The unrealistic chills you have everyday reading the news just became a little bit more, well . . . realistic. Alright, that’s an exaggeration. But, Ebola has breached American borders and that hits home, literally and figuratively. While the CDC and related organizations inform the public that the United States has the resources to contain the Ebola virus, there still lies the pressing questions everyone has been asking, where did we go wrong and how could we have prevented this?
The patient, Thomas Duncan, was first first admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas early last week. He was sent home despite divulging the very pertinent information that he traveled to the U.S. from Liberia. Yes, the same Liberia that reported 3,458 Ebola cases and 1,830 Ebola deaths (as of September 23). But despite this alarming news, hospital personnel was not informed. This came would become a problem 3 days later, when Duncan’s symptoms worsened and he tested positive for the Ebola virus.
While Duncan is under careful watch and isolation (and we of course wish him a speedy recovery), there is no denying the lack of protocol exuded by the various personnel at the the hospital, airline and airports involved. This leads me to question whether there is a legitimate protocol for these border crossing issues. Even though various countries and organizations, such as the United Kingdom and International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.) have pledged millions of dollars to the containment of this disease, this example of ill communication will trump any measures taken. If standard collection or relay of information cannot be insured, how can the health of the people?
While it is important to dot every i and cross every t in times like these, it needs to be done at every checking point. Even with heightened protocol, are the measures being taken around the world enough to combat these situations? And with regards to what is in place, how can it be improved?