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The latest on the Ebola crisis

Last Updated Oct 21, 2014 12:19 AM EDT

With numerous stories stemming from the worldwide Ebola outbreak affecting the U.S. and dozens of countries overseas, here's the most recent news about the disease:

CDC announces new guidelines for health workers

Health officials released new guidelines Monday for how health workers should gear up to treat Ebola patients.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the long-anticipated updates Monday evening. Health workers have been pushing for new standards since two Dallas hospital nurses were diagnosed with the disease this month after treating an Ebola patient.

Experiences by medical staffers caring for Ebola patients at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center are reflected in the guidelines, the CDC said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Health [NIH] National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said the new CDC-issued guidelines will improve upon what the WHO had issued. For example, he said, those protocols allowed for some exposed skin, which will no longer be allowed.

CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook said that the stricter guidelines were determined by those experiences.

"The CDC said, you know something, they didn't seem to work, we're going to make them more strict," said LaPook on CBS This Morning.

The guidelines call for face shields, hoods, boot covers and other garb that leave no part of the body exposed. They also call for a trained monitor to supervise the donning and doffing of protective wear. And they call for repeated training and practice.

The CDC guidance was expected as early as Saturday, but its release has been pushed back while it continues to go through review by experts and government officials.

Nigeria declared Ebola-free by WHO

Doctors who survived Ebola in Nigeria credited heavy doses of fluids, including water laced with salt and sugar, with saving their lives as the World Health Organization declared the country Ebola-free Monday, a rare victory in the battle against the disease that is ravaging West Africa.

In the end, Nigeria - the most populous country in Africa, with 160 million people - had just 20 cases, including eight deaths, a lower death rate than the 70 percent seen elsewhere across the stricken region.

Officials are crediting strong tracking and isolation of people exposed to the virus, and aggressive rehydration of infected patients to counter the effects of vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms.

Nigeria's containment of Ebola is a "spectacular success story," said Rui Gama Vaz, WHO director for Nigeria.

Ebola patient treated since Sept. released from Emory Hospital

An Ebola patient who's been treated in Atlanta since early September has been released, hospital officials said Monday, according to the Associated Press.

The man was released Sunday from Atlanta's Emory University Hospital, after he was determined to be free of the virus and no threat to the public.

He was transported to the hospital on Sept. 9 after arriving in Atlanta on a jet. The World Health Organization disclosed that a doctor who had been working in an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone had been evacuated out of Africa when he tested positive for the disease.

However, hospital and health officials never released his name, in keeping with his family's wish for privacy.

How close are we to an Ebola cure?

While experts agree that current research will not result in an Ebola "cure" for this outbreak, scientists and startups around the globe are racing to find a marketable treatment. Here's a rundown of where the most advanced efforts stand.

Pentagon creating rapid response units

The Pentagon says specialized training for a new, 30-member U.S. military Ebola response team will take place at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

The Defense Department said its rapid-response team will feature 20 critical care nurses and five doctors trained for infectious disease environments, as well as five trainers in infectious diseases protocols.

It will receive up to seven days of training with personnel from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at the San Antonio post.

That includes drills on infection control and instruction on special protective equipment.

On Sunday, the Pentagon announced that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had ordered the formation of the unit from across the services to assist civilian medical professionals in the U.S. if needed to treat Ebola.

The team would not be sent to West Africa or other overseas locations, and would "be called upon domestically only if deemed prudent by our public health professionals," Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement Sunday.

The team will then remain on standby status for 30 days, ready to assist civilian medical personnel treating Ebola threats around the United States.

Boston doctor returns from West Africa to train others on fighting Ebola

A Boston doctor who cared for Ebola patients in West Africa is now training other doctors, reports CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano.

At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's mock Ebola ward in Anniston, Alabama, Dr. Nahid Bhadelia showed medical clinicians how to get in and out of their personal protective equipment.

Dr. Bhadelia knows first-hand that these suits and important training, can save doctors' lives from the Ebola virus.

"The first time you do anything, when walk into this environment or anywhere else, you are going to be scared," she said. "I had never seen patients with Ebola."

Urgent care centers not best place to get checked for Ebola

When a Dallas County sheriff's deputy who had entered the apartment of the first patient to die from Ebola in the U.S. started feeling ill himself, he didn't rush to the nearest hospital. He chose an urgent-care clinic.

So did a man who recently traveled to West Africa and was complaining of flu-like symptoms, prompting the suburban Boston urgent-care practice where he went to briefly shut down last week.

