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Friday, October 24, 2014

Preventable school gun violence in Washington state USA

Americans are justifiably concerned about the potential for the infectious Ebola virus to spread. Yet, the same people who are harboring fear about this disease appear unscathed about preventing the growing epidemic of gun violence, as it's infecting our nation at a much higher rate and with at least as much mortality as Ebola.

Now, even more preventable gun violence has occured in still another school shooting. This time, the preventable tragedy occurred in Washington State, at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, where a young gunman killed himself and one other person, while terrorizing the entire campus.  

CNN reports:  The shooter who opened fire Friday morning at Washington state's Marysville-Pilchuck High School played football and was recently named to the homecoming court.

Additionally, CNN provided data about the number of school shootings since the Newtown innocents massacre in Connecticut. 
In the horrifying report, the headline asks if school shootings are becoming the norm?

There have been 74 school shootings in the past 18 months, during
the time period since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were shot to death. The statistic came from a group called Everytown for Gun Safety, an umbrella group started by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a passionate and public advocate of gun control.


It's certainly incongruous for Americans to be obsessed with a few incidents of infectious Ebola while gun violence is unchecked. There's been a national call out for infectious diseases resources to be diverted to preventive efforts, including travel bans from Ebola infected areas of Africa. All the while, our nation's children are dying from the most preventable epidemic of all time. Gun violence is preventable if people insisted on regulating the use of personal weapons made for the purpose of murdering human beings and tax ammunition at a rate higher than legalized marijuana.

Obviously, the world wants to find a cure or effective preventative vaccine to end the Ebola epidemic in Africa. This deadly virus is obviously spreading at a exponentially fast rate, with high associated mortality.  

Gun violence is also spreading.  

Of course, we know the causes of gun violence are uncontrolled access to weapons and ammunition.  We also know the effect of gun violence - it's premature deaths, as well as emotional and physical disabilities related to the wounds of the survivors. Likewise, we also know how to cure the epidemic of gun violence.    
Nevertheless, Americans are obsessed with preventing Ebola from spreading after three Americans, two nurses and a physician, have become infected in recent weeks.  

It's simply unexplained. How is it Americans can ignore a cure for gun violence but demand for extraordinary resources to be showered on the prevention of a few incidents of Ebola? 

Hopefully, our nation will eventually come up with a cure for both.

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Dr. Greg Spencer is another victim of the Ebola virus - another tragic consequence for the caregivers

Those calling for a travel ban on people arriving in the US from Ebola stricken areas of Africa can't be living in the real world. NewYork City physician Dr. Greg Spencer is now a victim of the Ebola virus, another care giver infected by the disease. Nothing would have prevented Dr. Spencer from returning to New York City and his home in Harlem. Travel bans simply aren't possible in the 21st century.

It's at least helpful for the public to read how New York City is quickly responding to this latest Ebola virus patient, with the state's Governor Cuomo making a leadership statement quoted in this article from The New York Post.

Ebola strikes NYC: Doctor tests positive for deadly virus
The New York Post reports:



New York has its first case of Ebola.

A Harlem doctor who recently treated patients in Africa tested positive for the deadly disease ­after he was rushed to Bellevue Hospital on Thursday morning with fatigue, nausea and a 103-degree fever. (This information was later modified, the temperature was really 100.3 F not 103 degrees.)

Dr. Craig Spencer, a 33-year-old Doctors Without Borders volunteer, and his live-in fiancée, Morgan Dixon, 30, were quarantined at Bellevue as investigators ­retraced the couple’s steps from the six days since the doctor returned from Guinea last Friday, the sources said. The Associated Press reported two of Spencer’s friends were also quarantined but had shown no symptoms of the virus.

Spencer’s West 147th Street apartment has been sealed, and two of Spencer’s friends have also self-quarantined in their homes, officials said.

And an Uber car-service driver who recently transported Spencer has self-quarantined as well, officials said.

At a press conference Thursday night, officials claimed that Spencer had mostly “stayed at home” since his return.

“We don’t want to give the impression he self-quarantined, but he did limit his contact,” claimed Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, head of the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“He did attempt to self-isolate,” she told reporters.

