Thursday, October 30, 2014
To Quarantine, Or Not To Quarantine, That is the Question for Ebola: The Answer is a Resounding Yes
Kaci Hickoh arrived back in the United States with a fever after treating Ebola patients in Africa. She was quarantined. She felt terribly inconvenienced and humiliated. She was, but it is a critical safety measure to protect society. Ebola is deadly, with fatality rates between 50% – 70%. Hundreds of medical personnel, including doctors and nurses, in Africa have died from Ebola eventhough they were exercising the utmost care. An estimated 450 healthcare providers have contracted Ebola this year. 244 died. Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC, claims the response to Ebola should be based on the “science.” The Obama Administration parrots the “science” argument. Any competent trial lawyer could skewer Dr. Frieden on cross-examination over the “science of Ebola.” Dr. Frieden, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institutes of Health, argue that self-quarantine and self-monitoring will suffice. They are worried that a mandatory quarantine will discourage healthcare workers from going to the affected countries. Dr. Fauci said we do don’t want to make it “very, very uncomfortable for them to even volunteer to go.” They just don’t get it. They forget that their primary responsibility is the public health of the American people. The Ebola virus is dangerous. They believe they know its limits of exposure, but that was proven wrong in Dallas. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed 13% (roughly 1/7) of Ebola patients were diagnosed with Ebola before having a fever. Several victims felt fatigue before the onset of a fever. Both Dr. Craig Spencer and nurse Amber Vincent were fatigued before the onset of the fever. The CDC looked to a fever of 100.3 as the triggering symptom. That is clearly wrong. Amber contacted the CDC before flying back to Texas from Cleveland. She reported a fever. She was told it was OK to catch the flight. Dr. Frieden and others kept stating that Ebola was not communicable through the air, unlike the cold and flu viruses. CDC now tells us that, yes, Ebola is spreadable by droplets in the air. Saliva, sweat, and mucus are bodily fluids that can contain the Ebola virus. Thus a sneeze on a crowded bus, train, airplane, or even an elevator poses a risk. The CDC’s new self-quarantine protocol advises against riding a bus or flying airplanes, and avoiding “aggregate spaces,” such as offices. The Obama Administration refuses for inexplicable reasons to deny entry to travellers from the affected countries in West Africa. The alternative to protect America therefore is a strict quarantine. Quarantines have been common throughout history to protect the populace. They were extensively used in the United States to fight smallpox. Victims of leprosy were isolated, such as the Leper Colony on the island of Molokai. Typhoid Mary, an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid, worked as a cook. She is believed responsible for 51 cases of typhoid and three deaths. She was finally confined to North Brother Island to prevent her from further spreading the disease. Quarantines have been practiced historically, even in the United States. Immigrants arriving from Europe had to present proof of vaccination, or be quarantined, for smallpox. People are scared. Rather or not the fear is rationally based on science, the fear itself is a reality. The public has seen Dr. Frieden and the CDC as dead wrong. The public has lost faith in the Obama Administration. Reassurances from the President are disbelieved. The CDC currently recommends “voluntary isolation,” which has proven ineffective. Dr. Craig Spencer, currently under treatment at New York’s Bellevue Hospital, initially misinformed the authorities of his activities. He claimed to have self-quarantined when he arrived back in New York City except for a restaurant and bowling alley the night before his fever developed. The NYPD check of his credit cards and metro cards showed he rode several subway lines, visited the High Line Park, took a three mile jog, and engaged in other activities during his “self-quarantine.” NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman broke her voluntary three week quarantine by seeking food at the Peasant Grill in Hopewell, New Jersey. Kaci went on a bike ride today in Maine, asserting she doesn’t have the disease. She probably doesn’t, just as the risks for Dr. Snyderman are low. But they are playing Russian Roulette, or Ebola Roulette, with the American people. The Obama Administration is “The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight:” Veterans Administration Drip, drip, drip IRS Drip, drip, drip ISIS Drip, drip, drip Benghazi Drip, drip, drip NSA Drip, drip, drip Fast and Furious Drip, drip, drip The flood of children immigrants Drip, drip, drip Immigration Drip, drip, drip Syria Drip, drip, drip Ukraine Drip, drip, drip ObamaCare Rollout Drip, drip, drip Secret Service Drip, drip, drip And now Ebola Drip, drip, drip No one alone would create a crisis of confidence in the Administration, but the cumulative impact of each drip is a flood. Leading from behind is not a panacea for Ebola. Dr. Frieden constantly assured the American public that the CDC was prepared for Ebola reaching the United States. He claimed any hospital with an isolation unit could handle Ebola. The CDC Director kept repeating the word “Protocol,” “Protocol,” “Protocol.” The CDC and hospitals had the proper protocols in place because they understood the disease. He was wrong. So was the CDC, as was the highly regarded Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas Hospital. Most of the hospitals in the United States were unprepared before the Dallas debacle. Many even lacked the necessary protective equipment. The Associated Press released a report showing the American hospital system is unprepared for Ebola. Dr. Frieden was wrong. New Jersey was unprepared. Kaci Hickoh was quarantined in a plastic tent on the grounds of the hospital. The World Health Organization also admitted it failed in Africa. Dr. Frieden failed. CDC failed. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital failed. The Obama Administration failed. We also don’t trust this administration. Samantha Powers and President Obama assert we should treat the returning medical workers as “heroes.” They are heroes. They are upholding the highest calling of the medical profession. The doctors and nurses of Doctors Without Borders are heroes, but any one of them could unleash the deadly Ebola into the American populace. Let’s look at the cases of the two Texas nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, the NBC freelance cameraman, Ashoka Mukpo, and Dr. Craig Spencer. Neither Nina Pham nor Amber Vincent know how they contracted the disease. They were apparently following the CDC protocols at the time amidst confusion in the hospital. The NBC reporter does not know how he was exposed to the virus. Dr. Spencer exercised the utmost care in treating the Ebola victims in Guinea. Just the slightest misstep seemingly opens the door to the Ebola virus. Doctors Without Borders recognizes that even with safety measures the risk of contracting Ebola cannot be zero. No wonder Governor Christy wants a mandatory quarantine. The Defense Department issued a mandatory 21 day quarantine period for soldiers who had come into contact with Ebola victims. The solution to Ebola is isolation.