Keys To Controlling Ebola In The US: Travel Records And Infection Control

Maryn McKenna | WIRED | October 1, 2014

If you’re at all interested in infectious diseases, you’ve probably heard by now that a person traveled to the United States while infected with Ebola, was diagnosed and is now in a hospital in Texas. (I was on a flight without Wi-Fi yesterday from before the press conference was announced to after it concluded. Turning my phone on after arrival was… interesting.)  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a press conference yesterday afternoon (transcript is here), and WIRED’s Greg Miller covered it.

The quick details:

  • The infected person flew from Liberia to the US on Sept. 19-20 to visit family members who live in Texas.*
  • He began to develop symptoms on Sept. 24 (important because victims are infectious only after symptoms develop).
  • He went to an ER in Dallas on Sept. 26 and was given antibiotics and sent home.
  • Two days later, Sept. 28, he was taken by ambulance to Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and was admitted on suspicion of Ebola and put in isolation.
  • The test results confirming the diagnosis came down yesterday, the same day as the announcement.

...There’s been so much coverage of this in the past 24 hours, and the story is so fast-moving, that it’s not useful to point out specific news sources. But I want to recommend two good posts that explore the background to this while trying to knock down the panic, and then raise two questions of my own...