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Mon Oct 6, 2014, 07:24 PM

How did Thomas Duncan get infected, what he was told? (malaria)

http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-ebola-liberia-20141003-story.html
The Ebola virus that infected Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who fell ill in Texas, has sickened at least six others in the sandy neighborhood near the Liberian capital where he lived in a rented room with a plain wooden door.

A chain of confusion and denial links the Dallas apartment complex to which he moved to a dark green house about 30 yards from Duncan's door in Liberia, where the desperate family of a dying pregnant woman treated her illness as malaria, not the highly infectious virus that has killed more than 3,300 people.

Now two members of the Williams family, Duncan's neighbors and landlords, are dead, three other people are sick and Duncan has become the first person to develop symptoms of the disease in the United States.

If not for the Williams family's insistence, perhaps based on wishful thinking, that 19-year-old Marthalene Williams didn't have Ebola, the disease might never have reached U.S. soil...(much more, please read it at the link)

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Reply How did Thomas Duncan get infected, what he was told? (malaria) (Original post)
uppityperson Oct 2014 OP
uppityperson Oct 2014 #1
City Lights Oct 2014 #2
Kalidurga Oct 2014 #3
Suich Oct 2014 #4
JI7 Oct 2014 #5
TorchTheWitch Oct 2014 #6

Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 08:09 PM

1. 1 kick, lots of looks, no comments. I thought this interesting as it explains more of what happened,

why he thought what he did.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 08:11 PM

2. Thanks for sharing this.

Very interesting. Bookmarking for future reference.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 08:24 PM

3. I didn't think he knew

it was just a hunch though, but now it looks like it is very much more likely he did not know rather than he knowingly traveled to the US with the disease.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 08:28 PM

4. That's very sad.

Nobody really did anything wrong after that clinic said she had malaria.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 08:35 PM

5. i think his survival could give us an idea of how things are in the country

not every place has easy internet , 24 hour news channels , 911 for emergency etc.

just because we become informed of things that happen in the US and around the world quickly and can easily find out more doesn't mean that's how people live in other places.

especially if it's a poor area they are usually working all day just to get basics.

i'm reminded of how in afghanistan that most people there have no idea of 9/11 even though they were affected by it in such a huge way.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Mon Oct 6, 2014, 10:49 PM

6. He knew

From your link:

Duncan had ridden in a taxi with Marthalene, who was seven months pregnant and desperately ill, as they crisscrossed the Liberian capital, Monrovia, going from a clinic to two hospitals, trying to get her admitted. With them were her father, Emmanuel, and brother Sonny Boy.

From the clinic, where she was given an intravenous drip but deteriorated sharply, they were sent to an Ebola treatment unit and then another, at a time when there were no Ebola beds available in the city.

(snip)

Though the clinic they first went to thought it was malaria the JFK hospital they went to recognized that she had Ebola and sent her to an Ebola ward that was too full with patients, so they couldn't take her. There's no getting around that he knew she had Ebola once they were told to go to the Ebola ward. They would not have taken her to the Ebola ward if they didn't believe that she had Ebola because they would not have wanted her put in with Ebola patients that would infect her with Ebola.

Even if he was in deep denial about what she had there is no getting around that he and the family members that took her to first the clinic and then the hospital discovered at the hospital that she had Ebola.

According to neighbors they were given by the family after she was sent back home from the hospital all kinds of stories as to what was wrong with her and continued to after her death until two other family members also died. Whether they lied because of fear of their neighbors or denial or whatever the family members and Mr. Duncan that took her to the clinic and then the hospital found out that she had Ebola, and they had to have believed that or they never would have taken her to the Ebola ward to be turned away.

He knew he had been in physical contact with someone that had Ebola and lied on the questionnaire before getting on his flight that he had not been in physical contact with anyone that had been ill.

I've said before that I would have done the same thing. I would absolutely wanted to get on that plane and get to the US where if I came down with symptoms after having contracted Ebola by helping his landlord's pregnant daughter where they had modern medicine and wouldn't have been turned away because of so many Ebola patients crowded into an Ebola ward.

Maybe not knowing how long the window is between infection and symptoms after a few days without symptoms he thought he was in the clear, and when he did come down with the first symptoms of fever and stomach pain he went to the hospital and told them he'd come from West Africa expecting they'd know to check for Ebola since that's what the media had been assuring everyone that our hospitals were prepared for. But he gets examined and the doctor tells him that he has some kind of benign flu-like virus, gives him useless antibiotics and sent him home. At that point he was probably thinking "Thank God it's not Ebola!" since we all tend to believe doctors when the tell us what's wrong with us.

Regardless, he still knew that the woman he helped had Ebola since they were told to take her to the Ebola ward which they did and wouldn't have done if they didn't believe that's what she had. He still lied on the questionnaire to get on the plane to the US, though even at that time he may have thought he was already probably not infected since he didn't have symptoms since the day he helped her and she died and was likely in the clear given the number of days that passed from his helping her to his flight. Most of us think that after being exposed to someone with a contagious illness think we're in the clear after a few days pass and we aren't sick.

All that said, I think Marthalene is a pretty name for a female.

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