US Monitors Health Care Worker Aboard Cruise Ship

Jim Kuhnhenn, ABC News, October 17, 2014

A cruise ship with a Dallas health care worker aboard who is being monitored for signs of Ebola did not receive clearance to dock in Cozumel, Mexico, a day after Belize refused to let the passenger leave the vessel.

Obama administration officials said the passenger handled a lab specimen from a Liberian man who died from Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital earlier this month. Officials said the woman poses no risk because she has shown no signs of illness for 19 days and has voluntarily self-quarantined on the cruise ship, the Carnival Magic.

The cruise line said Friday that after not receiving clearance, the ship left Cozumel waters shortly after noon Friday with the goal of returning to its home port of Galveston Sunday morning as originally scheduled.

{snip}

The Carnival Magic had also stopped in Belize but officials there would not allow the passenger to leave the vessel. In a statement, the Belize government said it had refused a U.S. government request to fly the woman home through the Belize City airport. Other passengers were allowed to disembark there.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the government of Belize decided not to facilitate a U.S. request for assistance in evacuating the passenger through the Philip Goldson International Airport,” the government’s statement said.

U.S. officials had been seeking ways to return the woman and her husband to the U.S. before the ship completes its cruise on Sunday.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that when the woman left the U.S. on the cruise ship from Galveston, Texas, on Oct. 12 health officials were requiring only self-monitoring.

{snip}

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  • When the Love Boat turns into the Ebola Boat, you have the makings of high drama. What were the incompetent buffoons in charge thinking when they allowed these Ebola folks to gallivant all over the world? Any reasonable person would at this point conclude that Ebola is Obama’s ultimate revenge on the country he hates so much.

    • mikekingjr

      When “Ebola Boat”, the show, comes out, I won’t have the stomach to watch. Literally.

      • me

        The ebola boat….♪♫
        Is making another run…
        The ebola boat….♪♫
        Promises something for everyone…
        Set your sights on adventure…
        A chance for a new world plague…♪♫
        The ebola boat…
        Welcome aboard, it’s eeee-booo-ooo-ooo-lah!♪♪

    • Valmont

      Succeeding beyond the wildest “Dreams From My Father.”

    • Just wait until a “Camp of the Saints” flotilla of Ebola-infected Africans crosses the Atlantic and immediately demands refugee status. Heck; there could be one on the way right now, and we wouldn’t know it.

  • Who Me?

    Is this one white or black? Has she infected anyone else yet? Why was she allowed to wander all over the world on a cruise ship? If she was “self-monitoring” what did she expect to do about it if she DID fall ill? It seems this one is just as bad as the one who took a plane out of town and back.

    • Andross

      Protip: all the nurses and medical personnel employed at the hospital where Mr. Ebola Duncan was treated are all incompetent minorities. :p

      • Robb

        another protip: carnival cruise line.

  • phorning

    Add Belize to the list of countries who care more about the health and safety of their own citizens than the United States. Good for them.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Belize, Mexico and a dozen African nations didn’t get the memo that political correctness trumps the safety of your own citizens.

  • mikekingjr

    Great. A floating ebola hatchery headed to a major US port near you. What irresponsible behavior on this health care worker’s part! Gotta be a very narcissistic individual. It’s not like ebola hasn’t been in the news for a while. Life’s great when you’re bulletproof.

    • mikekingjr

      Why doesn’t the federal gummit just stick a bunch of nukes up our collective rear end? Quicker, less painful, fewer experimental drugs required. Win, win, win.

  • dd121

    I got a call for 75% off Carnival cruise line tickets yesterday. Now I know why.

    • Carnival has said in court that the ticket purchase contract “makes absolutely no guarantee for safe passage, a seaworthy vessel, adequate and wholesome food, and sanitary and safe living conditions.”

      The company also pays employees as low as $1.50 an hour, with 14-hour shifts and no days off. Effective October 2013, Carnival also revoked all retirement benefits.

      A cruise around the Greek islands might be fun, but the lines that operate there seem to mostly be Carnival subsidiaries. Moreover, the Greeks are notorious for going on strike at the drop of a hat, which would make services at the various ports of call somewhat chancy.

      • dd121

        My wife and I went on one cruise in the Caribbean a year ago just to see what it was all about. Carnival is one of the worst rated, we were on a Celebrity which was nice. I’m not crazy about crowds but the food was good. Most of the stops didn’t have much worth seeing. Probably won’t go again.

