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First there was ISIS. Now there's Ebola.

The Ebola health crisis is the latest global issue to become a fixture this campaign season, spilling into debates, campaign rhetoric — and even a few ads.

Political arguments about Ebola can roughly be divided into three groups.

Democrats argue that budget-cutting Republicans have deprived the government of the resources it needs to keep Americans safe from the threat of Ebola. That's the argument Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado made at a recent debate.

How A No-Touch Thermometer Detects A Fever

Oct 15, 2014

In the battle to stop Ebola's spread, health officials worldwide have been deploying thermometers in hopes of detecting the earliest symptoms among people who might be sick. The no-contact thermometer, already broadly used in some airports in Africa, has come to U.S. airports this week — now at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, and, starting Thursday, at D.C.'s Dulles, Chicago's O'Hare, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson, and Newark's Liberty.

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Ten days ago, Ashoka Mukpo, an NBC freelance cameraman who caught Ebola in West Africa, arrived in Omaha, Neb., for treatment.

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We have some news and an advisory. The news is this, the Texas Department of Health says a second health care worker tested positive for Ebola. The advisory is what we don't know. Dr. Daniel Varga is with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

Jack Scoville was buying himself a chocolate bar a few weeks ago — Hershey's, milk — at a corner store in Chicago. And he noticed the price was just a bit higher than he's used to paying: 5 or 10 cents more. His first thought was not to blame a greedy store owner or the executives in Hershey, Pa.

He blamed Ebola.

As soon as the Ebola outbreak started to spiral out of control in West Africa, Kwan Kew Lai felt obligated to help.

She's a physician who specializes in infectious disease. And for the last decade, she's dedicated herself to volunteering for international health emergencies. She works part-time at one of Harvard's teaching hospital just to have that flexibility.

NPR producer Rebecca Hersher has reported on Ebola from Liberia for the past two weeks. She just returned to the U.S. via Brussels and into Washington Dulles International Airport — the same route flown by Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian national who went on to Dallas, where he was diagnosed with the virus and later died. As Hersher's tweets reveal, she was screened. Sort of.

John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital is the largest public hospital in Liberia. It has a trauma unit, a maternity ward and an outpatient clinic that serves hundreds a day.

But there's one illness that the facility won't treat: Ebola. JFK is not equipped to treat or contain it if it gets inside their wards. A new triage unit in the driveway detects patients with the virus and sends them to a dedicated Ebola center.

In the parts of the world that we cover in our blog, many people live in villages.

Villages have their problems, to be sure. There may not be a doctor or clinic nearby. Girls may not be able to go to school. Clean water might be a long walk away.

But a new book points out that village life has its advantages.

It's hard to imagine it now, when the death toll from Ebola is in the thousands. But just a few months ago, you could count the victims one at a time.

For Dr. Joshua Mugele, the counting began one morning in June when he showed up for work at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. Mugele, an ER doc and associate professor of clinical emergency medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, was on a fellowship, working with staff to develop disaster readiness programs. The project had nothing to do with Ebola.

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One of the biggest roadblocks in West Africa to containing the Ebola outbreak is the lack of isolation wards for people who are infected.

President Obama has announced plans to build 17 new Ebola Treatment Units in Liberia. Those new medical facilities will require thousands of additional workers who are trained and willing to work in them.

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In West Africa, one of the simplest ways to slow the Ebola outbreak is to educate people about how to keep from getting infected with the virus. Now, there are some signs that Ebola awareness is indeed driving down the number of cases in parts of Liberia — and Liberian musicians and DJs may deserve some of the credit.

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Sometimes you can tell a lot about a country just by walking its beaches. That's what I did on my last day in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, where I was on assignment covering the Ebola epidemic.

Standing at water's edge, facing the sea. The smooth blue rollers come splashing in, steady, hypnotic — like oceans anywhere in the world.

NPR global health correspondent Jason Beaubien is on his third trip to cover Ebola in West Africa — to Sierra Leone in July, and to Liberia in August and now this month. He sees big changes. Yet some things remain the same.

What's your impression this time around?

Monrovia, Liberia's capital, is a city that relies on public transportation — buses, private vans (also known locally as buses), cars and motorcycle taxis. And you can't use any of these options without coming into contact with other people, whether you're jostling in line or wrapping your arms around a motorcycle taxi driver.

Since the Ebola outbreak, Monrovia has placed new restrictions on public transport, and fewer drivers are willing to take chances. So there aren't as many options for commuters at a time when Ebola has made everyone afraid of touching strangers.

A health care worker in Texas who cared for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan has been confirmed to have the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The head of the CDC says the infection stems from a breach in protocol that officials are working to identify.

Investors Flock To Ebola-Related Companies

Oct 11, 2014

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Today is the International Day of the Girl Child. It is a U.N. event with a grand name and a powerful mission. Girls around the world, especially in lower-income countries, often face terrible things, from genital mutilation to child marriage to kidnapping. We asked five photographers, who devote much or all of their time to documenting the lives of global girls, to share photos with special significance and talk about the images.

Tomorrow marks the third International Day of the Girl Child, designated by the U.N. to highlight the need to create a better world for adolescent girls.

It's a day when activists ramp up efforts to make the public aware of issues like child marriage, violence against girls and the lack of access to education. It's also a time for activists to push world leaders to make commitments — financial or policy-wise — to end those problems.

Dr. Gabriel Logan is a bundle of energy. Wearing a yellow dress shirt untucked from his slacks, he races around the Liberian government hospital compound in Tubmanburg, north of the capital, Monrovia.

He also moves fast on the medical front, experimenting with his own idea of treatment for Ebola patients.

Back in July this hospital, which was the main medical facility for the region, was closed after 10 of the staffers got sick with Ebola.

"We sent them to Monrovia," he says. Of the 10, only one survived.

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Love, respect, integration into communities, work, housing, food and clean water: That's what mentally ill people, like all human beings, need. Instead, in many parts of the developing world, people with mental illness are chained, nearly starved and even locked in a cage with a wild animal like a hyena to scare the demons out of them.

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