President Barack Obama promises “aggressive” efforts to control Ebola.
By Carmen Glover
As fears grow about an Ebola epidemic engulfing the USA, President Barack Obama and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Dr.Thomas Frieden, urge residents to be calm, dismissing the idea that the threat seems is rising with the revelation that a second nurse contracted the disease while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, who died from Ebola on October 10, after his condition rapidly deteriorated when he finally received care.
Duncan contracted the disease after escorting a pregnant neighbor to the hospital while he was visiting Liberia. The neighbor succumbed to Ebola and Duncan then returned to his family in Dallas, Texas on September 20. According to reports, the nurses cared for Duncan once he was admitted to the hospital the second time around. They were not wearing protective clothing during the initial two days of his care, only donning body coverings after they confirmed that he had Ebola. By then Duncan allegedly had “projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea,” and the nurses’ lives were placed in danger.
Thomas Eric Duncan was turned away from Texas Presbyterian Hospital on 9/25 with a fever of 103. He was admitted on September 27 and died on October 10.
President Obama cancelled fundraising events in New York on Wednesday, remaining in the nation’s capital to meet with senior advisors for health, national security and homeland security to examine the current US Ebola policy.
“I know that the American people are concerned about the possibility of an Ebola outbreak, and Ebola is a very serious disease. Because of the measures that we’ve put in place, as well as our world-class health system and the nature of the Ebola virus itself, which is difficult to transmit, the chance of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is extremely low,” President Obama said.
Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Tom Frieden speaks during a news conference after confirming that a patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has tested positive for Ebola. -Photo Credit: AP.
On Wednesday, October 15, fresh concerns emerged with confirmation that Amber Vinson, another of the more than 70 nurses who cared for Thomas Duncan after he was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on September 27, contracted the disease and took a plane to Cleveland, Ohio, before she showed symptoms. Vinson reportedly visited her family and took care of details for her upcoming wedding. Vinson was airlifted to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, one of the four US Hospitals which is fully equipped to treat patients who have the disease.
Amber Vinson, the second Texas nurse to contract Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan.
Coming on the heels of fellow nurse Nina Pham also contracting the disease, Vinson’s infection has driven fears to a fever pitch, resulting in the 130 passengers on the airline that she traveled being contacted by the CDC for monitoring. The airline has been decontaminated and removed from active use.
Nina Pham, the first Texas Hospital nurse to contract Ebola while caring for Thomas Duncan.
It is unclear if Vinson will get a blood transfusion from surviving missionary doctor, Kent Brantly, who generously provided his blood to Pham, who is currently in isolation at her place of work. Pham has been providing cheery updates that she is doing well and receiving the best care possible. One thing is clear: Duncan did not receive a blood transfusion. According to reports, he had a different blood type from the doctor.
As more details unfold about the new cases of the Ebola infection, questions swirl about breach of “protocol,” leading many to ask: What protocol did they really observe at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in the first place?
Dr. Kent Brantly, American missionary doctor who survived Ebola after receiving specialized care and experimental drugs.
“This is not the new AIDS,’ Frieden cautioned at one of his my press conferences since the multiple outbreaks. The President addressed the breakdown in care and steps taken to prevent future episodes. “We have learned some lessons, though in terms of what happened in Dallas. We don’t have a lot of margin for error. The protocols and procedures that are put in place must be followed.”
A nervous nation waits for word about the next person to contract the disease, a reality that many believe is certain to occur, despite words of confidence issued by the President and Frieden. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Wednesday that 4,493 people have died from Ebola in three main countries in West Africa: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone–OnPointPress.net.