TIME ebola

NYC Mayor Noshes on Meatballs to Calm Ebola Fears

Doctor Quarantined At NYC's Bellevue Hospital After Testing Positive For Ebola
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City speaks at a press conference October 24, 2014 in New York City. In New York City. Kena Betancur—Getty Images

Mayor says he was not informed of new quarantine plans

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, his wife Chirlane McCray, and New York City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett on Saturday afternoon dined at a West Village restaurant that briefly closed after it was revealed the city’s first Ebola patient, Dr. Craig Spencer, had himself enjoyed a meal there not long before being diagnosed with the disease.

“We are not only resilient, we are not only tough, we stand by each other,” said de Blasio in a press conference after his meal at The Meatball Shop, a well-known city eatery specializing in its eponymous dish.

In a notable revelation, when asked by reporters about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s Friday decision to enforce a mandatory 21-day quarantine for all health workers returning from the three West African countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak, de Blasio confirmed that neither governor told him about the plan beforehand. On Saturday, Illinois announced it will put similar measures into place.

“In an atmosphere of crisis, we respect the chain of command,” de Blasio said. The mayor would not directly answer whether he supports the mandatory quarantine plan, nor would City Health Commissioner Bassett. The mayor did, however, say the quarantine directive was made with “inherent flexibility.” Bassett will be overseeing quarantines in New York City, though she told TIME she hasn’t seen anything in writing yet.

Both de Blasio and Bassett tried several items on The Meatball Shop’s menu, seeking to emphasize it was safe to eat there. The restaurant, however, didn’t need the mayoral stamp of approval. It was packed with the usual weekend brunch crowd, while owner Daniel Holzman told reporters that when he reopened the restaurant at 6 p.m. local time Friday there was a line down the block filled with restaurant supporters.

“It’s an example of how New Yorkers deal with a challenge,” said de Blasio of the packed house.

Dr. Spencer, the city’s sole Ebola patient, is currently being treated at Bellevue Hospital, while his fiancée and two of friends are still under quarantine.

 

TIME ebola

WHO: Ebola Cases Exceed 10,000 Worldwide

US-HEALTH-EBOLA
Demonstrators with the United African Congress (UAC) hold a rally for the "Stop Ebola" movement in New York on October 24, 2014 the morning after it was confirmed that Doctor Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, who recently returned to New York from West Africa tested positive for Ebola, making him New York City's first Ebola patient. TIMOTHY A. CLARY—AFP/Getty Images

Among the affected are 450 healthcare workers

The number of cases in the Ebola outbreak has exceeded 10,000, with 4,922 deaths recorded as of October 23, according to a World Health Organization report published Saturday.

Of the 10,141 reported cases, 450 are healthcare workers, more than half of them in Liberia with three in the United States. A total of 244 healthcare workers have died of the disease.

Outside of the three most affected countries in West Africa—Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia—there have been only 27 reported cases of the deadly illness.

In New York and New Jersey, governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie have implemented controversial quarantines on all healthcare workers returning from West Africa after a doctor returning from Guinea contracted the disease and was diagnosed in New York.

 

TIME ebola

First Ebola Worker Quarantined Under New Policy Tests Negative

New York's JFK Airport Begins Screening Passengers For Ebola Virus
A plane arrives at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) airport on October 11, 2014 in New York City. Spencer Platt—Getty Images

The cleared nurse will be held in quarantine for 21 days under a strict new policy formulated by New Jersey and New York officials

A nurse who worked with Ebola patients in West Africa has tested negative for the virus after she was quarantined Friday upon arriving in Newark, New Jersey under a controversial new order by the governors of that state and New York.

Kaci Hickox had no symptoms when she landed, but developed a fever while quarantined at Newark International Airport, reports the New York Times. She will undergo additional tests to confirm that she is in fact cleared of Ebola.

Under a new policy announced late Friday afternoon by Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, anyone who had direct contact with Ebola patients in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and enters the country through Newark Liberty and Kennedy International Airport must be quarantined for 21 days.

The new measures go beyond federal guidelines and what infectious disease experts recommend. They were formulated without consulting New York’s health department or New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio.

“We are no longer relying on [Centers of Disease Control and Prevention] standards,” said Gov. Christie.

Health experts say that the travel bans on flights from West Africa proposed by several Republicans in Congress, as well as the new mandatory quarantines in New York and New Jersey, are likely to discourage badly needed healthcare workers from traveling to the area to help contain Ebola.

