Texas Health Worker Second American To Catch Ebola, Was Wearing Protective Gear
EBOLA ALERT: [Posted 11:07 am ET]
A Texas healthcare worker is confirmed to have the Ebola virus. This healthcare worker took direct care of the United State’s first confirmed Ebola victim, Thomas Eric Duncan. Duncan died from Ebola only several days ago.
The healthcare worker has been identified as a female nurse. The public is now asking if current barrier methods of protective gear are always sufficient to protect healthcare workers and others from Ebola?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will conduct more testing and release a federal report of the tragic news.
News of the United State’s second confirmed Ebola patient is raising questions nationwide. Are the country’s hospitals truly ready to deal with possible outbreaks of Ebola?
Overworked, Understaffed, Unprepared
Emergency rooms in the United States are overworked and understaffed. As hospitals do their best to balance budgets with providing excellent patient care, many Americans are still uninsured and must rely on emergency rooms for all medical needs.
A person without insurance cannot have a primary care doctor and are not likely able to afford urgent care clinics. United States emergency rooms must follow EMTALA protocols, meaning that every person who steps through the door is entitled to a medical screening and stabilizing treatment when necessary. Cost and ability to pay an upfront fee cannot be a factor in emergency medical treatment.
Since many states refused to provide universal healthcare as Obama warned they should do, this makes Ebola’s threat even more radical for America. Uninsured patients will flood emergency rooms this cold and flu season. These uninsured people will not have flu shots, they will have no easy way to distinguish typical winter virii from Ebola, as they do of coinciding symptoms: fever, diarrhea, cough and eventually respiratory distress.
Hospitals across the nation will struggle to identify patients in triage, coughing all over the place and possibly contaminating surfaces. A busy triage cannot be cleaned after each patients coughs. A patient coughing into a mask only provides so much safety for others. It takes only one droplet of Ebola laced saliva to infect thousands of people.
An Ebola patient can cough all the way through a lobby, on patients, visitors, nurses, clerks, house cleaners and more, exposing dozens of people in a single visit. Then all of those potential vectors, within days, can be just as contagious and exposed to others.
America has a major problem on its hands and the best thing we can do is take this threat seriously.
Americans must do the following: wash your hands, when cold and flu season hit, follow CDC recommendations on how to approach medical facilities. Don’t let your kids run around and touch things in hospitals. Too many ignorant parents are not doing all they can to protect their kids from germs.