Thomas Duncan shivered in the king-size bed, even though he was tucked under the covers and fully dressed — pants, socks and two shirts. It was Sunday morning, Sept. 28, and Duncan, from Liberia, had been in the United States visiting Louise Troh at her Dallas apartment for the past week. He felt weak and cold, he told Troh’s daughter, Youngor Jallah…
“I’ve been seeing Ebola on TV, how it starts, with muscle pain, red eyes. When I see his eye, it is all red, and I think maybe this time it is Ebola virus and I should be careful,” Jallah, 35, said in an interview with The Washington Post at her nearby apartment, where she and her family have been quarantined…
Fifteen minutes later, two paramedics knocked on the door. Jallah greeted the two men but told them that they couldn’t enter until they put on gloves and facemasks.
“He just come from Liberia,” she explained. “For safety, don’t touch anything. Viruses.”
State and federal health officials have cut to 50 the list of people who may have been in direct contact with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, saying they’re still throwing a very wide net to be extra careful…
“There are about 50 individuals that we feel we need to follow on a daily basis,” Texas state health commissioner Dr. David Lakey told reporters. “Most of those individuals are at low risk. There are about 10 individuals at high risk.” The high-risk people — Duncan’s girlfriend Louise, her children, others who were with him while he was showing symptoms — are being asked to take their temperatures twice a day.
Healthcare workers such as EMT crews who picked up Duncan and brought him to the hospital, technicians who handled blood, and nurses who examined him are being furloughed with pay and asked to stay home.
More than six months after an outbreak of Ebola began its rampage through West Africa, local and federal health officials have displayed an uneven and flawed response to the first case diagnosed in the United States.
In the latest indication, state and local authorities confirmed Thursday that a week after a Liberian man fell ill with Ebola in Dallas, and four days after he was placed in isolation at a hospital here, the apartment where he was staying with four other people had not been sanitized and the sheets and dirty towels he used while sick remained in the home. County officials visited the apartment without protection Wednesday night…
[L]local and national health officials have also been unclear, and sometimes contradictory, about how many people in the Dallas area may have come into contact with Mr. Duncan while he was contagious (the virus can be transmitted through bodily fluids like saliva, blood and vomit)…
The failure to sanitize his sheets and towels also revealed a broader problem in handling materials possible infected with the virus. Hospitals say they face a major challenge disposing of waste generated in the care of Ebola patients because two federal agencies have issued conflicting guidance on what they should do. As a result, hospitals say, waste may pile up and they cannot get rid of it.
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) October 3, 2014
People who contract Ebola in West Africa can get through airport screenings and onto a plane with a lie and a lot of ibuprofen, according to healthcare experts who believe more must be done to identify infected travelers. At the very least, they said, travelers arriving from Ebola-stricken countries should be screened for fever, which is currently done on departure from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. But such safeguards are not foolproof.
“The fever-screening instruments run low and aren’t that accurate,” said infection control specialist Sean Kaufman, president of Behavioral-Based Improvement Solutions, a biosafety company based in Atlanta. “And people can take ibuprofen to reduce their fever enough to pass screening, and why wouldn’t they? If it will get them on a plane so they can come to the United States and get effective treatment after they’re exposed to Ebola, wouldn’t you do that to save your life?”
“The airport screening is less important than emphasizing” what happens when they show up for health care, Adalja said of possible patients. More important, he said, is for doctors to take an accurate account of a patient’s recent travel history.
“What I really worry about … is that people will be incubating the virus and then get sick here. The key action is asking the travel history,” he said. ”That’s where real linchpin of our prevention plan is. That’s what really has to be emphasized to minimize any collateral damage that these imported cases will cause.”…
Overall, Adalja said he thinks there will be more cases of “imported” Ebola to the U.S., but he emphasized that the public should not panic.
“They’re downplaying and underplaying the risk of this,” Paul said in an interview with Breitbart News backstage at an event where he endorsed Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) for re-election.
“They keep emphasizing that it’s so hard to transmit. Well if it’s so hard to transmit why are doctors getting it with masks, gloves, boots and hats—the whole works?” he asked.
“Could we have a worldwide pandemic? The Spanish flu in 1918 killed 21 million people, the plague in the 14th century killed 25 million people; I’m not saying that’s going to happen, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I think we should have travel restrictions at this point in time coming from Africa,” Paul added.
A State Department spokeswoman on Friday rejected the idea of imposing a travel ban on West African countries with the Ebola virus, and said it’s important to ensure that the U.S. and other countries continue to “engage” with those nations.
“It actually would be counterproductive, in our view, to put that type of limitation on people,” Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on the idea of a flight ban. “It remains essential that the world community engage in order to help the effected countries address and contain this ongoing health crisis.”
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Friday said restricting travel between the U.S. and West Africa would likely “backfire” and put Americans more at risk of contracting Ebola…
“The only way we’re going to get to zero risk is by stopping the outbreak at the source” in West Africa, Frieden said.
“Even if we tried to close the border, it wouldn’t work,” the top health official added. “People have a right to return. People transiting through could come in. And it would backfire, because by isolating these countries, it’ll make it harder to help them, it will spread more there and we’d be more likely to be exposed here.”
Americans do not have confidence in what The Officials tell them anymore.
This is not only because we live in a cynical age. In this case it’s because people know the truth always contains uncomfortable elements, and in the CDC news conference very few uncomfortable elements were allowed…
They did not want to discuss who the sick man was, his nationality, exactly what flight he came in on. They are good to their global masters! Sorry, just reacting like a normal person. There was a persistent sense the professionals had agreed to be chary with information that might alarm America’s peasants and make them violent.
We are locked in some loop where the public figure knows what he must pronounce to achieve his agenda, and the public knows what he must pronounce to achieve his agenda, and we all accept what is being said while at the same time everyone sees right through it. The public figure literally says, “Prepare my talking points,” and the public says, “He’s just reading talking points.” It leaves everyone feeling compromised. Public officials gripe they can’t break through the cynicism. They cause the cynicism.
The only response to a virus this deadly is to quarantine it. Stop flights, suspend visas, and beef up customs and security. It can be done. If the FAA can cancel flights to Israel, why can’t it cancel flights to and from the West African countries whence the outbreak originated?
Simple: because doing so would violate the sacred principles by which our bourgeois liberal elite operate. To deny an individual entry to the United States over fears of contamination would offend our elite’s sense of humanitarian cosmopolitanism. For them, “singling out” nations or cultures from which threats to the public health or safety of the United States originate is illegitimate. It “stigmatizes” those nations or cultures, it “shames” them, it makes them feel unequal. It’s judgmental. It suggests that America prefers her already existing citizens to others.
Such pieties endanger us. They are the reason we were slow to contain the influx of Central American refugees, the reason we do not follow-up on illegal immigrants who fail to show up for hearings, the reason we remain unable to strip jihadists of U.S. citizenship, the reason that a year after two Chechen refugees bombed the Boston Marathon, America is preparing to expand resettlement of Syrian refugees. The imperatives of the caste, the desire to make actual whatever is rattling around Tom Friedman’s brain at a given moment, take precedence over reality.
The system can withstand only so many shocks.
Via the Corner.