According to breaking news the first American to die of the Ebola virus, Patrick Sawyer, boarded three planes before his death. Sawyer had passed out upon arrival in one of Nigeria’s most populated cities, Lagos, and passed away during his quarantine. Liberia has since closed their borders as an attempt to stop the spread of this epidemic. So far the virus has infected more than 1,500 people, and killed more than 600. Federal health agencies are saying the United States has little to worry about, but without closing borders and air flights from countries that have been infected with the virus — how can this incurable virus be stopped from entering other countries? Swayer had plans to fly to Minnesota to visit his wife and daughters sometime in August before his unexpected death.
According to CNN, Lagos health officials have been unsuccessful locating all passengers, because the airlines have refused to provide the names of all passengers who shared the three flights with Sawyer. His itinerary included arriving in Ghana, then he flew onto Togo where he “switched planes to fly to Nigeria.” Apparently some passengers have been identified and placed on a “high risk” list. So far, only 59 identified and 20 of them were tested for Ebola, however it’s unclear if any of the 20 tested positive. It can take between two to 21 days before symptoms appear.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the virus spreads through an infected person’s bodily fluids, but not all infectious diseases have the same exposure guidelines for bodily fluids. The bodily fluids that make the Ebola virus contagious include all secretions — including saliva, and urine. For instance, the CDC states if an object has microscopic droplets of saliva from an infected person(s) the virus can easily be transmitted if someone else comes in contact with that object.
So far, two American health care workers have tested positive for the Ebola virus. Dr. Kent Brantly, and Nancy Writebol were both working with Samaritan’s Purse, and both are currently under medical care. On average it’s estimated only 10 percent of those infected survive.
Since February West Africa has seen this epidemic spread to unprecedented numbers. According to CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, “the grim reality is it often kills so quickly, people don’t have time to spread it.” Yet this current epidemic has been ongoing for more than six months, and is the worst Ebola outbreak in history — it appears Dr. Gupta’s statement may be an unsound medical opinion of the current situation that has killed more than 600 people, has spread to four countries, with one American who has died from Ebola.
Deputy Director of the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Stephan Monroe, said he believed additional cases will be ongoing for months, and the situation will continue to have unpredictable swift changes.
Since the virus has not shown any signs of regression. Liberia officials have officially closed their borders, and anyone entering or leaving must be tested for the Ebola virus. It has also been confirmed that one of Africa’s largest airline companies, Arik Aire, has halted all flights to Liberia.
Tom Frieden, CDC director, said they have warned U.S. health care workers “how to isolate and test suspected patients,” and to follow “strict infection-control procedures,” as they plan ahead in case the Ebola virus arrives in America.
Do you think countries who report positive testings for this virus should immediately close their boarders and ground all flights?