Death of Liberian patient in the Texas hospital, and the infection of health care worker have opened holes in fight against Ebola. It conveys defeat at two fronts- first, we could not eliminate Ebola from the main source, and 2) Ebola successfully traveled all the way to the land of the United States. It is off course a great matter of concern, and it is logical why people of country should get panic. Keeping these entire things in mind, Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has to give the live update on Monday morning. Since I received email on updates, I followed it online.
Now I am crippled with many questions: how nurse got infected with Ebola, did she break any protocol? How our hospitals are prepared to tackle any cases? How can we stop Ebola at the main source? Does travel ban on people coming from Ebola stricken countries will work? How our front-line healthcare providers, especially doctors and nurses are enough trained to treat patients with Ebola? Since Ebola’s case fatality rate is very high, how potent enough we are to avoid mortality? how successfully we will be able to break the transmission? How much funding is assured from federal government and how fast it will be disbursed to healthcare emergencies?
Is travel ban feasible, more importantly is it worth? Recent survey showed that 58 percent of Americans are in favor of travel ban on three Ebola stricken African nations, and few of Democrats and Republicans support that same echo. However, Dr.Freiden, CDC chief, was little reluctant to buy travel ban theory which is quite both fathomable and logical in light of transnational interest.
The main source of infection is Western African countries including Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guniea. Why not stopping the Ebola at the source? Why not stopping patient harboring infection or potentially infected or the person at risk before boarding the plain? Why not working hard to stop Ebola menace in Africa only, once source is eliminated, there wont be any further infection. However, it is time taking process. According to World Health Organization, it is road-map of between six to nine months. Does it mean we should keep ourselves at risk till Ebola get eradiated from Africa? And if we want to impose travel ban, what about our citizens working in those countries and would like to return the USA is also point of concern. Travel ban won’t work, because the person who want to visit USA may chose other routes too reach Untied States. While incubation period of Ebola is two to three weeks, patient can transmit to other person (if comes in contact with fluid) during that period. If we want to impose ban, then effective international collaboration will be needed, which though seem apparently possible, but not practically possible. And again, how many countries we are going to impose travel ban, are we ready to include Nigeria? 150 detectives are already working in Western Africa on the behalf of CDC.
The engagement of non-profit organization like doctors without borders in training physicians and nurses makes greater sense.There is need to break the transmission chain. We can divide population at risk into two categories: 1) finding out the people with whom index patient had contact before getting hospitalized, 2) finding out the people index patient came in contact in hospital.Starting isolated clinic for suspected patients in every hospital ,or in emergency room. JFK has started screening patients even from last Thursday.