Originally published October 17 2014
CDC: You can't get Ebola from sitting on a bus, but patients can spread virus via public transportation
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, once thought to be the gold standard agency for identification and control of infectious diseases, is losing its luster. Millions of Americans once respected the agency as a paragon of virtue, inhabited by the world's most renowned experts in infectious disease identification and control.
But those perceptions are changing -- rapidly -- as the agency chief and his staffers continue to make misstatements and errors in judgment while putting out information regarding Ebola that turns out to be incorrect.
Consider a recent contradictory statement made by the CDC director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, about the contagious nature of the deadly virus that has a 70 percent mortality rate. As reported by CNSNews.com, Frieden was briefing reporters about the latest Ebola victim, Amber Vinson, the second healthcare worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas who treated the "patient zero," Thomas Eric Duncan.
Frieden said people cannot contract the Ebola virus by merely sitting next to an infected person on a bus -- but that infected or exposed persons should nevertheless avoid riding public transportation because of the potential of transmitting the virus to others.
'Get on the bus, don't get on the bus'
Frieden followed up that confusing bit of information with news that Vinson had boarded a commercial flight for Dallas after visiting family in Cleveland, though she had a temperature of 99.5° F. More on that in a moment.
CNSNews.com elaborated further on Frieden's bizarre claim:
Frieden's statement came in response to CNSNews.com's question regarding a video message from President Barack Obama last week addressing Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa, in which the president told residents they "cannot get [Ebola] through casual contact like sitting next to someone on a bus."
The news service reporter asked this specific question:
"In a video message to countries in West Africa that are experiencing Ebola outbreaks, President Obama told residents they cannot get the disease by sitting next to someone on a bus. But CDC recommendations state that travelers in West Africa who begin to show possible symptoms, or people who have experienced a high risk of exposure, should avoid public transportation, including buses. And we've also seen large amounts of concern regarding potentially infected people traveling on airplanes.
"My first question is, did the CDC vet this video message before it was released and posted on U.S. embassy websites, and is it true that a person runs absolutely no risk of contracting Ebola on public transportation, such as a bus?"
Frieden responded, "Yes, CDC vetted the message, and, yes, we believe it's accurate."
Then, he elaborated: "I think there are two different parts of that equation. The first is, if you're a member of the traveling public and are healthy, should you be worried that you might have gotten it by sitting next to someone? And the answer is no.
"Second, if you are sick and you may have Ebola, should you get on a bus? And the answer to that is also no. You might become ill, you might have a problem that exposes someone around you."
Facts that don't square with the CDC chief's claims
That bit of conflicting information does not square with the facts, which are these:
- Despite taking some precautions in treating Duncan, who died Oct. 8, two nurses treating him -- Nina Pham, 26, and Vinson, 29 -- have nonetheless become ill. We have since discovered that the hospital treating Duncan did not have Biosafety Level 4 procedures in place -- the level necessary to deal with incurable diseases like Ebola.
- Frieden, like Obama, once told the country that there was very little chance that Ebola would make it to the United States; now there have been three cases, and the first victim has died.
- Not only is Frieden's statement confusing, but it sounds misleading. If, on the one hand, the agency believes that Ebola cannot be transmitted through casual contact, as in on a bus (or a plane), then why tell people who may have been exposed not to get on a bus or a plane?
Adding to Frieden's confusing and, most likely, politically correct response(s) to the outbreak is the fact that he says his agency is continuing to monitor anyone who was in contact with Duncan and anyone who came in contact with Pham or Vinson.
The CDC's statements and counter-claims are more than just a little confusing -- they are extremely dangerous.
As to Vinson getting on a plane with a temperature, reports said she contacted the CDC numerous times before boarding to inform them about her temperature and who she was, but a staffer told her to board anyway, because her temp of 99.5° F did not meet CDC Ebola criteria of 100.4° F.
Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com
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