Friday, October 03, 2014

NBC Camera Operator Has Ebola - Reporter In Quarantine

A NBC camera operator is being flown back to the US after becoming infected with Ebola. Ashoka Mukpo from Rhode Island was working in Liberia with Dr. Nancy Synderman, who is NBC's chief medical correspondent. She has been placed in a 21 day quarantine. Ebola has been in the news for much of the past two months, but in a I hope they get that thing contained over in Africa kind of way. As we watched from afar I think many of us were wondering how come they could not get the outbreak under control and if they would only follow proper protocols that everything would be fine. Then of course there is the man in Dallas who was diagnosed with Ebola, but only after he was already in a hospital and they let him go for almost a week to spread the virus before he came back and they realized what they have. There are so many things that could have been done from not even letting him get on an airplane to fly, but the way this has all been handled since he arrived in the US. Even now, people who have been exposed to him have not all been put in quarantine or told to stay indoors. Cleaners refuse to clean his apartment. A man who was with the victim while the victim was vomiting has not been warned by the CDC to take any extra precautions. If we are having such a hard time getting control of this or diagnosing it, then it is no wonder that in Western Africa they are having issues considering the resources they have are much more limited. My fear is that this mutates into an airborne virus which seemed out of the realm of possibility before but as the disease is allowed to flourish and the outbreak not contained, I fear it may happen.

49 comments:

sandybrook said...

Let the TV news paranoia begin so they can cause a wide-spread panic to get their precious ratings.

T. E. Cuz said...

corporate mainstream media...

auntliddy said...

I hate even reading about this. So scary. Thanks enty, for being Denbie Downer!

Tricia S said...

The Movie Outbreak was so riveting, for the very reason that it made what's happening now, seem plausible n

MISCH said...

Stop scaring people….wash your hands…be aware…it's not that easy to get Ebola

Linda K said...

I wonder how the cameraman got it. They must have been following all of the safety protocols.

auntliddy said...

A thought- does temperature affect birus? Is there somewhere it cld be too cold for virus to survive?

Beetlejuice said...

I've lived thru worse.

CoBe said...

Why do they keep flying these people back to the US? I'm sorry, but if you take the risk, YOU take the risk. Not the rest of us.

Kno Won Uno said...

As someone who's worked in the American healthcare system for over 20 years, I'm willing to bet a year's pay that he was turned away because he's uninsured. Hospitals do it many times a day.
Oh, they don't *say* that. They say "without insurance an ER facility payment of $1500 will be billed directly to you. Half of that is due up front". Because...will they send a follow up bill to Liberia with any hope of payment? Double financial risk.
Technically, they have not turned him away because he's uninsured. The patient "refused" additional services because he couldn't afford it. Entirely his fault, you see.
This happens hundreds of times, every day of every year in every hospital in this country.
It's disgusting and shameful.

bellaluna said...

There's also a case in Hawaii, if you believe my MIL. According to her, they are also attempting to contact everyone who was on the plane with the guy in Dallas, as well as the ambulance employees, etc...

Scary stuff.

Dena said...

If it's so difficult to contract Ebola, how did a camera man get it? It sounds like the crew was taking all possible precautions, yet he has it.

Kno Won Uno said...

Hawaii Dept of Health ruled out Ebola in the past few hours, I think.

Kno Won Uno said...

That was my first thought too, @Dena. If he wasn't wallowing in a sick person's body fluid, how'd he get it?
I hope the CDC figures that out. Maybe he's a secret wallower. No secrets once you have Ebola!

CrysMeth said...

"Ebola made it to America and y'all are buying hand sanitizer and masks...AIDS been here 30+ years and you still won't wear a condom."

So glad I don't work at the hospital lab anymore. A moment of silence for my brethren who will be inundated with calls from docs with full ERs demanding an Ebola test.

bellaluna said...

Thanks, good to know.

Frosty said...

This is the real thing, vastly more urgent to get this under control now, while we still might, than anything else that's in the news. Fingerpointing is only going to waste precious time.
There's a good piece on Politico - apologies to Enty for linking another site, understandable if you delete but I hope you won't
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/09/the-ebola-epidemic-is-about-to-get-worse-111493.html#.VC6nIhaYvwk

8====D KermitGossnellKnobjob said...

Ebola is very difficult to get. This dude probably was filming in some hospital/concentration camp/wherever people with this illness are put in Africa without many protections, some African African vomited on him and he called it a day.

Like the dude he vomited on and wasn't warned: If some non hammered person vomits near you, it's not a good sign.

surfer said...

There's someone currently in hospital in Toronto, in isolation, suspected of possibly having Ebola. He just returned from Nigeria. They're testing him for other illnesses as well, so hopefully it's not Ebola.

Susan said...

Kno Won Uno - Interesting take. You're probably right.

Vera Christina said...

Kno Won Uno - I used to work in healthcare and you are exactly right.

Cosign the PP that said "wash your hands" so many nasty germs, so little time.

meme deemed said...

