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Aug 09 , 2014
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WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP
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Ebola Threat - ALLOW IMAGES
World on Alert as Ebola Spreads
Aug 09, 2014
 
Between Aug 4-7, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash messages to subscriber mobile devices:

8/7 - Gov of Nigeria declares nat'l emergency as at least 5 new Ebola cases have been confirmed in Africa's most populace city, Lagos. Monitoring...

8/7 - Mexico Ministry of Health reports first confirmed case of Ebola. Location: Mexico City... Patient is 1 of 22 students who traveled to Africa for vacation.

8/4 - CDC issues new guidance to airlines re Ebola. Increasing likelihood that if you display flu-like symptoms (fever, chills) you may be prevented from boarding.

8/4 - Be advised: High potential for WHO to declare a "Public Health Emergency of Int'l Concern" later this week for Ebola. Move could have major int'l travel impact.

What You Need To Know

On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices concerning new US and international health agency warnings and actions regarding the expanding spread of the Ebola virus. This week has seen reports of suspected or confirmed cases in the Philippines, India, Benin, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Ontario and Mexico (our source was USGOV medical official). Additional confirmed cases and deaths have been reported in Nigeria. The government of Nigeria has declared a national state of emergency emergency, as has the government of Liberia, due to the rapid spread and rising death toll of the virus. Guinea has closed all land borders with with Liberia and Sierra Leone.

According to the World Health Organization, 68 new cases were formally reported between August 5th and 6th, as well as 29 new deaths. This brings the total the total to 1,779 confirmed cases reported, 961 of whom have died. And these are just the reported numbers. During testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ken Isaacs, vice president of program and government relations for the relief group Samaritan's Purse, indicated his organizations experts state the official epidemic case numbers from the World Health Organization represent only 25% to 50% of the true numbers.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance to airlines regarding the Ebola virus, the handling of passengers displaying symptoms and guidance for flight crews, cleaning and cargo personnel. Be advised that there is an increasing likelihood that if you display flu-like symptoms (such as a fever or chills), even if you have not traveled to West Africa or knowingly been in the presence of anyone who has, you may be prevented from boarding.

On Tuesday it was announced that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had established an internal Ebola task force to most effectively support overarching U.S. government and international efforts to prevent further transmission of the virus.

On Wednesday the Centers for Disease Control raised its response to the expanding Ebola outbreak to a Level 1 status, their highest level of mobilization which is reserved for the most serious public health emergencies. The agency says the move was appropriate considering the outbreak’s “potential to affect many lives.”

On Thursday, in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden clearly stated that Ebola's spread to America was "inevitable."

Also on Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia began evacuating family members due to the grave situation in the country, which includes a literal shutdown of two major hospitals after numerous medical workers became infected and died.

And late this week World Health Organization Director Dr. Margaret Chan announced that the organization has declared the Ebola outbreak a Global Health Emergency, saying that countries affected by the deadly virus "simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity."

Since the release of reports of a case of Ebola in Mexico city, the government of Mexico has been pushing back hard in denial. We caution readers that given chaotic border situation, the complicity of the Mexican government in allowing and even facilitating the ongoing flow of individuals from around the world through their country and to the border relatively unchallenged, as well as the clear desire of Federal and State officials on this side of the border to facilitate the same, it would be expected that there would be an outpouring of effort to squash any notion of Ebola in Mexico.

For more authoritative information on the dangerous public health threats facing the U.S. as a result of existing border security policy, watch the interview below with Zack Taylor, Chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO).

Additionally, we would like to call to readers attention the strong potential in the coming days and weeks for Ebola cases to start appearing in China. Unknown to most Americans, the chinese government and industry have been making massive investments in West Africa in order to gain access to the natural resources so desperately needed back home. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals live in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and elsewhere in the region.

Similarly, the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou is home to a large population of nationals from a number of West African countries. Chinese media outlets report that more than 1000 individuals per day arrive in Guangzhou's international airport from West Africa.

The concern about Ebola's spread into China is so great that health authorities have set up machines to test passengers' body temperature. Anyone measuring above 99.5F is required to have his or her blood tested. Given that the virus has an incubation period of up to 21 days, it appears to only be a matter of time before cases start appearing. And given the dense population of China.

As AlertsUSA has reported since the beginning of the outbreak, given the globally interconnected nature of the commercial airline system, there is a high risk of sick individuals eventually making their way to the U.S..

Here again, we remind readers that U.S., Canadian, European and Asian health authorities are on high alert at points of entry. International airports, airline staff, customs and immigration officials and security personnel are monitoring travelers using a variety of means, including thermal cameras, to identify ill travelers.

AlertsUSA again strongly recommends that airline travelers, including domestic passengers, become hyper sensitive about their proximity to those visibly ill during your trips. While health authorities stress that Ebola is not airborne, a fact they chose to dance around is that it is transmissible, as with most other contagions, via airborne saliva particles, such as those released via coughs and sneezes. Given that planeloads of individuals arrive hourly from impacted international locations, only to then diffuse into the domestic airline network, your increased, polite vigilance can only be a benefit to your overall safety.

AlertsUSA strongly recommends that airline travelers, including domestic passengers, become hyper sensitive about their proximity to those visibly ill during your trips. While health authorities stress that Ebola is not airborne, a fact they chose to dance around is that it is transmissible, as with most other contagions, via airborne saliva particles, such as those released via coughs and sneezes (also see this).

