence robots that could act as rolling interpreters, autonomous vehicles that could deliver food and medicine, and robots that could decontaminate equipment and help bury the victims of Ebola......

From DailyMailUK:
Mutant Ebola warning:  Leading U.S. scientist warns deadly virus is already changing to become more contagious 
Fears that the deadly virus could mutate and become even more contagious
Dr Peter Jahrling says amount of virus in patients is higher than expected
The U.S. scientist says new strain of Ebola may burn 'hotter and quicker' 
This would mean that the disease would spread more easily 
Comes as David Cameron urged EU to commit £800m to tackling virus 
UK is also stepping up Ebola checks with screening extended at airports
Manchester and Birmingham also set to screen passengers from West Africa 
But U.S. health experts say banning travellers entering U.S. from affected region would be a bad idea .....

From Reuters:
Congo lends a hand to fight Ebola, urges African solidarity
Democratic Republic of Congo plans to train more than 1,000 volunteers to help fight an Ebola epidemic raging across West Africa, even as it battles the last traces of an outbreak at home.
Having endured six previous outbreaks of the deadly virus in 40 years, Congolese officials say they are eager to share their expertise with countries suffering from the worst epidemic in history, which has already killed more than 4,500 people.....

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