Cognizant of not wanting to create hysteria, the Centers for Disease Control is keeping a lid on information concerning some of the potential Ebola victims it is keeping track of across the United States, as WHO officials prepare to declare a global health emergency.
Yesterday we reported on remarks by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta in which he divulged that health authorities had tested at least six potential Ebola victims but that “their stories were not made public,” suggesting that the CDC was keen on preventing panic.
It subsequently emerged that those six patients were not all situated in New York, where a suspected Ebola sufferer was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital on Monday, but that the other five individuals were located in different areas across the country.
One of the other patients was likely a woman in Ohio who tested negative for the virus, while another, who later turned out to have contracted malaria, was being treated at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland.
The CDC is refusing to release details on the other three patients, with health officials failing to reply to questions posed by Breitbart’s Warner Todd Hudson pertaining to the status and location of the individuals.
In another story, a patient suffering from flu-like symptoms after returning from west Africa was admitted to CentraState Medical Center in New Jersey. Officials downplayed the issue and said the patient was improving, although they failed to acknowledge whether the individual had tested negative for the Ebola virus.
The CDC also told Time Magazine that it had received dozens of calls from states and hospitals across the nation concerned about people who recently returned from west Africa reporting illnesses.
“We’ve triaged those calls and about half-dozen or so resulted in specimen coming to CDC for testing and all have been negative for Ebola,” CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said. The fate of the other dozens of individuals who reported symptoms remains unknown.
The CDC is also “alerting health departments and hospitals across the country to be hyper-vigilant watching for potential exposure to Ebola in any person who has traveled from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria in the past 21 days.”
With Ebola deaths now being reported in Saudi Arabia and Morocco, the virus has spread to five different countries. World Health Organization officials are currently meeting in Geneva to decide whether to announce a global health emergency.
Scientists in Canada and Canada’s Public Health Agency have both acknowledged that the virus has likely gone airborne at least to a limited degree, while the CDC has urged airline staff to take steps to prevent the airborne spread of the virus, including giving suspected Ebola victims surgical masks as well as directing staff to “not use compressed air, which might spread infectious material through the air.”
Leaked Customs and Border Protection documents revealed earlier this week show that thousands of immigrants from Ebola-hit nations have attempted to sneak across the U.S. border this year, leading to concerns that the many more who are not apprehended pose a health risk.
Concern is growing that U.S. hospitals could be insufficiently prepared to deal with a wider outbreak of the virus.
“Many hospitals are poorly prepared to contain any pathogen,” writes Betsy McCaughey. “That’s why at least 75,000 people a year die from hospital infections. If hospitals can’t stop common infections such as MRSA, C. diff and VRE, they can’t handle Ebola.”
As we reported last week, President Barack Obama signed an amendment to an executive order which allows health authorities to detain Americans who merely show signs of respiratory illness.
The CDC has also outlined measures for dealing with an outbreak of a communicable disease which allow for the quarantine of “well persons” who “do not show symptoms” of the disease.