The Latest Ebola News: October 28, 2014
A look at the top Ebola developments worldwide Tuesday.
World leaders are appealing for more doctors and nurses on the front lines of the Ebola epidemic.
Getting more volunteers to help out in the affected countries is the only way to keep the virus from infecting people around the world, experts say. It's still spreading faster than the response, killing nearly half of the more than 10,000 people it has infected in West Africa.
President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the United States can't be seen as shying away from battle against Ebola and must support health care workers who are returning from the front lines in Africa. Obama said a robust response in Africa will stop the spread of the disease in the U.S. He reminded Americans only two people have contracted the disease in the U.S. and both are now disease-free.
DALLAS NURSE RELEASED IN ATLANTA
A Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola was released from an Atlanta hospital after tests showed she's virus-free. Amber Vinson, 29, left Emory University Hospital following an afternoon news conference where she was celebrated by her caregivers as courageous and passionate. Vinson worked as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital on Oct. 8. Vinson received a call from President Obama after her release.
NEW JERSEY RELEASES NURSE
Nurse Kaci Hickox, who was forced to spend the weekend in quarantine in an isolation tent at a New Jersey hospital after caring for patients in Sierra Leone, Hickox is decompressing at an undisclosed location in Maine a day after she was released, according to one of her lawyers, Steve Hyman. The University of Maine at Fort Kent said her partner, a nursing student, has opted to take a break from campus to be with her. Maine's protocols will require her to be quarantined in her home for 21 days after the last possible exposure to the disease.
MEANWHILE IN WEST AFRICA
Authorities are having trouble figuring out how many more people are getting Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone and where the hot spots are in those countries, harming efforts to get control of the raging, deadly outbreak, the U.N.'s top Ebola official in West Africa said. "The challenge is good information, because information helps tell us where the disease is, how it's spreading and where we need to target our resources," Anthony Banbury told The Associated Press by phone from the Ghanaian capital of Accra, where the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, or UNMEER, is based. Banbury, who visited the three most affected countries last week, said it was "heartbreaking" to see families torn apart by Ebola as they struggle to care for sick loves ones while also hoping to avoid infection.
AUSTRALIA HALTS VISAS FROM EBOLA-AFFECTED REGION
Australia is suspending entry visas for people from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa in an attempt to keep out the disease. The government is canceling and refusing non-permanent or temporary visas held by people who are not yet traveling, and new visa applications will not be processed. The countries most severely hit by the current outbreak are Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament on Monday that "The government's systems and processes are working to protect Australians." Australia has donated $16 million to fight the disease but won't send personnel until it has guarantees that any Australian who became infected in Africa received adequate medical treatment.
SWISS AGENCY APPROVES EBOLA VACCINE TRIAL
The Swiss agency that regulates new drugs said Tuesday it has approved an application for a clinical trial with an experimental Ebola vaccine at the Lausanne University Hospital. Swissmedic said the trial will be conducted among 120 volunteer participants with support from the U.N. World Health Organization. The experimental vaccine is to be initially administered on healthy volunteers who will be sent as medical staff to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. There are no proven drugs or vaccines for Ebola, mainly because the disease is so rare it's been hard to attract research funding.