Updated 12:09 PM EST, Sun, Dec 05, 2021

Ebola Virus In the U.S. - News Update 2014: Fallout From Lack of Training, Nurses Complain in Dallas, Texas

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Fallout is beginning to mount against the hospital administration of Texas Health Presbyterian, whose nurses failed to recognize Ebola symptoms in Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national who recently traveled to Dallas. Duncan took himself to the hospital after suffering from a longstanding fever. Duncan was sent home, only to return three days later with heightened symptoms.

While Duncan was outside of the hospital, it is estimated that he came into contact with more than 50 people. Out of the amount of contact, so far only a nurse from the hospital has been diagnosed as having the Ebola Virus.

The trouble arises for the Texas Health Presbyterian based on the fact that Duncan specifically told them that he recently visited West Africa. For most of the general public, without any medical knowledge, that would have been a telltale sign or at least enough motive to perform further testing. A crucial error happened and now someone must answer for the blunder, which had the possibility of being extremely costly.

Dr. Daniel Varga, the chief clinical officer for Texas Health Services, spoke in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the lack of knowledge that Texas Health Presbyterian medical workers had. "Unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes," Varga said in written testimony to lawmakers. "We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry."

Members of the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian are blaming the training, or more precisely the lack of training that they had regarding the Ebola Virus. Nurse Brianna Aguirre told NBC's "Today" show that, "We were never told what to look for. All I know for sure is that Duncan was put into an area where there are around seven other patients," Aguirre said. "We took around three hours to make first contact with CDC to let them know what we had of our suspicion. There were no special precautions other than basic contact precautions. No special gear."

Although 'finger pointing' is not going to fix the recent Ebola scares in America, the real issue at hand is virus education. Medical professionals and even the general public need o be factually informed about the Ebola Virus and what signs and measures should be taken. There is no need for panic, but good information needs to be readily available for all those who wish to have it.

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