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Another Texas healthcare worker contracts Ebola (Update: Obama cancels political travel)

Another Texas healthcare worker contracts Ebola (Update: Obama cancels political travel)

Sloppy implementation of protocols? Or protocols that are sloppy?

A press release issued today by the Texas Department of State Health Services:

Second Health Care Worker Tests Positive for Ebola
News Release
Oct. 15, 2014

A second health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States has tested positive for the disease.

The health care worker reported a fever Tuesday and was immediately isolated at the hospital.

Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored. The type of monitoring depends on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus.

The worker was among those who took care of Thomas Eric Duncan after he was diagnosed with Ebola.

The preliminary Ebola test was run late Tuesday at the state public health laboratory in Austin, and results were received at about midnight.

Confirmatory testing on a separate specimen will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to contaminated objects such as needles. People are not contagious before symptoms such as fever develop.

Officials continue to suggest worker error, something the nurses union denies, via CNN:

The news cast further doubt on the hospital’s ability to handle Ebola and protect employees. It’s the same hospital that initially sent Thomas Eric Duncan home, even though he had a fever and had traveled from West Africa. By the time he returned to the hospital, his symptoms had worsened. He died while being treated by medical staff, including the two women who have now contracted the disease.

“I don’t think we have a systematic institutional problem,” Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer of Texas Health Resources, told reporters Wednesday, facing questions about the hospital’s actions.

Medical staff “may have done some things differently with the benefit of what we know today,” he said, adding, “no one wants to get this right more than our hospital.” ….
Also Tuesday, National Nurses United made troubling allegations about the hospital, claiming “guidelines were constantly changing” and “there were no protocols” about how to deal with the deadly virus.”

“The protocols that should have been in place in Dallas were not in place, and that those protocols are not in place anywhere in the United States as far as we can tell,” NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro said. “We’re deeply alarmed.”

UPDATE: How do we know the situation is serious? Obama just canceled political travel to deal with the situation, via AP:

President Barack Obama is cancelling political travel to meet with his Cabinet on the Ebola outbreak.

The White House says Obama is calling off a planned trip to New Jersey and Connecticut and instead will convene Cabinet officials coordinating the government’s Ebola response at the White House.


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Freddie Sykes | October 15, 2014 at 9:42 am

Protocols are either effective, somewhat effective or not. Regardless, training medical workers in these protocols is both time consuming and expensive. Hospitals are going to be very stressed, both in terms of resources and financially, for some time to come.

“Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!”

“People are not contagious before symptoms such as fever develop.”

Thats simply not true.

1) they don’t know with 100% certainty that people are not contagious before symptoms develop

2) there are cases of carriers that never showed symptoms and were contagious.

I wish they would stop bullshitting us when the truth is “we really don’t know”. Its going to cause a panic because after the first few broken platitudes, no one will trust anything CDC et al says, even when they are right.

    I heard a doctor on Rush yesterday who said that people are contagious before becoming symptomatic, it’s just that the chances of contracting the disease from them are low. My fear is that as the disease spreads, we will see it being passed from seemingly asymptomatic individuals.

    Lea in reply to Fen. | October 15, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Fen, I heard the other day the ‘not contagious until sick’ thing is from epidemiology. I suspect that what happens is the patient gets more and more contagious from the minute infected, and from a practical matter it is highly unlikely they would infect someone until later on.

    By the time you are vomiting and coughing up blood, you have a lot more virus and are spreading it around. Thats by far the biggest danger point, as well as anyone dealing with the dead bodies.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to Lea. | October 15, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      That sounds right …

      And we should note that the family held inside the apartment where Duncan stayed apparently did not contract Ebola, nor did the guy pressure washing Ebola puke from the sidewalk.

      So far only the nurses that had contact in late stages are infected, so in a certain sense that offers a little hope. iirc, one nurse has a boyfriend that was close to her … so if he didn’t get it it seems a good bet it really is not transmitted till after the fever, barring a blood transfusion or something. I think the boyfriend is quarantined.

        Midwest Rhino in reply to Midwest Rhino. | October 15, 2014 at 12:53 pm

        but I guess I should add, the 21 days isn’t up on any of these contacts yet, so more could still show up.

        How do we know that the family is ok?

        There has been no word on their conditions since they were taken to that ‘undisclosed location’.

        And do you trust (here’s that trust word again) .gov to tell the truth?

    Observer in reply to Fen. | October 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    There are now reports that the second nurse was running a fever while she was on the plane.

    But that probably just means that “the system is working” and that all those folks on the plane with her have nothing to worry about, right CDC?

Like with all academic elites, everything works great in theory. Transfer that theory to written text, and BAM! Done. Next.

Like with Marxism, any failure is always placed at the foot of STUPID HUMANS.

If only they could remove the STUPID HUMAN factor from the equation, everything would work flawlessly.