Sorry for keep referring to the film "Contagion" but it spells it out how easy it is for it to spread.

kelliknows said...

Within an hour after one doc on news, I think CNN, repeated it could only be spread by body fluids, another was saying how long it could live on surfaces. And the cdc left sheets and towels with that family..terrible. confusing, but agree it's overblown at this point. The risk is minimal compared to patients who die from infections contracted in hospitals.

Topper Madison said...

Huh? Diseases mutate from fluid-based to airborne-based? Never heard of that. If that was possible, wouldn't HIV have taken off by now? Or Hepatitis? Stop the hysteria, already.

meme deemed said...

Don't know how to post a link. News feed saying in my Dallas 18 exposed, up to 100 possible cases in U.S.

Toronto suspected case news - true - all over the news. And toronto had the lead expert on SARS but he passed away.

Chris said...

Here's the thing with body fluids - everyone thinks blood, vomit, urine. But there is sweat, saliva...Think about it - he coughs into his hand, then grabs a doorknob. Someone else grabs the knob to open the door right after them, then rubs his eye. It's just scary how quickly it could spread, even in a populated area. I am really surprised that the US has not restricted travel there, nor restricted travelers from coming from that area of Africa until this is at least under control.

Here is the thing that bothers me (as a health care worker) If Ebola can only be spread through body fluids, why such major precautions for handling the dead bodies? wrapped in plastic shroud, and double bagged?? Hermetically sealed coffin?? that part to me is just...weird. That says to me either the CDC KNOWS more than they are saying...or they aren't as SURE as they claim to be, about transmission.

However, here's the link to the CDC page about Ebola transmission: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/qas.html

Meanwhile, washing hands absolutely is the best defense.

__-__=__ said...

So this guy is flown here for Ebola treatment the day after he is hired by NBC. But we don't have more mmap for 16 months. And ebola shows up after a minimum of 4 days. Hope he gets better. He's very lucky, no doubt.

Chris J said...

CDC is underfunded and not prepared for Ebola. I base my opinion on watching this case in Dallas unfold. Also, these people in Dallas seem to not understand what a quarantine entails and don't appear to have much guidance. The Judge, Sherriffs, and medical Dr. seem as unaware as the family in all of this.

Count Jerkula said...

Burn him.

mickyvee said...

While we're talking about viruses enty, what about the enterovirus? It has hit almost all 50.states, has put scores of children in the hospital, and is now linked to multiple deaths? This virus is airborne - something to think about.

Lil P said...

Yes I think it captured the panic mentality very well.

Lil P said...

Exactly what I was thinking too!

Lil P said...

And some are reporting paralysis type symptoms reminiscent of polio very scary!

KendraWM said...

Chris, the final stages of Ebola is your internal organ basically melt and you bleed from pretty much every orifice you have, eyes, mouth, ears, everywhere. So there is a lot of bodily fluids that come with dying form Ebola.

There was so much information wrong in this Enty post. First the cleaning crew did not refuse, the police refused them access saying they were missing the proper permits.

If you have no idea what R Naught is, look into it, Ebola is R2, R Naught is the transmission rates of diseases, Ebola is harder to get than HIV, SARS and many other.

Also it is absolutely terrible what is happening in West Africa a little perspective is needed, in the hardest hit area, Liberia Ebola has killed less that 1/2 a percent of the population, with less than 1% of the population classified as cases. So even in the hardest hit area your odds are still in your favor of not getting it.

Unknown said...

It's hard to believe, considering this man had to have had a west african accent that the staff at the Dallas Hospital was so unbelievably ignorant - I don't blame the man for trying to get here, it's a person's only hope to stay alive. He tried to tell them, and they gave him pain meds and sent him away. *no insurance perhaps
?* What's truly frightening is that the CDC left all the exposed people in that apartment not taking anything away that could get them sick, or help them. They were told not to leave the apartment but had little food. This is going to be a really deadly outbreak here unless hospital staff get a lot smarter, and a plan is in place to help those under quarantine. Texas healthcare failed all of us very badly.

Tina Mallette said...

First of all, some talking heads on CNN last night and someone whose name escapes me, she used to be one of the head honchos in aviation safety in the US said stop all US planes going to and from Liberia and the other countries where this is epidemic until this gets contained because she said the airlines should be scrubbing down every plane after every flight coming in from the three countries because you can't trust the baggage handlers in those countries- they touch the suitcases, that get handled by US baggage handlers, you got people lying and even if they don't have a fever doesn't mean they haven't been exposed to ebola, you got a 21 day incubation period. She said the airlines will not scrub the planes unless ordered to so ban any flights.

Be a good time to invest in the company that makes medical gloves.

You would understand this is not outrageous if you read this article by the NY Times
A Hospital From Hell, in a City Swamped by Ebola

I read something similar from some Canadian doctors who were on the ground in Africa - Canadian government is trying to send mass amounts of protective gear over there.

I understand that Africa is poor-ish depending on where you are but it is not like this is something new.

