Disease Through the Border: Coming to a Child Near You

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I’m a perimenopausal mom with a 10-year-old daughter who just started in a new charter school.  She is healthy, hilarious and right now happily enjoying reading her next to last book in the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series. The last thing she’s thinking about is disease headed her way through the border… but she probably should be.

Like many families getting back in the routine of a school year, we race around in the mornings, after hitting the snooze alarm one time too many and rush out the door with exactly eight minutes to spare before the first bell rings at school.  All the while, my daughter is putting on her socks and shoes and brushing her hair as we squeal out of our driveway on two wheels.

“Did you pack your glasses? ” “Did you remember to brush your teeth?”  “What about your reading log?”  “Please tell me you put it in your folder…” Some days, I feel like I will be at Betty Ford before she enters middle school…

Retired U.S. Border Patrol Supervisory Agent Zach Taylor. (Sierra Vista Herald)Speaking of…A sobering  fact that you may not recall is that three months ago, Joe for America first broke the riveting and chilling interview with 26-year Border Patrol Agent, Zach Taylor.  Rodney Lee Conover wrote about Taylor’s forewarning of what was coming across our porous southern border as he predicted a “large national crisis.”
The recent Fox News report of the death of a 10-year-old Rhode Island girl, Emily Ortrando, from complications surrounding Eterovirus 68 infection, increased the total death toll of this mysterious polio resembling viral infection to four.  Every news channel is reporting about the second possible infected Ebola patient in Dallas, Thomas Duncan and possibly one in Queens, New York and Honolulu, Hawaii as well.
And, again,  I am haunted by Zach Taylor’s predictions.  Listen to his entire 14-minute interview if you do not know what I am talking about or listen again, if you saw it and have forgotten…It will give you a great deal to drink, I mean, think about.
So, is it just me or does it seem like the inmates are running the asylum?  First,  we are told on every main stream media outlet that Ebola is not a threat because we are a civilized society and have the most advanced healthcare system in the world.  Then, we are told that, yes, someone did actually enter into our country with Ebola but he wasn’t exhibiting symptoms when he was on the three separate airline segments, from Liberia, so he was not actually contagious.
And then Dr. Mark Lester, executive vice president of Texas Health Resources admitted in a CNN.com interview that the nurse who took Duncan’s initial information regrettably did not fully communicate to the rest of the team that he was from Liberia so the team allowed him to return home to his northeast Dallas location with a prescription for pain killers and antibiotics.
But, no need to worry, folks.  Seriously.  The Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, Zachary Thompson, says that the disease has been contained to “family members and close friends.”  (Except for the fact that Duncan came in contact with “at least five children from four schools before he was hospitalized.” as confirmed by Superintendent Mike Miles of Dallas Independent Schools).
Whew.  That’s a relief.
Until the reports surface that actually the number being monitored has risen to “more than 12..” Oh, wait… Now CNN is reporting that up to 100 were possibly in contact with Duncan.   Also, those five children who were in contact with Duncan who attend four different schools?  That combined student population equals a staggering 3,500.
BUT NO NEED TO PANIC! These four schools are being sanitized and they will remain open according to CNN.
So, let me get this straight: Are Dallas parents in these four schools sending their children back to class before the 21 day incubation period of Ebola ends?
I just found another article from CNN.com (I am as stymied as you right now) entitled “Ebola in the air? A nightmare that could happen” by Elizabeth Cohen, Senior Medical Correspondent.  She quotes Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota: “It’s the single greatest health concern that I’ve had in my 40-year public health career.
I can’t imagine anything in my career- and this includes HIV- that would be more devastating to the world than a respiratory transmissible Ebola virus.”  He went on to say that each time someone contracts Ebola, the virus has the opportunity to mutate and develop new capabilities or as Osterholm calls it, a “genetic roulette.”
I know that if it were my ten year old daughter who came in contact with one of those five children being monitored, I would definitely not allow her to go back to school right away.  Call me crazy but there are too many unanswered questions and inconsistencies.
For instance, if this virus is not airborne, why did the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy recommend respirators for all  Ebola healthcare workers? (cidrap.umn.edu)  Just answer me that.
I’m suddenly not in as huge a hurry to get my daughter to school today…

About Author

Lisa Burgard

Lisa Burgard was born and raised in Danville, Virginia but made the move after college to the big apple as a TWA JFK-based flight attendant. Transitioning to Director of Dior's Flagship Boutique on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, she traveled twice to Paris for the fashion week buy. She was recruited by competitor, CHANEL, to manage their sales team where she enjoyed a fast pace with some of the world's leading celebrities, business and political clientele. After meeting her husband, Chris, she relocated to the West Coast where together they formed Little Bonanza Productions. Their 2007 award-winning documentary, Border, screened for Congress and the Senate. They share a 13 acre ranch outside of Los Angeles with four horses, three cats, four dogs, thirty seven chickens, a donkey, a parrot and their designer-aspiring, ballet dancing ten year old daughter.

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