Ebola outbreak: Get up to speed with the latest developments

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(CNN) — A doctor in New York City tests positive for Ebola. The European Union pledges more funds to fight the deadly virus. And a military response team begins training.

With multiple developments under way, here’s the latest on the Ebola outbreak:

U.S. DEVELOPMENTS

Nina Pham declared free of Ebola

Dallas nurse Nina Pham is free of the Ebola virus, the National Institutes of Health said Friday morning, eight days after she was transferred to an NIH facility in Maryland for treatment.

Pham, the first person to contract Ebola on U.S. soil, said that her first order of business will be to hug her dog, Bentley. Samples from Bentley tested negative for the virus. More specimens will be collected before the end of a 21-day quarantine.

“I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today,” Pham said. “Throughout this ordeal, I have put my faith in God and my medical team.”

President Barack Obama met with Pham in the Oval Office on Friday afternoon.

Pham is one of two nurses who were diagnosed with Ebola after treating Liberia citizen Thomas Eric Duncan at a Dallas hospital. Duncan died on October 8.

Vinson to be transferred from isolation

The other Dallas nurse, Amber Vinson, who is getting treatment at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, “is making good progress in her treatment for Ebola virus infection,” the hospital said in a statement with the CDC.

“Tests no longer detect virus in her blood,” the statement said. “She remains within Emory’s Serious Communicable Diseases Unit for continued supportive care. We do not have a discharge date at this time.”

Vinson is steadily regaining her strength, and her spirits are high, her family said.

U.S. considers mandatory quarantine

The United States is considering a mandatory quarantine for all returning health care workers from West Africa, an Obama administration official said.

Officials do not believe there is a risk of transmission from someone not exhibiting Ebola-like symptoms, but they want to reassure the public, the administration official said.

In response to the New York Ebola case, the governors of New York and New Jersey announced that the states were stepping up airport screening beyond federal requirements for travelers from West Africa.

“This is not the time to take chances,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — joined by his New Jersey counterpart, Chris Christie — told reporters. “This adjustment in increasing the screening procedures is necessary … I think public safety and public health have to be balanced and I think this policy does that.”

The policy allows the states to determine hospitalization or quarantine for up to 21 days for travelers from affected countries. A mandatory quarantine is called for those who had “direct contact with an individual infected with the Ebola virus,” including medical workers who treated Ebola patients. In addition, people with a travel history to the affected regions but with no direct contact with Ebola patients will be “actively monitored… and, if necessary, quarantined.”

In an example of the new policy, New Jersey on Friday quarantined a unidentified female medical worker who cared for Ebola patients in Africa. The worker has no symptoms, officials said.

Doctor tests positive

A Doctors Without Borders physician who recently returned to New York from Guinea has tested positive for the Ebola virus, becoming the first diagnosed case in the city.

Craig Spencer, 33, returned to New York on October 17 after treating Ebola patients in Guinea, and he reportedly developed a fever Thursday morning.

Go team begins training

A 30-member U.S. military team that could be called on to respond to new cases of Ebola in the United States has started specialized training at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. The weeklong training includes infection control and how to use personal protective gear.

WEST AFRICA DEVELOPMENTS

More funds

The European Union will increase its aid to help fight Ebola by $380 million to $1.2 billion, EU head Herman Van Rompuy said on Twitter.

It had pledged 700 million euros and boosted its pledge to 1 billion euros to fight Ebola in West Africa.

Rising toll

A total of 9,911 confirmed or probable cases, and 4,868 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the World Health Organization said. Every district in Sierra Leone has reported at least one case.

Mali’s first confirmed case

A 2-year-old girl with Ebola in Mali — that West African country’s first confirmed case — has died, Mali state TV reported Friday, attributing the information to government health officials.

The girl came from neighboring Guinea, where the outbreak is believed to have started. Her father died of Ebola, and she was taken to a hospital in Kayes after a nurse noticed her symptoms. But WHO said it was seeking confirmation of media reports that the girl went to Guinea to attend the funeral of her mother, who is said to have shown Ebola-like symptoms before her death.

In Mali, there were multiple opportunities for the girl to expose others because she traveled extensively with her grandmother, WHO said Friday.

The girl first came to a clinic Tuesday after entering Mali, WHO Assistant Director-General Marie-Paule Kieny said at a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

The two had traveled by public transport through Keweni, Kankan, Sigouri and Kouremale before reaching Bamako. They stayed in the Malian capital for two hours before traveling on to Kayes, as the child was visibly symptomatic, according to a WHO assessment.

In addition to WHO experts already in the nation, the organization is sending additional experts to help Mali with the response.

Mali informed WHO that local authorities are monitoring 43 people who came in contact with the infected girl, including 10 medical workers, said Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesman.

The dozens who had contact with the girl have not shown any symptoms related to the virus, said Markatie Daou of the Health Ministry.

Three-week monitoring for some travelers

All travelers coming to the United States from Ebola-affected areas will be actively monitored for 21 days. Also, all U.S.-bound passengers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea must land in one of the five U.S. airports with enhanced screening for Ebola: New York’s John F. Kennedy International, Washington Dulles, New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International, Chicago’s O’Hare International and Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta.

ASIA DEVELOPMENTS

No entry to North Korea

A pair of Beijing-based agencies that specialize in travel to North Korea say they’ve been told by their “partners in Pyongyang” that the nation won’t allow international tourists to enter starting Friday because of the threat of Ebola. It’s not clear whether the restriction affects business travelers.

China’s pledge to help

China pledged to boost its aid to the three West African nations fighting the Ebola outbreak, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday, according to the country’s Foreign Ministry.

The Chinese government will provide a fourth round of assistance to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea that will include emergency funding and supplies worth the equivalent of $82 million, Xi said. China will also dispatch quarantine experts and medical personnel, and it will set up a new treatment center in Liberia, according to the Foreign Ministry.

CNN’s Ray Sanchez, Radina Gigova and Katarina Höije contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

1 Comment