The National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside of Washington, failed to contain the Ebola virus.
Almost two weeks ago, an American healthcare worker, who still has yet to be identified, was evacuated from Sierra Leone on March 14 by plane and brought to the medical center in Maryland for treatment.
“When I heard that they brought ebola patients to the United States, it frightened me. People have so much contact with each other everywhere they go so the disease would spread rapidly. Even so, I understand that the United States has the technology and medication to help the people who have ebola. I know that the NIH has already helped someone with the virus so it is a good thing they came here, but it also puts a lot of citizens at risk because anything could happen,” said senior Lindsey Frankel.
The medical charity Partners in Health said the patient is a doctor who worked in Sierra Leone, which, along with Liberia and Guinea, is struggling to emerge from the worst ebola outbreak in history.
The patient was improving, but still in a serious condition.
The NIH said, “The status of the patient with Ebola virus disease being treated at the NIH Clinical Center has improved from critical to serious condition.”
Nina Pham is an American nurse who was treated at the center. She was diagnosed with the ebola virus at a Texas hospital, along with Thomas Eric Duncan. Pham was declared free of the ebola virus on October 24; however, Duncan died from the virus.
The NIH is the premier US medical research center in the United States, equipped with state-of-the-art isolation facilities and staffed with infectious disease and critical care specialists, but the staff was unable to contain it.
The NIH reported that the staff working with the patient accidentally exposed themselves to the patient’s bodily fluids, becoming infected themselves. They ran tests on the staff and confirmed that they have the virus. However, two of the eight clinician staff members were negative for the test. These two members were sent home and, even though they were believed to be free of the virus, later became sickly.
One of the members was found throwing up in a supermarket parking lot, exposing many to the virus. The NIH has taken six civilians and the member back to their center to begin treatment. However, the other member has not been found since reporting to the NIH that he got the virus. Now chaos is erupting in Maryland as people are afraid they may have come in contact with that member and/or his bodily fluids.
On Thursday, 15 more civilians have been brought to hospitals and diagnosed as having the Ebola virus.
“I cannot believe this is happening. I thought the institute was supposed to be the best of the best, and the isolation facility and precautions taken were top notch. I mean the whole purpose of bringing the patient here was because the NIH was confident they could contain the Ebola virus. Now that they let those staff members into the public who knows what is going to happen next, ” said senior Jennifer Rodriguez.
How do you feel about this outbreak? What precautions will you take?
Oh yeah….and by the way – April Fools!!!