tv Talk to Al Jazeera Al Jazeera September 30, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm EDT
♪ i'm del walters in new york. you are listening to our continuing coverage of the house site and reform committee. this is julia pierson who is being asked about why housekeepers found damage to the white house that the secret service didn't find. >> you have officers taking cover because they believe shots were fired. you have officers at the white house drawing their weapons he recently traveled to west africa, did not start showing symptoms until he returned here to
the united states, and there was the first case confirmed here in t. receive oa diagnose that happened here in america. there have been four other patients who contracted ebola that returned to the united states, but all of those contracted the virus in west africa, confirmed there came back to the united states, so this is significant that the first case has been diagnosed here in the united states. now, of course, this ebola outbreak has been sented mostly to five countries in and around west africa, primarily, guinea, sierra leone, and liberia. the health organization, more than 3,000 people have died in these five west african countries. now prior to this most recent outbreak, the death rate for those to ebola was about 90%, but, thanked to early treatment, of these most recent casings the death rate has fallen to about 60%, so that's good news.
but again, the news here today, is the first time someone has been diagnosed with the virus here in the united states. we will be taking you to atlanta in just a few moments to hear from officials get more information about this man who travelinged from west africa, in fact, he is traveled there frequently, just last week, i believe, back in dallas, and was sent to the hospital with symptoms and then he was diagnosed with ebola. al jazeera robert ray has been covering several stories for us on ebola and the cvc. he is on his way there, do we have you on the phone right now. >> yes, good evening. >> as we mentioned this is not the first time there have been patients in the united states with ebola, but the first time we have had a case where it's been diagnosed here in the states. what do you expect to hear from the officials when you get to the center. >> well, i talked to a c. d.c. official a few minutes ago, and i am expected to hear a pretty candidate dr. michael --
dr. freeden the head of the c. d.c., i think he will come out and be really honest and give very specific details on how this contracted the ebola virus, and where exactly, probably a lot of very specifics because it is one of those things where i believe the cdc and the national institutes of health are going to want to i guess tame the public outcry a little bit, because there are probably going to be likely a lot of people that are freaked out by this. what they should know, is that if someone who has ebola, is put into an isolation unit, and quarantined and taken care of like they have been here in the u.s. the four previous patients here, then the ability to recover is good, and also the infection going to another person is very unlikely, because we have to remember, ebola is not very easy to get. it is transferred from human bodily fluids and the issue in west africa is the hygiene is so bad, and there's not enough
paragraph. >> robert, according to the associated press, this particular patient in dallas arrived at the hospital monday, after recent travel to west africa, as i mentioned, he was kept in isolation, until they could confirm the diagnosis, though that is good information there in terms of he has been isolated. hopefully not allowed anyone else to contract the virus. and it is very important to remember that the incubation period is 21 days and sometimes you don't show symptoms until deep into that incubation period, and that's why especially in west africa, so many people have contracted it, because people didn't quite frankly know they had it they were contagious to give it to other people. hopefully it's been good news that he did go to the hospital and was placed in isolation so quickly. >> exactly. getting these people who are -- into isolations i
don't wants warranteed monitoring their vital signs keeping them hydrated, pumping electrolytes into their body, and making sure that they are not in the general public. that is the absolutely key, and that's what it is not happened in west africa, because of the infrastructure and the lack of medical supplies and doctors. if we remember, the united states announced that they are sending 3,000 soldiers, and equipment over to west africa to set up these quarantine style units that i was just talking about. and that's underway right now. so clearly this is an alarming situation, but we do know, as you noted, that she is someone who has been over in west africa recently, so it isn't as if all of a sudden the virus has just popped up out of nowhere in middle america, per se. >> stand by, i want to get more from you in a moment, also want to get some insight here from dr. alexandar.
