Concerns that virus could enter US proven valid


As the first American case of Ebola was confirmed in Dallas yesterday, some laid blame on the Obama administration’s lax immigration policies for the ease at which the illness penetrated the nation’s borders.


During the past year, the federal government has struggled to deal with an influx of immigrants, 75 percent of which have arrived from countries other than Mexico.

The scale of diseases entering the US became apparent earlier this year when several Border Patrol agents working in crowded detention facilities began contracting illnesses, such as H1N1 swine flu, scabies and chicken pox, stemming from contact with diseased illegals.

Indeed, as more cases of tuberculosis and other contagious illnesses surfaced, experts began predicting that, given the lack of border security enforcement and health screenings, viral outbreaks occurring in parts of the world such as West Africa had a higher chance of reaching the U.S.

“Why are more doctors in the southern border states not already on alert to handle sudden increase in TB, adult chicken pox, measles, H1N1 influenza, dengue, Ebola, plus other unknown but lethal diseases?” asked practicing medical doctor Elizabeth Lee Vliet back in June.

Dr. Vliet and a host of politicians and medical professionals, including radio host and epidemiologist Michael Savage, were long ago warning of the dire threats posed to public health by the Obama administration’s de facto open border policies, which allowed illegals into the U.S. absent proper health screenings.

“These diseases are highly contagious,” wrote Vliet, “especially in crowded and poor sanitary conditions in the detention and processing centers where thousands of illegals are housed until sent to other areas of America, without full screening for such diseases.”

“Many of the diseases of concern, such as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, have NO effective treatments,” wrote Dr. Vliet, noting infectious disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.

Others, such as Texas Rep. Phil Gingrey, expressed concerns that “the border poses many risks, including grave public health threats.”

“Reports of illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning,” Gingrey wrote in a letter to the CDC back in July.

While the CDC claims the Ebola patient did not cross through the southern border, last month, Dr. Vliet cast a prediction that the “global array of viral illnesses,” in addition to the nation’s porous borders, were a recipe for disaster.

“Ebola is one of the most lethal diseases we face, with a death rate from 60-90 percent of infected patients. It is a horrible death as the virus attacks the blood vessels leading to hemorrhaging internally and externally. There are no good treatments or vaccines,” she wrote.

Additionally, the doctor highlighted, the CDC unbeknownst to the public has already established emergency health facilities across the country to deal specifically with an Ebola outbreak.

“If risk is so low for the U.S., why is the CDC quietly setting up Ebola Quarantine Centers in 20 cities across the U.S.? Why did the Congressional Record report that Ebola bio kits have been deployed to National Guard units in all 50 states?” Dr. Vliet questioned last month.

Alarmingly, the CDC has also proceeded to issue guidelines to U.S. funeral homes on how to deal with the corpses of dead Ebola patients, and the U.S. State Department has also put out a bid for 160,000 Hazmat suits in anticipation of a viral outbreak.

Concerns over an American Ebola outbreak were also raised last month when the US decided to fly patients infected with the disease back into the US for treatment, rather than restricting flights from affected regions.

With fears of an Ebola pandemic coming to fruition inside the United States, the administration can now drop its facade of securing the border and move forward with efforts to scale up emergency powers, such as those outlined in the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act – which among other things would “Force persons to be vaccinated, treated, or quarantined for infectious diseases” – and President Obama’s executive order mandating the apprehension and detention of “well persons” who merely show signs of “respiratory illness.”






DALLAS — Health officials in Dallas are monitoring at least five schoolchildren in

North Texas who came into contact with a man found to have Ebola virus, after he became sick and infectious.

The authorities also said that an early opportunity to put the patient in isolation, limiting the risk of contagion, may have been missed because of a failure to pass along critical information about his travel history.

The patient was identified by Liberian health officials and The Associated Press as Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national. Mr. Duncan came to the United States on Sept. 20 aboard a commercial airliner and officials said that he had shown no symptoms of the disease while on the flight and that he had posed no threat to other passengers.

The body of Sonny Boy Williams, 21, hours after he was picked up alive from his home in Monrovia, Liberia. The man who flew to Dallas and was later found to have the Ebola virus, identified by Liberian officials as Thomas Eric Duncan, helped Mr. Williams carry his sister, Marthalene Williams, 19, who was stricken by Ebola, to and from a hospital last month. She died the next day.

