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Nov 8, 2014 Threat Journal is a weekly supplement to the AlertsUSA National Threat
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WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP
Now Published Each Saturday Afternoon
MV-22B Ospre Over Liberia – ALLOW IMAGES
USGOV In New Scramble to Prepare for Ebola
50 Ebola Treatment Centers Planned For The U.S.
CDC: Ebola From a Handshake
Nov 8, 2014
Between Nov 4-5, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash messages to subscriber mobile devices:
11/5 – The Ebola threat is not over. Obama Admin seeking $6B in emerg funds to boost Strategic Nat’l Stockpile readiness for domestic outbreak + overseas efforts.
11/4 – A major national nursing strike is taking shape for next Tues/Wed over insufficient protocols, training & protective gear for handling Ebola cases.
What You Need To Know
Twice this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding the latest moves on the part of the U.S. government and the private sector in relation to the ongoing Ebola crisis.
AMERICA’S NURSES TO STRIKE OVER EBOLA PREPS
On Tuesday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of an upcoming nurses strike scheduled for Nov. 11-12th in at least 14 states to press demands for tougher Ebola safety precautions in the nation’s hospitals, as well additional training and the provision of optimal personal protective equipment.
What independent nurses and nurse’s unions nationwide are demanding are optimal personal protective equipment including full-body hazmat suits meeting top standards for the prevention of blood and viral penetration, as well as National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved powered air purifying respirators. They are also demanding that all facilities provide rigorous training for health workers who might encounter an Ebola patient, including practice donning and doffing hazmat suits which is where some of the greatest risk of infection can occur.
CDC CHANGES EBOLA CASE DEFINITION AND RISK FACTORS
Late last week, the CDC quietly changed their Ebola Case Definition, replacing the specification of a fever above 101.5 with the simple phrase “elevated body temperature”. The differences in this definition are dramatic when considering the topic of quarantines.
OLD EBOLA CASE DEFINITION (LINK)
Person Under Investigation (PUI)
A person who has both consistent signs or symptoms and risk factors as follows
Clinical criteria, which includes fever of greater than 38.6 degrees Celsius or 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and additional symptoms such as severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or unexplained hemorrhage;
Epidemiologic risk factors within the past 21 days before the onset of symptoms, such as contact with blood or other body fluids or human remains of a patient known to have or suspected to have EVD; residence in—or travel to—an area where EVD transmission is active*; or direct handling of bats or non-human primates from disease-endemic areas.
NEW EBOLA CASE DEFINITION (LINK)
Person Under Investigation (PUI)
A person who has both consistent signs or symptoms and risk factors as follows:
Elevated body temperature or subjective fever or symptoms, including severe headache, fatigue, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or unexplained hemorrhage;
An epidemiologic risk factor within the 21 days before the onset of symptoms.
Perhaps more importantly, the CDC also added new risk factors to their Ebola Case Definition, including being in the same room for a brief period of time with an individual who was merely symptomatic, which would suggest potential for infection via respiratory means without actually saying the dreaded word “airborne”, as well as brief contact, such as a simple hand shake, with an individual in the early stages of the disease.
OLD EBOLA RISK FACTORS (LINK)
Person Under Investigation (PUI)
A low risk exposure includes any of the following
Household contact with an EVD patient
Other close contact with EVD patients in health care facilities or community settings. Close contact is defined as
being within approximately 3 feet (1 meter) of an EVD patient or within the patient’s room or care area for a prolonged period of time (e.g., health care personnel, household members) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., standard, droplet, and contact precautions; see Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations)
having direct brief contact (e.g., shaking hands) with an EVD patient while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.
Brief interactions, such as walking by a person or moving through a hospital, do not constitute close contact
NEW EBOLA RISK FACTORS (LINK)
Low (but not zero) risk includes any of the following:
Having been in a country with widespread Ebola virus transmission within the past 21 days and having had no known exposures
Having brief direct contact (e.g., shaking hands) while not wearing appropriate PPE, with a person with Ebola while the person was in the early stage of disease
Brief proximity, such as being in the same room for a brief period of time, with a person with Ebola while the person was symptomatic
In countries without widespread Ebola virus transmission: direct contact while using appropriate PPE with a person with Ebola while the person was symptomatic
Traveled on an aircraft with a person with Ebola while the person was symptomatic.
Here again, this is all very different than the standard line still being fed to the American public by politicians and public health personalities that there is nothing to worry about and that you have to come into contact with bodily fluids.
OBAMA ADMiN SEEKS 6 BILLION FOR EBOLA PREPAREDNESS
Perhaps in response to the looming nursing strike, as well as the CDC’s changing view on potential risk factors, this week the Obama Administration announced it would be seeking an additional $6 BILLION dollars in emergency funding to fortify domestic Ebola preparedness efforts as well as overseas operations.
According to White House documents, a sizeable portion of the request would boost domestic readiness by funding 50 Ebola treatment centers across the U.S., providing protective equipment and training to healthcare workers, increased monitoring of travelers entering the homeland from abroad and to fortify supplies within the Strategic National Stockpile.
FIVE U.S. MILITARY BASES DESIGNATED AS QUARINTINE SITES
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, has signed off on a plan to use five U.S. military bases as locations for the quarantine and monitoring of U.S. forces serving in Ebola-affected countries as well as outbreak areas in the U.S.. The bases selected are Fort Hood and Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; and Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
UNIFORMED SERVICE MEMBERS TREATING EBOLA PATIENTS
Despite Obama administration assurances that no U.S. forces serving in West Africa will be treating Ebola patients, it turns out that this is not quite the case. It is being reported this week that in fact 70 uniformed officers of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) will be treating local healthcare workers who become infected.
