The first case of Ebola in the United States has been diagnosed in Dallas, Texas.
The patient is a man from the west African country of Liberia. He was on an airplane that left Liberia for the United States on September 19. He arrived in Texas on September 20 to visit family members. He began feeling sick on September 24 and went to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on September 26 and he was released that same day. He returned to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on On September 28 in an ambulance and that time, was admitted.
Nobody knows yet how many people he infected. Ebola is spread by bodily fluids such as blood, vomit or diarrhea, three things I already try to avoid. He, or more correctly, his bodily fluids, weren’t infectious on the airplane; he wasn’t yet sick. The risk of infection began on September 24, when he first started feeling sick.
There’s so much of this story that makes absolutely no sense to me. Why was someone from Liberia, ground zero for the current Ebola outbreak, allowed to board an airplane for the United States? This is how pandemics happen. Secondly, why was he turned away from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital the first time he went there? A man who just came here from the Ebola capital of the world rolls into the emergency room with Ebola-like symptoms and he is sent home? Did he see a doctor? Did they even test his blood? Was the man uninsured and did this contribute to the decision to send him home?
If anyone gets infected as a result of this man and his Ebola laden bodily fluids, I’m sure these questions, along with lots of others, will be asked.