We're at no lack for panic as the Ebola crisis continues to stir fears across the world about a possible outbreak beyond West Africa.
As we noted earlier, the looting of a health clinic in Liberia brought with it considerable fears that assailants had made off with equipment and bedding that could lead to wider exposure. The whereabouts of as many as 17 patients remain unknown. Meanwhile, across the continent, Kenya issued a travel ban, one of the most aggressive steps taken by a country thus far. From the AP:
The suspension is effective midnight Tuesday for all ports of entry for people traveling from or through Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, said Kenya's Health Ministry. Nigeria was not included in the ban, which also allows entry to health professionals and Kenyans returning from those countries.
Elsewhere, a Nigerian woman who died on a flight to Abu Dhabi stoked concerns that she had been stricken and traveling with the Ebola virus.
Her health deteriorated while in transit at Abu Dhabi International Airport. As medics were trying to resuscitate her, they found signs that suggested a possible Ebola virus infection. The health authority noted, however, that her preexisting medical condition also could have explained her death.
Despite the inconclusiveness, caution continues to be the watchword. On Tuesday, the World Health Organization proposed exit screenings for those traveling from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. From their statement (via Reuters):
Affected countries are requested to conduct exit screening of all persons at international airports, seaports and major land crossings, for unexplained febrile illness consistent with potential Ebola infection. Any person with an illness consistent with EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) should not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.
And much closer to home, a woman in New Mexico is reportedly being tested for the deadly virus after she returned from Sierra Leone with symptoms consistent with Ebola (and basically everything else). From the Albuquerque Journal:
The woman, who worked overseas as a teacher, has a sore throat, headache, muscle aches and fever and is in stable condition. Those are similar to the initial symptoms of Ebola.
She had no known exposure to Ebola, and health officials said the tests are being done “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a Health Department news release. Preliminary test results are expected late this week."
In the meantime, while it's said to be "unlikely" that she has the disease, her visitors are being limited.