Latest Updates / 5,000 Ebola Health Workers Needed in West Africa, World Bank Chief Says

Maine's Ebola protocols mean quarantine for nurse; WHO: 82 being monitored for Ebola in Mali; Australia stops processing visas from West African nations affected by Ebola.

AP

Latest in-depth reporting from Haaretz: Ebola and us: Why fear is something to fear itself (David Rosenberg) | Is climate change to blame for the Ebola outbreak? (Ruth Schuster) | As Ebola spreads: Scientists working on new drugs to treat viruses (Asaf Shtull-Trauring) | Israelis on the front lines of Ebola (Ido Efrati)

AFP

Click here for Monday's updates on the Ebola outbreak

9:20 P.M. Obama says U.S. volunteers who go to fight Ebola in West Africa should be "applauded, thanked and supported," and policies need to support them. (Reuters)

9:10 P.M. Top UN Ebola official: new cases poorly tracked

Authorities are having trouble figuring out how many more people are getting Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone and where the hot spots are in those countries, harming efforts to get control of the raging, deadly outbreak, the UN's top Ebola official in West Africa said Tuesday.

"The challenge is good information, because information helps tell us where the disease is, how it's spreading and where we need to target our resources," Anthony Banbury told The Associated Press by phone from the Ghanaian capital of Accra, where the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, or UNMEER, is based.

Health experts say the key to stopping Ebola is breaking the chain of transmission by tracing and isolating those who have had contact with Ebola patients or victims. Health care workers can't do that if they don't know where new cases are emerging.

"And unfortunately, we don't have good data from a lot of areas. We don't know exactly what is happening," said Banbury, the chief of UNMEER. (AP)

2:00 P.M. Israel’s Ebola-testing lab too slow to diagnose disease, critics say

Israeli medical-care officials say that the Institute for Biological Research in Nes Tziona, the only lab in Israel allowed to examine blood samples of anyone suspected of carrying Ebola, is taking too long to test people and generate diagnoses. For the full story, click here

1:30 P.M. Texas nurse to leave Emory University Hospital free of Ebola virus

A Texas nurse who contracted Ebola is being released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Tuesday after being found free of the virus, the hospital said.

Amber Vinson is one of two nurses from a Dallas hospital infected with Ebola after treating the first patient diagnosed with the disease in the United States. She was admitted to Emory's hospital for treatment on Oct. 15. 

The other nurse, Nina Pham, also was declared virus-free last week and left the Maryland hospital where she had been treated. (Reuters)

11:34 A.M. WHO says 82 being monitored for Ebola in Mali

Health workers are monitoring 82 people who had contact with a toddler who died of Ebola in Mali last week, but no new cases of the disease have yet been reported, World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said on Tuesday.

Three WHO officials are already in the country, having travelled to Mali a week ago to test its Ebola preparedness, and five more are arriving, Jasarevic said. (Reuters)

11:30 A.M. 5,000 Ebola health workers needed in West Africa

The president of the World Bank says that Ebola-effected countries in West Africa need at least 5,000 more health workers to effectively fight the epidemic.

Jim Yong Kim said Tuesday that he is worried about where those health care workers can be found given the widespread fear of Ebola. (AP) 

9:23 A.M. Maine's Ebola protocols mean quarantine for nurse

A nurse who treated Ebola patients in West Africa agreed to be quarantined at home in Maine upon her return from a weekend of confinement in New Jersey, but her lawyer disagrees with officials over how long she'll have to stay in seclusion.

Nurse Kaci Hickox left a New Jersey hospital on Monday and headed toward home in northern Maine, where her partner is a nursing student at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Maine health officials announced that she'd be quarantined at home for 21 days after the last possible exposure to the disease under the state's health protocols.

But one of Hickox's lawyers, Steve Hyman, said he expected her to remain in seclusion for the "next day or so" while he works with Maine health officials. He said he believes the state should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that require only monitoring, not quarantine, for health care workers who show no symptoms after treating Ebola patients.

"She's a very good person who did very good work and deserves to be honored, not detained, for it," he said.

Hickox, who was expected home Tuesday morning, volunteered in Africa with Doctors Without Borders. She spent the weekend in a quarantine tent at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, despite having no symptoms other than a slightly elevated temperature she blamed on "inhumane" treatment at Newark Liberty International Airport. (AP)

12:43 A.M. Nurse with Ebola released from quarantine in New Jersey hospital

A nurse who worked in West Africa with Ebola patients was released Monday afternoon after being quarantined through the weekend in an isolation tent at a New Jersey hospital.

Kaci Hickox had been symptom-free for 24 hours and was being taken to Maine, where she lives, the state Health Department said in a statement Monday. She left University Hospital in Newark around 1:20 p.m. in a private vehicle, according to hospital spokeswoman Stacie Newton.

"We are pleased that the state of New Jersey has decided to release Kaci. They had no justification to confine her," said Norman Siegel, the prominent New York civil rights attorney Hickox hired while she was quarantined. He said that she has not ruled out legal action. (AP)

12:04 A.M. Five-year-old boy hospitalized in New York City tests negative for Ebola

A 5-year-boy who recently visited West Africa tested negative for the Ebola virus on Monday, said the New York City Health Department and the city hospital where he underwent screening.

The child, who had a low-grade fever, will remain in isolation at Bellevue Hospital to undergo further tests to ensure he is cleared of the disease, the hospital and health department said in a joint statement.

Local media said the child lived in New York City's Bronx borough. (Reuters)

11:29 P.M. Australia stops processing visas from West African nations affected by Ebola

Australia has stopped processing humanitarian and immigration visas from West African nations affected by the Ebola outbreak, a move to help prevent the deadly disease reaching the country, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said.

Australia has not recorded a case of Ebola but has had a number of scares, including an 18-year-old West African woman who tested negative on Monday.

"The government has strong controls for the entry of persons to Australia under our immigration program from West Africa," Morrison told parliament on Monday.

"These measures include temporarily suspending our immigration program, including our humanitarian program from Ebola-affected countries, and this means we are not processing any application from these affected countries."

All non-permanent or temporary visas were being cancelled and permanent visa holders who had not yet arrived in Australia will be required to submit to a 21-day quarantine period, he added. (Reuters)

8:42 P.M. Member of Cuban Ebola mission dies of malaria

Cuba says a member of a medical team it sent to fight Ebola in West Africa has died of malaria.

According to state newspaper Granma, Jorge Juan Guerra Rodriguez, 60, died in Guinea on Oct. 26 from cerebral malaria, a complication of the parasitic infection that severely and sometimes fatally damages the brain.

The newspaper said two tests for Ebola turned up no sign of the disease.

Cuba sent 165 medical workers to Sierra Leone this month, followed by a second group of 83 who went to Guinea and Liberia last week. Guerra, who the newspaper said was trained as an economist, was a member of the advance team sent to Africa before the doctors were dispatched. (AP)