Sunday, October 5, 2014

Will A Flood Of Ebola Victims Seek Refuge In The U.S.?

One thing we clearly know about Ebola is that the countries in West Africa, where these infections are originating, lack the medical conditions to effectively fight the disease and save lives.  For that reason, every time an American contracts the disease, they are airlifted back to the states in order to get critically needed medical care.

Therefore, it seems to me that some West Africans, who suspect they are infected, may well try to reach the United States in order to save their own lives.  After all, the current airport screening  method is simply to take each passenger's temperature and have them fill out a questionnaire so officials can try and ascertain if they were exposed.  That's it.

But, let's say someone knows they are exposed and desperately needs access to U.S. medical services.  As noted by the DailyMail, a passenger could minimize their fever by taking ibuprofen.  Then, it's just a simple matter of lying on the questionnaire.   The latter is apparently what happened in the case of the Dallas Ebola patient from Liberia, Thomas Duncan.

Just two weeks before Duncan showed up in Dallas, Obama said: "In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home."  But the unlikely happened and we weren't prepared.  Because, Thomas Duncan went to the hospital emergency room, demonstrating all the symptoms of Ebola and he was sent home. While the Centers for Disease Control are busy locating anyone who had contact with Duncan, there still remains the fact that he was able to "reach our shores" and that is not being addressed.

For this reason, I think that the Obama Administration would be well advised to restrict air travel to and from the infected areas of West Africa.  Otherwise, we nay have a flood of Ebola victims seeking care in the U.S. and putting each and everyone of us at risk.

Lastly, the beginning of the flu season is just around the corner and, we know that Ebola first demonstrates itself with flu-like symptoms.  I can't imagine what chaos we will see as hospitals and doctors try to sort out possible Ebola from the common flu.  Another reason why travel restrictions should be paramount for controlling the entry of Ebola patients to our country.


How to get into America with Ebola: Ibuprofen and a lie:

Liberia, US Hospital Both Say Ebola Patient Lied About Exposure:

Obama, Two Weeks Ago: 'Chances of an Ebola Outbreak Here ... Extremely Low' (unlikely):

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