Update: Nigeria has contained Ebola within its own borders. Case #1 was quickly identified as well as everyone he came came in contact with. All of those people were monitored and health workers helped to educate the public. Nigeria has a public health system in place. There have been no new cases well past the incubation period of this virus. 19 people were infected from this one person.
In Africa Ebola spreads from contact with body fluids. Those of us who are armchair world watchers have picked up the basic information of how this plague is spread. Touching, skin to skin contact. Handling the sick or dying or dead bodies. How long does Ebola survive outside of the body? My guess is probably not very long. But I have seen no research data.
In America, one would think, that medical professionals and anyone who might come in contact with a potential Ebola patient would have the very basic knowledge of how this disease is spread. Texas is the size of a country and could be considered a Third world country. I’ve been in Texas several times and I even have relatives who live in Texas. I have also visited third world countries – many parts of Texas could be classified as third world.
The very worst place for an Ebola patient to show up is exactly where the first undiagnosed airline passenger is now getting attention, Dallas, Texas. Short story the Ebola patient now in Dallas had contact with an undiagnosed Ebola patient in Africa.
In many places in Africa, the medical system is overwhelmed and people who could be ill with any number of diseases are not being diagnosed and isolated. So in a Third world country sick people are being turned away from the ER rooms because there is no room at the hospitals or clinics.
In the Countries with Ebola epidemics, protective gear for non medical workers is in short supply. So family members faced with any sort of illness have no way to isolate and let alone protect themselves from the Ebola in vomit, sweat, blood and poop etc. That is a Third world country. Poor, uneducated masses who can’t protect themselves, even if they tried.
Back to the third world part of the U.S. – Dallas, Texas. After the second trip to the hospital the medical “professionals” finally figure out that they are dealing with Ebola. The first group of medical persons are now finger pointing. The nurse never passed on the information that the black guy was from one of those Ebola places. Could it be that the superior doctors did the usual and ignored the nurse, since she is “just” a nurse? Doctors have a bad habit of not listening. Whatever. The chance to get the sick patient who was undiagnosed into isolation was missed.
The intake point of contact is where the training MUST be focused.
If there is the slightest question, then this intake professional can make all the difference. At this point the focus should have been on either confirming or disregarding an Ebola diagnosis. But that is not how medical treatment operates in third world countries. Money, money, money. We will never know the truth of the first contact of the undiagnosed Ebola patient.
So now this undiagnosed Ebola patient is turned away and he returns to where he was staying. His condition worsens and an ambulance is called. Did the EMTs have protective gear? At least the patient was so ill and this time Africa and Ebola got the attention of the medics. Diagnosis at last. Click on the link for photos and more links with information about Ebola.
The next step is to sterilize the place where Ebola patient was staying. Back to third world nation status. Keystone Kops time again. Of course anyone who had contact with patient #1 must be kept in isolation and monitored. These people also need to eat, the people in charge of “public” health seem to be clueless. Evidently no plans are in place to handle a potential epidemic. To stop the spread of Ebola, identify and treat victims, identify everyone who had any contact with the victim. Monitor everyone who had contact and as soon as any symptoms show, put that person in isolation. Oh – the use of protective gear is vital for medics. That much should be obvious from the photos and video coming from the Ebola hot zones.
The contaminated room that #1 was staying in needs to be cleaned and bedding burned. No cleaning service wanted the job and public health really has no clue of what to do – besides isolate everyone in the apartment where #1 was staying.
The clean up crew were not wearing protective gear while handling the sheets. We armchair opinionaters have seen how the medics in Africa are wearing hazmat gear, gloves, masks and clothing. Obviously the cleaning crew in Dallas, Texas isn’t dealing with a dead body, but one would expect them to wear gloves, masks and booties, at the very least. There is an aerial photo of a worker using a large sprayer to clean the ground where patient #1vomited on the ground. Since the ground is very dry, it is easy to see where the liquid from the sprayer is spreading. Hopefully the Ebola contamination on the ground was already neutralized by not having a new host to feed on.
My point is that workers who might be the first contact with undiagnosed Ebola patients need to be thoroughly trained and then be allowed to use their judgment on temporary isolation of potential Ebola victims. Workers who will be cleaning up any possible contamination by Ebola victims need to be trained to protect themselves. Choosing a cleaning crew should depend on common sense and not merely the lowest bidder willing to send out a crew. All members of the crew must be trained.
With Ebola – ignorance is how this disease spreads. Ignorance how how medics and workers can avoid contamination. Doctors learning to LISTEN to even the lowest level staff who will have first contact with undiagnosed Ebola victims.