Given that planeloads of individuals arrive hourly from impacted international locations, only to then diffuse into the domestic airline network, your increased, polite vigilance can only be a benefit to your overall safety.

We also feel it is prudent to point out that while the current "hot zone" is West Africa, take note of the fact that this region is widely visited and populated by individuals of European, Middle Eastern and Chinese descent.

RESOURCES

EbolaReady Banner - ALLOW IMAGES

CDC - Ebola Page

World Health Organization Ebola Page

CDC - Ebola Guidance for Airlines

CDC - Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with Known or Suspected Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in U.S. Hospitals

CDC - Safe Management of Patients with Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in U.S. Hospitals World Health Organization Ebola Page

CDC - Legal Authorities for Isolation and Quarantine

CDC - Specific Laws and Regs Governing the Control of
Communicable Diseases

CDC - Final Rules for Control of Communicable Diseases:
Interstate and Foreign

Previous AlertsUSA Threat Journal Coverage and Resources

August 2, 2014

July 26, 2014

March 29, 2014


As always, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor developments with the spread of this virus and will immediately notify service subscribers of major changes in its spread to different regions, important notices and warnings by government agencies or any other major changes in the overall threat environment as events warrant.


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OTHER ALERTS ISSUED THIS WEEK BUT
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

8/6 - A Hurricane Warning has been issued for the Big Island of Hawaii. A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Maui Co. and surrounding waters.

 
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Obama Orders Bombing of ISIS Positions in Iraq
ISIS Threatens Terror Attacks on U.S.
Aug 09, 2014
 
Between Aug 7-8, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash messages to subscriber mobile devices:

8/8 - Multiple groups report Islamic State jihadists calling for attacks on US citizens & interests following airstrikes in Iraq and warn of sleeper cell attacks.

8/8 - POTUS confirms authorizing targeted airstrikes against Islamic State militants in N. Iraq, as well as relief missions to Iraqis trapped on mountain W of Mosul.

8/7 - President Obama expected to announce renewed military efforts in Iraq. Likely to incl airstrikes, special operations and humanitarian airdrops. Developing...

What You Need To Know

On Thursday of this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices that President Obama was expected to announce renewed military efforts in Iraq which would include air strikes and humanitarian relief missions. Early Friday Pentagon spokesman Admiral John Kirby confirmed air strikes had targeted Islamic State artillery positions which had been used against Kurdish forces defending the northern city of Erbil.

SEE A SHORT VIDEO OF ONE OF THE ATTACKS HERE.

It is interesting to note that these renewed bombing missions make Barack Obama the 4th U.S. President in a row launch military efforts in the country.

Readers should not be deceived by Administration claims of these renewed engagements being limited in scope. Far too much hangs in the balance to allow the Islamic State to progress unhindered across the region. Since the initial launch of their offensive earlier this year, they have continued to make larger territorial gains across Syria, Iraq and now even have a territorial foothold in Lebanon. Their success on the battlefield, combined with slick public relations and recruiting campaigns across the region and on the Internet have helped swell the ranks, drawing in new fighters from across the globe, including here in the U.S..

As Islamic State leaders have publicly professed a desire to ‘sack the holy city’, the government of Saudi Arabia has deployed thousands of troops along their 500 mile long common border with with Iraq and have even imported a sizeable force from such nations as Pakistan and Egypt to help fortify their defenses.

And in a telltale sign of things to come, there are reports that pro-Islamic State graffiti and leaflets have already begun appearing around the kingdom. Given the existing political instability in Saudi Arabia, it would seem only a matter of time before the House of Saud is seriously challenged.

Which now leads us to Syria. It is already well known that following the route of Iraqi forces earlier this summer, Islamic State militants spirited vast supplies of armaments back into their strongholds across the Syrian frontier. Given these supplies can be transported back into Iraq at will, there is a high likelihood that we will soon see U.S. bombing missions being carried out in Syria as well.

As a final note on this story, we would like to remind readers that on multiple occasions over the past several months AlertsUSA has reported on the threat Islamic State militants pose to the U.S. homeland (see this, this, this, this and this). With hundreds, if not thousands of U.S. and European muslims now engaged in fighting on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria, government agencies across the defense, intelligence and national security sectors have repeatedly warned that it is only a matter of time before dramatic terror attacks begin taking place here in the U.S.. The militants themselves have repeatedly warned of such strikes (including this week), and will no doubt be highly motivated to hit back following the setbacks they will experience as a result of U.S. strikes.

Given that citizens of the European Union can undertake visa-free travel to the U.S. as easily as slipping into a taxi cab, or the ease with which individuals can now enter the U.S. almost completely unhindered by coming across the border with Mexico, we again urge readers to not become complacent when in large crowds, using public transportation or in any of the myriad of so called soft targets favored by jihadists worldwide.

As always, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor developments in the Middle East, as well as the terror threat facing the country, and will immediately notify service subscribers of new alerts and warnings by government agencies or changes in the overall threat environment, as events warrant.


Travel Security Update

The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.

Latest USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings

  08/01/2014
  08/01/2014
  08/01/2014
  08/01/2014
  08/01/2014
  04/10/2014
   
See all USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings HERE.

Take Advantage of These Resources

Our social media channels provide a steady steam of important news and resources between issues of Threat Journal with little or no overlap of content. Combined with the AlertsUSA service for instant mobile notification of the really bad developments, you have an unmatched set of tools to keep yourself fully up to speed on the nation's threat environment. With times getting worse by the day, we urge you to utilize these resources.

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