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People living in the United States have little to no reason to fear contracting Ebola, a deadly viral illness causing an epidemic in West Africa. Yet on Friday night, some Americans will dress up in hazmat suits akin to what health workers wear when treating an Ebola patient.

And, of course, there's even a "sexy" version.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The world is facing a double-barreled pandemic reminiscent of the dual epidemic of tuberculosis and HIV that emerged in the 1980s – only potentially much bigger.

It's a "co-epidemic" of TB and diabetes that's beginning to affect many countries around the globe — poor, middle-income and even rich nations.

Public health types are getting increasingly annoyed with people freaking out about Ebola in the United States, from governors to the general public. It's easy to see why; when I heard a swim coach was getting questions from parents worried that their children might get Ebola from the pool water, it was hard not to cue the eye roll.

On the other hand, I suspect I'm not the only person whose husband asked her to buy chlorine bleach and gloves the next time I went to the store.

There are all kinds of theories why Ebola hasn't arrived in Ivory Coast, despite the fact that it shares a long and very porous border with two Ebola-afflicted countries, Liberia and Guinea.

Some Ivoirians credit a beefed-up border patrol. The citizens in this country thank God. But Mumadou Traore, who works as a field coordinator for CARE International, has a third theory. He credits the legendarily infuriating Ivorian bureacracy.

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This is a week for reflecting on lessons learned from those who've survived Ebola.

Morning Edition aired a report on the experience of medical personnel at Emory Hospital, which has cared for four Ebola patients: three evacuees from West Africa (including Dr. Kent Brantly) and one of the Texas nurses.

Over the past five years, I've traveled around Africa quite a bit. I've been trained in how to escape from a minefield and what to do if I'm taken hostage. I've been followed by police officers in Zimbabwe, threatened with arrest in Ethiopia, had my phone stolen in South Africa, and been shaken down for cash by a cop in military fatigues (swinging an AK-47 by his hip) in Kenya. I've also been on more scary cab rides than I care to remember. In short, I feel well-prepared to report from just about anywhere on the continent.

Ebola screening for passengers flying out of Monrovia's airport on Monday night wasn't functioning like a well-oiled machine. Parts of it were chaotic and slightly concerning.

After 10 days of reporting in Liberia, we arrived at the airport to take two of the same flights that Thomas Eric Duncan took last month: Monrovia to Brussels and then on to Dulles in Virginia. There were three of us: me, another reporter and a producer.

Before we went inside the terminal, a woman from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention greeted us outside.

In an ideal world, health care workers returning from West Africa would get a quick blood test to prove they aren't carrying the Ebola virus. A test like that would likely put to rest some of the anxiety surrounding these doctors, nurses and scientists.

Unfortunately, even the best blood test in the world can't do that.

The test uses a technology called PCR, for polymerase chain reaction. It can detect extraordinarily small traces of genetic material from the Ebola virus.

At the Ebola treatment center in Foya, Liberia, there's one thought on every American volunteer's mind: 21 days of isolation.

The threat of quarantines for health care workers coming back from West Africa cropped up in nearly every conversation I had on Saturday with doctors and nurses at the clinic run by Doctors Without Borders.

Everyone was worried, especially a nurse from New York City. Some states, like New York, New Jersey and Illinois, are already requiring 21-day quarantines, possibly in hospitals, for all medical staff coming home. Others might follow.

Jonas Salk was born on October 28, 1914 in New York City. Google is celebrating the birth of the man who developed a polio vaccine with a special Google doodle.

During the fervor of the current Ebola outbreak, it seems like a good moment to tip our hats to one of the heroes of an earlier epidemic. Salk developed a vaccine for polio in 1953. At a time polio was sweeping across the United States crippling children and terrifying parents.

Australia's immigration agency has ceased processing new visa applications from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, over concerns about the possible spread of the deadly Ebola virus. The country has also shut down an aid program in West Africa, Australia's immigration chief says. The move is drawing criticism.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In one corner of Liberia, a community has come together to change the course of the deadly epidemic. New cases have been brought to a standstill. This success shows that it's going to take more than extra beds at a ward to stop Ebola.

When Doctors Without Borders arrived in the northern district of Foya in early August, Ebola was out of control. Foya was the first area in Liberia to report cases, and the community has been hit hard.

The usually staid New England Journal of Medicine is blasting the decision of some states to quarantine returning Ebola healthcare workers.

In the latest tweak to America's plan to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leader Dr. Tom Frieden announced changes to the U.S. response to Ebola and the guidance federal agencies are giving to state and local governments.

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"If someone you know is sick with sudden fever, diarrhea or vomiting, you should call 117 for advice."

"Healthcare workers who take care of Ebola patients have to wear protective clothes do not be afraid of them."

"People with Ebola who go to the health centre early have a better chance of survival."

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

An Ebola Success Story In Northern Liberia

Oct 26, 2014

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I am an infectious disease (ID) physician at Boston Medical Center, and I serve as the Director of Infection Control at National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, helping design medical response programs to potential exposures to viruses that cause viral hemorrhagic fevers. This summer I spent 12 days in Sierra Leone, serving as part of a team treating patients at Kenema Government Hospital's Ebola treatment center. The center was supported by the World Health Organization with guidance, logistics and clinicians.

Salome Karwah, 26, lost both her parents to Ebola. On August 28, she walked out of the same Monrovia treatment center where they had died, a survivor of the virus.

And then one month later, she returned.

Ebola treatment centers are full of divisions: between sick and healthy, confirmed and suspected, dirty and clean. Karwah is standing in a fenced-in ward of suspected Ebola patients, gently bouncing a 10-month-old baby against her chest. "I help patients who are helpless," she says.

In a white tent outside an Ebola treatment ward in Monrovia, Dr. Dan Lucey fondles a surgical glove. He rubs the latex between his thumb and forefinger the way a tailor might caress a piece of fine silk.

"They have very good gloves here," Lucey gushes about the Ebola suits used by Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French acronym MSF. "The MSF personal protective equipment is the best!"

Lucey, a professor of immunology at Georgetown University, calls the MSF protective gear "the gold standard."

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Travelers returning to New York and New Jersey from West African nations will be put under mandatory quarantine orders if they may have had contact with Ebola patients, Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie announced Friday, The Associated Press reports.

When Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hugged Dallas nurse Nina Pham on Friday it was as much to combat the stigma surrounding the deadly virus as to celebrate her being free of Ebola.

Fauci said it was an honor to treat Pham and get to know "such an extraordinary individual." Pham said she felt "fortunate and blessed" and put her trust "in God and my medical team."

Pham later met with President Obama in the Oval Office. The president and the nurse also hugged as news photographers captured the moment.

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