Evolution is real and Ebola is and example of the rapid evolution of the Ebola virus is happening now. Read the linked article to understand what the world risks if more aid doesn’t flow into the Ebola hot spots – immediately. Obama’s response has been underwhelming. If Ebola evolves into an airborne virus – we are all in deep shit. This isn’t about politics or religion this is about the real world of epidemics and how the virus replicates very quickly. The virus has absolutely no concern about the identity of the victims. The wealthy 1% should be focusing on the eradication of Ebola in Africa, right now, rather than buying elections and buying politicians who will do the bidding of their owners.
It is not panic time yet. We had a wake up call with the undiagnosed Ebola victim. But keep in mind that the Ebola virus is evolving. The more chances this virus has with more victims – one possible outcomes of the huge number of dice tosses, could be a new way to spread. If this happens the survivalist are going to be saying – told you all to stock up for the end of the world.
This virus respects no one.
Here is another story which answered my question – did the ambulance drivers wear any protective gear? No, not until the sick individual’s relative told the medics to use gloves and masks because her relative might have a virus. Also according to this article the virus can remain active outside the body for perhaps hours -depending on the type of surface with the Ebola virus and exposure to sunlight.
10 At ‘High Risk’ As Crews Race To Contain Ebola In U.S. – http://huff.to/Z3rCaX
Which is the accurate story? This one with the clean up crew wearing had me gear or the photos from the story with the clean up crew wearing little to no protective gear?
U.S. Nurses: We Can’t Handle Ebola – http://huff.to/YZZB47
Of course they aren’t trained – very few health care professionals are trained. Seems like the CDC has a huge job ahead. Well whoops seems like the Congress cut CDS fund. Yet there is plenty of money for the war with no name.
Dallas hospital treating Ebola patient acknowledges ‘painful’ days Oh my – you think painful? Teach doctors to read what the nurses write and then teach them how to listen.
Ah ha – tried to blame the nurse. That didn’t work so now the suckers blame the software, or the computer . . . Or whatever. Update of update of first update about why the information about the patient who was from an Ebola hot zone was sent home. At first the nurse was blamed — no she did enter the travel information. Then the software was blamed — nope that was ruled out. It goes back to the doctor who just didn’t read — he assumed that the patient had the flu or something but Ebola just wasn’t on this doctor’s or doctor’s assistant’s radar. Well now Ebola is now on everyone’s radar. We have a poor health care system and if American gets more cases of suspected Ebola — the flaws in our health care system will be obvious to everyone. Most likely the gentleman from Liberia who came to the hospital had no insurance. THAT is the information that dictated the actions of the medical team.
Do not panic –Ebola doesn’t spread rapidly. With the protocols in place and hopefully more training of medical professional we won’t see Ebola turn into a flu like epidemic. The transmission is still via physical contact with the Ebola victim’s bodily fluids. Ebola is spreading, but slowing. Politics shouldn’t be involved – but unfortunately dead bodies equal political propaganda. The comments under the linked article above are worth reading. Ebola is a very fast virus, from Contact to death is a few days. The extremely short time for contact to symptoms, means far fewer people are infected by each victim. Unfortunately because Ebola has been turned into a political battle cry, some people who have been exposed by never get the disease will suffer discrimination.
Additional links and comments
This article on Washington Post reviews how a small outbreak of Ebola became so large. How budget cuts in the WHO U.N. (World Health Organization) slowed the response to the current Ebola crisis. Obama was warned early on that this was a major problems. His response was to wait and see. The promise of 4,000 military personnel is still a promise with under 100 in Africa right now. There is more biological science information about this virus in this article. The more we can educate ourselves and help education others the more likely we can avoid panic attacks and mob violence.
One of the reasons why this virus spread fast in the early stages was due to the cultural traditions in dealing with grief and saying good bye to the dearly departed. If we take a step back and look at the customs of the initial victims as caring deeply about individuals, and how this caring has lead to exposing small communities to a deadly killer, we have an better understanding why mass infection just won’t happen in our American culture.
Evolution possibilities of Ebola virus.
Information on protective gear for medical workers. This link was also posted above. The first link has several links to more detailed information about Ebola. We all need to educate ourselves. Medical professionals on all levels need to be educated or re-educated about Ebola. We are no longer at the “if Ebola gets to America” that time is long gone. The lowest level medically professional will be critical in making Ebola a footnote in American epidemics.
The minimum level of protection in high-risk settings should be a respirator with an assigned protection factor greater than 10. A powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with a hood or helmet offers many advantages over an N95 filtering facepiece or similar respirator, being more protective, comfortable, and cost-effective in the long run.
We strongly urge the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to seek funds for the purchase and transport of PAPRs to all healthcare workers currently fighting the battle against Ebola throughout Africa—and beyond.
There has been a lot of on-line and published controversy about whether Ebola virus can be transmitted via aerosols. Most scientific and medical personnel, along with public health organizations, have been unequivocal in their statements that Ebola can be transmitted only by direct contact with virus-laden fluids2,3 and that the only modes of transmission we should be concerned with are those termed “droplet” and “contact.”