Ebola Today: Suspected Case in Texas No Longer Missing; Ebola Survivors Will Help Children

• 6:45 p.m. Hot potato no more. Texas Health Presbyterian has released a statement indicating a patient was in fact placed in isolation at the facility following a transfer from Baylor University Medical Center.

“The patient was placed in isolation at Texas Health Dallas and evaluated with all appropriate precautions,’’ the statement read. “The patient was determined to be low risk and wanted to leave the hospital. The CDC and Texas Department of State Health Services were advised of this and did not feel it was necessary to have her detained.’’

• 4:30 p.m. Hot potato. Baylor Health Care System announced Friday afternoon that a patient was isolated after reporting Ebola symptoms and that they had contact with a person with the virus. The Dallas County Health Department then instructed that the patient be transferred to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, according to a statement from Baylor.


But here’s the rub. Spokespeople for Texas Health Presbyterian told local news stations that they had not received a transfer patient and could not say whether the patient had been treated or released. There is no confirmation that this patient has Ebola. Texas Health Presbyterian has not responded to Boston.com request for comment.

• 2:30 p.m. Giant cross-Atlantic hug to these people. Survivors of Ebola in West Africa are now being trained by the United Nations and UNICEF to help the children in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Ebola survivors have developed antibodies, so they are immune to the deadly virus. UNICEF said Thursday that the survivors will help care for the children who have been infected or orphaned by Ebola. Unfortunately, many of these young victims have been quarantined away from their families or are often shunned by their communities if their family members have passed, even if they aren’t sick.

“A key challenge that parents, care workers and many of us working on the Ebola response are facing is how to care for children who have been affected or infected with Ebola without putting their care givers at risk,’’ said Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Sierra Leone, in a prepared statement. “One creative way to address this gap is to work with Ebola survivors who can provide these children with the love, care and attention they so badly need.’’


• 1:20 p.m. Put a smiley face over Senegal! Or a smiley face band-aid. Some important, relieving news we missed this morning during the Ebola “czar’’ announcement. The United Nations has officially declared that the Ebola outbreak in Senegal is over. That leaves Sierra Leone, Guinea, and, of course, Liberia on West Africa’s list of countries where there is an Ebola outbreak.

The first confirmed case occurred in Senegal on Aug. 29. The World Health Organization said that the swift response provides lessons to other countries for the outbreak.

“The most important lesson for the world at large is this: an immediate, broad-based, and well-coordinated response can stop the Ebola virus, carried into a country in an infected traveller, dead in its tracks,’’ reads the WHO’s situation assessment on Senegal.

• 12:20 p.m. You’ve been shunned. If you’ve traveled from Liberia recently, people don’t want to hang out with you or hear what you have to say. Not even the ones who should know better. Professional party ban no. 1: Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications uninvited Michel du Cille, a Washington Post Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist who returned from Liberia 21 days ago after covering the Ebola epidemic, from speaking and participating at a workshop this weekend. A student apparently got jumpy and called school officials.

“It’s a disappointment to me,’’ du Cille told the Washington Post. “I’m pissed off and embarrassed and completely weirded out that a journalism institution that should be seeking out facts and details is basically pandering to hysteria.’’Professional party ban no. 2: Dr. Richard E. Besser, chief health editor at ABC News, was uninvited to speak at Case Western Reserve University about pandemics after recently returning from a 10-day trip to Liberia. The talk was a reflection on when Dr. Besser worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the 2009 flu pandemic “when fear was outracing the disease’’ he wrote in an article for The Washington Post opinion pages. “The level of risk posed by my appearance was vanishingly small, but fear won anyway,’’ wrote Dr. Besser. To add salt to the wound, the university asked Dr. Besser if he would speak via Skype. He said no. “I did not want to feed the idea that anyone who has been to West Africa, even if not sick, poses a risk.’’


• 10:50 a.m. NIH plans to save the day. Nina Pham arrived at the National Institutes of Health Special Clinical Studies Unit in fair condition and very fatigued, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, an NIH physician in charge of her care who spoke at a press conference Friday morning.

“We fully intend to have this patient walk out of this hospital,’’ he said.