Still, officials conceded that Spencer had also made numerous excursions around the city in the days before he was diagnosed.

That included riding the subway, walking the High Line, taking the Uber car and, on Wednesday night — even as he was already feeling fatigued, according to officials — taking a three-mile run and spending the evening bowling.


Spencer went to The Gutter, a popular Williamsburg bowling and music venue, sources said.  In fact, the bowling alley was shuttered Thursday night, and issued a statement saying: “We’ve been in constant contact with the Health Department and they have determined that there was no risk to our customers.”

Spencer rode the subway in the past five days, traveling on the A, L and 1 lines, a law-enforcement source told The Post.


Spencer's along the High Line also involved a meal at a nearby restaurant, sources said.

Spencer also visited Herald Square in his travels around town, sources added.

Spencer did not show up at his job at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, where he is a fellow in international emergency medicine, officials there assured.

But investigators weren’t taking any chances, and were at the hospital Thursday night to double check that he had no contact with patients or staff, sources said.

The NYPD’s Missing Persons Squad is pitching in, looking at Spencer’s Metro­Card, credit cards and bank statements to track all his travels and determine if any other locations need to be monitored, sources said.

Meanwhile, the federal Center s for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was rushing a special response team to Bellevue.

“We are as ready as one can be for this circumstance,” Gov. Cuomo assured New Yorkers Thursday night at the press conference.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pope Francis speaks out about removing suspected terrorists to torture centers

Although former Vice President Dick Cheney is not Roman Catholic, I'm sure he's feeling the brunt of a statement by Pope Francis about "renditions".


Certainly, no one wants to presume to put words in the mouth of a Pope. Nevertheless, when the subject a Pope speaks about is clearly directed to the actions of the George W. Bush administration, and VP Cheney and torture....well.....seems like the Pope was pretty clear who he was talking about.  

In my opinion, the Pope's comments specifically had Vice-President Dick Cheney in his salient message. It's a bad day for Cheney, regardless of his personal religious beliefs.

Although Pope Francis is frank in his opinion against "renditions", the fact is, the tactics of bringing Al Qaeda fighters to camps where they were exposed to torture has not improved US national security. Regardless of how people may feel or respond to the use of torture to obtain intelligence information, the fact is, the cruel tactics have never been proven to work. Now, Pope Francis is singling out the practice as cruel, in remarks reported in Newsmax.

Pope Condemns Extraordinary Renditions in Law Talk

Rendition: The legal procedure or process of sending a suspected criminal to another country to be interrogated or detained, usually for law-enforcement purposes.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rendition?s=t

Pope Francis has condemned the practice of extraordinary renditions used by the CIA after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

In a speech to the International Association of Penal Law on Thursday, Francis also called life prison terms "hidden death sentences" and denounced the use of preventive detention as a "hidden, illegal punishment."

He urged all people of good will to fight against the death penalty and to work to improve prison conditions overall so that inmates' dignity is respected.

Francis urged the international community to stop renditions, saying it was an "abuse" for countries to allow suspects to be kidnapped from their territory and transferred to torture centers. He said the principle of the dignity of each human being must prevail over everything.

Dear Vice President Dick Cheney - I can't justify your support for torture under any circumstances, but now the Pope is speaking out about renditions.  Finally.......Pope Francis, a man who clearly has a higher calling than anything political, is calling you out. Amen.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Maybe America's Patriot Act prevents domestic terrorism - Canada might want to borrow our law


Tragically, the world is laced with terrorism now and in the foreseeable future. Those of us alive today may never experience the innocence of life as we knew it, before terrorism.

As a potential deterrent, post a gunman's attack on the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa today, it might be time for Canada to consider implementing a law similar to America's Patriot's Act.

Ever since its implementation, the American Patriot Act has been received with some reticence, especially among civil liberties advocates.   Although I'm not a lawyer, I've been skeptical about the law. Nevertheless, the intention is to protect Americans from terrorism, like the September 11, 2001 attacks on our nation by Al Qaeda.  Some civil liberties must be put at risk to protect our nation from avoidable terrorist attacks

Many Americans were naive enough to believe that the war on terrorism would have a beginning and an end. Tragically, we're living in a world where terrorism is an ongoing threat for our future.  

