PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS. “It’s like a chain—one weak link and the whole thing falls apart. You need no weak links.”

“A statement late Friday said the confirmed cases are in Mbandaka city, where a single case was confirmed earlier in the week.
There are now 17 confirmed Ebola cases in this outbreak, including one death, plus 21 probable cases and five suspected ones.
Three new cases of the often lethal Ebola virus have been confirmed in a city of more than 1 million people, Congo’s health minister announced, as the spread of the hemorrhagic fever in an urban area raised alarm.
The statement late Friday said the confirmed cases are in Mbandaka city, where a single case was confirmed earlier in the week.
There are now 17 confirmed Ebola cases in this outbreak, including one death, plus 21 probable cases and five suspected ones. It was not immediately clear what link the new cases might have to others…
Health officials are trying to track down more than 500 people who have been in contact with those feared infected, a task that became more urgent with the spread to Mbandaka, which lies on the Congo River, a busy traffic corridor, and is an hour’s flight from the capital.” (A)

“The next global plague is coming…
The big picture: The total number of outbreaks every 10 years “has more than tripled since the 1980s,” Yong says. Bill Gates told Yong that if there was a severe flu pandemic, more than 33 million people could be killed across the world in 250 days.
“Boy, do we not have our act together.” — Bill Gates…
Preparing and confronting a pandemic relies on multiple moving parts, from the doctors to the nurses, appropriate hospital isolation for infected patients, vaccine delivery, Congress appropriation, and more. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, told Yong: “It’s like a chain—one weak link and the whole thing falls apart. You need no weak links.”” (B)

Although Chattanooga’s health care systems have never treated anyone for Ebola virus, Africa’s latest outbreak is a reminder that in today’s world, emerging infectious diseases are only a plane ride away.
In the event that a rare, deadly pathogen should strike the region, there’s a network of behind-the-scenes health care professionals — hospital workers, emergency medical services providers, health department staff — trained and prepared to handle the situation. They also know that there’s risk involved…
Following the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the United States government sought to beef up the nation’s ability to respond and treat patients infected with Ebola and other emerging infectious diseases in the event they traveled into the country.
Every hospital in Tennessee became a “front-line” facility, and six hospitals around the state — one of which is Erlanger’s main campus — were chosen as assessment facilities, meaning the hospital would provide the first 96 hours of supportive care to patients with suspicious symptoms and diagnose the illness through screening and lab tests. If test results are positive, EMS would transport the patient to a treatment facility in Atlanta.”
Dr. Jay Sizemore, an infectious diseases specialist and medical consultant for the team, said the first step is to know current pathogen activity around the world and where and when the patient traveled. (C)

(A) Congo says 3 new Ebola cases confirmed in large city, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/19/congo-says-3-new-ebola-cases-confirmed-in-large-city.html
(B) What we’re reading: U.S. is unprepared for a global plague, by Haley Britzky, https://www.axios.com/america-unprepared-global-plague-pandemic-cfd85278-eea5-49e2-a6f1-58e76ee34171.html
(C) Should Ebola or another infectious disease strike Chattanooga, a team of health care professionals is ready, http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2018/jun/17/should-ebolor-another-infectious-disease-stri/473216/

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