Plagues and Pestilences


Ebola confirmed inside U.S.


October 1, 2014WND.com reports: “The Centers for Disease Control have confirmed a ‘critically ill’ person in Dallas, Texas, has contracted the Ebola virus – and the individual had been in the country for eight days before being hospitalized.

Officials say the first case of Ebola in the United States, not brought for special treatment, has been identified and the patient is in ‘strict isolation’ at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

Doctors refused to answer questions about whether the patient is a U.S. citizen, saying only that ‘he’s visiting family who live in this country.’

‘We got the result back at 1:22 p.m. CT this afternoon that the patient has Ebola, and we want to emphasize at this point, we have no other information any other person is affected,’ said Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. David Lakey. ‘We are committed to make sure Texas is safe.’

On Sept. 20, the patient arrived in the U.S. on a flight from Liberia, officials with the CDC reported.

In a press conference Tuesday, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said, ‘He began developing symptoms several days after arriving in the United States and was hospitalized. Today we determined the patient has Ebola.’…” (Jesus predicted ‘pestilences’ would inundate the globe just preceding His return to set up His Kingdom. – “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” – Matthew 24:7; “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” – Luke 21:11; “And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” – Revelation 6:7, 8. See the next five reports.)


Health worker in Dallas tests positive for Ebola


October 12, 2014WND.com reports: “A health-care worker who treated Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan at a Dallas hospital has tested positive for Ebola.

It would be the first known case of the disease being transmitted in the U.S.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control, said Sunday morning that the health-care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital had treated Duncan multiple times.

Frieden said anyone who treated Duncan is now considered to be potentially exposed. But he could not give an exact number of the health-care workers considered at risk.

CNN, citing an official familiar with the case, said the patient is a female nurse.

Confirmatory testing will be conducted Sunday by the CDC in Atlanta.

Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said at a Sunday press conference that the health-care worker treated Duncan after his second visit and was wearing protective gloves, a gown and a mask.

She was not part of the original high-risk pool of 48 people who are being monitored because of contact with Duncan…”


U.S. rethinks Ebola response as second Dallas nurse is diagnosed


October 15, 2014The Christian Science Monitor reports: “A flawed response to the first case of Ebola in the United States has led to a second nurse being diagnosed.

Wednesday morning, the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed the diagnosis of a second nurse that helped care for Liberian Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Dallas’s Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital before his death last week. A nurse named Nina Pham was diagnosed over the weekend and is now being treated.

The announcement came as the director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, acknowledged that his agency was too slow in responding to the situation at the Dallas hospital. Failure to follow protocol was the cause for the new cases, health officials have said, but a nurses’ union, Nurses United, cited unnamed nurses who claimed protocols changed constantly as the hospital tried to figure out what to do with Mr. Duncan.

The union also claimed that needless numbers of people were exposed to Duncan as soiled bedclothes and other detritus piled up in his room.

The flawed response isn’t surprising in many ways, given that this has been the US health care system’s first test with the illness. The failure to completely contain the virus has forced the CDC to create a new ‘Ebola response unit’ to help other hospitals prepare as the agency acknowledges the US may see more cases. One part of that plan is to limit exposure of victims to fewer nurses and doctors…”


WHO: Ebola infection rate may rise to 10,000 new cases per week


October 14, 2014 The Globe and Mail reports: “West Africa will be enduring 5,000 to 10,000 new cases of Ebola every week by the end of next month, the World Health Organization says.

The worrisome new forecast was issued on Tuesday by the WHO’s deputy director-general, Bruce Aylward, in a press briefing in Geneva. He predicts a dramatic rise from the current total of about 1,000 new cases weekly.

Several weeks ago, the WHO had predicted 20,000 cases of Ebola by November, and Dr. Aylward recalled that many people were ‘scared to death’ by that estimate. But the grim reality has far surpassed that earlier forecast. The official number of Ebola cases will climb above 9,000 this week, he said, and the number of new cases each week is showing no signs of declining.

Dr. Aylward said he hopes that the Ebola epidemic will peak by December at the forecast level of 5,000 to 10,000 new cases weekly in the three main afflicted countries: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. By then, he said, a huge global effort against Ebola should finally be starting to ease the spread of the virus.

When the Ebola cases are tracked to their end, about 70 per cent of all Ebola patients are dying, and this death rate is consistent across the three main countries, Dr. Aylward said…”


Reeling from Ebola, WHO warns of MERS risk to Africa


October 1, 2014 Reuters reports: “Vulnerable countries, especially in Africa, need to defend themselves against the possible seasonal spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the first half of 2015, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

A WHO Emergency Committee recommended steps ‘to strengthen infection prevention control practices, build capacity of heath care workers and provide protective equipment in vulnerable countries, especially African countries.’

Poor infection control and a lack of expertise and equipment are widely seen as key reasons for the rapid spread of the deadly Ebola virus in three West African countries.

The committee, whose experts issue an update on the disease every three months, also called for improved MERS awareness among pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia for the annual Muslim haj journey and for surveillance of pilgrims during and after haj…”


Mosquito Virus That Walloped Caribbean Spreads in U.S.


October 1, 2014 Bloomberg.com reports: “A mosquito-borne virus that can cause debilitating joint pain lasting for years has spread to the continental U.S. after infecting hundreds of thousands of people in the Caribbean and Central America.

The virus is called Chikungunya, an African name meaning ‘to become contorted.’ While the illness, first identified in Tanzania in 1952, has long bedeviled Africa and Asia, the only recorded cases in the U.S. before July involved patients who contracted the virus abroad.

Now, 11 cases have been confirmed as originating in Florida, spurring concern this may be the beginning of the type of explosive growth seen elsewhere from a disease that has no vaccine or cure. Medical and environmental experts are debating how best to quell the outbreak before it takes off…”