Posts by Dylan Stableford
- Dylan Stableford at Yahoo News2 days ago
With health officials around the world scrambling to stop the Ebola outbreak, it's worth taking a look back at how the deadly virus was first discovered.
In 1976, Peter Piot, then a 27-year-old microbiology student in Belgium, was studying infectious diseases when the lab he was working in received a blood sample from a Belgian nun who had died in Zaire.
"It came with a question mark, 'Yellow fever or not?'" Piot told the Wall Street Journal. "So we isolated the virus and to our big surprise, when we looked at the virus under our electron microscope, it was something completely different than what we had expected."
Piot sent the sample to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, which confirmed it was indeed a new virus.
Piot and his colleagues then traveled to Zaire to study what he called "an epidemic of unknown origin and transmission."
"It was really frightening," Piot said. "You ask, 'Is this transmitted by mosquitoes? By food? By water?' ... you try to see, 'What is the pattern?'"
- Dylan Stableford at Yahoo News2 days ago
A Texas nurse who has Ebola indicated she "felt funny" and spent extra time resting during a visit to Ohio in the days before she was diagnosed in Dallas, a CDC official said Friday.
Amber Joy Vinson, 29, who was diagnosed with Ebola this week, didn't experience typical symptoms of Ebola at the time of her trip to Ohio on Oct. 10, the CDC's Dr. Chris Braden said. But health officials can't rule out the possibility that her illness began last Saturday, or possibly earlier.
Vinson, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, had treated the Liberian man who died of Ebola. The timing of her symptoms is important because people infected with Ebola aren't considered contagious until they have symptoms.
Before returning to Dallas Monday, Vinson's family said she called Texas health officials who relayed her symptoms to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
She was running a slightly elevated temperature — 99.5 degrees — but since it fell below the 100.4 reading for a fever, she was allowed to travel, her family said.
Sen. Rand Paul criticized the Obama administration's handling of Ebola on Thursday, accusing the White House of misleading the public over the way the deadly disease is transmitted.
"I think from the very beginning they haven’t been completely forthright with us," the Kentucky Republican said in an interview with Bloomberg Politics from New Hampshire. "They’ve so wanted to downplay this, that they really I don’t think have been very accurate in their description of the disease."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ebola can only be spread if an infected person’s bodily fluids enter the mucous membranes or an open wound of another person.
But Paul said U.S. health officials have misled Americans into thinking Ebola is similar to AIDS in the way it is spread.
Nina Pham, one of the two nurses who contracted Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, was moved to a National Institutes of Health facility in Maryland on Thursday evening.
Pham, a 26-year-old critical-care nurse, was diagnosed with Ebola on Sunday after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who last month became the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.
Pham and Amber Joy Vinson, the other nurse who contracted Ebola, were among 76 hospital workers who treated Duncan before his death.
Vinson, 29, was transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Wednesday.
The Atlanta and Bethesda facilities are two of four in the United States specially equipped to handle Ebola.
Pham released a statement showing her support for the staff at Texas Health Presbyterian:
Ambulance drivers in Monrovia, Liberia's Ebola-ravaged capital, are being inundated with calls from desperate families asking them to pick up their sick loved ones.
The New York Times' Ben Solomon spent a week on the road with one, Gordon Kamara, who picks up between 15 and 30 Ebola patients a day, on average.
"It never stops,” Kamara said from the seat of his ambulance, one of about 15 servicing a city of 1.5 million. "I don't rest, even when I go to bed."
According to the World Health Organization, there have been at least 4,249 reported cases of Ebola in Liberia, and 2,458 deaths, making it the hardest-hit among West African countries affected by the outbreak.
"I'm tired of seeing people getting sick," said Kamara, who moved his family, including his fiancee and six children, to a separate house to protect them from the virus. "Every morning, I pray. I pray that one day Ebola will go."
The head of the International Red Cross is warning that the Ebola crisis will likely only get worse with the real threat of a "global health catastrophe."
“The Ebola crisis will grow," Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, told Yahoo News Deutschland. "Until now, there is no vaccine on-site, and more and more people die.”
The outbreak, which has already infected 8,997 people and killed 4,493 in West Africa, is an “epidemic of global dimension and global threat," Maurer said.
"In a globalized world it is an illusion to think that such a disease can be contained locally," he continued. "Every local collapse of a system like we see now in Liberia includes the threat of a global health catastrophe. That’s what we risk.“
His comments echo those of Anthony Banbury, chief of the U.N.'s Ebola mission, who this week warned that if the global community does not step up its efforts to stop Ebola by Dec. 1, the world will "face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we don't have a plan."
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse Briana Aguirre says staffers never discussed Ebola before Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man infected with the deadly virus, was admitted.
“We never talked about Ebola, and we probably should have,” Aguirre said on NBC's "Today" show on Thursday. "We never had a discussion. They gave us an optional seminar to go to. Just informational, not hands-on. It wasn’t even suggested we go. ... We were never told what to look for.”
Aguirre's colleagues Nina Pham and Amber Joy Vinson — two nurses who were among 76 hospital workers who treated Duncan before his death — were diagnosed with Ebola. Vinson was transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Wednesday night; Pham was expected to be flown transported to the National Institutes of Health facility in Maryland, hospital officials said Thursday.
In what provided a welcome, if brief, diversion from the day's terrifying Ebola news, Twitter users questioned the authenticity of an adorable photo (below) that purported to show Bentley, the dog who was quarantined earlier this week after being rescued from the apartment of Nina Pham, a 26-year-old Ebola-infected nurse. The image — published Wednesday by the Daily Mail and New York Post — appeared to show the year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel soaking wet in a bathtub. The Daily Mail credited Pham's Pinterest page for the image; the Post credited the Daily Mail. The Post also tweeted the photo, which was promptly retweeted more than 500 times.
The news that a pair of American nurses who treated an Ebola patient in Dallas became infected with the virus sparked renewed fears that the outbreak — which has killed thousands in West Africa — could spread to other parts of the country. Here are some of the key figures, including victims, doctors, health officials and organizations, involved in the U.S. fight against the disease.
• Amber Joy Vinson
For puppies — and some people — staircases can be scary. Dakota, a husky puppy, is downright terrified of them. In the video above, Dakota's owner, Paul Mather, tries his best to lure her down the stairs with treats, but to no avail. At one point, Dakota takes a break from crying to shoot her owner a look of disgust. Perhaps Mather should have hired Japan, an 18-month-old golden retriever who recently won the hearts of Internet users everywhere by teaching a younger pup in Thailand how to use the stairs.
In the clip below, Japan barks her encouragement at the mixed-breed puppy, then goes to the top of the stairs, leaving the young dog no choice but to descend the staircase.