Ebola as a hate crime. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2014 v8n2 p1027
The disease of ebola is being attacked aggressively in West Africa: USAID has pledged over $200million, Gates Foundation $50million to CDC, UN and international organizations, Zuckerberg Foundation $25m to CDC, Paul Allen $100m to US State Department. Armies of US, UK and France are on the ground building hospitals in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea respectively and working with CDC, Doctors without Borders, local and international health professionals. Since August, West African Diaspora groups are raising money, gathering clothes, gathering medical equipment, organizing marches. I can see a sense of optimism; the battles are not over, but the tide is turning.
We have been talking about the threat of ebola since March, so much of this effort would not have been needed if the CDC had been listened to then when they were sounding the alarm. CDC did the best they could with prevention and containment measures, but our Republican-led anti-science Congress keeps cutting their budget and has no understanding how much less expensive is prevention.
As optimistic as we can be about removing the threat of ebola from West Africa and abroad, with this enormous, heroic effort of American government and private organizations and citizens, the message has changed. In Philadelphia and New York the word ebola is used for hate crimes: children from West Africa are being taunted and even physically attacked, as if they are responsible for a deadly disease that threatens us all. West African immigrants are in triple jeopardy for bullies: they are immigrants, they are Black and they come from a huge area the size of the United States, but Americans have the idea that Africa is the size of Center City Philadelphia, or Philadelphia City Hall, and that everyone is a carrier of ebola.
I hear from the Bronx that 2 little boys, recently arrived from Senegal, were rushed to hospital for treatment of injuries on Oct 24th. A Philadelphia March to Crush Ebola included signs saying that ebola is a disease, not a person.
I call on everyone who is taunted or sees or hearing taunting, to report this as a hate crime. I call on everyone seeing that ebola used for a Halloween costume: report its use as a hate crime. Freedom of speech does not include the right to cause harm to children from anywhere.
Press release Oct 27, 2014
On Friday October 24th 2014; around 2pm, an assault on 2 Senegalese children occurred in I.S. 318 Elementary/Intermediate School at 1919 Prospect Avenue in the Bronx. The 2 brothers, who arrived in the country 1 month ago, respectively in 6th and 8th grade, were brutally beaten while the perpetrators called them EBOLA. They were rushed to the hospital with severe injuries. The African Advisory Council (AAC) is calling for action. We demand for corrective measures that will stop bullying and violence against our children while in school and in the community. As citizens of this country and New York State, we ask for the equal protection guarantee under the law.The AAC will meet this Monday morning with the New York City Department of Education’s leadership staff at IS 318 Middle School.The meeting will be followed by a press conference at the Senegalese Association headquarters in Harlem. And a second press conference later in the week, hosted by the AAC.We are demanding a meeting with Mayor de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bratton, and Education Commissioner Corrado to put an end to this ongoing stigmatization and violence against Africans.
Charles Cooper Jr.
Office of the Executive Secretariat
African Advisory Council of the Bronx Borough President
“I don't speak because I have the power to speak; I speak because I don't have the power to remain silent.” - Rabbi A.Y. Kook
Liberia has sent out an urgent plea for medical protective clothing for health professionals caring for patients who have ebola. They also need supplies for hydration treatmentclick here
Manual for preventing and treating ebola, prepared by WHO and CDC click here.
Ebola Response Roadmap, prepared for countries, published by WHO August 2014 click here.
Guide to health resources with news feeds from FDA, NIH, WHO and aggregates from the Associated Press click here
Sierra Leone's largest city Freetown reported a death from ebola in July 2014, after deaths had been reported elsewhere in the country. Stories are coming out of widespread disbelief that the disease is serious. Sierra Leone click here
Ebola: July update. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2014 v8n2 p0727
I have been following the ebola outbreak since March. In late April, according to the CDC, there was some indication that ebola was ceasing to be a threat, but now it has resurged.
Viral diseases take hold of healthy adults and children. Ebola is reported to infect through touch; reports are that all a healthy person needs is skin, and to have touched any part of a living or dead patient infected with ebola. WHO and CDC is recommending staying away from any place where a patient with ebola has been. Ebola is not believed to be transmitted by breathing: face masks on healthcare workers are more of a precaution against swallowing or touching with the face any person or object in contact with ebola.
If you are living in an ebola area, you can lower your risks of getting it by keeping away from anyone suspected of having ebola, by keeping your hands clean through frequent washing with 1/10 diluted bleach and disinfectant, keeping a clean scarf over your mouth and nose, and frequently cleaning the scarf with disinfectant and 1/10 diluted bleach. Healthcare workers have a regimen that they need to follow which includes barrier clothing so that no part of their bodies are exposed.
