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US Ebola-Fighting Troops Mission Could Last A Year; Spain Quarantines 6, Euthanizes Dog; US Patients Conditions Worsen

Africa's US commander has admitted troops will be fighting Ebola for about a year (and in direct contact with infected individuals). Both US Ebola patients conditions are worsening, as Reuters reports, Thomas Duncan is fighting for his life on a ventilator (and undergoing dialysis) and NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo is receiving blood from Ebola-survivor Dr. Kent Brantly. The outbreak in Spain has spread with 6 "high risk" patients under quarantine (and Excalibur the dog is set to be euthanized - raising questions about transmission mechanisms). The economic impact on West Africa continues to surge with The World Bank estimating a $32billion hit by the end of 2015.

US troops will be fighting Ebola for a year...

Thousands of U.S. troops may be living in tent cities in Liberia and supporting the fight against Ebola for "about a year" or until the deadly outbreak appears to be under control, the top military commander in Africa said Tuesday.


"This is not a small effort and it's not a short period of time," Army Gen. David Rodriguez, the chief of U.S. Africa Command, told reporters at the Pentagon.

Duncan is suffering...

The Ebola patient fighting for his life in a Dallas hospital is on a ventilator and a kidney dialysis machine to help stabilize his health, the hospital said on Tuesday.


Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the deadly virus on U.S. soil, has also been given the experimental medication brincidofovir.

And Mukpo is receiving blood transfusions..

The first American flown back to the U.S. after contracting Ebola has donated blood to an NBC News freelance cameraman who was also diagnosed with the virus. Photojournalist Ashoka Mukpo’s family told NBC News early Wednesday that Dr. Kent Brantly was contacted by the Nebraska Medical Center and asked to give plasma. Experts hope the survivor’s antibodies will kick-start Mukpo's immune system.

As Spain quarantines another potential Ebola patient...

One more Spanish health care worker was admitted to hospital for monitoring for Ebola today, bringing to six the number of hospitalisations in Madrid where a nurse has been infected with the disease, a hospital official said.


In the latest case, a nurse was quarantined at Madrid's La Paz-Carlos III hospital today morning as a precaution, a spokesman for the hospital said.


Another nurse had been admitted to the hospital with a fever yesterday night and put in quarantine for monitoring, he added, confirming Spanish media reports.


Three other people had been placed in quarantine at the hospital for monitoring after a nurse who works there was diagnosed with Ebola on Monday in the first case of transmission of the disease outside of Africa.


The woman, identified by Spanish media as Teresa Romero, a woman in her forties, had cared for two elderly Spanish missionaries who died from the virus following their return from west Africa.


Among the six people hospitalised was the woman's husband, considered at "high risk".

Not even man's best friend is safe (as CBC reports),

Ebola's victims may include a dog named Excalibur. Officials in Madrid got a court order to euthanize the pet of a Spanish nursing assistant with Ebola because of the chance the animal might spread the disease.


At least one major study suggests that dogs can be infected with the deadly virus without having symptoms. But whether or how likely they are to spread it to people is less clear.


Lab experiments on other animals suggest their urine, saliva or stool might contain the virus. That means that in theory, people might catch it through an infected dog licking or biting them, or from grooming.


"Clearly we want to look at all possibilities. We have not identified this as a means of transmission," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Spanish nurse believes she was infected as she remover her containment suit...

Nursing assistant who contracted ebola in Madrid thinks she may have become infected when part of suit touched her face when she took it off after attending to infected patient, says German Ramirez, one of the doctors treating her.

*  *  *

And The World Bank is concerned at the economic costs...

The deadly Ebola epidemic could deal a USD 32 billion-plus blow to the West African economy over the next year if officials cannot get it under control, the World Bank warned today.


If efforts to halt its spread out of a three-country core -- Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea -- are not successful by December, the entire region faces a real threat of economic catastrophe, the Bank said in a new report.


"In broader regional terms, the economic impacts could be limited if immediate national and international responses succeed in containing the epidemic and mitigating aversion behavior," it said.


"If, on the other hand, the epidemic spreads into neighboring countries, some of which have much larger economies, the cumulative two-year impact could reach US$32.6 billion by the end of 2015."

*  *  *

It appears Ebola is not contained...

Source: NY Times