Tag Archives: Ebola

CDC calls 2014 an ‘unprecedented’ year

Credit: Gstudio Group

Credit: Gstudio Group

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called 2014 an “unprecedented” year as the agency continues its response — “the largest global effort in the agency’s history” — to the Ebola epidemic.

However, in its year-end review, CDC noted nine other “mission critical” areas it addressed this year — most of which, not surprisingly, are important in Canada as well and will represent ongoing priorities. Continue reading →

Ebola fears infect tropical medicine conference; state officials cite “abundance of caution”

Credit: Balint Radu

Credit: Balint Radu

To be clear: it’s not the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) that has problems with delegates from Ebola-affected countries who might actually shed some light on the epidemic at its annual meeting in New Orleans this week.

It’s the State of Louisiana that has pulled the welcome mat.

As reported today (3 November) in the Chronicle of Higher Education and elsewhere, the state sent a letter to conference registrants (through the ASTMH) last week asking anyone who has even visited the affected West African countries to stay away. Continue reading →

Neat trick on Ebola ‘announcement,’ Chris Alexander! What are you afraid of?

Canadian Immigration Minister Chris Alexander • Screen grab from CTV National News

Canadian Immigration Minister Chris Alexander • Screen grab from CTV National News

Yesterday — Friday 31 October, Halloween — Canadian Immigration Minister Chris Alexander “announced” that Canada was temporarily halting issuing visas to people coming here from Ebola-stricken West African nations.

Except the nature of his “announcement” was puzzling. It was contained in a blandly-headed news release (“Protecting the Health and Safety of Canadians”), issued late in the day (it arrived in my inbox at 5.50pm), by which time Alexander was not available for comment, even if his handlers in the PMO had allowed him to speak.

This is a typical tactic of the Conservative government, but what makes it particularly noteworthy is that the release was issued after Alexander had held a 15-minute news conference on immigration policy, during which he didn’t mention the policy change, according to a report by CTV National News.

Why is the Government of Canada afraid to take ownership of this policy decision? Continue reading →

Etymology of Ebola

Credit: bradcalkins

Credit: bradcalkins

The catastrophic outbreak of Ebola virus in western Africa and the questionable quality of the response by Western “donor” countries has filled newspapers, magazines and broadcast media, not to mention the Internet, for the last several months.

Some of the coverage has reviewed the short life of medicine’s awareness of the virus which was discovered in 1976 by a team of scientists including Dr. Peter Piot, currently director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Now, Dr. Allan Metcalf (PhD), professor of English at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill., has decided to revisit the origin of the word “Ebola” in the Lingua Franca blog of  The Chronicle of Higher Education. Continue reading →

Word Watch: Ebolaphobia

Credit: gustavofrazao

Credit: gustavofrazao

Canada’s Word Spy Paul McFedries has flagged “Ebolaphobia” as a new entry to the lexicon.

Perhaps no surprise there, given the dominance of Ebola in the news, but what’s strange about this entrant is that it’s practically brand new. Like the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary, McFedries logs citations for the words he spies — and in this case, the earliest citation is mere months ago.

According to McFedries, the first use was on 31 July on the website HPANWO Voice which is described as a forum for the HPANWO to review global news and trends. Continue reading →

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