Ebola outbreak reaches U.S.

by Elizabeth Monsef

News Editor

On Oct. 8, Thomas Eric Duncan passed away from Ebola in Dallas, Texas, while at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Duncan was exposed to the disease while in Liberia. His symptoms began with a fever and abdominal pain, but three days later his case worsened and Duncan was put into isolation to be tested for the Ebola virus. After testing positive, Duncan was placed into full care and separated from other patients at the hospital.

Unfortunately,the efforts made to contain the virus only to Duncan failed. Nina Pham, one of Duncan’s nurses, tested positive for Ebola on Oct. 10. Pham noticed she was running a fever and immediately went to the hospital. Fever is a common symptom amongst Ebola patients. The Dallas Hospital placed Pham into isolation for further monitoring. In addition, the hospital has also increased their watch on staff members who came in contact with Duncan to try and limit the spread of the disease.

Pham spent a large amount of time caring for Duncan and was recorded spending time in his room up until the day before his death. Although Pham wore gowns, gloves, masks, face shields, and sometimes bodysuits, she contracted the disease. She is the first person in America to contract Ebola. Health Care Officials are not sure how she was exposed, however they believe it was due to a breach in protocol. Other employees who worked near Duncan and Pham are being monitored for Ebola symptoms.

Pham has received a blood transfusion from Kent Brantly, a physician who survived the virus, on Monday the 13. Pham received this transfusion of plasma in hopes of resisting the virus and surviving.

As of this writing, Amber Vinson, a nurse who cared for Duncan, has also shown symptoms of the disease and was recently diagnosed. Vinson has exposed nearly 132 passengers while on an airplane. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that Vinson should never have boarded the flight, but she was not monitored correctly, resulting in the contamination of many people.

The CDC is currently researching ways to keep the virus from spreading within the body by using procedures like dialysis. They are also looking into the so called “breach in protocol” which exposed Pham to the deadly virus and carefully evaluating those who could have contracted Ebola by being around Duncan and Pham.

Ebola spreads through contact of bodily fluids including: blood, sweat, and even saliva. Officials say that the U.S. needs to become more aware of the spreading disease and where to go for examination in case of contact with an infected individual.


Source: SF Gate, CNN

Categories: National, Web Exclusive

Leave a Reply