The deadly virus' arrival in the U.S. has put the spotlight on weak spots in American hospitals, but those facilities are not the only ones who have suddenly found themselves on the front lines against Ebola.

Urgent-care clinics for many people have become de facto emergency rooms. They are not, however, equipped like hospitals to treat serious illnesses, such as Ebola, nor do they have isolation units.

Clinics are urging potential patients to get checked for the highly contagious virus at a hospital.

Outbreak officially over in Nigeria, WHO says

Nigeria is free of Ebola, the World Health Organization declared Monday of a rare victory in the months-long battle against the fatal disease.

Nigeria's containment of Ebola is a "spectacular success story," WHO's director for Nigeria, Rui Gama Vaz, told a news conference in the capital, Abuja.

The disease came to Lagos, Africa's most populous city, through an airline passenger who had carried Ebola from Liberia to Nigeria. The July 23 announcement about the disease hitting Nigeria "rocked public health communities all around the world," the WHO said in a statement.

Many feared the worst in in an urban sprawl characterized by large populations living in crowded and unsanitary conditions in many slums.

Instead, with swift coordination between state and federal health officials, the WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and with ample financial and material resources from Nigeria's government, isolation wards were immediately constructed and, more slowly, designated Ebola treatment centers.

Health officials reached every single known person to have contact with infected people in Lagos and 99.8 percent in Port Harcourt, Nigeria's oil capital where the disease was carried by an infected Nigerian diplomat.

With 18,500 visits to 894 contacts, health workers tracked the progress of all who had come in contact with the disease.

In the end, Nigeria suffered 20 cases of Ebola and eight deaths, including of two doctors and a nurse.

EU seeking to create 1 billion euro Ebola fund

European Union nations are working to reach 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion) in aid by the end of the week to fight Ebola in West Africa and are seeking a common approach to the crisis.

EU foreign ministers began a week of talks Monday so their 28 leaders can agree by Friday on better measures to fight Ebola, anything from financial aid to common repatriation procedures, more Ebola treatment facilities and better training for health workers.

"We've got a very short window to get on top of it and prevent the uncontrollable spread of the disease," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said. "We do need this billion-euro fund."

So far, the overall anti-Ebola total for the EU, including EU national contributions, stands now at nearly 500 million euros ($640 million), with Britain contributing 160 million euros ($204 million) and Germany some 100 million euros ($127 million).

The Netherlands also promised to send a frigate to West Africa to help, matching a similar contribution from Britain.

Liberia pleads for more international help

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Ebola has killed more than 2,000 people in her country and has brought it to "a standstill," noting that Liberia and two other badly hit countries were already weakened by years of war.

Appealing for more international help, Sirleaf described the devastating effects of Ebola in a "Letter to the World" that was broadcast Sunday by the BBC.

"Across West Africa, a generation of young people risk being lost to an economic catastrophe as harvests are missed, markets are shut and borders are closed," the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said. "The virus has been able to spread so rapidly because of the insufficient strength of the emergency, medical and military services that remain under-resourced."

In neighboring Sierra Leone, emergency food rations were distributed for a third day Sunday to give a nutritional lifeline to 260,000 residents of an Ebola-stricken community on the outskirts of the capital, Freetown.

The total death toll has risen to more than 4,500 people from the 9,000 infected, according to the World Health Organization. Although Senegal and Nigeria have been declared free of Ebola, the epidemic remains out of control in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. WHO warns that by December there could be as many as 10,000 new infections per week.

China gives $6 million in food aid

China has donated $6 million to help stave off food shortages in the three African countries worst affected by the Ebola virus, the World Food Program announced Monday, part of Beijing's growing assistance to a continent where its companies have become major investors.

WFP China representative Brett Rierson said the money is being spent on one month of emergency food rations of mainly rice, lentils and yellow peas for 300,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The WFP has now raised $59 million of a $179 million appeal for emergency Ebola food aid, with the U.S. contributing $8.8 million and Japan $6 million.

Altogether, donors have given nearly $400 million to U.N. agencies and aid groups, still far from the $988 million requested.

"The killer is silent and invisible"

CBS News correspondent Debora Patta writes about reporting on the Ebola outbreak in Libera.

"Watching this burial I was struck by how dehumanizing this disease is. People are not just dying of Ebola," Patta writes. "American charity worker Katie Meyler told us 'they are dying of hopelessness, of loneliness, of despair.' You are isolated, denied human contact. It felt so utterly lacking compassion to have to shout our questions to the grieving family - but essential for the safety of everyone that we kept our distance."