Blood transfusion

The nurse who recovered from Ebola had received a blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, that first American missionary doctor who contracted the disease but survived.  So far, he has given about a gallon of his blood to others with the disease, and it seems to be helping.  The recipients and the donor must have compatible blood types, but the antibodies that successfully killed the virus in the survivor can be transferred into another person’s body.

I can’t resist the comparison to the blood of Christ.  He bore the disease of sin in His body and went so far as to die from it, though that particular virus was ours, not His.  But He rose from the dead.  Now His blood is our cure.  He gives us a blood transfusion:

And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:27-28) [Read more...]

Nurse is cured of Ebola

That first nurse who contracted Ebola after treating the patient in Dallas is now free of the disease.  A physician in New York who was in Africa with Doctors without Borders was diagnosed with the disease.  Altogether, nine Americans have contracted the disease.  Details after the jump. [Read more...]

When is an Ebola outbreak over?

Forty-three people who had been in contact with Ebola victim Thomas Duncan have been cleared, proving not to have the disease.  That’s a big relief for health officials, though 120 people are still being monitored.  Meanwhile, the World Health Organization says that the outbreaks in Senegal and Nigeria are over.  How do they know that?  Well, the answer is simple, as you will see after the jump. [Read more...]

Ebola symptoms & flu symptoms

Ebola starts with a fever and aches and pains, sort of like the flu.  Then comes vomiting and diarrhea.  Then comes a red rash.  If the disease progresses, the whites of your eyes turn red.  You start to hemorrhage  internally.  Then you start bleeding from your eyes, your ears, your mouth, and every other orifice.  Then you die.

Ebola is uncommonly grisly and horrifying, but it starts like the flu.  And just as detecting its symptoms is especially critical in dealing with the disease and stopping its spread, ordinary flu season is upon us, making the task even more difficult.  Screening measures may confuse flu with Ebola, and people with the flu will panic, thinking they might have Ebola.  (Then again, experts are saying that more people will  die from flu than Ebola.)

A friend of mine, a nurse, was at our local hospital and saw a horde descend in hazmat suits.  Sure enough, we have a possible Ebola case.  Or maybe it’s the flu.

[Read more...]

Pestilence update

A second nurse in Dallas who took care of Thomas Duncan, who died of the disease, has been diagnosed with Ebola.  A further problem is that she was on a flight from Cleveland the day before she was admitted to the hospital, exposing 132 passengers.

The Dallas hospital that treated Mr. Duncan now admits that it was improvising protocols “on the fly.”  Instead of actual haz-mat suits, health care workers were apparently using ordinary paper masks, regular disposable gowns, and two pairs of vinyl gloves, leaving quite a bit of face, hair, and skin exposed. [Read more...]

Nurse in haz-mat gear catches Ebola

A Dallas nurse who cared for Ebola victim Thomas Duncan, who died of the affliction, has been diagnosed as having the disease.  And yet she was wearing full protective gear.  Doctors are insisting that she must have violated the protocols somehow, though they can’t say how.  But could it be that Ebola is easier to catch than we are being told?  And if caregivers are at the greatest risk of catching this plague, won’t that make them hesitant to offer treatment?

This is a true test of vocation.  We should pray for and honor the medical professionals who are putting their lives on the line in what the World Health Organization is calling “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times.” [Read more...]


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