“There is a notable lack of clarity about the new guidelines announced yesterday by the state authorities in New York and New Jersey,” Sophie Delaunay, executive director of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), for whom Hickox had been working, in a statement following Hickox’s quarantine. “we are attempting to clarify the details of the protocols with each state’s departments of health to gain a full understanding of their requirements and implications.”

Dr. Rick Sacra, who contracted Ebola in Liberia and was flown back to the United States, told the Times the mandatory quarantines “will effectively double the burden on those people, on the loss of productive time.”

Hickox herself said in a first person account published by the Dallas Morning News that her Newark Airport experience was bewildering and frightening. During six hours at the airport she was given only a granola bar and was questioned by a series of people, some of whom did not identify themselves, she said.

“I am scared about how health care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa,” said Hickox. “I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, most frightening, quarantine.”

According to MSF, Hickox is now at Newark University Hospital, in a tent serving as an isolation ward. The tent is not heated and Hickox is clothed only in paper scrubs.

Hickox’s mother told the Times that Hickox was discouraged by her return from West Africa.

“She’s lived in Burma, Sudan, Uganda and Nigeria, and she’s worked for Doctors Without Borders many times,” Hickox’s mother said. “I think the frustration is that she went and did her good deed and her passion and her serving spirit, and she comes back to America and I just don’t feel they were very welcoming.”

The mandatory quarantines were implemented after Dr. Craig Spencer contracted Ebola in Guinea and was hospitalized Thursday after showing symptoms of the virus.

With additional reporting by Alice Park/New York

[NYT]

TIME ebola

Dallas Nurses Describe Comforting Ebola Patient As He Lay Dying

Several dozen nurses from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital gathered in front of the hospital to show support for their employer Oct. 20, 2014 in Dallas.
Several dozen nurses from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital gathered in front of the hospital to show support for their employer, Oct. 20, 2014 in Dallas. Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

Frightened nurses gritted their teeth and cared for the dying man

Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian national who unknowingly traveled to the United States carrying Ebola, died of the virus ten days after he was admitted to Texas Presbyterian Hospital. In the intervening period, Duncan was cared for by nurses who risked their lives to save him.

In interviews that will be aired Sunday on CBS’s 60 Minutes, the nurses describe for the first time trying to treat Duncan before his death. They recall holding the dying man’s hand as Duncan’s own family was not permitted in the room for fear of contracting the disease.

“I was very frightened,” says intensive care nurse Sidia Rose, according to transcripts of the interview. “I was. But — and I just dried my tears, rolled down my sleeves, so to speak, and — went on about my night.”

John Mulligan treated Duncan in his final hours of intensive care. “By the time he had — I saw him on October 1st — his — his nausea and vomiting had pretty much subsided. That aspect of it was over. He had a rectal tube in place so he didn’t — he was — had gotten so weak, he couldn’t get up to the commodes anymore. So that was to help contain all of his very infectious body fluids that we were dealing with,” Mulligan recalls.

“On the first day he didn’t say much. He — he was — you could look in his eyes and tell he just didn’t feel good,” Mulligan continues. “And we offered him words of encouragement. We let him know that we’re here, whatever you need — let us know and we’ll get it. And we held his hand and talked to him and comforted him because his family couldn’t be there. I mean, you can’t take that risk with this type of disease of exposing, you know, loved ones, as much as you want them there. It’s just not a possibility.”

Duncan died on October 8. Two nurses contracted the disease from their contact with Duncan, but at least one has since recovered.

TIME ebola

Study: Current Aid Promises Won’t Contain Liberia’s Ebola Outbreak

Health workers from the Liberian Red Cross wear protective gear as they shovel sand which will be used to absorb fluids emitted from the bodies of Ebola victims in front of the ELWA 2 Ebola management center in Monrovia on October 23, 2014.
Health workers from the Liberian Red Cross wear protective gear as they shovel sand which will be used to absorb fluids emitted from the bodies of Ebola victims in front of the ELWA 2 Ebola management center in Monrovia on October 23, 2014. Zoom Dosso—AFP/Getty Images

Liberia does not have the resources it needs to end the Ebola outbreak any time soon.

The amount of treatment center beds and infection control resources needed to curb the Ebola epidemic in Montserrado County, Liberia vastly surpasses the donations pledged for the region from the international community, scientists say.

