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News Wrap: CDC ‘doubling down’ on Ebola training

In our news wrap Monday, CDC director Tom Frieden stressed the importance of improving the safety of health workers on the front lines of treating Ebola after a Dallas nurse was confirmed to have contracted the disease by caring for Thomas Eric Duncan. Also, Islamic State fighters captured an Iraqi military training camp. The militants now control strategic towns and have advanced toward Baghdad.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The first known case of Ebola being transmitted inside the United States has triggered a national review of hospital procedures.  That word today follows confirmation that a Texas nurse was infected by a patient.

  • DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

    We have to rethink the way we address Ebola infection control, because even a single infection is unacceptable.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Developments in Dallas this weekend lent new urgency to that message today from Dr. Tom Frieden at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    A 26-year-old nurse, Nina Pham, now has Ebola.  She’s being kept in isolation at the same hospital where she helped care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died in Dallas last Wednesday.

    At a briefing in Atlanta, Frieden said it’s critical to improve the safety of those on the front lines.

  • DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN:

    I feel awful that a health care worker became infected in the care of an Ebola patient.  She was there trying to help the first patient survive, and now she has become infected.  All of us have to work together to do whatever is possible to reduce the risk that any other health care worker becomes infected.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    To that end, Texas officials are searching for clues as to how the nurse was infected, despite wearing protective gear.  Hazmat crews have decontaminated and cleaned her apartment.

    And Dallas police are guarding the complex and notifying neighbors within a four-block radius.  Frieden says, the nurse was in contact with only one other person after she became contagious, and, he says, officials are trying to determine if the Liberian victim infected other health workers.

    In addition, the CDC is doubling down on training nationwide.

  • DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN:

    We will work with hospitals throughout the country to think Ebola in someone with a fever or other symptoms who has travel to any of the three affected countries in the previous 21 days.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    On Sunday, the CDC head had tied the nurse’s case to an unspecified violation of protocol.  That drew fire from a major nurses union.

  • KATY ROEMER, National Nurses United:

    When the nurses become infected, they are blamed for not following the protocols.  That is not going to work.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    But, today, Frieden said he didn’t mean to give the impression that he’s blaming medical staff.

    And on ABC this morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, talked of sending Ebola patients to highly specialized hospitals.

  • DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:

    I think that is not a bad idea at all because, in addition to having all the proper equipment, you really do need training.  And as is often the case in medicine, when someone or some group does things more than once, two, three, four, five times, they get very good at it.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In a statement on Sunday, President Obama ordered federal agencies to ensure that hospitals and staff are ready to deal with Ebola.  Today, he was briefed on the situation by top health and homeland security official, all of this as the head of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, warned the epidemic is endangering national governments in West Africa and potentially world stability.

    Liberia has been hit hardest, but it managed to avoid a hospital strike today.  Most nurses and other health workers defied a call from their union to walk off the job for higher hazard pay and more protective gear.

    Later, the White House said the president spoke today with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.  And they agreed there is an urgent need to decisively address the crisis.  We will take a closer look at the challenge that Ebola poses to hospital workers after the news summary.

    Iraq’s peril grew even graver today as Islamic State fighters captured a key military training camp in the west and bombings in Baghdad killed 25 people.  The militants now control strategically important towns and corridors in both Syria and Iraq.  And they have advanced to areas ringing Baghdad itself.

    British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visited today, and warned that it will take more than airstrikes to stop them.

  • PHILIP HAMMOND, Foreign Defense Secretary:

    The coalition can only deliver effective support to the Iraqi government and the Iraqi security forces.  To beat ISIL, it is the Iraqi people, the Iraqi security forces, and the Iraqi government that will have to take the lead on the ground.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The British have joined in the U.S.-led air campaign in Iraq, but not in neighboring Syria.

    And in Syria today, fierce fighting raged again in Kobani, near the Turkish border.  Kurdish defenders are battling to hold on there, but Islamic State attackers have taken about half the town.  Turkey has held back from coming to Kobani’s aid.  And, today, the government disputed U.S. claims that coalition forces will use a major Turkish air base.

  • BÜLENT ARINÇ, Deputy Prime Minister, Turkey (through interpreter):

    There is nothing new on Incirlik air base.  We are discussing providing some facilities for the train-and-supply project, but we have not reached any decisions yet.  The talks with U.S. officials on the measures that will be taken against the Islamic State in Syria, including establishing a no-fly zone and buffer zone, will continue in the coming days.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    So far, coalition planes are flying off U.S. aircraft carriers and from several Arab nations.

    In Afghanistan, local officials say Taliban fighters ambushed an Afghan security convoy in the north on Sunday, killing at least 14 soldiers and police.  To the east, hundreds of villagers protested over a NATO airstrike in Paktika Province.  They said seven civilians were killed.  NATO said they were militants.

    State media in North Korea reports that Kim Jong-un has been seen in public for the first time since September 3.  The report says the nation’s leader visited a newly built housing district and a laboratory.  Kim’s absence from public view has fueled speculation about his health and his hold on power.

    The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong ran into new trouble today.  A mob of masked men attacked barricades that have blocked central roads in the financial district since September 28.  Then, several hundred people tried to storm the area, demanding that the streets be reopened.

  • MAN (through interpreter):

    We want the government to clear the protesters from the streets, because they have disturbed us.  Life for ordinary people is hard, and we cannot live if we don’t work.  Their protests have harmed Hong Kong’s economy and social order, so why don’t we ask government to clear them out?

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Protest leaders blamed criminal gangs, known as triads, for today’s unrest, but they said students at the scene refused to be baited into a fight.

  • CHAN KIN-MAN, Co-Founder, Occupy Central (through interpreter):

    Today, I was very touched.  When the triads came, the so-called pro-Beijing groups came, and a conflict was about to happen.  Our youngsters at the very front raised up their hands to tell them we are fighting for our ideals in peace.  We salute them.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The protesters have vowed to occupy the city’s financial district until mainland China allows unfettered elections for the city’s leader.

    More than 30 people were arrested today in Ferguson, Missouri, protesting the killings of Michael Brown and other black teenagers.  Several hundred people marched to police headquarters in the Saint Louis suburb.  It was part of a long weekend of rallies.

    Thousands of people in India and Japan now face extensive cleanups from major storms.  In Eastern India, a cyclone struck roared out of the Bay of Bengal on Sunday.  It killed at least 24 people and demolished some 90,000 homes.  In Japan, a typhoon knocked out power and shut down trains and flights on Kyushu Island today.  From there, the storm headed toward Tokyo.  And Hurricane Gonzalo has formed in the Caribbean on a track toward the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

    This year’s winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics is Jean Tirole of France.  He was honored today for work that shaped the regulation of major industries in the 1980s and ’90s.  More recently, he’s called for stronger oversight of banks.

    The Wall Street sell-off kept going today amid concerns about economies of Europe and Asia.  The Dow Jones industrial average lost another 223 points to close at 16,321; the Nasdaq fell 62 points to close at 4,213; and the S&P 500 dropped 31 to 1,874.

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