Tag Archives: Ebola Virus

U.S Flirts With Ebola Quarantine, But North Korea Has A Better Solution

Ebola US North Korea

In the U.S., some states are facing a backlash for imposing mandatory isolation on medical workers who have treated Ebola patients and the army has begun quarantining soldiers who deployed to in West Africa. But North Korea has gone one several steps further by banning all foreign tourists.

According to tour operators in North Korea, the authoritarian regime plans to bar entry to foreigners on tourist trips due to fears of Ebola. Oh no! At least seven people will have to change their vacation plans!

“We have just received official news from our partners in the DPRK that, as of tomorrow, tourists from any country, regardless of where they have recently visited, will not be permitted to enter,” said Gareth Johnson of Young Pioneer Tours.

As for foreigners who somehow make it into the country, they will be quarantined to prevent any possible spread of the Ebola virus. An announcement distributed Thursday to diplomatic missions in Pyongyang said that, regardless of country or region of origin, all foreigners will be quarantined under medical observation for 21 days. Some may say this is an overreaction considering no cases of the disease have been reported in the reclusive country, or anywhere in Asia for that matter, and very few foreigners are allowed to enter anyways, but any excuse to make the North Korean people more suspicious of the outside world is a good one.

Meanwhile, over in the United States, President Obama has taken a different route to combating the spread of the Ebola virus. Obama said on Wednesday that the U.S. may face more Ebola cases but denounced closing U.S. borders and imposing mandatory quarantines out of health fears.

But that didn’t stop New Jersey governor Chris Christie from defending the use of mandatory 21-day quarantines for all travelers returning through Newark who have had contact with Ebola patients. In particular, Christie has targeted quarantined nurse Kaci Hickox, who returned from treating Ebola patients with Doctors Without Borders in West Africa last week and was quarantined against her will in New Jersey, despite testing negative for Ebola.

Hickox has said that a quarantine is unnecessary as she is showing no symptoms and has tested negative.

“I am not going to sit around and be bullied by politicians and forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public,” Hickox said on Wednesday.

State officials have said they were going to court to try to detain her for the remainder of the 21-day incubation period – because there’s no way Chris Christie is going to let Ebola wipe out the state the New Jersey while North Korea sits around with a smug smile in their isolated Ebola-free haven!

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New Jersey School Combats Ebola by Banning Kids From Non-Ebola Countries

Ebola Jersey

Although two African countries have now been declared officially free of Ebola and most are unaffected by the recent Ebola outbreak, one elementary school in New Jersey isn’t taking any chances. 

Nigeria was declared Ebola-free on Monday after six weeks with no new cases, following an announcement that Senegal is also rid of the virus. But despite these Ebola success stories, the virus is still rapidly spreading in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. As the death toll continues to increase, one elementary school in New Jersey is taking matters into their own hands… by banning children from Rwanda.

Two students from Rwanda, who were scheduled to start classes at a New Jersey school Monday, are being encouraged to stay home and complete a 21-day waiting period—the incubation period for Ebola—before they can enter the school, plus another week (you know, just in case).

The school informed teachers of two children from Rwanda who were set to start school today, but word got out and parents went nuts. Despite the fact that Rwanda hasn’t had one case of Ebola and it is 2,600 miles from the closest afflicted country in West Africa, the parents decided to err on the side of Ebola hysteria caution and object to their attendence. There’s no time to consult a map when faced with an Ebola outbreak!

The parental backlash worked and the parents of the symptom-free Rwandan students decided (with a little pressure from the school…) to keep their kids out of school for the next 21+ days.

“The Maple Shade School District takes the health of all students and staff very seriously. As many of you are aware, we have students who have spent time in the eastern portion of Africa that were scheduled to start in our schools on Monday. This area of Africa has been unaffected by the Ebola virus. Despite the fact that the students are symptom-free and not from an affected area, the parents have elected to keep their children home past the 21 day waiting period. The family is looking forward to joining the Maple Shade Schools the following week,” the school wrote in a statement.

Many parents seemed happy with the family’s decision to keep their possibly disease-ridden children away for 28 days.

“I think for another couple weeks. I don’t think it would hurt, I mean you have a lot of children that are involved, so I don’t think it would hurt,” said local parent Billy Dennison.

“Them taking an extra week beyond the 21 days before coming to school is more than appreciated,” another parent said.

Interestingly enough, Dallas, Texas has had 3 cases of Ebola and is only 1,500 miles away from New Jersey. Yet for some reason the school hasn’t taken any steps to quarantine any students from Texas…

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Texas Hospital Botches Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Opps Texas Hospital

Nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas are making some scandalous accusations about how the facility treated the first Ebola case in the United States.

On Tuesday, several anonymous nurses spoke to reporters in a conference call organized by National Nurses United and complained that the hospital’s sloppy Ebola protocols left workers and hospital systems prone to contamination. One nurse said Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States, languished for hours in a room with other patients upon arrival and that officials resisted isolating him. “Oh, you’re coming from Liberia and your temperature is 103? Well just sit over here in this crowded waiting room for a few hours!”

Others accused the hospital of providing nurses with flimsy protective gear while they were dealing with Duncan’s highly contagious blood, vomit, and feces. Plus, Duncan’s lab samples were sent through the hospital’s pneumatic tubes, which nurses say could’ve contaminated the entire system.

Based on this testimony, it was no surprise when the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed Wednesday that a second health-care worker who treated Duncan has tested positive for Ebola.

