TIME Infectious Disease

Feds Face Growing Ebola Fears

A flood of calls, but no confirmed Ebola cases

Federal health officials are facing a surge in reports of possible Ebola cases from hospitals and health departments, none of which have been confirmed but which highlight a moment of growing domestic concern about an outbreak that has claimed over 800 lives in Africa.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told TIME on Tuesday that it’s received several dozen calls from states and hospitals about people who are ill after traveling in Africa. “We’ve triaged those calls and about half-dozen or so resulted in specimen coming to CDC for testing and all have been negative for Ebola,” CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said, adding that the agency is expecting still more calls to come in.

More than 1,000 people have been infected with the deadly disease in West Africa and more than 800 have died, making it the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Two Americans who were infected in Africa have since returned to the U.S. for treatment. Health officials said a patient tested for Ebola at a New York City hospital Monday was likely not infected.

It’s clear concern over the virus is building in the U.S. But individual patients being tested for Ebola shouldn’t be cause for panic, health experts say. So far all questionable cases have been quickly reported to the CDC—and all have tested negative. Even if the disease were to present in an American patient, CDC Director Tom Frieden has sought to reassure the public it wouldn’t spread, and that any hospital with an intensive care unit can successfully treat a patient with Ebola.

“We are confident that we will not have significant spread of Ebola, even if we were to have a patient with Ebola here,” Frieden told reporters last week.

A patient at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City and a patient in Columbus, Ohio were reported to be in isolation under suspicion of Ebola this week. The Columbus patient tested negative, and the New York City patient is “stable and in good spirits,” according to the hospital. The CDC is still testing the New York patient’s specimen, but officials don’t believe the patient has Ebola.

Still, hospitals are making sure they are prepared. In a great coincidence, Dr. David Reich, president and chief operating officer at Mount Sinai, told TIME that the hospital had spent last weekend (days before the currently isolated patient entered the emergency room) training for the possibility of an Ebola patient in their hospital. That training consisted of making sure they were prepared to quickly isolate a patient and begin infection control protocol.

There have been more than 1,600 reported cases of Ebola and over 887 deaths in Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Over the next month, the CDC will be sending 50 disease specialists to the region to try to contain the disease.

TIME Education

University President Cuts $90K From Salary So Campus Employees Can Make Living Wage

"This is not a publicity stunt"

An interim university president decided to forego $90,000 of his salary so that his school’s lowest-paid employees could earn a living wage.

Raymond Burse, who’s been Kentucky State University’s sitting president for 12 months while its board looks for a successor, wasn’t pleased to hear that some of the college’s workers were earning a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, even though many consider $10.25 as a living wage.

Burse had served as president of KSU from 1982-89, and then was a top executive at General Electric for 27 years. He told Kentucky.com that his decision to forego some of his typically-$349,869 salary wasn’t a difficult decision.

“My whole thing is I don’t need to work,” Burse said. “This is not a hobby, but in terms of the people who do the hard work and heavy lifting, they are at the lower pay scale.”

Burse will now be paid $259,745 for the year.

“This is not a publicity stunt,” he said. “You don’t give up $90,000 for publicity. I did this for the people.”

[Kentucky.com]

 

TIME Military

‘As Cooperative as Possible': Bergdahl Preps for Army Grilling

Bergdahl Being Treated At U.S. Military Hospital In Germany
U.S. Army—Getty Images In this undated image provided by the U.S. Army, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl poses in front of an American flag.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl on Tuesday was getting prepared for the grilling he may get from the Army. Bergdahl is scheduled to be formally questioned by an Army investigator Wednesday at Fort Sam Houston about his 2009 disappearance in Afghanistan. Bergdahl’s attorney, Eugene Fidell, told NBC News that was meeting with his client Tuesday in San Antonio.

