Senegal and Nigeria were declared free of the Ebola virus after six weeks with no new cases, heralding some good news in the battle against the outbreak and offering lessons to countries that are still struggling to contain it.
"This is a spectacular success story," World Health Organization Representative Rui Gama Vaz said at a news conference in Nigeria, Reuters reported on Monday.
"It shows that Ebola can be contained, but we must be clear that we have only won a battle, the war will only end when West Africa is also declared free of Ebola." more >>
Although some are praising Silicon Valley technology companies Facebook and Apple for offering to pay for their female employees to undergo egg freezing procedures that would allow them to put off childbirth until after the prime of their careers, a Christian ethicist is arguing that companies paying for such fertility treatments send the message that "mothers are not welcomed in the workplace during the prime of their careers."
In order to help attract the top female talents to come work for them, Facebook and Apple are offering a rare benefit that will finance up to $20,000 in annual coverage for women to freeze their eggs through the process of cryopreservation, a process that extracts the eggs from the mother and stores them in sub-zero temperature until the mother is ready to have kids.
Some feel the purpose of undergoing this fertility procedure is to allow women to focus on their careers when they are younger while putting off childbearing and motherhood until they have the flexibility for it later in life, perhaps after their career. The process typically costs about $10,000, while it costs about $500 per year to store the eggs. Facebook has already been offering this perk to their employees, while Apple will begin offering it to their employees in January of 2015. more >>
As President Barack Obama attempted to calm fears about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus Wednesday, one health official has charged that someone at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "dropped the ball" in allowing Amber Vinson, the second nurse infected with the virus to fly.
Vinson, 26, was one of the nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who cared for Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, who was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. this year. Vinson was confirmed as the second Dallas healthcare worker diagnosed with Ebola just a day after she took Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas with 132 other passengers on Oct. 13.
An unidentified health official charged in a CBS report Wednesday that Vinson called the CDC several times to report that she had a fever with a temperature of 99.5 degrees before flying. Since her fever was not 100.4 degrees or higher, she didn't fall into the "high risk" category and was allowed to fly. more >>
Congresswoman Gwen Moore, D-Wis., has addressed criticism toward the handling of Ebola cases by local and federal U.S. officials and said that despite Americans' fears, people from the affected West African countries should be allowed to continue to travel to the U.S.
"Understandably, many Americans have grown increasingly worried about the recent confirmed cases of Ebola within our country's borders. This response is certainly reasonable, and I share my constituents' concern, but it is important to ensure that our alarm about this virus doesn't lead to unreasonable and dangerous actions," Moore said in a statement.
She noted that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Tom Frieden and his team are working to educate the public on transmission risks and safety protocols, following news that a second Texas nurse contracted the deadly virus. more >>
Recent events have brought the debate on so-called "death with dignity" and assisted suicide into the spotlight again. And yet, the argument is not really a new one. No less a light than William Shakespeare extensively dealt with the subject in his writing.
"Death with dignity" is essentially a code word for suicide, sometimes in the face of a terminal illness. As one humanist put it, he wants to kill himself on his own terms rather than die from some disease. He said it would be like telling God, "You can't fire me---I quit."
In the Netherlands, they accepted the basic concept of doctor-assisted suicide ("death with dignity") many years ago. But they have now reached the point where the level of involuntary deaths has exceeded the number of voluntary deaths. more >>
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a press conference Wednesday to address the second confirmed case of Ebola in the United States. Amber Vinson, the second nurse to contract the virus at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas while caring for Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, will be transported to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
Sylvia Matthews Burwell, secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, recognized the service of the nurses who have contracted the Ebola virus while caring for Duncan who died on Oct. 8, 11 days after he was admitted into an isolation unit at the hospital.
"Patients being treated at Texas Presbyterian Hospital will be transported to Emory's specialized unit sometime later today. We are redoubling our efforts and continuing to communicate," Burwell said. "We need to stop this epidemic at its source in West Africa." more >>