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How Do We Detect the Atypical Ebola Case

Ebola is not a new disease and we have a lot of data and knowledge of this disease from years of experience with it.  As we keep hearing the screening guidelines for Ebola as issued from our own CDC are based in “fact”. These “facts”, as reported by the CDC do seem to be evolving and changing frequently and there seems to be some important “facts” that are being left out of the equation.

Currently the CDC states that so long as an individual's temperature does not exceed 101.5 degrees and there are no visible symptoms of Ebola, health authorities say it should be assumed the person is not infectious.

Let’ review some previous studies of the disease that do not substantiate these “facts”.

Ebola Can Be Spread Through An Asymptomatic Person

As reported in the year 2000, scientists were aware that the Ebola virus could infect a person without them being aware or show any symptoms of the disease. The New York Times cited the findings of a study published in a prestigious medical journal, reporting:  “The Lancet, a medical journal published in London, has documented such infections for the first time. They found that the Ebola virus could persist in the blood of asymptomatic infected individuals for two weeks after they were first exposed to an infected individual. How much longer the virus can persist is unknown.”


13 Percent of Those Infected with Ebola Do Not Have Fever

US health officials have repeatedly emphasized that fever is a reliable sign of infectiousness. Albeit the definition of “fever” has fluctuated.

A study, sponsored by the World Health Organization and published online late last month by the New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed data on 3,343 confirmed and 667 probable cases of Ebola.
So long as an individual's temperature does not exceed 101.5 degrees and there are no visible symptoms of Ebola, health authorities say it should be assumed the person is not infectious. Yet the largest study of the current outbreak found that in nearly 13% of "confirmed and probable" cases in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and elsewhere, those infected did not have fevers.


Ebola Is Spread Via Droplets

The CDC has recently changed their narrative that Ebola can indeed be spread through the air, although they have quickly pointed out the differences in infections that are truly spread through the air like chickenpox and Tuberculosis verses diseases that are spread via droplets.  Droplets spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose, or mouth of another person. Droplets travel short distances, less than 3 feet (1 meter) from one person to another. A person might also get infected by touching a surface or object that has germs on it and then touching their mouth or nose.  Droplet spread diseases include: plague, Ebola.

In my opinion- they are splitting hairs here, because in general what many healthcare providers have been saying is that indeed Ebola can be spread by droplets through the air.  The recent CDC post also addresses the fact that Ebola can contaminate objects like doorknobs via droplets as well.



I think all the American people want is a truthful and complete discloser of the facts, the “evolving” facts being issued piece by piece have only served to undermine the confidence the people have in the CDC and other government officials.  As I have always said with healthcare, I feel it necessary that each person educate themselves on the facts and make their personal decisions based upon their own research.

If we have documented case histories of those with active Ebola infections not running a fever, documented case histories of those that can carry the disease and be asymptomatic – why is our admission criteria for getting into our country simply checking for fever.

Blog post by Capra Dalton RN

Ebola: Beyond the Hype - Online Continuing Education Course

To help you sort out the facts, Pedagogy has release a continuing education course for nurses and other healthcare professionals on Ebola.  Author Colleen Garcia’s Ebola: Beyond the Hype is a one contact hour course that will review the recent Ebola Virus outbreak in the United States; discuss epidemiology, signs and symptoms, prevention and supportive care for patients and victims of this virus.   We will trace the virus back to West Africa in countries such as Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone where it’s currently at an epidemic level.

To start your online course or read more about the curriculum click the course title above.

Posted: 10/31/2014 8:04:27 AM
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