Liberian Officials Identify Ebola Victim in Texas as Thomas Eric DuncanOCT. 1, 2014

Mr. Duncan worked at a shipping company in Monrovia, Liberia, but had just quit his job, giving his resignation in early September, his boss said. He had gotten a visa to the United States and had decided to go, his neighbors said. He lived alone, but has family in the United States, they said.

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Mr. Duncan may have become infected after his landlord’s daughter fell gravely ill. On Sept 15, Mr. Duncan helped his landlord and his landlord’s son carry the stricken woman to the hospital, his neighbors and the woman’s parents said. She died the next day.

Soon, the landlord’s son also became ill, and he died on Wednesday in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. Two other residents in the neighborhood who may have had contact with the woman have also died. Their bodies were collected on Wednesday as well.

Health officials in Dallas said Wednesday that they believed Mr. Duncan came in contact with at least 12 to 18 people when he was experiencing symptoms. So far, none has been confirmed infected.

The five children, who possibly had contact with Mr. Duncan at a home over the weekend, attended four different schools, which authorities said would remain open. As a precaution, they said all the schools — including one high school, one middle school, and two elementary schools — would undergo a thorough cleaning.

“This case is serious,” Gov. Rick Perry of Texas said at a news conference. “This is all hands on deck.”

Health officials on Wednesday continued to track down other people who might have been exposed to Mr. Duncan after he began showing symptoms, on Sept. 24, and will monitor them every day for 21 days — the full incubation period of the disease. Most people develop symptoms within eight to 10 days. As a patient becomes sicker and the virus replicates in the body, the likelihood of the disease spreading grows.G

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas spoke at a news conference in Dallas on Wednesday. Credit Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Even as public officials sought to reassure the public that the situation was under control, there were questions about how the patient was treated when he first went to a hospital on Sept. 26.

Dr. Mark Lester, executive vice president of the Texas Health Resources System, said the hospital staff had been instructed to ask patients about their travel history, following the advice of federal authorities.

That checklist, he said, was utilized by a nurse and the patient volunteered that he had just come from Liberia. “Regretfully that information was not fully communicated” to the full medical team, Dr. Lester said.

As a result, that information was not used in the clinical diagnosis and Mr. Duncan was sent home, with the diagnostic team believing he simply had a low-grade fever from a viral infection. He was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance two days later, his condition having significantly deteriorated. He remains in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas in serious condition.

In the time between Mr. Duncan’s trips to the hospital, health officials said he came into contact with more people while he was symptomatic and infectious. The contacts possibly included the five children who saw him over the weekend before going to school on Monday.

Other people who came into contact with him include relatives and the medical technicians who took him by ambulance to the hospital. At least three Dallas Fire and Rescue emergency medical technicians were being monitored and were in isolation at home, according to officials.

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The five children who had contact with Mr. Duncan are being kept home from school, according to David Daigle, a spokesman for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team that is working with local health officials to trace the contacts. Adults without symptoms do not have to stay home or be quarantined, but will be visited once a day for 21 days by health teams to have their temperatures taken and be checked for signs of illness. The first round of visits to contacts took place on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Daigle said.

Mr. Duncan, who was visiting relatives in the United States, was not ill during the flight to America, health officials said at a news conference Tuesday. Indeed, he was screened before he boarded the flight and had no fever.

Because Ebola is not contagious until symptoms develop, there is “zero chance” that the patient infected anyone else on the flight, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the federal disease centers, said. Ebola is spread only by direct contact with body fluids from someone who is ill.

Since the outbreak in West Africa, there have been more than 100 reports to the disease centers from local health departments concerned that a patient might have been exposed to the virus, according to officials. Roughly 14 of those cases led to blood tests to determine if the virus was present. The man in Dallas is the first one whose test came back positive.

The Dallas-Fort Worth region is among the state’s most ethnically and racially diverse. There are an estimated 10,000 Liberians living in the four-county area known as North Texas that includes Dallas County. One active community group, the Liberian Community Association of Dallas-Fort Worth, was founded more than 30 years ago. It appeared that Mr. Duncan had been staying with relatives who lived near the hospital in the Fair Oaks section of Dallas.

“The C.D.C. is on the ground, and we are going individual by individual that he had contact with, making sure they are in the appropriate isolation,” said Mayor Michael S. Rawlings of Dallas. “There is very little risk at this point for folks that just live in the general area.”

Still, many in the community were skeptical of the assurances of public health officials, especially as they hear ever more dire reports from relatives and friends back in Africa.

Manny Fernandez reported from Dallas, and Marc Santora from New York. Norimitsu Onishi contributed reporting from Monrovia, Liberia, and Denise Grady from New York.