There have been a total of nine Ebola cases in the United States to date. One patient has died, two remain hospitalized and six are free of illness. Nearly half of all the contacts in the Dallas case have cleared their monitoring period with no illnesses. None of the New York contacts are symptomatic at this time.
Western medical practice has to redevelop the sense of alarm that there should be when faced with an Ebola. Just as a patient from a bad auto accident or one having a heart attack triggers a rapid and detailed response, so should one with a potentially contagious illness. It requires more education for medical professionals, and an alertness that is too often lacking. Ho-hum medicine spreads infectious illnesses.
Here are some of the latest updates about the first case of Ebola in the United States as well as U.S. assistance to Liberia and the other West African nations fighting the Ebola epidemic. The patient, a man, had traveled to the United States to visit relatives in Dallas. He is currently in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
The United States has the opportunity to affect the situation in the next seven days. The U.S. Public Health Service, a uniformed service under the command of the Surgeon General, maintains a number of Rapid Deployment Forces in the United States. These groups of medical professionals are highly trained in the establishment and maintenance of hospitals in disaster zones. All the supplies needed for either a 50 bed or 100 bed hospital are packaged and in storage, waiting to be shipped to a deployed RDF.
Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American who carried Ebola to Nigeria, has now killed a total of six people. He’s long dead but the aftermath of his choice to fly to Lagos while ill lives on.