Many Hospitals in the United States Are Poorly Prepared To Contain Any Pathogen
At least 75,000 people a year die in the United States from hospital infections. This is generally contributed to the fact that the hospital staff in many hospitals simply will not follow containment and sanitation procedures set forth.
Additionally, sick patients are forced to wait in waiting rooms, and this of course exposes everyone in the room, to any number of viruses and diseases. Where is the common sense when it comes to things like this? There are no established containment procedures in place obviously.
Of course, if a hospital knew they were to receive an Ebola patient, for example, they may ramp it up. The whole point is however, most of the time hospitals will not know until it is possibly too late that they have an Ebola patient lingering in the waiting room.
Thousands die each year from influenza in and out of the hospital, as well. If hospitals cannot stop common infections like MRSA, C. diff and VRE, how can they possibly handle Ebola? They cannot if history is any indication (McCaughey, 2014).
The harsh reality is that anyone can board a plane seemingly healthy, no fever and no obvious signs of illness, and yet can have a deadly virus just waiting to manifest itself. The incubation period for Ebola can be up to 21 days. People can travel the world over several times in 21 days.
Experts continually remind us that a person with the Ebola virus is not contagious until they show symptoms. The facts have been borne out from previous outbreaks and no medical professional has come forward to dispute any of the facts.
The Ebola virus is not airborne, and the chances of you catching the virus are quite low here in the United States at this time. However, this is about how the medical professionals here will react, when and if there is an outbreak. Much depends on what hospitals first do when they suspect someone has Ebola or is showing symptoms.
In 2003 when there was a SARS outbreak and hospitals around the world were on alert a man with SARS walked into a Toronto hospital, showing all the symptoms of the disease. The man was left waiting for 16 hours in the crowded waiting room. Others near him of course contracted the disease. According to a government, study that was conducted after the facts came forward about this particular incident, 77 percent of the people who contracted SARS got it while being treated as a patient or while visiting or working in a hospital.
It appears the facts are that hospitals spread diseases instead of containing them.
Side Note: The CDC who appears to be out in front of the Ebola outbreaks has had trouble with containment of pathogens themselves. In the last 90 days, the CDC has been accused of mishandling pathogens, deadly pathogens such as anthrax, avian flu and smallpox.
Unfortunately, if there were an outbreak hospitals may be the last place you would want to be. As stated earlier 75,000 people go into a hospital every year for one illness and die because they contacted another illness while in the hospital or were exposed to deadly bacteria present in the hospital.
Bacteria are rampant in many hospitals and it appears no one is doing anything about it, so what would make anything different if Ebola suddenly appeared in your local hospital, would you go to seek treatment for some other ailment.
The point is, stay away from hospitals unless you have a medical emergency. This may not be the time to visit sick friends or to volunteer at any hospital or even a doctor’s office. Limit your exposure, and limit your exposure to others generally.
You obviously cannot become a hermit but you should do what you can when you can. If failing to go to the mall is not life threatening then stay away. Bars and crowded restaurants should be avoided as much as possible as well. Do what you can to reduce your risk. You cannot eliminate the risk but you can reduce it. Put the percentages on your side.
McCaughey, B. (2014, August 04). Retrieved 2014, from http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/08/04/many-us-hospitals-not-prepared-for-ebola/?intcmp=obnetwork