Friday, March 13, 2015

ebola back in US

What a difference a few months makes. A US healthcare worker contracted ebola in Sierra Leone. They arrived quietly to the US to an NIH facility outside Washington with little fanfare. The patient is said to be in serious condition.  That doesn't sound good. Another American is being flown back to Atlanta because they may have been exposed to this other person. They haven't tested positive for ebola. A British healthcare worker has also contracted ebola and is now back in England.

Nothing is being made public about the person with ebola - no name, sex, age. The frenzy that accompanied the the inital outbreak is not happening this time. No scary headlines, no film of the patient being transferred by people in hazmat suits.

Up to this point there have been almost 25,000 cases of ebola in Africa.  Ten thousand people have died. Currently the outbreak is still spreading in Sierra Leone and Guinea.  All the suffering is still happening.

My hospital has done a lot of work to prepare for a possible ebola patient. I feel like we are as prepared as we can be.  We are expected to ask everybody who presents in triage whether they have been out of the country in the past month.  This is a reminder to not let our guard down.

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