#Ebola2014: On the Topic of Lab-Confirmation

Mens et Manus

As the current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa continues, 56 cases have been lab-confirmed out of 169 total (suspected + confirmed) thus far [CDC – 2014]. That’s around 33%.

A lot of folks have been wondering why that percentage is “so low”… But compared to other Ebola outbreaks? It’s really not.

For this particular disease, which requires a Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) facility to diagnose and has historically been constrained to some of the most economically disadvantaged parts of the world, 33% confirmation is pretty great. [Especially given that the outbreak is ongoing and not all samples have been tested yet!]

From 1976 til now, about 2500 cases of Ebola have been recorded throughout the African continent. Less than 25% of them were ever lab-confirmed.

Here’s to progress! – and to the men and women who risk their lives every day to make it happen.

—Maia Majumder, MPH

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Caribbean Rums Infuse Island Getaways

Repeating Islands

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Sharon McDonnell focuses on island getaways—in Barbados, Bonaire, Dominican Republic, Martinique, the U.S. Virgin Islands—organized around rum knowledge (and an interest in drinking coconut mojitos, rhum agricole, and herb-infused rums). Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:

Mount Gay Rum, Barbados: The world’s oldest rum brand, founded in 1703, Mount Gay has earned accolades — from Best Caribbean Rum to Best Super Premium Gold Rum — in the international Golden Rum Barrel Awards. Its five rums are Silver (clean tasting with banana and sugarcane notes), Eclipse (smoky aged), Extra Old (oaky and sharp, aged 8-15 years in Kentucky oak barrel), Black Barrel (matured a second time in charred oak barrels), and 1703 Old Cask Selection (caramel, oaky, blended from the oldest reserves). [. . .] mountgayrum.com

Cruzan Rum, U.S. Virgin Islands: On St. Croix, the most varied and biggest of the three main islands…

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Ain al-Hilweh refugees want to emigrate – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

This is what the idea of ​​the migration project is: “Either we live with dignity and they leave us alone or we leave. We do not have the right to travel to any Arab country, and we do not hold any passport. All we have is a travel document that no one recognizes. The idea of ​​claiming the right to emigrate is not aimed at giving up the right to return, but at living a decent life and staking a future for the Palestinian people,” Ghuzai added.

via Ain al-Hilweh refugees want to emigrate – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.

This is really important!

Greenpeace responds to P&G’s new effort on deforestation – Cincinnati Business Courier

Procter & Gamble Co. pledged today to work with palm oil suppliers and farmers in Indonesia to ensure that rainforests home to endangered animals aren’t destroyed.

Cincinnati-based P&G said it will require suppliers to submit plans that “demonstrate how they will ensure no deforestation in the supply chain for their mills by 2020.”

The announcement was applauded by the environmental advocacy group Greenpeace, which had stepped up pressure on P&G to guarantee that palm oil used in brands such as Head & Shoulders shampoo, Gillette shaving gel and Olay skin care products isn’t purchased from plantations that clear-cut forests.

Nine Greenpeace activists were arrested March 4 after some of them rappelled from the 12th floor of P&G’s corporate headquarters in Cincinnati to unfurl protest banners that called attention to the plight of Sumatran tigers and orangutans who live in rainforests.

via Greenpeace responds to P&G’s new effort on deforestation – Cincinnati Business Courier.

Austrian rightist withdraws candidacy for EU parliament after pro-Nazi, anti-black comments.

After Germany, itself, Austria was Hitler’s biggest supporter  – Fascism in the EU is still a danger – a growing one – old patterns can be revived and there never seems to be any shortage of cowards ready to bully their way to power!

Moelzer is on the far-right fringe of his party, which has made huge gains over recent years with a stridently Euroskeptic, anti-corruption and anti-foreigner message. It now regularly polls as the most popular of all Austrian parties.

via Austrian rightist withdraws candidacy for EU parliament after pro-Nazi, anti-black comments..

MERS fears prompt ER closure at Saudi hospital | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

Realities, not fears

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia: The main public hospital in the Saudi city of Jeddah has closed its emergency room after a rise in cases of the MERS virus among medical staff, medics said Tuesday.

A Jeddah paramedic was among two more people Saudi health authorities reported on Sunday had died from the SARS-like disease, bringing the nationwide death toll to 66.

On Monday, the health ministry reported four more MERS cases in Jeddah, two of them among health workers, prompting authorities to close the emergency department at the city’s King Fahd Hospital.

A medical source told AFP it was a “precautionary measure” and the Sabq.org news website reported that patients were being transferred to other hospitals in the city.

But the move caused widespread public concern in the city, fuelled by rumours on social networks.

“I’m afraid to send my children to school,” said Jeddah resident Bassem Ben Ali, 33.

The total number of cases in Saudi Arabia has reached 175 since Middle East Respiratory Syndrome first appeared in the kingdom in September 2012.

The MERS virus is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.

via MERS fears prompt ER closure at Saudi hospital | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR.

Smart car tipping targets San Francisco drivers [w/video]

Apparently, some delinquents in San Francisco, bereft of bovines to tip, have taken to tipping Smart ForTwos, like some absurd, real-life version of the tractor-tipping scene from Cars. Witnesses told KRON-4 in San Francisco that eight people, wearing hoods, were responsible for tipping three Smarts. While the vehicle above was tipped on its rear hatch, the other two were tipped on their side and roof, respectively.

via Smart car tipping targets San Francisco drivers [w/video].

Vance McAllister, the ‘Values’ Congressman Caught Kissing a Staffer, Has No Plans to Resign – The Wire

Ego = 100 Shame = 0 Ethics = -10 Double Standard = 100

Republican Rep. Vance McAllister of Louisiana won’t resign from office after admitting to kissing a staffer who is not his wife. McAllister, who successfully ran a Christian values-based campaign for a special election last November, gave an interview to the Monroe News-Star late on Monday to apologize for his indiscretion. “Unless there is an outcry for me not to serve,” McAllister told the paper, he would run again. He added that “so far there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people.”

via Vance McAllister, the ‘Values’ Congressman Caught Kissing a Staffer, Has No Plans to Resign – The Wire.