The Importation of Ebola

Many of us have heard of Ebola but that was a faraway disease, never to be in America! Actually, even if we had heard about Ebola, we didn’t know anything about the disease. It wasn’t until two American health care givers contracted Ebola while working in Africa that we begin to take notice. Earlier this week, we woke up to more news on Ebola, this time the breaking news was that the first American has been diagnosed with this deadly, dreaded disease on our soil. Later that day, October 12th, we have learned that is it a female nurse who had been caring for Thomas Eric Duncan. Duncan died from the disease and had arrived from Liberia in late September to visit family in Dallas.

Doing a bit of research, I learned that Patrick Sawyer a naturalized citizen from Minnesota with family in Liberia was the first American to die in July. Then in August, Kent Brantly a missionary doctor from Ft. Worth, Texas and nurse, Nancy Writebol, were two more Americans that contracted Ebola while caring for Ebola patients in Liberia. These two have been released.

Dr. Rick Sacra, an American from Massachusetts, contracted Ebola in September while working in a maternity ward in Liberia. And even though he has been released, he was asked to travel to Nebraska Medical Center for further testing after he became ill and has since been rereleased. Another American contracted Ebola while filming the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. Ashoka Mukpo an NBC freelance cameraman is being treated at Nebraska Medical Center. He has received a blood transfusion from Ebola survivor Kent Brantly.

So far we have Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and the Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas that have taken in Ebola patients. I’m very curious as to why three and why not ONE hospital is being utilized so as not to spread the Ebola virus.

On September 30th, Dr. Thomas Frieden Director of the CDC during a Press Conference said that the Ebola virus is transmitted by direct bodily fluids. Dr. Edward Goodman from the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas chimed in and said that Ebola is not transmitted by air. It was announced that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has closed their ER.

Bodily fluids include: sweat, tears, saliva, mucus, phlegm, semen, and even ear wax. Follow this link to see all of the bodily fluids.



While I have not panicked as yet, I am curious as to how ‘they’ intend to keep Americans from contracting this deadly virus since an American nurse has EBOLA because she took care of an Ebola patient. She was covered in proper attire to prevent this disease from spreading. Also, I heard Dr. Frieden make some pretty chilling comments, “even an innocent, inadvertent slip can result in contamination” and “contaminated material that touches you on your clothes, face or skin which lead to infection are critically important and not easy to do right! These are NOT reassuring statements coming from a man who is supposed to know how not to spread contagious disease.

There are 48 people that are being isolated who came in contact with Duncan and there may be some who may contract Ebola, this according to our esteemed director of the CDC. We really don't know how many Americans or visitors from other countries for that matter, that may be in isolation to self monitor for Ebola by checking their body temperature twice daily, do we. We also don't know what hospitals are being utilized for those that may have symptoms and are released because their tests are negative.

CDC: Protocol Breach in Treating Ebola Patient Caused New Case

Of course there is the Obama factor. The Bush administration wanted to update the quarantine regulations and the Obama administration withdrew the proposed updated quarantine regulations. What bothers me is the fact that we have over 3000 military troops in Africa working to improve the Ebola situation. It will take a miracle that our men and women come home free of the Ebola virus.


Obama nixed Bush-era quarantine proposal

In 2010, the Obama administration withdrew updated quarantine regulations drafted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and proposed by the Bush administration. The new rules would have required air passengers to submit more information to airlines and strengthened the government’s authority to detain travelers suspected of carrying disease.

Senator Ted Cruz sent a letter to the FAA, Administrator Michael Huerta stating his concerns. Don’t be shy about contacting your US senator or any of your elected officials.

FAA Should Take Precautions To Prevent Spread of Ebola On Thursday, October 2, Sen. Cruz sent a letter to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta inquiring what measures the FAA is taking to prevent additional cases of Ebola from coming to the United States.

“Due to the Obama Administration's unclear approach to addressing the threat of the Ebola virus, Americans – particularly the Texans who have possibly been exposed – deserve specific answers to how the administration is addressing travel to and from the countries impacted by the disease,” Sen. Cruz said. In his letter he adds, “It is imperative that the FAA take every available precaution in preventing additional cases from arriving in the United States.”

Sen. Cruz submitted the five following questions to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

  1. What training is currently provided to airline carriers and their crew members to identify the symptoms of infectious diseases, such as Ebola, before a passenger boards a flight?
  2. What specific action has the FAA taken since the first cases of the Ebola virus were reported in West Africa in March 2014?
  3. Does the FAA intend to take any steps to limit or suspend air travel to countries that have experienced a significant Ebola outbreak? 
  4. Once a case has been confirmed will passengers receive notification that they traveled on the same flight as an Ebola patient?

Does your agency have any projections, studies or reports for how many additional Ebola cases may arrive in the United States due to air travel? If so, what additional steps is your agency taking to limit the spread of this infectious disease?

The FAA started health screening at JK Kennedy Airport in New York today and four more airports, Washington-Dulles, Newark, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta will follow with the health screenings next week. People from countries where the Ebola virus is present will be targeted.

Let’s all continue to keep calm and wash our hands, while the CDC director learns how to contain the Ebola outbreak and not worry that the Ebola patients are being sent to different centers throughout America. In the meantime we should pray for our troops in Africa and that our loved ones here in America are safe from Ebola.

Pray, Fight, NEVER GIVE UP!


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