The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush, on October 26, 2001. The title of the act is a ten-letter "USA PATRIOT" that stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.

On May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011, a four-year extension of three key provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act: roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the "library records provision"), and conducting surveillance of "lone wolves"—individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups.


There's no way of knowing how many "lone wolves" or other kinds of terrorist attacks have been prevented by the provisions in the USA Patriot Act. 

It's possible the Canadians will now accelerate the provisions of the Patriot Act, for their own national security. Seems like a timely consideration. Obviously, today's attack on the Canadian Parliament will raise awareness about the potential deterrents in the USA law.

Sadly, nothing will be 100 percent effective against terrorism.
Our "new normal" for our time includes the realization that millions of Muslim extremists are obsessed with destroying Western civilizations.

Consequently, implementing the USA Patriot Act isn't enough of a deterrent. What's evidently needed is an international strategy to destroy Muslim extremists and their recruitment of misguided Western sympathizers. 

If Canadians become as focused on destroying international terrorists as we are in the USA, then passage of the USA Patriot Act might also become a model for international law. 

It's even possible the USA Patriot's Act could become one of the rare successes of the George W. Bush presidency.

Americans send our deepest condolences to the victims of the attack on the Canadian Parliament today, as well as the killing of Canadian military, murdered for no apparent reason in Montreal and in Ottawa.  

Hopefully, Americans can cooperate with Canada to defeat terrorism, by leading the international efforts to destroy the evil intentions of extremism, wherever it festers.


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Monica Lewinski is now the bully she's pretending to fight

Mrs. Hillary Clinton should be protected from bullying from the past mistakes of a has been ingenue named Monica Lewinski.

Don't believe for one minute the encore saga Monica Lewinski now reveals out about how her pitiful private life was ruined because of an affair she participated in with President Clinton.  

If Monica Lewinski were really serious about fighting cyber bullying, as she now claims, then she'd stop resurrecting her old persona and do something constructive with her life. 

Instead, Lewinski is programmed with disingenuous narcissism, posing for Vanity Fair photo ops and using passive aggressive bullying tactics to create angst for the one person in her saga who is completely innocent ie, Hillary Clinton. 

"I was romantic, like 22 year old romantic....,"  says Lewinski in her anti bully stump speech. Oh paaaleeze.  Lewinski's past has nothing to do with her new found anti-bullying cause.

There's virtually nothing romantic about hurting innocent people, just because you can. Mrs. Hillary Clinton had nothing whatsoever to do with Monica Lewinski.  Lewinski's political timing is certainly not altruistic.

Nevertheless, Monica Lewinski is determined to cause emotional pain to Mrs. Clinton, the innocent victim, the REAL victim, in her soap opera encore. Lewinski is a 42 year old ingenue who isn't a soap opera star, anymore. 

On the other hand, Mrs. Hillary Clinton is a super star, while Lewinski is a classic anachronism, meaning, she's old news.  

Regardless of how Lewisnski pretends to be advocating for cyber bullying victims, she is clearly recreating her own victimization drama.  

She's the bully her "cause" campaign is supposed to be fighting. Lewinski is the bully, she's her own enemy.


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Monday, October 20, 2014

Dear Brian Williams - Monica Lewiniski is old news

Here's a list of real news stories to help the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. He appears to need advice about how to provide news viewers with information, rather than muckraking old political information from the 1990s, just to create buzz.

My top of mind list:

1.  Lead with Richard Engels. Please.

2.  Report on how caregivers in Liberia are facing Ebola.

3.  Interview Secretary of State Kerry about how Turkey is responding to negotiations about supporting international efforts to destroy the evil ISIS.

4.  Provide an investigative report about how America's roads, bridges and airports are in need of infrastructure support.

5.  How have the sequestration cuts imposed by the US Congress impacted the US infectious control response to the Ebola virus?

6.  Interview Cubans in Florida about immigration reform.

7.  Follow yachts out of Key West Florida, as they sail unencumbered into Havana harbor.

8.  Interview Russian President Vladimir Putin.

9.  Report about the Hong Kong protesters.

10.  Investigate Germany's military...does it even exist?  How  can Germany defend itself these days?  Is NATO the German defense Alliance?

