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Oct 11, 2014
Threat Journal is a weekly supplement to the AlertsUSA National Threat
and Incident Notification Service for Mobile Devices
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WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP
Now Published Each Saturday Afternoon
MV-22B DEparts Spain for Africa – ALLOW IMAGES
Marine General Warns of Ebola Nightmare Scenario,
HHS Secretary Warns More to Come,
WHO Warns Spread Across Europe Unavoidable
Oct 11, 2014
Between Oct 5-8, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash messages to subscriber mobile devices:
10/8 – Texas health authorities reporting that U.S. Ebola index patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, has died.
10/7 – CT Governor declares pub health emergency over Ebola threat. Move gives authorities power to quarantine those believed to have been exposed to the virus.
10/7 – USGOV to begin health screenings at several major US intl airports over Ebola. Cases spreading. Spain: 1 conf, 4 susp, Saudi Arabia (Jeddah – Hajj…): 1 death.
10/5 – AlertsUSA warns the number of daily reports of poss Ebola cases climbing fast. We monitor each and will only report on CONFIRMED cases to minimize false alarms.
What You Need To Know
On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding the West African Ebola outbreak, the death of U.S. index patient Thomas Eric Duncan and stepped up efforts by federal and state agencies to prepare for what is threatening to become a much larger case count here in the U.S..
HEALTH SCREENINGS AT U.S. AIRPORTS
On Tuesday subscribers were notified that the federal government was preparing to announce the launch of health screenings at several major U.S. airports in an attempt to identify sick travelers. These plans were made public by the CDC the following day and involve the CDC and officers from the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs & Border Protection agency screening passengers at five U.S. airports that receive the majority of travelers from the Ebola-affected nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
FORCED QUARANTINE AN OPTION
Travelers arriving from these countries will be observed for signs of illness, be asked to complete a health and exposure questionnaire and have their temperature measured. If the travelers present with a fever or other indications, or if the health questionnaire reveals possible Ebola exposure, they will be evaluated by a CDC public health officer with forced quarantine a distinct possibility, particularly with those who refuse to undergo the new screenings.
RESOURCE: CDC Legal Authorities for Isolation and Quarantine
The screenings are slated to begin on October 11, 2014 at New York’s JFK Int’l (JFK) and next week at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta (ATL), Washington Dulles (IAD), Newark Liberty (EWR) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD).
British authorities also announced this week they would soon introduce similar enhanced screening procedures at Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick (LGW) airports and Eurostar rail terminals.
MINIMAL IMPACT EXPECTED
Readers are cautioned that these checks will likely have very little impact on filtering those individuals who are possible carriers of the virus given the incubation period for Ebola is currently said to be as long as 3 weeks. So as to illustrate the inherent weakness in this layer of the strategy, the screening procedure would not have caught the Dallas Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, as he did not begin displaying any symptoms for several days after his arrival. Additionally, there are a myriad of OTC medications available to bring down fevers.
Additionally, all exit screening efforts taking place at airports in the Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are currently being carried out by poorly trained local healthcare and immigration workers, though the CDC is said to be increasing training efforts.
Further, readers should understand there are no direct flights between the U.S. and any of the three West African nations. Individuals traveling from the region must first fly to hub cities such as Paris, Brussels, Accra, Ghana, Nairobi, Kenya, or Casablanca, Morocco, then board connecting flights for the trip to the U.S.. Thus, debates about the U,S, government shutting down airline flights are, essentially, a waste of time unless you also intend to shut down all incoming flights from the whole of Europe, S. America and Asia as all three routes are used by travelers to ultimately arrive in the U.S…
CT GOV DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY
Gov. Dan P. Malloy issued an executive order Tuesday that gives the state’s public health commissioner broad power to quarantine anyone exposed to or infected with the Ebola virus.
RESOURCE: CT Declaration of Public Health Emergency (PDF)
NOTABLE QUOTES OF THE WEEK
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell this week stated that despite the best efforts of health officials, Americans have to prepare for the reality that there may be more cases of Ebola in the United States.
“We had one case and I think there may be other cases, and I think we have to recognize that as a nation.”