The latest infected nurse reported a fever on Tuesday and was immediately isolated – but not before she flew to Cleveland and back. Although this was the day before she felt sick and people with Ebola are not contagious until they exhibit symptoms, the CDC wants to contact all 132 passengers “because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness.”

CDC Director Thomas Frieden said that the nurse should not have been traveling on a commercial airline (no kidding) and admitted that the Dallas hospital was still learning how to cope with the Ebola crisis (again, no kidding).

“I wish we had put a [rapid response team] on the ground the day the first patient was diagnosed,” Frieden said. “That might have prevented this infection.”

The infected health-care worker will soon be transferred from the Dallas hospital to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, because clearly Dallas didn’t handle the first case all too well.

On a lighter Ebola note, yelling “I have Ebola” on a plane can lead to trouble of the “I have a bomb” variety. A man on a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to the Dominican Republic reportedly sneezed and joked that he had Ebola. Big mistake. Flight attendants reported the incident and when the plane landed, passengers were told to stay on the plane as crews in hazmat suits came onto the aircraft and whisked away the Ebola joker despite his insistence that “I ain’t from Africa!”

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Dallas Ebola Patient Dies

Current Event Cat - Hazmat Ebola

Texas Health Presbyterian announced on Wednesday that Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola within the United States, has died.

Duncan, who caught the virus in his native Liberia while helping an infected, pregnant neighbor get to the hospital, was being kept in isolation in a Dallas hospital and receiving experimental drugs – which clearly didn’t work. The 42-year-old, who was visiting Texas to marry his baby mama, is the first of five patients treated for Ebola in the U.S. to have succumbed to the disease.

Now that the deadly virus has hit U.S. soil, it’s time to get serious. The Department of Homeland Security has ordered agents at airports and other ports to put in place new screenings for Ebola for passengers from West Africa, including taking temperatures of passengers. Beginning next week, passengers at Washington Dulles International, Kennedy Airport, O’Hare International, Hartsfield-Jackson International and Newark Liberty International will be screened and questioned by airport authorities.

While officials in the U.S. are making sure Ebola infected bodies stay out, workers in Sierra Leone are threatening to pile them up. Burial workers in charge of putting the bodies of Ebola victims in the ground have gone on strike, claiming they have not been given hazard pay by the government.

“We cannot bury them because we are risking our lives and those in charge are depriving us of our money,” one team member said.

Another declared that, “We don’t even care if dead bodies litter all over the city. All we want is our money. We have been stigmatized in our communities, so let the government try to pay us our money.”

So now there are Ebola corpses rotting in the sun? That can’t be good…

The CDC estimates that worldwide, nearly 3,500 people have died from the virus. The Sierra Leone strike could make the outbreak even worse as dead bodies begin to pile up. Maybe this is a job for the 4,000 U.S. troops Obama pledged to send over?

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Time to Panic: First Ebola Patient in U.S. Identified  

Rick Perry Ebola

The first case of Ebola inside the United States has been discovered in Dallas, Texas.

The patient, a 40 year-old Liberian man visiting the Dallas area named Thomas Eric Duncan, is currently being held in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Duncan had direct contact with a woman infected with Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia four days before he left for the U.S. to visit family members.

Duncan is the first person to develop symptoms outside of Africa during the current epidemic that has officially killed more than 3,000 people. But will he be the last? Not if the number of schoolchildren he came in contact with are any indication…

Health officials are closely monitoring more than a dozen people who had close contact with the country’s first Ebola victim – including five schoolchildren and three members of the ambulance crew that took him to the hospital. Officials say they are just taking precautions and none of the people who came into contact with Duncan when he was experiencing active symptoms have shown signs in being infected. Yet…

But Americans have nothing to fear, Texas Governor Rick Perry is on the job! Yes, the man who can’t remember three talking points and believes socialized health care is the root of all evil will be tackling the Ebola crisis head on.

“This case is serious, but rest assured that our system is working as it should,” Rick Perry said. “There are few places in the world better-equipped to meet the challenge this patient poses. The public should have every confidence.”

Although hospital officials did acknowledge that the emergency room staff mistakenly sent Duncan home with antibiotics when he initially sought treatment a week ago even though he told them he had recently arrived from Africa… so maybe the public shouldn’t have every confidence, just some confidence.

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The Ebola Virus is Out to Get Donald Trump

Donald Trump Ebola

As the Ebola virus continues to terrorize West Africa, Donald Trump is trying to make sure it stays far, far away from him and his precious combover.

In a series of tweets, Donald Trump let it be known that Americans infected with Ebola should be kept out of their own country because the US has bigger problems to worry about – like how to rid themselves of Donald Trump.

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Trump said doctors who treat Ebola patients “are great,” but shouldn’t be allowed to seek treatment back home if they get sick.

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Trump’s latest outburst came after humanitarian Dr. Kent Brantly, the American humanitarian stricken with ebola in Africa, was transported to Atlanta to receive specialized treatment. His assistant, missionary Nancy Writebol, who also contracted the disease while working with patients suffering from Ebola, was also returned to the US shortly after.  Both Americans received an experimental serum that appears to be helping them survive the extremely lethal virus, which has a fatality rate as high as 90 percent.

On the one hand, if there’s one thing Americans can agree on, it’s that Donald Trump is probably much worse than the Ebola virus. And yet for some reason he is allowed in the country – so why not a few Ebola infected doctors?

But on the other hand, maybe we should hear him out this time. After all, Donald Trump probably knows a thing or two about contagious diseases stemming from infected animals –he’s been wearing a dead possum on his head for decades.

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