Via The Guardian, a disturbing report: US Ebola patient told staff of Liberia travel but was allowed to leave hospital. Excerpt:
The first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola outside Africa told medical staff that he had recently travelled from west Africa, but was not admitted to hospital until he returned two days later, health officials in Texas said on Wednesday.
Thomas Eric Duncan told a nurse at a Dallas emergency room that he had recently visited Liberia, which has been ravaged by the Ebola outbreak. But an executive at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital told a news conference that the information was not widely enough shared with the medical team treating Duncan, and he was diagnosed as suffering from a “low-grade common viral disease”.
Duncan’s sister, Mai Wureh, told the Associated Press that he first visited the emergency room on Friday, but was sent home with a course of antibiotics – an outcome that hospital chiefs described as a matter of “regret”.
Duncan was admitted to hospital when he returned two days later. He was described as being in a serious but stable condition on Wednesday.
Officials said they are monitoring 12 to 18 people who may have come into contact with Duncan, including five school-age children and three members of the Dallas-Forth Worth ambulance crew that transported him to the hospital. The crew members tested negative for the disease but have been sent home as a precaution, city officials confirmed on Wednesday.
Speaking in the parking lot of the apartment complex where Duncan was staying, Mesud Osmanovic, a 21-year-old manual labourer who lives there, said he saw the ambulance arrive.
“When the ambulance came his whole family were all screaming, he got outside and he was throwing up all over the place … when he was throwing up he was trying to walk and he couldn’t walk,” Osmanovic said.
He said he had met Duncan only a couple of times but knew him as kind and helpful to residents. “I know him through his family … This ain’t his first time coming to America,” he said. “He was a quiet guy, a really nice guy.”
Apparently to stop media from entering, the main way in to the complex was blocked by armed private security guards who said they had been hired at the request of the owners. The complex is located in Dallas’ Vickery Meadows district less than a mile from the hospital where Duncan is a patient.
So it wasn't just that Duncan was behaving irrationally; the hospital staff totally dropped the ball and gave the poor guy antibiotics. Someone's career should hit a six-foot speed bump over that decision.