UPDATE: The Ebola Virus: Why now in America? #CDC
Are American hospitals ready for Ebola? No. The main reason is lack of experience. American nurses and doctors are not trained on how to deal with Ebola, because it lives in Africa(or used to). Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA has first-hand experience with Ebola. This is something that I have recently learned via recent news articles. Their first hand knowledge is very important to the preparedness of our American hospitals. There is nothing quite like first hand experience to really refine and hone your skills.
Now onto the highlight of the day, the national news stations are shocked and awed with the latest CDC/nurse blunder(this is really a duel party effort blunder). I call it a blunder(can we say blunder again), because the second nurse from Texas Presbyterian Hospital(recently diagnosed with Ebola and now at Emory) actually called the CDC asking for permission to leave the state. A CDC official(whom I am sure has been fired) asked the nurse what her temperature was. 99.5 was the temperature given by the nurse(USA Today, 10/16/2014). Not clinically a fever. No problem right?! Well...this nurse took care of Mr. Duncan(now deceased from the Ebola Virus) while he has vomiting and diarrhea-ing everywhere. She was at a high risk for virus transmission, because she was in direct contact while Duncan was highly contagious. This nurse has potentially exposed "at least" an entire airplane's worth of people. WOW...just wow. Preacher, take it away.
My first profession in life was as a Registered Nurse. I studied at Penn State University with experience in many renowned level I trauma centers across the country. Our hospital systems are simply not prepared for an Ebola Outbreak. I am certain hospitals are informing their hospital staff of signs and symptoms(while simultaneously updating existing policies). Hospitals will get up to speed really quick.
Thomas Duncan is the man who brought Ebola to the US and whom recently died as a result. A US nurse from Texas Presbyterian Hospital(Nina Pham whom cared for Duncan) has now contracted the virus. Lucky for her, she has been given plasma from a US doctor who survived contracting Ebola(CNN, 10/14/2014). If this nurse dies, I expect a nationwide panic to erupt. On a side note, she reports that she was completely garbed while caring for him(glove, mask/shield, and gown). That may be true, but a breach of protocol must have happened on the nurse's end during the care of Mr. Duncan for her to have contracted Ebola.
Interesting Fact: Did you know? According to the CDC, Ebola can be contracted by coming into contact with an infected persons sweat! For me, this is not the same as blood, urine, sputum(spit), and feces. FYI, a person is deemed contagious only after they are symptomatic(not prior).
World focus should be on creating an Ebola vaccine. The first testing is being done this week in Maryland for a Canadian developed vaccine. If deemed safe and effective, distributing it to the hot zones in West Africa could essentially stop this deadly virus in its tracks.
A government call to action: Shut down flights from the hot zones for a month. Give yourself time to thoroughly evaluate the situation. Check points seem to be at the same capability levels as the TSA. If this is true, I expect even more Ebola cases to surface here in the United States and in the near future.
The confirmed case of Ebola in Dallas, TX this AM has me asking questions. The biggest one being, "Why now"? We have been dealing with Ebola for some time now in Africa and only now have we seen our first confirmed case in the United States. My heart goes out to all the medical professions that have been exposed and now have to be quarantined for 21 days(the incubation period of The Ebola Virus).
In regards to the quarantine: "no quarantine is a legal thing meaning they could be arrested if they leave their house. What they are doing is telling them to try to self isolate themselves and check their temperature at least morning and night (if not more often). In today's legal world, it's really difficult to do true quarantine. especially if they are not a threat until they have a fever which they can easily catch early on by following those rules". ~ Anonymous important personMichael Crichton's novel "The Hot Zone" was one of the first books I read as a kid(not Wuthering Heights). Truly scary stuff. I want to know how we can prevent another outbreak in the future. I do not believe in cutting off hot zone flights altogether, but there must be some serious safety nets in place and we must be able to execute them 100% at the borders. Obviously, all individuals must be checked before they leave hot zones for signs and symptoms of Ebola. A hold tank is also necessary perhaps on both sides of the borders in Africa and in the United States. Also, limiting the number of flights would also reduce the risk of transmission to the United States.
I believe in most instances government involvement is not needed, but they are indeed in charge of protecting our borders and the American people. Currently, the secret service is having trouble protecting the President of the United States. What makes me think they can protect us? Let's put it this way, I have little faith.
The not scary part: The Ebola Virus is NOT airborne. Wash your hands and stay away from sick people. That goes for any cold and flu virus out there. Wash your hands before you eat and go to the bathroom. Wash your hands. That is real nurse talk right here.
The scary part: There is one confirmed case. You always have to assume where there is one there is two and so on. The CDC is very upfront and they do have experimental vaccines in the works(keep experimenting). The truth is our borders are bleeding. What is being done to stop illegal immigration from boiling over? As tax payers, we are paying for every miss stepped penny.
For more information on the Ebola Virus please visit the CDC.
Here is a fantastic article from The Network for Public Health Law. This article explains a great deal about how Ebola quarantines are handled overseas and here in the US.