How serious a threat America has after the first case was diagnosed in Texas is yet to be determined. However, the headlines I came across today do indicate that Americans have ample reason to be concerned. In one article the headline says that the White House claims that screening procedures are in place at our borders. Another headline reads: CDC Spokesman Admits Screening Inadequate, Won’t Ban Flights From Liberia. Because of what this headline says, there is now a second person in Isolation under suspected of having contracted from the first patient: Dallas hospital reportedly failed to follow federal guidelines by sending Ebola patient home. And, there may be a third case in Hawaii: Patient in isolation in Honolulu, possible Ebola.
Possibly the most disturbing bit of news on the Ebola front is this one:
The “hero” Ebola doctor testimony before Congress last month confirms Ebola can spread by touch.
Dr. Kent Brantly, who survived Ebola, told of a “Good Samaritan” named Francis who contracted the disease as he carried an Ebola stricken man into a taxi.
“Like most patients at first, [Francis] was fearful, but he eventually shared the story of how he contracted the disease. ‘Doc, I remember who the man was,’ he said. ‘His condition worsened in his home, and his wife made the decision to take him to the hospital. Everyone around them fled, so I helped his wife carry him to the taxi.’ On his way to the hospital that man died. Had someone come alongside Francis with training and some basic personal protective equipment, his family might still have their husband, father and son, and the world might still have this Good Samaritan. Unfortunately Francis fell victim to Ebola and died.”
“We cannot fool ourselves into thinking that the vast moat of the Atlantic Ocean will keep the flames away from our shores,” Dr. Kent Brantly told a congressional committee, roughly two weeks before a Liberian man came down with Ebola in Texas.
If Dr. Brantly is right and Ebola can be spread by touching feverish (perspiring) infected person, that may go a long way to explaining how this disease can spread so rapidly.
Bearing in mind that Ebola symptoms can take up to 21 days to manifest themselves and assuming Dr. Brantly is right. Let’s do a little conjecture. Was America’s patient #1 feverish on his flight back to the US. If so, how many people did he touch during his trip? How many people did he touch at home, after his arrival and after being sent the sent home by the hospital, where he was for four days until returned to the hospital? Is patient #2, as I believe I read, a family member of patient #1? Is patient #2 a child and if so did the child shows symptoms at school? If so, how many students and staff did the child touch? Then there is this story claiming that patient #1 vomited profusely outside the entrance to the hospital. How many people may have inadvertently come in contact with that vomit?
It’ is not my intention to cause unnecessary panic; but from the above, and similar question can be raised about the potential patient #3 in Honolulu , the combinations and permutations for the potential spread of Ebola are enormous. Anyone who has had personal contact with the infected persons and people who had contact with them may have good reason to be panicky.
We will know in three or four weeks. Good luck, America!
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?