U.S. health official allowed new Ebola patient on plane with slight fever

Ebola

By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNew

(Reuters) – A second Texas nurse who has contracted Ebola told a U.S. health official she had a slight fever and was allowed to board a plane from Ohio to Texas, a federal source said on Wednesday, intensifying concerns about the U.S. response to the deadly virus. The nurse, Amber Vinson, 29, flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, the day before she was diagnosed with Ebola, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. Vinson told the CDC her temperature was 99.5 Fahrenheit (37.5 Celsius). Since that was below the CDC’s temperature threshold of 100.4F (38C), “she was not told not to fly,” the source said. The news was first reported by CNN. Chances that other passengers were infected were very low because Vinson did not vomit on the flight and was not bleeding, but she should not have been aboard, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden told reporters

Not a big Fox News fan as I believe they scare the USA! Anyway

Congress will hold a hearing on Thursday on the U.S. response to Ebola, with Frieden and other officials scheduled to testify.

Vinson was isolated immediately after reporting a fever on Tuesday, Texas Department of State Health Services officials said. She had treated Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of Ebola on Oct. 8 and was the first patient diagnosed with the virus in the United States. Vinson was transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta by air ambulance and will be treated in a special isolation unit. Three other people have been treated there and two have been discharged, the hospital said in a statement. Television images showed Vinson walking from an ambulance to an Emory hospital door with an escort, both of them in protective clothing. Vinson, a worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, had taken a Frontier Airlines flight to Cleveland from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Friday. She returned to Dallas on Monday aboard Frontier Flight 1143. The CDC said it was asking the more than 130 passengers who were also on the flight to call a CDC hotline.

LOW LIKELIHOOD OF OUTBREAK

In Washington, President Barack Obama said the likelihood of a widespread Ebola outbreak was “very, very low.” But he pledged a more aggressive response to U.S. Ebola cases. Obama met with Cabinet officials to discuss the government’s response after canceling trips to various U.S. states on Wednesday and Thursday to focus on the Ebola crisis. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said Obama should consider a temporary ban on travel to the United States from countries suffering from an Ebola outbreak.

At least 4,493 people, predominantly in West Africa, have died in the worst Ebola outbreak since the disease was identified in 1976. The virus can cause fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea, and spreads through contact with bodily fluids. Vinson’s trip to visit family members in Ohio put a second U.S. metropolitan area on Ebola alert. She is related to three Kent State University employees and the school’s health services director, Dr. Angela DeJulius, said they had been asked to remain off campus for 21 days.

They will monitor themselves for possible symptoms of Ebola, she said.

Cleveland Clinic and the Metro Health System said they had put on paid leave employees, mostly nurses, who were on Vinson’s flight to Cleveland from Dallas. They were returning from a nursing conference in Texas. The Ohio health department said the CDC was sending staff to Ohio to help coordinate Ebola efforts. U.S. airlines stocks tumbled again on Wednesday on renewed fears of a drop-off in air travel. Ebola concerns also contributed to a 1 percent drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was under pressure from global economic worries. Over the weekend, nurse Nina Pham, 26, became the first person to be infected with Ebola in the United States. She had cared for Duncan during much of his 11 days in the hospital.

National Nurses United, which is both a union and a professional association for U.S. nurses, said on Tuesday that the hospital lacked protocols to deal with an Ebola patient.

‘PILED TO THE CEILING’

Basic principles of infection control were violated by both the hospital’s Infectious Disease Department and CDC officials, the nurses said in a statement, with no one picking up hazardous waste “as it piled to the ceiling.” The hospital said in a statement that it had instituted measures to create a safe working environment and it was reviewing and responding to the nurses’ criticisms. The hospital also said it would offer a room to any affected worker who wanted to avoid the possibility of exposing other people to the Ebola virus. Dr. Daniel Varga, the chief clinical officer for Texas Health Resources, which includes Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, will apologize on Thursday for mistakes made in treating Duncan, the man who died of Ebola in Dallas. “We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry,” he said in online testimony prepared for the congressional hearing. The Dallas County Commissioners Court is set on Thursday to discuss whether to ask Governor Rick Perry to declare a local emergency. The declaration would help reimburse Dallas County for expenses related to Ebola. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said at a news conference that Vinson, the second infected nurse, lived alone and health officials moved quickly to clean affected areas and to alert her neighbors and friends. A decontamination could be seen taking place at her residence.

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Fears grow in United States over Ebola’s spread outside West Africa

A sign asks patients to inform staff if they have fever, cough, trouble breathing, rash, vomiting or diarrhea symptoms and have recently traveled internationally or have had contact with someone who recently traveled internationally at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, New York

A sign asks patients to inform staff if they have fever, cough, trouble breathing, rash, vomiting or diarrhea symptoms and have recently traveled internationally or have had contact with someone who recently traveled internationally at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, New York

By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

(Reuters) – Fears are growing in the United States about Ebola with about 200 airline cabin cleaners walking off the job in New York and some lawmakers demanding the government ban travelers from the West African countries hit hardest by the virus. “The nation is frightened, and people are frightened of this disease,” the U.S. cabinet secretary for health, Sylvia Burwell, said on Thursday, a day after the death in Texas of the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell told a news conference that people were frightened because Ebola “has a very high mortality rate. They’re frightened because they need to learn and understand what the facts are about that disease.”

