Ebola death: Time to stop pretending the world is safe.

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Robert Pratt

The headline on Wednesday read: “Fiancee’s friend says Ebola patient apologized, said he would have preferred to die in Liberia.” I can understand that, believe it, and understand why he did what he did to come here hoping that our medical expertise could save his life.

Thomas Eric Duncan was an otherwise strong, healthy male and died of Ebola in a Texas hospital. Another story released after his death was headlined “Dallas Ebola patient’s death underscores why rapid response makes a difference.” But is that really the story? Or, is this yet another example of how many have understated the dangerous nature of the disease?

We’ve heard many say that the disease has such a high mortality rate only because of a complete lack of healthcare infrastructure in Africa. But, it is clear that what we’ve always known is true: this is a very dangerous, deadly disease which should be treated with extreme caution.

…is this yet another example of how many have understated the dangerous nature of the disease?

Would have faster treatment mattered that much as the headline suggested? The victim’s treatment was started fairly fast after first becoming seriously symptomatic even though he was sent home after his first visit. The symptoms so mimic those of the flu and other common diseases, it seems unreasonable to think we could isolate and treat everyone immediately who has a fever and is nauseated should the outbreak expand.

It is very sad that Thomas Eric Duncan lost his life to Ebola in a Dallas hospital. His death should not go without lessons learned. It is time to pull heads out the proverbial sand and recognize the threat Ebola and other infectious diseases pose to the wellbeing of all. The immigration reform we need is reform of how we guard our borders and how we deal with those we do admit to the country.


Addendum: Now we have spread of the deadly disease from the traveler to a Texas healthcare worker. Keep abreast of all the news in my special Ebola in Texas section.

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