Wednesday, October 1, 2014

First Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S.

I lot has happened since I wrote Predictions about Ebola coming true, among them that Ebola has arrived in the U.S.  I was greeted at the start of my evening class with that news, which I confirmed once I finished my lecture.  Here's the story from Reuters from last night: Traveler from Liberia is first Ebola patient diagnosed in U.S. By Julie Steenhuysen and Sharon Begley on Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:11pm EDT.
A man who flew from Liberia to Texas has become the first patient infected with the deadly Ebola virus to be diagnosed in the United States, health officials said on Tuesday, a sign the outbreak ravaging West Africa may spread globally.

The patient sought treatment six days after arriving in Texas on Sept. 20, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told reporters. He was admitted two days later to an isolation room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

U.S. health officials and lawmakers have been bracing for the eventuality that a patient would arrive on U.S. shores undetected, testing the preparedness of the nation's healthcare system. On Tuesday, Frieden and other health authorities said they were taking every step possible to ensure the virus did not spread widely.

"It is certainly possible someone who had contact with this individual could develop Ebola in the coming weeks," Frieden told a news conference. "I have no doubt we will stop this in its tracks in the United States."
I told my students that not only would the patient be isolated, but those he came in contact with would likely be quarantined.  ABC News shows that to be the case, beginning with EMTs and the ambulance in which they all drove in Health Officials on High Alert After First US Ebola Case.

CDC dispatches a team of disease detectives to Dallas after patient is diagnosed with deadly virus.
The CDC is not playing.

This case has prompted a flurry of follow up stories.  Follow over the jump for the videos that have passed through my YouTube feed during the past eight hours.

The Wall Street Journal explains Ebola: How the U.S. Will Contain the Threat.

How does the U.S. contain the threat of the Ebola outbreak? Vanderbilt University's infectious diseases expert Dr. William Schaffner discusses on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero.
Again, it looks like the people in contact with the patient will be monitored, if not quarantined, as I told my students.  Among them are school-aged children, as the Associated Press reports Gov. Perry: Ebola Patient Had Contact With Kids.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says a handful of school-aged children who had contact with a man diagnosed with Ebola are being monitored.
Governor Goodhair seems to be maintaining a balance between "be afraid" and "don't panic."  He eventually settles on "don't panic," a message repeated by at least two other videos in tonight's report.

The Wall Street Journal isn't done, as it describes Ebola: The Gear Worn To Prevent Infection.

Bodily fluids present an infection risk to medical workers treating patients with Ebola. What gear do they wear? WSJ's Jason Bellini has #TheShortAnswer.
They may as well be putting on a suit of armor.  Also, this video reminds me of the outfits worn by the doctors and medical researchers in "The Stand," which my wife and I watched a couple of weeks ago.  I'll have to discuss that some Sunday, especially now that it's become more relevant.

CNN asks Is Ebola screening at U.S. airports good enough?

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen discusses her return to the U.S. after traveling to West Africa to cover the Ebola outbreak. CNN's Athena Jones reports.
It sounds like the Liberians are being very careful to prevent active cases of Ebola from leaving, but the U.S. authorities are not.  They behaved like they were more worried about agricultural pests if they're inspecting shoes for mud.  Business as usual goes on.

Despite their interest in exploiting anxiety for viewers, CNN is doing their best to manage it by urging people not to panic in CNN's Sanjay Gupta answers your Ebola questions.

CNN asked people to tweet questions about Ebola using the hashtag #EbolaQandA. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has your answers. CNN's Athena Jones reports.
Speaking of telling people not to panic, the Associated Press reports Ebola Poses No Public Risk in the US.

A New York doctor says that people in the United States should not be afraid of contracting Ebola, despite the fact that someone in Texas has been diagnosed with the disease.
The commenters and raters don't seem to be convinced by this video, as they've given it 16 downrates to 6 uprates and consistently express skepticism.

Meanwhile, this is still America, and any crisis is an opportunity to make money, as CNN Money explains in Wall St. bullish on Ebola cure

The first domestic case of the Ebola virus sent pharmaceutical stocks surging, but Wall Street is still a world away from Africa, where the disease continues to spread.
That was about the only good news from the stock market, as I come full circle to Reuters, who reported Wall Street tumbles on Ebola fears; small caps drop.
U.S. stocks dropped more than 1 percent on Wednesday as the first diagnosis of Ebola in a patient in the United States spooked investors, economic data pointed to uneven growth, and the Russell 2000 index entered correction territory.

The Ebola news pressured shares of airlines and other transportation names, with the NYSE ARCA Airline index .XAL falling 3.1 percent, the biggest percentage decline since January. The Dow Jones transportation average .DJT dropped 2.5 percent, its biggest daily percentage drop since February.

Small-cap stocks extended recent losses and the Russell 2000 .TOY closed more than 10 percent below its closing high of 1,208.65 in early March, which puts the index in correction territory. It was down 1.5 percent on the day.
The latest decline was the S&P 500's third in a row and followed signs of an uneven expansion in the U.S. economy. Growth in U.S. factory activity slowed more than expected in September even as hiring in the private sector accelerated.

The CBOE Volatility index .VIX, Wall Street's fear gauge, ended up 2.5 percent.
he Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 238.19 points, or 1.4 percent, to 16,804.71, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 26.13 points, or 1.32 percent, to 1,946.16 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 71.31 points, or 1.59 percent, to 4,422.09.
Despite the best efforts to tell people not to panic, investors headed for the doors.  I don't blame them.

No comments:

Post a Comment