Maine Now Quarantining People for Setting Foot in Dallas

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If you want any real Ebola news, check out the Friday afternoon update. If you want to see something we barely believe isn't from The Onion, keep reading.

In a move that makes Highland Park ISD's response to Ebola seem thoughtful and measured, Maine School Administrative District 58 has placed a teacher on paid administrative leave due to parental fears of her being exposed to Ebola. The teacher's crime? Attending a seminar held by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium in Dallas.

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Your Friday Afternoon Ebola Digest

Categories: Healthcare

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Centers for Disease Control
Transmission electron micrograph of the Ebola virus
Heading into a much needed weekend, here's the latest Ebola news of note:

The condition of the patients.
Nina Pham is now being treated at a National Institutes of Health facility in Maryland. She is listed as being in fair condition. While she was listed in good condition at Presbyterian, doctors at NIH have stressed that her condition has not "deteriorated." Video released of Pham just before her transfer shows her in good spirits. Amber Vinson, the second Presbyterian nurse to contract Ebola, is in stable condition at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Baylor sends potential Ebola patient to Presbyterian.
Late Thursday, an individual came into the Baylor emergency room through a private entrance reporting Ebola symptoms and contact with someone with Ebola. The hospital has issued a statement on its Facebook page that reads a lot like the statement the city of Frisco issued after Michael Monnig showed up at the Care Now.

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Presbyterian's Nurses Are Pushing Back on the CDC and Hospital Over Handling of Ebola

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European Commission DG ECHO
Dallas nurses say they wore significantly less protection while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan.
On Tuesday, nurses at Presbyterian Hospital voiced their complaints for the first time -- in so many words. Fearful of ramifications in the workplace, nurses anonymously sent their allegations to National Nurses United, where their comments were read aloud by spokesperson Deborah Burger.

The nurses silently listened in on the press teleconference, their identities unknown. Every nurse on the call had some tie to or close knowledge of Thomas Eric Duncan's care. And what they allege went wrong is a dramatic turn from the significantly rosier picture painted by Texas Health Resources.

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Supreme Court Taps Brakes on HB2, 13 Abortion Clinics Reopen for Now

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Stephen Young
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Supreme Court cleared the way for reopening 13 abortion-providing health clinics that shuttered following an October 2 ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed Texas to begin enforcing the most draconian portions of House Bill 2, the state's 2013 anti-abortion measure. While being hailed as good news by pro-choice advocacy groups, the court order is likely only a temporary road block for Texas anti-choice supporters.

See also: The 5th Circuit Gave Every Woman in Texas the Middle Finger Thursday Night

The October 2 5th Circuit ruling allowed the state to enforce HB2 as the state appealed a lower court decision overturning the law. The circuit has not heard oral arguments yet in the appeal, but its granting of the stay means it, or at least the three-judge panel that issued the stay, believes that Texas will prevail in its appeal.

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UPDATED: Second Dallas Healthcare Worker Has Ebola

Categories: Healthcare

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Centers for Disease Control
Transmission electron micrograph of the Ebola virus
Update 12:15 p.m.:Amber Joy Vinson, the second Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse diagnosed with Ebola after helping treat Thomas Eric Duncan, is being moved to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced at a news conference late this morning. The first Presbyterian nurse diagnosed with Ebola, Nina Pham, is not being moved to Emory because her condition is improving, the CDC says.

At the press conference, CDC Director Tom Frieden also said that Vinson should not have been allowed to travel on a public airplane after she became one of the people being monitored after coming into contact with Duncan, the Liberian man who was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. From this point forward, healthcare workers and others being monitored will not be allowed to use publicly available transportation.

The 29-year-old Vinson traveled from Cleveland to Dallas on a Frontier Airlines jet October 13. Reports Wednesday morning indicated that Vinson had not shown any symptoms before boarding the plane, but CDC clarified at its press conference that she was running a low-grade fever of 99.5 degrees before getting on board. Pham was confirmed to have Ebola on Sunday.

As for the possible causes of Pham and Vinson's infections, Frieden reports that they treated Duncan while he was suffering from "large amounts of vomit and diarrhea." Duncan died on Oct. 8.

Neither the hospital nor the CDC has discovered the breach that led to the infections, and all other workers in contact with Duncan are being monitored for symptoms. Both Pham and Vinson were isolated within 90 minutes of first showing symptoms, according to the hospital.

