As LU Staff noted in an earlier post, an “Ebola situation assessment” released by the World Health Organization reveals that the incubation period for the disease is 42 days — not 21 as previously reported. The WHO document further notes:
Two negative RT-PCR test results, at least 48 hours apart, are required for a clinically asymptomatic patient to be discharged from hospital, or for a suspected Ebola case to be discarded as testing negative for the virus.
PT-PCR, short for “real-time polymerase chain reaction,” is an assay for determining if the body is producing antigens to the Ebola virus. A positive test result would indicate the presence of the virus.
Both findings call into question the CDC’s handling of the Ebola crisis up till now, and especially its on-the-spot determinations that people suspected of infection are disease-free. Such an instantaneous diagnosis was made in the case of the recent traveler to Africa who vomited in a parking lot at the Pentagon on Friday.
Now a pair of tweets posted by Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a cardiologist and co-author of Dick Cheney’s medical memoir “Heart,” challenge the agency’s guidelines for protecting health care workers from risk of infection. In short, its “protocols,” celebrated yesterday by Barack Obama in his weekly address, are flawed.
One of the tweets deals with errors in the CDC’s recommendations for suiting up in protective gear. The other highlights mistakes in the recommended procedure for disposing of gloves.
This is from CDC web page for Ebola personal protective equipment. Notice exposed skin at face & neck. Unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/ChTJwOFGE7
— Jonathan Reiner (@JReinerMD) October 16, 2014
Obama also acknowledged that “before this is over, we may see more isolated cases here in America.” Unless the agencies tasked with protecting the public and the administration decide to get serious about this scourge any time soon, we are apt to see more cases than we should.
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