Now that Ebola has arrived on the shores of the USA, there is growing concern and alarm from the denizens, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of the country. With Ebola the natural instinct is fear.
The single individual from Liberia responsible for this unwelcome guest to the shores of America has become a global news personality. His own country plans to prosecute him if he survives and returns to Liberia. The prosecutor in Dallas is contemplating charges as well against Mr. Duncan.
Should Thomas Eric Duncan be classified as a bioterrorist as some are advocating? This seems to be the growing opinion among certain segments of society.
Another opinion is that he knew he would have a better chance of survival in a US hospital than in Liberia. He took a chance for life, his life.
According to his fiancée Louise Troh, Mr. Duncan had come to marry her and be a father to her children. He wanted desperately not to go back to Liberia.
Whatever the reason Mr. Duncan exposed a number of people to a deadly disease, especially Louise Troh and her children. The tainted fruit of his actions remains to be seen in its totality in the weeks to unfold.
On Friday afternoon the White House held a press conference to reassure the populace that everything was under control. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell stated, “We have the public health system and the public health care providers in place to control this disease.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institutes of Health said, “Our health care infrastructure in the United States is well-equipped to stop Ebola in its tracks.” http://www.niaid.nih.gov/about/directors/Pages/default.aspx
Lisa Monaco, White House Homeland Security Advisor, stated
“As the President has said, we are not facing just a health crisis, we are facing a national security priority and it’s one that he has instructed his team is as important as any threat we’re facing. Since this outbreak began in March the President has directed that we scale up our response, both here at home and in the countries affected in West Africa and that’s exactly what we’re doing. Most recently by deploying United States military members to Liberia and to the region to support civilian efforts on the ground.”
There are other voices that have a different perspective on the federal government’s belief in the health care system and their reassurances to trust the system to work. One of them is Dr. Gilbert Mobley, an emergency trauma physician and microbiologist, from Springfield, Missouri.
He believes the CDC is either lying or totally incompetent. According to this doctor, Ebola will spread to the four corners of the globe, and the USA Health system is not prepared for an attack from this pathogen.
Dr. Gerald W. Parker, Vice President for Public Health Preparedness and Response at Texas A&M Health Science Center and Principal Investigator for the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing said, “Ebola is a global and national security issue and we need to double-down on our efforts to help West Africa get this outbreak under control.”
West Africa should be a global concern. If Ebola is not stopped there, it will continue to spread. A pestilence is defined as “a virulent contagious epidemic or infectious epidemic disease.” Free Dictionary
In his excellent book Armies of Pestilence (1996) the late Dr. Robert Stow Bray wrote
“During earlier centuries infectious disease in the form of calamitous pandemics were a great regulator of population and thus an arbiter of the forms of society. While it is true that these great plagues, such as bubonic plague, smallpox and cholera have now receded, even in the case of smallpox, disappeared, they may return. After all they came from somewhere in the first place and may do so again…
“A brand new infectious agent may engulf us, transmitted quickly and efficiently and by a protected means… A well-known pandemic disease such as plague could revisit us in a mutant form, more swiftly transmitted, more deadly and unresponsive to our armoury of drugs and vaccines…
“It would be as well therefore, if the great pandemics of the past and their effects upon man and his organizations were not forgotten and allowed to slip into the limbo of ill-remembered folk-lore and ill-understood behaviour which even today lurk in our collective mythology and behaviour patterns, breaking out in odd ways and in response to inappropriate situations.” The Preface
In closing I would like to repeat what I wrote back in August
Ebola is a virulent virus. Best measures to take:
Keep informed of what is happening in West Africa and any other outbreak areas. Read what is available from medical authorities. Follow health guidelines and precautions. Don’t allow fear to replace rational thinking.
Cooperate with civil authorities if an outbreak happens in your community. Public safety is the primary goal. Don’t allow your belief system or preconceived notions to become paramount over public safety concerns and rules.
Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, in her address to the Presidents of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, said:
“Ebola outbreaks can be contained. Chains of transmission can be broken. Together, we must do so.”
This would apply to any situation which people on this planet traversing the cosmos could face. Working together and following guidelines will ensure a positive outcome. Fear and panic will result in tragic consequences.
G. D. Williams © 2014
Thomas Eric Duncan
“It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51 am,” a spokesman for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas said in a statement.