he joins us on the phone as well. he is a senior fellow, doctor, we appreciate the time. how significant is it that this case is the first to be diagnosed here, in the u.s.? >> i think it is significant, because this is the thing we have been talking about since the epidemic started. can it get on a plane and come to the u.s., so this has happened now, i think what is very important, is this was a case that was acquired he caught the disease in west africa and brought it leer. and what we will be able to do is isolate the patient, and stop the further spread. so this is not the index case of an epidemic in america, this is a disease that is very very containable. about how to contain ebola, and the guidance are relatively straight forward. s what is called barrier nursing.
aprons gloves eye protection, it's nothing that the doctors don't know how to do, that will very very severely restrict the spread of this. >> that is good information for people at home to understand, who may not be familiar with this, friar to this latest outbreak, the death rate was 90%, but there have been four other cases of people who had the virus who returned here, three of them have already been treated and released from the hospital win is still just going treatment, so as you mention the success rate is very good, especially the cases here in america. >> i think that's right, there are two very important things to say, people worried about his patient, and the chances of recovery are massively improved. but the second thing to say, you are right, people are worried about this disease spreading, it is quite a difficult virus to catch. the guy that discovered ebola, who runs one of
the best tropical research are centers said he would sit next to someone with ebola on the subway. it is that difficult to catch. and now that this patient is isolated i am confident they won't be spreeing it even further. it is of course possible there can be transmission, but there no possibility of seeing anything like what is happening in west africa here, and i think you and your colleagues have emphasized that very nicely. >> speaking of west after ca, there some good news today, they were prepared to say that the outbreak is practically over, as i mentioned earlier, the incubation period is 21 days and after you have two of these periods pass without any new cases of ebola, they can then declare that the outbreak is over, so that's good news for nigeria, but the overwhelming majority of these have been centered in guinea, sierra leone and liberia, what will it
take for health officials there to get better control on the virus? and get to the point where nigeria is. >> you are right to bring up nigeria. what this shows is it is highly containable. circumstances are very very different. it has the worst public health infrastructure, the least amount of money, and a particularly low level of education and health literacy. what it will take is massive resources and numbers of people on the ground, and it is very striking to me, that ebola unlike other famines and disasters we have seen, we haven't seen a benefits concert, we haven't seen the same kind of public uptake. i think they say more government should deal with diseases, and so public awareness and support of a massive international effort to stop this, is the best way of stopping people bringing this disease to the states. and i think you have done a nice job of emphasizing the fact that we need to con dane this, and eradicate it in west africa, this is not about
clotting 80s and shutting down routs or stopping people from west africa coming in, this is about spending money and resources containing the disease and eradicated it. it is very possible to do, but it will require a massive economies commitment. >> as we await a life news conference from the center from disease control headquarters you are looking live now tat a hospital in dallas. that's the texas health presbyterian hospital, for the first time of ebola was diagnosed here, in the united states. a man was admitted to the hospital monday, after recent travel history to west africa, he started showing symptoms of the disease, he was kept in isolation, until they could confirm the diagnosis. i. to ask you something about u.s. involvement. >> i meant to be on the show in like an hour, in downtown on thirty-fourth
street, so i don't know how long you want me for. >> we weapon he to have the doctor join us here in the studio, but this is the fist case of ebola, to be diagnosed here in the u.s. we still have robert ray on the phone, who is in atlanta. robert, we heard from the doctor talk about some very important issues that people need to understand, relative to the spread of ebola, before we get back to you, robert, i believe we are going to take people live right now to the c.d.c. for the news conference of this outbreak. >> our first speaker is c.d.c. director dr. tom freeden. >> good afternoon, everybody, and thank you for joining us. as you have been hearing from us, egoal la is a serious disease, it is only spread by direct contact with someone who
is sick with the virus. and it is only spread through bodily fluids. the incubation period is eight to ten days after eggs pose sure, can be as short as two days or as long as 21 days. it is a severe disease that has a high case of fatality, but there are core tried and true public health interventions that stop it. today we are providing the information that an individual traveling from liberia, has been diagnosed with ebola, in the united states. this individual left liberia on the 19th of september, arrived in the u.s. on the 20th of september, had no symptoms when departing liberia, or entering this country. but four or five days later around the 24th of september, began to develop symptoms, on the