PHSCC is the federal uniformed service of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, consists of only commissioned officers and has no enlisted or warrant officer ranks. While regarded as noncombatants, they can be detailed to a service branch of the armed forces by the President. Members of the PHSCC wear the same uniforms as the U.S. Navy with special corps insignia and hold ranks equivalent to those of naval officers.
Additionally, the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland has deployed two mobile testing labs to Liberia to support Operation United Assistance. Both labs, operated by naval officers, provide Ebola diagnostic services for local hospitals.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MAINSTREAM EBOLA COVERAGE?
On Tues of this week, AlertsUSA subscribers were sent a special update discussing the dramatic drop off in news stories and media reports on the topic of Ebola and the near nationwide halt in reports of suspected cases.
Readers will recall that on October 21, AlertsUSA subscribers received the following SMS message on their mobile devices:
10/21 – FLASH: CDC insider tells AlertsUSA that U.S. hospitals being advised to NOT publicly report suspected / confirmed Ebola cases using privacy laws as shield.
Early this week we were informed by other sources in Washington that the Obama Administration was hard at work attempting to tamp down mainstream reporting on the topic. This was followed by a single line appearing in a Forbes magazine article:
“The Associated Press and other press outlets have agreed not to report on suspected cases of Ebola in the United States until a positive viral RNA test is completed.”
(While the statement has since been retracted, considering the information from other sources and the fact that most other mainstream outlets, as if in unison, have dramatically cut back reporting on the topic, the retraction is at the very least highly suspect.)
And there you have it.
1.) Control the source of the news (hospitals and health departments)
2.) Control the propagation of the news (news outlets and wire services)
It should come as no surprise that these efforts were undertaken in the final two weeks leading up to the midterm elections.
Despite this blackout of sorts, AlertsUSA receives a steady stream of information from other sources nationally and globally. Before anything is reported to you, we always seek secondary and tertiary confirmation so as to maintain accuracy. As AlertsUSA subscribers are well aware, we deal in black and white facts. No gray matter. No rumors. That said, healthcare workers, public health professionals and members of the armed services have privately informed us of numerous additional laboratory-confirmed cases of Ebola in the U.S. or involving U.S. citizens. But without solid confirmation upon which we can stake the reputation of the company, we can not send this information out as an alert message. The blowback could be significant.
In a strange twist of irony, what do most members of the general public consider solid confirmation? A hyperlink to a story by mainstream news outlets or wire services who regularly lie and twist facts about most other topics OR who agree to not publish stories at the request of politicians or for political expedience. Go figure…
Given this environment, AlertsUSA has established a web-based resource listing some of these tips, but which are marked out as UNCONFIRMED. No details will ever be publicly revealed alluding to the sources of the information, but if it is listed, you can expect that it meets a certain threshold of validity. This list can be found on the EbolaReady.com website.
EbolaReady Banner – ALLOW IMAGES
KEEP THE TOPIC ON YOUR RADAR
In summary, we urge readers to not grow complacent because mainstream coverage has dropped off. We are now at the start of flu season and the government is going to great lengths to make Ebola a non-story while scrambling behind the scene to prepare a stronger domestic response. This should speak volumes to anyone paying attention.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
1. If Ebola is not a threat, why the overriding effort to stamp out reporting?
2. If Ebola is not a threat, why have more soldiers been deployed to West Africa than to Iraq to face the growing threat from the Islamic State?
3. If Ebola is not a threat, why is the government suddenly establishing 50 Ebola treatment centers around the country?
4. If Ebola is not a threat, why is the government outfitting and/or retrofitting many VA medical centers to accommodate Ebola patients? (Here are just a few examples: See this, this,and this)
For 14 of the past 15 weeks, AlertsUSA and Threat Journal have been warning of the progression of the West Africa Ebola outbreak, the danger posed to the continental U.S., and documenting the overall developments and response (See 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14). 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
11/6 – DHS warns industry of dangerous Russian malware inserted into software used to control key critical infrastructure, incl power grids & municipal water systems.
11/6 – Pentagon to announce deployment of more U.S. forces to Baltic states and Poland in resp to incr threatening Russian military activity and aerial incursions.
11/5 – Pres. Obama to seek Congressional approval for expanded military role against Islamic State. DoD sources say poss combat role for US soldiers. Developing..
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Child’s School District.
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We are NOT part of the government.
In fact, they are our customers!
“I’m an RN. AlertsUSA keeps me up to the minute with the most pertinent developments in anything nuclear, biological, or chemical that may threaten health either immediately or down the road. Often, as with the emerging “bird flu” virus, I receive such advance notice I have time to include the information into the in-service training I give other nurses.”
====> 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
Burkina Faso 10/31/2014
Worldwide Caution 10/10/2014
for Travel Because
of Ebola 10/24/2014
See all USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings HERE.
Take Advantage of These Resources
Our social media channels provide a steady steam of important news and resources between issues of Threat Journal with little or no overlap of content. Combined with the AlertsUSA service for instant mobile notification of the really bad developments, you have an unmatched set of tools to keep yourself fully up to speed on the nation’s threat environment. With times getting worse by the day, we urge you to utilize these resources.
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