Thursday, October 16, 2014

Minnesota University CIDRAP: EBOLA IS AIRBORNE - The Latest


Temecula, CA – Backing up the Temecula Calendar story earlier this week that Ebola is an airborne virus despite what the federal government, Obama, and the CDC broadcast, comes this morning’s headlines confirming the Temecula Calendar warning.

Ebola is airborne,” according to a new report by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. Researchers at the university just advised the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that “scientific and epidemiologic evidence” now exists that proves Ebola has the potential to be transmitted via exhaled breath and “infectious aerosol particles.”

University of Minnesota CIDRAP scientists are now warning both health care providers and the general public that surgical facemasks will not prevent the transmission of Ebola. According to the airborne Ebola report, medical workers must immediately be given full-hooded protective gear and powered air-purifying respirators. CIDRAP has reportedly been a worldwide leader in addressing public health and safety concerns and preparedness since 2001.

An excerpt from the CIDRAP report reads, “Healthcare workers play a very important role in the successful containment of outbreaks of infectious diseases like Ebola. The correct type and level of personal protective equipment (PPE) ensures that healthcare workers remain healthy throughout an outbreak—and with the current rapidly expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa, it’s imperative to favor more conservative measures.”

The University of Minnesota report goes on to note that any action which can be taken to “reduce risk” of Ebola exposure should not wait until a “scientific certainty” develops. “The minimum level of protection in high-risk settings should be a respirator with an assigned protection factor greater than 10. A powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with a hood or helmet offers many advantages over an N95 filtering facepiece or similar respirator, being more protective, comfortable, and cost-effective in the long run,” the CIDRAP report also adds.

The working theory about Ebola transmission currently being uttered by the CDC and the agency’s director Thomas Frieden, is incorrect and “outmoded” according to the University of Minnesota CIDRAP report. 
“Virus-laden bodily fluids may be aerosolized and inhaled while a person is in proximity to an infectious person and that a wide range of particle sizes can be inhaled and deposited throughout the respiratory tract,” University researchers concluded. Background information detailing why CIDRAP believes the CDC and WHO are functioning under an outdated mode of thought when it comes to how infectious diseases are transmitted via aerosols is also included in the new report.

“Medical and infection control professionals have relied for years on a paradigm for aerosol transmission of infectious diseases based on very outmoded research and an overly simplistic interpretation of the data. In the 1940s and 50s, William F. Wells and other ‘aerobiologists’ employed now significantly out-of-date sampling methods (eg, settling plates) and very blunt analytic approaches (eg, cell culturing) to understand the movement of bacterial aerosols in healthcare and other settings. Their work, though groundbreaking at the time, provides a very incomplete picture,” the report said.

According to CIDRAP researchers, early aerobiologists were unable to measure small particles near an infected person and therefore made an assumption that such particles existed not far from the source and airborne transmission could happen only around 3-feet or so from the source.

Meanwhile,a second nurse who cared for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan has been diagnosed with the
deadly disease — a day after flying from Ohio to Texas, officials said.CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said during a national news conference on Wednesday that Dallas nurse Amber Joy Vinson “was in a group of individuals known to have exposure to Ebola, she should not have traveled on a commercial airline.”

But according to multiple news reports, Vinson phoned the CDC before leaving Ohio to report she had an elevated fever of 99.5 degrees and would be flying back to Dallas. Vinson wasn't “told she couldn't fly,”  an unidentified CDC source told ABC News.

“Somebody dropped the ball,” CBS News quoted one health official as saying.

Vinson, who was in Ohio last weekend to plan her wedding, was not experiencing symptoms when she made the flight from Cleveland to Dallas-Fort Worth late Monday, Frieden said.

About 24 hours later Vinson, 29, was placed in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian.

The CDC is asking that all 132 passengers on Monday’s Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas-Fort Worth call 1-800-CDC-INFO. The flight landed at 8:16 p.m. CT Monday.

Since Vinson didn’t have a fever and wasn’t vomiting on the flight, it “suggests to us that the risk to any person around that individual on the plane would have been extremely low,” Frieden said.

Dallas was Flight 1143's last stop on Monday and Frontier said the aircraft “received a thorough cleaning per our normal procedures.” But, a flight-monitoring website, told the Los Angeles Times that the Airbus A320 made five additional flights on Tuesday before being taken out of service for decontamination on Wednesday.

Going forward, Frieden said, no one else involved in Duncan's care will be allowed to travel “other than in a controlled environment.”

The White House conceded on Wednesday that there have been “shortcomings” in the response to the Dallas Ebola crisis. “It's not clear what protocols were in place and how those protocols were implemented,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during a news conference.