In a new report published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, researchers from Yale School of Public Health used modeling to compare estimates of case numbers in Liberia to currently available resources as well as those resources promised by international bodies. Their data show that without significantly scaled up efforts, there will be 170,996 cases of Ebola and 90,122 deaths related to the virus in Montserrado County by Dec. 15. But, the researchers say that if there’s a significantly ramped up effort that provides 4,800 treatment beds and a fivefold increase in detection and diagnostics in November, there could be 77,312 cases prevented by the same date.

Here’s the problem: The United States, for example, has only promised 1,700 beds to all of West Africa. Clearly, those numbers do not match up, making catastrophic projections for case and death tolls all the more realistic.

“While the window of opportunity for timely control of the Ebola outbreak has passed, the risk of catastrophic devastation both in West Africa and beyond has only just begun,” said study author Alison Galvani, a professor of epidemiology at Yale in a statement. “While vaccines to prevent Ebola remain unavailable, our study urges a rapid and immediate scaling-up of all currently available non-pharmaceutical intervention strategies to minimize the occurrence of new cases and deaths.”

But where is that scale-up going to come from? The answer is unfortunately unapparent.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

5 Signs Your House is Making You Fat

House made from food
Getty Images

Transform your home into a slimmer space with these scientifically proven tips

Aside from work, you spend most of your hours at home. And it should function as a respite from the lure of the fast food joint on every corner, or the ease of buying a candy bar from the vending machine. But if your home isn’t set up right, it may be encouraging bad habits. One way to win the battle? “You can restructure your home environment to protect yourself from unhealthy food and a sedentary lifestyle,”says Sherry Pagoto, PhD, associate professor of medicine in the division of preventative and behavioral medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. From organizing your kitchen to your thermostat setting, read on to discover 5 ways your home may slyly cause you to pack on pounds.

HEALTH.COM: 11 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat

Your cabinets are overflowing

If your cabinets are so stuffed that you need to put food on your counters, fridge, or exposed shelving, you’re setting yourself up to trigger a craving. “A bag of potato chips or candy out in the open will put the food on your radar when you walk by. The minute you see that visual cue, you want it,” says Pagoto.

The fix: Clean out your pantry on a regular basis. Get rid of expired food and stuff you bought that you don’t like and won’t eat (but keep around anyway)—even if it’s healthy. Or, come up with alternate storage plans, like a cabinet in your basement.

Your apples are in the fridge

On the other hand, if healthy food is hidden, you’re less likely to eat it. That’s especially true if you keep fruits that don’t need to be refrigerated (like apples or pears) or whole veggies tucked away in the crisper drawers. When you’re busy, it’s faster to rip open a bag of chips than cut cruditès.

HEALTH.COM: The Same 10 Weight Loss Mistakes Everyone Makes

The fix: Buy a pretty fruit bowl or basket so you’re more inclined to fill it; display in plain sight so you’re more likely to grab a piece. Pre-slice veggies and put them in clear containers front-and-center in the fridge for easy snacking.

Your thermostat is set too high

The fact that you can go anywhere—your home, the office, a store—and the temperature is set at somewhere-in-the-70s comfortable is a surprising contributor to obesity, say experts. Your body simply doesn’t have to work to expend energy to warm itself up, suggests a 2014 study in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism. The result: your metabolism sputters.

The fix: Turn down your thermostat a few degrees. Being cold activates your brown fat, which actually spurs your metabolism and improves glucose sensitivity. If the change is too abrupt, start with one degree and gradually decrease the temperature. You’ll quickly adapt to the chillier temp, note researchers.

HEALTH.COM: 24 Fat-Burning Ab Exercises (No Crunches!)

You’re inviting the wrong people over

“Look at who your friends are,” says James O. Hill, PhD, director of the Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center. “You’re going to behave similarly to the people you spend time with.” If your friends are more the type to sit around and drink beer and eat chips, then you will be, too.

The fix: Okay, no one’s saying to lose your friends—no matter how bad their health habits. “Look for friends who are doing the right thing, and have them over, too,” says Dr. Hill. If they’re more active and like to eat nutritious foods, you’re more likely to adopt their habits. Conversely, their attitude can rub off on your less-than-virtuous pals.

