Getting It Right on Ebola: Start With Humility and the Right Questions

October 17, 2014 8:07 PM

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Getting It Right on Ebola: Start With Humility and the Right Questions

Remember those halcyon days before two nurses in Dallas contracted Ebola from Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan? People were alarmed but not panicked, experts assumed that certainly the average tertiary care hospital in the U.S. could handle Ebola patients, and people thought it was ridiculous to think about things like cleaning elevators after an Ebola patient had ridden in one. Schools weren't closed, planes weren't taken out of service. None of that.

In retrospect, it's clear that Dallas' Texas Health Presbyterian, the 898-bed tertiary care hospital where Duncan presented, was not equipped to handle Ebola, neither Duncan's case nor those of the two nurses who cared for him.

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