Ebola

Ebola

The outbreak of the Ebola Virus has overshadowed all other news in the U.S. since last week.
 
As our country hears of more patients who are testing positive for the Ebola Virus, waves of concern are beginning to rise. What are the symptoms of Ebola? Is taking one’s temperature enough of a screening process? How do we discern the flu from Ebola? Will the virus live on a door knob for a prolonged period of time? Is it safe to travel?
 
Nurses are coming forward explaining what the situation was at the hospital in Dallas. As they took care of the Ebola patient who later perished, they were also taking care of other patients. They told about how bio hazardous trash was piling up and not being disposed of. More news out of Dallas is that there was confusion and uncertainty in the ER is emerging every day.
 
Is this how our country responds to an emergent Virus outbreak? Finally, President Obama is paying more attention than he was in September, when he told us that Ebola was “Not a threat.”
 
Hospital employees are complaining that they have not received adequate training, nor has any protocol for Ebola virus ever been put into place in their hospitals. Nurses are sometimes the front line caregivers and have more bedside contact with patients than any other healthcare provider. Yet, they are not aware or have the tools on how to correctly and safely take care of a possible Ebola patient.
 
How then, are our healthcare providers supposed to protect patients, themselves, their families and the public from in an Ebola outbreak?
 
No one, including the CDC seems to have a definite answer. Ebola is a lethal virus that has no vaccine.
 
Ebola is rapidly spiraling out of control in Africa which is the first place that needs to be put under control. Says Dr. David Samadi, Prostate Cancer Robotic Oncologist at Lenox Hill Hospital New York, and medical contributor to FOX News and member of their Medical “A” Team-
 
“Mr. President put up those walls. We need to control the spread of Ebola. You must protect the American people. We can send aid, IV fluids and troops to  West Africa. We need to contain this disease, and until we figure out how to control and treat it, we must stop all nonessential air travel to and from West Africa until we have a vaccine and anti-viral medication.”
 
How many people would agree with this statement?
 
Currently, there are 4 Hospitals who say they are prepared for Ebola patients.
 
Realistically, hospitals in every major city, in every state should have a plan in place because no one knows where the next Ebola patient will show up.
 
Temperature screenings at airports and in some mock protocols are not an accurate way to screen for this virus. Patients can take Tylenol and lower a temperature. This is not a viable baseline for patients.
 
We still do not know everything about the Ebola virus. We don’t know if it can mutate and become more dangerous. West Africa is rapidly running out of supplies. What we do know over the last week is that our country needs to be more vigilant in protecting its people, which includes limiting inbound flights from West Africa until we are better equipped to prevent an outbreak of lethal proportions. We need funding directed towards a vaccine so that we may eradicate this virus globally, including Africa and not just in our country.
 
We need to have a plan in every hospital so that health care providers from Physicians to the janitors know what to do if an Ebola patient comes in with symptoms.
 
The CDC needs to step it up.
Sylvia Silvestri, R.N.