Catching the Bug

As more people are hospitalized for Ebola symptoms in the US, the administration is doing everything they can to try to assure the nation that America is safe from the kind of outbreak seen in Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Now the first case of Ebola to come to American soil has died. Obama addressed the nation to say that the CDC is taking all precautions and have protocols in place to keep any infected people isolated and Texas governor Rick Perry has appointed a task force to ensure that the Dallas case is dealt with and that no further miscues occur like the one that happened where the patient was initially sent home from the hospital.

One official from this Texas task force even went so far as to escort the patient’s family to a new quarantine area in plain clothes; no protective gear at all. This, ostensibly, was to keep the public from panicking over an outbreak scare. The CDC has long maintained that Ebola is not a threat to America as there are so many protections in place as to make contamination impossible.

Then there is the case in Spain.

A nurse treating a quarantined Ebola patient who contracted the disease in Liberia has now been diagnosed with the disease. Now Spain has western medicine. They have the state of the art quarantine facilities similar to what mainstream American hospitals have. Oh, sure, America’s top flight medical centers are probably far in advance of this, but the bulk of American hospitals do not have that level of funding or technology. This nurse managed to contract the disease despite following isolation protocols.

Now it seems that the health care worker who was brought to Atlanta from Nigeria and successfully treated with experimental drugs has been readmitted to the hospital for a persistent cough, indicating that the hoped-for cure actually may not exist. Meaning that the mortality rate is unchanged and a diagnosis is a death sentence.

This crisis portends drastic changes to our way of life. The Dallas patient’s family and around 20 people have been rounded up and trapped in quarantine to see if they develop symptoms, which could take eight to ten days. An airplane landing in New Jersey was held on the tarmac for hours while CDC officials took a Liberian passenger and his daughter to the hospital because of fears they had been exposed to the deadly virus. The rest of the passengers had to be screened by the CDC and admonished to report if they developed any symptoms.

They were detained by a Government agency even though the only thing they had done was board a plane.

Now, I can understand the desire to double check potential health risks. It makes sense to ensure the greater good by protecting society from nasty bugs like this one. But would it not be better to just lock down those countries where Ebola is known to be wide spread rather than detain and quarantine people in other countries just because people are moving through contaminated areas? If an area is contaminated, isolate the whole area. Keep healthy people out. Keep the sick in. Keep everyone separated.

No Ebola case should have touch American shores. No one should be routinely travelling to any infected country unless they are kept in isolation suits the whole time and isolated for two weeks prior to travel.

What will happen instead is that people will be identified as being an exposure risk and will be moved to isolation areas across the country. What isolation areas, you ask. FEMA has several facilities in several states that were built ostensibly to be prisons, but never housed an inmate. These facilities are still fully staffed by Homeland Security officers and have been turning away reporters for years. These facilities are perfect for housing the contaminated until they die. Former governor Jesse Ventura tried to get access to one of the facilities and was turned away.

If more people are exposed, a pandemic will probably be declared. Once the infection spreads to a preset amount of the population, Obama will decree a state of emergency and enact martial law. After that, all bets are off.

One of the big problems we really face is that too many people, including the media, are doing the best they can to minimize the potential danger to the public by comparing Ebola to any other virus, even HIV. They claim it can only be spread by direct contact with infected bodily fluids and not by airborne transmission. This would mean that as long as people wash their hands regularly, avoid physical contact with infected people and wear simple surgical protections, the virus cannot spread. These practices were followed by the nurse in Spain and she got infected. If a person has the virus, it is present in the mucus and the sputum. When a person coughs or sneezes, this infected sputum and mucus is sprayed like an aerosol can. This spray can spread the virus to ANYONE in the area.

Full cessation of travel from the infected areas must be implemented to ensure American safety. Better to use quarantine zones in the Africa rather than in the US. If the administration insists that keeping travel open is more important than the health of American citizens, that speaks volumes about how Obama views the country.

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