As always happens with major news, further details have brought clarity and inflection to the situation.
First of all, the patient allegedly lied on his exit paperwork in Liberia, claiming that he had not knowingly been exposed to Ebola. He had, in facts been helping Ebola patients.
Apparently, Liberia plans to file charges against him.
This is unfortunate, but not unexpected. Someone who’s been exposed to Ebola, will likely face any consequence to come to the United States, where his odds of survival go up substantially.
Shutting the border might well make things worse, if it were even possible.
Assuming the patient survives, he should be shipped back to Liberia as soon as he’s able, and barred from entry to the United States in the future. And, if anyone actually develops Ebola from exposure to him, they’ll have a heck of a civil case against the guy.
Speaking of people exposed to him, reports are that up to 100 people may have been exposed since her developed symptoms.
There’s considerable concern by the public that this high number means officials mishandled things, but it doesn’t surprise me at all. The Feds are retracing every step he took since he got sick, and are contacting the people that might be exposed.
That’s how it should be.
There is some concern about how the patient was sent home after the first visit to the ER, but that’s using the benefit of hindsight. Before this week, we hadn’t ever had an Ebola diagnosis in the US. Missing it is unfortunate, but understandable. I’m sure it’ll be peer reviewed.
Five of the people exposed to the patient are children in the Dallas school system. Many parents with kids in these schools are keeping their kids home.
This is a tough situation. Intellectually, the risk is extraordinarily low. None of the exposed children have exhibited symptoms.
But if it were my daughter’s school, I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t do the same thing. So, I’m not going to judge.
I have no doubt we’ll have additional developments in the coming days, so I’ll comment further as the situation warrants.