Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Loss Of Quarantine

Pauline Cafferkey, the nurse who contacted Ebola while in West Africa with Save the Children, is still in a critical condition according to the BBC.

She flew from Sierra Leone to Scotland (Glasgow) via Morocco and London and was screened for a high temperature with other returning health workers at Heathrow.  She showed no sign of fever but requested further screening. Six subsequent checks were within normal levels and she was told she could continue her journey by commercial flight.

We all know what happened next.  Within hours of arriving in Glasgow she phoned the medical service as she felt unwell and was immediately taken back to London via a brief stay in Gartnavel Hospital. 

Ebola is a vicious illness and well recorded, yet those aid workers, who have been known to have been in close contact with sufferers, are allowed back to their usual lifestyle on the result of one - or in the case of Ms Cafferkey, several - temperature results. No other test is required.  .

Around 60 years ago I was immunised against TB along with all Scottish school children.  TB was killing 50% of those who had the disease. It was hoped that by this action TB would be eradicated in the UK, yet 60 years later it’s on the increase. Current tuberculosis tests are only required for those coming to the UK (from certain countries) for a stay of more than 6 months.

According to one of Ms Cafferkey’s colleagues the testing facilities at Heathrow were dreadful. 

Fifty years ago isolation units were available at our main entry points and testing was thorough. (My father was a senior civil servant with close association to Customs and Excise. We used to have lengthy discussions about the security of these islands.) Now there is no mandatory testing.  Some may say testing on entry is no longer necessary as we have people who enter this country illegally and thus avoid any official precautions.  They may be right.

A couple of years ago I watched a television programme about the rise of tuberculosis  It concentrated in London and showed a mobile chest X-Ray unit’s day routine of testing homeless people.  The medic in charge said it was ‘sad’ job because most were not registered with a doctor or were here illegally even though they weren’t homeless.  The chances of any person diagnosed with TB and following through the lengthy treatment was very minimal, but they continued to take their unit on the road in an effort to stem an epidemic.

Why are we not isolating aid workers when the return from treating Ebola patients?  Of course money is the answer, but would it not make financial sense to provide such facilities instead of taking the chance of a sufferer spreading the disease far and wide throughout the land?

Unfortunately for Ms Cafferkey the serum used in the treatment of other Ebola aid workers is no longer available and she is being treated with the plasma of two survivors.  We have all heard of cures for cancer and other diseases which have never been tried or tested by government authorities. Reasons abound regarding this decision but the one I prefer is that governments prefer to look after the interests of Big Pharma and if any treatments involve natural - rather than chemical - ingredients then the Big Pharma profits are lost. Medics treating Ebola victims in Sierra Leone have been told not to use Ozone Therapy on patients.  How successful it is has yet to be proven officially but surely it’s worth a try for Ms Cafferkey? (Please scroll down to see video and script).


Dioclese said...

Yeah - I got really wound up about this woman a few days back...

JRB said...

To those whom I am about to upset – I apologise now.

But really people – if you wish to get your knickers in a twist or work yourself into a stoochie, please do so based on a modicum of fact and at least some sound scientific data from a reputable medical journal and not from the likes of which lies somewhere between The National Enquirer and Mad Magazine.

[1] Ozone Therapy is an alternative therapy for which there is no evidence to support its clinical use in the treatment of any disease.
[2] The United States Food and Drug Administration has issued numerous warning letters to Dr Mercola regarding his health advocacy activities.

Joe Public said...

I am full of admiration for the selfless bravery of medical staff who are endeavouring to combat that (& other) dreadful diseases.

However, surely they have an obligation to their fellows to undergo a voluntary quarantine period to help determine they're free of the disease?

Unknown said...

Hi SR. Good article. I would suggest
that any one who thinks the FDA and the CDC are the pinnacle of medical
knowledge and are fully trust-able,should look at their record over the last six months. A lot of commentators are less than impressed.The shambles reported by the MSM at Heathrow is a repeat of similar events in the states.
And one wonders if some one somewhere is looking at this as a
nice little earner. Its happened before.

subrosa said...

Sorry I’ve just got round to reading your blog Dioclese. Much better rant than mine!

subrosa said...

As usual I appreciate your opinion JRB. The FDA may not like Mercola’s style but the FDA is in the hands of Big Pharma of course.

Ozone Therapy can’t do harm or at least I can’t find evidence that it does.

subrosa said...

Well said Joe. That was my point really. It should be mandatory, but then if we have people managing to get into this country through illegal means, why bother?

subrosa said...

Hi Danny. Lots of negative comments about the FDA in recent years. Not least about the Monsanto business I think?

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