The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta (CDC) reports that doctors and nurses are fleeing the Ebola hot zones in Liberia amid fears that the virus is more easily transmitted than first assumed.
A report conducted by doctors at the CDC noted: “Before the epidemic, six physicians served all four counties. At the time of the evaluation, only three physicians remained; the others had left Liberia because of the epidemic."
This report comes amid news that a Spanish nurse is the first to be diagnosed with Ebola outside of West Africa.
The CDC has assured the public that the risk of catching Ebola is small if the patient is not exhibiting symptoms. But that doesn't explain how trained doctors and nurses who are dressed from head to toe in protective suits are contracting Ebola so easily.
Dr. C.J. Peters said he isn't sure that Ebola isn't spread through the air. "We just don't have the data to exclude it," he said.
Nurses in America are advising the CDC that hospitals aren't prepared to treat Ebola patients if an outbreak should occur here.
"A lot of staff feel they aren't adequately trained," said Micker Samios, an ER nurse at Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Washington D.C.
Also of concern to nurses is the lack of information regarding sexual transmission of the Ebola virus. There is a small window (as many as several days) between transmission of the virus and the beginning of symptoms when the virus is built up enough in the bloodstream to be transmitted through semen -- even though the patient is not showing symptoms.
The first Ebola patient diagnosed on U.S. soil, Thomas Duncan, is on a respirator unable to breathe on his own at a Texas hospital. He was given an experimental antibody serum 10 days after his admission to the ICU.
The current outbreak of Ebola is the largest since the virus was first discovered in central Africa in 1976.
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