HEALTH.COM: 12 Superfoods That Warm You Up

Your lights are too dim

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body scrambles hormone levels that control hunger, making you crave junk food. In one International Journal of Endocrinology study, sleep-deprived adults who were exposed to dim light in the morning had lower concentrations of the fullness hormone leptin, while those in blue light (the kind from energy-efficient bulbs) had higher leptin levels.

The fix: When you wake up, open your shades to allow natural sunlight in and turn on lamps and overhead lights. Bonus: It’ll also help you wake up faster.

This article originally appeared on Health.com

TIME global health

Watch TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger Discuss How to Eradicate Polio

People in three countries still suffer from the disease

Since the development of the first polio vaccine in the 1950s, the number of cases of the devastating disease has been reduced by 99 percent. But despite that extraordinary progress, people in three countries still suffer from polio. Now, Rotary International, along with the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF have brought the world tantalizingly close to eradicating the virus for good.

In recognition of World Polio Day, watch as TIME editor-at-large Jeffrey Kluger moderates Rotary’s live-streamed event in Chicago, on Friday at 7:30 PM, EDT.

TIME ebola

Christie and Cuomo Announce Mandatory Ebola Quarantine

State health department staff will be on the ground at state airports

Healthcare workers returning to New York or New Jersey after treating Ebola patients in West Africa will be placed under a mandatory quarantine, officials announced Friday, one day after a Doctors Without Borders doctor was diagnosed with the virus in New York City. Illinois announced a similar policy Saturday, meaning it will be enforced in states with three of the five airports through which passengers traveling from the Ebola-stricken West African countries must enter the United States.

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie and N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement as part of a broader procedural plan to help protect the densely packed, highly populated area from any further spread of the disease.

“Since taking office, I have erred on the side of caution when it comes to the safety and protection of New Yorkers, and the current situation regarding Ebola will be no different,” Gov. Cuomo said. “The steps New York and New Jersey are taking today will strengthen our safeguards to protect our residents against this disease and help ensure those that may be infected by Ebola are treated with the highest precautions.”

New York and New Jersey state health department staff will be present on the ground at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey. In addition to implementing the mandatory quarantine of health care workers and others who had direct contact with Ebola patients, health department officials in each state will determine whether others should travelers should be hospitalized or quarantined.

The announcements mark a dramatic escalation in measures designed to prevent the spread of Ebola in the United States. Previously, only individuals with symptoms of Ebola would be quarantined upon entry to the U.S. under a federal rule from the Centers for Diseases Control and the Department of Homeland Security.

TIME

NY, New Jersey Issue Stronger Ebola Quarantine

(NEW YORK) — The governors of New Jersey and New York say they’re issuing a mandatory quarantine for travelers who have had contact with Ebola-infected patients in West Africa.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a health care worker who had contact with Ebola patients in Africa already has been quarantined even though she has no symptoms. They say the woman landed at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey on Friday.

Any person traveling from the three West African nations who had contact with infected, or possibly infected, people will be automatically quarantined for 21 days. This includes doctors.

It will be coordinated with local health departments.

TIME ebola

Obama Hugs Nurse Who Survived Ebola

President Barack Obama hugs nurse Nina Pham, who was declared free of the Ebola virus after contracting the disease while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas, during a meeting in the Oval Office in Washington on Oct. 24, 2014.
President Barack Obama hugs nurse Nina Pham, who was declared free of the Ebola virus after contracting the disease while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas, during a meeting in the Oval Office in Washington on Oct. 24, 2014. Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty Images

The nurse was cleared of Ebola Friday morning

A few days ago, Dallas nurse Nina Pham lay in bed in an isolated hospital room at National Institutes of Health (NIH) where her doctors donned hazmat suits to care for her. On Friday, President Barack Obama hugged Pham, now free of Ebola, in the open air of the Oval Office.

“Let’s give a hug for the cameras,” he told Pham.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, NIH infectious disease head Anthony Fauci, along with several other doctors and family members, were also present at the Friday meeting.

Pham contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, who died Oct. 8 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Pham was subsequently moved to NIH in Maryland to undergo treatment, and was declared Ebola-free Friday morning.

After a patient was diagnosed with Ebola in New York City on Thursday, the hug was a triumphant moment amid continued fear over the potential for Ebola to spread in the U.S. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told journalists at press briefing Friday that Pham’s recovery served as “a pretty apt reminder that we do have the best medical infrastructure in the world.”

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