  • Simonetta

    If medical professionals who know what they are talking about have decided that the woman poses no risk because she has shown no signs of illness for 19 days and all that she did was handle a lab sample using proper established procedures, then she doesn’t have Ebola.

    A pandemic is a serious problem and there is no room for paranoia or over-reacting or hysteria. Medical professionals handle serious contagious diseases all the time, year in and year out. They know what they are doing. There hasn’t been a major pandemic that has killed hundreds of millions of people since 1918, because they know what they are doing. So trust them and believe them. They said that this situation poses no risk.

    Save your worries for something real.

    • Who Me?

      They SAID the hospital in Dallas was prepared for Ebola and all the personnel knew what to do and there was no chance of infecting others … until the nurses started getting sick…

      • Periapsis

        That was because they had neither the training nor the Personal Protective Equipment to prevent themselves from getting infected. When I work on energized electrical panels that are carrying 480, 2,300 or even higher voltage current, I have to wear PPE to protect myself. That is what an arc-flash suit is for. It’s no different for a nurse who is treating someone infected with a Level-4 pathogen. In both cases, going in without the right PPE and the training to use it correctly is a surefire way to end up dead or permanently injured. Ebola often leaves survivors with a host of lifelong medical problems that are permanent just as electrocution often will too. Given the choice between lethal electrical current and a virus small enough to pass through a hole or gap you can’t even see with the un-aided eye, I’d sooner work on a live electrical panel.

    • M&S

      >>
      Save your worries for something real.
      >>

      Except that she was ‘self monitoring’ in conditions where becoming sick and containing the products (vomitus and diarrhea) of her developed symptoms was not going to be something that someone in protective gear could do safely without certainly becoming exposed themselves.

      Except that, symptoms set in in 7-21 days and people who have been infected have shown the active virus in their sperm, 60 days later. This is not an egg timer. You can’t rely on it to follow rules.

      Except that there is nothing to keep HER from being the person in which the bug mutates and becomes airborne as a lot of epidemiologists are predicting it will ‘with wide enough exposure’.

      Except that, on a big frickin’ boat, with past editions of ‘sick’ cruise ships (and Legionaires Disease before that) as key examples, who in their right minds would EVER feel safe about getting onboard or would you just take her out and torpedo her in deep water for the 30 million dollar insurance loss?

      Except that, if she gets symptomatic in a way that gives thirty minutes of infectious risk before she starts puking her guts up, how many FOREIGN passengers would have debarked naturally or just run off, beyond the reach of anyone in the U.S. to immediately isolate them?

      Except that, there is now a published list of nurses complaints about improperly disposed of, contaminated, protective gear ‘lying around in piles’ and doctors and nurses who went on to treat multiple other patients at the hospital where this woman worked and if you screw up one basic protocol on biohazard safety you cannot be trusted in any of them and have to recertify ALL OVER AGAIN.

      Except that, TWO of the healthcare providers themselves are now sick, despite having taken precautions (is that lab tech in a fully enclosed, ‘double bubble’ suit with an outer, positive pressure, baggy and an inner, sealed, body suit like they wear at USBWL at Ft. Detrick?

      Except that, the US department of health and CDC have both now expressed serious concern over the Texas facilities’ ability to properly handle and infectious disease patient and serious regrets about not moving TE Duncan to a more secure facility elsewhere, of which we have all of FOUR. In a nation of 310 million.

      Except that, far from sending them off on their own to ‘self monitor’, the Hospital is now offering medical care providers who dealt with Duncan a ‘separate room at the hospital’ to monitor in if they are worried about exposing friends and loved ones’.

      ARGUMENT:

      1. Ninety percent of two bags full is about developing a ritual that keeps you alive because you follow protocols in a way that doesn’t allow for oopsy mistakes like “Left the top off the vial in the waldo box before pulling my hands out to go answer a phone and then knocked it over when I got back.” Something which turns the entire bug box into a biohazard that needs specific paperwork to unplug and send it to the incinerator because the chemicals in the plastic are themselves toxic the residue cannot be handled by most systems.

      2. I’m sorry, but if we were all that and ontop of the matter, _diplomatically_, we would have put an MH-60Q on a C-17, flown down, grabbed the passenger OFF THE SHIP and had a KC-130 drag the helicopter and Little Mrs. Priss sorry behind back to the States, handling our own affairs. Without putting the Belize government in the uncomfortable position of: “For the best interests of our people, we have to say no, given your track record of stupidity thus far.”

