THE EBOLA EPIDEMIC CONTINUES-SURGEON IN NEBRASKA DEAD!

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Some sad news to report today as another US victim of Ebola succumbs to the deadly disease. Even more than his death, this situation reveals some important information about our readiness and state of affairs to deal with diseases like Ebola (and whatever else might be coming in the future).

US Doctor Dies 2 Days After Return

Dr. Martin Salia is the latest US victim of Ebola. He is a surgeon originally from Sierra Leone who lived in Maryland. The good doctor returned to his native country to help out and offer care to those infected with the disease. Less than 48 hours after his return to the US, he died. What happened?

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According to a CBS News report, the doctor was much sicker than previous Ebola patients who had been successfully treated at US facilities. The hospital, Nebraska Medical Center, indicated that he was already suffering from advanced symptoms of the disease upon his arrival. These symptoms included kidney and respiratory failure and the doctor was placed on dialysis, a ventilator, and many different medications. He even received a dose of convalescent plasma and Zmapp therapy. It should also be noted that this same hospital had previously treated (successfully) two other Ebola patients.

False Negative Test Doomed Salia

It seems as if getting Doctor Salia effective treatment was delayed by a false initial negative test result. According to a Washington Post report:

“But when his symptoms remained nearly a week later, Salia took another test, on Nov. 10. This one came back positive, sending the Sierra Leonean doctor with ties to Maryland on a desperate, belated quest for treatment and forcing the colleagues who had embraced him into quarantine.”

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So, it now seems that even if someone receives an initial negative test result, this does not mean they can relax or that they are out of the woods. This is not really something the media has reported either. Early tests for Ebola can be inconclusive. It is also interesting to note that Doctor Salia was not working in a hospital considered to be explicitly part of the fight against Ebola. There didn’t seem to be danger and he was not wearing the protective gear used by teams in epidemic areas (since he was not in an epidemic area).

Continued at DOWNTREND 

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