Yesterday we learned of a 2nd Nurse, who treated Thomas Duncan, being officially diagnosed with Ebola. She lives alone but she was, of course, allowed to fly from Dallas to Cleveland shortly before being diagnosed. Now there is a desperate search for 132 people who shared her flight genda.
Josh Levs and Holly Yan report:
The second Dallas health care worker with Ebola was on a flight from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday — the day before she reported symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. Because of the proximity in time between the Monday evening flight and the first report of her illness, the CDC wants to interview all 132 passengers on her flight — Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth, which landed at 8:16 p.m. CT Monday, the CDC said.
The problem has landed and there is no stopping it. It is late in the game to be worrying about restricting flights to and from West Africa, when we can’t even restrict high-risk people within our country from flying. We need to be fighting Ebola on all fronts. Restricting international flights and sealing borders aren’t enough. What about interior flights, quarantines and decontamination procedures?
Should this nurse have been grounded?
Should she have been put into a 21 day quarantine after treating Duncan?
The answers are not simple at this point but one thing is for certain. There was no serious effort from keeping Ebola from coming here in the first place.
Now that it has landed we stare at the grim reality that there are only four U.S. hospitals, with a total of 19 Ebola-ready beds, that can be trusted to contain this virus from spreading further. That is assuming that the level-4 biocontainment procedures are enough. That is the best we have to offer. 19 beds won’t go far.
I’d say that two infected healthcare workers might be enough proof that Texas Health Presbyterian is just one of thousands of hospitals who are not ready for Ebola.
Where is the leadership that we need?
Don’t waste your time looking for it. You must prepare your own family. There is no other choice.