3Ps of Ebola: Policy, Panic and Public

Treating and transporting an Ebola patient is very challenging.

Treating and transporting an Ebola patient is very challenging.

Friday’s decision by Maine’s District Court Chief Judge Charles LaVerdiere was the first indicator of much-needed public discussion & conversation about public health policies, personal liberties and Ebola.
Current CDC’s guidelines (11/1/2014), guidelines based on the latest scientific facts and gathered research data, clearly state that a person who is showing NO signs or symptoms of Ebola exposure, is NOT contagious, NOT infectious thus poses NO threat to public.

This is how World Health Organization (WHO) and the Mayo clinic describe Ebola infection’s symptoms:
“First symptoms are sudden onset of fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools).”
http://www.who.int  and   http://www.mayoclinic.org

People who have been in direct or possible linear contact with Ebola, are under direct/ active direct monitoring (Chief Judge LaVerdiere’s ruling, 10/31/14) and actively cooperating with state and local public health officials since the monitoring of signs and symptoms of Ebola exposure in persons designated as such is now the responsibility of the local and state health authorities. The moment they will start experiencing any of the above symptoms, they are instructed to contact public health officials and appropriate health authorities immediately, and exposure policies and guidelines will be followed, starting with an isolation room with a bathroom.

Government’s No #1 responsibility is to protect the public. In order to do so, public health policies must be set and enforced, yet need to be fluid, periodically re-examined and updated based on new scientific data, such as was the case of the latest updated data on CDC website regarding Ebola spread (10/30/2014).  http://www.cdc.gov

We should be setting responsible health policies based on scientific facts and latest research data, not on fear, panic or apprehension. It is up to us, healthcare professionals, relevant government authorities,
industry leaders and public officials, to clearly communicate with the public about latest events, management of the situation, and what to expect. Nothing fuels panic and fear, or breeds chaos, as a lack of information and the perception of a cover-up!

So let’s continue with appropriate monitoring, gathering data, assessing circumstances, updating policies when appropriate, but most importantly, let’s continue with communicating with the public!

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