Demystifying Medicine One Month at a Time

Tag: Ebola outbreak

From the Mailbag

Yes, we’re baaaa-aack. Here’s a letter from one of our readers:

Dear GlassHospital,

media hysteriaWhile I am a firm believer in the infallibility of doctors and modern medicine, I am desperately struggling with the Dallas handling of an Ebola patient. Sure, sometimes there’s that perfect storm of things gone wrong, opportunities missed, etc (think about the assassination story of Archduke Franz Ferdinand – seems it was destined to happen) but the spread of infectious diseases need not be history-making-world-changing-events in today’s “modern” era, should it? Is there that much of a divide between the knowledgeable and the uninformed – a gap that rivals our economic disparity? Is politics playing a role here, like [Texas Gov. Rick] Perry won’t allow any federal coordinated oversight/CDC management?

I used to watch silly action movies (“Whitehouse Down” for example) and think, “that would never happen! there’d never be such a dumb-ass breach of security like that!” Now I question if I’m the silly dumb-ass who believed there was a working system in place.

So tell me Dr. Glass: while I retain confidence in individuals and continue to hold doctors in high esteem, should I/can I trust hospitals?


A Lost Patient

Medical Fright: Ebola [UPDATED]

Amidst the clatter of the Middle East, children fleeing danger to come across our borders, and lawsuits against the White House, there’s this:

Ebola virus.ebola virus

Like a steady drumbeat getting slowly louder, we now know that the current outbreak of Ebola, which causes hemorrhagic fever and is highly fatal if contracted (some outbreaks kill 90% of those infected), is the largest ever.

If you haven’t been too frightened or bothered by it (“it’s only in Africa, after all…“), you should know that somehow two unfortunate Americans who’ve risked their lives to fight the outbreak have caught the dreaded pathogen. Very recently it’s “been decided” (note the use of passive voice) to evacuate them home to our shores for treatment. Ford Vox, a doctor and journalist, poignantly asks, “Who invited Ebola to Atlanta?”

Social media (Twitter, etc.) is alive with information and speculation about all of this. As scary as Ebola is, I found this a compelling tweet that helps put things in perspective:

Let’s get those vaccines when they are available, recommended, and required. And let’s hope this Ebola outbreak peters out.

UPDATE: The first U.S. Ebola patient has already arrived at an Atlanta hospital.

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