In June 2014, the first patient with Ebola arrived at Liberia’s county hospital, Redemption. As tensions grew around the city of Monrovia, administrators at JFK Hospital began to devise plans for handling patients with suspected Ebola. Officials from the CDC then came and gave us lectures. They discussed prevention of spreading and what our plans would be in the event of a potential outbreak. Before that moment, there were no ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, October 20, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Ebola: Politicos Mull Travel Restrictions; Docs Say No. As Ebola continues to dominate the headlines, one hotly debated question is whether the U.S. should ban travelers from the West Africa nations where the disease is raging, as a preventive measure.
  2. Ebola: Do the Dogs Have It? Bentley, the dog ...

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With all the news about enterovirus 68 sending hundreds of children to hospitals, it's easy to panic when you hear about a case in your neighborhood -- or, even worse, if your child starts coughing. But please, don't panic. This virus has certainly caused trouble and tragedy. But enteroviruses are incredibly common, causing 10-15 million illnesses a year -- and usually, those illnesses are minor. This one, for reasons we ...

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The unknown unknowns of Ebola: A message to physicians I did not think I would ever quote Donald Rumsfeld in one of my blog posts, but some of the missed opportunities as well as the media and public panic surrounding the Ebola epidemic in West Africa have brought this quote to the forefront of my mind this past week. First, let me share my personal view of the Ebola crisis in ...

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How did a Dallas hospital miss Ebola? Maybe we shouldnt be surprised. The first “wild” Ebola case in the United States has occurred in Dallas, Texas. The patient, who is from Liberia and had contact with a pregnant Ebola victim in his native country, was initially sent away from the emergency department (ED) of a Dallas hospital after reporting there with viral symptoms. He told the triage nurse that he had just arrived ...

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This weekend the kids and I had our influenza immunizations. There is always a difficult lead up as Oliver has severe anxiety around every medical procedure. An EKG (painless heart rhythm test) and a throat swab cause extreme fear and often tears and anything with a needle, well, let’s just say that’s on a whole different level of terror and emotional pain. I remind myself that his anxiety is a normal response ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, October 17, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Confusion Clouds U.S. Ebola Response. As officials from Washington to Atlanta to Dallas sift through the rapidly changing flow of information regarding treatment of Ebola in the U.S., the first Dallas nurse infected with Ebola will be transferred to a high-level treatment center in Bethesda, Md.
  2. Ebola: Emory to ...

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As Ebola spreads, what can we do to help? Last week, after dinner, as I was rinsing the dishes, I casually mentioned to my wife, "I spoke with the volunteers at Doctors Without Borders today, and they need help." This was before the first case of Ebola was diagnosed on U.S. soil. A pregnant silence fell in the kitchen except for the clattering of dishes and the boiling of water as ...

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Nurse Nina Pham is a hero: Stop blaming her The director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia apologized for implying that the nurse in Texas was responsible for her own infection with the deadly Ebola virus. This comes less than two weeks after hospital officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and other prominent officials blamed a different nurse for releasing the patient with Ebola from the emergency ...

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Ebola in Texas: A fascinating story of system errors Ebola is in the United States!  Everybody (please don't) panic!  Quarantine all Texans!  Though that might be a good idea anyway (just kidding).  More on Ebola in general in another post if I have time. First off though, we've found out more information about the sequence of events leading to the hospitalization of the patient, Thomas Duncan.  Apparently, he came ...

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