Tina Mallette said...

What is happening now is that they are being overly cautious - there is a person in quarantine of someone in a Toronto hospital and a doctor said this is a good thing, better to be overly cautious at this stage than not. And most of these cases are false alarms so long as people don't start being hysterical. Unless you've been in one of the outbreak countries or think you could have been exposed to someone with Ebola or someone from one of those outbreak countries that is ill, your flu is the flu.

Tina Mallette said...

What is the possiblity that this mutates into an airborne virus at all let alone this epidemic though? Has Enty got a minor in epidemiology?

SusanB said...

@those who think he was turned away from the hospital- he wasn't. He was treated. The RN put in her notes (on the computer) that he stated he was from Liberia but the MD was not able to access the RN's notes (hospital says a "computer glitch"). He was given antibiotics on his 1st visit. Personally, if a patient in the ER with symptoms told me he was from Liberia, I couldn't get to the MD fast enough to let him know, I'd only stop to get a mask and gloves.

What really pisses me off is is family refusing to follow the advise of the CDC, etc and stay in their apartment. They had to be served with a court order and they have armed guards outside to keep them from wandering off. What a bunch of idiots.

I am starting to think it's time to ban travelers from the affected countries. The guy in Dallas lied on his forms - who's to say who else is lying?

I also heard the government didn't want to announce the names and flight numbers of the airlines involved but United Airlines basically said "fuck that" and announced what airlines and what flight numbers. Good for them.

Stinkyfeet said...

Because they are Us citizens and they are going back home, maybe

keetz4 said...

Some facts about Ebola:

*its much easier to catch the flu which is airborne than it is to catch Ebola. However, its easier to catch Ebola than MERS or SARS. So people need to be cautious.

*You may be infected but not infectious [able to give others the disease]until you are symptomatic. Typically the first symptom is fever.

*All airlines flying out of Africa test for fever before people are allowed to board. And the people on those same flights are tested for fever when they arrive. Duncan, the shithead in Dallas, was not presenting with a fever when he boarded or de-boarded his flights.

*Its important to note that Duncan became symptomatic with Ebola 15 days ago. Additional cases have not been reported yet. Maximum quarantine for the disease is 21 days. So its very possible that even though 100 people in Dallas have been exposed; not one will get the disease.

*Part of the reason the disease has spread so viciously in West Africa is because many people don't believe its real and are not taking the precautions recommended by the gov'ts there.

keetz4 said...

@SusanB......the WHO and CDC are trying to keep airlines from banning flights for good reason. If medical supplies and medical workers are not able to get into W. Africa, the disease will spread and multiply, making things much worse than they already are.

The infected countries are some of the poorest in Africa. Their medical systems are overwhelmed and are barely functioning. Help from outside is imperative.

keetz4 said...

@unknown......Duncan said on forms that he had not been exposed to Ebola. That was a lie. He assisted one of his neighbors whose daughter came down with Ebola when they transported her in a taxi to the hospital. He rode in the taxi with the sick woman.

The hospital refused her admittance because they were full. She returned home and was dead by the next day. Her brother died a few days later.

Its true that people will lie and try to get to a western nation for medical help. However, its important to note that while Ebola has had a huge death rate in W. Africa; none of the people who have been treated in the US or the UK have died. Good treatment may be key to survival.

SusanB said...

2keetz4 - I appreciate what you're saying - perhaps just keep the aid workers flying in and out, just don't let the regular folks. I know it sounds un-PC but until it settles down perhaps it would be better.

NYer said...

I can't decide which is worse--if this ignorant, reckless, and baseless post was written out of stupidity or a ham-handed, soulless attempt to get clicks on the site. Either way it is embarrassing and the author should be ashamed.

Diana Maras said...

People are selfish aholes who are willing to infect everyone if it meant they might live two more seconds.

keetz4 said...

@SusanB.......its not a matter of being PC...its about getting this disease under control.

Alexa Rose said...

By the handling of the case in Dallas, it almost appears that the government wants this to spread.

Stop all flights from the infected parts of Africa or isolate everyone for 21 days. Non-medical people do not need to be coming in or out right now.

@Unknown, I do blame him for knowingly exposing thousands of people to ebola. He should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law if he lives.

Scallywag said...

At least we can't blame Gwyneth for this one.

Ebola has been in the U.S. before. Thankfully it was a strain fatal to monkeys but not humans (Ebola Reston). It's been a plane-ride away from us for decades.

Stopping flights from West Africa won't stop the threat, it will just divert it through Europe and then we lose track of where those passengers originated.

The cameraman is an American freelancer who has been working in Liberia for three years and most recently been working for various outlets on the Ebola story. Like most there he takes his temperature daily and saw it had gone up so went to a MSF clinic to be tested. He had just started working with NBC a few days before so he was probably infected before then. People were the protective suits but you can have a pin-prick sized hole and get infected. Or touch something then touch your eye.

Read The Hot Zone. You won't leave the house again.

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