In the past 24 hours, at least four patients have been admitted for signs of Ebola only to be cleared within hours after being screened by questioning.
Yesterday a patient at Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital in Amarillo was admitted with signs of Ebola and reported having been in contact with a person that had recently returned from an area in Africa where the Ebola outbreak is occurring. The patient was isolated along with the triage nurse that assessed the unidentified patient. According to local news reports the patient responded that he or she had been in contact with a person who had traveled recently to the Ebola stricken region but unidentified “officials” claim that the person had not traveled to any of the four affected West African countries in the past 21 days. Due to this assertion the patient and the nurse were released from isolation.
Unfortunately, it must be recognized that Ebola has now been contracted in Texas as well as in Africa and experts expect it to occur again.
In Midland, Texas two patients were similarlycleared last night without medical testing. “The state did not deem them as possible cases based on the history and the signs and symptoms, and no test was authorized,” according to Val Sparks, Inspection Preventionist for Midland Memorial Hospital.
According to the interviewer that spoke with Val Sparks, testing for Ebola can only be done by the State Health Department in Austin. This revelation is especially troubling for area residents because another possible Ebola patient in Midland was said to have been cleared by medical testing although the tests were done locally.
That patient was removed from a commercial airline flight after it made an emergency landing at Midland International Airport last week. The patient was held at Midland Memorial Hospital for 24 hours.
An hour ago a news report stated that Midland Memorial Hospital was ‘prepared for more Ebola cases’ yet also stated that these cases “did not meet criteria for Ebola testing,”
A spokesman for University Medical Center (UMC) in Lubbock, Texas told reporters that it takes two days for conclusive Ebola test results. That city recently deployed hazmat crews to transport a possible Ebola victim from their residence to University Medical Center. Lubbock police confirmed the man had recently traveled to the Ivory Coast in Africa.
Lubbock EMS Director Chris Teague said there were other people present in the house where the patient was found. While they were all said to have been “attended to according to protocol” the hospital spokesman revealed that the state will not be testing any of them for Ebola.
According to a local news report “Early Thursday afternoon, medical personnel were handing out masks at the emergency room entrance to UMC. (EMS Director) Teague said the masks were in response to “flu-like symptoms” exhibited by a patient, but that the situation had been cleared. Teague could not confirm if the two patients were the same person.
Since the Ebola outbreak in Texas began, each day has brought confirmation that individuals must be prepared to rely upon their own knowledge and preparedness in order to keep themselves and their families safe.