Exactly when will people begin to panic in an outbreak of Ebola in the United States? 5 cases? 10? A hundred or more?
What’s it going to take for people to begin going full “Walking Dead” with their property, families and willingness to protect them from a virus this contagious and this deadly?
Which reminds me, “The Walking Dead” series begins a new season this evening… perhaps in Dallas?
Update at 10:30 a.m.: During a news conference Sunday morning, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stressed that the spread of Ebola can be controlled.
At the same time, though, Dr. Tom Frieden cautioned: “Unfortunately it is possible in the coming days we will see additional cases of Ebola” in health care workers. Exposure can result from a “single inadvertent slip,” he said.
“We have spoken with the health care worker,” who cannot “identify the specific breach” that allowed the infection to spread during the treatment of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan.
Texas’ health commissioner, David Lakey, said the health care worker had “extensive contact” with Duncan.
Health officials said the health care worker is believed to have had contact with only one person while symptomatic.
“We have been preparing for an event like this,” said Lakey, who added that the state is “refining” its contingency plans.
The CDC has sent additional staff members to Dallas to “assist with the response” to Ebola, Frieden said. But the national health agency also tries to “keep to a minimum” people who provide care to patients with the virus.
As officials were reassuring the public that Ebola can — and will — be contained, neighbors near the apartment complex where the second victim lives gathered to discuss the news.
“It just breaks my heart. … She was just an innocent woman who took care of someone who was sick,” Colleen Watson said. “She did her job, and probably with full empathy and kindness, and for this to happen to her is so much sadder than any other case.”
Dina Smith was holding her 3-year-old daughter, still in disbelief that the first contracted case was just a block away.
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