5:30 p.m. ET: Sign up now. Human clinical trials are about to begin for a second Ebola vaccine candidate at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., where Nina Pham is currently receiving treatment. NIH announced Wednesday that this is the early phase of the trial for the vaccine called VSV-ZEBOV.
2:15 p.m. ET: Sad and scary numbers. The World Health Organization updated case and mortality figures in the Ebola outbreak this afternoon.
The latest numbers:
Number of cases worldwide in the current outbreak: 9,936 (Climbed 720 in five days)
Number of deaths: 4,877 (Climbed 322 in five days)
Countries currently affected by Ebola: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States of America.
Countries where the outbreak has ended: Nigeria (Oct. 19), Senegal (Oct. 17)
1:41 p.m. ET: Ebola can’t keep this good dog down. Nina Pham’s one-year-old King Charles Spaniel named Bentley tested negative today for the Ebola virus, according to the City of Dallas Animal Services. Bentley is living on a decomissioned naval air base, the Associated Press reports, while his owner, Pham, continues to receive treatment for the Ebola virus in Bethesda, Md. Bentley’s 21-day quarantine period ends on Nov. 1. His owner contracted the virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die from Ebola in the United States.
11:43 a.m. ET: Daily monitoring ahead for travelers. All travelers from West African countries that are currently experiencing the Ebola outbreak will now be monitored daily for 21 days by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Thomas Frieden announced the new measures that will begin Monday, Oct. 27 in a press conference Wednesday morning.
The travelers will report temperatures once a day to CDC officials for 21 days and will be given a particular health card to hand to practitioners if they do go to a health care facility after experiencing symptoms. This will be part of a “care kit’’ that is provided to every traveler from West African countries experiencing the outbreak.
“We’d rather cast a wider net and err on the side of safety,’’ said Dr. Frieden.
The monitoring will be rolled out in six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Georgia. Dr. Frieden said these states account for 70 percent of all the travelers entering the United States from Ebola-afflicted countries in West Africa. There are no direct flights from the West African countries currently experiencing the outbreak.
10:30 a.m. ET: It’s time for a geography lesson. A middle school in North Carolina is without its assistant principal Meghan Wood for 21 days because she recently traveled home from a mission trip to South Africa, 3,000 miles away from the center of the outbreak in West Africa.
“It’s not that we think that she poses any type of risk, but it’s public perception here that we’re concerned about,’’ Sonya Cox, chairman of the Stokes County Board of Education, told the local Time Warner Cable news station. “When you are inundated with phone calls, emails and Facebook pages that have sprung up, we just have to do what’s best for kids.’’
Despite the fact that local and state public health officials told the school that Wood did not pose any risk, the county school board voted unanimously not to allow the assistant principal to return to The Chestnut Grove Middle school after more than two dozen parents expressed concern.
To put it in perspective, 3,000 miles is the distance from Alaska to Dallas, Texas.
5:52 a.m. EST: Ebola, your days are numbered: A Red Cross official believes the Ebola epidemic can be contained within the next four to six months.
Elhadj As Sy, secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said at a Beijing news conference that the timeline depends on ‘‘good isolation, good treatment of the cases which are confirmed,’’ as well as ‘‘safe burials’’ for people who die from Ebola.
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 in as little as two days, and in as many as 21 days, after exposure. The CDC says the average is 8 to 10 days.
– Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
– Severe headache
– Muscle pain
– Abdominal (stomach) pain
– Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)
Need more details? Here’s an MGH physician dropping some knowledge for you.