Ebola Threat Continues

Medical Officer of Health David Colby gives a presentation on Ebola at a C-K Board of Health meeting.

The medical community continues to battle against concerns that more Ebola cases could make their way to North America.

This comes after another health worker in Dallas contracted the virus from an infected patient. She was moved to the isolation unit of an Atlanta hospital on Wednesday. Closer to home, there have been a couple of patients with Ebola-like symptoms in Canada. However, no confirmed cases have been reported.

The US has enforced rigorous screening processes at all airports, but Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby says this isn’t the best course of action. This is because Ebola is not noticable or contagious until symptoms show up. “If somebody isn’t sick when they get on a plane then people on the plane are not going to be exposed,” says Colby. “However, if they’ve been exposed to Ebola then they might become sick later, and then they become a dissemination hazard.”

According to Colby, the best plan of action to protect North America and Europe is to control the outbreak in West Africa. “There is the technological expertise to handle these situations, it’s a question of whether you have the physical and human resources in the right place at the right time.” The latest outbreak in West Africa is seeing a 70% mortality rate in infected patients.