Wednesday’s questioning could likely extend into Thursday, Fidell said. The Army confirms there is no set timetable for the inquiry, according to Alayne Conway, an Army spokesperson…

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

TIME LGBT

Utah Petitions Supreme Court for Gay Marriage Ruling

Appeals Court Overturns Same Sex Marriage Ban In Utah
George Frey—Getty Images Peggy Tomsic, (C) attorney for three same-sex couples, claps in celebration after the 10th Circuit Court in Denver rejected a same-sex marriage ban in Utah on June 25, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Utah's gay marriage ban could face a final reckoning

Utah’s attorney general filed an appeal with the Supreme Court on Tuesday challenging a lower court’s decision to strike down the state’s gay marriage ban.

“My responsibility is to defend the State Constitution and its amendments as Utah citizens have enacted them,” Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a statement. “Utah welcomes a speedy grant of the petition and a Supreme Court merits decision, as all Utah citizens will benefit when the Supreme Court provides clear finality on the important issue of state authority to define marriage.”

The law in contention was struck down by an appeals court in June, which ruled that a state “may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.”

Gay marriage advocates have rallied behind the case, viewing it as an opening toward legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, rather than state-by-state.

Same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

 

TIME Maps

19 Awesomely Revealing U.S. Maps You Won’t Find in a Textbook

Including Craigslist missed connections, lake-monster sightings, and states nobody can remember. (Sorry, Minnesota!)

1. The map that suggests everyone in Wisconsin is drunk right now.

More info via Flowing Data

2. As is everyone in Oregon.

More info via VinePair

3. The map that reveals every state’s top porn search.

More info here

4. The map that proves you’ve probably been to Pizza Hut.

More info here

5. The map that proves you’ve definitely been to Wal-Mart.

More info here

6. And McDonald’s.

More info here

7. The map that’s trying to prove…something.

More info via I Love Charts

8. The map that suggests Oklahoma singles should attend the state fair.

More info via Andrew Sullivan

9. The map that shows where you’re most likely to get struck by lightning.

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 12.03.59 PM

PHOTOS: The Beauty of Lightning
More info here

10. The map that quantifies Florida’s undying love for Rick Ross.

More info here

11. The map that shows Americans can’t agree on how to pronounce crayon

More info here

12. …or mayonnaise.

More info here

13. The map that will make you feel poor.

More info via Movoto

14. The map that will make Alaskans feel lonely.

More info here

15. The map that quantifies the invasion of cows.

More info here

16. The map that highlights lake-monster sightings.

More info via Atlas Obscura

17. The map that confirms the spread of Smith.

More info via National Geographic

18. The map that proves there are no Oakland As fans.

More info here

19. And the map that will school a lot of you on state geography (or not).

More info here

TIME Infectious Disease

Second American Ebola Patient Arrives in U.S.

Americans Ebola
David Goldman—AP An ambulance transporting Nancy Writebol, an American missionary stricken with Ebola, arrives at Emory University Hospital, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, in Atlanta.

59-year-old Nancy Writebol is a missionary who was helping patients in Liberia

Update: Aug. 5, 1:10 p.m. ET

The second American Ebola patient arrived at an Atlanta hospital Tuesday for treatment, as Africa continues to battle the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.

Infected missionary Nancy Writebol’s air ambulance, taking her from Liberia to Georgia with a brief stop in Maine to refuel, is the very same plane that transported the first American Ebola patient from Liberia over the weekend. Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, arrived at the Emory University Hospital on Saturday.

They are the first two people to ever be treated for Ebola in the United States.

Whitebol, 59, was a medical missionary with Service in Mission (SIM) treating patients with the disease.

“Her husband told me Sunday her appetite has improved, and she requested one of her favorite dishes—Liberian potato soup—and coffee,” SIM USA president Bruce Johnson said in a statement. Brantly’s wife also says her husband is in good spirits.

Mount Sinai Hospital in New York had an Ebola scare when a man who had recently visited West Africa and is suffering from stomach problems and high fever checked in Monday. But after consulting with the hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the city’s health department said that he most likely is not suffering from the disease.

A total of 1,603 people have been infected and 887 have died in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone during the current outbreak, according to the World Health Organization.