      We couldn’t even do that much right, so effectively a 40,000 ton ship is now a taxi cab back to the U.S. for one seriously cognitively challenged _medically trained_ moron with a potentially lethal disease that boarded a ship with no rescue options if she did develop symptoms.

      Now we look like the village idiot -and- half men because we can’t even take care of our own business and have to be told no by responsible adult countries, half our size.

      CONCLUSION:
      You would never play bare handed slap and tickle games with a mamba snake in such a half ass fashion but if you were bit by such a reptile, you would only have about an 75-80% chance of dying, depending on how long it took you to get to the hospital and whether the antivenin was species correct or synthesized generic.

      Ebola is a lethal 90%+ killer, even if you get immediate medical attention.

      TTP basic precautions with such a hazardous phenomenon includes segregation of medical personnel and victims in a facility separate from all public contact where they CANNOT infect those already at transient population and depressed immunity risk as at a public health care center. Along with working in blue-gold-white rotating crew conditions of exposure, isolation, home time. Thirty days each.

      That this should preferably happen in a forward area where infection is already present and thus cannot ‘escape’ into a huge, undefended, population goes without saying.

      Our country is commanded by a fool who is more interested in looking right than doing right.

      Let me say it again: Ebola is a 90% lethal killer.

      And it is a horrifically painful, degrading, prolonged, death as you vomit and excrete your guts out until you hemorrhage out or dehydrate and overheat or your blood chemistry gets so out of whack your major organs lose self regulation and shut down.

      Obama has no right to put ANY Americans at risk for such a fate. He is the President of a nation he doesn’t know how to lead.

      • mikekingjr

        Brilliantly explained!

      • Lengthy, but perfect post by someone else who actually understands this situation. Ive been giving advice to loved ones, most of which is laughed off because “oh its only infectious by bodily fluids”.

        This whole situation is absolutely insane, the way the king of america, the head of the cdc, and, generally speaking, EVERYONE involved in this at an upper level is “handling” this is absolutely pathetic. I’m having a hard time believing this isnt going to become a pandemic in the near future. And you have “Simonetta” here following the examples set by our leadership, “shhh… itll be okay, the professionals said its no big deal! Just trust them… they wouldnt lie”

    • Valmont

      Why do I feel like I’ve just been watching Shirley Temple in “Heidi?”

    • She has now tested negative for Ebola.

    • Max

      This IS facetious, no?

  • Earl P. Holt III

    Mexican and Belize officials have got more sense than our Bolshevik-in-Chief and his entire administration…

  • Ron Cheaters

    Of course, the cheerleading propaganda machine is at it non-stop.

    http://www(.)ctvnews(.)ca/health/tom-frieden-how-a-quiet-whiz-kid-became-the-face-of-ebola-fight-1.2057962

  • Periapsis

    Wonders never cease, Mexico and Belize are doing exactly what they should be doing. I would do the same thing if I was a government official whose mandate is protecting the population from horror shows such as Ebola. That person would be tested and only if proven to be free of Ebola would she be allowed to disembark. Sooner than later, the plague ships and airplanes are coming with most if not all of the people aboard dying of Ebola. That’s a scenario where unfortunately where the rights of the uninfected trump the ill and dying’s rights. That could require the destruction of these ships and planes to prevent further spread of this disease, which has been dubbed a “Slate Wiper” because it has the potential to destroy civilization. Worse, there is not evidence that Ebola DID get into Europe before. In 430 B.C., Athens Greece was struck by a horrific plague whose symptoms, progression and mortality rate are a dead ringer for Ebola. It was documented by a historian who somehow survived while more than half of the people died in a matter of weeks or months.

    • Thucydides reported that the Plague of Athens did come from Africa (it first reached the Athenian port of Piraeus) which together with its symptoms very strongly suggest a filovirus-caused hemorrhagic fever.

  • John

    Let’s strip away all the MSM hype and hysterics and put this Ebola “crisis” in perspective. Influenza kills approximately 250,000 to 500,000 people annually. Using the lower of the two numbers, the average number of deaths from the flu each week is 4800. Ten months into the year and the “guesstimated” numbers of deaths from Ebola is roughly 4000. Seems to be we have more of a flu crisis than an Ebola crisis. The problem is that Ebola is newer, “sexy” from the MSM’s perverted world view and as such, makes better copy them. Also, this is a potential gold mine for big Pharma to produce and market vaccines of questionable use for potentially billions in profit. Same thing was attempted with the H1N1 flu “pandemic” that never materialized.

    • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

      Influenza doesn’t have a 50-90% mortality rate, and is indigenous in all continents; Ebola has been confined to Africa until now, and being concerned when it breaks out is neither “hype” nor “hysterics.”

      • John

        The earliest year that I can find where Ebola was recognized as a lethal virus is 1976. Given it’s relative obscurity then and until recently, what “contained” it for all these 38 years? With public and official awareness much less then than now, it would only make sense that it’s window of opportunity to “break out” was even greater in the past when relatively unknown. Additionally, why has the US sent combat troops to Africa to “fight” the disease. Haven’t seen any propaganda shots of our boys guarding treatment centers and the like. So what the hell are they doing there anyway. This all begs the question as to why is it time and again Americans are so willing to believe MSM plus the Feds when both have been shown to be inveterate liars time and again to further there agenda. Question everything.

    • This comment is idiotic. The influenza virus has been spread worldwide, and despite our ability to vaccinate against it, it STILL kills “250-500k” annually. AND the mortality rate of the flu is what, 50% possibly as high as 90%.

      For Influenza to kill 250,000 + people a year, how many are infected? Many millions. If many millions of people were infected with Ebola, guess how many would be dead? Many millions.

      Your attitude of “dont worry about it, its not a pandemic at the moment, therefore we dont have to pay it any attention or concern” is at best, idiotic, and at worst, intentionally misleading, and as such is right in lock step with the “party line”

      As the virus begins to replicate, there is the potential of mutation, each one of these potential mutations can lead to a newer, more efficient way to spread, once the “airborne” mutation happens, and given enough time, it will, this is foing to get real bad, real fast.

      As impossible as it is, i kinda hope obummer, friedan, and all the idiots that blindly believe what the snake oil salesman is spouting are all in the same room when that first cough laden with airborne ebola is sent on its way. Because spreading “dont worry, be happy” is just plain dangerous.

      • John

        My attitude is “this crisis is BS and we need to look at it more closely instead of chimping out like the Feds and MSM would like” and not the “don’t worry, be happy” approach as you put it. Sure, we have flu vaccines but they are woefully inefficient “Most flu vaccines provide modest protection against getting influenza.[5] Some seasons; however, there is little protection and there is not much evidence among the elderly.” Modest protection. How good to know. “Party line”? Hey, sport, I’m the spoiler here. You’re the one that wants to grab ahold of this crisis lock, stock and barrel. Get your accusations straight before you go slinging them around.
        I said from the get go “let’s put this in perspective”. A detailed analysis of the flu, its infection rates etc. would and does not serve any purpose other that as a grab hold point for you to criticize and marginalized my observations. Drilling down to the level of analytical detail you suggest is ridiculous for a forum post. You’re critical because I didn’t break it down by country, age, occupation, education, type of car and so on? No, I don’t think so.
        This is a fact. Last week more people died from the flu worldwide than have been claimed to have died year to date from Ebola. Yesterday alone more people world wide died from the flu than the few US deaths in total attributed to Ebola. If this is even a “small” crisis, Ebola has had such a difficult time grabbing hold in Africa where the sanitation and medical practices for the most part are non-existent, I don’t expect it to do well in the civilized countries of the West.
        I could have used lightening strikes, shark attacks or winning the lottery for my examples of improbable things happening . I just happened to select the flu. Obviously you and a few others feel that is the perfect opportunity to marginalize what I said and reintroduce emotion and hysteria into the discussion instead considering the real reasons as to why this is happening.
        Consider that the H1N1 flu “pandemic” was getting the same level of media attention back in 2009 with public results and panic similar to yours and what happened to it? The Feds promise to get out vaccines to the entire population fell on its face because they couldn’t deliver and the “pandemic” never happened. The EU actually commissioned an investigation into this afterwords speculating Big Pharma promoted the scare in the hope of selling billions of $ in vaccines. Last, where are all the gruesome film shots from Africa of those poor, suffering Ebola victims? Not to be seen because they don’t have any. All you keep hearing are “reliable sources say” types of reports which is MSM double talk for “we’re making this up as we go along”.