Vinson was among 76 hospital workers who cared for Duncan, a Liberian citizen who died from Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian a week ago. Her colleague, Nina Pham, was diagnosed with the virus on Sunday and is also in isolation at their hospital. Pham, 26, was in good condition on Wednesday, the hospital said.

A top official at the Texas hospital where Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan died and two nurses contracted the deadly virus is apologizing to Congress for his facility’s “mistakes” in handling the highly contagious disease.

A transcript of testimonyby Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer of the hospital’s parent chain Texas Health Resources, is expected to be presented at noon Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

“Unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes,” Varga’s testimony reads. “We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry.”

Because he cannot attend the hearing, Varga’s remarks were posted on a federal government website on Wednesday.

Texas Health is a faith-based, nonprofit organization consisting of 25 acute-care and short-stay hospitals. Varga, who was paid $500,000 in 2012, according to the group’s tax returns, is responsible for patient safety among other things.

The public apology is the first of its kind since late September, when Duncan, a Liberian citizen, went to Texas Health Presbyterian’s emergency room with Ebola-like symptoms and was sent home with antibiotics, even after telling workers he had recently arrived in Dallas from West Africa.

Duncan’s condition worsened in the two days after leaving the ER. He was suffering severe diarrhea and heavy vomiting when an ambulance arrived to take him back to the hospital on Sept. 28.

Varga said the hospital followed all federal and state guidelines to protect staff and others from Duncan, who died Oct. 8 after 10 days in isolation. This statement was roundly debunked by National Nurses United.

In his remarks, Varga expresses regret that two of his nurses — Nina Pham, 26, and Amber Vinson, 29 — somehow contracted the virus from Duncan.

Vinson and Pham worked those days and had “extensive contact with the patient when he was having substantial amounts of both vomiting and diarrhea,” Frieden said.

Federal investigators, Frieden said, have learned that the hospital used various forms of personal protective gear during Duncan’s first days at Texas Health Presbyterian. Medical records provided by Duncan's family show that hospital staffers didn't trade in their gowns and scrubs for hazmat suits until the CDC confirmed his Ebola diagnosis, the Associated Press reported.

“It’s clear there was an exposure somewhere, sometime,” the testimony reads. “We are poring over records and observations, and doing all we can to find the answers.”

Fearful of Ebola, two schools in suburban Cleveland have canceled classes on Thursday, Q13 Fox reported.
Solon Middle School and Parkside Elementary School were closed as a precaution because an unnamed middle school staffer reportedly flew on the Frontier Airlines plane that a Dallas nurse previously used, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported. Amber Joy Vinson, the second American nurse diagnosed with Ebola, traveled on the same plane the previous evening.

In an email to parents, the school district said the closings were a precautionary measure, reported.
Although the staff member has not shown any symptoms of Ebola, the school district decided she will remain home for 21 days and ordered the schools to be disinfected.

Vinson, 29, treated Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who tested positive for the disease on Sept. 30, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Duncan was the first person to have been diagnosed with the virus in the U.S. He died on Oct. 8.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly told Vinson that she could fly, despite having an elevated temperature of 99.5 Fahrenheit. Vinson is currently being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. She has been described as "ill but clinically stable."

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said there’s an “extremely low” risk to anyone else on that plane, but all 132 passengers who shared the flight with Vinson are being contacted as part of “extra margins of safety.”

The plane will remain out of service as it receives a fourth cleaning, an email sent to employees from Frontier Chief Executive David Siegel said.

"These extraordinary actions went beyond CDC recommendations," the email states. "These steps were taken out of concern for the safety of our customers and employees. Steps such as removing the aircraft from service, removing aircraft seat covers and carpet and replacing environmental filters as well as placing the crew on paid leave were not requested nor mandated by the CDC."

Throughout the day, local and federal authorities warned that Vinson and Pham may only represent the beginning of the spread of Ebola to the United States.

“This second health care worker case is very concerning,” Frieden said. “We are planning for the possibility of additional cases in the coming days.”

In addition to the more than 70 hospital workers being monitored, an additional 48 people who had either direct or indirect contact with Duncan before he was hospitalized are being watched for Ebola symptoms. None have shown signs of the illness so far, officials said.

In Europe, Spain's government is wrestling with similar questions. The condition of a nursing assistant infected with Ebola at a Madrid hospital appeared to be improving, but a person who came in contact with her before she was hospitalized developed a fever and was being tested Thursday.

That second person is not a health care worker, a Spanish Health Ministry spokesman said.

To this point, only hospital workers — the Madrid nursing assistant and the two nurses in Dallas — had been known to have contracted Ebola outside West Africa during the outbreak that began in March.

Amid increasing global concern, France said that on Saturday it will begin screening passengers who arrive at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport on the once-daily flight from Guinea's capital.

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