Ebola outbreak: Get up to speed with the latest developments
(CNN) Ashoka Mukpo, the NBC cameraman who contracted Ebola, posted on Twitter Monday. “Feeling like I’m on the road to good health. Will be posting some thoughts this week. Endless gratitude for good vibes,” a tweet on Mukpo’s account said. “Now that I’ve had first hand exp with this scourge of a disease, I’m even more pained at how little care sick west Africans receiving.”
The news that a U.S. nurse tested positive for Ebola has heightened concerns about the virus. Health officials are moving quickly to increase monitoring of hospital workers treating Ebola and ensure the deadly virus does not spread.
The World Health Organization described it as “unquestionably the most severe acute public health emergency in modern times.”
“I have never seen a health event strike such fear and terror, well beyond the affected countries,” Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO’s director-general, said Monday.
With multiple developments under way, here’s what you need to know Monday to get caught up on the latest:
Nurse who treated Duncan is infected:
A Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse who treated Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan has tested positive for the virus. Her case marks the first known transmission of Ebola in the United States. The unidentified nurse had numerous contacts with Duncan, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there may have been a “breach in protocol.” It didn’t say what the possible breach was. Duncan died last week. The nurse is “clinically stable,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said Monday. The CDC said others who cared for Duncan could have been infected, but so far no other health workers are showing symptoms.
U.S. nurses union calls for better preparation:
The National Nurses United union says 76% of nurses it questioned in 46 states said their hospitals have not communicated a policy on the potential of admitting patients infected by Ebola. The union is asking for immediate upgrades to Ebola emergency preparations that include hands-on training and enough protective gear. The CDC said Monday it is “doubling down” on training and outreach to make every hospital “think Ebola.”
Ebola patient’s waste disposal:
Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell wants to keep the incinerated waste from the Texas apartment where Ebola patient Duncan was staying out of a Louisiana hazardous water landfill. Caldwell plans to seek a temporary restraining order to keep the incinerated waste from crossing state lines. Burning is one way to dispose of Ebola contaminated items safely, according to the CDC. The virus becomes inactive once it’s burned.
Cameraman’s condition improves:
Doctors at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha are pleased with the progress NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo is making. He contracted Ebola while working in Liberia, and is receiving the experimental drug brincidofovir, or CMX001.
Crew breaks its word:
The NBC crew that had been with Mukpo — and had made a voluntary agreement to self-confine — apparently broke its word. The New Jersey Department of Health has issued a mandatory quarantine order to make sure the crew remains confined.
Awaiting Massachusetts patient’s results:
A Massachusetts patient, who had been to Liberia, complained of headache and muscle aches. Lab samples have been sent to the CDC for testing. But Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston said the patient doesn’t appear to be at high risk for Ebola, and the likelihood the patient has the disease is “extremely low.”
Travel screening begins:
People arriving from the three nations hardest hit by Ebola — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea — started getting screening, including having their temperatures taken, at New York’s John F. Kennedy International on Saturday. Washington’s Dulles, Newark, Chicago’s O’Hare and Atlanta airports will begin screening Thursday.
WEST AFRICA DEVELOPMENTS
No relief in sight:
The number of deaths attributed to the current Ebola outbreak has climbed to 4,033, the World Health Organization reported Friday. The tally brings the number of confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola to 8,399. The numbers were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States.
IN OTHER COUNTRIES
Spain’s Ebola patient is stable:
Teresa Romero Ramos, a nurse’s assistant in Spain who is the first person to contract Ebola outside Africa, is doing better after taking a turn for the worse last week. She remains in critical condition. “There are signs of hope,” said Dr. Fernando Simon, spokesman for the government’s special committee for Ebola.