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Ebola Death Toll Continues to Grow; News Outlets Examine Response, Factors Contributing to Spread

News outlets continue to report on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, discussing the current death toll, the response, as well as factors contributing to the spread of the disease.

ABC News: Liberia’s Medical Conditions Dire Even Before Ebola Outbreak
“Ebola has run rampant throughout West African countries such as Liberia because the medical situation there is so dire to begin with, according to an American doctor who leads humanitarian missions into the region…” (Neporent, 8/4).

Associated Press/Washington Post: World Health Organization says death toll from Ebola has grown from 729 to 887 in recent days
“World Health Organization says death toll from Ebola has grown from 729 to 887 in recent days” (8/4).

Boston Globe: Few preparations in event of Ebola in U.S.
“As the death toll from Ebola nears 900 in West Africa, medical ethicists warn that U.S. medical facilities and states have few plans in place to allocate limited supplies of life-saving medications and equipment such as ventilators if such a deadly outbreak were to occur here. Public health officials say it is unlikely the disease would spread widely in the United States because infection control procedures and protective gear are more advanced than in Africa. But the unprecedented number of cases in Africa and the ease of travel have ethicists and emergency preparedness experts pondering what-if scenarios…” (Kotz, 8/5).

LiveScience/Fox News: How the Ebola outbreak became deadliest in history
“The reasons why the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has grown so large, and why it is happening now, may have to do with the travel patterns of bats across Africa and recent weather patterns in the region, as well as other factors, according to a researcher who worked in the region…” (Gholipour, 8/4).

The Hill: Health officials scramble to contain Ebola
“Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell met with African leaders about the Ebola outbreak on the sidelines of a White House diplomatic summit Monday. The meeting is a sign of the Obama administration’s desire to get a handle on the growing crisis in West Africa, where nearly 900 people have died from Ebola since March…” (Viebeck, 8/4).

Los Angeles Times: Ebola death toll rises to 887 as spread of disease picks up speed
“The deadly Ebola virus sweeping through West Africa continues to accelerate, according to numbers released Monday by the World Health Organization…” (Mai-Duc, 8/4).

New York Times: Lax Quarantine Undercuts Ebola Fight in Africa
“…Here in Sierra Leone, the nation with the most cases of the disease, the government has decreed a broad state of emergency — telling families to stay at home on Monday for ‘reflection, education, and prayers’ — and has ordered strict new measures, like bans on many public gatherings and the quarantine edict. … But that tough stance is being accompanied by loose enforcement that is deeply worrying to doctors and health care workers trying to stem the rapid spread of the virus…” (Nossiter, 8/4).

Reuters: Second Ebola patient arrives in Georgia for treatment
“A plane carrying a second American aid worker infected with Ebola in West Africa arrived on Tuesday at an air base outside of Atlanta, the city where she will be hospitalized as doctors try to save her and a colleague from the deadly virus. … [Her] arrival came a day after Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City said it was testing a man who traveled to a West African nation where Ebola has been reported…” (McKay, 8/5).

Reuters: Ebola death toll rises to 887, Nigeria cases increase – WHO
“The death toll from the world’s worst Ebola outbreak had risen to 887 by Aug. 1, while the total number of cases in the four West African countries affected stood at 1,603 on the same date, the World Health Organization said on Monday. Nigeria, the latest country to import the disease, has had up to four cases, of which three are classed as ‘probable’ Ebola and one as ‘suspected’, the Geneva-based agency said in a statement…” (Miles 8/4).

Reuters: Sierra Leone, Liberia deploy troops as Ebola toll hits 887
“Hundreds of troops deployed in Sierra Leone and Liberia on Monday to quarantine communities hit by the deadly Ebola virus, as the death toll from the worst-ever outbreak reached 887 and three new cases were reported in Nigeria…” (Fofana/MacDougall, 8/4).

U.N. News Centre: Doctors, nurses and health staff urgently needed to combat Ebola — U.N. health agency
“The United Nations health agency today appealed for urgently needed contributions to combat the deadly Ebola disease in West Africa, saying hundreds of doctors, nurses, health staff, and materials are needed in the region ‘as fast as possible’…” (8/4).

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