"A lot is being said about what may or may not have occurred to cause some of our colleagues to contract this disease, but it's clear that there was an exposure, somewhere, sometime in their treatment of Mr. Duncan," said Dr. Daniel Varga, Presbyterian's chief clinical officer.

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As It Fights Ebola, Presbyterian Sends Medical Students and Non-Essential Workers Home

Categories: Healthcare

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Emily Mathis
With diverted ER traffic, suspended personnel, and a drop in elective procedures, how much is Texas Presbyterian Hospital business suffering?
As Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital becomes the epicenter of the American Ebola scare, Texas Woman's University announced yesterday that all "non-essential personnel" had been suspended until further notice from the East Dallas hospital. The university referred specifically to the 90 TWU students this decision would effect, but the announcement of the closure touches on just one more way hospital business has taken a hit in the last two weeks.

While the hospital declined to comment on what exactly the removal of these workers entails, the move can be likened to the emergency preparedness plans which remove non-essential personnel from the hospital in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Not only does the move indicate the hospital's level of concern for further spread within the hospital, the potential for spread is now considered an emergency.

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24 Hours Later, CDC Still Doesn't Know How Nurse Contracted Ebola

Categories: Healthcare

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Tom Frieden
The news Sunday was disturbing. A Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse -- confirmed Monday to be 26-year-old Nina Pham -- had contracted Ebola. Pham was not one 10 people being monitored for close contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, nor was she one of the 38 people who, in the Centers for Disease Control's estimation, might have had unprotected contact with Duncan after he became symptomatic. Pham was simply one of the health professionals who treated and cared for Duncan on his second visit to Presbyterian, during which appropriate precautions were supposed to have been taken.

Monday morning, as he's done almost every day since Duncan's diagnosis was confirmed on September 30, CDC Director Tom Frieden held a news conference. Initially, Frieden's press conferences inspired confidence. He calmly repeated to everyone how difficult the transmission of Ebola was and complimented Texas Health Director David Lakey and Presbyterian on how they were dealing with the situation.

See also: CDC Boss Frieden, "That Is Not in the Cards"

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Dallas Healthcare Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

Categories: Healthcare

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Centers for Disease Control
Transmission electron micrograph of the Ebola virus
According to reports from multiple news outlets and the Centers for Disease Control, a healthcare worker -- reportedly a nurse -- who was in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan has tested positive for the Ebola virus. The test was performed by the Texas Department of State Health Services and is being confirmed by the CDC

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has confirmed that the nurse was in contact with Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, during his second visit to the hospital. Presbyterian declined say how the nurse might have contracted the virus because of privacy concerns, but CDC director Thomas Frieden says there was clearly a "breach in protocol."

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Ebola Fear and Misinformation Is Still Weighing on the People of Vickery Meadow

Categories: Healthcare

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Last week, the Ivy was just one of many Vickery Meadow apartment complexes that housed immigrants from all over the world. Now, the complex has an entirely different connection.
Two weeks ago, the Vickery Meadow neighborhood was known as the United Nations of Dallas -- a hodgepodge blending of immigrants and cultures from all over the world. Now, since this country's first Ebola patient was taken ill in the neighborhood, the world associates it with "Patient Zero," the epicenter of the virus outside of Africa. And many Vickery Meadow residents say if they mention to someone at a store or at work that they live in this neighborhood, they may be ostracized.

See also: Ebola Story Is All About Who, What, Where and Whether To Tell Anybody

Which is why Haj Ali, who moved to the neighborhood from Eritrea in 2012, says it's better just to stay home and stay quiet. "I hear about this Ebola coming from Africa, so I know about that," he says. "But me, I stay in my house. Sometimes people could associate me with the Ebola, because I am from Africa, so you have to be careful with that information."

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Dallas County Sheriff's Deputy Taken to Presbyterian Hospital Yesterday Doesn't Have Ebola

Categories: Healthcare

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Michael Monnig, the man taken from a Frisco Care Now clinic to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas after showing potential Ebola symptoms and indicating that he had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested negative for the Ebola virus.

According to conflicting reports yesterday, Monnig may have told workers at Care Now one of the following things: he had in contact with Duncan; he had entered his apartment; or he'd been in contact with Duncan's family.

Out of what Frisco Mayor Maher Maso called an abundance of caution, Monnig was taken to Presbyterian, the hospital that treated Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States.

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