As the president and his acolytes in the press continue to peddle the idea that banning air travel from West Africa will hinder more than help the fight to contain Ebola, a story emerges that suggests it is time to restrict non-essential flights to the hot zone as well as from it. Reuters notes via Yahoo News that “the Pentagon was gripped by an Ebola scare on Friday after a woman vomited in a parking lot.” According to a statement by the military complex, the woman indicated that she had “recently visited Africa.”
The article goes on to note that there is uncertainty about exactly when the woman traveled abroad, then states curiously that “based on the public health investigation, which included the travel history, medical authorities are confident that she does not have Ebola.”
Adding to the confusion is a video accompanying the text that says that the woman was taken to an area hospital to be observed and that individuals aboard a bus on which she had traveled have been instructed to “self-monitor” for symptoms of the disease.
It seems as though the Reuters author, Phil Stewart, is going to great lengths to offer assurance where the facts suggest an “all-clear” is premature at best.
The Reuters piece seems to carry water for the White House, which has demonstrated a greater interest in quelling justifiable public fear over its willful inaction than in controlling the spread of disease. This sense is conveyed by the lack of coverage in the mainstream media of a World Health Organization report indicating that “the incubation period of the virus has been seen to extend to as long as 42 days in some cases.” WHO has also been wary of “rapid determination of infection within a few hours, noting that two separate tests 48 hours apart are required before discharging a patient or a suspected one as Ebola negative.”
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