So, Mr. Williams, I wrote these 10 ideas in less than 15 minutes. Your  news staff is surely paid many thousands of dollars to create dog features and muckraking stories, rather than report real news.
Maybe your  staff would appreciate my part time help.  

Monica Lewinski is old news.  Just because she's become a champion of anti bullying doesn't make her news. In fact, Monica Lewinski can mobilize Democrats faster than former right wing darling Sarah Palin ever could.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ebola virus reality check- it has been here in the past

Transcending the Ebola virus with facts.

It’s odd to see otherwise pretty rational folks getting nervous about the news that the American Ebola patients are being treated in American hospitals.  

There are irrational fears about “What if Ebola gets out?” “What if it infects the doctors/pilots/nurses taking care of them?” “I don’t want Ebola in the United States!”  

Irrational fears are now extending to extreme reactions about "closing borders" with all countries where Ebola is reported, especially west African nations.  

Americans have overreacted to the risk of Ebola virus exposure, but with some justification. Even infectious disease experts won't provide 100 percent assurance about how to prevent transmission. 
Unfortunately, the mismanagement of Mr. Duncan's diagnosis by Texas Health Presbyterian staff in Dallas exposed dozens of people to the Ebola virus.  In fact, Mr. Duncan was infectious because he was experiencing symptoms of the disease when he was turned away from the emergency department at his first visit. Later, he traveled to the ED by ambulance, where he died in an isolation room.  Dozens of caregivers were unnecessarily exposed to the virus, as a result.

Nevertheless, it turns out, the Ebola virus has been in the US prior to the cluster of infections reported in Dallas Texas, after Mr. Duncan died and two nurses became infected from the virus.

Medical Examiner blog reports about the rare incidents of other highly infectious virus outbreaks, including Ebola.


How to contain the deadly hemorrhagic fevers that occasionally reach the United States, by Tara C. Smith.

This article originally appeared in the blog Aetiology.

It’s odd to see otherwise pretty rational folks getting nervous about a disease as rare as Ebola.  “What if Ebola gets out (in the US)?” “What if it infects the doctors/pilots/nurses taking care of them?” “I don’t want Ebola in the United States!”

Guess what?  Ebola has already been in the US.  

Ebola is a virus with no vaccine or cure. Any scientist who wants to work with the live virus needs to have biosafety level 4 facilities (the highest, most secure labs in existence, abbreviated BSL-4) available to them. We have a number of those here in the United States, and people are working with many of the Ebola types here. Have you heard of any Ebola outbreaks occurring here in the United States? Nope. These scientists are highly trained and very careful, just like people treating these Ebola patients and working out all the logistics of their arrival and transport.

Second, you might not know that we’ve already experienced patients coming into the United States with deadly hemorrhagic fever infections. We’ve had more than one case of imported Lassa fever, another African hemorrhagic fever virus with a fairly high fatality rate in humans (though not rising to the level of Ebola outbreaks). One occurred in Pennsylvania, another in New York, a previous one in New Jersey a year ago. 

All told, there have been at least seven cases of Lassa fever imported into the United States—and those are just the ones we know about, people who were sick enough to be hospitalized, and whose symptoms and travel history alerted doctors to take samples and contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s not surprising this would show up occasionally in the United States, as Lassa causes up to 300,000 infections per year in Africa.

How many secondary cases occurred from those importations? None. Like Ebola, Lassa is spread from human to human via contact with blood and other body fluids. It’s not readily transmissible or easily airborne, so the risk to others in U.S. hospitals (or on public transportation or other similar places) is quite low.  (In public health language, the concept of "not readily" means it's difficult, but not impossible, for the Ebola and Lassa viruses to be airborne....)
Also, there's an imported case of Ebola’s cousin virus, named Marburg. One of those was diagnosed in Colorado in 2008, in a woman who had traveled to Uganda and apparently was sickened by the virus there. Even though she wasn’t diagnosed until a full year after the infection (and then only because sherequested that she be tested for Marburg antibodies after seeing a report of another Marburg death in a tourist who’d visited the same places she had in Uganda), no secondary cases were seen in that importation either.

