Do-gooder Doctor Brings Ebola Infection To New York City

Dr. Craig Spencer, part of the group Doctors Without Borders, dressed up in his anti-Ebola superhero outfit. Either the outfit or Dr. Spencer failed to keep the Ebola out of Dr. Spencer's body during his trip to West Africa to fight the deadly disease. Knowing the risks, supposedly better than just about anybody, associated with Ebola Virus infections, Dr. Spencer decided not to self-isolate upon his recent return to the USA, and instead chose to spread himself around New York City via subways, taxis, even bowling alleys. Unfortunately, his Ebola Virus went with Dr. Spencer on his travels.
Before do-gooder doctor, Craig Spencer (fresh back from West Africa), was officially diagnosed with Ebola on Thursday, he had spent days riding New York City subways and even going bowling.

Dr. Spencer should have known that there was much heightened concern especially about returning health care workers from Ebolaland. However, it seems Dr. Spencer acted like the rules did not apply to him.

Of course, what rules, right?

While the federal government does not have a mandatory quarantine or isolation order in effect (yet) for returning health care workers from West Africa, Doctors Without Borders, the group Dr. Spencer was working for, was quick to post its statement and its guidelines for its personnel retuning from treating African Ebola patients.

Part of that statement—about “protocols” of course—was quite clear that Doctors Without Borders supported Dr. Spencer roaming around densely packed New York City:
“Our colleague in New York [i.e. Dr. Spencer] followed the MSF protocols and guidelines since returning from West Africa.”
Right after that, the DWB statement says:
“At the immediate detection of fever on the morning of October 23, 2014, he swiftly notified the MSF office in New York.”
Great, but the New York Times report on Dr. Spencer’s illness says that medical workers tending to him noted his “immediate detection” was of a fever (103°)* that was much higher than the usual onset fever for Ebola. The Times notes this:
*—see Update below
“A health care worker at the hospital said that Dr. Spencer seemed very sick, and it was unclear to the medical staff why he had not gone to the hospital earlier, since his fever was high.”
And, Dr. Spencer reported he had been feeling “sluggish” (fatigue is an onset symptom for Ebola) for a couple of days prior to his diagnosis.

Did Dr. Spencer just kind of forget to monitor his temperature because he figured he was invulnerable? Or was his temperature only mildly elevated, so he ignored its significance? We should note that is what happened with one of the Dallas hospital nurses infected with Ebola, the one who traveled to Ohio. That nurse had a low-grade fever, and was still cleared by the CDC to travel from Ohio back to Texas. And why is this monitoring left to medical workers themselves to do?

Maybe the Ebola Czar or the Wizard of Oz can answer that. Because the American people are really tiring of spins from the CDC, and all the other alleged experts about Ebola.

Another article in the NY Times today, entitled “Can You Get Ebola From a Bowling Ball?”, speaks to the fear people naturally have that Dr. Spencer had smeared his Ebola germs all over bowling balls at the alley he visited.

The article says:
“It is extremely unlikely that Ebola could be passed that way.”
BUT
“…it might be possible.”
And given the experts' and President Obama’s record so far with avoiding the "extremely unlikely", which they seem to regularly run into like the Titanic into its iceberg, we might want to keep an eye on the bowlers who were around Dr. Spencer at the lanes.

Most troubling in the bowling article is this assertion:
“[Ebola] does not normally survive for more than a few hours on a hard, dry surface.”
Oh good. Because as we know, nobody would likely have touched the same dry surfaces as Dr. Spencer in a bowling alley, or on subways—for hours!?

Yet another NY Times article, by “science” writer, Carl Zimmer, claims once again the Obama-CDC propaganda line that Ebola is nothing to worry about because flu kills “thousands”. In fact, that figure is greatly exaggerated, as CDC’s own mortality reports show flu killing hundreds—sometimes just a few hundred—each year. The lethality of Ebola is vastly greater than the flu.

From the CDC 2010 report on mortality in the USA. Note the deaths from Influenza broken away from those of pneumonia. In 2010, the reported deaths from flu were only 500, not thousands. The estimated deaths from flu CDC regularly issues are based on worse-case scenarios involving the most lethal strains of flu. In fact, Ebola is many times more lethal than influenza.
And with the doctors treating Ebola, and who should know a great deal about it, acting like such idiots, why should the American people trust that Ebola infections will not spread widely, and with deadly impact?

The correct answer seems to be: quarantine returning West African aid workers.

After all, if they’re willing to sacrifice their lives to go fight Ebola in West Africa, they should be willing to sacrifice their convenience to make sure they’re not killing American citizens with Ebola when they come back.


Mary Travis Bassett, NYC Department of Health Commissioner explains there's nothing to see here, as she revises the reported initial temperature of Dr. Spencer's fever. Note that even on the graphic displayed with Bassett's image on Morning Joe today, the 103° temp is being reported. Why would NYC wait so many hours to correct such an important piece of the story?
UPDATE: October 24, 2013, 11:13AM—Now, the New York City Health Department is reporting Spencer's temperature when he first developed a fever was 100.3°, not 103°. Speaking on MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday morning, Mary Travis Bassett, NYC Department of Health Commissioner, said that Spencer "followed every rule" and was "well" until he got sick and called Doctors Without Borders to report a change in his condition. However, Bassett did not address why Spencer's "sluggish" condition, which he reportedly had on Tuesday, and which would seem likely to have been fatigue associated with the onset of Ebola, did not qualify as an Ebola symptom. In fact, Bassett herself claimed: "When I was an intern, we didn’t even really consider [100.3°] a fever." This is confusing, to say the least, since clearly Dr. Spencer had a fever sufficient to cause him concern on Thursday and his alleged reported temperature when he checked it was (according to this morning's revision) 100.3°. Associated Press is now saying Spencer's initially reported temperature of 103° was given to the media by the New York City Health Department on Thursday night because there had been a "transcription error" in relaying the data. Bassett also did not explain why the hospital worker, described in the New York Times article, would have thought it worth noting the advanced nature of Dr. Spencer's fever and condition when he was treated. Is this an updating and correction of data, or an attempt at spinning the reports now to try to avoid a panic in New York City?

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