“An Abundance of Caution”: CDC Monitoring Man in Oak Park

“An Abundance of Caution”: CDC Monitoring Man in Oak Parklisa schmidt law

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 18, 2014)


A Liberian man visiting family in Oak Park is under scrutiny by the Centers for Disease Control and Oakland County Health Division. Although the man has never come in contact with anyone infected with the Ebola virus, and has no symptoms, he is being asked to stay in the Oak Park home voluntarily and is subject to twice daily phone calls from Oakland County to monitor his health. The phone calls are expected for at least 21 days.

A press release sent from Oakland County says this is being done in “an abundance of caution.” Liberia, an impoverished nation on the West Coast of Africa, has had an outbreak of the virus and seed010_todd_blakenshipover 4000 people have died from suspected infections, mainly in Africa. In the United States there has been one death from the virus, and his caregiver at the hospital in Texas has become infected. The total number of infections in the US is three as of Friday.

Panic over an Ebola outbreak spreading to the United States is being fueled by the media and by politicians using the disease as talking point. Ebola is a virus that has been around since at least as far back as 1976.

According to the CDC, Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with:

~blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with EbolaReid_Sally_115

~objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus

~infected animals

Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.

There is no evidence that mosquitoes or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.

Ebola is only contagious if the person is experiencing active symptoms. Worldwide the fatality rate MBREW draft oneaverages around 50%, but quality of care makes a significant difference in health outcomes. Once a person recovers from the infection, they are no longer contagious and may have immunity from the disease for up to ten years. Because of this, vaccines are being developed and tested, but are not yet available.

The press release from Oakland County stated that “The Liberian man entered the United States through an airport in New York City. There, he was screened in accordance with CDC protocol before being permitted to enter the country. The man said he had had no contact with anyone known to have the Ebola virus and was observed to be symptom free at robert wittenberg election 2014 adthe time of arrival. When he landed at Detroit Metro Airport, he was screened a second time by the CDC which showed he remained symptom free.”

Oakland County Health Division provides a wealth of information about Ebola, including links to information on the CDC website, at http://www.oakgov.com/health/Pages/Ebola-Virus-Disease.aspx.

The Associated Press is responding to the increase of sensationalized and premature stories about Ebola threats, informing editors that they are not reporting on suspected cases. “Often the fact of an unconfirmed case isn’t worth a story at all. On several occasions already, in the U.S. and abroad, we have decided not to report suspected cases. We’ve just stayed in touch with authorities to monitor the situation,” they said in a release.

The CDC website provides daily updates on Ebola cases, and resources to learn more. http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html.

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