WHO European director Zsuzsanna Jakab this week stated that the spread of Ebola across Europe is “quite unavoidable.”
“It is quite unavoidable … that such incidents will happen in the future because of the extensive travel both from Europe to the affected countries and the other way around,”
Four Star Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, issued dire warnings about Ebola and the impact of an outbreak in the Caribbean or Central America:
“It will make the 68,000 unaccompanied minors look like a small problem.”
“If Ebola breaks out in Haiti or in Central America, I think it is literally ‘Katie bar the door’ in terms of the mass migration … into the United States.”
‘By the end of the year, there’s supposed to be 1.4 million people infected with Ebola and 62 percent of them dying, according to the CDC. That’s horrific. And there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa.”
“The nightmare scenario, I think, is right around the corner.”
To this end, health authorities are attempting to closely monitor an outbreak of a yet unidentified hemorrhagic disease spreading within several cities in Venezuela. Additionally, authorities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are treating what they refer to as a “probable” case of Ebola with a 47 year old missionary who returned to Brazil from Guinea last month.
MORE CONFLICTING GOVERNMENT INFORMATION
Once again, AlertsUSA again cautions readers to carefully evaluate the conflicting information being put forth by public health and government officials regarding transmission and survivability of the virus, perhaps in an effort to minimize panic.
Last week we highlighted conflicts regarding transmissibility via airborne and aerosol routes. This week, we point out that despite public pronouncements by the CDC, WHO and cable news medical personalities that the Ebola virus does not survive beyond a few HOURS on contaminated surfaces, published research in respected, peer reviewed scientific journals show that “viable” Ebola virus can in fact survive for multiple WEEKS on surfaces outside the body.
As an example, research published in 2010 within the Journal of Applied Microbiology demonstrated that two different strains of Ebola, including Ebola-Zaire which is at the heart of the current W. Africa outbreak, can survive for long periods in different liquid media and can also be recovered from plastic and glass surfaces at low temperatures for over 3 weeks.
Piercy TJ, Smither SJ, Steward JA, Eastaugh L, Lever MS., The survival of filoviruses in liquids, on solid substrates and in a dynamic aerosol, Journal of Applied Microbiology, 2010 Nov;109(5):1531-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2010.04778.x. Epub 2010 Jun 10.
AND RISK MITIGATION
NEW FROM THE CDC
Detailed Emergency Medical Services
(EMS) Checklist for Ebola Preparedness (PDF)
While it is impossible for anyone to be fully prepared for each and every type of emergency, it IS possible to mitigate your risk in specific, known threat environments. This is the case with the threat of Ebola.
AlertsUSA has established an Ebola preparedness website offing specific guidance and information on how to prepare for and respond to a domestic outbreak of Ebola. http://www.EbolaReady.com .
EbolaReady Banner – ALLOW IMAGES
Many of the preparedness suggestions on this page reflect common sense. Others will come across as cold and severe until it is remembered that Ebola is a highly infectious and deadly pathogen. More than half of those who become infected die and that death is particularly gruesome.
In addition, we make product suggestions on the site with links to a multitude of suppliers via Amazon as they are convenient and inexpensive compared to most retail outlets. That said, if you can find these products elsewhere at a better price, by all means exercise those options. The links are there for your convenience.
For 10 of the past 11 weeks, AlertsUSA and Threat Journal have been warning of the progression of the West Africa Ebola outbreak and the danger posed to the continental United States (See 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10). A wealth of information is available within those past issues.
As always, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor developments with the spread of this virus and will immediately notify service subscribers of major changes in its spread to different regions, important notices and warnings by government agencies or any other major changes in the overall threat environment as events warrant
OTHER ALERTS ISSUED THIS WEEK BUT
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER
10/11 – Overnight: USGOV issues new travel warning for Mexico. Widespread risk of criminal activity incl homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery.
10/10 – USGOV issues new Worldwide Caution to Americans warning of the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against US citizens and interests globally.
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====> CLICK TO WATCH VIDEO <====
Travel Security Update
The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.
Latest USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings
for Travel Because
See all USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings HERE.
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