West Africa

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Chimps Are Inexplicably Hurling Rocks at Trees

There are theories, of course—including that it might be part of a 'sacred' ritual

(Newser) - Chimpanzees in West Africa are throwing rocks at trees, and why they're doing it remains a mystery, Discovery reports. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology say this chimp behavior has never before been documented and that it may shed some light on the species' cultural customs—... More »

Ancient 'Mega-Tsunami' Could Happen Again

Scientists marvel at what happened on island of Santiago

(Newser) - A huge tsunami apparently struck an island off the coast of Africa in prehistoric times—and if so, people living on islands and coastlines today should take care for their safety. According to a new study , a tsunami over 50 stories high swept through the Cape Verdean island of Santiago... More »

As Ebola Wanes, US Clinics Become Ghost Towns

Treatment centers in Liberia were built on worst-case scenario that never happened

(Newser) - The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has shrunk dramatically, with an average of fewer than one new case reported each day last week. Nowhere is the drastic improvement more clear than in the many treatment centers the US has built in Liberia. They're full of empty beds, and some... More »

Lie of the Year: Overblown Ebola Claims

Americans' concern about disease has wildly fluctuated

(Newser) - When Americans learned about the Ebola outbreak in March, they weren't too concerned; then, "from August to October, it was the apocalypse," a researcher tells Politifact . Now, they say it was "overhyped," he notes. Indeed, when a US health worker arrived for treatment in the... More »

Obama Calls for $6B to Fight Ebola

President makes plea to Congress for emergency aid to help West Africa

(Newser) - West Africa is still in dire need of international help in fighting Ebola, and President Obama is appealing to Congress to approve $6.2 billion in aid for just that purpose, the AP reports. "We cannot beat Ebola without more funding," he said during a visit yesterday to... More »

NY, NJ to Require Quarantine After Ebola Contact

Health workers returning from West Africa face 'automatic' new rule

(Newser) - The governors of New Jersey and New York today ordered a mandatory, 21-day quarantine for all doctors and other arriving travelers who have had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa. The move comes after a New York City doctor who returned to the US from treating Ebola victims in... More »

Travelers From West Africa Can Only Arrive at 5 US Airports

Those coming from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone to go through special screening

(Newser) - In a move that may quell some of the fears of Ebola breaking out around the US, the Department of Homeland Security announced today that all travelers coming from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea—the region in West Africa where at least 4,500 people have died from the disease,... More »

WHO: Trials of Ebola Vaccine Coming Soon

As CDC releases new guidelines for dealing with cases

(Newser) - A top World Health Organization official says the hunt for an Ebola vaccine will produce data about whether they're safe by December—and they could be in experimental field use by January. Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, an assistant director-general for WHO, says clinical trials planned or underway in Europe, Africa,... More »

National Guard May Go to Africa to Fight Ebola

President gives Pentagon authority to call up troops

(Newser) - Members of the National Guard may soon find themselves in West Africa helping to contain the spread of Ebola. President Obama today authorized the Pentagon to call up Guard troops and reservists if necessary, reports AP . The executive order doesn't mean these troops are definitely going, however, notes USA ... More »

Soccer Coaches Resign Over Alleged Ebola Taunts

Pa. students may be disciplined next after alleged digs at West African opponent

(Newser) - The head coach and assistant coach for a Pennsylvania high school soccer team submitted their resignations last night after players allegedly spewed barbs about his race and Ebola at a West African opponent last Thursday, the Morning Call reports. The newspaper received at least two letters from fans who said... More »

WHO's New Ebola Report Is Grim

Experts fear 'complete breakdown in civic society'

(Newser) - The World Health Organization's latest report on the Ebola outbreak warns of a threat well beyond what was feared. Last month, the WHO suggested that within nine months, the world could see 20,000 cases; now it points to that many cases as soon as early November, barring drastic... More »

US Ebola Contribution: 3K Military, $750M

'Significant' response will train hundreds of health workers, build hospitals

(Newser) - As part of his promised "scaled-up response" to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, President Obama is expected to announce during a visit to the CDC today that the US will be sending 3,000 military personnel in an effort that could cost up to $750 million over the... More »

In Places Scrubbed of Ebola, Virus Rears Its Head

Health officials warn Ebola's erratic spread is out of control

(Newser) - Just months ago, Doctors Without Borders was packing up its bags and leaving an Ebola-free region in Guinea; that site, Macenta, is now the hotbed site of 30 new cases, in what the AP reports is a sign of the virus' resurgence. Health officials are declaring, once again , that the... More »

Another Country Confirms Case of Ebola

Senegal says infected university student came from Sierra Leone

(Newser) - Ebola has spread to yet another country in Africa: Senegal. Local press reported today that a university student infected with the virus had traveled from Guinea into the West African nation, CNN reports. The student, 21, has been placed in quarantine in a hospital in Dakar and is in stable... More »

UN: We Could See 20K Ebola Cases

2nd Ebola strain found in Democratic Republic of Congo

(Newser) - Ebola cases in West Africa could multiply sixfold, affecting up to 20,000 as the virus "continues to accelerate," the World Health Organization said today, per Reuters . Some 1,552 people have now died out of the 3,069 cases reported—though the actual number of cases could... More »

CDC Hikes Ebola Alert to Highest Level

CDC Director Thomas Frieden makes announcement on Capitol Hill

(Newser) - The CDC has raised its response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to the highest-possible level—a sign that this battle could well be a long one, NBC News reports. CDC Director Thomas Frieden announced the "level 1 activation" today at a special congressional hearing, where he said... More »

US Doctor With Ebola Turns Down Serum ...

... so it can go to his colleague instead

(Newser) - The hopeful news for two American charity workers stricken with Ebola in Liberia is that an experimental serum turned up yesterday. The wrenching part is that there was only enough for one of them. That's when Texas doctor Kent Brantly, one of the two ailing Americans, asked that it... More »

Peace Corps Evacuates Its Workers Over Ebola

2 Americans in isolation as a precaution because of contact with infected person

(Newser) - The Peace Corps is evacuating its volunteers from the three nations in West Africa hit hard by the Ebola epidemic, reports CNN . The 340 Americans will be returning to the US from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea as the outbreak worsens. In fact, two Peace Corps workers must remain behind... More »

'Hero' Ebola Doctor Dies; US Physician Is 'Grave'

Disease threatens to spread to Africa's most populous nation, Nigeria

(Newser) - Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, one of the leading doctors fighting Sierra Leone's Ebola outbreak, died today of the virus in yet another high-profile casualty , reports the BBC . The death of the man hailed by the government as a "national hero" comes as Nigeria, the continent's most populous... More »

Ebola: Lurking for Years Before Outbreak?

West African study finds signs of ebola in old blood tests

(Newser) - The Ebola outbreak that's claimed at least 500 lives in West Africa may have been lurking a while before going on its killing spree, NBC News reports. Researchers figured this by studying blood samples from old cases of viral illnesses in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, and finding possible... More »

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