Ebola patient in Texas dies US hospital

France- A Liberian man who was the first person diagnosed with Ebola outside of Africa has died in a Texas hospital, officials said Wednesday.“It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51 am (1251 GMT),” said the statement from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas spokesman Wendell Watson.“Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle.” Meanwhile, US media reported that airports were to begin tougher screening of passengers arriving from the West African nations where Ebola has killed more than 3,400 people since the beginning of the year.Quoting a federal official, the Washington Post reported that travelers from West Africa would be subjected to Ebola screening at five US airports — Atlanta, Chicago’s O’Hare, New York’s JFK and Newark airports and Dulles in Washington — as early as this weekend.CNN, also citing anonymous sources, said temperatures would be taken of travelers from a so-called “Ebola zone,” including Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.NBC News added that travelers would be asked to fill out questionnaires as wellDuncan flew from Liberia to Texas to visit family, arriving in Dallas on September 20. He began feeling sick four days later, but was not hospitalized until September 28.The Texas health care system came under heavy criticism for initially turning Duncan away when he first sought care on September 25.Duncan was sent home even after he reported Ebola-like symptoms and said he had recently traveled from Liberia, the hardest-hit nation in the current outbreak.“The past week has been an enormous test of our health system, but for one family it has been far more personal. Today they lost a dear member of their family,” said Texas health commissioner David Lakey.“They have our sincere condolences, and we are keeping them in our thoughts.”Lakey said that the medical team in Texas has “provided excellent and compassionate care, but Ebola is a disease that attacks the body in many ways.”Duncan’s condition worsened from serious to critical over the weekend. On Saturday, he began receiving an experimental treatment called brincidofovir.On Monday, doctors said his liver function had declined, and that he was on a ventilator and was receiving kidney dialysis.Health officials are monitoring dozens of people who may have come in contact with Duncan, including about 10 who are considered at high risk of contracting Ebola.The virus is spread through close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, or by touching the corpse of a person who has died of Ebola, experts say.US hospitals in Nebraska and Georgia have successfully treated and released three American missionaries who were infected with Ebola in West Africa.A fourth US doctor was treated at Emory University Hospital after becoming infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone. His name and condition were never released by officials.Another US national who worked as a freelance cameraman for NBC News, Ashoka Mukpo, arrived in Nebraska this week for treatment after catching Ebola in Liberia.The first known US citizen to come down with Ebola, dual American-Liberian national Patrick Sawyer, died in July after traveling by plane from Liberia to Nigeria. read more

Yashwant joins antiSri Lanka CHOGM chorus

Praising the State unit of his party, the student community and the film fraternity for spearheading a movement for Lankan Tamils, the Rajya Sabha member said the issue of Tamils in the island country was a national issue and not of one state alone. “If a BJP-led government comes to power, we will implement our policy.” At the same time, he also cautioned that any future action should be taken with care so that the interests of the Tamils were not further endangered. Taking at a dig at “those who have remained unperturbed and undisturbed,” when the photograph of slain LTTE leader V Prabhakaran’s son was published, he said the boy had fallen like a man with bullet wounds on his chest: “That is the spirit of the Tamils of Sri Lanka.”Drawing a sharp contrast between the policy of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government and the Congress-led UPA coalition on the issue, the former foreign minister said there was a ceasefire between the then Lankan government and the LTTE when the BJP came to power. “We made it clear to the Sri Lankan government that it had to be a peaceful, negotiated settlement and that India will not agree to a military solution.” Claiming that Colombo accepted New Delhi’s advice, he said a ceasefire came into effect in 2002. Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha urged Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to skip the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka from November 15 to 17, the New Indian Express reportedAddressing a hall meeting on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue in Chennai, Sinha said India was the pivot of the Commonwealth body. “If India does not go there, CHOGM cannot be held,” he said. When the Congress-led UPA came to power in 2004, the intention from the beginning was to play second fiddle to the Lankan government. Stating that there can be no parallel between the situation in Sri Lanka, which is an internal uprising, and Kashmir, which is facing external aggression, Sinha stressed that New Delhi should also shed fears that if it was “too harsh” on Colombo, China would then move in. “China is already all over the place. What is it we have achieved?” he asked.Calling for an India-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC, he said Lanka should vacate all its forces from the north and eastern provinces of the island. Elections should be held at the earliest under international supervision. There should be an independent inquiry of the atrocities committed against the Tamils.Refraining from extending any overt support to the demand for a separate Tamil Eelam, he pointed to Bangaldesh, East Timor and North and South Sudan, where people overthrew suppressive regimes and warned Rajapaksa to reform. The Indian media report said that the BJP leader also called for the suspension of Sri Lanka from Commonwealth membership by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group for violations of the Harare Declaration. “The CMAG is responsible for protecting democratic values and any country which acts in violation of those norms or human rights can be suspended if allegations are proved,” he said. “This is where India should take action and see that Sri Lanka is suspended.” read more