“Our thoughts today are with his family,” said US President Barack Obama, who said his death showed “we don’t have a lot of margin for error. If we don’t follow protocols and procedures that are put in place, then we’re putting folks in our communities at risk”.
Duncan arrived in Dallas on Sept. 20 and fell ill a few days later. After an initial visit to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, he was sent home, even though he told a nurse he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa.
He returned to the hospital two days later, on Sunday, and has been kept in isolation ever since. He’s listed in serious but stable condition.
Thomas Duncan, who caught the virus in his native Liberia, is now in a serious condition in hospital. This is the only Ebola case recorded so far in the US.
The flat in Dallas where he lived before being isolated is being cleaned by hazardous materials specialists.
The four people living there have been moved to a private home offered by a volunteer.
Mr. Duncan’s diagnosis was confirmed on Tuesday, 10 days after he arrived in the US to visit relatives and friends.
Mr. Duncan, a courier driver, is believed to have taken a sick patient to a clinic in Liberia.
Authorities there have accused him of lying on an Ebola questionnaire prior to leaving the country and say they plan to prosecute him upon his return.
Thomas Eric Duncan was to wed Louise Troh in a ceremony which would have paved the way to him staying in the U.S. permanently – and escape his native Liberia.
Mark Wingfield, associate pastor at Wilshire Baptist Church, told MailOnline: ‘Louise told our senior pastor on Thursday that Mr. Duncan had come to the US to marry her and start a new life.
‘Those are her words to describe the situation’.
Until three years ago he had been living in a refugee camp in Ghana because he was unable to return home due to a civil war in Liberia – and on his arrival just about scraped a living tinkering with cars and bartering.
According to the New York Times he spent the last year working as a driver for a cargo company until he suddenly quit on September 4 after a visit from his sister.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2780053/Ebola-victim-came-U-S-tourist-visa-marry-start-new-life-America.html#ixzz3FBO8RVC4
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Mr. Duncan arrived in the US on 20 September after a 28-hour long journey via Brussels that spanned three flights and three continents.
Authorities stress there is no risk to fellow travellers because he did not show symptoms during his journey and because the virus spreads through contact with bodily fluids such as blood or saliva.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden
October 4, 2014 12:50 PM EDT – CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden spoke at a news conference Saturday addressing concerns regarding CDC’s readiness to fight Ebola and why the U.S. hasn’t stopped allowing people traveling from West Africa from coming in. (Centers for Disease Control)
CDC Contact Tracing
The White House sought to reassure the public Friday that the health care system is able to stop the spread of the disease in the US, after public confidence was shaken by missteps regarding the case in Dallas.
“We’re having to get this information out because there is a lot of fear [about the disease],” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.
“Americans need to remain calm and listen to the precautionary measures being suggested by the CDC,” said Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs.
“It was only a matter of time before an Ebola case would emerge here in the United States, but as we’re seeing in Dallas today, our public health system has the resources, capabilities, and knowledge to address and contain this virus quickly and safely.”
Stocks in Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp and other small biotechnology companies working on Ebola therapies or vaccines rose on the news of the US Ebola patient in after-hours trading.
Dr. Gilbert Mobley
Two days after a man in Texas was diagnosed with Ebola, a Missouri doctor Thursday morning showed up at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport dressed in protective gear to protest what he called mismanagement of the crisis by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Gil Mobley checked in and cleared airport security wearing a mask, goggles, gloves, boots and a hooded white jumpsuit emblazoned on the back with the words, “CDC is lying!”
“If they’re not lying, they are grossly incompetent,” said Mobley, a microbiologist and emergency trauma physician from Springfield, Mo.
Mobley said the CDC is “sugar-coating” the risk of the virus spreading in the United States.
“For months, doctors in my community — since we had a meeting six weeks ago — have been convinced that the United States will be importing clusters regularly. Right now, on the continent of West Africa, there are a million people in isolation, in quarantine, because of Ebola, and ten thousand passengers leave West Africa every single day. It’s just a matter of time before this disease is carried to every corner of the world.”
“That disease is going to consume every third world country on the planet, and then we will be importing these clusters on a regular basis. I have no question that we will be able to stomp out this cluster in Dallas, but what happens when it happens on a weekly basis? Already the Dallas Health Department is overwhelmed; they’re flying people to Atlanta. I don’t care how advanced any industrialized nation is, there is a threshold where we will outstretch the resources and it becomes uncontrolled.”