Pham will not be charged for her care at the national research hospital, which is publicly funded by taxpayers. Dr. Fauci outlined that while the primary purpose is to treat Pham, the NIH physicians will also be conducting research to learn as much as possible to teach other hospitals and help other patients.

• 10:15 a.m. Kevin Spacey played Ebola’s new “czar’’. President Obama will appoint Ron Klain as the Ebola “czar’’ for the United States, sources told CNN. Klain left the White House as Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff in 2011 to become president of Case Holdings, a firm that owns shares of other companies’ stock. Particularly of note, Case Holdings oversaw the business and philanthropic interests of the former AOL chairman Steve Case. So maybe Klain knows a thing or two about managing money. You may remember his name from such movies as “Recount.’’ Kevin Spacey played Klain in the 2008 movie about the 2000 presidential election.

• 9:15 a.m. Airline passenger quarantines himself amid Ebola concern. Stripper and male model Axl Goode is used to getting up close and personal with fans eager to pose with him for pictures. But for the next three weeks, he is avoiding all human contact now that he’s been exposed to Ebola. Goode was sitting within three feet of infected nurse Amber Vinson on Frontier Flight 1143 Monday from Cleveland to Dallas. He was returning with friend Taylor Cole from a romance novel convention. The men model for romance novel book covers.

• 8:30 a.m. ‘We love you Nina.’ Before Ebola-stricken nurse Nina Pham departed Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas for the National Institute of Health’s Clinical Center in Maryland on Wednesday, her treating physician, Dr. Gary Weinstein, paid her a visit and recorded his conversation with her. Weinstein thanked Pham for being a part of the group of volunteers that worked to treat the first Ebola patient at the hospital.

“We’re really proud of you,’’ Weinstein tells Pham in the emotional exchange.

• 5:31 a.m. Health care workers struggle to suit up. Health care workers dealing directly with the Ebola virus are at the highest risk for contracting the disease. After two Dallas hospital nurses have tested positive for the disease, many hospitals across the nation are face the challenge of providing the most effective personal protective gear to their medical staff, CBS News reports. The standard protective dress recommended by the CDC may not be enough to prevent exposure, so many hospitals are looking into enhanced gear such as a one-piece fluid resistant suit that includes full head and neck protection.

• 5:01 a.m. CDC expands passenger notification.The CDC is now asking passengers who flew on Frontier Airlines flight 1142 Dallas/Fort Worth to Cleveland on Oct. 10 and Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct. 13 to call 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636) to check in with officials, who will monitor any individuals found to be at any potential risk. The second healthcare worker who tested positive for Ebola after treating deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan flew on those dates.

• 5:01 a.m. Dallas hospital responds to allegations. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas issued a response to nurses’ allegations of sloppy conditions in Ebola care at the hospital. The response notes that nurses are encouraged to raise issues and concerns though multiple mechanisms but no hospital employees did so, and claims that recent media allegations are “often out-of-context and sensationalized.’’ The response also said that nurses who interacted with Mr. Duncan followed current CDC guidelines, and followed updated guidelines as they were announced—but that CDC guidelines changed rapidly, to the frustration of the caregivers involved in Mr. Duncan’s case.

• 4:43 a.m. Cruise ship passenger under watch. A Dallas health care worker who handled specimens from the Ebola-infected man from Liberia who died from the disease has been quarantined on a Caribbean cruise ship, CBS News reports. She is currently being monitored but has shown no symptoms for the disease. The US government is working to bring her and her husband home before the end of the cruise.

Number of cases worldwide in the current outbreak: 8,997

Number of deaths: 4,493

And here’s your daily reminder not to panic:

The likelihood of contracting Ebola in Massachusetts remains very low, according to the state’s public health officials. You have to be in direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids while they are contagious (displaying symptoms of Ebola). Even if someone has been exposed, symptoms may appear as little as two days, and as many as 21 days, after exposure. The CDC says the average is 8 to 10 days.

Ebola symptoms:

– Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)

– Severe headache

– Muscle pain

– Weakness

– Diarrhea

– Vomiting

– Abdominal (stomach) pain

– Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

Need more details? Here’s an MGH physician dropping some knowledge for you.

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