In a late effort to try to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will begin monitoring travelers from specific African areas, known to have Ebola-related deaths. CDC Director, Tom Frieden announced plans yesterday to ease concerns about the possibility of an Ebola pandemic, that could result from an open-border, and free reign of international travelers who may come to the U.S. seeking treatment.
Modern Healthcare reported that beginning October 27th, travelers from suspected areas will have to monitor their temperatures, daily, and report any Ebola-related symptoms immediately. Individual States in the U.S. are responsible for reporting incidents to the CDC and enforcing steps to ensure containment. With that, comes the possible issue of states exercising invasive measures against citizens, that directly violate Constitutional Rights, with no system in place of checks and balances. Frieden also indicated that travelers from Ebola-stricken areas, with a final destination of New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey will be carefully monitored for 21 days after arrival. This will hopefully ensure that the spread will not continue.
This last-ditch effort is of little consolation to critics who believe that not enough was done to prevent the threat in the first place. Clearly, Thomas Eric Duncan is a prime example of the negligence [of medical officials] that put the lives of many people in jeopardy. Can the CDC be trusted to manage the care of an entire populous, given the lack of tactical measures in place, or concern? The Guardian published news last week of a statement issued by Tom Frieden, CDC Director, warning that: “Ebola is like a forest fire that can reignite at any point if all embers are not extinguished.” He went on to say that “It will take meticulous work, and we cannot take shortcuts.”
The U.S. government has done very little to stop the potential spread of the deadly Ebola virus on domestic soil, at the first sign of danger. The end of September proved to be frightening, with Thomas Eric Duncan, returning to the U.S. though he had been afflicted with Ebola during a visit to Africa. The mainstream news was saturated with stories of Ebola-related deaths in Liberia, yet Duncan was not restricted or quarantined upon arrival. He died less than a month later at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, TX., after first being discharged for 4 days, with Ebola.