An 'unveven and flawed response' by administration and health officials to Ebola
For weeks, the CDC and the administration told America that the US was ready to combat any outbreak of Ebola.
As it turns out, local, state, and national health officials appeared to be caught unawares, and are still behind the curve trying to catch up.
More than six months after an outbreak of Ebola began its rampage through West Africa, local and federal health officials have displayed an uneven and flawed response to the first case diagnosed in the United States.
In the latest indication, state and local authorities confirmed Thursday that a week after a Liberian man fell ill with Ebola in Dallas, and four days after he was placed in isolation at a hospital here, the apartment where he was staying with four other people had not been sanitized and the sheets and dirty towels he used while sick remained in the home. County officials visited the apartment without protection Wednesday night.
The incompetence began even before the Ebola patient was admitted. when "a flaw in the way the electronic records interacted between the nurse who questioned Thomas Eric Duncan and the doctor who treated him led to the mis-communication that enabled Duncan to go home after his first visit to the emergency room last week." The extra two days meant that Duncan exposed dozen more people to the disease.
The woman with whom Mr. Duncan was staying told CNN that she had been with him the first time he sought treatment at the hospital and that she had twice emphatically told workers there he had been in Liberia.
The international air travel system has also proved to have porous screening procedures that rely heavily on the honesty of travelers and the diligence of airport workers. The chairman of the Liberian national airport authority, Binyah Kesselly, said Thursday that Mr. Duncan had been deceptive about his exposure to the virus when he flew out of Roberts International Airport in Monrovia on Sept. 19.
Does it sound like this hospital was ready to combat Ebola?
Or anyone else for that matter?
Q: Were the people closest to Duncan quarantined correctly?
A: Duncan's girlfriend Louise Troh and three relatives are quarantined in the apartment where he fell ill. They will have to remain there for 21 days. But health officials have so far failed to remove the bed sheets and towels Duncan sweated on while infected. His girlfriend told CNN by phone that she was simply avoiding the bed, sleeping in the living room instead. She has put the towels in a plastic bag. Health officials are visiting her only once a day, she said. She has cleaned the apartment herself using bleach and is monitoring her own temperature, and that of he others hourly. Officials are not doing it. Miss Troh and the other people in the apartment were initially merely asked to stay inside. A legal quarantine was not imposed until three days after Duncan was diagnosed, during which time they did go outside. Dallas judge Clay Jenkins said: "There were violations of the request to not leave their premises." Meanwhile, four Sheriff's deputies blundered by going into the apartment without protection. They had to be sent home, hand in their uniforms, and their patrol cars have been qurantined.
No, America is not ready to deal with a major outbreak of Ebola. Lying by authorities is only contributing to the growing unease that could turn to panic very easily. Some straight talk is needed - something we're not likely to get from this administration.