Dallas Officials Take Precautionary Measures: Health Workers to Stay Home

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As of yesterday, Texas officials have moved in response to the threat of further spreading Ebola in the US. Health care workers that came into contact with the dying Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan have been forced to remain home. There are 75 members of staff Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas that have potentially contracted the virus from Duncan. In addition to remaining away from work, each individual has been asked to sign a contract which forbids them from residing in densely populated areas, and from using public transport.

This was decreed by Judge Clay Jenkins, the top administrator for Dallas County, who also mentioned that the contracts are legally binding. As such, the restrictions can be enforced, though the exact details of those measures are unknown. Jenkins does believe that these ‘punishments’ would not be necessary, and is confident everyone involved will be fully co-operative:

“We are agreeing that they won’t go where people congregate — public spaces — and we are agreeing that they will self-monitor and allow us to monitor them twice a day.”

Officials are not taking any risks in giving Ebola the opportunity to spread, seeing as the mortality rate is considerably high, with no known cure. This precaution is just one of many that have been taken by officials.

Others include an investigation into the flight taken by Amber Vincent, a 29 year old nurse who was displaying symptoms of the disease after returning to her home in Texas. Although transmission has been proven possible only when the victim is showing symptoms (which Vincent was not during the flight), and further still through contact with bodily fluids, Officials have been contacting pasengers of the flight that travelled on Monday. Frontier Airlines are asking concerned passengers to contact the Centers for Disease Control if they either shared Vincent’s flight, or took a later flight on the same plane.

At present, monitoring potential carriers of Ebola is arguably of greater priority than treating those that have it. Even the Dallas County’s top public health epidemiologist, Dr. Wendy Chung, is being screened for the disease:

“Yes, I have been alongside other physicians and nurses in addressing this patient,” Chung said in an email. “I am under the same monitoring protocols which are currently recommended for my clinical colleagues who are in the same exposure category as mine.”

Hospitals are under pressure to practise treatement carefully, for fear of only worsening the situation. There have already been accusations by National Nurses United, stating that ‘sloppy procedures’ have uneccessarily endangered the health of nurses.

The hospital responded, but did not address the union specifically:

“third parties … who were not present when the events occurred are seeking to exploit a national crisis by inserting themselves into an already challenging situation.”

So far Ebola has killed one victim and infected two nurses, causing fear and anxiety to sweep across the US.

[ via  Yahoo!]

Matthew Tomlin | News Cult

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