The Ebola Outbreak of 2014, Part 1

The WHO revises its stats: 6574 cases, 3091 deaths. Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone have the highest rates of infection (“Ebola Virus Has Killed More Than 3000 People, WHO Says”, Wall Street Journal, 9/28/2014).

Thomas Duncan becomes the first person to die on US soil of Ebola, having flown from Monrovia through Washington DC to Dallas, Texas. According to USA Today (“Liberia Says Dallas Ebola Patient Lied on Exit Documents”, USA Today, 10/3/2014), apparently when questioned by Liberian officials at a Liberian airport as to whether or not he had touched the body of any Ebola-infected person, Duncan stated he had not. Liberian officials report Duncan was known to have been caring for a person infected with Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia, and that they plan to prosecute him for lying about it.  According to the NY Times, the family of the woman Duncan helped stated that Duncan helped physically carry the woman to an Ebola clinic there. The woman later died, having not been able to get treatment as the clinic was full (“U.S. Patient Aided Ebola Victim in Liberia”, NY Times, 10/1/2014).

10/2014: Whether or not Thomas Duncan is prosecuted by Liberia is now moot, as Duncan passes away in a Texas hospital.

Meanwhile, it is reported that 2 nurses who treated Duncan in a Texas hospital have contracted the Ebola virus (“Second Health Care Worker Tests Positive for Ebola in Texas”, Dallas News, 10/15/2014). The CDC is now looking to talk to 132 people who were on the same flight from Ohio to Dallas with one of the nurses on October 13, as she reported first feeling ill the day after the flight.

Where it goes from here, no one knows. But since this is a record of life in 2014 and beyond, I will be adding Ebola updates to the news section of my blog now. It’s not to upset anyone, it’s a record of this outbreak as it happens. Sort of like if you went to the library and looked up the Yellow Fever epidemic in the microfiche archives.

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