And of course, who could forget the identification of a new strain of Ebola virus within the United States. Though the Reston virus is not harmful to humans, it certainly was concerning when it was discovered in a group of imported monkeys. So this will be far from our first tango with Ebola in this country.

Ebola is a terrible disease. It kills many of the people that it infects. It can spread fairly rapidly when precautions are not carefully adhered to: when cultural practices such as ritual washing of bodies are continued despite warnings, or when needles are reused because of a lack of medical supplies, or when gloves and other protective gear are not available, or when patients are sharing beds because they are brought to hospitals lacking even such basics as enough beds or clean bedding for patients. But if all you know of Ebola is from The Hot Zone or Outbreak, well, that’s not really what Ebola looks like. I interviewed colleagues from Doctors without Borders a few years back on their experiences with an Ebola outbreak, and they noted:

As for the disease, it is not as bloody and dramatic as in the movies or books. The patients mostly look sick and weak. If there is blood, it is not a lot, usually in the vomit or diarrhea, occasionally from the gums or nose. The transmission is rather ordinary, just contact with infected body fluids. It does not occur because of mere proximity or via an airborne route (as in Outbreak if I recall correctly). The outbreak control organizations in the movies have no problem implementing their solutions once these have been found. In reality, we know what needs to be done, the problem is getting it to happen. This is why community relations are such an issue, where they are not such a problem in the movies.

So, sure, be concerned. But be rational as well. Yes, we know all too well that public health and hospitals can make mistakes. 

Although there's no such thing as a "zero chance of something going wrong", the risk of catching Ebola in the US is low.

It's far easier to become ill with influenza or many other “ordinary” viruses than Ebola. 

Tara C. Smith, an associate professor of epidemiology at Kent State, studies zoonotic diseases* and blogs at Aetiology, discussing causes, origins, evolution and implications of disease and other phenomena.

*A zoonotic disease is a disease that can be passed between animals and humans.

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Calling all Democrats! Two branches of government for one will influence nation for foreseeable future

Americans must take this mid term election as seriously as the last presidential campaign. Although voter malaise seems to set in during the mid term campaigns, the 2014 election, particularly, is extremely urgent for Democrats. Our US Supreme Count is in the balance along with the US Senate. Surely, one of the current justices will need to be appointed within the next several years. Therefore, it's a "two branches of government for one" leadership election!

Republicans have used their minority status to create fear among the electorate about immigration, health care reform, women's health and guns. In creating fear, they will bring out their supporters while Democrats appear to be become "mid term passive" by staying home rather than respond in the voting booths.  

Democrats must get out the vote!

There's no way Republicans can push forth their anti immigration, anti voter, anti health care reform and anti women's health agendas if all Democrats make the unequivocal statement by voting these conservatives out of office.

Unfortunately, media reports continue to report how the conservative agenda is creating voter apathy rather than energizing a push back response.  It's time to see momentum in the voting polls and the number of "undecided" may tip the balance.  Usually, the undecided have made their statement by not supporting the status quo......so, perhaps the outcome of the mid term election may be in their votes.  Nevertheless, if all Democrats would vote to finally remove Republicans from our nation's leadership, our nation could pass immigration reform and assure women access to health care.....and maybe even take on some truly progressive policies like education and tax reform, too.

Please.....call out to all Democrats.  Vote!  It's a two branches of government for one, 2014 election.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Intensified U.S. airstrikes have pounded ISIL positions; but ISIS retaliation is also fierce


Just trying to imagine how ISIL, the evil Islamic State can withstand the intensity of these reported air strikes. 

Hundred of extremists have been killed in days. of raids by coalition forces, says Pentagon.

Although ISIL now claims to have 3 MIG (Soviet) jets, it would be a challenge to find someone willing to fly them. Nevertheless, we can assume that ISIL is preparing some sort of suicidal strike on the locations where the airstrikes are launched.

October 16, 2014 7:00PM ET
US pounds ISIL targets, but Kurds warn more arms needed to defend Kobane.  Hundred of extremists have been killed in days of raids by coalition forces, says Pentagon
Intensified U.S. airstrikes have pounded ISIL positions in and around the besieged Syrian border town of Kobane for a third day, with 14 raids reported in the last 24 hours alone.

