Correcting Flaws In The Ebola Response
How hospital and health workers react to suspected cases of Ebola going forward is the subject of much scrutiny. But, even as public health and many elected officials urge calm, some potential 2016 presidential candidates say President Obama isn't doing enough to keep the disease out of the U.S.
The Wall Street Journal: Ebola Case In Dallas Points Out Flaws
The aggressive response that health officials have mounted to the Ebola virus in Dallas is likely to prevent a wide-scale outbreak. But multiple snafus reveal some unexpected issues the U.S. would have to prepare for in the event of a larger-scale infectious disease threat (Campoy and McKay, 10/5).
USA Today: When Ebola Hits, Contact Tracing Is A Critical Process
When a person is diagnosed with Ebola, as happened last week with Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aids local health officials in quickly launching a process called contact tracing to determine who had physical contact with the patient or his bodily fluids while he had symptoms of the deadly disease (Copeland, 10/6).
Los Angeles Times: Disease Detectives On The Hunt To Confine Ebola Virus
A team of disease detectives, quietly working behind the scenes, has fanned out across Dallas amid the swirl of activity around a Liberian man who arrived here infected with the Ebola virus. For public health officials, the team is the key to containing the virus. It includes experts from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some fresh from working the outbreak in West Africa, as well as a cadre of local health workers. They are part of a key process in combating infectious diseases known as contact tracing (Brown, 10/4).
The Washington Post: For CDC Team In Dallas, The Search Is On For Those Who Had Contact With Ebola Patient
For the doctors, nurses and epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who landed in Dallas this week, it all boiled down to this: Who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person in this country to be diagnosed with the deadly Ebola infection, and who might have had contact with him? In other words, it was all about information (Nutt, 10/4).
The Washington Post: Out Of Control
Shaken, [CDC Director Tom Frieden] flew back to the United States on Aug. 31 and immediately briefed President Obama by phone. The window to act was closing, he told the president in the 15-minute call. That conversation, nearly six months after the World Health Organization (WHO) learned of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa, was part of a mounting realization among world leaders that the battle against the virus was being lost. As of early September, with more than 1,800 confirmed Ebola deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, there was still no coordinated global response. Alarmed U.S. officials realized they would need to call in the military (Sun, Brady, Bernstein and Achenbach, 10/4).
Politico: GOP 2016ers On Ebola: Panic
For once, President Barack Obama and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are on the same page. At separate briefings on the Ebola crisis, Obama administration officials and Perry have delivered the same message: Don’t panic -- the health authorities know what they’re doing. But for other Republicans -- and conservative media outlets -- it’s time for panic. The likely 2016 Republican presidential candidates -- except for Perry -- are practically lining up to warn that the Obama administration isn’t doing enough to keep Ebola out of the United States, now that Dallas is dealing with the nation’s first confirmed case (Nather, 10/3).
The New York Times: New York City Steps Up Preparations to Be Ready for Ebola Cases
One week after the first diagnosis of Ebola in a patient in the United States, every person who calls 911 in New York City and relates symptoms such as fever or vomiting is now being asked a new question: Have you been to West Africa in the last three weeks? If so, did you come into contact with someone sick with the virus? (Santora, 10/5).
And the Dallas hospital that initially let an Ebola patient return home explains --
The New York Times: Dallas Hospital Alters Account, Raising Questions on Ebola Case
On Thursday, the hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, released a statement essentially blaming a flaw in its electronic health records system for its decision to send the patient … home the first time he visited its emergency room, Sept. 25. It said there were separate “workflows” for doctors and nurses in the records so the doctors did not receive the information that he had come from Africa. But on Friday evening, the hospital effectively retracted that portion of its statement, saying that “there was no flaw” in its electronic health records system (Fernandez, Shear and Goodnough, 10/3).