Monday, June 25, 2018
News Roundup

Ebola kills more than 700; two Americans are ill

As the death toll mounted from the worst outbreak of the lethal Ebola virus, West African leaders quickened emergency efforts Thursday, authorizing house-to-house searches for infected people and deploying the army to contain the disease.

The World Health Organization announced a $100 million plan to get more medical experts and supplies to the overwhelmed region, as the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States committed the agency to sending 50 more experts to West Africa in coming weeks.

In Atlanta, Emory University Hospital said it planned to accept a patient who has Ebola "within the next several days," but did not say whether it was one of the American volunteers in Liberia who have the disease.

The CDC advised Americans to avoid all nonessential travel to the three countries hardest hit by the virus: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

First recognized in March in Guinea, the Ebola outbreak has surged through porous borders to invade neighboring countries in an unprecedented way, quickly outstripping fragile health systems and forcing health officials to fight the battle on many fronts. Past outbreaks have been more localized, but the current one has spread over a vast region.

The viral illness has extracted a terrible toll, killing 729 people, including top physicians in Liberia and Sierra Leone, nations that already face an acute shortage of doctors. The outbreak also sickened two U.S. aid workers: Dr. Kent Brantly of Texas and Nancy Writebol, a North Carolina-based missionary.

Emory University Hospital declined to identify which aid worker would be sent there, citing privacy laws.

It would be the first time a patient infected with Ebola is treated in the United States, according to a CDC spokeswoman.

The hospital has a special isolation unit built in collaboration with the CDC. It is one of only four facilities of its kind in the United States.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that while the U.S. government would facilitate any transfer, private companies would be used to transport them.

Earnest said the aim of the operation would be to make sure aid workers have access to "modern medical facilities and technology" and "potentially lifesaving aid." He called the response consistent with past protocols during outbreaks of SARS and drug-resistant tuberculosis.

In its statement, Emory said its "physicians, nurses and staff are highly trained in the specific and unique protocols and procedures necessary to treat and care for this type of patient."

Writebol is in serious condition and is receiving an experimental treatment that doctors hope will better address her condition, according to a statement released by SIM, a Christian missions organization.

"There are efforts to bring her back," said Palmer Holt, a spokesperson for SIM. "We're feeling optimistic about the process of relocating non-essential personnel and the two patients."

Writebol's husband, David, is close by but can only visit his wife through a window or dressed in a haz-mat suit, the statement said.

"There was only enough (of the experimental serum) for one person. Dr. Brantly asked that it be given to Nancy Writebol," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse, another aid organization that has been working in Liberia during the crisis.

"This is a tragic, painful, dreadful, merciless virus. It's the largest, most complex outbreak that we know of in history," Frieden said.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other health officials say that Americans should not fear that the epidemic will take hold in the United States. That's because Ebola is contagious only when a patient is sick with symptoms of the disease. The virus is spread by direct contact with bodily fluids after the symptoms appear.

"Ebola poses little risk to the U.S. general population," Frieden said.

Information from the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Associated Press was used in this report.

Comments
Tampa’s Aric Almirola is already close to passing Danica Patrick

Tampa’s Aric Almirola is already close to passing Danica Patrick

When Tampa's Aric Almirola took over Danica Patrick's ride at Stewart-Haas Racing, he knew one of two things would happen."I'm either going to go out and be successful," Almirola said before the start of the NASCAR season, "or I'm not."So far, he has...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Separated migrant children are all over the country

Separated migrant children are all over the country

Their mothers are missing, their fathers far away. They get pizza, maybe cold cuts. They are exhausted; they cannot sleep. There are other children around, but they had never seen those kids before, and those kids are crying or screaming or rocking o...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Falling gas prices in Tampa Bay might level out soon

Falling gas prices in Tampa Bay might level out soon

Gas prices in Florida have been declining for the past 30 days straight, but analysts say that trend might not last due to higher oil prices.Tampa Bay gas prices fell another seven cents a gallon over the past week to an average of $2.58 a gallon fo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Driver deliberately struck family riding on New Tampa bike path, killing father, police say

Driver deliberately struck family riding on New Tampa bike path, killing father, police say

TAMPA — A driver made a U-turn, crossed a lane of traffic and a grassy easement then sped up and deliberately slammed into a father and his two young sons as they rode down a bike path, killing the father and the injuring the two sons, Tampa police s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Witness says Jameis Winston was unruly and alone in Uber

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Witness says Jameis Winston was unruly and alone in Uber

Tom Jones joins the podcast to talk about Jameis Winston's reported three-game suspension, as information from another witness has come out saying Winston was unruly and in the Uber by himself during the evening in question.Plus, the Rays sweep the b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Repeat of Sunday’s powerful, and deadly, storms forecast this week for Tampa Bay

Repeat of Sunday’s powerful, and deadly, storms forecast this week for Tampa Bay

Conditions similar to those that flooded streets in South Tampa, pelted areas across Tampa Bay and produced lightning that killed a woman in Siesta Key on Sunday will be intact throughout the week — and with even more frequency.Typical summer weather...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Roseanne Barr breaks down sobbing in newly released interview after racist tweet: ‘I’ve lost everything’

Roseanne Barr breaks down sobbing in newly released interview after racist tweet: ‘I’ve lost everything’

An interview Roseanne Barr gave to a celebrity rabbi in the days after her infamous twitter rant was released Sunday, showing a weeping Barr pleading for forgiveness and saying "I’m not a racist. I’m an idiot."Rabbi Shmuley Boteach released the emoti...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: Arrest made in New Tampa hit-and-run; who will pay for their name on proposed Rays park in Ybor?; Rays complete series sweep of Yankees

The Daystarter: Arrest made in New Tampa hit-and-run; who will pay for their name on proposed Rays park in Ybor?; Rays complete series sweep of Yankees

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.   • We’ll have another wet day to start the week, with widespread afternoon and evening thundershowers, according to 10Weather WTSP. High temperatures should top out near ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Hooper: Michelle Obama’s 2016 clarion call needs to be heard today

When they go low, we go high.Those words drew an astounding amount of applause when then First Lady Michelle Obama delivered them at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.Yet some people treat the statement as merely the basis of a good meme, inste...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Woman killed by lightning strike on Siesta Key

Woman killed by lightning strike on Siesta Key

A woman was killed Sunday afternoon in a lightning strike on Siesta Key.According to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded after receiving a call around 2:15 p.m. of a person struck by lightning in the 6000 block of Midnight Pass R...
Updated: 4 hours ago