In reviewing social media comments, the doctors and nurses who succumbed to Ebola in the United States haven't been receiving a lot of sympathy. Their actions placed the public at grave risk for Ebola and could have mutated into a huge outbreak.
Sure - it's not the easiest virus to contract - but due to the frightening mortality rate, why take chances? Why use such poor judgment?
Even if Ebola isn't contagious until symptoms appear - why put one's own loved ones at risk? Friends and the general public? In addition, many of the places that the doctors and other medical staff visited - even before the symptoms appeared are requiring sterilizing treatments to calm public concern.
This is costing the innocent hundreds - and thousands of dollars in some cases. The cost of sanitizing the apartment where the first Ebola patient was projected to cost over $100,000 - and who is going to pay for this? Taxpayers, of course.
On a positive note, there are 'medical heroes' emerging from the Ebola outbreak - like Dr. Kent Brantley who has unselfishly donated his plasma several times over.
Like many viruses, Ebola leaves the survivor very weak for several weeks following the illness, so he's doing this in a weakened state - something that many wouldn't do. Another hero in our eyes is the first nurse to contract the virus, Nina Pham. She is an excellent example to follow.
Why would anyone - particularly a nurse or doctor who has been around an Ebola patient put others at risk? Ignorance? A total disregard for others?
Wanting to do something so badly that they go out into the public and do it anyway - at times traveling hundreds of miles on crowded modes of transportation - knowing that symptoms can develop at any time? Why?
We feel that recent actions by SOME - not all of the medical professionals exposed to Ebola, have exhibited almost complete disregard for the general public's health.
At minimum, because we are still learning about this deadly virus - they have heightened fear and concern in the general public. They may have also caused harm to certain businesses in addition to unduly costs associated with sanitization.
1. It was widely reported that individuals which the first US Ebola patient [Mr. Duncan who originated from Liberia] lived with violated their self-quarantine.
The incubation period needs to be explained/address; although no symptoms may be present - they could quickly develop within the 2 to 21 day window associated with Ebola.
This is just one reason why it spread to an alarming rate in West Africa.
Keeping those at risk was not only for the public, but also for those in quarantine, and their family - so that if anyone developed the symptoms they could receive immediate care, thus increasing their rate for survival.
2. NBC News were widely reported to have violated a self-quarantine after their cameraman was diagnosed.
A doctor - someone who was reporting on Ebola choosing to violate quarantine places the public at risk.
Sure - at this point it is believed that Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear - but why create public panic? Public alarm? Why violate a self-quarantine, which in-itself questions one's ethics?
Then again - what if....what if a person who broke quarantine had quickly become ill - got mucus on their hand and touched a railing - or vomited in public and someone came into contact with the railing or vomit? In its wet form, the virus can remain active for days.
It's just...mind-boggling that any doctor worth their salt would violate a self-quarantine. After all, most of us consider them a bit above normal intelligence - but many are quickly disproving our assumption. It's like this: "Do as I say but not as I do," mentality.
3. After the nurses and other medical staff treated the first Ebola patient, Mr. Duncan, in Dallas, Texas and were told to self-monitor, one nurse who contracted Ebola flew hundreds of miles - from Texas to Ohio.
On the return trip to Texas she exhibited a fever, a symptom of Ebola - but supposedly not high enough to prevent flying or to meet the level of fever to qualify for Ebola - but as we know and have seen, the CDC appears to keep changing those guidelines.
Keep in mind that we've been told that Ebola becomes contagious when symptoms appear. Would you want to be around someone with Ebola - even when they have a low grade fever? Most of us wouldn't without state of the art protective gear.
The story behind this incident has yet to unfold as questions abound regarding the conversation the nurse may have had with the CDC and whether they had approved her for flying. Even so - when one is under self-monitoring, it just makes good sense not to travel or be around crowds of people.
As to myself, I'd separate myself into a very small area and remain there for the 21 days. Leave food in front of my door - and go away. Getting ill and dying is one thing, but for many of us - infecting others would be impossible to live with, particularly if they died.
4. Another medical professional who had handled the body fluids of Ebola patient Mr. Duncan - sailed on a ship containing a crowd of people, traveling hundreds of miles.
This created national news - and placed Belize in a difficult situation. Never mind ruining the cruise for the other passengers as well as the expense of any sanitizing that was performed on the ship.
5. And most recently, a Doctors Without Borders incident. A doctor returned from an Ebola-stricken area, did not self-quarantine. It is being reported in US media that he uses public transportation and goes about life carefree as a mongoose.
Very poor judgment, particularly given that Ebola has potential to mutate.
After seeing what Ebola does - firsthand, the death - how quickly it can spread, why didn't this doctor keep away from people until the 21day window had expired?
Why chance getting a loved one ill with such a horrible disease?
What must one feel when they get Ebola and survive - yet the loved one they infected dies?
Why even chance this?
Some might say, "Come on, this dude didn't have symptoms - so he wasn't contagious, so get real." Yet.....it has been reported that at least three individuals are now being monitored because of the doctor's actions - which should have been isolation until the three week window had passed.
In addition, the doctor is now placing other healthcare workers at risk who are caring for him. Keep in mind that we've lost approximately 500 healthcare workers thus far to Ebola.
Further disturbing is that the CDC reported through Twitter on October 23, 2014: "Healthcare worker returned through JFK Airport on Oct. 17, participated in enhanced screening for all returning travelers from W. Africa."
They went on to report that the doctor went through several layers of screening and did not have a fever or other symptoms of illness. This raises red flags about the new screening program. Unfortunately, it did not work. Why? Because Ebola has a 2-21 day incubation period. Travelers can be symptom-free until Day 20, then suddenly succumb.
So....how many more people have passed through our borders symptom-free, but who may soon exhibit symptoms? It was also reported that he rode the subway system, took a cab, dined at a restaurant and went bowling the day prior to his symptoms manifesting.
Thankfully, saneness abounds as Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York have stepped up precautionary measures.
In the future, medical personnel and other individuals from West Africa and other Ebola-stricken areas can be ordered into proper quarantine - which means isolation until the incubation period passes.
Where is good, old-fashioned horse sense? We'd go as far to say that the vast majority of non-medical-professional people KNOW not to expose others if they'd been exposed to Ebola.
Were things in their personal lives so important that they threw caution to the wind?
As medical professionals, did they not realize the dangers of spreading Ebola if they had become ill? Wow - that's a scary thought.
Sadly, the businesses where these people had frolicked off to have been negatively impacted. Their poor judgment cost dearly. It's not cheap - decontaminating spaces or replacing airline seats, carpeting - or having potential customers avoid your place of business when they learn that someone who contracted Ebola had been there.
Also, when is the exact moment that one gets Ebola? It's like saying one either has cancer or not. Bull. Keep in mind that almost-all forms of cancer can be healed in the beginning stage - but at some point, at some nanosecond the cancer becomes lethal.
This is the same with so many diseases.
As to Ebola - one never knows that exact moment when the disease can appear after exposure. Going about one's life, one's personal business after exposure,particularly after treating an Ebola patient, it's not using good judgment.
This is the question that should be posed to the medical professionals that survive Ebola. We're still grappling with how anyone could place friends, family - or even strangers at risk, and knowingly do such.
What's the value of a human life?
If you are a medical professional - please act like one. If you've treated Ebola patients, don't place others at risk - and that includes friends, family members, strangers and pets. Do the right thing - stick to self-monitoring until the three weeks has passed and isolate yourself.
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