26th of september, initially sought care and sunday the 28th, of september, was admitted to a hospital in texas. and placed on isolation we received in our lab bra story today specimens from the individual. tested them and they tested positive for ebola. the state of texas also operate as laboratory that found the same results the testing for ebola is highly accurate. it is a p.c.r. test of blood, so what does this mean? the next steps are basically, threefold. first, to care for the patient. and we will be hearing from the hospital shortly, to provide the most effective care possible, as safely as possible to keep to an absolutely minimum the likelihood, the possibility that anyone would become infected and
second, to maximize the chances that the patient might recover. second, we identified all people who may have had contact with the patient while he could have been infectious, and remember, ebola does not spread from someone who is not infectious. it does not spread from someone who doesn't have fiver and other symptoms. so it is only someone who is sick with ebola, who can spread the disease. once those contacts are all identified, they are all monitored for 21 days after exposure, to see if they develop fever. if they develop fever then those same criteria are used to isolate them, and make sure that they are cared for as well as possible, so that they max please their chances and to minimize or eliminate the chance that they would infect other people. the bottom line here, is that i have no doubt that
we will control this importation or this case of ebola, so that it does not spread widely it is certainly possible that someone that had contact with this individual, a family member or other individual, could develop ebola in the coming weeks. but there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here. >> it does reflect the on going spread of ebola in liberia and west africa. where there are large numbers of cases and while we do not currently know how this individual became infected, they undoubtly had close contact with someone who was sick with ebola or who had died from it. west africa we are surging the response. where we have more than 130 people in the field, but throughout the u.s.
government, the president has leaned forward to make sure we are acting very proactively there, and the defense department is on the ground already strengthening the response we are working with u.s. and other parts of the government as well as with a broad global coalition to confront the epidemic there. but ultimately, we are all connected by the air we breathe. and we are invested and ensuring that the disease is controlled in africa, but also in ensuring that where there are patients in this country, who become ill, there are immediately isolated and we do the tried and trues core public health interventions that stop the spread. thank you, doctor. i'd like to next introduce our second speaker, dr. david lakeky, commissioner of the texas department of state health services. doctor.
>> good afternoon, everybody, and thank you, thank you for your support, the support of the c.d. dr., as we work through this current situation. as i start off, i first want to say our thoughts and prayers are with the family, and with the patient, and that the treatment team for the this individual. our lab bra story, the texas public health lab bra story, in austin has a specially trained team to happenedle high risk assessments like this, we were certified on the 20 second of august to do ebola testing. at 9:00 o'clock this morning we received a blood sample, all the cropped were within the expected ranges and it was positive for ebola, and we got that result back at 1:22 this afternoon. i want to reiterate that we have no other suspected cases in the state of texas at this time, but we are closely monitors the situation
and we are ready to assist in any way that is needed. we have been in contact with the hospital, with the local health department, and they have our full support as we work through this situation. and we are committed to keeping texas safe. so again, i want to thank the c. d.c., the local health department, and dallas county, and the hospital for the work they are doing, and we are working through this together. thank you. >> thank you, dr. our third speaker dr. edward goodman, the hospital epidemiologist with the texas health presbyterian hospital dallas. dr. goodman. >> thank you, thank you dr. freeden, the cdc, i want to correct one statement that made have been misinterpreted. when he commented on the air we breathe. ebola is not transmitted by the air. it is not an air born infection.
texas health dallas is a large community hospital with a robust infection control system, that works in close cooperation with the dallas county health department, the centers for disease control, as well as other epidemiologists within the system. and in the commute. we have had a plan in place for some time now, in the event of a patient presenting with possible ebola. ironically in the week before this patient presented we had a meeting of all the staff, that might be involved in the care of a patient. and because of that, we were well prepared to deal with this crisis. thank you. >> thank you, dr. goodman. our first speaker is the dallas county health and human services director. zachary thompson, director thompson. >> good afternoon.