As the government prepares to start screening passengers from West Africa for fever at five major airports over the next week, cleaners at New York’s LaGuardia Airport staged a one-day work stoppage over what they say is insufficient protection for workers whose jobs include cleaning up vomit and bathrooms. The cleaners will return to work Thursday night. U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said the goal was to expand airport screenings for Ebola internationally to “as many different checkpoints as possible.” The Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever and is spread through direct contact with body fluids from an infected person, who would suffer severe bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. “We are always with feces and near garbage,” Sharekul Islam, 20, whose job cleaning airplane cabins at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport regularly exposes him to the type of waste and fluids that can transmit Ebola.

Twenty-three Republican and three Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter to President Barack Obama asking the State Department to impose a travel ban and restrict visas issued to citizens of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Oct. 8-dated letter also asked U.S. health and border control officials to consider quarantine of 21 days for anyone who arrives from the affected nations after being exposed to Ebola, the period in which they would show signs of illness. It said the World Health Organization “is an organization of unelected bureaucrats and political appointees of foreign countries. It has no duty to protect the lives and well-being of Americans, as you do.” WHO says nearly 4,000 people have died in the worst Ebola outbreak on record, with a death toll averaging about 50 percent of cases since March. An unrelated outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has killed dozens.

Shares in Lakeland Industries, a maker of suits to wear while handling hazardous materials, rose more than 50 percent on Thursday on expectations of the disease spreading. A Liberian man who flew on commercial flights from his home country on Sept. 19 and died in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday morning had had contact in Liberia with a woman who later died of the disease. In other examples of the concern over Ebola, a sheriff’s deputy was admitted to hospital Wednesday after saying he may have been exposed to the Liberian man. The deputy tested negative for Ebola, the state health department said. And on Wednesday, jail officials in Kenosha County, Wisconsin moved a female Immigration Customs Enforcement detainee into medical isolation after learning she was from Liberia, and despite her showing no symptoms of the virus, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

Her temperature was taken twice and she was monitored by nurses, the department said. Separately in Washington, a Republican in the U.S. Senate is still holding up most of $750 million from the Defense Department’s request to shift $1 billion in war funds to fight Ebola. Senator James Inhofe’s approval as the top Republican on the Senate Armed Forces Committee is needed, although other senior Republicans said they backed the funds. U.S. health officials, while answering questions about mistakes in the treatment of Liberian man Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas and overall preparedness for Ebola patients, have emphasized the need to tackle the virus at its source in West Africa. “This is a fluid and heterogeneous epidemic. It is changing quickly and it’s going to be a long fight,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday at a high-level meeting of major donors at the World Bank. Frieden compared Ebola to AIDS and said, “Speed is the most important variable here. This is controllable and this was preventable.”

A Spanish nurse is in serious condition in Madrid with Ebola after treating a priest who was repatriated from West Africa and died of the disease, the first reported transmission outside of the region. A British man suspected of contracting the virus died in Macedonia, a government official said on Thursday.

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First Case Of Ebola Diagnosed In US – Confirmed

 

The man became infected in Liberia and then travelled to Texas, where he remains in strict isolation in hospital.

The man became infected in Liberia and then travelled to Texas, where he remains in strict isolation in hospital.

By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

The first case of ebola has been diagnosed in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed. The patient is a man who became infected in Liberia and travelled to Texas, where he was hospitalised with symptoms confirmed to be caused by the deadly virus, a CDC spokesman has told the AFP news agency. He is not a healthcare worker, the spokesman added. The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said earlier on Tuesday that it had placed a person in strict isolation based on their “symptoms and recent travel history”. CDC Director Doctor Thomas Frieden told a press conference US hospitals are well prepared to handle patients with ebola, and assured the public the virus should not pose the same threat in the US as it does in Africa.

“I have no doubt that we will control this importation of this case of Ebola so that it does not spread widely in this country,” he said. Dr Frieden added he doesn’t believe there is a threat to passengers who were on the same flight to the US as the patient, who didn’t display any symptoms when he left Liberia or upon entering the US. He came to the Texas to visit family and arrived on September 20.  The man sought treatment six days later and has been in hospital since the weekend.

Dr Frieden said this means he has potentially exposed a “handful” of family members and others to the virus. “It is certainly possible someone who had contact with this individual could develop Ebola in the coming weeks,” Dr Frieden said.

President Barack Obama has been briefed by the CDC about the situation.

Twelve other people in the US have been tested for ebola since July, with all of those tests coming back negative.  A handful of US medical workers who were infected in West Africa have been flown back to the US for treatment and have recovered. The virus causes a range of symptoms including fever, muscle aches, vomitting, diarrhea and bleeding. The outbreak has infected 6,574 people across five countries and killed 3,091, according to the World Health Organisation.

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