The message I get loud and clear from reading CDC, WHO and NLM publications is that if affected patients are treated as soon as they have symptoms, they have a good chance of surviving but must be kept in quarantine for some days, maybe weeks, after recovering. Treatment is mainly hydration and rest, and constant cleaning after vomiting and diarrhrea.
From the World Health Organization, March 2014:
The Ebola virus causes Ebola virus disease (EVD; formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) in humans.
EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.
EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.
No specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.
Ebola response. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. MJoTA 204 v8n2 p0728
FELLOW CITIZENS: During my remarks on Saturday, at our Independence Day Celebration, I announced that we now face a National Emergency as a result of the deadly Ebola menace.
I also announced the establishment of a National Task Force which I would chair along with the Minister of Internal Affairs in his role as Chairman of the National Disaster Relief Commission. The Task Force will give support to the Technical Team headed jointly by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare and the Country Representative of the World Health Organization.
The first meeting of the Task Force was held on Sunday, July 27. The meeting was attended by the key members of the Technical Team, Ministers and Government Officials, media, political leaders, the security sector, and concerned citizens.
The meeting was briefed by the Technical Team on the severity of the disease which has intensified in seven counties – Lofa, Montserrado, Bong, Nimba, Bomi Grand Gedeh and Margibi and was advised that daily monitoring and briefing sessions at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for the public will continue.
No doubt, the Ebola virus is a national health problem. And as we have also begun to see, it attacks our way of life, with serious economic and social consequences. As such, we are compelled to bring the totality of our national resolve to fight this scourge.
In light of the need to address this as a national problem which could undermine the economic and social fabric of our nation the following decisions were taken:
All borders of Liberia will be closed with the exception of major entry points including the Roberts International Airport, James Spriggs Payne Airport, Foya Crossing, Bo Waterside Crossing, Ganta Crossing. At these entry points, preventive and testing centers will be established, and stringent preventive measures to be announced will be scrupulously adhered to;
A new travel policy by the Liberia Airport Authority covering inspection and testing of all outgoing and incoming passengers will be strictly observed;
Restrictions on public gatherings such as solidarity marches, demonstrations, promotional advertisement are to be restricted;
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment centers and video clubs are to play five-minute film on Ebola awareness and prevention;
Government vehicles will be commandeered, as appropriate, to provide needed logistics support to the health delivery system;
All Government facilities and public places are to install and provide public access for washing of hands and other sanitization services;
Media sensitization programs to be formulated by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism;
Standing Orders have been given to the Security Forces, including the Armed Forces of Liberia, to give support to the Technical Team and the Task Force in enforcing these regulations;
On report from the Technical Team, communities that are seriously affected will be quarantined and travels in and out of such communities restricted. Support will be provided to those directly affected by the quarantine restrictions;
Similar Task Force Structures are being established at the county level;
Citizens outreach teams are being established to support the works of the Technical Team and the Task Force;
The Task Force calls upon all those institutions named in the President’s Independence Day Remarks – Women and Youth Organizations, Inter-Religious Council, Traditional Council, Labor Union, Market Organizations, Political Parties, Press Union, the Transport Unions, Motor Bikes Associations, to name a representative to participate on the Task Force.
The Task Force appeals to the public to cooperate by refraining from harming or rejecting health workers and citizens’ representatives who are only trying to save lives and protect citizens.
The next meeting of the Task Force will take place on Tuesday, July 30 at 12:00 noon at the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ebola is a horrible disease causing panic in Guinea. Senegal and Liberia have closed its borders with Guinea. What it is, what to do, how to avoid it: read fact sheet from WHO, above, and watch the videos, below. Sierra Leoneclick here. Guinea click here. News feeds from the continent of Africa click here.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates, such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees.
Infection with a virus of the genus Ebolavirus rapidly causes symptoms.
The first Ebolavirus species was discovered in 1976 in Congo near the Ebola River. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically.
Four of the five identified subspecies of Ebolavirus have caused disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans.
The natural reservoir host of ebolaviruses remains unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) with bats being the most likely reservoir. Four of the five subtypes occur in an animal host native to Africa.
A host of similar species is probably associated with Reston virus, which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. Several workers in the Philippines and in US holding facility outbreaks became infected with the virus, but did not become ill.
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