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Saturday, August 16, 2014

American Doctor Recruited To Help Fight Ebola in Nigeria



Miami doctor recruited to help fight Ebola in West Africa


MIAMI, Aug. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. Aileen Marty left Miami on Thursday on her way to Nigeria, where she will join a team of experts from around the world to help fight the Ebola virus.
Marty, who teaches at the FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, was recruited by the World Health Organization to serve with the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network.

Marty is no stranger to Ebola or West Africa. In over 30 years of practicing medicine, 25 of them as a Navy doctor, she has traveled the world, visiting 50 countries and treating diseases like leprosy, dengue, malaria and Ebola.

In addition to treating patients in West Africa, her work within her team will be focused on threat analysis and risk assessment, areas where she has decades of experience. The fact that the FIU College of Medicine has extensive experience and resources in data analysis, she said, can be a significant asset in processing the information and lead to more efficient containment of the outbreak.

Marty served as commander, medical corps, in the U.S. Navy, specializing in tropical medicine, infectious disease pathology, disaster medicine, and in the science, medical response and policy involving weapons of mass destruction. She attended the Navy War College, where she trained in strategic studies, diplomacy, joint military operations and the art of war. The Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) recognized her as an expert on chemical, biological, radiation and high-energy weapons and called on her to help develop plans, training and policy for government agencies including the White House and the National Security Administration.

Marty is one of only 403 people listed in the international roster as a member of the United Nations Monitoring and Verification Team for Weapons of Mass Destruction.  She is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Medicine.

For a video of Marty discussing Ebola, click here
To watch Marty's TEDxFIU talk on chemical and biological weapons, click here
Media Contact: Ileana Varela
305-348-4926news.fiu.edu
SOURCE Florida International University
RELATED LINKS
http://fiu.edu/

Ebola: UN health agency seeks to allay fears about air travel


NEW YORK, 13 August 2014 / PRN Africa / -- The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today sought to allay fears amid reports that airlines are suspending flights over the Ebola outbreak by sending out a social media messages with assurances that “unlike infections like influenza and tuberculosis, Ebola is not airborne.”

“The chance of having someone who is sick with Ebola getting in a plane is small,” WHO tweeted today. “Usually when someone is sick with Ebola, they are so unwell that they can't travel.”

The agency, which also gave a press conference providing "clarifications" on air travel, has declared the current outbreak in West Africa a public health emergency of international concern, while UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Dr. David Nabarro as Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola, in support of the work done by WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan and her team.
According to the latest WHO update, between 10 and 11 August, 128 new cases of Ebola virus disease, as well as 56 deaths, were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, bringing the total number of cases to 1,975 and deaths to 1,069.

The agency said in that update that contact tracing in Guinea, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone has resulted in a range between 94 per cent and 98 per cent of contacts of Ebola cases being identified and followed-up, but in Liberia, efforts are underway to strengthen contact tracing, but help is needed in this area.
WHO today said it is disappointed when airlines stop flying to West Africa. It is “hard to save lives if we and other health workers cannot get in,” the health agency tweeted following a press conference.
“Ebola-affected countries, international airlines are putting systems in place to screen passengers for possible infection,” WHO said. “Countries with big airport with high volumes of travellers are not the same as countries with land borders with Ebola-affected countries.”

WHO has repeatedly said the Ebola virus is highly contagious – but not airborne. Transmission requires close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, as can occur during health-care procedures, home care, or traditional burial practices, which involve the close contact of family members and friends with bodies.
The incubation period ranges from 2 to 21 days, but patients become contagious only after the onset of symptoms. As symptoms worsen, the ability to transmit the virus increases. As a result, patients are usually most likely to infect others at a severe stage of the disease, when they are visibly, and physically, too ill to travel.

The highest Ebola virus level is found in a dead body, according to WHO, hence, currently the highest risk of Ebola transmission is during burial ceremony.
SOURCE UN News Centre


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