Also troubling is a report by WHO out today that says the Ebola incubation period can be twice as long (42 days) as the CDC has been telling people. The CDC has been monitoring people exposed to the virus for 21 days — but if, as WHO reports, the virus can incubate for as long as 42 days before a person shows symptoms, the CDC may be giving the “all clear” to people who are infected (and who can then go out and infect others).

The only thing that is clear at this point is the fact that the CDC (and the U.S. government) can’t be trusted to competently handle the containment of this deadly disease.

    Browndog in reply to Observer. | October 15, 2014 at 10:07 am

    The federal government cannot be trusted?

    I’m pretty sure you’re going to hear the opposite.

    Only the federal government can stop ebola. If only they had more money, and more power…..(national healthcare).

“We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks.”

And I think they mean at this moment NOT “it can mutate later”

The Pres. ScamWOW leadership on Ebola seems to be working as well as his leadership on ISIS.

Which is working as well as his conduct of the economy.

Which is working as well as his control of our borders.

(You all know I could go on. Quite a bit…)

Hospitals in America are not prepared for this. To really be safe you’d need completely encapsulating, vapor-proof suits with positive air flow. The suits are $2000-$3000 apiece. You must follow an exacting protocol for donning and doffing the suit. You must know where to touch the suit and where not to touch it as it is removed. You need to practice before entering an actual contaminated area. You must be deconned before leaving the contaminated or ‘hot’ zone. This would involve washing and rinsing the suit before doffing. It’s expensive and time consuming but it can be done. 99% of the personnel at your local hospital have not had this kind of training.

Our leaders are playing political games. They’re playing chicken with the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. It’s all based on ‘will this hurt the President?’

    Sanddog in reply to JohnC. | October 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Which is how Ebola is studied in a lab setting. You can bet your ass the CDC doesn’t handle ebola samples outside a BSL-4 lab setting so why would they tell doctors and nurses they’re safe dealing with live patients wearing just a gown, gloves, mask and face shield? The infection rate among healthcare workers dealing with ebola suggests those measures are inadequate.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | October 15, 2014 at 11:51 am

I think I read that the 2nd healthcare worker took a flight somewhere before being diagnosed and the authorities are following up with warning to a plane-full of people.


Strangely, Ellis Island seems to have worked excellently well to defend America from the spread of dread diseases by isolating travelers.

But, according to our “brights”, that only makes diseases spread faster.

Strange logic. Collectivists HATE reality, and fight it hard.

Who Is – Dr. Nicole Lurie – Why does the Obama Administration Want To Hide Her ?

She had a $5,593,000,000 budget, is that 5 billion, five hundred and ninety three million dollars? Where did she spend that?

“Congress passed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, which created a new assistant secretary for preparedness and response to oversee medical efforts and called for a National Health Security Strategy.

The Act established Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority as the focal point within HHS for medical efforts to protect the American civilian population against naturally occurring threats to public health.

It specifically says this authority was established to give “an integrated, systematic approach to the development and purchase of the necessary vaccines, drugs, therapies, and diagnostic tools for public health medical emergencies.””

    Ragspierre in reply to betty. | October 15, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    SUCH a Hater…!!!

    Everybody knows that the Tealiban is killing America.

    Plus…SEQUESTER…!!! An’, an’, and…BOOOOOOOooooooooooSH.

    MORE Federal spending will save us.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to betty. | October 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Betty, please don’t tell me the bulk of the money wound up in the hands of Dem political donors.

    Oh. No.
    “The woman who heads that office, and reports directly to the HHS secretary, has been mysteriously invisible from the public handling of this threat. And she’s still on the job even though three years ago she was embroiled in a huge scandal of funneling a major stream of funding to a company with ties to a Democratic donor—and away from a company that was developing a treatment now being used on Ebola patients.”

Poor Obama has to waste more of his precious fundraising and golfing time pretending he gives a crap.

Or maybe he canceled travel because he figured he’s safer staying in one place…

Great news, fellow computer users. I have developed an internet-ebola filter. By placing this simple device near your WiFi router you will effectively be able to prevent the ebola virus from spreading from some anonymous ebola infected keyboard user to your keyboard.

This is a limited time offer and operators are standing by. For only $9.95 you can have complete confidence that you will not get ebola over the internet.

But wait! There’s more. If you are one of the first 10 million callers you will get a second internet-ebola filter completely free along with a pair of sterile CDC approved keyboard gloves. And also you will get a chance to purchase, at a discount, your choice of a large number of “Obama 2012” campaign signs and bumper stickers.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | October 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Now, now. In the interest of accuracy we should say the trips were “postponed” not “canceled”. At least that was in the news report I saw.

filiusdextris | October 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm

We’ll wake up when other nations start imposing travel embargos from the U.S.

President Barack Obama is cancelling political travel to meet with his Cabinet on the Ebola outbreak.

This is what “acting presidential” means … emphasis on “acting”.