Today is Day 25 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. The suggested blog topic is to give your 2 cents on any topic in the news.
Ebola is one of the hottest news topics today. Since my husband Ray is a paramedic working at a hospital ER, which is one of the professions at higher risk to exposure of Ebola, I have a great interest in this topic. Ray believes that most hospitals across the U.S. are not prepared. Those most at risk are health workers treating Ebola patients, their families or those in close contact with health workers who are exposed, and mourners in direct contact with those who have died from Ebola.
The New York Post reported that an “extraordinary number” of staffers at the New York Bellevue Hospital took a sick day instead of treating Dr. Craig Spencer, and the ones working were petrified to enter his isolation ward. One source reported that a nurse pretended she was having a stroke to get out of working on the floor, but once she was cleared in the ER, she was sent back there.
I can understand this hesitancy to not want to go near an Ebola patient. I don’t even like being around people who are coughing or have colds or sore throats, or want Ray, my kids, or grandkids around them.
But we can’t panic. We have to trust God to protect us. I am praying Psalm 91 over me and my household, other family members and friends.
Some of Ray’s co-workers are expressing fears about possibly having to treat an Ebola patient and saying they’d walk out and not be exposed. Reassuring, isn’t it? But I can’t blame them…it is really scary. They are in training now for the possibility of Ebola patients, as many hospitals are.
Fox News reports that the two nurses treating Dr. Spencer are taking turns, with one acting as a buddy watching the other.
Dr. Spencer is a Doctors Without Borders volunteer. He was diagnosed with Ebola after one week of returning from Guinea treating Ebola victims.
He is in stable condition and is being confined to a pressurized room, watching t.v. and eating hospital food. He’s not allowed visitors but when his room is equipped with a video camera, he’ll be able to Skype with friends. The hospital where my husband Ray works has a pressurized room but it’s not near the ER, which is not a comforting thought.
Fox News reported that a healthcare worker who arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport from West Africa developed a fever and is the first traveler to be quarantined under an Ebola watch.
New Jersey’s and New York’s governors have ordered a mandatory, 21-day quarantine for anyone who has had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa countries. Now the governor of Illinois has ordered a similar quarantine program.
The nurse Kaci Hickox criticized her treatment and her quarantine, saying she was left in isolation at the airport for 7 hours and only given a granola bar when she said she was hungry. Seriously?
Officials said she had developed a fever after arriving. She disputed she had a fever. A forehead scanner showed her fever to be 101, but that was four hours after she had been held. She said her cheeks were flushed and she was upset about being held for no reason. I’d think a nurse would know if she had a fever or not! A female officer looked smug and said, “You have a fever now.”
She was eventually escorted by 8 police cars to a hospital, taken to a tent outside the building. A doctor there said there was no way she had a fever and that her cheeks were just flushed. She tested negative for Ebola. More tests will be conducted to confirm the findings.
This is where I have a problem with quarantines. Overreaction, control, panic. If people are quarantined, they need to be treated with human dignity.
Doctors Without Borders said in a statement that a quarantine of that nature would be going too far and that people who contract Ebola are not contagious until symptoms begin.
Let’s not start locking people up without making sure a quarantine is necessary. Dr. Kent Brantly, a missionary who contracted Ebola in Liberia and recovered, believes there is a lot of irrational fear about Ebola. He shares a lot of wisdom in the video.
My take on it is that we need to take it very seriously. I believe borders need to be (should have already been) closed, and it must be fought in Africa so it won’t spread to other nations. But we must not panic.
We have to trust in God and look to Jesus, who is the Healer. I am praying much about Ebola. Will you join me in those prayers?
The first human outbreak from Ebola was in 1976 in northern Zaire and southern Sudan. It was named after the Ebola River, where the virus was first recognized.
The virus’ origin is unknown, but fruit bats are the likely host. It’s extremely infectious but not extremely contagious.
Ebola can’t be spread through the air, water, or food, and a person infected with Ebola can’t spread the virus to others until symptoms appear.
You can’t catch Ebola from a mosquito.
Usually the symptoms appear 8-10 days after exposure to the virus, but the incubation period can span two to 21 days.
In Guinea, there have been 904 deaths from Ebola; in Liberia 2705 deaths; and Sierra Leone 1259 deaths; and in the U.S. 1 death, originating from Liberia.
There’s no specific treatment or vaccine, and the fatality rate can be up to 90%.
Patients are given supportive care, including fluids, electrolytes, and food.
The signs and symptoms of Ebola are:
- Severe headache
- Muscle pain
- Coughing and chest pain
- Diarrhea (may be bloody)
- Stomach pain
- Red eyes
- Severe weight loss
- Unexplained bleeding or bruising; internal bleeding, which can then lead to bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose and mouth.
- Initial symptoms are flu-like including fever, headache, and lethargy, and then lead to severe diarrhea and vomiting.
Ebola is spread through:
- direct contact (through broken skin or through your eyes, nose, or mouth) with Blood and body fluids (urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
- objects (like needles) that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola.
Let’s continue praying fervently about Ebola. God have mercy.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
I recorded a podcast, No Place for Fear, that you can listen to by clicking here. The podcast will be available on Itunes in a few days, where you can subscribe to it.