News Release

The CDC and Ebola

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden is testifying before Congress today.

MERYL NASS, M.D., merylnass at gmail.com, @nassmeryl
Nass writes at the Anthrax Vaccine blog. She said today: “Testing people at airports is rather meaningless since someone could be infected with Ebola and not show symptoms, like increased temperature, for three weeks. Thomas Eric Duncan didn’t show symptoms when he came to the U.S. from Liberia. Clearly the CDC was wrong to allow nurse Amber Vinson to fly on a commercial flight. Unfortunately, these are just the most obvious and most recent of the problems of the CDC responses to the Ebola outbreak.”

See Nass’ recent blog entry, “Current clinical thoughts on Ebola,” which raises ten critical points. The first is: “Even the best containment gear, combined with a diluted bleach solution to spray down workers as layers are removed, and a buddy system that requires another healthcare professional to watch how healthcare workers take off their personal protective equipment, is not perfect. Medecins Sans Frontieres / aka Doctors Without Borders / aka MSF workers used the best equipment and methods we know, still 16 MSF staff became infected with Ebola, and nine of them have died.” Her most recent entry is: “Aerosolization tests of Ebola in Animals at USAMRIID [U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases] confirms disease can spread via air.”

Last month, Nass wrote the pieces “U.S. Ebola: Frieden Said Every Hospital Was Ready. He is Wrong” and “Ebola Opinion: What do you do when you can’t tell those with Ebola from patients with other conditions?

Also, see Oct. 7 piece by David Willman of the Los Angeles Times, who won the Pulitzer for his coverage of the anthrax attacks of 2001, which were found to originate in a U.S. government lab: “Some Ebola experts worry virus may spread more easily than assumed.” Also, see Oct. 8 editorial from the Times: “Effort to prevent panic over Ebola went too far.”