There’s something completely more frightening about a doctor coming down with Ebola than someone from the general public.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (L) speaks, as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (R) listens, during a news conference on the status of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer and New York’s new Ebola policies October 26, 2014. (Jason Szenes / EPA)
More than anyone else, physicians know how to protect themselves from deadly contagions. That’s why the latest case of Ebola in America is so troubling.
About a week ago, New York Dr. Craig Spencer returned to his home in the most populous city in America after spending a month treating patients of the contagious killer in Guinea.
You’d think that someone whose occupational ethos is “first, do no harm” would take extraordinary precautions. Instead, Spencer followed existing protocols, answering airport questionnaires and registering his possible exposure with U.S. immigration and health officials when he returned to the only American metropolitan area with 20 million inhabitants.
Once home, he monitored his temperature twice a day for any change. That change came Thursday. He notified local health officials of his worsening condition, and was whisked into isolated care.
I’m no epidemic chicken little, but monitoring and testing for infection after entry to the U.S. seems too passive and reactive a policy for an active epidemic killer.