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October 2014 Current Events: Disasters & Science News

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Here are the key events in Science and Disasters news for the month of October 2014.


  • First U.S. Ebola Patient Dies (Oct. 8): The first person to be diagnosed in the United States with Ebola, Thomas Eric Duncan, dies. According to officials from the Centers for Disease Control Duncan, Duncan had recently arrived in Texas from Liberia. His death comes four days after his condition had been downgraded from serious to critical. Five Americans who were diagnosed with Ebola while in Africa have returned to the U.S. for treatment. So far, three of them have made full recoveries. (Oct. 12): Nina Pham, a nurse who treated Duncan, becomes the first person to contract Ebola within the United States. Health officials begin to investigate how she got the virus while wearing protective gear. (Oct. 13): In Spain, Teresa Romero, a nursing assistant, remains in serious condition after contracting Ebola from two missionaries who received treatment for the virus at a hospital in Madrid. Fifteen people who came in contact with Romero are being closely monitored. (Oct. 15): Another Dallas health care worker who treated Duncan is diagnosed with Ebola. Nurse Amber Joy Vinson is isolated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas a day after flying from Ohio to Texas. More than 70 hospital staffers who treated Duncan are being monitored for symptoms. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asks all 132 passengers who shared Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 with Vinson to call and be interviewed. (Oct. 18): Obama appoints political adviser Ron Klain to be the Ebola response coordinator in the United States. (Oct. 20): Most of the people who treated Duncan at the hospital in Dallas are no longer at risk of contracting the virus. Pham and Vinson are being treated at different U.S. hospitals. (Oct. 22): The Obama administration announces that passengers from all countries affected by the virus must travel through one of five U.S. airports that are prepared to screen them for the disease: Kennedy International in New York, Newark Liberty International, Washington Dulles International, O'Hare International in Chicago, and Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta. (Oct. 23): Dr. Craig Spencer becomes the first person to test positive for the virus in New York City after recently returning from Guinea where he volunteered with Doctors Without Borders to treat Ebola patients. He is placed in isolation at Bellevue Hospital Center. The CDC places restrictions on travelers from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Travelers from those countries are required to report their morning and evening temperatures for three weeks to state or local health departments. According to the World Health Organization, 4,877 people have now died from the Ebola outbreak. The total number of cases has increased to 9,936, including the 4,877 deaths. (Oct. 24): Spencer remains in stable condition while health officials retrace his steps and seek out everyone who has been in contact with him in the last three days. Meanwhile, Nina Pham is declared free of Ebola and released from the hospital. Health officials in Mali confirm that the country's first Ebola patient has died. The victim is a 2-year-old girl who had traveled to Mali from Guinea with her grandmother. (Oct. 28): Amber Vinson is released from the hospital after being declared free of the deadly virus.

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