On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding the worsening Ebola outbreak, it's spread to at least two healthcare professionals here in the U.S. and the latest steps by federal and state agencies to combat the outbreak.
TWO NURSES TEST POSITIVE
On Sunday, AlertsUSA subscribers were some of the first in the nation to learn that a healthcare worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas tested positive for Ebola. The individual had been providing direct care for U.S. Ebola index patient Thomas Eric Duncan. Less than three days later, a second nurse tested positive for the virus. Prior to a formal diagnosis, the second nurse traveled via commercial aircraft to Ohio. Follow on investigations indicate she may have been symptomatic prior to leaving.
Given the breakdown in the response to the initial Ebola patient, the lack of clear guidelines regarding self isolation and self monitoring, as well as the subsequent cross country travel of the second infected nurse, Dallas County officials issued a control order (below) preventing approximately 90 individuals being monitored from using public transportation of any kind including buses, trains and airliners and to prohibit them from visiting any public place.
OBAMA ACTIVATES NATIONAL GUARD FOR EBOLA BATTLE
On Thursday AlertsUSA subscribers were also notified of a forthcoming executive action by President Obama to activate elements of the National Guard and Reserve forces for deployment to West Africa. Under the now completed action (see resource below), the secretaries of defense and homeland security can order the activation of members of the Selected Reserve and the Individual Ready Reserve.
DALLAS HEALTH CARE WORKER SYMPTOMATIC ON CRUISE SHIP
Early Friday morning AlertsUSA subscribers became some of the first in the nation to learn (via a 3:08 AM SMS message) of yet another Dallas healthcare worker involved in the treatment of the U.S. index patient who is reportedly ill with Ebola-like symptoms on a cruise ship off coast of Belize. While U.S. media outlets and government agencies are in spin and damage control mode saying that the healthcare worker is not showing any symptoms, foreign press reports and the government of Belize are saying something very different.
According to Belize City television station Channel 7, there is at least one passenger on board the cruise ship Carnival Magic showing Ebola-like symptoms. This individual and her companion boarded a tender to go ashore in order to catch a medical evacuation flight arranged by the U.S. government. Despite a direct request by U.S. State Department, the Belize Ministry of Health forbade the tender from coming ashore and deployed their coast guard to enforce the action. The sick individual(s) were eventually returned to the ship which is now underway and headed back to the U.S..
OBAMA APPOINTS POLITICAL HACK AS EBOLA CZAR
This week President Obama has named Ron Klain, a lawyer, former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, and a key figure in the Solyndra scandal as his Ebola Czar and point man on the national response. According to Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland:
“The worst ebola epidemic in world history and Pres. Obama puts a government bureaucrat with no healthcare experience in charge. Is he serious?”
OBAMA TO BRING FOREIGN EBOLA VICTIMS TO U.S.
Judicial Watch, the conservative public watchdog group, says in a new report that the President is “actively formulating plans” to admit Ebola-infected non-citizens into the U.S. for treatment. Considering the U.S. is already extending visas or changing immigrant status for foreign nationals from Ebola affected nations, there is a highly likelihood that those individuals bought to the U.S. for treatment will stay.
DANGER AHEAD - NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE
Readers are urged to think long and hard about this week's events. As AlertsUSA has been warning in these weekly updates for months, given that standard flu symptoms such as fever, vomiting, sore throat, coughs, muscle aches, fatigue and headaches are also early symptoms of an Ebola infection, hospitals and clinics across the U.S. are already in freakout mode with each individual who presents with these symptoms. And flu season is just getting started. Additionally, as the number of confirmed Ebola cases increases, so too does the number of individuals being exposed who have absolutely no travel history whatsoever to West Africa. Very soon, the question 'Have you been to West Africa recently?' will be irrelevant.
AlertsUSA cautions readers that it is important that you and your family set aside time for a focused discussion on how you will respond if Ebola cases begin appearing in your local area. While government officials tell you that there is nothing to worry about as there have been so few cases, please consider what has happened in the past 7 days:
FOLLOW THE EXPANSION
| Two nurses who treated the U.S. index patient are infected.
|The first nurse exposed several others who are now being monitored.
The cruise ship Carnival Magic is currently underway and returning to Galveston Texas from Belize with at least one symptomatic Dallas healthcare worker and more than 4600 other passengers and cre
w. The ship originally left Texas on Sunday, October 12, made a port call at Mahogany Bay, Honduras on Wednesday, before moving on the Belize where it was turned away.
|It was revealed that the Obama Administration is actively making plans to bring non-citizens suffering from Ebola into the U.S. for treatment.
This is how pandemics start. And given the deadly nature of the disease, the ill prepared state of many U.S. hospitals to respond, and the weak and conflicting guidance being given to hospitals and the general public by the CDC, it is imperative that you make your own preparedness plans now for what is looking increasingly like a dangerous winter.
REPORTS FROM THE FIELD
AlertsUSA is receiving numerous reports from subscribers who work as doctors, nurses, lab techs and EMTs across the country saying that he national medical infrastructure is operating in a state of near chaos with respect to Ebola. There are an increasing number of professionals simply quitting their jobs as opposed to endangering the lives of themselves and families due to insufficient planning, training and knowledge on how to safely operate in an environment with possible biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) pathogens.
AND RISK MITIGATION
While it is impossible for anyone to be fully prepared for each and every type of emergency, it IS possible to mitigate your risk in specific, known threat environments. This is the case with the threat of Ebola.
AlertsUSA has established an Ebola preparedness website offing specific guidance and information on how to prepare for and respond to a domestic outbreak of Ebola. http://www.EbolaReady.com .
Many of the preparedness suggestions on this page reflect common sense. Others will come across as cold and severe until it is remembered that Ebola is a highly infectious and deadly pathogen. More than half of those who become infected die and that death is particularly gruesome.
In addition, we make product suggestions on the site with links to a multitude of suppliers via Amazon as they are convenient and inexpensive compared to most retail outlets. That said, if you can find these products elsewhere at a better price, by all means exercise those options. The links are there for your convenience.
For 11 of the past 12 weeks, AlertsUSA and Threat Journal have been warning of the progression of the West Africa Ebola outbreak and the danger posed to the continental United States (See 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11). A wealth of information is available within those past issues.
As always, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor developments with the spread of this virus and will immediately notify service subscribers of major changes in its spread to different regions, important notices and warnings by government agencies or any other major changes in the overall threat environment as events warrant