Judge Clay Jenkins ask for the Ebola Watch List, and Was Told They Didn’t Have One

From the BostonGlobe:

The top administrator in Dallas County rushed to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital last week responding to urgent news: One of its nurses had caught Ebola from a patient. He quickly asked for the hospital’s watch list to determine who else might be at risk.

Judge Clay Jenkins, who is overseeing the county’s emergency response, was told there was no list. Simply put, nurse Nina Pham and her colleagues, who handled fluids, inserted IVs, and cleaned Thomas Eric Duncan in his dying days, were supposed to take their own temperatures and let someone know if they felt ill.

That was not nearly enough for Jenkins, and that night, he began making changes. Hospital officials told potentially exposed workers to stop seeing patients other than Pham.

Now the CDC has been wrong, has been lying, and this is what will cause mass panic even if the deadly Ebola Virus died right now. The list didn’t even exist so when did it exist? When was this list created? Who was suppose to be watching their own temperatures and who wasn’t suppose to go on vacation?

‘‘I don’t think the directions provided to people at first were as clear as they needed to be, and there have been changes in the instructions given to people over time,’’ said US Representative Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican and doctor who did his residency in Dallas.

Area health officials have said repeatedly during the response that their guidance and directions can change.

Thursday, Jenkins unveiled stricter restrictions, requiring hospital staff who had been potentially exposed to avoid the public for 21 days and check their temperature twice a day, once in person with a health worker. It was the first written order anyone being monitored has been asked to sign.

‘‘They can walk their dog, but they can’t go to church; they can’t go to schools; they can’t go to shopping centers,’’ said Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Public health epidemiologists were notifying the health care workers of the directions Friday, said Texas Department of State Health Services spokeswoman Carrie Williams.

Officials said 125 friends, family, doctors, nurses, technicians, ambulance drivers, and others may have been exposed in the days before Duncan died Oct. 8. Since then, the two nurses have tested positive and at least 18 other people in Texas and Ohio have been identified as secondary contacts who merit watching.

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.