our hearts and prayers go out to the family as welp p i want to thank the c.d.c., department of state health services. for our response to this case in dallas county, also want to commend dr. christopher perkins, health authority and our team for their work that they have been doing in conducting public health follow up on the patient. which includes contacting investigation, to gather information, based on the patient's travel history, activities and close contact. dallas county health and human services will proceed with the public health follow up. and dallas county, health and human services want dallas drown residents to be reassured that your public health is our number one friarty. dallas county health and human services staff will continue to work hard, to protect the health and welfare of the citizens of dallas county. thank you. >> is for questions we
will start in the room and then go to the phone. thank you very much, also, for that comment dr. good mapp. as emphasized, ebola only spreads by direct contact it is not spread by any other rout in any outbreak. i also want to thank texas, and dallas county health departments for their collaboration, c.d.c. has a team of epidemiologists on rout to texas now. at the request of the texas department of health, and we work hand in hand to do what public health does best, which is protect people. people in this case to make sure we find the contact, identify them, and make sure contact, identify them, and make sure that they are traced every day for
21 days and develop a fever that they are immediately isolated and then their contacts would be ice fied as well, first question. >> you were saying he started showing symptoms, went to a hospital, and then was released and sent home and then was admitted until a day or two later? so the initial symptoms of ebola are often nonspecific, that means there are symptoms that may be associated with many conditions so may not be immediately identified as ebola, and that's why we have encouraged all emergency didn't physicians to take a history of travel, within the last 21 days, something to reiterate and then to do rapid testing. dr. goodman is there anything else you would like to say about it. >> no, i think you summarized it very well. next question? in the room. >> i know you are -- limited a little bit with patient privacy, but can you tell us a little bit was this person involved in fighting the ebola
epidemic and also did they travel on a commercial aircraft? from the information that we have now, it does not appear that the individual was involved in the response to ebola. in terms of the airline flight, i do want to emphasize that focus here, over the next period needs to be the patient, and we are very focused on trying to get any assistance we can to the patient who we understand is critically ill at this point. and then identified contacts in the community family members or others and then any possibility contacts through the healthcare contacts. in terms of the flight, i understand that people are curious about that, but remember, ebola doesn't spread before
someone gets sick, and he didn't get sick until four days after he got off the airplane. so we do not believe there is any risk to anyone who was on the flight at that time. >> is he left on the 19th and arrived on the 20th. next question in the room. how likely is there to continue to be a concern with people coming back from the region who are showing symptoms then, but may later, and what is being done at airports and sort of the first lines of people coming in to ensure that something like this doesn't -- it doesn't continue to be an issue. >> as long as there continues to be cases in west africa, the reality is that patients travel, individuals travel, and as appears to have happened in this case, individuals may travel before they have any symptoms. one of the things that cdc has done in liberia,
sierra leyon, is to -- with the airport's authority, so one 100% of the patient be getting on screens are screened for fever. if they have a fever, they are pulled out of the line, and arecessed for ebola. this is one way to make sure that the airplanes themselves are safe during transit and the airline are willing to keep flying. but that doesn't rule out a situation like this one -- was exposed and then came in while they are incubating the disease, but not infectious with it. >> can you tell us where he was and do you know why he was in those countries. >> the details of the individual are things we will investigate, and some of that has to do with patient confidentty, we will defer to the hospital and to the family for any further information on those details. >> we have a question here, and then shall we go to the phone for the
first question. >> you were just listening to dr. thomas freeden, he is the director of the center for disease control, giving you specific information about the first case of ebola that's been diagnosis here. it is a dallas man, who traveled to west africa, he left there on december 19th, started showing symptoms about four days after that, he has now been admitted to a hospital, where he is under isolation, and director freeden said, he is competent it will not spread throughout the u.s., he said we will stop it here. we will have more information on this and other stories in just a few minutes here on al jazeera.