Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Ebola Crisis

As I am sitting here watching and listening on television to the congressional hearings on the ebola virus with the CDC (Center for Disease Control)  doctors, and I am shocked to hear how ineffective our government and country is about stopping this virus in its tracks.

I am also shocked because I just googled 'ebola virus' and got an eye full.  This is a such a horrible and insidious virus that the photos of the blood blisters and lesions on the skin of sufferers is so sickening I can't even put the photos on this blog.

I cannot believe how blase the CDC and our government has been about the transmission of this virus.  Ebola is on the verge of explosion in this country and I don't believe we have been or are doing enough to end this virus.

For the life of me, I can't believe this horrible virus has been around since 1976 and no one in this world has discovered or found a vaccine for this.  Since it originated in Africa, I think the world did not care enough to eradicate this virus because it was confined to Africa.  As long as it was far away we didn't care because it wasn't on our radar.  How could we have turned a blind eye to Africans and allowed them to die from this?  What the world has done is unconscionable.  

That said, why is the U.S. and other world nations not taking more stringent actions to stop this from traveling outside of Africa?  Why are people flying to the U.S. from the western African nations not being quarantined for the 21 day incubation period?  

Why was the man who flew into Dallas from Liberia not quarantined immediately and if not, why was the Texas Presbyterian Hospital so unprepared for this man in the ER?  The CDE is not giving forthright answers and does not seem to have its 'act together,' and able to put forth credible answers

How can our country be so ineffective with such a dangerous and insidious virus?

The second nurse in Dallas who contracted the ebola virus and who has been transferred to Emory University Hospital for treatment of the virus had no business being on a commercial air flight from Dallas to Cleveland and then Cleveland to Dallas.  What was she thinking? She is a 29 year old nurse, not some young kid just out of college.  Even if the CDC was not stopping her, she should have had enough sense in her own right as a professional not to get on a commercial flight.  How could she have been so unprofessional and endangered more than a hundred lives of those on the plane?

Yes, the nurses and doctors in Texas, as the nurses and doctors in Africa, are heroes.  But the 29-year-old second nurse has null and voided her hero status by thoughtlessly and ignorantly getting on that commercial air flight.

And, of course, the Texas Presbyterian Hospital was not prepared enough to know how to deal with the man from Liberia.  If they weren't prepared enough or didn't know what to do, why did they not seek help from Emory University Hospital which successfully treated the two medical people working with the Africans who had contracted the virus?  Why didn't they seek help from the CDC?  Why not get help from the National Institute of Health (NIH)? 

Everyone in this country thinks they know it all.  Why aren't we as a nation getting help from the workers on the front lines of this ebola virus in Africa?   All you have to do is look at the picture above of the worker in the protective suit and copy from that on how to dress and protect our medical people from the disease.  If everything isn't covered then you've got it wrong.  

All I have to do is look at the news reels and video from the workers in Africa to know the neck and legs should not have been exposed by the nurses in Texas.  It also seems that simple common sense was not used in our experience so far with the disease. Now we may have spread this insidious disease to other parts of the nation.

What I believe needs to be done:

1.  Not allow any more flights from the western African nations into the U.S.  The stopping of ebola in its tracks is more important than anything else.

2.  Anyone here in the U.S. believed to have been exposed to the virus should be in strict quarantine for the 21 day incubation period.  This is national security.

3.  Anyone with any type of elevated temperature should immediately be put in quarantine until it is determined they have not contracted the virus.

4.  No one exposed to the virus or with an elevated temperature should be permitted to travel on public transportation or be in public places.

Update:  October 23, 2014.  The CDC announced this morning that persons coming from the western African nations with the ebola virus may now enter at all ports of entry throughout the U.S. where they will be checked and monitored for the 21 day incubation period of the virus.

Update:  October 22, 2014.  The federal government has put restrictions on those traveling from western African nations that have the ebola virus to only enter the U.S. at five airports so that they can be monitored for the ebola virus.  Finally, the U.S. is taking control of those entering the U.S. from western Africa.  The five airports:  JFK, Newark, Dulles, Chicago and Atlanta.

Update:  October 17, 2014.  Thank you Amber Vinson for bringing Ebola to Ohio.  How could you have traveled here on a commercial air flight when you had been exposed to the Ebola virus?  You should have been quarantined for 21 days by the CDC and if not by them, then you should have had enough sense to quarantine yourself.  And, you had no business getting on a commercial air flight and exposing nearly 800 people to this deadly virus. You have endangered your own family by being here over the weekend plus everyone you came in contact with while you were here.  Your unprofessionalism is staggering. As far as I am concerned you are the worst type of nurse, who doesn't have enough common sense to realize that if exposed to Ebola you could become infected with the virus.  You have now endangered so many here in Ohio. Several schools have had to shut down because employees were around you the weekend you were here.  Let's hope no one here in Ohio becomes infected with this deadly virus.  If anyone does, it is on your head and shoulders and your fault. You are no hero!

Copyright (c)  2014  Suzannah Wolf Walker   all rights reserved