Latest Updates / Spanish Nurse Clear of Ebola Virus

U.S. military preps emergency medical team for domestic Ebola response; new Ebola guidelines will be more stringent, says U.S. health official; memorial service held for first U.S. Ebola victim.

AP

Latest in-depth reporting from Haaretz: Israelis on the front lines of Ebola (Ido Efrati) | No, Ebola isn’t the ‘most severe health crisis,’ expert says (Ruth Schuster) | Why caretakers are catching Ebola: They’re making mistakes (Ruth Schuster)

Click here for Saturday's updates on the Ebola outbreak

Latest updates:

10:26 P.M. Liberia president describes heavy cost of Ebola

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Ebola has killed more than 2,000 people in her country and has brought it to "a standstill," noting that Liberia and two other badly hit countries were already weakened by years of war.

Appealing for more international help, Sirleaf described the devastating effects of Ebola in a "Letter to the World" that was broadcast Sunday by the BBC.

"Across West Africa, a generation of young people risk being lost to an economic catastrophe as harvests are missed, markets are shut and borders are closed," the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said. "The virus has been able to spread so rapidly because of the insufficient strength of the emergency, medical and military services that remain under-resourced." (AP)

10:07 P.M. Spain: Nurse clear of Ebola virus

Spain says a test has shown a nursing assistant who became infected with Ebola is now clear of all traces of the virus.

A blood test has revealed that Teresa Romero's immune system has eliminated the virus from her body, according to a statement released by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's office late Sunday.

Manuel Cuenca, microbiology director at Madrid's Carlos III health care complex, says a second test in the coming hours is needed to absolutely confirm Romero's recovery.

Romero, 44, had treated two patients who died of Ebola at Carlos III hospital. The first, Miguel Pajares, contracted the disease in Liberia and died on Aug. 12

despite having been treated with the experimental drug ZMapp. The second was Manuel Garcia Viejo who died, aged 69, on September 25. (AP)

10:04 P.M. New Ebola guidelines will be more stringent, says U.S. health official

New guidelines being developed for U.S. hospitals treating Ebola patients will be more stringent and will direct workers to make sure their skin and hair are fully covered, a top U.S. health official said Sunday.

Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke about the new guidelines being developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"I don't want to officially comment on what is being developed, but pretty soon we are going to be seeing new guidelines that, at least I can tell you, they are going to be much more stringent," Fauci said.

He said the old guidelines, which were modeled after protocols developed by the World Health Organization, called for workers to wear protective masks but "did have some exposure of the skin."

"We want to make sure that that's no longer the case," he said. "That you have essentially everything covered." (Reuters) 

9:02 P.M. Pentagon to create medical support team for U.S. Ebola response

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the creation of a 30-member expeditionary medical support team to provide emergency help in a U.S. domestic Ebola response, a Pentagon spokesman said on Sunday.

The team of five doctors, 20 nurses and five trainers could respond on short notice to help civilian medical professionals, a statement from Rear Admiral John Kirby said. It would not be deployed to West Africa or elsewhere overseas. (Reuters)

6:11 P.M. Texas lab worker on cruise tests negative for Ebola

A Dallas hospital lab worker who spent much of a cruise holiday in isolation after possible exposure to Ebola has tested negative for the disease, and in Texas some of the dozens of people still being monitored were expected to be cleared on Sunday and Monday.

The Carnival Magic docked in the port of Galveston, Texas after a week-long cruise that included being denied docking by Belize and Mexico because of the presence of the woman on board.

Texas state authorities said 14 people had been cleared from an Ebola watch list. On Sunday and Monday, more were expected to end 21 days of monitoring for fever and other symptoms. The incubation period for the virus is up to 21 days. (Reuters) 

1:15 P.M. Passengers undergo Ebola screening at Ben-Gurion Airport 

Some 70 passengers on a flight that arrived at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport from Cairo on Sunday were checked for fever as part of efforts to screen for Ebola. All passengers were released after being tested. (Zohar Blumenkrantz) Read full story

8:27 A.M. U.S. gets blood sample from woman monitored for Ebola on ship

The U.S. Coast Guard says it has retrieved a blood sample from a Dallas health care worker who is aboard a cruise ship and being monitored for signs of Ebola.

Petty Officer Andy Kendrick says the crew flew in a helicopter Saturday to meet the ship and lowered a basket of supplies. Officials have said the woman poses no risk because she has shown no symptoms and has voluntarily self-quarantined. (AP)

Saturday:

11:30 P.M. A memorial service was held on Saturday for the first U.S. Ebola victim, Thomas Eric Duncan, who died in Dallas on October 8.

7:30 P.M. WHO won't discuss Ebola mistakes document

The World Health Organization said Saturday that it wouldn't explain details contained in an internal document obtained by The Associated Press in which the UN health agency said it fumbled early attempts to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

In the draft document, which wasn't released publicly, WHO blamed numerous factors for the now explosive Ebola epidemic, including incompetent staff, bureaucracy and a lack of reliable information.

"WHO will not do interviews or explain details on this document until it is completed," the health agency said in a statement Saturday. "WHO believes in transparency and accountability and will release this review when it is fact-checked." (AP)