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October 09, 2014

British Man Dies from Ebola in Macedonia

The Daily Mail reports his death but details are otherwise unavailable -- we do not know his name, nor his recent travel history. The Daily Mail reports that when he arrived at the hospital, he was already in such bad shape that he was unable to communicate, and he died shortly after admission.

A commenter said the man had not visited the affected countries. I don't know where he got that, but assuming that's true: It's alarming. That would mean that someone is spreading ebola in Macedonia the authorities don't even know about.

The man's hotel in Macedonia has been quarantined.

The story also notes that there was a scare in a suburb northwest of Paris -- but that appears to have been a false alarm.

Meanwhile, experts warn that the "temperature screening" used at airports is even more worthless than you imagined.

For some reason they're using unproven technology -- they're using "thermal scanners" that detect temperatures remotely. It's basically a little wand that senses temperature at a distance of a foot or so.

Such scanners aren't accepted medical technology for taking a temperature.

In a guidance paper produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for airport and public health officials, the agency lists what it sees as problems with the devices, including cost, lack of precision, need for frequent calibration and maintenance and training requirements. Testing efficacy to judge the scanners write large is difficult because of the many and changing models available.

While such scanners can be good at ruling out people without fevers, the CDC said, they have a wide and varying range of efficacy at finding people with fevers depending on environmental conditions and even the age of the person being scanned. The FDA approved the devices for use only with more conventional methods of taking someone’s temperature, such as a mercury thermometer or color-changing strips.

"Policy makers may feel some pressure to use [non-contact infrared thermometers]," said French researchers at the Institut de Veille Sanitaire. "But the decision making process should not ignore the poor scientific evidence on NCIT’s efficacy to delay the introduction of a novel influenza strain."

Out: Security Theater

In: Medical Quarantine Theater

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posted by Ace at 03:11 PM

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