TIME Environment

Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’ Now the Size of Connecticut

Mike Coleman and Jarad Williams check their crab traps on October 4, 2013 in Grand Isle, Louisiana.
Marianna Massey—Getty Images Mike Coleman and Jarad Williams check their crab traps on October 4, 2013 in Grand Isle, Louisiana.

Surveyors measured a 5,052sq mile expanse of asphyxiating water off of the coast of Louisiana

A survey of marine life in the Gulf of Mexico has found the world’s second-largest “dead zone” ballooning out from the mouth of the Mississippi River and covering an expanse of ocean roughly equal in size to the state of Connecticut.

Scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration measured the dead zone, an expanse of asphyxiating water marked by unusually low oxygen levels and marine life, at roughly 5,052 square miles. Scientists trace the dead zone to nutrient runoffs from farmlands upriver. The nutrients stimulate algae growth, creating massive algae blooms that sink, decompose and consume oxygen that is vital to the surrounding marine life.

“The Dead Zone off the Louisiana coast is the second largest human-caused coastal hypoxic area in the global ocean and stretches from the mouth of the Mississippi River into Texas waters and less often, but increasingly more frequent, east of the Mississippi River,” wrote the study’s author Nancy Rabalais of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON). The largest dead zone is thought to be in the Baltic Sea, in Scandinavia.

NOAA scientists note that this year’s dead zone is smaller than the one recorded last year, but still well above the federal target of 1,900 square miles.

TIME Presidents

The 55 Times Richard Nixon Was on the Cover of TIME

The 37th president, who resigned 40 years ago, scored 55 covers

In early August of 1974, 40 years ago this week, the news was all Nixon. On Aug. 5, the “Smoking Gun” tapes were released, revealing to the public that he had known about Watergate. On Aug. 8, he became the first and only U.S. President to announce his resignation. But Nixon already had a long history in the news, and it didn’t end in 1974. In fact, no other individual has been featured on the cover of TIME more frequently, with 55 appearances to his name.

The irony in all that? None of those covers are from precisely 40 years ago. The week leading up to the resignation, the cover featured Rep. Peter Rodino of the House Judiciary Committee; two weeks later, when the resignation itself made the cover, newly-inaugurated President Gerald Ford was featured. The issue in between—the issue that would have appeared right around the same time as the tapes went public — went a different direction: Jack Nicholson.

Read Henry Kissinger’s 1982 take on the “Smoking Gun” of Watergate here, in TIME’s archives

TIME Education

Syracuse ‘Disappointed’ to Be Ranked #1 Party School

Georgetown v Syracuse
Marc Squire—Getty Images People cheer during the game between the Georgetown University Hoyas and the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome February 16, 2008 in Syracuse, New York.

"We do not aspire to be a party school"

Syracuse University has distanced itself from a nationwide student survey that ranked it the number one party school in the country.

School ranking service The Princeton Review surveyed 130,000 students nationwide about every facet of campus life, from academics to sports to availability of beer, and while Syracuse ranked second in the nation for its school paper, and third for its sports scene, administrators were not pleased to see its record of achievements overshadowed by its number one ranking for partying.

“We are disappointed with the Princeton Review ranking, which is based on a two-year-old survey of a very small portion of our student body,” read a statement from Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Kevin Quinn. “We do not aspire to be a party school.”

The Princeton Review also ranked Syracuse fourth in the nation for “lots of beer.”

TIME White House

Nixon Describes Last Days in Office in Newly Released Tapes

Video resurfaced to commemorate 40th anniversary of 37th president's resignation

Raw and candid interview footage of Richard Nixon describing his last days in office was published by his presidential library on Tuesday, in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of his resignation.

The Nixon Presidential Library & Museum, along with the Richard Nixon Foundation, pulled more than 30 hours of largely unseen and forgotten footage from the University of Georgia archives, and culled the moments when Nixon describes, with startling candor, his fight to stay in office and painful decision to step down. The interviews took place 10 years after his resignation with his former White House aide Frank Gannon.

The first of those interview segments was released on the YouTube channel, “A President Resigns,” Tuesday, with more segments to come through Saturday.

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