5:30 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Liberians Face Ebola Stigma Here, Tragedy Back Home

The Ballah family, friends, and relatives, including (l to r) Nellie Ballah, Kumba Forkpa, Randell Dauda, Winnie Sackor, and Seaniah Ballah, plus little Mekhi Ballah and baby Nia.
Kristin Gourlay RIPR

Ebola continues to dominate headlines, across the nation and here in Rhode Island. This week the state’s hospitals began conducting Ebola preparedness exercises, and all eyes are on a nurse in Maine who defied a quarantine order. But for the thousands of Liberians living in Rhode Island, the real stories are unfolding, often tragically, back home. Now, many Liberians say the public’s fear of Ebola is affecting daily life.

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Health Care
1:05 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Health Dept. Conducts Ebola "Exercises" With Hospitals

The Rhode Island health department says it’s conducting exercises with hospitals to test their readiness for Ebola patients.

In a weekly update to reporters, state health officials say there are no cases of Ebola in Rhode Island, although they have investigated – and ruled out – "a number of" possible cases since August.

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Health Care
4:31 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Ebola Patient Ashoka Mukpo: There Were Times When I Didn't Know If I'd Survive

Rhode Islander Ashoka Mukpo left The Nebraska Medical Center, where he was treated for Ebola, after spending about ten days in isolation.
Credit The Nebraska Medical Center

There were times when Ashoka Mukpo didn’t know if he would survive Ebola. Mukpo spent about two and a half weeks in a Nebraska hospital after coming down with Ebola while working as a freelance cameraman in Liberia

He is now back home in Providence.

Mukpo said even thought his symptoms got worse, he knew he was in good hands. After about twelve days he could see in his doctors’ eyes that he was probably going to make it.  “I felt that it was manageable, I never felt serious panic coming from any of the nurses,” he said. “So I felt that I was in relatively good hands.”

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Health Care
2:40 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

For Now, Monitoring, But No Isolation For W. African Arrivals

The Rhode Island Department of Health says it’s currently monitoring several recent arrivals from West Africa to guard against Ebola. But some members of the West African community want the health department to do more.

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Higher Education
8:41 am
Thu October 23, 2014

RIPR Exclusive: Brown Restricts Travel In Response To Ebola Outbreak

Citing safety concerns, Brown University has restricted university-sponsored travel to countries in the grips of the Ebola outbreak. The university strongly urged professors and students to avoid personal travel as well, to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

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RI News
3:54 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Ashoka Mukpo: Went Weeks Not Knowing If I’d Survive Ebola

Ashoka Mukpo embraces healthcare workers who helped him during his two week recovery in isolation at the Nebraska Medical Center.
Credit Taylor Wilson / Nebraska Medical Center

The Rhode Islander diagnosed with Ebola is asking the public to give him space and privacy as he leaves a Nebraska hospital today and heads home to Providence. Ashoka Mukpo spent two and a half weeks in isolation to treat the deadly virus.

Doctors at The Nebraska Medical Center said age was the main factor as to why the 33-year-old recovered more quickly than the Massachusetts doctor whom they also treated.

At a press conference, University of Nebraska Medical Center chancellor Dr. Jeffrey Gold read a statement by Mukpo filled with gratitude for his medical care.

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Health Care
9:00 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Rhode Islander Diagnosed With Ebola Better, Set To Be Released

Ashoka Mukpo is free of the Ebola virus, and is scheduled to be released from isolation Wednesday.
Credit facebook

The Rhode Islander who was the fifth American to return to the US to be treated for Ebola, is virus-free. Doctors say he will be released from isolation this morning.

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Health Care
9:26 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Nurses Raise Concerns About Ebola Preparation In The State

A union representing thousands of nurses in Rhode Island released the results of a member survey about hospital preparedness on Monday. About 360 members responded. And the union says half said they hadn’t received any formal communications about Ebola preparations from their hospitals. 92 percent said they weren’t sure whether they had – or didn’t have - the proper equipment to protect themselves. But hospitals say they’re doing all they can to keep workers safe. 

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Health Care
11:45 am
Fri October 17, 2014

RI Nurses On Ebola: We're Not Ready Yet; Hospitals Respond

Rhode Island State Nurses Association head Donna Policastro said a national nursing organization is encouraging nurses to refuse to care for patients showing signs of Ebola – if they don’t feel their hospitals are adequately prepared. Policastro said this puts nurses in a difficult position.

“Through our code of ethics we take care of everyone," said Policastro. "But nurses need to feel protected. And those two nurses in Dallas serve as symbols of the fact that Dallas Presbyterian wasn’t ready. And they said they were ready.”

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The Pulse
1:00 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Combat Ebola Fear With Knowledge; A Lesson From The AIDS Epidemic

Members of Rhode Island's Liberian community raise awareness on steps of statehouse.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Scan the headlines from around the country, and you might think the nation was under attack, that Ebola is stalking children in classrooms and on school buses, a stowaway on every flight, contaminating neighborhoods.

There’s no doubt of course that Ebola is a horrible, often deadly disease. Thousands of West Africans have been lost to it.

But fears about Ebola seem often unfounded, as they often did about AIDS.

Early AIDS fears
Consider the lead for this article by Judy Foreman in the Boston Globe, Sept. 1985:

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