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October 01, 2014

First US Ebola Patient Identified; Second Possible Ebola Patient Under Watch; Schoolkids Monitored for Possible Infection

Patient One:

The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States told relatives that he notified health care workers the first time he went to the hospital that he was visiting the U.S. from Liberia, the man's sister said Wednesday.

Mai Wureh told The Associated Press that her brother, Thomas Eric Duncan, went to a Dallas emergency room on Friday and was sent home with antibiotics. He returned two days later after his condition worsened and was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Mark Lester confirmed Wednesday that a nurse asked Duncan on his first visit whether he had been in an area affected by the Ebola outbreak that has killed thousands in West Africa, but that "information was not fully communicated throughout the whole team."


Officials are monitoring 12 to 18 people who may have been exposed to the man, including three members of the ambulance crew that transported him to the hospital and five schoolchildren.

Several questions here. The man from a country in which there is an out-of-control Ebola outbreak. He was visiting the US for ordinary, not extraordinary, reasons: to visit his relatives here.

We have not barred entry from West Africa but it's time to do so. At the very least it's time to restrict entry except in extraordinary circumstances, so that we have fewer visitors, and so that we can actually give each would-be visitor a more serious examination than merely checking them for fever.

At the very least, all travelers from West Africa should be required to check in for a health check (say) three days before their intended flight, and then get checked again on the day of the flight.

This will still permit some infected people to get through -- but hopefully it would catch some people with Ebola symptoms, too.

Duncan might have transmitted Ebola to a second patient, one close to him.

Health officials are closely monitoring a possible second Ebola patient who had close contact with the first person to be diagnosed in the U.S., the director of Dallas County's health department said Wednesday.

All who have been in close contact with the man officially diagnosed are being monitored as a precaution, Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, said in a morning interview with WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth.

"Let me be real frank to the Dallas County residents: The fact that we have one confirmed case, there may be another case that is a close associate with this particular patient," he said. "So this is real. There should be a concern, but it's contained to the specific family members and close friends at this moment."

At this moment, yes, but it was also contained to a few close family members in West Africa at one point, too.

It is the nature of outbreaks to break out.

I'm not advising panic, of course. But I am advising the government to get a little more serious about this -- even if it means (horror!) disrupting foreign visitors' non-urgent travel plans.

Five kids in a bunch of different Dallas schools are being monitored as well, as a precaution. I assume they came in contact with Patient One or Patient Two but do not exhibit any symptoms of Ebola. Yet.

Dallas ISD superintendent Mike Miles also revealed that five children from four of the district's schools were possibly exposed to the virus.

Miles identified the schools as:

Conrad High School
Tasby Middle School
Hotchkiss Elementary School
Dan D. Rogers Elementary

The patient who was diagnosed with the Ebola virus was staying at a northeast Dallas apartment complex, according to a Dallas police spokesman.

Incidentally, that article notes that there's a large-ish (10,000+) Liberian community in Dallas. Hence the connection.

Meanwhile, even Chris Matthews wants to know why President I Got This told the American public that it was "unlikely" that Ebola would reach America's shores.

Allah disputes the "unlikelihood" of it -- all we're doing is checking people for fever. That's a symptom that might not present itself for days after the actual infection.

So why would Obama say this?

Because he says "Nothing to see here, folks, move on" to everything. He is worried how worries will affect him politically, so he does nothing but offer empty -- and often outright false -- assurances that he's on top of everything.

He's not on top of anything at all except the low rising hill at the sixth hole.

Did any of these political guys see Jurassic Park?

It takes significant efforts to possibly halt a disease from breaking out.

"Life will find a way," Jeff Goldbum's character noted there. And for these purposes, a virus counts as "life."

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posted by Ace at 02:29 PM

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