The attacks on Wednesday and Thursday appear to have slowed the advance of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters, but "the security situation on the ground in Kobane remains tenuous," the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement on Thursday.

Underscoring the fragile nature of Kobane’s defense, Kurdish forces called Thursday for the supply of more weapons in order to push extremists back from the vulnerable town.

The Pentagon said on Wednesday that air strikes had killed hundreds of ISIS fighters so far, though it cautioned that the town could still fall to the group, which has held onto a vast territory stretching across Iraq and Syria despite the efforts of the U.S.-led coalition.

"The more they want it, the more resources they apply to it, the more targets we have to hit," Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary said.

However, an unnamed Syrian Kurdish official told the Associated Press that his fighters needed weapons to beat ISIL on the ground, and that air strikes were not enough – something the U.S.-led coalition has always acknowledged.

On Thursday, the U.S. Central Command, which commands U.S. forces in the Middle East, said the latest attacks were designed to disrupt ISIL's reinforcement and resupply efforts and to prevent it from "massing combat power on the Kurdish-held portions of Kobane.”

Also on Thursday, the Pentagon said talks between the U.S. and Turkey on a possible Turkish role in combating ISIL went "very, very well."

Turkey, a NATO ally, has rebuffed American requests to take a more active role in the anti-ISIL coalition and relief mission in Kobane – which lies just across the Turkish border with Syria – or to allow arms to flow to the Kurdish armed group PYD.

Turkish support is complex, given that Ankara has long tolerated ISIL because it effectively countered Turkey’s main enemies in Syria — the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the country’s Kurds, who are allied with Turkey’s own Kurdish PKK insurgency. It also fears opening up its vast border with Syria and Iraq as the frontlines against ISIL, which has a presence in Turkish cities but has mostly left the country alone.

Over one million people have fled Kobane for Turkey, including many who were refugees themselves in the Kurdish enclave.

Meanwhile on Thursday, at least 47 people were killed and more than 120 wounded in bombings and mortar strikes across Iraq that were blamed on ISIL.

Al Jazeera and wire services

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Ebola causing collateral damage especially in countries hardest hit

"People are massively dying from other diseases that are normally treatable, like malaria, or women die while giving birth because hospitals are abandoned or are full with Ebola patients. So that's a very, very destabilizing factor," he said, adding that the impact of its spread is "beyond Ebola," Peter Piot, a microbiologist and a former undersecretary general of the United Nations, "And I continue to be worried that the response to the epidemic is really running behind the virus."



Peter Piot, a member of the team that discovered the virus in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, said he feared an "unimaginable catastrophe" if the virus became lodged in a mega-city such as Lagos, Nigeria.

"The three countries that are affected are being totally destabilized, not only in terms of people who are killed by Ebola -- their families, the orphans that now are coming up because the parents died -- but the economy has come to a standstill," Piot said Thursday, speaking from Oxford, England.

"People are massively dying from other diseases that are normally treatable, like malaria, or women die while giving birth because hospitals are abandoned or are full with Ebola patients. So that's a very, very destabilizing factor," he said, adding that the impact of its spread is "beyond Ebola."

Piot said that it is impossible to predict the number of cases. Asked about the WHO projections, he said: "10,000 per week, or 1,000, we don't really know."

At the moment, there are about 1,000," he said. "It's still expanding, that's for sure. And it probably will continue to grow until all the measures have been put in place in a more efficient way."

Piot's comments came on the same day as Daniel Varga, the chief clinical officer for Texas Health Services, apologized over mistakes he says were made in the care of Thomas Duncan, a Liberian national who became the first person in the United States to die from the virus. Duncan was sent home despite saying he had a fever and that he had visited West Africa.

"Unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes," Varga testified to Congress. "We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry."

Writing for CNN earlier this month, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief Tom Frieden said one way for the United States to prevent the disease spreading in the United States is to tackle it at the source, in West Africa.

"After all is said and done here, that is the only way to truly and completely protect the health security of America -- and the world," Frieden wrote.

Beyond the impact of the Ebola virus itself, with an apparent 50 percent mortality rate among those who are infected, the collateral damage from affected health and business systems has yet to be fully realized.

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